Returns: Thursday, April 17, at 8 pm (The CW) Number of new episodes: 5

Where we left off: Brainiac (James Marsters) returned to battle Clark (Tom Welling). Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) dis­covered the truth behind Veritas, the group obsessed with Clark that Lex's dad, Lionel (John Glover), helped create. What's next: "For Lex, the secret of Veritas leads him in a dangerous direc­tion that's going to ultimately put Clark and Lex right in each other's crosshairs," executive producer Al Gough says. Lex has Chloe (Allison Mack) fired from the Daily Planet, which only steps up her crusade to expose his crimes. Death watch: In the April 17 episode, "there's a major power struggle, and one character finally meets their demise," Gough says. And unlike Lana's "death" last season, this one will be for real.