James Marsters as Brainiac James Marsters as Brainiac
Smallville has shown its superstrength this fall, stacking up well against the Thursdays-at-8 heavyweights and breathing down Sydney Bristow's neck. It's no surprise, since the storytelling has picked up faster than a speeding bullet. The biggest twist came in the Oct. 13 episode when Kryptonian dad Jor-El brought Clark back from his deathbed and then told him that "the life force that has been returned to you will soon be taken from someone you love." Uh-oh, that can't be good. TV Guide turned to executive producer Al Gough for answers to our burning questions.

Was Jor-El bluffing? Is someone really gonna die?
Yup. "He does really mean it," Gough says. "If you look at Jor-El's history in the show, everything he has said has come to pass." The big event will happen in the 100th episode, airing this winter.

OK, who's it gonna be?
"If I told you that, it wouldn't be any fun," Gough says. "But it's safe to say it won't be the only death you see in that episode."

What's Brainiac up to?
We've only just met Professor Fine (played by Buffy the Vampire Slayer's James Marsters), but we'll soon learn that he's really the Kryptonian villain Brainiac and that he's up to no good. Gough says Brainiac will make his intentions known in the Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 episodes. "He tries to trick Clark into doing what he wants. I don't want to say too much, but there is a smack-down at the Fortress."

And what about those Disciples of Zod from the season premiere? Will they be back?
We can expect an encore performance from those Kryptonian thugs who Clark sent into an extradimensional prison (one that seemed a lot like the Phantom Zone of Superman II). "I don't want to spoil it, so I'll just say that you haven't seen the last of them and Brainiac is a key to that."

Lastly, there have been rumors on the Internet that this is your last season. Is that true?
"No, it's not the last season," Gough says adamantly. So how did that nasty rumor get started? Blame Canada. "The Canadian broadcaster of the show read something online, failed to call Warner Bros., which sells them the show, and put it on their marketing campaign," Gough says. "They have since sent me a formal letter of apology." Whew… crisis averted. Gough assures us that Smallville will be "on for at least six [seasons] and hopefully seven."