Smallville (Season 1, Ep 5): Cool

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.


Sleazy football player, Sean Kelvin, drowns in crater lake and then is resurrected with the power to absorb heat from everything around him. He quickly decides that the best way to obtain heat is from people – even if that kills them. He kills a Smallville classmate named Jenna before setting his sights on Chloe.

Clark and Lana go on a non-date thanks to concert tickets, a limo, and prodding from Lex. On their way to the date, Clark and Lana see on the limo’s TV that Sean Kelvin is wanted for questioning concerning Jenna’s murder. Clark then tells the limo driver to stop the car. He leaves Lana to go save Chleo – who he knows will be with Sean – and promises to explain later. Clark saves Chloe but loses track of Sean in the process. When he returns to find Lana, she is gone and that she went home with Whitney. He then goes looking for Sean. He finds that Sean has run Whitney’s truck off the road. As Clark inspects the truck, Sean freezes him. Sean then goes down the road to where Whitney and Lana fled on foot – the Luthor Mansion. Lex, Jonathan, and Martha are there having a business meeting about the Kent Farm. Sean attacks the mansion. Clark revives in time to stop Sean before he can hurt anyone, throwing him into a lake which freezes solid when Sean sinks below the water.


The episode begins by showing meteor rocks under the water. Above the water, we are at a Smallville High School party. A bunch of students are gathered outside and several of them are making out in front of pick up trucks. Clark is with Chloe as she comments on everything and he reminds her that she is the one who wanted to attend the party. She admits that she did want to come but says she did not know it would be so cold outside.

Clark: I don’t know, it doesn’t feel that cold to me.
Chloe: What are you from an ice planet? It’s freezing. I’m gonna go thaw out by the fire.

Chloe leaves and Clark looks around. He sees Whitney with Lana. Just then, a football player walks up to Clark and asks him if Chloe is flying solo tonight. Clark tells the boy, Sean, that he is not her type. Sean tells Clark that he might be surprised. Sean approaches Chloe as she is rubbing her hands together by the fire.

Sean: If you want I can rub them for you. Nothing heats up a body like friction.
Chloe: Wow. I cannot believe you just delivered that line with a straight face.

Sean tells Chloe that he only offered to keep her hands warm. When she expresses surprise that he knows her name, he tells her that he reads her editorials in The Torch. Chloe tells Sean that she sits next to Jenna in bio class and reminds him that he dumped her only last week. Sean tells her that the break-up was mutual and he assures her that he will not make a move on her no matter how pretty that he thinks she is. Just then a bunch of football players call to Sean that there are Hail Mary’s down by the lake. Sean asks Chloe for her number. She laughs and says he will never call. He says he will call her tomorrow. She tells him that she will not hold her breath but then writes her phone number on his hand.

The football players run toward Crater Lake. We see a sign posted that forbids swimming, fishing, and skating.

Clark walks over and sits next to a smiling Chloe. He asks if she just wrote her phone number down on Sean Kelvin’s hand.

Chloe: Don’t act so shocked, Clark. Guys do find me attractive even though I don’t have raven hair and the initials LL.

He tells her that is not what he meant and he tells Chloe that Sean is a dog. Chloe tells Clark that she gave Sean her number to get rid of him.

Elsewhere, Whitney and Sean are playing catch with the football. Whitney asks him what the deal is between him and Chloe and Sean tells him that she is another notch. Whitney tell him that’s cold. Sean misses a catch from Whitney and the ball land on top of the lake – which is frozen over. Sean carefully walks out onto the ice to retrieve the ball. After he picks the ball up, he hears the ice begin to crack under his feet. He takes a step and falls in. He quickly becomes trapped under the ice. Nobody notices as they have moved away to where the pizza has arrived. Sean sinks slowly into the water toward where a green glow emits from deep below.

Sometime later, Sean’s fist punches through the ice sheet above him. He gets out of the water the following day and his skin is entirely blue. A fire is still burning near the lake. He walks toward it and warms his hands. He then absorbs the fire into himself and returns to a normal hue. He stands, looking down at himself and at the fire in amazement, and walks away. The camera pans over to where the fire had been and we see that it is now an icicle in the shape of a fire.

♫Somebody saaaaaaavvee meeeee♫

Clark’s parents are going over finances. While his mom and dad doing complicated math aloud, using a calculator, Clark tells his mom and dad the number they are calculating. Jonathan tells Clark that he did not mean for him to hear that and Clark expresses surprise at how bad the farm’s financials are. He offers to help by playing professional sports and making a lot of money in endorsements. After his parents stare at him flatly, he tells them he was just trying to lighten the mood. Martha tells Clark that for as much as they would like to see his face on a cereal box that they would settle for him arriving at school on time. Clark speeds away.

Pete, Chloe, and Clark are walking to school. Pete asks Chloe if Sean called and she says no. He tells he about a time that a guy did not call his sister for a week – and then she learned that the guy’s grandmother had died. Clark chimes in again saying that Sean is a dog. Pete tells Clark that Sean is not that bad and he admonishes him by saying that just because he cannot get beyond his crush on Lana does not mean he should get in the way of everyone else’s efforts to make a love connection. Pete then tells Clark he should ask out Lana. Clark says he does not have a crush on Lana. Pete tells him to prove it by asking out Chloe.

Just then the school bus arrives and Chloe tells both of them off before getting on the bus.

At school, Sean is at the nurse’s office with a thermometer in his mouth. He tells her that he felt fine this morning but now he cannot get warm. She pulls the thermometer form his mouth and it says that his internal temperature is 32 degrees Fahrenheit. She says that he is not a popsicle so that reading cannot be right. When she puts her hand on his forehead, he places a hand on her hand. She pulls her hand away saying that she is sending him home and that he is giving her chills. Sean suddenly stands up and says that he feels better now.

On the farm, Martha is using a chainsaw on some lumber when Lex walks up on her. She asks Lex why he is here and he tells her that he wants to buy 30 artichokes from her because he is hosting a dinner for the local farming community. Lex tells Martha that the discussion will concern the financial hardships of the local farming community. Martha tells Lex that people will not want more loans. He tells her that he is going to propose to the local farms that they accept him as an investor. He suggests that he can help the local farms with equipment upgrades and modernization and he also tells Martha that Smallville once grew twenty percent of the corn grown in the entire state.

Lex: Smallville was a heavy hitter it just lost the drive to stay competitive.
Martha: Or its connections.
Lex: If this town ever had connections they wouldn’t have named it Smallville.

Lex asks Martha to put in a good word for him with Jonathan. She tells him that her husband does not hate him, but Jonathan is not happy with the Luthor family’s history in the town. Lex tells Martha let him know that he intends to change that.

Lana is reading a newspaper at The Talon, a local coffee shop, about a museum exhibit. Lex walks by and tells her that it is a great exhibit and that he saw it while he was in St. Petersburg. She tells Lex that she is going to Metropolis tomorrow with Whitney and that she hopes to see it while she is there.

Lex: Uh, trying to get the quarterback some culture?
Lana: It was his idea.
Lex: He figures one afternoon at the museum gets him off the hook for six months.
Lana: For someone who wants people to keep an open mind you’re pretty quick to judge.

Lex tells Lana that he thinks she is with the wrong guy and walks away just before Whitney arrives. When Whitney arrives he asks her about the newspaper. She tells Whitney that she is trying to decide what they are gong to do tomorrow. Whitney stares at her blankly in confusion. She reminds him about their trip to Metropolis tomorrow and Whitney looks down at the table. He tells Lana that some of the guys are getting together to watch a pay-per-view fight.

Whitney: It’s tomorrow.
Lana: And you gave them your money already.

He tells her yes and promises that they will go together the following weekend instead. He then apologizes. She smiles and tells him that culture can wait. He promises to make it up to her. Whitney walks away. As Lana watches him go, she sees Lex smirking at her from a nearby booth.

Outside The Talon, Clark walks by and sees Lana through the window. Lex is now outside and he tells Clark that “she” is free tomorrow night. He tells Clark to ask her out.

Clark: She’s got a boyfriend, Lex.
Lex: A high school boyfriend is not a husband, he’s an obstacle.

Lex suggests to Clark that if he asks Lana to go with him to the Radiohead concert in Metropolis tomorrow that she will say yes. Lex then holds up a pair of tickets and says that if she says yes that he will provide Clark with the tickets. Clark asks him why he is doing this and Lex tells him that he is like the younger brother he never had. He tells Clark that someone should benefit from his experience. Lex then raises the stakes and tells Clark that if he asks Lana in the next sixty seconds that he will throw in a round trip limousine ride. He then looks at his watch and starts the timer. Clark yanks the tickets from Lex’s hand and goes inside.

Clark nervously approaches Lana and asks if she is busy. She sarcastically tells him that she is swamped and that this is why she is sitting in a coffee shop attempting to read a Russian novel. Clark is so flustered that she has to tell him that she is joking. Clark then tells Lana that a friend gave him Radiohead tickets because something came up at the last minute. He then asks if she wants to go with him. When she pauses, he assures her that they would go just as friends. Lana tells him definitely and that she would love to go.

Sometime later, at school, Chloe, Pete, and Clark are discussing Clark’s non-date with Lana. Chloe tells him that she is impressed that Clark pulled that off, even with the “just as friends” stipulation. Pete asks Clark where he scored the tickets and Chloe answers for Clark saying that she guesses a certain follicle-y challenged individual was behind it. Clark says that she is right. He then tells Chloe that he has her to thank and he says that she was right about him and Lana. He adds that he just needed to get it out there in the open.

Just then, Sean Kelvin, rubbing his hands together, runs up to talk to Chloe. He asks her if he owes her a phone call. He asks if she is free now. She says no but suggests that they could get together later. While Chloe is talking, Sean looks over at a girl named Jenna, calls out her name, and then runs over to see her. Chloe is very confused and talks to Clark and Pete who are still standing there.

Chloe: Okay, I was playing barely hard to get. What’s the problem? Clark Kent gets a date with Lana Lang and suddenly there’s no luck left for the rest of us.

Later, Jenna is in the shower. She hears someone enter the room and she calls out to Sean and invites him to join her in the shower. He breaths heavily outside her shower curtain. When he finally pulls it back, his face is blue. She screams and falls backward. Sean puts his hand on the shower head and it freezes. He tells her that he just wants to get warm. Then he grab hold of her, kisses her, and she freezes. As she does, Sean returns to normal. He drops the now frozen Jenna and she shatters like glass on the floor. Sean looks relieved to be warm again. He lets his hands pass over the candles she had burning in the bathroom and the fire freezes into ice as he leaves.

At the Kent house, Jonathan is repairing his motorcycle in the kitchen. Martha enters and says that it is bad enough that he rides it at all. She asks why he has to repair it in the house. He tells her that if he did not, she would never have a reason to be angry with him. Martha offfers to let Jonathan do all the engine work that he wants if he will accompany her to Lex’s farming event.

Jonathan: We already talked about that.
Martha: I talked, you grunted.
Jonathan: I thought that I was rather articulate.

Jonathan complains that their family has sold out anyone who has ever trusted them. Martha replies that this applies to Lionel Luthor, not Lex. She adds that while Lex is a little strange, he has been a good friend to Clark and also never anything but generous to the people in their town. She also tells Jonathan that she already told Lex that they would come.

Clark enters the room, smiling, and puts an arm around his dad. He greets his parents by saying “hello, citizens.”

Martha: I’m not familiar with this child. Where’s the moody one, lives upstairs, runs real fast?
Clark: Oh, he’s going on a date tonight. Well, not a date-date, but to a concert?
Jonathan: Well, who just might this not a date-date be with?
Clark: [smiling] Lana Lang.

Clark tells his dad that Lex provided him with a pair of concert tickets and a limo. He asks if it is okay if he goes. Jonathan grumbles that Lex has worked out all of their evenings for them. As Clark goes, his mom asks if Lana is still going out with Whitney. Clark tells her that Lana is not married. Martha looks surprised and somewhat impressed as he goes up the stairs.

Sean is blue again, wearing a blanket, and calling girls. He lights a match and it freezes instantly. We see a pile of matches on the floor beneath him, too. After Bella turns him down, he sees that he has Chloe’s number written on his hand.

At Clark’s house, Chloe is helping him decide what to wear for his night out with Lana. She is looking at her laptop and tells Clark that his online horoscope indicates he should try not to flaunt his excitement. Clark reiterates that this is not a date-date. She replies that he has only been looking forward to this moment since his first growth spurt. Chloe advises Clark that he should check out Lana’s outfit. She tells him that if Lana wears something new, he can know that at least she thinks it is a real date.

Sean calls Chloe. When she finishes her phone call, she asks Clark to guess who just called her. He says that he thought Sean just went out with Jenna. Chloe tells Clark that Sean said he was not feeling well earlier. Clark suggests that perhaps Jenna made Sean feel better. He then tells Chloe that she really likes Sean. She blushes and admits that while Sean might be a little intellectually challenged, he is also really hot.

Chloe: Besides, he begged to get together tonight just to talk so I told him he could bring me a coffee at The Torch.
Clark: Sounds like a date.
Chloe: It’s not a date. It’s a fact-finding mission to see if he deserves a date.

She tells him that she has decided that if Clark can take a risk on Lana, she can give Sean a shot. She then picks up a blue shirt and tells Clark that it’s a good color on him.

At Lex Luthor’s mansion, the Kents enter. They are shocked as they look around.

Martha: Your house is very…
Lex: Large?
Jonathan: to put it mildly.
Lex: The word restraint does not exist in my father’s vocabulary.

Then Kents look around and see that no one else is present. Jonathan says that he thinks they should go. Martha says that they should not leave just because nobody else showed up. Jonathan suggests aloud that Lex did not invite anyone else. Martha says he would not do that but Lex interjects that he would and he did. He adds that he thought it was the only way to get the Kents to hear him out. He then tells Jonathan that he knows their farm is in trouble. He quickly adds that it’s a small tow, to explain how he knows, and that he wants to help. Through gritted teeth, Jonathan says that he guesses they are there to listen.

Lana and Clark leave together for the concert inside the limousine. Clark says that he has never been in one before. Lana says that she was in a limo once but that it was not as nice as this one. Clark suggests that the limo ride beats another night of defensive reading. Lana glares challengingly at Clark.

Clark: You’ve done it since we were kids. Whenever the world gets disappointing, you retreat into a book.

Lana just stares at Clark until he becomes uncomfortable and then he says that there are worse things. Lana finally agrees with Clark and says that diving into a book is easier than dealing with her own life. Clark tells her that he does the same thing with astronomy. He says that he looks at other worlds and wonders if he life would be better there. Lana tells Clark that he always seems to know what she is trying to say and she asks how he knows so much. He tells her that it’s magic. She looks doubtfully at him so he gets a deck of cards and makes light of her not believing in magic. After he shuffles the deck, he tells her to pick a card. When she does, Clark uses his X-Ray vision to see that she is holding a three of hearts. Lana smiles and tells Clark he is full of surprises.

After the two of them sit in silence, Lana tells Clark that this is weird. She admits that she had to explain to Nell what she is doing tonight and Clark shares that he spent the better part of the day convincing everyone that this is not a date. Clark asks Lana if she said anything to Whitney and she says no. He asks if she is feeling guilty about that and she says no. She adds that he is spending time with his friends and she is spending time with hers. Lana then takes the limousine’s remote control and turns on the television. The firs thing they see is a local news story about how police are searching for Sean Kelvin, wanted for questioning in the death of Jenna Barnam, whose body was found earlier in the afternoon. Lana is horrified and Clark alerts the driver to stop the car.

Chloe is at The Torch. She hears a sound in the otherwise empty building and calls out asking if that is Sean. When she goes out into the hallway, she sees flower petals on the floor. She smiles and says that this is interesting.

Lana and Clark’s limousine parks in front of The Torch. Lana asks Clark what is wrong and he promises to explain when he gets back. Before he goes he tells Lana that this is the best not-a-date he has ever had. Then he leaves.

At the school, Chloe is following the flower petals. She gets to a door and finds a sign that says “Come In Please.” She smiles and opens the door. The door opens into the Smallville High School swimming pool. Chloe announces that she agreed to a cappuccino and warns him that she will not skinny dip with him. Sean enters the room. He is blue and freezing. He tells Chloe that he is sorry and that he does not have a choice. She asks him why he doesn’t sit by a fire. He tells her that a fire is only a quick fix and that body heat lasts longer.

Frightened, she falls into the pool and swims away from him. He kneels down beside the heated pool and begins to warm himself. The water from the pool begins to freeze, catching up with Chloe. As she is exiting the pool, the frozen water grips her ankle. Sean promises her that it won’t hurt as he approaches. Just then, Clark reaches the door of the pool room and breaks through the locked door. He then runs over to Chloe and breaks the ice free around her leg. Sean grabs Clark but he is then thrown across the room. Clark looks around toward the pool and tells Chloe to run. Sean is gone.

Clark is with a warming up Chloe and she thanks him for her rescue. He tells her that he heard about Jenna on the news and did not want her to be next.

Chloe: I finally find a guy I like and he turns out to be homicidal.
Clark: You deserved a lot better than Sean even before he… tried to kill you.
Chloe: That’s sweet, I think.

Chloe tells Clark that getting her heat almost sucked was not a passive-aggressive way to ruin Clark’s date. Clark then suddenly looks alarmed about having forgotten Lana. Pete is at The Talen and sees Lana sitting by herself. He walks over and asks her where Clark is and why she is not at the concert. Lana tells him that Clark saw the news report about Jenna and then ran off. Pete tells her he saw the news too and that he had always thought Sean was a good guy. He adds that he guesses that they do not always know people as well as they think. Lana asks Pete about Clark.

Lana: Is he always so…
Pete: Clark-like? Sometimes he is totally there and you think you know everything about him. And then there’s this part that’s just…
Lana: Mysterious.
Pete: Yeah, that’s it. Clark Kent, international man of mystery.

Lana tells Pete that whatever it was seemed important. Pete tells her that he cannot believe anything could be more important to Clark than she is. Just then, Whitney arrives and asks Lana what she is doing there. She tells him she is reading. Whitney looks at her and says she is pretty dressed up to be digging into a book. Pete excuses himself but Lana calls out to him that he should take his date on a spin in the limo. Pete tells her that it’s not a date but Lana says she will not be needing it either way. Pete and the girl he walked in with walk out of The Talon together. Whitney is very confused and asks Lana what she was doing in a limo. She tells him that she was just hanging out with a friend and then asks Whitney if he will take her home.

Sean freezes the padlock off a fence gate surrounding a electrical power hu and goes inside.

Clark returns to The Talon and sees that Lana is gone. He mutters that this cannot be happening just as the power in the building goes dark. Clark somehow intuits that Sean is behind this and he leaves the building.

At the Luthor mansion, Lex, Jonathan, and Martha sit in the dark. When it comes back on, Lex says that he guess the generator works. He asks the Kents where they were and Jonathan replies that Lex was explaining how he can single-handedly save their family farm. Martha chides Jonathan for his tone but Lex tells her that he understands his skepticism. Jonathan tells both of them that he learned from someone much smarter than himself that one needs to solve his own problems. Lex tells Jonathan that his father had help, too, and hands over a folder while explaining that government subsidies carried Jonathan’s father’s farm through a number of lean years. He tells both of them that they are living in different times than Jonathan’s father.

Martha asks Lex where he got that information while Jonathan glares at Lex. Lex replies that he is making a business offer and says that he had to do his due diligence. Jonathan asks Lex why he is so interested in their family. Lex explains that Clark brought him back from the dead and gave him a new life. Lex then challenges Jonathan by telling him that his own father put the Kent family in front of his own pride. He asks Jonathan if he is willing to do the same.

Whitney is driving Lana home and he looks anxious. He finally tells her that he knows this is probably a time he should let things go but he says that he wants to know what is going on. Finally Lana tells him that Clark invited her to go with him to a concert. Whitney asks if this was a test to see what he would do and then he asks why she did not just tell him. Lana replies that she knew he would overreact. Whitney mocks the idea that he is overreacting to her going on a date with another guy. As Lana is telling him Clark is just a friend, Sean appears in the road ahead of them. Whitney slams on the breaks to avoid him. He and Lana fishtail and go off the side of the road. Sean is unharmed and in a very frozen state despite just getting heat from the local power grid. Whitney helps Lana, who is injured, from the truck. They hobble together down the road toward a house down the road to get away from Sean.

At the Luthor mansion, we learn that Lex is offering the Kents the latest farming equipment and technology in exchange for their independence. Lex tells them that his influence will be minimal but existing. He suggests that the arrangement would be a partnership.

Jonathan: We could get a loan…
Lex: Or you could get to the point where you never need someone like me again.

Martha says that the offer is generous. Jonathan agrees and asks Lex what he gets out of this. Lex tells them that he thinks there is profit to be made and that he is not in the charity business. Lex tells them to think about it just as Lana and Whitney limp into the room. Martha sees Lana and asks where Clark is.

Clark zooms down the road and finds Whitney’s truck. As he is looking it over, Sean grabs him. Sean turns from blue to normal and thanks him for the warm-up. As Sean walks away, Clark lies frozen on the ground.

At the Luthor mansion, Lex tells them that Sean sounds dangerous. He assure them that they are safe and remaining inside until Sean is located. Jonathan tries to reach Clark by phone but is unsuccessful. Martha asks Jonathan to remind her that she does not have to worry and he replies simple, “he’s Clark.”

Outside of the Luthor mansion, Sean places his hand on the generator. He is already blue but thaws out upon touching the machine. Clark meanwhile is still lying frozen. However, his fingers begin to move and then he wakes up. Inside the Luthor mansion, the power goes out. Jonathan stands up and offers to go check the front gate. Lex tells them that it is secure but Jonathan goes anyway. Martha then tells Lex that she is checking his generator and then she leaves before he can stop her.

When Martha goes out to the generator, she finds that it is frozen. She also finds Sean. As Sean begins to approach her, Clark speeds toward them. He advises Martha to go inside. Sean tells Clark that his mom is hot. After she goes, Clark tells Sean that he needs to go to a hospital. Sean laughs and asks if they are going to put him under an electric blanket. He then says that that only thing that will help him is contact.

Clark: You’re not getting into that house.
Sean: Oh, who’s gonna stop me, you?

Clark throws Sean across the yard. When he runs over to find where the baddie landed, he does not see him. Just then Sean grabs Clark and pulls heat from him. He tells Clark that he has not felt this good in two days. He then promises to get everyone in the house – including his parents and Lana – when he is done with Clark. Clark then throws Sean hundreds of feet into a nearby pond. The water freezes over with Sean underneath.

Sometime later, Lex finds Jonathan in his barn. Lex tells him that he just heard Jonathan took out a loan from the bank. He asks Jonathan if he really despises him that much. Jonathan tells him that this has nothing to do with him and that he is simply betting on his family. Lex complains that the bank will kill him with interest and wait for him to fail but Mr. Kent says that at least with the bank he knows where he stands. Lex, who looks hurt, tells Jonathan that if he changes his mind, the offer still stands.

At the school, Chloe lights a candle for Jenna where a memorial for her has been set up in the building. Clark finds her and asks if she is okay. Chloe points out that this could have been her and all because some guy expressed a modicum of interest in her.

Clark: Everybody’s searching for their soul mate, Chloe, it’s not a sign of weakness.
Pete: I can’t believe both of your dates went straight to h*** and I ended up with the limo.

Chloe tells Pete and Clark that she is swearing off all men. Clark tells her they’re not all bad. Pete suggests that maybe she should just swear off heat sucking horn dogs. She then says that she will at least do an in depth background check on the next guy who asks her out. As they walk, they find Lana by her locker. Chloe tells Pete that Clark will catch up with them later. Then she and Pete leave.

Clark approaches Lana and asks about her ankle. She says t’s doing better. She then points out that Clark never came back the other night. He tells her that he did but that she was already gone. He suggests that they try again on Saturday but Lana tells Clark that Whitney is taking her to the city on Saturday and has the entire day planned.

Lana: I think our non-date freaked him out.

Clark asks Lana what she told Whitney about the two of them and she tells Clark that she told Whitney the truth – that the two of them are just friends. The bell rings and she says she has to go. As she is leaving, Clark asks her why she is going out with him. She tells Clark that whenever she needs Whitney, he is there. She goes. Clark stands still in the hallway as students pass around him. He continues standing there until the hallway is empty.


It was a nice touch to see that final scene as “Standing Still” by Jewel plays.

In fact, let’s get into the music!

Eve 6 – Rescue
Matthew Jay – Let Your Shoulder Fall
The Juliana Theory – We’re at the Top of the World
Pete Yorn – On Your Side
Matt Beckler – So We’ll Drive
Steve Ancliffe – 21 Girls
Jewel – Standing Still

Just play these on Spotify and you’ll go back in time two decades.

How was the plot here? As formulaic episodes go… it was good. I even appreciated the touch of giving our heat sucking bad guy the last name “Kelvin.” The show is light in explaining why the meteor rocks gave Sean these powers.. but I think we just have to accept that these things happen in Smallville.

Take a step back though from the “bad guy of the week” nature of the show and the kids in this small suburban high school have had multiple classmates morph into murderers this semester alone. We should assume from Chloe’s “Wall of Weird” that these types of things have gone on in this town for a while. It used to bother me that the town would not be freaking out… but I actually think the non-reaction might be more realistic than I’d like to believe. I mean, the United States said last year that UFOs are real and pretty much nobody cared. I no longer believe there’s any limit to what the news might report without getting a reaction.

Maybe in ten years the U.S. military will say that 143 or the 144 sightings of humanoid reptiles disappearing into tunnels under the ground cannot be explained. As long as the pundits aren’t panicking, nobody else will, either.

As for the plot? Sean is a pretty good challenge for Season 1 Clark. He actually incapacitated Clark for a few minutes. His big mistake during their fight at Luthor mansion was threatening Clark’s loved ones by name. That’s the kind of thing that gets young Superman angry enough to toss you hundreds of feet into a lake.

I liked that Clark and Lana moved forward and then backward. The dynamic of Lex manipulating it in “older brother” type fashion was fun, too. Would a bored 21 year old in a small town do something like that with a younger 15 year old guy who saved his life? Maybe.

Would parents really be okay sending two kids who cannot drive into the city alone in a limo and unsupervised? I’m not sure when 1980s style free range parenting morphed into the hyper-vigilant parenting of the present day. Smallville exists right in that middle. I guess though that Nell probably knows Clark looks 30 years old so she’s probably not too worried about sending Lana out with him from a safety standpoint.

The situation with the Clark/Lana date lays the groundwork for every superhero’s major dating obstacle (being around and not out fighting crime.) I want to criticize Clark here for not telling Lana that Chloe was supposed to be meeting with Sean… but telling her probably would have led to questions that he did not have time to answer.

Clark: Oh no, Chloe is supposed to meet him at The Torch tonight.
Lana: We should call the police.
Clark: Yeah… but I need to go check it out, too.
Lana: What are you going to do that the police cannot do?

That said, Chloe will probably eventually tell people that Clark saved her from Sean, right? She has no reason to keep that a secret. And then Lana finds out why Clark left. And she has questions anyway. So Clark’s silence does not really help him much with Lana except in the moment.

I liked that Whitney is probably internally conflicted and confused that Clark is coming after Lana in spite of the fact that Whitney went fully psychotic and hung Clark in a field in the pilot. He also has to be nice about all of this, with Lana, since Clark later saved his own life and he knows Lana would remind him of that in a fight. Clark also helped Whitney save Lana’s life from bug boy – and we are not supposed to wonder what if anythin bug boy did to her to breed with her. (There’s also the fact that Clark looks like an Abercrombie and Fitch model.) His confusion about what to do with Clark is fun to watch.

The B plot of Lex and the Kent Farm is interesting. Michael Rosenbaum does a great job of giving us a Lex with multiple true motivations. Does Lex genuinely want to help the Kents? I’m sure he does. Does he also want to study Clark? Of course. He’s got a giant secret room in his mansion dedicated to studying the car crash and how Clark pulled off the rescue. When Jonathan tells him no, Lex is hurt. He’s also frustrated in his efforts to get closer to the Kents. The dynamic of watching him descend into evil is my favorite part of this show so far.

All in all, this is a good episode if you can buy into the villain of the week formula. The background big arc is a slow burn but it is burning.

7 thoughts on “Smallville (Season 1, Ep 5): Cool

  1. For me, the villain of the week is why I’ve never re-watched this. The little bits I’d glean just aren’t worth sitting through it all again.

    I must say, they really did do a great job with the music of the day 😀

    1. Yeah. I think it’s hard to embrace the old school 22 episodes per year / formulaic TV style from a couple of decades ago in our current era which features tighter and more cohesive story-telling. I kind of just look at it through the Law & Order lens. I don’t mind the formula for Smallville but I completely understand why other people do. It’s just a very different approach to pacing.

      Either way though, at least this show also provides nostalgic music and an almost comedic dose of melodrama, There’s also the weirdness of watching Allison Mack and knowing where her personal story would eventually go.

      1. Yeah. It’s still hard to believe while watching that she ended up 2nd in command of a sex & enslavement cult / human trafficking operation.

    1. I am finding that on the rewatch the villain of the week stuff bothers me less than I thought it would.

      As much as I make fun of how old all the kid characters are, I love the casting on this show. There’s so much chemistry between everyone that it kind of pulls the show along almost in spite of itself. The father-son dynamic for both the Kents and Luthors really carry this show. And I really just love Rosenbaum’s interpretation of a young Lex.

      1. The cast in Smallville were so good. Each season brought something new to the table and expanded on the Superman legacy in interesting ways. I might have a a rewatch of Smallvilee myself soon like you have, always fun to revisit old favourits like this 🙂