Smallville: Season 6, Episode 16

Promise (15 Mar. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Romance
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Ratings: 8.8/10 from 606 users  
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Clark has second thoughts about Lana marrying Lex, Lana starts to have the same concerns. Meanwhile... the doctor involved in the secret behind Lana's pregnancy threatens Lex with his knowledge.



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Episode cast overview:
Lois Lane (credit only)
Keith Martin Gordey ...


In this episode set on the day of Lex and Lana's wedding, the day is viewed three different times from three different perspectives: Clark's, Lex's, and Lana's. Lex receives a call from Dr. Langston who demands $2 million or he will tell Lana the truth about her baby which leads to a fatal showdown in a crypt. Meanwhile, Lana begins to have second thoughts about marrying Lex, and Clark comes to his own realization that he can't let Lana marry Lex and decides to tell her about his secret. But Lana finally discovers Clark's secret when she secretly witnesses him save Chloe from a locked wine cellar. However, no one is prepared for what happens next when Lionel Luthor steps in and tells Lana that he also knows Clark's secret abilities and he threatens to kill Clark unless Lana goes through with her marriage to Lex. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

15 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lana's wedding dress was designed by Monique Lhuillier and is from her Fall 2006 bridal collection. See more »


The course of this episode is shown from the perspective of three characters: Clark, Lex, and Lana. And since the events are all the same, but from different perspectives, the dialogue must also be the same. However, when Chloe and Clark in the wine cellar, part of Clark's dialogue is different. In the first scene, Clark says, "Letting Lana go is the hardest thing I've ever had to do, Chloe. If you don't know that, then you don't know me as well as I thought you did." In the second scene, Clark says, "Giving up Lana is the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my life, and if you don't know that, then you don't know me very well." See more »


Lionel Luthor: Do you remember, when you were just a little boy, I'd bring you up here to the office?
Lex Luthor: I used to pretend it was all mine to control, like I could just reach down and move all the cars, as if they were toys... pull all the strings and make people do what I wanted.
See more »


Features Smallville: Vortex (2002) See more »


Cathedral Largo
Composed by George Frideric Handel
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User Reviews

Promise (Smallville meets Rashomon)
12 April 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

"Promise" is an episode so large, so important, bringing so much closure to ongoing story arcs, that it could very well have been a season finale. Very few Smallville episodes have been executed this effectively.

What truly sets this episode apart is the complex storytelling, which is borrowed from Kurosawa's Rashomon, with the same day and same events being told from 3 different characters points of view. You never fully understand the whole picture until all 3 characters views have been shown. The episode was directed by former feature film director Rick Rosenthal, who has directed some of the show's most interesting episodes, and also some of the most boring. He's a director who seems to need a really strong and unique concept to make something great. Like his previous work on "Lexmas", with a great script he was able to turn "Promise" into a classic.

The main plot of "Promise" revolves around the season 6 love triangle between Lex/Lana/Clark, which many people weren't a fan of. Personally I thought it was one of the most interesting personal stories in Smallville. Just like many others, I was always bored in the past by the Clark/Lana drama, but when they entered season 6, the producers got it right. What the personal drama on Smallville needed was something unpredictable. Putting Lana with Lex also helped to make her character interesting for a change. The Lana character was never handled right in the earlier seasons, because it always felt like the writers were trying to force her down the audience's throat as such a perfect and likable character. Season 6 made her more questionable. So I'm actually a fan of the love triangle in season 6, and this episode continues to surprise, with each twist bringing the personal drama in very unpredictable directions.

Of course there's a lot more to this episode than just exploring a love triangle story arc. There's a murder, more mystery surrounding Lana's pregnancy, and another sketchy turn from the show's best character, the "is a a good guy or is he a bad guy" Lionel Luthor.

Season 6, while not as bad as season 8, was never the less one of the least interesting seasons of Smallville, yet "Promise" and a handful of others still rank among some of the greatest Smallville episodes in its 10 year run.

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