Smallville (Season 1, Ep 4): X-Ray

Welcome to Smallville. I am doing an episode-by-episode watch, recap, and reaction and blogging about it here. There will be no spoilers for the series beyond the current episode. You can find my prior recaps HERE.

For those of you that don’t want to read the long plot recap, I provide a quick episode summary here at the top. You can read that and just scroll down to the “REACTION” heading below.

THE QUICK AND CLEAN SUMMARY:

One of Clark’s Smallville classmates, Tina Greer, uses shapeshifting abilities born from the Smallville meteor shower to stage a bank robbery disguised as Lex Luthor. The real Lex is not implicated because he has two hundred alibies in Metropolis at the time of the robbery. In addition, the finger prints do not match. Tina tells her mother about the robbery and in the argument that follows, her mother accidentally falls down a staircase when trying to pull the bag of money from Tina. Clark was at the scene when the robbery occurred and began developing a new power as it occurred – X-Ray vision. He noticed that the Lex at the scene had a weird green skeleton.

After her mother’s death, Tina reattaches herself strongly to her old friend Lana. SHe is famous at their school for being obsessed with Lana. She tells Lana that her mother is moving to Metropolis and asks if she can move in with Lana and Nell. When Lana resists, she becomes angry and sets out to become Lana herself. Meanwhile, Clark learns to control his new vision powers. As a result of those new powers, he discovers the bank robbery money in Tina’s locker and her mother’s body inside her mother’s store. After finding the body, Clark sees a notepad whereupon Tina has been practicing Lana’s signature. Fearing for her, he finds her at the cemetery. Tina has placed her inside a tomb. Clark fights off Tina and rescues Lana.

THE EXTRA DUSTY RECAP:

The episode opens as Lex walks into a bank and tells the bank manager he wants to close all of his accounts. As the bank manager tells him that this is a shock, after their family has banked there for twelve years, Lex tells him that he wants all of his money in cash. The manager reluctantly agrees to help him and asks him to sign a piece of paper confirming the transaction.

In a filing cabinet, the manager pulls an existing copy of Lex’s signature and compares it with the one he just received. They do not match. He returns to Lex and asks him for his drivers license. In response to this, Lex pulls a large gun from a backpack and tells the man to fill the bag. He then runs out of the building and down the sidewalk.

Some distance away, Lex runs into Clark who stops him and asks what is going on. Lex throws Clark through a glass window. Clark blinks hard, as though he got something in his eyes. When he opens them again, he sees Lex’s skeleton. He sees a green glow emitted from parts of his body, including especially his brain. The skeleton of Lex runs away.

Later, we see a woman carrying Lex’s backpack up a staircase. She pulls out a wad of cash and asks a younger woman where all of the money came from. The younger woman tells what appears to be her mom that she told her she would solve all of their problems. She shows her mom that she did not rob the bank – Lex Luthor did – but shapeshifting into Lex. The mother tells the younger woman, Tina, to stop it.

The mother and daughter begin to argue about how this was not necessary and how nobody’s life is perfect. Tina tells her mother that Lana’s life is perfect. The mom tells Tina that she is taking the money back. The two of them tug on the backpack, with Tina yelling that they deserve to be happy, until the mother falls backward, down the stairs. Crying, Tina calls for an ambulance. However, seeing her reflection in a broken mirror downstairs causes her to pause. As the emergency line operator asks her about the call, Tina apologizes, says it is nothing, and hangs up.

♫Somebody saaaaaaavvee meeeee♫

On the Kent Farm, Martha is reading the newspaper. She asks why Lex Luthor would want to rob a bank. Jonathan tells Clark that he says Lex with his own eyes, to which Clark replies that he does not know what he saw. Martha says that there must be some explanation for this. Lex speaks from their backdoor.

Lex: Me too, I’d hate to think that I have an evil twin.

Lex asks if he can come in and he promises that he is not packing heat. Clark asks why he is not in jail and Lex says that he was hosting a reception for two hundred fertilizer distributors in Metropolis at the time of the robbery. Jonathan asks if the police have any leads. Lex replies that he has none and says this is the reason for his visit. He asks Clark if he was actually a witness and if he saw this person. Clark tells him the man looked exactly like him. Lex says that the robber’s fingerprints and signature did not match his own.

Clark asks what will happen now and Lex replies that the money will eventually turn up. He says that until then, the Metropolis tabloids will have a field day and that his reputation with some people will be cemented in stone. Jonathan seems to know this comment is directed toward him and gets up to go to work. Lex tells Clark that he is sorry he was thrown through a glass window.

Lex: I promise I’m not a criminal mastermind.
Clark: I know. A criminal mastermind would have worn a mask.

Later at gym class, the boys of Smallville High School are doing a rope climb. When Lana and the girls walk by, Pete tells Clark to keep his eyes in his head. A moment later, Clark grabs his temples and closes his eyes. When his gym teacher asks him if he is bored, Clark tells him about the headache. The gym teacher tells him that he needs to get his blood pumping and directs him and Pete to be next to climb the rope.

Near the top of the rope, Clark looks over at Pete and sees the facial muscles beneath his skin. Clark panics and falls several feet to the floor. When he holds his head up, as people are checking on him, he sees through a wall and into the girls locker room where they are walking around in their underwear. Clark gets a goofy smile on his face as Lana drops her towel.

Back at the Kent home, he is explaining what has been happening with his eyesight to his parents. He explains that sometimes he can see through things and other times it is more like an X-Ray. He tells them that he does not understand how it happens. Martha tells him that he has to learn to control it and suggests that he can practice.

Martha: Your eyes have muscles just like your legs.

Jonathan tells Clark that Martha is right and that he needs to learn to condition his eyes so that he does not have surprised flashes like this. Clark becomes angry, asks how he is supposed to do that, and then leaves the room.

Tina visits Lana at her home. Lana asks her why she was not at school today and Tina replies that her mom was not feeling well – but that she is feeling better now. While they are talking, Tina notes that Lana is working in the garage and asks if this is punishment for quitting cheerleading. Lana tells her that Nell has clutter issues she is trying to help her resolves. Tina tells Lana that one upside of quitting the cheerleading squad is that she will now have more time for her unpopular friends.

Lana: Tina, you’re not unpopular. Besides, what happened to the girl who didn’t care what people thought about her?
Tina: She went to high school.
Lana: At least your mom doesn’t try to run your life.

Tina tells Lana that she is lucky Nell cares so much about her and adds that if something were to happen to her mom she does not know who would even take her in. She says she would probably get sent off to a foster home or something, and Lana sarcastically thanks her for that burst of cheer.

Tina: What do you want me to say? You have the perfect life.
Lana: You want it? You can have it.

Tina looks Lana up and down and says she would settle for the outfit. She then asks if it would be cool if they were sisters. She asks Lana if something were to happen to her mom if she thinks that Nell would adopt her. Lana tells her that nothing will happen to her mom.

Later, as Clark is walking down the sidewalk, he has a headache that immediately precedes him seeing everything in X-Ray. As he looks around, he sees a skeleton with green emanating from the brain. When his vision returns to normal, he sees that the skeleton belongs to Tina. She enters an Antique Store. Martha – who is with Clark – asks if it happened again and if they need to go home. Clark says he is okay and asks his mom if she needs to go to the antique store.

When Martha and Clark enter, Tina’s mom greets Mrs. Kent as “Mrs. Kent” before correcting herself to call her Martha Martha asks her how the business is doing and Tina’s mom says she is doing so many estate sales in Metropolis that she is thinking of selling her business in Smallville. Clark asks her if Tina is around and Tina’s mom tells him that she is at Lana’s and that the two girls have been inseparable lately. Clark says he could have sworn but she tells him he must be mistaken. She then eyes him warily as he goes outside saying that he needs some air.

Martha asks Tina’s mom about the lamp. When met with confusion, she explains that they gave her a lamp belonging to Jonathan for restoration. Tina’s mom acts as though she suddenly recalls the prior conversation and then tells Martha that the lamp is in the back. While waiting in the lobby, Martha notices a bundle of cash under an old chest and leans down to pick it up. When Tina’s mom returns, she tells Martha that the lamp is not ready, yet. Martha then tells the other woman that she found the money under the chest.

Tina’s mother calls herself an airhead and then tells Martha that a client paid her in cash, earlier. She says she has been looking for that money all day. Martha tells her that is a lot of money and that she needs to be careful. Tina’s mom suggests that she stop by next week to pick up the lamp. Tina’s mom pulls keys from a purse – Martha’s purse – before reminding Martha that she forgot her purse on the counter. Martha laughs and says that it looks like they are both air heads today.

After Martha walks out, Tina’s mom shapeshifts into Tina. She flips the store’s sign around to say that they are closed. She then looks at the car keys in her hand menacingly.

A short time later, Clark – driving the Kent family truck – almost hits Martha as she walks along the sidewalk. Martha clearly sees Clark driving. However, a moment after the truck misses her and speeds away, Clark is at his mother’s side asking if she is okay.

Later in their kitchen, Jonathan tells Martha and Clark that police found their truck. Clark asks if anyone else saw the driver and he tells Clark no. Martha adds that she could have sworn it was him. Clark says that he guesses he is not the only one with a vision problem. Jonathan asks how whoever it was got their keys. Martha replies that she has no idea that and that she only went into the antique store. Suddenly she pauses.

Clark asks her what it is and Martha tells him it’s nothing except that Rose Greer was acting very strangely in the store. She tells both of them that she found $5,000 in cash under Rose’s dresser which had a Smallvillle Saving & Loan band around it.

Martha: She said a customer paid her, but…
Clark: You think it’s from the bank robbery?

Jonathan asks if she thinks Rose took her keys, turned into Clark, and then tried to run her down. Martha replies that she knows it sounds crazy. Clark tells her that he does not think so. He then tells both of his parents that he saw a flash of Tina Greer’s skeleton on the sidewalk and that it is weird and green. He tells them that it did not look human. Martha tells Clark that Tina was born with a soft bone disease. She continues saying that they had her on so many experimental drugs that doctors did not believe she would live to see first grade. Jonathan tells Clark that she got better and Clark asks if that happened right after the meteor shower. With a new understanding on his face, Jonathan tells him yes.

Martha asks Clark what he thinks Tina is doing and he replies that he does not know. He then tells his parents that he saw the same weird skeleton flash when he witnessed the bank robbery – he thinks. He then says he wishes he could control this.

Martha suggests that he practice focusing, like a telescope. Jonathan jumps to his feet and says Clark could start with something small. He pulls somethin from his pocket, walks over to Clark, and asks what is in his hand. Clark tells him that it is his pocket knife. Jonathan – quite serious – asks if Clark can see through his hand. Clark tells him that he always carries his knife in that pocket and then smiles at him.

In Nell’s garage, Lana is going through a box of things. Suddenly she becomes upset. She goes into the house and finds Nell icing a cake. Nell asks her what is wrong and Lana tells Nell that she lied to her about her mother.

Later, Lex finds a reporter leaning against his car. The reporter introduces himself as Roger Nixon. Lex tells him to get off of his car. The reporter – who is holding a newspaper with Lex on the front page – tells him that it is quite a picture. Lex replies that he has read comic books with less fiction than his rag. Roger asks Lex about his juvenile criminal records and points out that it must have taken a truck load of Lionel Luthor’s money to cover those records up. When Lex tells him the records are sealed, Roger tells Lex that he is a resourceful guy. He tells Lex that the picture in the paper got him to thinking about a story on Lex’s wild youth in metropolis. He then asks if the name ‘Club Zero’ rings any bells. Lex threatens to sue him but Roger replies that lawsuits take years. He says that by the time the a lawsuit is settled, the genie will be out of the bottle.

Lex tells Roger that he believes that if Roger wanted to print this – it would already be in the paper. He adds that he thinks Roger is looking for a payoff. Roger says that he is making a business proposition.

Roger: $100,000 and these records will disappear.
Lex: I’d question your integrity but you’re a journalist.

Roger asks Lex if his father really thinks he can hide Lex in Smallville forever. he then tells Lex that he has twenty-four hours until all of these juvenile records hit the front page. Lex gets into his Porsche and speeds away.

On Nell’s front porch, Lana is angry with her aunt She tells Nell that her mother’s diary revealed that her mother hated cheerleading but was afraid to quit. She accuses Nell of telling her a fairy tale about her parents. Nell asks Lana if she should have told her that her mother was unhappy. Lana says she wants to know the truth. Nell tells her that she shared what she thought Lana could handle. She goes on to say that Lana’s mother, as a teenager, was like every other teenager. Lana complains that she feels like she has spent her entire life trying to live up to a Laura Lang that does not even exist. Nell tells her that she is reading the diary of a seventeen year old girl, a snapshot of one moment in her mother’s life. Lana replies that it feels like she wrote the diary herself. Nell tells Lana about something that was not in the diary – Laura Lang’s high school graduation speech. Nell tells her that the speech included everything Lana’s mother had been feeling for eighteen years – including a feeling of being suffocated in Smallville.

At school, sometime later, Clark is staring at Tina very intently. He is staring so intently at her that Chloe walks up on him and has to greet him loudly to get his attention. He does not blink until she snaps her fingers in front of his face. Pete is with Chloe and asks Clark if everything is okay.

Clark: Have you ever noticed anything strange about Tina Greer?
Chloe: Nothing that requires the intense concentration you’re exerting to look at her.
Pete: The only thing weird about Tina is the amount of time she spends idolizing Lana.

Chloe laughs and says that Tina is practically her clone. Clark continues staring at her until she finally looks toward him and notices. Clark then looks away and leaves. Lana and Whitney walk down the hall together and Tina calls out to Lana. Whitney whispers to Lana that he swears Tina has him lowjacked. Tina asks Lana what she thinks about her new sweater and Lana tells her that it’s great and mentions she has one just like it. Tina tells her that she knows, that she got it at the same store, and that she has been going on a shopping spree. Tina adds that she even got an emerald necklace that looks like the one Lana has. Whitney speaks up and sarcastically asks why he is not surprised. He then leaves and tells Lana that he will talk to her at lunch.

After Whitney walks away, Tina tells Lana that she needs a favor. She explains that her mom is moving to Metropolis, fulltime, and she asks Lana if she can move in with her and Nell.

Lana: [concerned] For how long?
Tina: I don’t know. A couple of months?

Tina tells her that her mother would pay and even offers to get a horse so that they could go riding together. Tina asks if that sounds cool and Lana asks for some time to think about it. Tina looks hurt by that reply. Lana then asks Tina if she is sure her mother is okay with this plan. Tina tells her of course and adds that her mom knows the two of them are best friends. Lana tells Tina that she needs to run it by Nell first. Tina tersely replies that Nell loves her. Tina goes on saying that she does not understand Lana’s reaction.

Tina: I thought you would be happy. People even say we look alike. We could be sisters.
Lana: I’m just not sure it’s a good idea.

Tina is now angry and asks Lana if their friendship was a lie. Lana tell her to calm down and Tina tells Lana that she should have said yes and that it would have been perfect. Tina storms away, throwing her necklace into her locker, and then leaves the school building. Clark watches Tina go from a doorway. He walks over to her locker and stares at it. After a moment, he can see insider of her locker without opening it. While looking, he notices a lot of bundled money in Tina’s backpack.

Clark’s concentration is broken by Tina. She is back inside. She angrily asks him why he keeps staring at her. Clark pauses and tells her he does not know. He then apologizes and walks away.

In the Kent Farm Barn, Clark finds his parents. They ask why he is home so early and he tells them that he managed to make his new vision abilities work on purpose. They asks what he looked at and he tells them Tina Greer’s locker. Martha asks what he saw and he tells them that he saw the money from the bank robbery.

At the antique store, Tina is practicing Lana’s signature. She sees two police officers walking toward the front door and steps outside looking like her mother. She asks them what the problem is and they tell her tat they are looking for Tina. They explain that the money from the bank robbery was found inside Tina’s locker. She expresses surprise and promises to bring Tina in. As the police turn to leave, she asks how they knew to check Tina’s locker. They tell her a student provided an anonymous tip.

That night, Lana approaches Clark in his barn. He is staring at a football shaped piggy bank. She asks what he is doing and he tells her he is trying to count the change inside the bank. She points out that most people take money out to count it but he smiles and asks her what the fun of that is. Lana asks Clark if he heard about Tina and tells him that they found the money from the robbery in her locker. Lana also tells him that Tina cornered her today to ask if she could move in with her and Nell.

Clark: Just what you need a bank robbing roommate.

Lana tells Clark that she has enough problems with Nell without adding something new to the mix. Clark repines that he always thought she and Nell were really close. Lana tells him that Nell wants her to be something she is not.

Lana: It’s like having a dual identity. There’s the person that everybody sees and the person that you watn to be.

Clark tells her that he knows the feeling. Lana tells Clark that this is why she came here. She adds that she thinks Clark is the only person who sees her for who she truly is. She tells Clark that she wants to thank him for that. She then pulls his head down and starts vigorously kissing him. Clark asks her what about Whitney and she tells him to forget Whitney. She says she has had her eyes on him just as she knows Clark has had his eyes on her. She vigorusly kisses him again – and then shapeshifts back into Tina.

Tina: I don’t know how you found out about that money but you should have stayed out of my life, Clark.

She then throws Clark through the barn’s wall. Later, Jonathan tells Clark and Martha that there is no sign of Tina on the property. Martha confirms that he saw her turn back into Tina. Clark confirms and says that he thinks the meteor shower did something to her bones and that this also gives her immense strength.

Clark: Tina can turn into whoever she wants and I’m the only one who can tell the difference.

Chloe and Pete are in Chloe’s school newspaper office. Lana arrives and asks if she can come in. Lana tells Chloe that she really likes what Chloe has done with the paper this year. Chloe tells her that this puts Lana in a majority of one person. Chloe tells Lana that she knows she did not visit to give compliments and Lana asks her if it would be possible to find the high school graduation speech from 1977. Chloe tells her that is pre computer. She goes to a filing cabinet and pulls a file form 1977. Both girls are surprised to learn that due to the controversial nature of the speech, The Torch opted not to print Laura Lang’s graduation speech. Chloe quips that means the speech is probably the only one worth reading. Chloe offers to try tracking it down.

At Lex’s mansion, he is sipping an adult beverage. Roger Nixon enters and Lex offers to get him a drink. Roger replies that if is all the same to Lex, he would prefer to get his money and to get out. Lex points him toward the money. After Roger picks it up, Lex warns him that if he leaves with it, Lex will make certain that he disappears from the earth. Roger asks if Lex is threatening to have him killed and Lex says no. He says instead that he will delete all records of Roger Nixon’s existence – from his bank account, to his social security number. Roger tells him that he is bluffing and Lex suggests to Roger that he call his bank to find out whether his account still exists. Roger pulls out his cell phone as Lex adds that he might not be able to do this if his cell phone has already been disconnected.

Roger asks Lex what he did. Lex replies that he is going to give Roger a new identity – one that is a little less upstanding – maybe a murderer or maybe a drug dealer. Roger throws the money on the table and tells Lex that he is giving it back and says that they are even. Lex tells him that they are not even because he now knows Roger’s brother works for the juvenile court where Lex’s records were supposed to be sealed. Roger tells Lex to leave his brother out of this. Lex reminds him that he is the one who got his brother involved in this.

Roger is now clearly frightened of Lex as the young Luthor explains the new nature of their relationship. Lex tells Roger that he will feed him stories that will be printed. Lex also tells Roger that he will be responsible for killing articles that Lex wants killed. He tells Roger that he will be at his personal disposal, 24/7. He leaves the room and instructs Roger to follow him.

The two men enter a large room with Lex’s wrecked Porsche in the center. Roger asks what happened to his car. Lex replies that he drove it off a bridge at 60 miles per hour. When Roger asks how Lex is still alive, Lex says that’s the mystery he wants Roger’s help solving.

At the Kent Farm, Clark is staring at the lead box he was given by Lex, which used to be the storage container for Lana’s meteor rock necklace. Lana arrives and Clark stares at her. When she asks him why he is staring at her like that, he replies that he was not certain that it was her. She asks if it is a bad time and he tells her no. She explains that she was out jogging, did not want to go home, and ended up at his barn. Clark asks if she and Nell are still fighting. When she asks how he knows, he says that he is perceptive.

Lana tells Clark that she found her mother’s diary and explains that reading it feels strange – like her mother can see right through her in the present.

Lana: When I was reading her words, it was like she was talking to me. And then she was gone.
Clark: You’re lucky. You’re lucky you got at least that.

Lana asks Clark if he has ever tried to find his biological parents. Clark tells her he has not and says that he figures they are a million years away from his life now. Lana asks Clark what he would ask them, if he could ask them a question.

Clark: What happened? Why’d they let me go? How do I make sense of all the strangeness in my life?
Lana: I guess neither of us will ever get a straight answer.
Clark: I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Whitney finds Lana in the school hallway. He is surprised to see her and says that he thought she was working on a project. Lana tells him that she finished early so she wants to spend some time with the best boyfriend in the world. Whitney tells her that he would love to but reminds her that he has to study for a trig test he has tomorrow. Lana replies that’s alright, says that she forgot, and then lays a big kiss on Whitney. He asks what has gotten into her and she says it’s the new her and asks if he likes it. He tells her he could get used to it. Lana asks him if she can borrow his jacket and says that she is cold. He gives it to her and says he will see her tomorrow. When Lana turns around, wearing the jacket… it’s Tina in the jacket.

Clark and Pete are talking. Clark tells Pete that Tina Greer can shapeshift into anyone she wants. He adds that he saw it with his own eyes. Pete laughs and says that this is usually Chloe’s territory. Pete is makin gfun of Clark as they arrive at Rose Greer’s antique store. Pete points out that the sign says the place is closed. Clark looks inside.

Pete: Clark, man, haven’t you ever watched ‘Cops’? The last place Tina will be hiding out is in her mom’s store.

Clark uses his X-ray vision and sees a motionless skeleton inside the store. He tells Pete that they need to get inside. Pete asks him why and Clark says that it’s a hunch. They get inside the building and Clark goes to a cabinet and opens the door. Rose Greer’s body falls out. Pete asks him how he knew that she was in there and Clark tells him that he could see through the door. Pete laughs. Pete asks Clark how he thinks she died and Clark tells him “broken neck” which gets no laughter at all from Pete.

The two boys walk around in the store and find a notepad of Lana’s signature. Clark speculates that Tina is going to go from obsession with Lana to becoming Lana.

At the cemetery, Lana is telling her mother that she found her high school journal and that suddenly all of their conversations no longer feel so one-sided. She goes on to say that she tried to find her mom’s graduation speech but found out it was not printed. Suddenly Whitney walks up. He asks Lana what she is doing. When she tells him that she is talking to her parents, he scolds her that she has no right to be unhappy. He tells her that her parents are not coming back and that she needs to deal with it.

Lana: What are you saying?
Whitney: [threateningly] I’m saying you don’t deserve your life.
[shape shifts into Tina]
Tina I do.

She chokes Lana out and lays her on her parents’ grave. Tina pulls Lana’s necklace off as she leans up.

Lana wakes up in a tomb next to a skeleton and she screams. Clark runs up at the cemetery and finds Whitney. Whitney asks Clark what he is doing there. Clark reels as Whitney gets close with the necklace in his jacket pocket. He hits Clark with a steel pipe and sends him flying. Clark tells Tina that he knows about her mother. Tina, still looking like Whitney, tells him that Whitney does not exist anymore. Whitney takes off his jacket and promises Clark that he is about to join Lana.

Whitney tells Clark that he thought he killed him once and will not make the same mistake twice. With the jacket tossed aside, Clark has all of his power again. Whitney swings the metal pipe and misses. He turns around and finds Clark standing behind him. Clark easily overpowers Whitney and throws him against a giant cement tombstone asking where Lana is. Whitney tries to fight back but is overpowered again. Clark asks where Lana is again and Whitney tells him that Lana is dead. Angry, Clark throws him/her across the graveyard and into a tree, so hard that it knocks him out.

Clark looks around using his X-Ray vision and sees Lana’s skeleton inside a tomb trying to escape. When Clark gets to Lana a moment later, she is lying motionless. She makes a moaning sound as Clark carries her away through the dark and foggy cemetery.

Later, as paramedics are on the scene, Chloe arrives. She has something for Lana. She hands Lana a cassette recording of her mother’s high school graduation speech. Lana asks how she got it and Chloe replies that if she told her, she would have to kill her, and that she thinks Lana has had enough of that for one evening.

Clark’s parents are on the scene with Clark. Jonathan says that Tina will not be able to hurt anyone else and then wonders aloud why a girl would do all of this. Clark tells his dad that he understands why she did it. He says going through your life with a gift you cannot tell anyone about could make a person so jealous that they want to be someone else.

Whitney – the real Whitney – runs up and gives Lana a hug. Clark stares.

Martha: You really like her, don’t you?

Clark does not answer. He watches Lana and Whitney go insider her house and watches through the walls as they kiss.

Clark: Mom, if you could see anything what would you do?
Martha: Learn to close my eyes.

Later, Lana listens to her mom’s speech from inside her car on its cassette player.

REACTION:

So not only is every male in Smallville obsessed with 14/15 year old Lana, so are some percentage of the girls, too.

This is probably my favorite episode so far. The subplot of Lex and the reporter was really fun. It’s our first glimpse of Lex’s potential for evil. We know that something pretty bad happened with Lex at a place called Club Zero. And we know that Lex successfully scares the pants of of the reporter by threatening to have him digitally erased. And we know that Lex is secretly obsessed with understanding why he survived his car wreck in the pilot. Like… frighteningly obsessed. Like… I have an entire secret warehouse room in my castle dedicated to studying this car and learning its secrets.

Tina was a fun meteor “freak of the week.” You might remember the actress who plays her (Lizzy Caplan) from Mean Girls or Cloverfield. Here she reminds me of her Mean girls character Janis inasmuch as she’s a clearly very beautiful girl playing the role of “social outcast.” She brings just enough weird to the table, as Tina, to sell the notion even if it’s objectively a little hard to imagine her being unpopular (then again, this is the same show where Abercrombie model Clark Kent is also unpopular.) I kind of wish that they had not solved the Tina situation so quickly. It might be fun to go through the next few episodes not knowing as the audience whether or not we are really seeing Tina.

As Clark powers go, X-Ray vision is entertaining. Would a fifteen year old Clark be tempted to stare into the girl’s locker room? Of course. Is it a little creepy that the show took the audience inside the locker room of a group of 15 year old girls? Yes. I know that’s why the show casts adults to play younger… but it’s still creepy in context.

One big critique of the show: we’re on episode four and this small town has had multiple murders. Clark is in the crime report of several of those murders – in addition to being in a couple of police reports for saving people separately. This is a lot of heat and attention for a family hiding a space ship in the storm cellar. This is also the third or fourth time Lana has been in mortal peril. What kind of detachment disorder is she working with to not be in round-the-clock therapy at this point? Nell should move her to Metropolis for her own safety.

Early 00’s music for this episode:

Movies – Alien Ant Farm
Ooh La La – The Wise Guys
Breathe You In – Stabbing Westward
Unbroken – Todd Thibaud
Analyse – The Cranberries
Up All Night – Unwritten Law
Wall In Your Heart – Shelby Lynn
Girls & Boys – Good Charlotte

So Clark is getting more powerful and Lex is maybe not entirely well-intentioned in his friendship with the Kents. The build-up here is fun.

2 thoughts on “Smallville (Season 1, Ep 4): X-Ray

  1. I enjoyed Smallville quite a bit when I watched it once it was out on disc. I didn’t take it very seriously though, for some of hte reasons you mention and because it REALLY messes with the Superman mythos.
    Honestly, my biggest issue was that instead of Jon and Martha raising Clark well and instilling him with good values, here in the show he’s presented as just “a good kid”.

    1. Yeah. I agree with that assessment all around. I did then and do now like the John Schneider / Tom Welling father-son dynamic on the show. I honestly thought the two father-son dynamics carry the series.

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