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Freak of the week

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Jeremy and Lex

Jeremy Creek, first freak of the week at all, had been strung up as 'Scarecrow' when the 1989 meteor shower hit Smallville in the show's pilot.

411Smallville0123

Alicia Baker, freak of the week in episode 3x14 and 4x11, received her teleporting abilities in the 1989 meteor shower.

Coolgreenk

Sean Kelvin, freak of the week in episode 1x05, received his heat sucking powers when he drowned in a lake that was filled with metero rocks.

Magnetic green k

Seth Nelson, freak of the week in episode 3x07, received his magnetic powers during an MRI while pieces of meteor rocks still stuck in his head.

A freak of the week (or FOTW) refers to a villain having superhuman powers who is prominently featured in a Smallville episode, typically appearing only in a single episode. A FOTW villain is often a "meteor freak", or temporarily metahuman, as a result of kryptonite-inspired powers. The "freak of the week" formula was heavily used in Season One.

Formula

The typical formula for a "freak of the week" episode has three key elements:

  1. The freak of the week gains kryptonite-inspired powers (either from one of the meteor showers or from a more recent exposure to kryptonite).
  2. They become psychotic and use their powers to attempt to somehow hurt or terrorize someone else.
  3. The freak of the week is eventually subdued by a hero (usually Clark Kent), and either end up somehow dying or, alternatively, are institutionalized in Belle Reve. Occasionally they lose their superpowers and go back to being normal human beings.

For episodes focussing on a villain which is not a meteor freak refer to Villain of the week.

For episodes focussing on a character which is not a villain refer to Character of the week or Hero of the week.

Freaks by season

Season One

Image Episode Freak of the week
Smallville101 756 1x01 Pilot Jeremy Creek, aka The Electric Scarecrow, was a former Smallville High School student, who fell into a coma during the meteor shower. He awoke without having aged and hat achieved the ability to manipulate electricity. He lost this ability in the end and returned to normal when he electrocuted himself.
Smallville102 074 1x02 Metamorphosis Greg Arkin, aka Bug Boy, was a Smallville High School student who collected insects, was bitten by kryptonite-infected bugs and got himself abilities of insects. After having abducted Lana, he fought with Clark and was crushed by a falling machine part.
6-walt-arnold 528 poster 1x03 Hothead Coach Walt Arnold, aka The Hotheaded Coach, a coach at Smallville High School, used kryptonite rocks in his sauna and thereby got the ability to provoke fire by his will. When confronted by Clark, he burned himself to death.
Tina 1x04 X-Ray Tina Greer had kryptonite included in her skeleton which gave her the ability to assume the form of other people. She used this ability to comit crimes. When she tried to kill Lana, she was overcome by Clark. She was taken to Belle Reve and reappeared in episode 2x11.
Smallville105 087 1x05 Cool Sean Kelvin, aka The Heatsucking Horndog, was a Smallville High School student, he fell into a frozen lake in which meteor rocks were accumulated. He the had to drain heat from other bodies or objects to keep himself warm. He died when he was thrown by Clark into a pond which instantly froze.
Hourglass167 1x06 Hourglass Harry Volk, inhabitant of the Smallville Retirement Center, fell with his electric wheelchair into a bassin with meteor rocks and regained his youth. He started to kill children of the jurors who had brought him into prison. He died as he returned to his original age.
Craving5 1x07 Craving Jodi Melville, aka the Fat Sucking Vampire, was a fat Smallville High School student who reduced her weight drinking vegetable shakes which were, however, meteor-rock infected and made her so hungry that she had to suck the fat out of other people. She was saved by Clark from committing suicide and taken to Metropolis General Hospital.
Jitters5 1x08 Jitters Earl Jenkins, aka The Jitterbug, was a former janitor at LuthorCorp Fertilizer Plant Number Three had developed the "jitters" from kryptonite exposure at Level Three. He was taken to the hospital with Lex promising the best possible health care.
Shimmer274 1x10 Shimmer Jeff Palmer made a cream from meteor rock mutated roses rendering him invisible. After trying to drown Victoria Hardwick, he was overcome by Clark and taken away in an ambulance in need of some "serious therapy."
Cap008 1x11 Hug Bob Rickman, a salesman, was trapped in his car during the meteor shower and thereby had got the ability to manipulate people by his handshake to do anything he wanted, even to comit suicide or murders. At the end, his former business partner Kyle Tippet who hade the same abilities made Bob shoot himself to death.
Leech5 1x12: Leech Eric Summers temporarily absorbed Clark's powers when both were struck by a lightning in the presence of meteor rocks. After Clark succeeded in getting his powers back from him, Eric was taken to Belle Reve and reappeared in episode 3x09.
Wade 1x13 Kinetic Wade Mahaney, Derek Fox and Scott Bowman used kryptonite tattoos which made them intangible and able to walk through walls as long as the tattoo lasted. Wade was killed by a falling car after his tattoo had faded, and Derek and Scott were taken into custody.
Cap028 1x17 Reaper Tyler Randall, aka The Reaper, fell out of a window onto meteor rocks and died. He came back to live and got the ability to turn living beings into ash. At the end, he turned himself to ash from remorse for his deeds.
Drone295 1x18 Drone Sasha Woodman, aka The Queen Bee, a student at Smallville high, was stung by bees infected by kryptonite and got the ability to command swarms of bees. At the end, she fell into a coma when she was stung by her own bees. She was taken to Belle Reve and reappeared as cured in episode 7x04 where she was killed by Dr. Knox.
Smallville119 461 1x19 Crush Justin Gaines, aka The Pickup Artist, a student at Smallville high, lost the use of his hands due to a car accident. He then developed the power of telekinesis to compensate for the loss of the motor skills in his hands. After being defeated by Clark, he was admitted into a psychiatric ward.

Season Two

Image Episode Freak of the week
202 Desiree Lex 2x02 Heat Desirée Atkins, aka The Black-Widow, a Smallville High teacher, could breathe meta-human pheromones from her mouth to manipulate human males. She first manipulated Lex to marry her, and then Jonathan to kill Lex in order to inherit his fortune. She was overcome by Clark and probably taken to prison.
Steven Hamilton 2x03 Duplicity Steven Hamilton, a scientist, had got seizures from making experiments with kryptonite. He stole the spaceship that Pete had found in the field and abducted Pete to learn who's ship it was. When Clark freed Pete, Hamilton died from his seizures which were intensified by a kryptonite containing liquid dropping on his head.
Nocturne192 2x05: Nocturne Byron Moore had been given drugs from LuthotCorp which had the side effect that he transformed into a beast having super strength each time he got into the sunlight. When he tried to kill Lionel for revenge, Clark pushed him down a well where it was dark. Byron changed back to normal and was taken to the hospital where he was kept under a special light.
206 2x06 Redux Chrissy Parker, aka Youth Sucker, had the ability to absorb the life energy from the people she kissed whereby she stayed young over more than a hundred years. She kissed two students who died, but was prevented from kissing her third victim by Clark. She thereupon rapidly aged herself and died.
Dichotic3 2x09 Dichotic Ian Randall, a Smallville High student, could split into two different persons. He used this ability to date Lana and Chloe simultaneously. When they found out, he tried to kill them both, but Clark saved them. Ian was taken to Belle Reve where he was killed in episode 3x09.
Skinwalker 091 2x10 Skinwalker Kyla Willowbrook, a lovely Kawatche teenager with the ability to transform into a wolf, developed a romance with Clark. When she threatened Lionel in wolf form to make him leave the Kawatche Caves untouched, Clark intervened and she jumped out through a closed window and died from the cuts caused by the glass splinters.
JUYHTGFRVV 2x11 Visage Tina Greer from episode 1x04 escaped from Belle Reve and returned to Smallville impersonating first Whitney and then Clark in order to be with Lana. In a fight with Clark, she died when she accidentally impaled herself on a wooden pile.
Witness 149 2x20 Witness Eric Marsh, a smallville high student and baseball player, gained super strength from inhaling liquified kryptonite made from bars of kryptonite he and his companians had stolen from LuthorCorp. When they noticed that Clark had discovered their secret, the tried to kill him, but were overcome by him in the end and arrested by the police.
Accelerate 263 2x21 Accelerate Emily Dinsmore, a clone of a childhood friend of Lana, had super speed and super strength and could walk through solid walls. When she discovered that the original Emily had died in an attempt to save Lana from a river, she pushed Lana from a bridge into the river. Lana was saved by Clark, and Emily was taken into custody by Lionel and reappeared in episode 3x21.

Season Three

Image Episode Freak of the week
037 3x03 Extinction Jake Pollen, a Smallville High student who could breathe underwater through gills, threatened Lana and was shot at the beginning by Van McNulty on which the rest of the episode focusses.
Sv304Sarah 3x04 Slumber Sarah Conroy had fallen into a coma at a car accident and was kept asleep by her uncle with intravenous drugs. Due to an exposure to meteor rocks during the car accident, she had got he ability to manipulate other person's dreams. After Clark prevented her uncle from giving her drugs, she woke up.
Smallville307 428 3x07 Magnetic Seth Nelson, a Smallville High student, developed magnetic control over metal and mind, when he was subjected to an MRI treatment with pieces of meteor rock in his head. He manipulated Lana to leave the town with him and finally fell into a coma when Clark used electricity to break his magnetic powers.
Whisper156 3x10 Whisper Nathan Dean could shriek massive sound waves and used this ability to help his master Walt Masterson commit robberies. Dean was killed when a pile of cars in the junkyard fell upon him loosened by his soundwaves, and Masterson went to prison.
Sv311Molly 3x11 Delete Molly Griggs, a former MIT student, was treated in Summerholt Institute where she developed a mind-control program by which she could manipulate the mind of other people via e-mail. After she tried to make Clark, Lana and the Kents kill Chloe, she was taken into custody by Lex who promised her real help.
Smallville314 361 3x14 Obsession Alicia Baker, a Shmallville high student, had got the ability to teleport during the meteor shower. She learned Clark's secret and fell into love with him. When she tried to kill Lana, she was overcome by Clark and taken to Belle Reve from where she was released in episode 4x11.
Crisis519 3x16 Crisis Adam Knight had died from a liver disease and was resurrected and kept alive by Lionel Luthor and Dr. Lia Teng using the Lazarus Serum made from Clark's blood. He finally died for due to lack of the serum after trying to shoot Lana because he believed she had stolen it.
Forsaken4 3x21 Forsaken Emily Dinsmore from episode 2x21 escaped her confinement, captured Lana and locked her into a glass cell to be always near her. When Lana tried to escape, Emily wanted to kill her with gas. She was overcome by Clark and taken to Belle Reve, from where she escaped and was never seen again.

Season Four

Image Episode Freak of the week
Gone573 4x02 Gone Trent MacGowen, is a former patient from Belle Reve, had the ability to morph his body or parts thereof into metal and use them as arms. He was ordered by Lionel to kill Chloe, but was overcome by Clark and fell into a trough filled with molten metal.
Abigail Fine 2 4x03 Façade Abigail Fine, a Smallville High student, was exposed to a kryptonite-powered plastic surgery by her mother Elise Fine. The operation had the side effect to provoke violent hallucinations in everybody she kissed. It is left open whether she finally returned to normal.
Mikhail 4x07 Jinx Mikhail Mxyzptlk, an exchange student form south-east Europe, could control other people's action by murmuring words and used this to cheat at sports wagering. Clark and Chloe succeed in blocking this ability by ultrasonic waves, and Lex took Mikhail into custody at Level 33.1.
Aliciabaker 4x11 Unsafe Alicia Baker from episode 3x14 was released as cured from Bell Reve by her doctor, William McBride. She still loved Clark and used red kryptonite in order to make him marry her. When McBride tried to shoot Clark, she teleported in front of the bullet to keep Clark's secret, and was taken to the hospital.
Pariah184 4x12 Pariah Tim Westcott was able to dissolve his body and the clothing he is wearing into sand. He tried to kill Lana and Jason and framed Alicia Baker as being the attacker. When he finally killed her was confronted by Clark, he attacked him in form of a sandstorm, but was forced back to his human form by Clark's heat vision and presumably taken to prison.
Geoff Johns 4x13 Recruit Geoff Johns, a football star at Metropolis University, could paralyze people by touching them, and used his powers during the football matches. When Lois found out that he payed other students for urine samples to hide his secret, he tried to kill her, but was stopped by Clark.
Spirit3 4x18 Spirit Dawn Stiles, a Smallville High student, fell with her car into Carlton Gorge, which was full of meteor rocks. While her body was in a coma, her spirit had the ability to travel out of her body and to possess other people. When she possessed Chloe and tried to put the school on fire, she was stopped by Clark.
Forever4 4x21 Forever Brendan Nash, a Smallville High student, could turn people into wax. He did not want school to end, kidnapped Chloe, Lana and other students and placed them into an exact copy of a part of the Smallville High School built in an abandoned factory. When he tried to turn Clark into wax, his powers reflected to himself, and he fell and shattered.

Season Five

Image Episode Freak of the week
Mortal 5x02 Mortal Tommy Lee, who had the power to control electricity, and the Twins, who could generate a force field, broke out from Belle Reve and took the Kents hostages. Clark, who at this time was stripped off his powers, succeeded in overcoming Tommy by switching off the house's electricity, and the three were taken back to Belle Reve.
505Smallville0302 5x05 Thirst Buffy Sanders had been bitten by meteor-infected bats and turned into a vampire. She became the leader of the Tri-Psi sorority at Metropolis University which she made a sorority of vampires. She made Lana join the sorority and turned her into a vampire, too. When Buffy tried to kill Clark, she was killed by Lana.
Tomb1 5x14 Tomb Gretchen Winters had been murdered and hidden behind a wall of the Talon. From a kryptonite-gemstone bracelet, her spirit got the power to possess Chloe when she and Clark found the corpse. She made Chloe search for her murderer, Michael Westmore. She then took possession of him and made him kill himself.
Tylermcknight 5x18 Fragile Tyler McKnight had received the ability to control glass with his mind in the 1989 meteor shower. He was brought to Belle Reve, but released for good behaviour. He kidnapped his daughter, Maddie Van Horn, killing her foster mother and an advocate. He was finally overcome by Maddie and brought back to Belle Reve.
Fade1 5x20 Fade Graham Garrett had the ability to render himself invisible und used this to work as a contract killer. When Clark saved his live, Graham wanted to thank him by killing Lex, believing that Lana would then return to Clark. In the attempt, however, he was hit by a bullet randomly fired by Lana and died in the hospital.

Season Six

Image Episode Freak of the week
Reunion139 6x05 Reunion Duncan Allenmeyer, a former school friend of Lex, stayed in a vegetative state after a car accident. A medicine made from meteor rock gave him the power to astral-project out of his body and use psychokinesis to attack those responsible for what happened to him. When he shot an EMP arrow at Oliver, Clark intercepted the arrow. Duncans astral body was destroyed by the EMP and he died.
Bronson 6x08 Static Bronson had got the ability to travel to different frequencies in the 2005 meteor shower. He kidnapped Lex and Lana and took them to another frequency. When he threatened Lana, he was stabbed by Lex. Jimmy succeeded to tune into the right channel and bring Lana and Lex back.
Jedmcnally 6x09 Subterranean Jed McNally got the ability to move underground in the 2005 meteor shower. He held immigrants as slaves on his farm. When someone tried to flee, he used his powers to draw him underground. When McNally attacked Javier Ramirez, who had escaped from the farm, he was knocked unconscious by Clark and then taken to Level 33.1 by Lex.
Normal 815Smallville0793 6x10 Hydro Linda Lake, a gossip columnist for the Daily Planet, had the ability to turn herself into water. She drowned Mike Dawson and spied on Clark, Lana, Chloe and Lex. In a street fight with Chloe, she was hit by Lana's car. She burst into a splash of water, which drained away, and reappeared in episode 8x15

Season Seven

Image Episode Freak of the week
Fierce31 7x03 Fierce Tempest Drake, Tyler Crenshaw, and Carly Meadows, the Weather Girls, could control the weather elements heat, cold, and wind. They tried to steal a tresure hidden in Smallville. Carly was killed by Tyler when cheating the others. When Clark tried to stop them, Tempest created a storm which blew green kryptonite on him. Clark was rescued by Kara, and Tempest and Tyler were arrested.

Season Eight

Image Episode Freak of the week
802Smallville0591 8x02 Plastique Bette Sans Souci had the ability to project energy blasts from her eyes. She blew up of a bus and blamed Tommy Walker for it, whom she later murdered. When Chloe found out her secret, she tried to kill her, too. Clark deflected the blast back on herself, and she was arrested. On her way to Belle Reve, she was convinced by Tess to join her team of metahumans.
S0806-17 8x06 Prey Randy Klein could transform into a shadow creature having super powers. When a series killer appeared in Metropolis, Randy pretended to be the killer so as to acquire the attention he always wanted but never got. He was arrested, but then freed by Eva Greer who knew he was not the real killer and offered him to join Tess's team of metahumans.
01538 8x07 Identity Sebastian Kane, a former captive of Black Creek, had the ability of reading minds through touch. Tess used him to learn whether Lois had stolen the Crystal of Knowledge from her. When Sebastian learned that Lois knew his past, he tried to kill her, but was knocked out by Clark. By the touch, he learned Clark's secret. When he recovered in the hospital, Chloe who was possessed by Brainiac overloaded his brain so that he died.
815Smallville0083 8x15 Infamous Linda Lake from episode 6x10 reappeared and blackmailed Clark to make her the exclusive reporter of the Blur. Clark refused and let Lois publish an article about his true identity and origin. Linda then publicly stated that Clark was the murderer of Lex and planned an alien invasion. To prevent Linda from reappearing, Clark used a Legion ring to travel into the past and let Linda be arrested for the murders she had committed. Linda then tried to blackmail Davis, but was killed by him.
S08e21 (2) 8x21 Injustice Eva Greer, Nathaniel Tryon as "Neutron", Leslie Willis as "Livewire", Rudy Jones as "Parasite", and Bette Sans Souci as "Plastique" are members of the Injustice League a team of young metahumans assembled by Tess Mercer.

Tess used the team to hunt down Doomsday in order to make Clark kill him. Nathaniel was killed by Doomsday, Eva and Leslie by Tess when they disobeyed her. Rudy and Bette were arrested and later freed by Rick Flag to join his Suicide Squad.

Season Nine

Image Episode Freak of the week
Metallostart 9x02 Metallo John Corben is transformed into a cyborg powered by a green kryptonite heart after Major Zod and his Kryptonians operate on him after he was hit by a bus.

Season Ten

Image Episode Freak of the week
Harrietreadytokill 10x08 Abandoned Harriet was trained by Granny Goodness and her kryptonite powered claws to attack Clark Kent.
10x11 Icarus Slade Wilson displayed healing factor, but it is unknown whether he is a metahuman or not.

Freaks in the comics

Notes

  • In Season One, only six episodes (Rogue, Zero, Nicodemus, Obscura, Stray, and Tempest) did not feature a "freak of the week" villain.
  • "Freak of the week" alumni sometimes showed up in future episodes. Notable examples included Tina Greer (Visage), Emily Dinsmore (Forsaken), Alicia Baker (Unsafe and Pariah), Sasha Woodman (Cure), Linda Lake (Infamous), John Corben (Upgrade) and Greg Arkin (Homecoming).
  • "Freak of the week" alumni sometimes also teamed up in future episodes. A notable example were Eric Summers and Ian Randall teaming up with Van McNulty (Asylum).
  • Season Six featured Clark tracking down alien prisoners of the Phantom Zone. Several of these prisoners (Gloria, Baern, Titan, Aldar, and Dr. Hudson) appeared in only one episode in a format that is evocative of the "freak of the week" formula.
  • In Season Eight, although the "freak of the week" formula was used in Identity, this was used for the B-plot, while the A-plot focused on Clark trying to hide his identity.
  • Four series regulars have had FOTW-style episodes where they temporarily became metahuman and then followed the "freak of the week" formula. These included Whitney Fordman in Season 1 (he gained intangibility powers from kryptonite tattoos), Chloe Sullivan in Season Three (she gained truth powers from kryptonite-based truth gas), Lana Lang in Season Five and Season Seven (in Season 5, she became a vampire after being bitten by a metahuman vampire and, in Season 7, she gained Clark's powers after being struck by lightning while near kryptonite), and Pete Ross in Season 7 (he gained elasticity powers from kryptonite-contaminated chewing gum). All of their personalities changed while possessing powers, and all of them reverted after losing or giving up their powers.

See also

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