It took Clark a long time to become the hero he was meant to be. In fact, it took a full ten years before he finally reached the end of his journey to become Superman on Smallville.
In the season 6 premiere, Clark escaped the Phantom Zone and unknowingly freed all of his prisoners. As a result, Smallville season 6 focused on Clark having to deal with the villains he unleashed on Earth.
What Smallville did with Clark in season 6 was a much-needed change. The episodes that followed showed a different side of the character, as he was determined to find and defeat the criminals who escaped from the Negative Zone or “Zoners”.
Because of the Zoners, Clark’s main concern for most of Smallville season 6 wasn’t Lana Lang about a situation with her personal life. In fact, Clark was almost obsessed in his relentless search for the Zoners.
His season-long Smallville crusade to catch all the Zoners represented a positive turning point for Clark, as it showed that he was actually taking the initiative for a change rather than waiting.
Clark still had a long way to go before he became the famous Superman, of course, but Smallville season 6 pushed him in the right direction.