Smallville Had One Rule That It Broke At Least 8 Times
Smallville famously had two rules for Clark (Tom Welling), and one of these rules was broken at least eight times over the course of the series. Since the Superman prequel series was always about Clark becoming the Man of Steel, Clark was never allowed to take flight or suit up as the Big Blue Boy Scout. However, Smallville succeeded in finding subtle ways to break one of these rules.
At the beginning of the series, Clark was a high school freshmen who didn't completely understand his powers or what fueled them. At first, Clark only had access to his super strength, speed, and durability. In his earliest days, bullets left bruises, so Clark wasn't even completely bulletproof. As the show progressed, Clark's skin toughened up, and his abilities strengthened. He also started learning some of Superman's most iconic powers, including X-ray vision, heat vision, super hearing, and super- breath. His arctic breath was learned off-screen. What is perhaps Superman's most famous power, his ability to fly, was saved for last. After years of build-up, Clark flew in the series finale.
While it did take Clark ten seasons to actually learn how to fly, there were moments scattered across the series where Clark really did fly, even if he didn't comprehend what he was doing or even know it was happening. There have been other instances were it was debatable as to whether or not he was flying, but there were at least eight times when there was no mistake that Clark broke the laws of gravity.
- Season 1: "Metamorphosis". Clark dreams about flying into Lana's house and hovering over her. He wakes up floating over his bed, and crashes.
- Season 2: "Vortex". Clark runs into a tornado and wills himself toward Lana's truck to save her. Later, he tells Jonathan that he felt like he was flying.
- Season 2: "Rosetta". Clark dreams about flying around Smallville, and wakes up in the middle of the road to be found by Lex. Clark wonders if he flew in his sleep.
- Season 3: "Crusade". After Jor-El alters Clark's mind, he becomes "Kal-El" and embraces his Kryptonian destiny. He flies away from the Kent Farm and attacks Lex's private jet.
- Season 9: "Salvation". When Clark has a vision of the future, he sees his future self flying overhead.
- Season 10: "Homecoming". After time-traveling to 2017, Clark meets an older version of himself and watches him fly away to stop a nuclear reactor from exploding.
- Season 10: "Homecoming". In the same episode, Clark is dancing with Lois when he unknowingly begins to float.
- Season 10: "Collateral". While trapped in a virtual reality, Clark discovers that he has no limits and is free to fly around the Daily Planet.
What's interesting about Clark's flying in Smallville is that quite a few of these occurrences happened very early in the series. In fact, Clark's floating incident happened in just the second episode of the first season, which means that he had the potential for flight from the very beginning. He just didn't know how to put this power to use.
In the season 2 premiere, it's heavily suggested that Clark flew when he rescued Lana from the tornado, and he very clearly takes flight in a memorable season 3 scene as "Kal-El". So despite Smallville's rules about what Clark could and couldn't do, Clark wasn't grounded for the entirety of the series, as the show did come up with some fun ways to tease the ability that fans waited the longest to see.