"Tempest" is the twelfth episode of the first season of Smallville and the 12th produced episode of the series. Clark, Chloe and Pete get ready for the spring formal. Lionel closes the plant. Lex plans an employee buyout. Roger Nixon threatens to expose Clark. Whitney leaves for the Marine Corps, and Lana gets swept up in a tornado.
Lex Luthor is waiting at the helipad for his father to arrive. Lionel hasn't told Lex the purpose of the visit, but he has gathered all the plant employees together for him. He claims that it will be a motivational speech, but then he proceeds to announce that the plant will be closed due to management problems beyond their control. Lex is furious. This is admittedly another attempt to get Lex out of Smallville and back in Metropolis, where Lionel can keep an eye on him.
At school, Template:Clark is trying to get advice from Template:Pete about his tie and cummerbund. He tells Template:Lana that he's planning to ask Lex if he can borrow his limo. Chloe arrives with the news that they are closing the LuthorCorp Plant.
Clark tells his parents the news, but they have already heard about it since the Smallville Ledger rushed a special edition (for the first time since the 1989 meteor shower). They argue about why this happened and who is to blame.
Template:Whitney takes Lana to a surprise picnic. He's prepared this special setting to tell her that he's enlisted in the Marine Corps. He says the only thing he'll miss in Smallville is Lana and asks Lana if she will wait for him. She doesn't know how to answer.
Clark goes to the Luthor Mansion and sees the missing piece of his ship on Lex's desk. Lex is upset that Lionel blamed the closing of the plant on him. When Clark realizes how busy Lex is, he leaves without asking to borrow the limo. Lex stashes the key in a little box. Clark meets up with Chloe at the Torch office. Chloe tells Clark that her dad is talking about moving back to Metropolis and they are both upset at the prospect. That evening at the Talon, Clark tells Lana that Chloe might be leaving for good and Lana tells Clark that Whitney has joined the Marines. They speculate what it might be like for them if both Chloe and Whitney are out of their lives.
The next day, Clark is driving fence posts into the ground. When he gets back in the truck and turns the key, the truck explodes. Clark steps out bewildered but unharmed, and it is revealed that Roger Nixon has been filming the entire scene. Template:Jonathan speculates that the explosion was caused by a leaking fuel line, perhaps ignited the fertilizer in the back of the truck. Clark confides that he almost didn't feel the heat and the debris didn't leave any bruises. Template:Martha speculates that he's getting stronger as he gets older.
Lex calls a meeting with the plant's senior management and announces he has a plan to orchestrate an employee buyout. He is reviewing an email message when his father walks in asking why he hasn't started packing. Lex admits that he is forcing a vote of the board of directors to accept the buyout. Lionel laughs at the idea that Lex and all of the employees are willing to risk everything they have. Confident that they will fail, Lionel also casually mentions that he has purchased Smallville Savings and Loan and will not hesitate to close out the employees' mortgages when they start missing payments.
Clark tells Chloe about the truck and she agrees to drive them to the dance. They talk about Whitney's imminent departure. Chloe speculates that Whitney and Lana will break up and when she moves away, Clark will be free to pursue Lana. Clark is unnerved by her attitude and Chloe admits that she is scared Clark will forget all about her to be with Lana and leave her at the gym all alone. Clark reassures Chloe that he is not asking her to the dance by default but because he really wants to be with her. He gives her a kiss just as Lana walks by.
At the Talon, Roger Nixon asks Clark if he is willing to do an interview and asks why Clark wasn't hurt in the explosion. Lex arrives and shoos him away. Lex warns Clark to stay away from Nixon. When Clark gets home he tells his parents about the journalist, saying he is sure Nixon blew up the truck. Then he tells his parents that he saw the missing piece of the ship on Lex's desk. Roger Nixon is out in his car listening to the entire conversation. He also learns that the ship is in the storm cellar. Roger goes to the mansion and steals the key. He then promises to show Lex all the proof he needs tonight. Lex arrives at the Kent Farm and finds Clark in his loft trying to tie his bow tie. He assures Clark that whatever happens in the next few days, he is still his friend and that is never going to change.
Whitney and Lana wander into the empty school gym before the dance where all the decorations are ready. Whitney puts on some music and asks Lana to dance. He tries to talk to her about their relationship, but Lana doesn't want to talk, so they just dance.
Chloe arrives to pick Clark up and they exchange flowers. They notice that a storm is moving in; the wind has grown even stronger by the time they arrive at the school. As they arrive, Lana and Whitney are leaving on their way to the bus station. Clark says goodbye to Whitney and Whitney apologizes for tying Clark up in the cornfield. He asks Clark to look after Lana until he gets back. At the bus station, Lana gives Whitney her meteorite necklace for luck. Whitney promises not to lose it this time. He promises that he will still love her when he sees her again.
Roger Nixon goes into the Kents' storm cellar. When he takes the key out of his pocket, it floats away from him and fits itself into the ship. The Kents enter the storm cellar to get in away from the storm and find Nixon there. Jonathan guesses that Nixon is the journalist that Clark told him about and is about to beat him up. Martha is able to stop him when she notices that the ship is floating and glowing. With Jonathan's attention diverted, Roger runs out into the storm and Jonathan goes after him.
At the Spring Formal, Remy Zero is performing "Save Me." When they switch to a slow song, Clark asks Chloe to dance. Clark requested the song because it's one of Chloe's favorites. As they are dancing, Chloe says how surprised she is that Clark came through for her tonight, since every other attempt that Clark has made to date anyone has been ruined when he rushes off to save someone. Just as they are about to kiss, the assistant principal interrupts to announce that the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning. Three funnels have been spotted south of town, and no one will be allowed to leave the gym. Clark knows that the bus station and Lana are south of town. Chloe agrees to call Lana, but Clark zooms away as soon as her back is turned.
Lex realizes the key is missing and guesses that it was Roger who took it. Lionel arrives to announce that he has discovered that Lex is using his mother's stock to fund the buyout. He tries to tell Lex that it won't work, but Lex is determined to get free from his father. Lionel vows to bury Lex and everyone who takes Lex's side. Just then, the storm blows out a window, sending Lionel to the floor and Lex across the room. A bookcase falls on Lex, cutting his eye. A column falls on Lionel, pinning him to the floor. Lex manages to get the bookcase off of himself, but when Lionel calls out for help, Lex seems to consider the possibility of leaving his father on the floor to die, then seems to regret his hesitation.
Lana is driving home from the bus stop when a large piece of debris hits the windshield. She swerves and puts the truck in a ditch. She gets out and sees three funnels coming straight for her. They come together to form one monstrous funnel as Lana desperately tries to use her cell phone. She sees Clark arrive just as the funnel picks up the truck. Clark runs straight into the storm and disappears.
- "One day he's worried about his English paper, and the next he's putting on a uniform and saving the world."
- "Cinderella was never really my role model."
- "Have I told you how beautiful you look tonight?"
- "Yeah. But frequent reminders are always appreciated."
- "What Do I Have To Do?" - Stabbing Westward
- "Where This Love Goes" - Sherri Youngward
- "Everything" - Lifehouse
- "Breathe" - Greenwheel
- "Let's Go" - Gigolo Aunts
- "What We've Been Through" - Paul Trudeau
- "Save Me" - Remy Zero
- "Perfect Memory" - Remy Zero