|Broadcast Date||February 5, 2002|
| Previous Episode: Shimmer
Next Episode: Leech
Bob Rickman wants to buy the Kent Farm to build a pesticide plant. He uses a very persuasive kryptonite handshake to convince Jonathan to sell. His former business partner Kyle Tippet lives in Smallville and threatens to expose him if he doesn't get out of town. Meanwhile, Lana and Clark argue, Chloe kisses Clark, and Lex shoots Clark with an automatic weapon.
In an office building in Metropolis, Bob Rickman is meeting with Paul Hendrix, from the Center for Environmental Protection (CEP). Paul is concerned about Bob's intentions to build another plant in Smallville because his last plant contaminated the groundwater. Paul has a restraining order against Bob from building any more plants until all the cases against him have been resolved. As Bob goes to leave, he shakes hands with Paul. Their handshake glows green and Paul seems dazed. While in this dazed state, Bob persuades Paul that he is in pain and the only way to end his pain is to end his own life. By the time Bob gets to the lobby, Paul has jumped out his window and fallen to his death.
Clark, Chloe and Lana are horseback riding. Chloe isn't very good at it. Lana says that Whitney has been begrudgingly working a lot of extra hours at his family's store since his father has been ill. Chloe accidentally drops her camera. When Lana leaves Clark and Chloe to retrieve Chloe's camera, Chloe explains her theory that all the weird stuff that happens in these woods can be traced to Kyle Tippet, a sculptor who lives alone in the woods. When Lana cries out, Clark rushes to her and finds her with Kyle Tippet. Kyle runs away when he sees Clark. Chloe's camera has recorded the encounter.
Back home, Clark reviews the camera footage with his parents. It doesn't look like Kyle was trying to hurt Lana, but Lana's aunt wants Clark to tell the police that Kyle spooked Lana's horse and attacked her. Clark decides to go talk to Kyle about what happened.
In Smallville, Bob Rickman is hosting a reception. Victoria Hardwick and Lex are there. Bob reveals that he has chosen the Kent Farm as the site for his new pesticide plant, but Lex is sure that Bob will never convince the Kents to sell their farm. When Clark arrives at Kyle's trailer in the woods, Kyle explains that the horse threw Lana and he was just making sure that she was okay. Other than that, Kyle is very unfriendly.
At the Beanery, Clark meets Lana and Whitney. He tells them that he talked to Kyle and he doesn't think that he did anything wrong. Whitney seemed very unimpressed and disappointed that Clark didn't do anything more decisive. Lex is at the Beanery, too. He warns Clark that Bob Rickman is after his farm.
After the reception, Kyle finds Bob and warns him to get out of Smallville. Apparently they made an agreement nine years ago, that Bob would leave Smallville alone. As he leaves the building, Kyle runs into Clark who asks him why he's in town. Kyle explains that he filed a complaint against Bob, but he also complains that people used to mind their own business. Whitney comes out of the Beanery and warns Kyle to stay away from Lana. Clark offers Kyle a ride home. Bob steps out on to the street and introduces himself to Whitney, shaking his hand.
After dropping Kyle off, Clark notices Whitney's truck parked out in the woods and heads back to make sure Kyle is all right. Whitney is going after Kyle with a baseball bat. Clark arrives just as Kyle is getting the upper hand and he blocks a blow intended for Whitney. When the police arrive, they take Kyle into custody, but Clark isn't ready to believe Whitney's version of the story.
At school the next day, Chloe decides to research the possibility of a connection between Bob Rickman and Kyle Tippet. Lana is furious that Clark wouldn't back up Whitney's version of the story. Clark reminds Lana that Whitney strung him up in a field once and Lana tells Clark that if he doesn't like Whitney, then he shouldn't pretend to be his friend.
Bob Rickman shows up at the Kent Farm to persuade Jonathan Kent to sell. His super handshake doesn't work at first because Jonathan is wearing work gloves, but Bob finds another way after Jonathan takes his gloves off. Jonathan next seen holding a contract with his signature on it, trying to figure out what happened and how to get out of it.
At the Beanery, Lana and Whitney snub Clark. Clark meets Lex there and tells him that the contract his father signed is "ironclad," but Lex is willing to help. Clark decides to visit Kyle Tippet to see if he can figure out how Bob convinced his father to sell the farm.
Bob calls the sheriff and they send a deputy over. Bob shakes the deputy's hand and says that he needs him to take care of an old friend. At the same time, Kyle makes a jail break by persuading another deputy to give him his uniform. Clark shows up just as the first deputy fires at Kyle. He uses his super speed to help Kyle dodge the bullet. He is not entirely successful and Kyle suffers a shoulder wound.
Clark takes Kyle to the Luthor Mansion where Lex's doctor, Toby, stitches him up, no questions asked. However, he does make a reference to the knife wound Lex received at Club Zero. Back home, Clark finds Lana waiting for him in his loft. She heard that Kyle had escaped from jail and she was a little freaked out. She wanted to clear the air between them and preserve their friendship, but Clark is pretty strong in his defense of Kyle.
Bob approaches Lex at the Beanery, but Lex won't shake his hand. Clark comes in and asks Bob how he got his dad to sign that contract. When he shakes Bob's hand, he shows uncanny resistance to the handshake and nearly crushes Bob's hand. Chloe reveals that Rickman and Tippet were trapped in their car during the meteor shower, then afterward were the salesmen of the year for three straight years. They return to the Luthor Mansion to talk with Kyle. He is missing, and it seems that he has persuaded the staff to forget all about him. Clark guesses that he has gone back to his trailer in the woods.
At Kyle's trailer, Kyle explains to Clark and Chloe that he and Bob Rickman were terrible salesmen before the meteor shower, but afterwards they could persuade anyone to do anything. He says the effect lasts until the person does what he has been told, and then they can't remember having done it. If they fail, they will keep trying unless they are forcibly snapped out of it the way Whitney was. Chloe wants a demonstration, so he shakes her hand and tells her to kiss Clark. She does so, but then she can't remember.
Bob Rickman arrives at the Luthor Mansion to tell Lex that he is no longer pursuing the Kent farm as a proposed site for his plant, but wants the chance to shake his hand. Clark calls Lex and tells him that Kyle wants to go public and bring down Bob Rickman. Lex agrees to come pick them up and drive them in to Metropolis. Lex locks Clark and Kyle in the car and douses it with gasoline before setting it on fire. Clark uses his super strength to rip off the doors and escape before the car explodes. Clark zooms away with Kyle just as Rickman arrives to give Lex an automatic weapon. Lex catches up with Clark at Frank's Auto Shop and shoots him with the automatic weapon.
Clark dodges the first couple of dozen bullets, but there are too many, they start hitting him in the back, tearing holes in his jacket, and Clark collapses. When Lex approaches to finish him off, Clark kicks him across the room, effectively snapping him out of his trance.
Bob Rickman seems to know his plan has failed. He is waiting outside, but decides just then to pull a gun from his jacket and go inside. Before he can enter the building, Kyle Tippet comes up behind him and grabs his hands. They are locked for a moment in a double handshake, then Bob kills himself. Kyle explains to Clark that he always was the more persuasive salesman. He also promises to keep Clark's secret, saying that Clark has inspired him to use his gift to do great things.
At home, Martha Kent tends her son's wounds. The bullets from the automatic weapon have left bruises all over his body. Lana arrives to assure Clark that even though she doesn't see things his way about Kyle, she thinks their friendship is worth more than one argument. Later, Lex arrives to find Clark in his loft. He says that because of Bob Rickman's sudden death, his company will not be expanding and were glad to get out of the deal with the Kent Farm. Lex clearly doesn't remember anything that happened that night. Clark asks Lex if their friendship will fall apart like Kyle and Bob's. Lex smiles and responds that their friendship will become the stuff of legend.
- Bob Rickman - Rick Peters
- Kyle Tippet - Gregory Sporleder
- Paul Hendrix - Ben Cotton
- Dr. Toby - R. Nelson Brown
- Nurse - Leanne Adachi
- Deputy #1 - James Ralph
- Deputy #2 - Mark Lukyn
- "Mistaken I.D." - Citizen Cope
- "Into You" - Jennifer Knapp
- "Into the Lavender" - Rubyhorse
- "Have a Nice Day" - Stereophonics
- "Slow Down" - Wayne
- A hug is a form of physical intimacy between two people which involves the wrapping of the arms around the neck, back, or waist of another person.
- The title refers to Bob Rickman's and Kyle Tippet's ability to persuade others to do their bidding via touch.
- This is the first of only five episodes to consist of only three letters. The other four are Red, Run, Zod and Hex.
- Antagonist: Bob Rickman
- This is the first episode Clark wears a red jacket.
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: invulnerability, super strength and super speed.
- Pete Ross only briefly appears in this episode, appearing only in the scene in the Torch where Clark asks Chloe if she can find a connection between Kyle Tippet and Bob Rickman.
- Clark drives his father's pickup to the Beanery. Since Clark is a freshman in high school, he's probably only 14 or 15 years old and shouldn't have a license to drive except on his own farm. Traffic enforcement seems a little lax in Smallville. However, in Kansas, teenagers can get their driver's licences at 14. He could have gotten one before the series started.
- At the end of this episode, Clark asks Lex if their friendship will fall apart like Kyle and Bob's. Lex is smiling and responds that their friendship will become the stuff of legend. This is an ironic reference to the destined relationship between Superman and Lex Luthor.
- When asked by Lana what he wants to do when he grows up, Clark remarks that whatever he does he hopes it doesn't involve "wearing a suit and lots of flying" (an obvious reference to his future as Superman).
- This is the only episode where Clark proves not to be "faster than a speeding bullet" in saving Kyle from getting shot, and again in preventing himself from getting hit by Lex's bullets. The second instance causes Clark to learn that he is invulnerable to bullets.
- Bob and Kyle represents two possible future paths for Clark: He could either use his abilities for financial gain or isolate himself from the outside world, fearing what his powers could lead him to.
- The incident that Dr. Toby mentions in which Lex was stabbed is revealed in the episode Zero, and is the same one that Roger Nixon threatened to blackmail Lex with in X-Ray.
- Clark remarks that Whitney strung him up in a field once, which happened in the Pilot.
- This is the first time Lex witnesses Clark use his abilities, only to forget it later.
- In this episode, Clark squeezes Bob's hand, and in Season Five's Fanatic, Chloe makes a reference to Clark being able to crush someone's hand.
- In the penultimate episode of Season One (Obscura), Clark will refer to Chloe as his first kiss, but he won't be talking about this kiss. He will tell the story of how she kissed him "out of the blue" on the first day they met in eighth grade (last year).
- In a Season Ten episode, Clark and Lex's hybrid clone (believing himself to be Lex) tells Tess of how Clark and Lex's friendship was to become the "thing of legend", refering to this episode.
- Lex makes a reference to Clark being similar to Atticus, from the book To Kill a Mockingbird. In the comics, To Kill a Mockingbird happens to be Clark's favorite book.
- An office building
- Clark: ...I don't see myself being a farmer when I grow up.
- Lana: Well, what do you want to do?
- Clark: I'm not sure, as long as it doesn't involve putting on a suit and doing a lot of flying.
- Kyle: Some people weren't meant to have a regular life, Clark.
- Lex: Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird?
- Clark: Never read it.
- Lex: You should. You two have a lot in common. Small-town heroes. Believe in the truth. Not willing to back down
- Clark: How does it end?
- Lex: It's not about the ending, it's about the journey.
- Lex: (under Rickman's influence) Friendship's a fairy tale, Clark. Respect and fear are the best you can hope for.
- Lex: (to Rickman) Don't touch me.
- Lex: (upon seeing Rickman) Funny, I was just saying how this town needs more pesticides in the water supply.
- Martha: (after finding out that Jonathan sold their farm) I talked to our lawyer. He said he can't do anything until he sees the contract, but "the devil made me do it" argument wouldn't hold up in court.
- Chloe: (after Kyle shakes hands with her and makes her kiss Clark) What? Why are you looking at me like that? And why is my mouth minty?
- Clark: Let’s just say he proved his point. (Clark rubs his mouth)
- Chloe: Oh, god, did I just-
- Clark: Don't worry it was... fine.
- (Chloe puts a hand to her forehead)
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