|Broadcast Date||October 29, 2003|
| Previous Episode: Slumber
Next Episode: Relic
- This article is about the Season 3 episode. For the reporter Perry White's character page, see Perry White.
Perry White, a once promising journalist whose career was destroyed by Lionel Luthor, arrives in Smallville in search of alien stories for a tabloid news show. In spite of being constantly inebriated, Perry believes he has witnessed Clark using his extraordinary speed, so he devises a dangerous scheme to expose Clark's superpowers. Meanwhile, Lex learns that Perry has powerful incriminating evidence of Lionel's shady past.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x05
A comet hits the sun, causing the largest solar flares ever recorded. Clark is on his way to meet Pete at the Talon when he abruptly runs out of super speed in the middle of the road. A car driven by the perpetually drunk Perry White careens to miss him and hits a utility pole. Clark is unharmed by the power cables. He uses his super speed and super strength to rip the car door off and pull Perry to safety.
Perry had just been thrown out of the Wild Coyote. Back at the farm, Clark is driving fence posts when he misjudges his strength and drives one almost completely into the ground. Perry approaches and tells them that it was somehow Clark's fault that he swerved and crashed his car. He threatens to sue the Kents unless Clark takes him around town and help him investigate the meteor shower and its strange effects.
Clark takes Perry to the Talon, where Perry callously asks Lana for an interview about the day of the meteor shower. She is offended and asks them both to leave. Perry asks him to take him to meet the editor of the Torch which has "a reputation among the bug-eyed monster circles." Chloe is eager to talk about her Wall of Weird until she learns that Perry works for X-Styles. Her interest is renewed when she realized that he is Perry White: multiple Pulitzer-nominated journalist extraordinaire.
Lex is finishing up his last session with Dr. Claire Foster, talking about the art in the castle and claiming that he has no emotional issues. Lana arrives and asks Lex to do something to prevent Perry from interviewing or videotaping her. Lex says he'll make sure he doesn't bother her again. Perry was supposed to go back to the hotel, but Clark finds him back at the Wild Coyote. He asks what happened to his career, but they are interrupted by Lex. Perry promises Lex that he is not doing a story on Lionel, but Lex says this doesn't have anything to do with that and takes him to the bus stop. Lex hates Perry for approaching him at boarding school, scrounging for dirt on his father.
Thinking Perry has left Smallville, Clark returns home and helps his dad lift up the tractor. At first Clark doesn't seem to have any strength, then to his and Jonathan's shock, he throws the tractor clear over his head. It lands several miles away in front of Perry White at the bus stop. Clark superspeeds towards it and Perry looks on in wonder. Clark and Jonathan try to cover by saying it fell off a flat bed truck while someone was trying to steal it, but Perry maintains that it fell out the sky. The sheriff knows he's a drunk and doesn't pay him any attention. Instead of leaving town, Perry visits Chloe at the Torch to study her Wall of Weird. Chloe offers to help him find what he was looking for because he used to be the kind of journalist she wants to be. He insinuates that he had a great story about Lionel Luthor, but he was prevented from writing it. He also admits to being intrigued by Clark.
Clark and Jonathan guess Clark's problems have something to do with the solar flares, and Pete discovers that they have caused glitches and power surges all over the world. Clark decides to avoid using his powers until the effects from the flares wear off tomorrow. Chloe arrives to warn him that Perry is still investigating and seems particularly interested in Clark. Clark finds Perry in the barn yard. He has researched Clark's hero history in Smallville. Clark hears his mother calling and as he turns to go, he suddenly super-speeds away, right in front of Perry.
Lex is furious when he finds out that Dr. Foster will not sign off on his psychological release, recommending continuing sessions on an indefinite basis. She maintains that he has yet to deal with any of his emotional or physical trauma. Lex seems to know that she is right, but he is still upset and throws her out. Perry goes to Lex with information about Lionel, which he will trade to Lex for anything he knows about Clark. Perry guesses that the only reason Lex made friends with Clark was in order to investigate the mystery surrounding him. Lex reacts violently, threatening Perry if he doesn't stay away. He seems surprised by his own outburst. Trembling, he agrees to extra sessions with Dr. Foster.
Clark arrives home by bus that night. He says his speed gave out around Lake Tahoe (a thousand miles away). He tried to run home, but his speed gave out again around Colorado Springs. He barely had enough money for the bus ticket. He vows to stay home until the flare passes, but Perry has installed a camera crew outside. Clark's heat vision sets the curtains on fire and he worries that he'll burn the farm down. Jonathan lures Perry away from the farm so Clark and Pete can sneak out. Perry goes back to the Talon, apologizes to Lana, and asks her to take him to the bus stop.
Clark gets a distressed call from Lana at Saunder's Gorge, but his speed is still out, so Pete has to drive him. They make it to the viewpoint, where Perry is standing on a ledge. Lana explains that Perry got out of the car and threatened to jump unless she called Clark. Perry jumps to prove that Clark has the power to save him, and Clark dives to catch him. They both fall, but Perry has tied a rope to his ankle. Clark and Perry dangle perilously. Pete throws Clark another rope and hauls him up with the car. Perry's rope breaks and he grabs Clark. Pete successfully pulls the two up and Perry realizes his error when he sees Clark's bloody hands.
The next day, the effects of the flare have faded and Clark's powers are back to normal. He proves this with a neat little trick for his mom; he throws a bale of hay to the upper level of the barn and then superspeeds around to catch it. Lana comes by to tell Clark how much she cares about him. Clark takes Perry to the bus stop again and Perry admits that he feels guilty for tearing down someone who is so considerate of others. Perry says he now has the courage to finish the story he never wrote, and is going to try the Daily Planet. He also says he sees a glimmer of hope in Clark's journalism skills and they part on good terms.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Sam Jones III as Pete Ross
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor (credit only)
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
- Bartender - Patrick Gallagher
- "I Love This Bar" - Toby Keith
- "Arms Down (Demo Version)" - Xolie Morra
- "Blue" - LeAnn Rimes
- "Crossroads" by Lizzie
- "I'll Be Okay" - Q
- "Walkin' In Memphis" - Lonestar
- The title refers to Perry White, a former journalist who ends up becoming the editor-in-chief of the Daily Planet in the future.
- Antagonist: Perry White
- Perry White mentions that he is a reporter for the TV show X Styles, a parody of the popular television show The X-Files. Michael McKean, who portrayed White, appeared on an episode of The X-Files as a Men in Black operative who switched bodies with the show's main character, Fox Mulder.
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, and heat vision.
- Lionel Luthor does not appear in this episode.
- This episode introduces Smallville's version of Perry White. In the comics, Perry White is the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Planet and the boss of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. In this episode, Perry calls Sheriff Adams "Chief", to which she responds, "DON'T CALL ME CHIEF!" one of Perry's catchphrases from the comics.
- Perry White and Claire Foster make 12 DC Comics characters adapted into the series.
- At the conclusion of this episode "Walking in Memphis" by Lonestar can be heard playing as Perry boards the bus. This song references Elvis Presley, who was Perry White's hero in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures Of Superman' (as portrayed by Lane Smith).
- This episode reveals that Clark's powers come from the yellow sun's energy. It will be confirmed by Baern three years later in Fallout.
- The week this episode aired, the sun really was experiencing large solar flares. Solar flares have been known to affect the electronic transmission of many earthly communication devices including computers, cell phones, pagers and automobiles. The frequency of occurrence of solar flares varies on an 11-year cycle, from several per day to less than one each week. In real life, solar flares are caused by solar magnetic field disruptions, but when two comets plunging into the solar corona(June 2, 1998) it created a large but brief Solar prominence to occur.
- Albeit briefly, this is the third episode that depicts Clark losing his abilities.
- The type of rope Perry used is perfect for climbing and would have held the two of them easily if in good repair; however, the way he tied it to his ankle would have caused serious damage to his leg. Catching Clark after such a long fall should also have dislocated Perry's shoulders. Also it would have been easier for Perry and Clark to climb down the rope to the bottom of the gorge, rather than hold and get pulled up.
- In the first scene Clark leaves the Kent Home to swap some notes with Pete and can be heard superspeeding away, although he can still be seen through the door's window.
- When Clark and Perry are climbing back onto the ledge, a lens flare affects the camera, a large bright circular light blots out some of the lower part of the screen.
- Perry intentionally placing himself in life-threatening danger in an effort to expose Clark's powers is similar to a scene in Superman II in which Lois Lane, having deduced Clark is Superman, throws herself into a fast-moving river in front of him in an attempt to force him to use his powers to save her. In both instances, the attempt fails (the only difference being that while Clark was unable to use his powers in this episode, he chose not to use them in the film).
- The idea of Clark Kent experiencing power surges due to solar activity is similar to the premise of Sunspots, an episode of Static Shock (another DC based series), where the same thing happens to the titular hero.
- In the last scene, Clark mostly keeps his hands tucked in his belt (aside from the final handshake). It is possible he doesn't want to draw Perry's attention to the fact that with his powers restored, his palms would have healed completely by now.
- This is the first appearance of Dr. Claire Foster, who was mentioned in the preceding episode, Slumber. Dr. Foster is Superman's psychiatrist in the comics.
- This is the 1st episode of the season in which Clark wears his Red Jacket/Blue Shirt outfit.
- Nancy Adams was last seen in Extinction.
- This episode marks the 10th appearance of Clark's Red jacket/Blue shirt outfit.
- Perry White returns in the Season Nine episode Hostage. In the episode, he teams up with Lois Lane on a story.
- One of Lex's therapy sessions with Claire is shown in the Smallville Issue 6 story "ID".
- Perry's television show X-Styles is an allusion to the science-fiction drama The X-Files, which featured FBI agents investigating paranormal phenomena. Both Michael McKean (Perry) and Lorena Gale (Dr. Foster) have guest-starred on The X-Files.
- Perry: (to Lex) Two years ago, you drove your Porsche off a bridge. I went over the police photos, Lex. There's no way you could have walked away from that crash without the miracle that is Clark Kent
- Clark: Solar flares and the effects on Earth's atmosphere. According to NASA the sun took a direct hit from a comet today, causing one of the biggest solar flares ever to be recorded.
- Martha: Oh, you sound intrigued.
- Clark: Actually it's a relief to be researching a cosmic disaster that has nothing to do with me.
- Perry: To Littleville, Kansas and all the little Kansassians in it!
- Perry: (slurring) You walked right through the power lines?!
- Clark: Uh, you're a little drunk, Mr...
- Perry: White. Perry White.
- Jonathan: Well, what do you think he saw, son?
- Clark: Dad, he probably doesn't even remember my name.
- Perry: Clark! Clark Kent! Thank you.
- Perry: Because I'm a journalist. It's in my blood. And sometimes you have to push to get the truth, even when it hurts.
- Perry: See, the way I figure it, you're strong, you're shockproof, you're incredibly fast. Plus you're cursed with this hero complex.
- Perry: Last time I saw you, you were frisbeeing the door off my car and ignoring the high voltage lines.
- Perry: (to Clark) I don't get you, kid. I strong-armed your parents, picked on your girlfriend, and ticked off your lady editor. And still, here you are trying to play the hero.
- Lex: Sometimes Clark's faith in his fellow man outweighs his common sense.
- Perry: It doesn't work that way, Clark. I still have to find faces to put on camera. You know, your high school paper has developed quite a rep in the bug-eyed monster circles.
- Clark: Why would you say that?
- Perry: Because I did, like, three minutes of research before I came to town. You think the editor would know something about the meteor shower?
- Clark: How would I know?
- Perry: "Principal Authorizes New Gym Mats" by Clark Kent. I know I was riveted.
- Chloe: (to Perry) Wise decision coming inside. The weather service expects a light shower of threshing machines followed by a drizzle of combines.
- Perry: I'm telling you, it fell out of the sky.
- Sheriff Adams: And last night you were begging the nurses to keep the flying monkeys out of your room.
- Perry: Kid, you're saying you had nothing to do with this.
- Clark: To be honest, Sheriff, I'm not sure what happened.
- Perry: Well, he's hiding something, Chief.
- Sheriff Adams: Mr. White, there's another bus in about an hour. I suggest you catch it. And don't call me chief.
- Clark: I already explained that.
- Perry: "It fell off a truck." That's not an explanation, that's a punchline.
- Perry: I spent the morning combing through police records and newspaper stories. You're Johnny on the Spot, Clark. You're Smallville's own hero on deck.
- Clark: Trust me, Mr. White, there's nothing special about me.
- Perry: Oh, that's where you're wrong, kid. So far I got you pegged as really strong and shock-resistant. The question is, what other tricks have you got up your sleeve?
- Perry: Memories fade, but a Google search never forgets.
- Dr. Foster: Lex, if you don't let your demons out, they could consume you.
- Perry: Life is a journey, grasshopper, and sometimes the trip is smoother with a little lubricant.
- Lex: (to Perry) I'm warning you. Stay away from me, and stay away from my friends. Trust me, there won't be any blood on my hands when they find what's left of you.
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