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First aired October 27, 2004

Lionel/Clark in "Transference"

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

CLARK AND LIONEL SWITCH BODIES - Clark (Tom Welling) hears a painful ringing sound in his ears and is drawn to the prison where Lionel (John Glover) is being held. When he sees Lionel attempt to stab Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) with a strange glowing stone, Clark grabs for the stone causing the two men to switch bodies. Learning his new body has super powers, Lionel immediately begins wreaking havoc on Smallville. Trapped behind bars without his powers, Clark must figure out a way to get his body and powers back in order to save his friends and family.

Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Jensen Ackles, Annette O’Toole and John Schneider also star. James Marshall directed the episode written by Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer (#406).

Detailed Description:

By Sonia K.

Coach Teague comes to see Clark to let him know that a top scout from Met U. is going to be watching him play the next game. Clark is grinning from ear to ear until suddenly a loud ringing noise distracts him and he takes off towards the source of it, the Kansas State Penitentiary, where Lex Luthor is about to meet with his father, Lionel.

Lionel informs Lex that he is terminally ill with a liver disorder and only has a little time left to live. He offers Lex full access to all of his medical records as proof. As Lionel tells Lex he regrets never saying “I Love You”, he offers Lex his hand and just as Lex is about to take it, Clark bursts in and quickly sees that Lionel has some sort of object in his hand and pushes Lex out of the way. As Clark and Lionel lock hands, they’re caught in some sort of magnetic field, and as they pull apart, they switch bodies. Amidst the confusion, Clark is led away by the guards (in Lionel’s body) and Lionel is free to leave (in Clark’s body).

As Lionel spends more time in Clark’s body, he begins to realize many of Clark’s secrets. Mr. Kent asks Clark to lift up the tractor, leading to Lionel’s discovery of Clark’s amazing strength. In a conversation with Martha, Lionel (in Clark’s body) travels in super speed towards Martha, discovering yet another ability. He causes plenty of confusion amongst Clarks friends.

Lionel informs Coach Teague that he’ll be quitting football and pursuing other endeavors, further raising suspicions about “Clark’s” strange behavior as of lately.

At the Torch headquarters, “Clark” is stumped as he finds that his password to access LuthorCorp is invalid. He realizes that in order to pass the voice verification to access his accounts, he must pay his old body a visit. Chloe arrives and falls victim to a slightly cruel prank by Clark (in Lionel’s body) as he leaves her hanging on a kiss, but not before asking her what she would do were Lionel to go free…. As he leaves, he makes the distinct error of addressing Chloe as only Lionel does, Miss Sullivan….

Meanwhile, back in the prison, Clark (in Lionel’s body) is now in the company of what should be Lionel’s cell mate, Edgar, a mathematical genius it seems. A genius who’s been framed and sent to prison by none other than , Lionel Luthor, in order for him to help Lionel find other Kryptonian artifacts and their meanings. Edgar informs Clark that Lionel is on a world wide hunt for these treasures. Meanwhile, it seems Clark has to pay for some debts that Lionel has incurred during his stay in prison. Clark is threatened and roughed up by other inmates and is helpless without his powers.

In the coach’s office, Lana tells Jason about what she’s dug up on the history of Countess Isobel. As they embrace and kiss, Clark, the eavesdropper, walks in on a startled Lana & Jason. Later on, Lana angrily asks Clark to keep their relationship a secret at the risk of Jason losing his job, and Clark agrees.

“Clark” makes his way back to the prison. He tells Clark (in Lionel’s body) to speak his passwords into a tape recorder in order to access his funds/accounts. He threatens to kill Lex if Clark (in Lionel’s body) does not agree. He agrees and does as he is told.

Martha Kent agrees to visit Lionel Luthor in jail under the premise that he has news concerning Clark. When she arrives, he tells her what’s taken place and confirms with Martha that he is indeed, the real Clark, by reminding Martha of events & memories only the true Clark would know. Clark warns her that Lionel’s already visited him in order to gain access to his finances and that his friend, Lex is in danger.

Meanwhile, Lionel (in Clark’s body) unsuccessfully attempts to access his $57 million dollar fortune that he had before being sent to prison. He finally realizes Lex has taken all of it. He’s enraged and with his newfound abilities boldly walks into Lex’s office for a little chat. Immediately Lex realizes that something is wrong. Lionel says something that confirms to Lex that this is not Clark Kent he’s dealing with. He realizes it’s Lionel, his father.

As Lionel (in Clark’s body) is about to fatally injure Lex, Martha walks in with a piece of green kryptonite, and saves Lex’s life. As she checks on Lex, Lionel (in Clark’s body) gets away and ends up at the Kent Farm. He attacks Jonathon and demands to know what Clark’s weakness is. Jonathan, now fully aware that this is not Clark, does not tell Lionel anything. The phone rings & the answering machine picks up. It’s Edgar trying to reach Lionel to tell him there’s a problem.
Lionel goes back to prison to talk with Edgar and finds out that the transference will soon end. The only way to make it permanent would be to kill his old body. In the interim, Clark (in Lionel’s body) is fighting with a prisoner and riots breakout. During the riot, Clark & Lionel come face to face. Lionel uses Clarks’ powers to jostle Clark and as he grabs Clark (in Lionel’s body) Clark reveals the artifact and causes the transference once again. Clark is back in his rightful body and Lionel is back in his, in prison.

As Lionel is examined by a doctor, it is revealed to him that he is no longer ill. That without explanation, some sort of miracle has caused his liver to become completely disease-free. In tears, Lionel claims that he is no longer the same man he used to be.

Clark Kent has some patching up to do. He’s got to rebuild or salvage whatever is left of his relationships as Lionel has done some damage there too. Chloe is confused and advises Clark to seek help, Lana is still furious with Clark not knowing that it wasn’t him, and now Clark is all too aware of Lana’s new love, Jason. He’s stunned, but promises to keep Lana & Jason’s relationship a secret, even though it doesn’t do much to smooth things over between him and Lana.

It seems Lex is the only one not upset with Clark, in fact quite the opposite. He’s thankful to Clark for saving his life. Clark asks him to help Edgar, and Lex comes through on his word as Edgar is freed from prison. He enters a vehicle upon leaving the prison, and hands over the artifact to a woman that’s apparently waiting for him.

This guide written by Sonia K.
All detailed descriptions © Copyright 2005 - All Rights Reserved


Margot Kidder guest stars and is billed by character name.

Lionel's roommate points out two symbols on his wall - one is Lana's tattoo (meaning water), while another is Clark's symbol (the symbol of his ancestors according to Jor-El) which means air.

Lionel-in-Clark calls Chloe 'Ms. Sullivan' as he leaves, but she doesn't even notice.

When Lionel-in-Clark goes to the prison to see Clark-in-Lionel, he uses x-ray vision to see the artifact that Clark is holding. Lionel did not know he had this power yet but concentrated real hard to use it. Did he just think that was a power Clark may have?

Don't rooms in prisoners where prisoners (particularly those convicted of murder - we're not talking white-collar crime here) meet with their visitors have screens and stuff dividing them?

Did they really let "Lionel" go back to his cell with the stone? And why don't they check "Lionel" out and discover it when he goes to visit "Clark" later? Lionel-in-Clark even says loudly that he thought "Lionel" had something sharp in his hand. Lionel doesn't have any money (that's why the other inmate is trying to kill him), so he couldn't have bribed the guards to overlook it.

Lionel-in-Clark lifts the entire tractor up in the air by grabbing the front. Even if it was the most well-built tractor in Kansas, it wouldn't stand up to being held from there. The front would break off, or at least bend.

Why is Lionel-in-Clark so worried about the missing $57 million? He wields godlike power but still cares about money?

Why can't Lex explain to Chloe and Lana what happened to Clark (at least as Lex understands it)? They're both buddy-buddy with him and there seems no reason not for him to do so, or that they wouldn't believe him.

It's now been four episodes since Jason became assistant football coach. Shouldn't the head coach (Coach Quigley, who has been mentioned) have shown up by now in a more significant role (he appears to have shown up briefly in the background in "Façade")? Wouldn't he be the one talking to Clark about a scout coming, etc.?

Once again we see that Clark shouldn't practice his powers openly on the farm - it seems almost impossible that Jason missed him destroying the bucket. Plus...shouldn't Jonathan be checking first to see if Clark is using his powers before bringing someone along?

How did Clark get into the prison room where Lionel and Lex are meeting? It's not like he superspeeds or anything - the guard just opens the door and lets him in. Can anyone come visit convicted murderers? And wouldn't they notice that Clark didn't check in at the front gate (he super-sped in)?

Lionel-in-Clark goes into serious "Dr. Evil" mode during the prison riot. He's got super-speed and super-strength and his very survival depends on whether he kills his original body. So what does he do when he grabs Clark-in-Lionel by the neck? Talk. And talk some more.

Shouldn't Lana notice something when she slaps Lionel-in-Clark? Granted, Lionel isn't expecting the blow and might have instinctively moved his head in response, and Lana probably didn't hit him hard enough to injure herself. But we've seen people with merely normal human strength hit Clark with maces, knives, etc., and the items shatter.

Why does Lex think discussing Jonathan's joke about his driving is a way to determine who the "real" Clark is? Lex says they used to joke about it a lot. both we and Lex know, Lionel had Lex's study bugged (in and prior to "Insurgence"). If they joked about it that often, Lionel would certainly have heard the joke and know what Jonathan said.

During the scene where Clark and Lionel switch back into their regular bodies, we see a CG-shot, where the green and yellow "egos" fly back into their respective owners. In the next shot, we see Clark skidding away, and in front of him, you can see a cinderblock, which was obviously used for the effect of making it appear that Clark was holding Lionel in the air, when in fact, Tom Welling just grabbed John Glover's throat, while he was standing on the cinderblock.

Season One  - Season Two - Season Three - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight  

Season Four: Crusade - Gone - Façade - Devoted - Run - Jinx - Spell - Bound - Scare - Unsafe - Pariah - Recruit - Krypto - Sacred - Lucy - Onyx - Spirit - Blank - Ageless - Forever - Commencement

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