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#303 : Le Justicier

Résumé : Clark découvre que quelqu'un chasse les gens affectés par la Kryptonite et Lex est la prochaine cible du tueur. Clark utilise ses pouvoirs pour sauver Lex mais il est touché par surprise quand le meurtrier apprend ses faiblesses et lui tire dessus avec une balle de Kryptonite.


4 - 7 votes

Titre VO

Titre VF
Le Justicier

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Plus de détails

Guest-stars :

→ Jesse Metcalfe dans le rôle de Van McNulty
Camille Mitchell dans le rôle du Shérif Nancy Adams
→ Harris Allan dans le rôle de Jake Pollen


Titre de l'épisode :

 Extinction se réfère à quelque chose qui ne vit plus, comme une plante ou un animal.

• Le titre réfère à l'extinction de la "race" des krypto-monstres que désire Van McNulty.


Indiscrétions :

 Le père de Van était le policier tué par Tina Greer dans l'épisode 2.11 - Le retour du héros.

 Pour certaines scènes de la piscine, c'est une doublure de Kristin Kreuk qui a été utilisée.

 Chloé indique à Clark que Lex possède un taux de globules blancs dans le sang bien supérieur à la normale, ce qui peut être un signe alarmant de leucémie. Dans le comics, Lex a un cancer dû à une trop longue exposition à la kryptonite.

Act 1 Teaser

Students are leaving Smallville High School. Day. Above the door is a banner that says "Welcome Back!" Just outside the door sits a student Jake Pollen, guzzling a bottle of water. Another student Van McNulty walks up and sits next to Jake.

Van : Plan on coming up for air?

Jake : I'm thirsty. Is that a crime?

Van : Come on, I'll give you a ride.

Jake : I'm waiting for someone.

Jake and Van watch the door just as Lana comes out. She walks by, not noticing them.

Van : Lana Lang. Very original.

Jake : I hear she's single again.

Van : They post that on her official stalker website?

Jake : I'm not stalking her.

Van : No, you just have her entire schedule memorized for fun.

They watch as Lana gets into her car.

Van : That girl's got so many guys tailing her she should qualify for secret service protection.

Jake stands up and starts walking toward Lana. Van shakes his head, laughing.

Jake : [As Lana starts her car.] Hi.

Lana : [Friendly.] Hi.

Lana drives away. Van walks over to Jake and pats him on the back.

Van : Very smooth. Maybe in about ten years you'll actually be able to get a complete sentence out.

Jake : I'll catch you later.

Jake walks away.

Cut to the Smallville High swimming pool. Night. Lana is alone in the pool room. Wearing her swimming suit, she steps onto the diving board. She remains at the edge for a moment and then dives in, swimming strongly to the other side. There is a soft splash, barely audible over the sound of her own swimming. She stops in the water and looks around.

Lana : Hello?

She can't see anyone around so she keeps swimming toward the other side the pool. But beneath her, sitting underwater at the floor of the pool, is Jake. He looks up at her calmly as she reaches the edge of the pool and turns around, swimming back to the other side. When she is about halfway across the pool, Jake grabs at her leg, barely giving her a chance to scream before pulling her underwater.

Lana : Aah!

He pulls Lana down, holding her from behind. Lana manages to turn around and punch him in the face. Jake holds onto her tightly as she continues to struggle. Finally she kicks him in the stomach, freeing herself and rising to the surface.

Lana : Help! Help!

Jake pulls her back down and locks his hands around her neck in a death grip. Lana shakes and kicks, but she can't get away. A quiet blast is heard as a bullet shoots down into the water and strikes Jake from behind. He immediately goes limp as blood rises through the water from his back. Lana swims away just as a small green kryptonite rock is dropped into the water next to Jake. The rock has the word "Freak" written on it in white ink.

Lana returns to the surface of the water, panicked and out of breath, and swims to the edge of the pool, looking up at the second floor windows above the pool. She sees a figure in the window with a gun, hurrying away. She gets out of the pool.

[Opening credits]

Act 1 Scene 1

Pete and Clark walk through the halls of Smallville High School. Day. Pete picks up the latest issue of the Smallville Torch from a stack by the wall. A picture of Lana is on the front page with a headline that says "Mystery Shooter Saves Smallville Student! Gunman Foils Attack In Swimming Pool."

They continue to walk as Pete shows Clark the newspaper.

Pete : Looks like you got yourself a pinch hitter in the hero arena.

Clark : I don't know if I'd call him a hero, Pete. I'm just glad Lana's okay.

Pete : Yeah, I know. Have you seen her?

Clark : I'm not exactly the person Lana wants to be around right now.

A police officer walks past them to a row of lockers where Sheriff Adams and several other officers are inspecting Jake's open locker. Several students, including Pete and Clark, stop to see what is happening.

Adams : Keep it movin'.

Clark and Pete start walking again.

Pete : I still can't believe Jake turned Swim Fan on Lana.

Chloe joins them, hearing Pete's comment.

Chloe : Yeah, I didn't peg him as the poolside slasher type either. But I don't think Jake Pollen was exactly like your average teenager.

Cut to Clark, Chloe, and Pete entering the Torch office.

Clark : Why would you say that?

Chloe : Other than the meteor rock labeled "freak" laid next to his body? [Sitting at her computer.] You remember that field trip we took down to Crater Lake, the one where I, uh, dropped so gracefully my keys off of the pier?

Pete : [Laughing.] Yeah. I thought you were gonna call the Navy S.E.A.L.s.

Clark : Jake fished them out for you.

Chloe : Right, and he was under water for six minutes. Now unless you're David Blaine or a Himalayan yoga master, that's impossible.

Clark looks at Chloe's computer screen.

Clark : Hey, what's with the list?

Chloe : Oh, just my hunches, you know, sort of anything that's off the charts. It's kind of a purgatory before you graduate to the Wall of Weird.

Clark : [Pointing to Jake's name on the list.] You have a full file of Jake?

Chloe opens the file revealing a picture of Jake and some of his information.

Chloe : Well, I started suspecting a while ago that he had amphibious abilities due to the meteor rock exposure for a while.

Pete : You don't think you might be stretching with this one, Chloe?

Clark : I don't think Jake is the mysterious one. I mean, don't you think it's a little strange? Rifle-wielding commando shows up right when Lana's getting attacked?

Chloe : If you want to help track down the enigmatic vigilante, I would be willing to explore the Jake angle.

Clark : [Pause.] That would be assuming I actually had a job here.

Chloe : Yeah, it was never clear about whose choice it was for you to quit.

Clark glances at Pete who is smiling.

Chloe : Look, Clark, I could say that I'm swamped with the Daily Planet column, but the truth is it would just be really nice to have you back.

Clark smiles brightly, accepting, and Chloe returns the smile.

Act 1 Scene 2

Outside shot of LuthorCorp. Day. In his office, Lionel talks on his cell phone.

Lionel : All right, Doctor, I'll have Lex stop by for an examination by the end of the week. All right. [Quietly, as Lex enters wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase.] And, uh, Bob. Thanks. [Hangs up the phone.] Lex. Welcome back to LuthorCorp, son.

Lex : Feels like I never left.

Lionel laughs and puts his arm around Lex's back.

Lionel : You'll have the office next to mine. You've got the river view.

Lex : I appreciate the gesture, but I'm not here to enjoy the scenery. I'm here to generate profits.

Lionel : Lex, Lex, you already have the job.

Lionel smiles and takes a file from his desk, handing it to Lex.

Lionel : And now you've entered the executive branch, you need to fill out some paperwork. Coffee?

Lex : I'm good.

Lex looks in the file as Lionel pours coffee for himself.

Lex : Corporate life insurance?

Lionel : Standard for all upper-level employees.

Lex : Is 50 million dollars standard?

Lionel : Don't underestimate your own value, my son. [Pause.] You seem reluctant, Lex. I don't understand.

Lex : It's hard not to consider the implications when your mortality has a dollar sign attached to it.

Lionel : No, Lex, I'd hoped we'd move beyond this distrust reflex of yours.

Lex : It's called common sense.

Lionel : [Putting his hands on Lex's shoulders.] No, no, you're a corporate asset, Lex. If something should happen to you, the company needs to be compensated for its loss. [Lex doesn't answer.] All right. If that's unacceptable to you, I understand. You can, uh, give your security card to Nelson on your way out.

Lionel turns back to his coffee as Lex eyes him suspiciously.

Act 1 Scene 3

A customer hands a credit card to Lana in the Talon. Day. She takes it and walks to the bar as Clark comes in behind her with his backpack over his shoulder and a yearbook in his hand.

Clark : Hey, Lana. How you doing?

Lana : Hi. I haven't seen you in a while.

They continue walking to the bar.

Clark : I thought it might be easier that way.

Lana : Easier on whom?

Clark : I didn't come here to upset you. I'm doing a story on Jake for the Torch.

Lana : That's great, Clark. What do you want to know?

Lana puts her tray down on the bar and slides the credit card through the scanner.

Clark : Well, you told the police he had a friend with him when he approached you, and I was wondering if you could point him out.

Clark opens the yearbook and Lana comes to the other side of the bar to look at it. She points to a picture of Van McNulty.

Lana : I think that's him.

Clark : Van McNulty. Thanks.

They look at each other awkwardly for a moment.

Lana : Glad I could be of help.

Lana starts to walk away and Clark grabs her hand.

Clark : Lana...

Lana : [Pause.] Is this on or off the record?

Clark : I'm sorry I haven't stopped by.

Lana : Clark, I know we're not together anymore, but you don't need an excuse to come see me.

They look at each other for a while longer, then Chloe comes breezing in, walking right between them as she goes to the bar and opens a file folder she is carrying.

Chloe : Hey, so we can rule out the Himalayan yoga masters. Check out what my connection at the coroner's office gave me.

Chloe lays out some pictures from Jake's autopsy. There are small slits behind his ears.

Chloe : You're not gonna see any of this in Jake's official autopsy report. Believe it or not, they're gills.

Lana : That's disgusting.

Clark : Personally I find the gaping bullet wound more disturbing.

Lana : Okay, if that shooter hadn't shown up when he did, I'd be dead. So forgive me if I don't have more sympathy for the gill boy who tried to drown me.

Clark : Jake was exposed to the meteor rocks. He didn't ask for them.

Lana : No, just like Greg Arkin didn't ask to become a bug boy and Tina Greer didn't ask to become a bone morpher. Look, the fact is when they got their powers they went psycho and tried to kill me. Tina even came back for seconds.

Clark looks away, not giving in.

Lana : Chloe's been attacked by more of these people than me. [To Chloe.] You remember Justin Gaines and Sean Kelvin.

Chloe : Yeah, one tried to psychically impale me with farm implements and the other just wanted my body heat. Thanks for the memories.

Clark : I'm just saying a shot in the head is a little more extreme.

Lana : What about all the times that you've saved us from these people, Clark? What makes you so different from this shooter?

Clark : For starters, I've never killed anyone.

Lana : Then how do you explain Tina Greer? The police found her body impaled in the alley.

Clark : What happened to her she did to herself. I was protecting you.

Lana : Spoken like a true vigilante.

Lana walks away. Clark looks at Chloe who quickly lowers her eyes.

Act 1 Scene 4

A shot of the Metropolis skyline. Day. Chloe enters Lionel's office in LuthorCorp with a file in her hand. Lionel is seated at the desk.

Lionel : Miss Sullivan, what a nice surprise. Have you brought me an addendum to your report on Clark Kent?

Chloe : [Holding out the file.] No, it's my final article for the Daily Planet. I'm turning in my resignation today.

Lionel : [Takes the file.] Oh. Our agreement is terminated.

Chloe : I'm sorry, but Clark's friendship just means too much to me.

Lionel : I can't say it's unexpected, but it will be disappointing.

Chloe : I'm sorry, Mr. Luthor. I guess some people are just better at leading double lives than others.

Chloe starts to leave.

Lionel : You misunderstand me, Miss Sullivan.

Chloe stops and turns around. Lionel gets up from his desk.

Lionel : I'm not the one who's going to be disappointed. That'll be your father.

Chloe : What does he have to do with any of this?

Lionel : Well, I guess he wanted to surprise you. Your father just made a sizable down payment on a new house overlooking the golf course.

Chloe : My dad still hasn't paid off the new water heater. I seriously doubt he's moving us to Brat Flats.

Lionel : Well, it must be his way of celebrating his new promotion. When I rewarded him for his hard work and his dedication to LuthorCorp, he was just brimming with pride. He... Oh, he'd be devastated if he suddenly found himself unemployed.

Chloe : You can't do this to him.

Lionel : Yes, I can. But I won't, which is why I think we are going to enjoy a long and fruitful partnership, Miss Sullivan.

Chloe looks up at Lionel with fear.

Act 1 Scene 5

Van McNulty is walking through the hall at Smallville High. Day. He has a police radio attached to his belt and is listening to it with an earphone. Clark comes up behind him.

Clark : Van McNulty?

Van : Hey.

Clark : Clark Kent.

They shake hands.

Clark : I'm, uh, sorry to hear about your friend Jake.

Van : Thanks. You know, he was always chasing girls, but I still can't believe he attacked anybody.

They get to Van's locker and Van turns off the radio.

Van : Police scanner. I just want to hear when they catch Jake's killer.

Van opens his locker puts away some books.

Clark : I'm doing a story for the Torch. I was wondering if you could give me some background on Jake.

Van : Everything I know is in the police report.

Clark nods. He notices a picture of a man in Van's locker wearing an army uniform with numerous medals of honor on his chest.

Clark : I've never seen so many medals before. Is that your dad?

Van nods.

Clark : He must be a real hero.

Van : He was. And he was a great father. We used to do everything together.

Van straps his backpack back over his shoulders and closes his locker.

Van : I'm gonna be late for class.

He walks away and Clark watches him go.

Act 1 Scene 6

Clark is seated at the computer in the Torch office and Chloe enters. Day.

Chloe : Hey. Remember the rock that was tossed next to Jake's body with the word "freak" written on it? It wasn't the first one the police found.

Chloe opens a file and hands Clark a picture.

Chloe : Meet Leonard Wallace, a local mechanic gunned down two weeks ago. Someone put a similar rock next to his body.

Clark : Why do you think he was killed?

Chloe : I can't be sure about that, but last month when my VW Bug was in the shop, I swear I saw his arm reach for a wrench three feet under my car. I started a file on him just in case he had some sort of stretching abilities. But unlike Jake, Wallace never went psycho.

Clark : So Lana's mystery hero isn't out to save anyone. He's hunting them.

Chloe : Smallville's own version of a hate crime. But why?

Clark looks a the computer screen.

Clark : Revenge.

He turns the monitor around and shows it to Chloe. There is a news article with a picture of Van McNulty's father and a headline that says "Town Honors Local Veteran, Murdered by Troubled Teen."

Clark : Van McNulty's father was a marine recruiter who was killed by Tina Greer.

Chloe : Tina's dead, so he decides to go terminator on the rest.

Clark : [Nods.] Van's fighting his own personal war.

Act 1 Scene 7

Pete and Clark walk through a densely wooded area outdoors. Day.

Pete : Clark, my definition of "hike" stopped two miles ago.

Clark : We have to get evidence for the police. He used to come here all the time with his dad. It'll just take a minute.

Pete : Yeah, that's what you said when we broke into his locker. And his car and his house.

They approach a cabin.

Clark : Jake was killed by a hunting rifle.

Pete : Like you can't find one of those in the back window of every truck in town.

They enter the cabin, Clark shining his flashlight. The room is filled with dust and looks like it hasn't been used in years.

Pete : Now, this place needs some serious Lemon Pledge. All right, Clark, that's enough. Let's go. There's nothing here.

Clark : He was pretty tight with his dad.

Pete : Clark, the last time I checked, there's no offense in father and son bonding.

Clark walks to a locked closet against the wall. He uses his X-ray vision to look through the door and sees several rifles inside.

Clark : Pete, there's a serious arsenal in here.

Pete : Clark, it's a hunting cabin. What do you expect?

Clark smashes the padlock in his hand and opens the door. They go inside and look at the dozens of guns leaning against the wall. Clark continues to shine his flashlight around. On another wall he finds the word "Freaks" painted in green. Below that is a group of pictures and profiles, identical to the profile Chloe had on her computer of Jake. The first profile is of Leonard Wallace, the second is Jake. They both have green Xs painted across them. The third profile, also crossed with a green X, has a picture of Lex.

Pete : Whoa. What's Lex Luthor's picture doing there?

Clark : Pete, call the sheriff.

Clark super speeds from the room.

Cut to LuthorCorp. Lex is just leaving the building and walking toward his car outside. We see a brief shot of Clark speeding through Smallville.

Lex unlocks his car as Van is in the distance loading a clip into his rifle. He raises the scope to his eye, taking aim at Lex.

Clark runs over a bridge, the landscape blurring by in the background.

Van points the gun at Lex, the red dot of the gun's laser sight landing on the back of Lex's head. Van fires the rifle and the bullet flies through the air in slow motion. When it is about to hit Lex's head, Clark super speeds into the way and reaches out his hand, catching the bullet which smashes against his palm.

Clark : Lex, get down!

Clark pulls Lex to the ground and Van keeps firing, shattering the window of Lex's car. Several security officers come outside.

Clark : [To the officers.] Someone's trying to kill him! Get him inside! Go!

The men take Lex back into the building. Van watches as Clark looks around, holding the smashed bullet in his hand. He drops the bullet and Van runs away. But Clark super speeds around the side of the building and grabs onto him. They both fall to the ground and several kryptonite rocks fall out of Van's bag right next to Clark.

Clark : Aaah!

Van : [Getting to his feet.] You're one of them. I saw you catch that slug. It was in your hand. What are you, some kind of bulletproof freak?

Van looks at the meteor rocks and sees how much pain Clark is in. He smiles and nudges Clark with his foot, rolling him from his side to his back. Van kneels down and picks up a rock.

Van : What's wrong? Does this stuff make you sick or something?

Van holds it next to Clark's face and Clark's pain intensifies.

Van : Look at you. How about a nice big bite of meteor rock? How's that feel?

The security trucks come speeding around the corner. Van drops the rock on Clark's chest and runs away, leaving Clark helpless on the ground. Clark looks over at one of the rocks next to him and sees the work Freak.

Fade to black.

Act 2 Scene 1

Lex stands at the head of a large set of stairs inside LuthorCorp surrounded by security officers. Day. Clark enters, escorted by two more officers on either side of him.

Clark : Lex.

The officers around Lex take a step forward, ready to keep Clark away from Lex.

Lex : It's all right, it's all right.

The officers back away and Clark shrugs out of his escorts' grip. He and Lex start walking down the stairs.

Lex : Clark. How did you know someone was gonna try to kill me?

Clark : It's the same person who shot Lana's attacker.

Lex : What would he want with me?

Clark : Look, I know this is gonna sound bizarre, but this kid Van-- He's convinced that the meteor rocks in Smallville have altered certain people.

Lex : [Laughing nervously.] What do you mean by altered?

Clark : He thinks they've developed different abilities than the rest of us, and he's hunting them. Lex, he had a hit list. They found it in his cabin, and you're on it.

Lex : Clark, the only abilities I have are playing the market and falling for the wrong women.

Clark : He's obviously crazy.

Lex : There must be some reason he picked me.

Act 2 Scene 2

Chloe is typing at the computer in the Torch office as Clark paces behind her. Day.

Chloe : Think about it, Clark. Lex survived the meteor shower, a near-fatal car accident, and a plane crash. Even he doesn't have enough money to afford a guardian angel with that much clout. Check this out.

Chloe pulls up a file on Lex on the computer.

Chloe : Lex's medical records show that he has a white blood cell count that is off the charts. I mean, it's more than enough to raise an eyebrow.

Clark : [Annoyed.] You've been keeping a file on Lex, too. Chloe, didn't you learn your lesson about keeping your secret files?

Chloe : They're my own private notes. Since when is curiosity a crime?

Clark : Since someone took your database and turned it into a personal hit list. Van had a printout of the same file on his bulletin board.

Chloe stares at her screen, shocked.

Chloe : [Quietly.] Van helped network half these computers. He must've cracked my password. Oh, God, Clark. This is all my fault.

Clark : Chloe, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to blame you. It's not like you pulled the trigger.

Chloe : No, I just loaded the gun and pointed it in the right direction.

Clark doesn't respond.

Act 2 Scene 3

Lionel enters an office at LuthorCorp where Lex is seated at the couch. Day. Lionel brushes past the security guards standing at the door.

Lionel : [To the guards.] Where is he? [He sees Lex at the couch and sits next to him.] Lex. Thank God you're all right. You're now covered by my personal security.

Lex : I appreciate the gesture, Dad, but I'm not about to let some adolescent assassin disrupt my life.

Lionel : Don't take that cavalier attitude, Lex.

Lex : I wouldn't worry about it, Dad. I'm insured now.

Lionel : Not yet. There's some difficulty getting you underwritten by Lloyd's of London.

Lex : On what grounds?

Lionel : Your tendency to attract near-death experiences has made you too great a liability.

Lex : [Laughing exasperatedly.] I would think surviving would count for something.

Lionel : You're right. I'll get it straightened out. Don't worry.

Lionel gets up to leave. He stops when Lex speaks.

Lex : Dad. Before the meteor shower, was I ever sick?

Lionel : When you were a child, you, uh, had asthma, but, uh, other than that no. Nothing serious.

Lex stands up and walks toward his father.

Lex : Don't you find it, uh, a little strange that I've never been sick a day in my life since?

Lionel : What's all this about, Lex, hmm?

Lex : [Pause.] Nothing. I obviously inherited strong genes.

Lionel chuckles and Lex smiles. As Lex walks away, the expression on Lionel's face becomes tense.

Act 2 Scene 4

Clark enters the Talon with a folder in his hand. Day. Sheriff Adams is just leaving.

Clark : Sheriff Adams, have you found Van yet?

Adams : Yeah, we're keeping an eye out, but there's no reason to think he's come back to Smallville.

Clark : I think there is. Take a look at this.

Clark shows her a printout of one of Chloe's file pages with a list of names.

Clark : One of these people will be Van's next target.

Adams : Are we in the psychic business now, Mr. Kent?

Clark : Just look at the first three names.

Sheriff Adams looks at the list and reads the names Leonard Wallace, Jake Pollen, and Alexander Luthor.

Adams : Where'd you get this?

Clark : A friend of mine who believes that these people are linked to a certain, um, phenomenon in Smallville.

Adams : A phenomenon, huh? It's a little out of my jurisdiction.

Clark : Well, you don't have to believe it's true. Van McNulty does, and these people are in a lot of danger.

Adams : It can't hurt to be cautious.

Sheriff Adams takes the list and leaves. Clark walks toward the bar and Lana approaches, carrying a tray.

Lana : How's Lex doing?

Clark : Okay, I guess. It's not the first time he's been in the cross hairs.

Lana : Are they sure Van was the shooter?

Clark : I am.

Lana looks at Clark pointedly and walks to the bar. Clark follows.

Clark : Lana, I know he saved your life, but I don't think that was his intention.

Lana : No, it was just a happy accident.

Clark : I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way.

Lana : Clark, I really thought I was going to die.

Clark : You've been through worse.

Lana : Because you've been there to protect me, but I knew you weren't coming this time, so when Van showed up I guess I was just relieved that there were others like you out there.

Clark : He's not like me. You have to see him for what he is. He's a killer. Lana, it's okay to be mad at people who tried to hurt you, but it's not fair to take it out on everyone who's been affected by the meteors. It's not their fault. No one asked to be different.

Lana : [Pause.] Life would just be so much better for everybody if the meteor shower never happened.

Clark looks away, stung by Lana's words.

Act 2 Scene 5

Van is outdoors next to a campfire doing sit-ups. Night. He is wearing only army pants and holding his rifle above his head, counting softly.

Van : 197, 198, 199...

He comes up for one last time and stops, resting his arms on his knees. He glances at the campfire behind him, then stands up and goes to it, resting his rifle against a log. Nearby is a table covered with beakers, bottles, and other equipment. There are also several pieces of kryptonite, one of which he picks up to inspect. Then he kneels down next to the fire where there is a pot full of glowing green liquid on the grill. He throws the meteor rock into the pot.

From the table, Van takes a small cup held by a long handle and dips it into the pot, filling the cup with the liquid. Next to the fire is a tray with several circular grooves in it. He pours the contents of the cup into the tray, filling the grooves.

Using another long metal handle, he picks up the tray and dips it into a bucket of cold water, causing the water to bubble and steam. Then he pulls the tray out of the water and sets it down on the table. From the tray he pulls one of the dried pieces of meteor rock with a pair of tweezers, revealing it to be a perfectly shaped kryptonite bullet.

Act 2 Scene 6

Clark and Jonathan are outside on the farm, unloading bales of hay from the back of the truck. Day.

Clark : I've searched everywhere, from here to Metropolis. It's like Van disappeared.

Jonathan : Well, Clark, he can't hide forever. Every police officer in the state's looking for him. They'll find him.

Clark : I just hope he doesn't find his next target first. [Pause.] Dad, do you think I'm like Van?

Jonathan : Well, I think you know my answer to that question, son. The real question is do you think you're like Van?

Clark : It's just I've come into contact with a lot of kryptonite-infected people and it never ends with us being friends and shaking hands. I gave Lana this whole tolerance speech. I always assumed the worst about them too.

In the distance, under the cover of trees, Van cocks his gun. He is in a full camouflage suit and his face is covered with army paint. He aims at Clark, but Jonathan steps in the way.

Jonathan : For all we know there could be lots of people out there who have been infected who lead perfectly normal lives.

Clark : They're forced to live with their secret, just like me.

Jonathan : And they could be using their abilities for good, too. I'm gonna get cleaned up.

Jonathan walks toward the house, giving Van a clear shot of Clark. He aims the laser sight directly at Clark's chest. Clark turns around to follow Jonathan inside, and Van pulls the trigger. The kryptonite bullet comes out of the gun in slow motion, whirling through the air. Clark turns around and sees the bullet coming toward his head. He raises his hand to block it and is shocked when the bullet drives right through the center of his palm and out the back of his left hand. Then it strikes his left shoulder, throwing him violently to the ground.

Clark : Aaah! Aaah!

Jonathan : Clark? Clark!

Jonathan kneels next to Clark and rolls him onto his back. Clark continues to yell and whimper, obviously in immense pain. Van smiles sadistically.

Clark : Dad... ah... Dad...

Jonathan : Clark, I got you.

Jonathan sits next to Clark, pillowing Clark's head with his knee.

Clark : Aaah!

Fade to black.

Act 3 Scene 1

Martha is heating a sharp kitchen knife over the gas stove in the kitchen. Day. Jonathan is sitting on the kitchen floor next to Clark who is lying down, still moaning in pain.

Jonathan : [To Martha.] How's that coming, sweetheart?

Martha : I got it.

Jonathan rips open Clark's shirt, revealing a bloody bullet hole in his chest near his left shoulder with swollen veins stretching out from it in every direction.

Clark : Aaah!

Jonathan : It's okay, son. It's okay. It's all right, Clark. Hang in there.

Martha runs to Clark and Jonathan with the knife as well as a bowl and dishtowel. Clark's moans become more desperate.

Martha : He's dying. The poison is spreading so fast.

Jonathan takes the knife.

Jonathan : Okay, Clark, I'm gonna... I'm gonna get it out.

Jonathan sticks the tip of the knife into Clark's wound.

Clark : Aaah!

Jonathan : Clark, Clark, you gotta stay still, son.

Martha : [Stroking Clark's hair.] Hold on, baby, hold on. Dad's gonna get it.

Clark : Aah--

Clark's voice cuts off.

Martha : He's not breathing!

Jonathan : All right. Hand me those.

Clark loses consciousness as Martha hands Jonathan a pair of pliers from the bowl. Jonathan uses the pliers to reach into Clark's wound. Martha puts her hand over her mouth, frightened.

Jonathan : Don't you give up on us now, son!

Jonathan searches around inside the wound with the pliers.

Martha : Jonathan, do you have it?

Jonathan : Martha, it's in there so far. Wait a second. I think I got it. Okay.

Martha : [To Clark, crying.] Hold on, baby, hold on, baby, he's got it.

Jonathan slowly pulls the glowing kryptonite bullet from the hole in Clark's chest. The bullet and the tips of the pliers are covered in blood. Jonathan and Martha both look at the bullet in disgust for a moment. Then Jonathan drops it into the bowl. Martha covers the bowl with the dishtowel and runs from the room.

Jonathan : Get that thing out of here. Clark, come on, son. Come on, Clark.

Clark is still unconscious. But right before Jonathan's eyes, the bulging veins around Clark's wound disappear and the bullet hole closes up, healing itself completely. Jonathan remains next to Clark on the kitchen floor.

Act 3 Scene 2

We see the computer simulation of Lex's Porsche hitting Clark on the bridge the day they met. Night. Lex is sitting at the desk in his study, watching the simulation on his monitor as it repeats over and over. He watches it for a long time, biting his fingernail.

Once more, we watch as the car hits the simulation of Clark and dives into the water.

Act 3 Scene 3

Lana comes out into the alley behind the Talon with a bulging trash bag. Night. She is on her way to the dumpster when she hears Van's voice.

Van : Lana.

Lana turns around, startled, as Van comes out into the open. He is still in camouflage and there are traces of the army paint still on his face. He is slightly out of breath. He walks toward Lana slowly as he talks, and she backs away.

Van : It's me, Van. I'm the one who saved you.

Lana : [Nervous.] Yeah, I know who you are.

Van : They've got the roads blocked off and they're casing my house and my hunting cabin. I need you to help me get out of here.

Lana : Van, I think you should turn yourself in.

Van : To the police? They're useless. I mean, they should be protecting us. I thought you'd understand. You owe me, Lana. I saved your life.

Lana : I know.

Lana walks around him so that she is closer to the Talon than he is.

Lana : But Lex didn't do anything to you. I'm sorry about what happened to your father, but going after innocent people isn't gonna bring him back.

Van : These freaks aren't people, Lana, okay, no matter how much they seem like it!

Van continues to come toward Lana, and she looks around nervously.

Van : Look at Jake, all right? He was my best friend for three years and I had no idea. And you're being fooled just like I was.

Lana : What do you mean?

Lana backs into an open gate leading to a set of stairs descending into the Talon.

Van : Clark Kent is one of them.

Lana : [Whispering, terrified.] Why would you say that?

Van : Look, I know he seems perfectly normal, but I saw him catch a bullet, Lana. In his bare hands. He was a freak just like the rest of them.

Lana : What do you mean "was"?

Van : Well, let's just say Clark Kent won't be able to hurt anyone now.

Lana : What did you do?

Van : I found his weakness. I made special bullets.

Lana : [Crying.] No, no...

Van : That freak got exactly what he deserved.

Lana : Clark is more human than you will ever be.

Lana steps back and slams the gate into Van, sending him tumbling down the long flight of stairs and crashing at the bottom. She then runs into the Talon, picks up the phone behind the bar, and dials 911.

Lana : Get someone to the Kent Farm. Quick. Clark Kent's been murdered!

Van runs into the room, rips the phone off the wall and grabs Lana roughly by the shoulders. He is sweating and crazed.

Van : You were in love with that disgusting mutant, weren't you? [He squeezes her face in his hand.] You know, there's only one thing I hate worse than a freak, and that's a freak lover.

Van yanks Lana away from the wall.

Act 3 Scene 4

Clark is still unconscious on the kitchen floor. Night. He now has a pillow under his head and a blanket covering him. Martha and Jonathan are seated at the dining room table, and Martha gets up as Clark's head starts to move from side to side.

Martha : He's coming to.

Jonathan comes to Martha's side as Clark hops to his feet. His shirt is spattered with blood.

Jonathan : Hey. Clark, how you feeling, son?

Clark : A little woozy.

Martha : You need to lie down, take it slowly.

Clark : No, I need to find Van.

Jonathan : Clark, listen, just because your wound is healed doesn't mean you don't need to rest.

Clark : How can I rest knowing that Van's out there with a hit list in his hand?

Clark leaves the kitchen, taking off his shirt as he goes to the stairs.

Martha : Clark, this boy is not like the others. He has kryptonite bullets.

Jonathan : He already tried to kill you once, son. I'll not let you give him a second chance.

Clark : I know what I'm up against now.

Jonathan : Clark--

Clark runs up the stairs. There is a knock at the door. Martha opens the door and finds Sheriff Adams. The lights of a police car flash behind her.

Adams : Mrs. Kent, is Clark all right?

Jonathan : Yeah, Clark's fine. Why, Sheriff?

Clark comes down the stairs, wearing a clean shirt.

Adams : [To Clark.] Well, rumors of your death have been greatly exaggerated, Mr. Kent.

Adams notices the bloody shirt still resting on the railing by the stairs.

Adams : [To Jonathan.] Are you sure everything's all right?

Jonathan : [Looking at the shirt.] Oh yeah, it was a barbed wire accident.

Clark : What do you mean rumors of my death?

Adams : Dispatch received a call that you'd been murdered.

Clark : Who'd make a call like that?

Adams : Beats the heck out of me. I don't appreciate crank calls, especially in the middle of a manhunt.

Sheriff Adams turns away from the door to speak into her radio. There is a faint whoosh heard.

Adams : All clear at the Kent Farm.

Voice on the radio : All right, Sheriff.

Adams : Over.

Sheriff Adams turns back to the Kents and Clark is gone.

Adams : Where's your son?

Martha and Jonathan look at Sheriff Adams nervously. Jonathan shakes his head, at a loss for words.

Outside, Clark picks up the police radio from Sheriff Adams' car and speaks into it.

Clark : Van, I know you're listening. You didn't get me. If you want to finish this, meet me where I saw your dad's picture. I'm on my way.

Van hears Clark's voice on his radio as he is pushing Lana toward a car in the alley behind the Talon. He has one hand on her arm and his other arm around her throat. She struggles to get away, but her hands are tied behind her back. Van opens the trunk of the car and throws Lana inside. He leans over her.

Van : I don't know how your boyfriend survived my first shot, but we're gonna see how he handles a whole clip.

Van slams the trunk of the car shut.

Fade to black.

Act 4 Scene 1

Outside shot of Smallville High School. Night. The parking lot is empty and the school is deserted. Inside Clark slowly walks through a dark hallway. Van suddenly comes around the corner holding a gun in his hand. He drags Lana with him, his arm around her neck. Lana's hands are still tied behind her back.

Van : You may have survived one bullet, but I'm not gonna make that mistake again!

Clark : Lana. Let her go!

Van : Not until she sees once and for all that her lover boy is a freak show.

Van grabs Lana's neck and throws her against the wall behind him where she topples into a row of stairs and lands on the ground. She looks up as Van takes aim at Clark and fires bullet after bullet, each one hitting Clark in the chest. Clark backs up toward a window with the force of the bullets.

Lana : Clark!

Van stops shooting and lowers his gun. Clark looks at him, unharmed.

Van : [To Lana.] I told you he was a freak.

Clark comes forward slowly as Lana stands up quietly behind Van. She kicks him squarely between the legs and he doubles over immediately.

Lana : You're a freak.

Van stands upright and Lana kicks him in the face, sending him crashing through the glass of a trophy display case and knocking him unconscious. Lana goes to Clark.

Lana : [Whispered.] Clark, how did you--

Clark : It's all about dressing for the occasion.

Clark unbuttons his shirt and opens it, revealing a breastplate made of lead. The glowing kryptonite bullets are imbedded in the metal.

Lana : What is that, lead?

Clark rips the plate off his chest and drops it to the floor. He and Lana smile faintly at each other.

Act 4 Scene 2

Lex contemplatively traces his fingers over the keys of the piano in his study. Night. He has a glass of sherry in his other hand. Clark enters.

Clark : You can rest a bit easier. Van McNulty's been taken into custody. He's in the psychiatric ward.

Lex : I-I knew Van was misguided, but I'm not so sure he's insane.

Clark : What makes you say that?

Lex rises from the piano bench and walks to the bar where he refills his drink, turning his back to Clark.

Lex : Churchill once said "Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge." Maybe that kid was right about me.

Clark : Lex, he's a fanatic.

Lex : [Turning to face Clark.] Oh, but Chloe Sullivan's not? How many times have I come face to face with death and walked away without a scratch? I've practically lost count.

Clark : Weirder things have happened.

Lex : All this time I thought the reason I survived that Porsche accident was because of you, Clark. Now I'm not so sure. See, I've always tried to explain everything by looking outside myself. But maybe the truth lies inside my own physiology. Maybe I am a freak.

Clark says nothing, looking at Lex noncommittally.

Act 4 Scene 3

Lana drives up outside Kent Farm where Clark is working in the garden. Day. Lana gets out of her car.

Clark : Lana, is everything okay?

Lana : I thought we established that we didn't need a reason to come and see each other.

Clark steps out of the garden.

Clark : I didn't get a chance to tell you, but you really kicked ass yesterday.

Lana : [Laughing.] Yeah, well, some hero I turned out to be. You still got shot.

Lana touches Clark's chest over his shirt.

Lana : You must be pretty sore.

Clark : [Quietly.] It still stings a little.

Lana : You know, I, um, I believed Van for a minute when he told me you were bulletproof.

Clark : Is that what he told you?

Lana : It was really comforting to hear. Suddenly everything made sense. The tornado, all the times that you've been there... everything I can't explain...

Clark : I wish the answer was that easy. But I wasn't infected by the meteor rocks.

Lana : If you were. . .it would be okay.

Clark and Lana look into each other's eyes for a long time, longingly.

Clark : I have to get back to work.

Clark goes back into the garden.

Lana : What I don't understand is you're willing to walk into bullets for me, but you won't share what's going on inside. Clark, if you don't open up to the people that love you, you'll always be alone. I can't believe you want to spend your life like that.

Clark : I may not have a choice.

Lana : You always have a choice.

Lana looks at him for a moment longer, then goes back to her car.

Act 4 Scene 4

Chloe is seated at her computer in the Torch office. Day. There is a dialogue box on the screen that says "Delete File?" with the options Yes and No. She clicks No repeatedly and each time she does, the dialogue box says "Locked File, Unable to Delete." She pushes a few buttons on the keyboard and gets the same result. Lionel enters.

Lionel : You hit a glitch, Miss Sullivan? I know a very capable computer technician who might have some familiarity with your setup.

Chloe : How could I be so idiotic? You donate the computers and then send your experts in to set them up.

Lionel : Yeah, philanthropy. I've always prided myself on that.

Chloe : [Angry.] What about tampering with a high school student's personal computer?

Lionel : I think you'll find your personal computer is on loan to the school as the property of the LuthorCorp foundation.

Chloe : You are so low, you're subterranean. You know, Clark's files aren't even on this hard drive. Do you really think I'd be that stupid?

Lionel : My interest doesn't end with Clark Kent. I'm intrigued by your whole body of work. I'd hate to see your valuable research evaporate into the ether, but I will not allow information that concerns my son to be made available to anyone who can hack their way into your personal files.

Chloe : Mr. Luthor, I'm very sorry about what happened to Lex. These files were never meant to be seen by anyone other than me.

Lionel : [Quiet, dangerous.] I warn you. If I ever catch you investigating a member of my family again, a computer glitch will be the least of your problems.

Chloe looks up at Lionel from her seat, frightened.

Lionel : [Slightly more polite.] Good night, Miss Sullivan.

Lionel exits, leaving Chloe visibly shaken.


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