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#305 : Incontrôlable

Résumé : Perry White, un ancien journaliste prometteur dont la carrière fut détruite par Lionel Luthor, arrive à Smallville pour chercher des histoires d'extraterrestres pour un journal. En dépit du fait qu'il soit constamment ivre, Perry croit avoir vu Clark en train d'utiliser son extraordinaire super-vitesse, alors il conçoit un dangereux plan afin de dévoiler les pouvoirs de Clark. Pendant ce temps, Lex apprend que Perry a d'importantes pièces à conviction sur le passé de Lionel.


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Plus de détails

Guest-stars :

→ Michael McKean dans le rôle de Perry White
Camille Mitchell dans le rôle du Shérif Nancy Adams
→ Lorena Gale dans le rôle du Dr. Claire Foster
→ Patrick Gallagher dans le rôle du Barman


Titre de l'épisode :

• Le titre renvoit à Perry White, un journaliste qui va finir par devenir l'éditeur en chef du Daily Planet.


Indiscrétions :

 Clark découvre que ses pouvoirs ont un lien avec le soleil.

 Dans le comic-book, le Dr. Claire Foster, qui psychanalyse Lex dans l'épisode, est la psy de Superman.

 Le lendemain de l'incident où Perry a été sauvé par Clark, celui-ci n'a plus aucune blessure aux mains (grâce à son pouvoir) mais ça ne semble pas surprendre Perry lorsqu'il lui serre la main pour lui dire au revoir.

 Michael McKean qui incane le personnage de Perry White, est, dans la vie, le mari de Annette O'Toole (Martha Kent).

 Ce n'est pas la première fois que Michael McKean touche à l'univers Superman. En effet, il est apparu dans la série Lois & Clark (avec Dean Cain) ou il interprétait un savant fou au service de Lex Luthor. Il a également participé à la célèbre émission comique américaine Saturday Night Live où il jouait déjà le rôle de Perry White dans un sketch sur un Superman dépressif !

 Lors d'une interview, Michael McKean a avoué que les producteurs avaient d'abord pensé à lui pour interpréter le rôle du proviseur de Smallville High.

 Le réalisateur de l'épisode, Jeannot Szwarc, est français. Il a réalisé quelques films en France (La Vengeance d'une blonde en 1994, Hercule et Sherlock en 1996), et aux Etats-Unis dont Les Dents de la Mer 2 en 1978 et... Supergirl en 1984. Il a réalisé aussi de nombreux épisodes de célèbres séries (Ally McBeal, Les Experts, Boston Public, ...)

Act 1 Teaser

We see the black sky full of stars in outer space. A shining silver meteor flies through space, leaving a trail of floating rocks behind it as it tumbles toward the sun. It hits the sun, causing a giant blast.

Everything fades to white and then to an image of the sun's surface on a television screen. A female reporter's voice is heard. Clark is watching the report in fascination, his eyes glued to the screen. Day. The table next to him has several open astronomy books and a magazine called Scientific American.

Reporter : ...Kansas City, Kansas. Scientists are calling today's impact one of the most significant astronomical events of the last century. The enormous solar flare has already caused power surges and...

Jonathan and Martha enter with their arms full of grocery bags.

Jonathan : Clark? Hey, Clark, son, you want to give us a hand here?

Clark : Oh, yeah. [He stands.] Sorry, I must've got sucked in. You caught me in the middle of this news special.

Clark takes a bag from his mother and they all go the kitchen and put the groceries down on the table.

Jonathan : Really? What's the topic?

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.

Martha laughs.

Clark : I gotta go. I told Pete I'd meet him at the Talon to swap some notes.

Clark puts on his backpack and grabs his coat on the way to the door.

Martha : You need a ride?

Clark : No. I think I'll run it. Bye.

Martha & Jonathan : Bye.

Clark leaves, and as soon as he closes the door, we hear a whoosh as he super speeds away. In the living room, the news report is still playing on the television.

Reporter : ...precipitates a huge explosion with powerful far-reached effects. The shock wave from this type of CME...

Cut to the Wild Coyote bar. The television above the bar is showing the same report as Perry White holds a shot glass of tequila. He is obviously drunk.

Reporter : so strong that it smashes the Earth's magnetic field, unleashing a geomagnetic storm. In layman's terms...

Perry : [To the bartender.] Do you believe that there are powers greater than we can know somewhere in the universe?

Perry's vision blurs as he looks at the bartender. He squints.

Bartender : Sure. Look, you mind if I switch back to the game?

Perry shakes his head and the bartender changes the channel to a football game.

Perry : [Chuckling.] That's one small step for man, one giant leap for the Metropolis Sharks. [He holds up his shot glass, making a toast.] To Littleville, Kansas and all the little Kans-assians in it.

He drinks his tequila.

Perry : One more.

Bartender : Look, pal, we don't want any trouble here. I think you might have had enough.

Perry : [Loudly.] If you want trouble, you just try cutting me off.

Cut to the bartender and another man pushing Perry out the front doors of the bar.

Bartender : [As he goes inside.] Don't come back.

Perry : [Slightly off balance.] Small-town friendly, my butt.

Cut to Clark super speeding along an empty road toward the Talon. Perry drives his car drunkenly nearby. He is looking at a map and talking on his cell phone.

Perry : N-no, ye-, no, I-I, I-I'll find it, I-- Yeah, I know this... [He switches the phone to his other ear.] Yeah, uh, no. No, I have not been drinking. Thank you for caring.

Perry hangs up the phone and takes another look at his map as Clark speeds nearer and nearer. Perry folds the map and puts it into his bag on the passenger seat, taking his eyes completely away from the road as he does so. His car starts swerving all over the road.

As Clark runs, his speed lessens and then surges again, seemingly out of control. He suddenly loses all of his super speed and stumbles to a stop in the middle of the road, right in the path of Perry's oncoming car. Perry's eyes widen as he slams on his brakes and turns to the right, dodging Clark. His tires squeal over the road and his car runs into a telephone pole. The pole showers sparks as it tips over and lands on the top of Perry's car with a crash. The broken wires lie at Clark's feet and around the car, sparking with electricity.

Clark super speeds to the car and Perry watches in amazement as Clark rips the door off and chucks it across the street. Clark then pulls Perry from the car and super speeds to the side of the road where he sets Perry down on the ground.

Clark : You okay?

Perry : You pulled the door right off the car with your bare hands? You walked right through the power lines.

Clark : You're a little drunk, mister...

Perry : White. Perry White.

[Opening credits]

Act 1 Scene 1

A shot of the sun shining in the sky. Day. Outside the farm, Clark carries a bundle of large wooden poles and rests them against a haystack. He takes one of them and easily shoves the pointed end into the ground. Then he goes back to grab another pole and repeats the process. He takes a third pole and shoves it into the ground, accidentally shoving so hard that it is almost completely underground. Jonathan walks up.

Jonathan : Whoa. Take it easy, Clark.

Clark : I misjudged my strength.

Jonathan : Listen, I just got off the phone with the hospital. Seems your Mr. Perry White checked himself out late last night.

Clark : The paramedics said his breathalyzer was off the charts.

Jonathan : Well, what do you think he saw, son?

Clark : Dad, he probably doesn't even remember my name.

Jonathan nods. A pickup truck comes to a stop on the road and Perry is seated in the back.

Perry : Clark! Clark Kent! [To the driver.] Thank you.

Perry jumps to the ground and the truck drives away. Clark looks at Jonathan nervously.

Jonathan : Yeah.

Perry : [To Clark.] Last time I saw you, you were frisbeeing the door off my car and ignoring the high voltage lines.

Clark : [Shaking Perry's hand.] Mr. White.

Perry : [Waving four fingers in front of his eyes, chuckling.] I was trying to figure out which of the four Clarks I should be thanking when they hauled me off in the ambulance. [To Jonathan.] You must be Mr. Kent?

Jonathan : [Shaking Perry's hand.] Yes, I am. I'm certainly glad you're feeling better.

Perry : Well, that's relative. My car is crunched, this hillbilly cartoon you have as a sheriff has suspended my driver's license on a DUI, and my assignment editor is screaming for my head.

Clark : You're a reporter?

Perry : In a past life. At the moment, I'm the advance man for "XStyles", cable TV's one-stop for the paranormally inclined.

Jonathan : And what brings you here to Smallville?

Perry : Oh, I'm researching a piece about the meteor shower and the bizarre phenomena that it spawned.

Jonathan : [Laughing.] Don't tell me you believe any of that nonsense.

Perry : It's right up there with the tooth fairy.

They both laugh. Perry notices the wooden poles resting against the haystack.

Perry : Don't you need tools for a job like that?

Clark : [Changing the subject.] Uh, Mr. White, you really didn't come all this way just to thank me, did you?

Perry : No, I didn't. I-I thought we should discuss a settlement.

Jonathan : Settlement?

Perry : I didn't off-road my car for laughs, Mr. Kent. I swerved to miss your son. Look, I'll make this easy on you. I need a local who knows the territory to ferry me around. You loan me Clark for a couple days, we'll call it even.

Jonathan and Clark exchange a glance.

Act 1 Scene 2

Lex walks around his study, looking at the various art pieces. Day.

Lex : My father went for historical accuracy when he had the mansion reconstructed, but I was thinking of taking some liberties with the decor. Move away from the artifacts and the period pieces and come up with something more modern... even abstract. Any thoughts, Doctor?

We see that Dr. Claire Foster is seated in front of Lex's desk.

Claire : Only that I hope today's session will be more productive.

Lex : Mmm. I believe the psychological term for, uh, refusing to accept the inevitable is denial. And no amount of probing can uncover emotional issues that don't exist.

Claire : Now who's in denial?

Lex : Trust me, I have nothing to hide.

Claire : Then tell me about the island. The fisherman who found you said you were raving about some imaginary enemy.

Lex : I was ill, suffering from malaria.

Claire : I saw your blood work, Lex. There was no trace of disease. But even some fictitious illness would not explain your reluctance to discuss your conflicted feelings towards your father. Until we understand that--

Lex : What I understand, Doctor, is that LuthorCorp's insurance carrier insisted that I submit to five psychiatric therapy sessions. [He sits at his desk.] So I've submitted. And, sadly, our final hour is up. I'll miss our sessions.

Claire gets her things together and leaves. Lex leans back in his chair, letting out a satisfied sigh.

Act 1 Scene 3

Clark and Perry enter the Talon. Day.

Clark : Two meteor craters, that's it. You don't want to see anything else?

Perry : Well, blown-out buildings and sinkholes are background, Clark. Now I'm looking for substance, texture. The human dimension.

Perry walks toward the bar as Lana comes out.

Lana : Clark, is everything all right? Pete waited for you until after ten o'clock last night.

Clark : Uh, it's a long story.

Perry : [To Lana.] Hi. Perry White. I'd like a triple cappuccino and a couple of those glazed crullers, and...

Perry slaps a magazine onto the counter. It is the issue of Time magazine with a cover picture of Lana as a little girl on the day of the meteor shower.

Perry : interview with Smallville's very own cover girl.

Lana looks at the magazine, then at Perry, confused.

Clark : What are you doing?

Perry : It's called getting the story. [To Lana.] Uh, nothing fancy, Miss Lang, just a simple Q & A. You know, uh, how is little Miss Meteor coping 14 years after the big bang?

Lana : [Angry, hurt.] Maybe this is a joke to you, but my parents died that day.

Perry : And I'm sorry, but that makes you newsworthy.

Lana looks at Clark.

Clark : [To Perry.] That's it, you're leaving.

Clark grabs Perry's arm.

Perry : Wha-- You know, either she talks to me now or she faces the cameras in the morning.

Lana : Clark, I can't believe you're with this guy!

Clark : Lana--

Lana : Maybe you should both leave.

Lana walks away.

Clark : You didn't tell me Lana was part of your agenda.

Perry : And you didn't tell me you knew her. Hey, I'm sorry if I hurt your girlfriend's feelings, but she's a legitimate source.

Clark : No, she's not anymore.

Perry : It doesn't work that way, Clark. I still have to find faces to put on camera.

Perry pulls an issue of the Torch from inside his jacket.

Perry : You know, your high school paper has developed quite a rep in the bug-eyed monster circles.

Clark : Why would you say that?

Perry : [Sarcastic.] 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 : [Reads from the Torch.] "Principal Authorizes New Gym Mats" by Clark Kent. I know I was riveted.

Clark glares at Perry.

Act 1 Scene 4

Clark and Perry look at the Wall of Weird in the Torch office. Day.

Clark : I think we should go.

Perry : Boy, I thought our stuff was off the wall This is incredible.

Chloe enters.

Chloe : It's also all true.

Clark : Chloe. Mr. White is interested in the meteor shower. I didn't think it would hurt if he had a look.

Chloe : I have nothing to hide.

Perry : Well, good. I think we've already borrowed two or three of your ideas for our show. Do you make it all up yourself, or do you pull in other writers?

Chloe glances at Clark.

Chloe : Excuse me?

Perry : [Handing Chloe his business card.] Oh, just, uh, professional curiosity. It's not every day that I meet another junk journalist with a penchant for the bizarre.

Chloe sees "XStyles" on the card.

Chloe : "XStyles"?

Perry : Yeah.

Chloe : [Annoyed.] I have a penchant for the truth, something your freaks and shrieks cable show gave up around episode two.

Perry : [Laughing, impressed.] Oooh.

Clark : That's it. We're done.

Clark and Perry start to leave. Chloe looks more closely at the business card and sees the name Perry White.

Chloe : Wait, wait, wait, wait.

Clark and Perry turn back to Chloe.

Chloe : You're *the* Perry White?

Perry looks at Chloe for a moment, then back to Clark.

Perry : [Scheming.] It's okay, Clark. I'm gonna hoof it back to the motel. Uh, you young lovers patch things up, and then later on you can swing by and we'll pick up the tour, hmm?

Perry leaves.

Chloe : Clark, do you have any idea who that was?

Clark looks at Chloe blankly. She continues to look at him in shock.

Act 1 Scene 5

Lex is sitting in his study with his eyes closed. Day. The sound of waves in the ocean can be heard. A hand reaches for his shoulder, and he grabs it fiercely, sitting up straight. He realizes it's Lana and lets go.

Lana : Lex... I'm sorry. I'm interrupting.

Lex : No, no. It's strange.

Lex stands and walks to the CD player on the shelf.

Lex : When I was on the island I came to hate the roar of the ocean. Since coming back I find it's the only thing that relaxes me.

He turns off the CD and the ocean noises stop. Lana comes closer to him.

Lana : You must think about what happened every day.

Lex : And I'm sure you didn't come all this way to discuss that. [Lana doesn't reply.] What did you want to see me about?

Lana : This tabloid television reporter came by the Talon today, and he wanted to do an interview with me about the meteor shower.

Lex : I succinct "no comment" didn't dissuade him?

Lana : Not really. He said he was gonna come back tomorrow, this time with a camera crew.

Lex : And you don't want that.

Lana : I've spent the last 14 years trying to put that day behind me, and in an instant he brought it all back. I know it's a lot to ask, but I was hoping that you might be able to do something.

Lex looks at Lana for a moment, then turns away, walking to his desk.

Lex : I'm surprised you didn't go to Clark with this.

Lana : Clark's with him.

Lex sits at the desk.

Lex : So you want me to run him out of town?

Lana : I want him to stop.

Lex : He must've been very persistent. What was his name?

Lana : Perry White.

Lex : [Intense pause.] I'll make sure he never bothers you again.

Lana takes a relieved breath. Lex gives her a small smile.

Act 1 Scene 6

Clark enters the Wild Coyote. Day. The sunlight shines brightly into the dark bar, surrounding Clark in white until the doors close behind him. Perry is seated at a table.

Clark : Mr. White, I've been looking for you.

Perry : And here I am. You may have the makings of a reporter yet, Kent.

Clark : Like you used to be? [Clark sits.] Chloe and I did some checking after you left.

Perry : Memories fade, but a Google search never forgets.

Perry reaches for his drink, but Clark stops him.

Clark : And another drink isn't gonna erase the fact that you used to be one of the best reporters in Metropolis. What happened?

Perry : Life is a journey, grasshopper, and sometimes the trip is smoother with a little lubricant. [He takes a sip of his drink.] What's it to you, anyway?

Clark : Maybe it's the journalist in me, or that I realized if you have a gift, you shouldn't turn your back on it.

Perry : Hmm. I made exactly two mistakes in my life, kid. The first was getting into journalism.

Clark : What was the second?

Perry : Thinking it mattered. [To the bartender.] One more.

Clark : No, he's had enough.

Clark stands and helps Perry to his feet, pushing him toward the door. Perry laughs.

Perry : 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.

The door opens behind them and a figure stands in the sunlight, unrecognizable behind the glare. We hear that it's Lex.

Lex : Sometimes Clark's faith in his fellow man outweighs his common sense.

Clark : Lex?

The door closes behind Lex, and his face is visible.

Lex : It's all right, Clark. I'll deal with Mr. White from here.

Perry : [To Clark.] I may have underestimated you, kid.

Lex : Clark doesn't have anything to do with this.

Perry : Look, Lex, if this is your old man's idea, tell him I got the message back in Metropolis. I have no intention of revisiting the past.

Lex : This isn't about my father, White, it's about you.

Clark : Lex, don't you think you're overreacting?

Lex : Considering the way he went after Lana, I thought you'd admire my restraint. [To Perry.] Let's go.

Perry : [To Clark.] Thanks for the ride, kid.

Perry and Lex leave the bar. Clark remains in a state of confusion.

Act 1 Scene 7

Lex and Perry drive down the road. Day. Lex pulls over at the bus stop, and they both get out of the car.

Perry : You know, this "get out of dodge" routine is pretty heavy-handed, even for a Luthor.

Lex : So is ambushing a teenage girl for a sound bite. Of course, using people always came easy to you.

Perry : You know, our one and only encounter was years ago.

Lex : Even in boarding school, I was good at sniffing out reporters, but you played the "just a friendly conversation" card remarkably well. As I recall it was a full 10 minutes before I told you to go to hell.

Perry : I was just doing my job, and you were a legitimate source.

Lex : I was 16 and you were scrounging for dirt on my father.

Perry : That's what this is really about, isn't it? Your father's secrets.

Lex : If you really had anything on him, it would have come out then.

Perry : [Laughing.] If you actually believe that, I almost feel sorry for you.

Lex : Just make sure you're on the four o'clock bus.

Lex grabs Perry's bag from the car and tosses it onto the ground. Then he gets into the car and speeds away, leaving Perry alone on the side of the road. Perry pulls a flask from his jacket.

Perry : Well, so much for not drinking before five.

Act 1 Scene 8

Clark walks up to Jonathan who is working on the tractor outside. Day.

Clark : Hey, Dad.

Jonathan : Hey. Hey, Clark, I wasn't expecting you till later. Where's Mr. White?

Clark : He left. I think he realized that Smallville wasn't quite as friendly as he first thought.

Jonathan : Heh. Well, I'm glad your here. I've been trying to wrestle this thing up on a block for about an hour. You want to give me a hand?

Clark : Sure.

Clark goes to the side of the tractor and tries to lift it, but can't get it to move. He tries again, grunting as he strains against the weight of the tractor, but gets the same result.

Jonathan : What's the matter?

Clark : I don't know. It's like I've lost all my strength.

Jonathan : Why don't you give it one more try?

Clark leans over to grab the tractor again. He takes a breath and heaves the tractor, accidentally throwing it into the air behind him. Clark and Jonathan watch as it soars off into the distance. Clark's eyes shift nervously.

Cut to Perry at the bus stop. Just as he is about to take a drink from his flask, the tractor lands on the road right in front of him, crumbling to pieces. With his mouth hanging open, Perry tips the flask, draining its contents onto the ground. He looks up into the sky wonderingly as Clark super speeds up the road towards the tractor, not realizing that Perry is there. Clark turns around and sees him.

Perry looks in the direction Clark just came from, and then back at Clark, dumbfounded. Clark returns his gaze, anxious.

Fade to black.

Act 2 Scene 1

A man connects the largest piece of the shattered tractor to his tow truck. Day. Sheriff Adams is investigating the scene. She picks up the tractor's dented license plate and walks to Jonathan who is standing with Clark and Perry.

Adams : Mr. Kent. You want to tell me how your tractor wound up scattered over two lanes of county blacktop?

Jonathan : Yeah, uh, we were pulling up to the farm in our truck, and saw somebody had put it on the back of a flatbed.

Adams : So you're saying this someone was stealing it.

Clark : Well, I tried to follow them. By the time I got here, it must've fallen off their truck.

Perry : I'm tell you, it fell out of the sky.

Adams : [To Perry.] And last night you were begging the nurses to keep the flying monkeys out of your room.

Perry : [To Clark.] Kid, you're saying you had nothing to do with this.

Clark : To be honest, Sheriff, I'm not sure what happened.

Perry : [To Adams.] Well, he's hiding something, Chief.

Adams : [Annoyed.] Mr. White, there's another bus in about an hour. I suggest you catch it. And don't call me chief.

Adams walks back to her car and Jonathan and Clark walk away from Perry.

Clark : Dad, I'm really sorry about the tractor. It's a total loss.

Jonathan : Clark, I'm not concerned about the tractor. Whatever's going on with your abilities, our family's wound up smack-dab in the middle of Perry White's radar.

Perry watches Jonathan and Clark suspiciously.

Act 2 Scene 2

Perry enters the Torch office where Chloe is typing. Day.

Chloe : Wise decision coming inside. The weather service expects a light shower of threshing machines followed by a drizzle of combines.

Perry : Guess I deserve that.

Perry goes to the Wall of Weird and Chloe comes to his side.

Chloe : If you, uh, let me know what you're looking for, I'm sure I could help you find it.

Perry : And why would you want to do that?

Chloe : Because you were once the kind of reporter that I would like to be. Though, I'm-I'm curious how one goes from multiple Pulitzer nominations to walking the Bigfoot beat.

Perry : You know the only thing that's worse than never landing that story of a lifetime?

Chloe : What?

Perry : Having it and being afraid to write it.

Chloe : Perry "The Pit Bull" White backing off a story? That's hard to believe.

Perry : Well, Lionel Luthor can be remarkably persuasive.

Chloe : [Serious.] Are you saying he had something to do with your career slide?

Perry : Let's just say that not everyone respects good investigative journalism, especially when it treads on the toes of the rich and vengeful.

Chloe looks at him anxiously. He notices the picture of the Kryptonian symbol burned onto the side of the Kent barn.

Perry : Isn't that the Kent farm?

Chloe : Uh, good eye. The police chalked it up to hyperactive frat boys going crop circles on the barn. Why?

Perry : Call it professional interest. Your friend Clark intrigues me.

Chloe looks from the article to Perry with worry in her eyes.

Act 2 Scene 3

Jonathan and Clark are looking through Clark's astronomy books in the loft. Day.

Jonathan : You've thrown some Hail Marys in the past, but to think that your problems have anything to do with a solar flare? That's a bit of a stretch, don't you think?

Clark : I know, Dad, but my powers started to glitch when the comet impacted. Maybe there's a connection.

Pete enters with a newspaper.

Pete : Make that "probably."

Clark : Did you find something?

Pete gives the newspaper to Jonathan. It has a picture of the solar flare on the front page.

Pete : Yes. Yesterday's cosmic fender bender produced the largest solar flare ever recorded. I'm talking communication glitches, power surges--

Clark : That's exactly what's been happening to me. One second I'm helpless and the next I'm in overdrive.

Jonathan : Well, we always have wondered about the source of your abilities.

Clark : Maybe my strength and my speed, all the things I can do, they come from the sun.

Pete : It's like you're some sort of walking solar battery.

Jonathan : [Looking at the newspaper.] According to this, the effects of the solar flare ought to by done by tomorrow night. Now, if that's true, maybe your accidents are gonna stop.

Clark : As long as I don't use my abilities till then, we should be okay?

Chloe enters.

Chloe : Hey, Clark. I thought I'd give you a heads-up. Our resident Ghost Buster is still on the job.

Clark : Perry White? I thought he went back to Metropolis.

Chloe : Evidently he had a change of heart. And he seems to be especially interested in you, Clark.

Chloe looks at Clark probingly.

Act 2 Scene 4

Lex bursts through the doors of his study where Claire is waiting for him. Day.

Lex : [Furious.] What the hell are you trying to do?

Claire : Lex, calm down.

Lex : Why? You've already made up your mind about my so-called mental state. [Picking up a file.] According to this you're refusing to sign off on my psychological release. In fact, you're recommending even more sessions to be continued on an indefinite basis?

Claire : I have an ethical obligation to report my conclusions honestly.

Lex : [Coming closer to Claire, threatening.] Or maybe the nothing shrink from Metropolis wanted a little more face time with her celebrity patient. You must be loving this.

Claire : I took no pleasure in my recommendation.

Lex : Then how do you explain it?

Claire : I think you need help, Lex. Between the island, your failed marriage, and everything that's happened since you came to Smallville, you have experienced incredible emotional and physical trauma.

Lex : And your prescription's more time on the couch? We just spent five sessions exploring my psyche.

Claire : No, we spent five sessions discussing your art collection, your fascination with expensive cars, everything except the most traumatic moments of your life.

Lex walks to the desk, facing away from Claire.

Claire : Lex, if you don't let your demons out, they could consume you.

Lex : We've been over this, Doctor.

Claire : We haven't even scratched the surface. This control freak thing might fool your father, but did you really think you could snow me? Lex, please--

Lex : Get out. Get out!

Claire storms out of the study, leaving Lex clearly unsettled.

Act 2 Scene 5

Clark comes out of the barn and finds Perry sitting on a bale of hay. Day.

Perry : Morning, Clark.

Clark : What are you doing here?

Perry : You inspired me. If you've got a gift, you should use it, remember?

Clark : You're drunk.

Perry : Maybe. Nonetheless, I finally found my story.

Clark starts to walk away and Perry follows him.

Clark : For some insane reason, it's me. Chloe told me. I don't think it's funny.

Perry : Oh, it's not a joke, Clark. I got the facts to back it up.

Clark : What kind of facts are those?

Perry : The accident, the power lines, your magical appearance as your family tractor drops out of the sky.

Clark : [Stops walking and faces Perry.] I explained that.

Perry : "It fell off a truck." That's not an explanation, that's a punch line. 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?

They hear Martha's voice in the distance.

Martha : Clark? Clark, could you give me a hand?

Clark : I've gotta go.

Clark starts to walk away.

Perry : I've been stonewalled by the best of 'em!

Clark jogs away.

Perry : You can run, but you--

Clark suddenly jolts into super speed, obviously against his will. His speed comes back to normal for a moment, then back into blurring super speed, taking him off into the woods in the distance at a blinding rate.

Perry : --can't hide...

Perry blinks his eyes in disbelief.

Fade to black.

Act 3 Scene 1

Jonathan waits at the bus stop as the bus drives up. Night. The bus comes to a stop and Clark gets off.

Jonathan : Clark, you all right son?

Clark : It's been a weird day. My light speed gave out around Lake Tahoe.

Jonathan : That's gotta be a thousand miles.

Clark : I know. One second I'm racing across the country, the next I can barely jog. I tried to make it home. My super speed gave out again around Colorado Springs. I barely had enough money for a bus ticket.

Jonathan : This thing's getting way out of control, Clark.

They get into Jonathan's truck.

Clark : Don't worry, Dad. I'm glued to the couch until this solar flare passes.

Jonathan : I'm afraid it's not gonna be that easy, son. Perry White saw you disappear. Now, your mother managed to get him off the farm, but I don't think he's gonna give up.

Jonathan starts the truck. Clark is visibly shaken.

Jonathan : Not that easy, anyway.

Act 3 Scene 2

Outside shot of Lex's mansion. Day. Inside, Perry enters the study where Lex is seated at his desk.

Lex : When they told me you were at the gate, I could hardly believe it.

Perry : Yeah, you and me both. I just thought we should talk.

Lex : We have nothing to talk about.

Perry : Oh. Sorry to hear that. Now, I guess you'll never find out what I have on your father.

Perry turns to leave. He stops when Lex speaks.

Lex : If it's personal, I don't care. If it's legal, the statute of limitations must've passed long ago.

Perry : [Turning back.] That depends.

Lex gets up from his desk and walks to Perry.

Lex : If this information is so damning, why did my father stop at simply destroying your career?

Perry : Multiple copies, plus multiple attorneys all with, in the event of my death, instructions to disseminate-- well, you do the math. It's all yours. I just want one thing in return.

Lex : What did you have in mind?

Perry : Everything you know about Clark Kent.

Lex : Clark.

Perry : Yeah. [Walks behind Lex, circling him.] 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. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that you'd actually cultivated a friendship with this kid.

Lex : So now you're going after Clark. This is a new low, even for you.

Perry : The Lex I knew wouldn't shake your hand without an ulterior motive. You must have something. Give it to me, and I'll deliver you a story that'll bring new meaning to the phrase "sins of the father."

Suddenly, Lex grabs Perry by the jacket and pushes him roughly against the wall.

Lex : [Furious.] You may have been able to neutralize my father, but not me!

Perry : Looks like the jungle living really took a toll--

Lex : 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.

Lex is panting angrily. He slowly lets Perry go and backs away. Perry straightens his jacket and leaves the room. Lex lifts up his hand and sees that it is shaking.

Act 3 Scene 3

Clark and Pete look out the Kents' living room window. Day. Martha and Jonathan are in the living room also. Through the window they see a camera crew outside a van that has "XStyles" painted on the side of it. Perry is among the crew.

Pete : Clark, I never thought you'd rate your own paparazzi.

Clark : Perry White must've called in a million favors to get a camera crew.

Pete : Yeah. Well, the good news is there's only one. If this solar flare theory is correct, then your tractor tossing days will be over by tonight.

Clark : I don't believe this.

Clark walks away from the window angrily.

Clark : I can't believe this. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. I just--

Clark suddenly bends over and starts moaning in pain.

Pete : Clark?

Clark : [Holding the sides of his head.] Pete, get down!

Pete runs out of the way and heat vision bursts from Clark's eyes, shooting straight at the window, bouncing on the glass and lighting the curtains on fire.

Clark : Mom! Dad!

Clark grabs a blanket and runs to the window.

Jonathan : Clark, wait!

Martha : Jonathan, hurry!

Jonathan : Son!

Clark pats the blanket on the fire, trying to smother it. He suddenly backs away, holding his hand.

Clark : Aah!

Jonathan comes to the window with a fire extinguisher and puts out the fire, then comes to Clark.

Martha : Clark, what's wrong with your hand?

Clark : I burned it. My powers, they must be gone again.

Jonathan : Clark, remember, all you have to do is get through today.

Clark : And hope that I don't get another solar flare burst and burn the farm down. Next time I could hurt you or Mom, and Perry White will be there to catch the whole thing on tape. Dad, I can't stay here.

Jonathan doesn't respond.

Cut to Jonathan's truck peeling out of the driveway and along the dirt road away from the farm. Martha runs down the driveway.

Martha : Clark! Clark, come back!

Perry : [To his crew.] He's moving! Come on, let's go!

The crew takes their equipment and jump into their van, speeding down the road behind the truck. The chase continues until they are well away from the Kent farm. Suddenly the truck swerves around, coming to the stop in the road and Perry's van stops too. Perry and the crew get out of the van.

Perry : Keep it rolling, I want it all on tape!

Perry sees Jonathan step out of the truck.

Jonathan : Clark is not here. And he's not coming back until you people are gone. So why don't you just leave my family alone?

Jonathan gets back in his truck.

Cut to Pete and Clark coming out of the house with sleeping bags. They go to Pete's car and put the bags in the trunk.

Pete : Come on, Clark, they're long gone.

Clark : Thanks for doing all this, Pete.

Pete : You know I'm always up for a little Undercover Brother. So we'll camp out tonight, check in with your parents in the morning.

Act 3 Scene 4

Lana walks up to a table in the Talon and drops a small sign on it, annoyed. Day. We see that Perry is seated at the table and he picks up the sign.

Perry : [Reading.] "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone."

Lana : I think you'd be more comfortable at the Wild Coyote.

Perry : [Laughing.] Well, I was till they threw me out.

Lana : Either way, I'd like you to leave.

Lana starts to walk away and Perry follows her, nearly running into a passing customer.

Woman : Oh--

Perry steps past the woman impatiently.

Perry : Sometimes I let my enthusiasm for a story outweigh my good sense.

Lana : Is that your idea of an apology?

Lana walks away again.

Perry : No, no, look, look, I-I-I-- Okay, okay, okay, I'm a jerk, and I've got the broken engagements and the sleepless nights to prove it.

Lana : If your job bothers you so much, why don't you stop?

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.

Lana : Well, if you're finished, I'm gonna call you a cab.

Perry : They won't come. It's a little issue over nonpayment of fares. But I'll make you a deal.

Lana : [Exasperated.] Mr. White--

Perry : I will trade permanently staying out of your life for a ride to the bus stop.

Lana : [Cautiously.] Let me get my coat.

Perry gives Lana an exaggerated smile as she goes into the back room. When she's gone, he takes his flask out of his jacket and takes a drink.

Act 3 Scene 5

Clark and Pete are unloading their things from Pete's trunk in a field behind some trees. Day. Clark's cell phone rings.

Clark : Hello? Lana? [Pause.] What?! No, don't do anything. I'll be right there.

Pete : Clark, what's wrong?

Clark : I gotta get to Saunders Gorge right now.

Clark starts to run away, but his super speed is gone.

Pete : Your speed thing still out?

Clark : I got nothing, Pete. It's all gone.

Pete : Get in. I'll drive.

Pete throws his sleeping bag back into the trunk as Clark gets in the car.

Cut to Pete and Clark speeding up to Saunders Gorge. There is a sign that says Saunders Gorge View in front of a deck overlooking the gorge. Lana runs down the steps to Clark who has gotten out of the car followed by Pete.

Clark : Lana, you okay?

Lana : Yeah, I'm fine. But--

Lana turns toward the deck and Clark sees Perry standing on the railing, about to jump.

Lana : I was driving him to the bus stop and he pretended to be sick. I pulled over, and he ran out to the viewpoint and got out on the ledge and said he would kill himself unless I called you.

The drop below the ledge is enormous and Perry is standing completely still. Clark goes to the stairs of the deck.

Lana : Look, Clark, be careful. He's really drunk.

Perry : Not unless iced tea packs a punch.

Clark goes up the stairs.

Perry : I knew you'd never show for me, so I-I had to trick Lana into making the call.

Clark : Mr. White, don't do this.

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.

Clark : [Inching forward.] Yeah, why don't you come back down on the deck and we'll talk about that.

Perry : No. Not till I have my story.

Clark : Wait, Mr. White? Look, you're wrong about me.

Perry : I'm betting you'll save me, Clark.

Clark : [Frustrated.] No, I can't save you!

Perry : Well, I guess we'll find out, huh?

Perry jumps from the ledge.

Clark : No!

Clark jumps over the railing after Perry, grabbing onto him.

Lana : No! Clark!

As Clark and Perry fall from the deck, we see a coil of black rope on the edge of the deck, uncoiling quickly because it is connected to Perry's ankle. Lana and Pete run up the stairs and over to the railing. The rope finally gets to its end where it is tied to the railing and catches Perry, leaving him dangling upside down in midair. Clark is jerked out of Perry's arms and falls until he catches Perry's hands. They are still extremely high above the ground and Perry's flask falls from the inside pocket of his jacket to the distant rocks below.

Perry : [Scared.] Okay, fun's over. Time to unleash those incredible powers there, Clark.

Clark : I don't have any powers!

Perry tilts his head, glancing at the rope tied around his ankle. Clark takes a terrified peek at the ground.

Fade to black.

Act 4 Scene 1

Clark and Perry are hanging from the deck over Saunders Gorge. Day. Pete and Lana are watching from above.

Clark : Pete! The camping gear, there should be a rope!

Pete : Okay!

Pete runs to the car.

Lana : Hold on, Mr. White!

Clark : Hurry!

The roping holding Perry and Clark starts rip. Perry gasps.

Perry : Kid...

Lana : Pete, it's not gonna hold! Come on!

Pete opens the trunk of his car and grabs a long orange rope. Lana runs to meet him halfway between the deck and the car and he hands her one end of the rope. He takes the other end and attaches it to the front end of his car. Lana throws her end of the rope over the railing.

Lana : Grab the rope!

Perry : Hang on, kid.

Pete runs to the driver's side of the car and gets in as the rope holding Perry continues to tear. Clark reaches for the orange rope next to him and slowly shifts his weight from Perry to the rope. Perry's rope snaps apart completely.

Lana : Aaah!

Perry begins to fall and grabs onto Clark's waist, nearly missing. He slips down Clark's legs.

Clark : Hold on! Hold on!

Perry : Hang on, kid. Whoa! Oh...

Lana waves her hand at Pete.

Lana : Go! Go!

Pete reverses his car, pulling Clark and Perry up the side of the cliff. Perry is holding tightly to Clark's legs.

Lana : Good! Keep going! Come on!

Clark's hands strain against the weight and slip a few inches down the rope.

Clark : Aaah! Aah!

Perry : Kid... kid?

Clark : [To Lana.] Hurry!

Perry : All right now...

Clark : I can't hang on much longer!

Lana : Pete, get moving!

Pete continues to reverse and Clark and Perry are pulled slowly up the side of the cliff. Clark looks down at Perry who is looking at the rocks below. They finally make it to the deck and Clark grabs onto the chain link fence of the railing. Perry grabs on next to him and Lana reaches out for them both.

Lana : Here, give me your hand.

Lana helps Clark and Perry climb over the railing and Pete gets out of his car, running to the deck. Once on the deck, Perry and Clark both fall down, exhausted. Clark is looking at his hands and Perry stares at them in wonder. We see that Clark's palms are cut and bleeding in several places from the rope.

Lana : Clark...

Perry lowers his eyes, defeated. Clark looks at him, nodding slightly.

Act 4 Scene 2

Outside shot of the Luthor mansion. Day. Inside Lex is seated in the study. We can't see who he is speaking to.

Lex : I'm sure you understand the need for confidentiality. I would be revealing things that are deeply personal, even hurtful.

We see he is talking to Claire Foster.

Claire : That's the point of therapy, Lex. To regain control, let the bad feelings go, and start recovering from the traumas of the past.

Lex : Then tomorrow, 10 AM.

They both stand and Lex shakes Claire's hand. Claire leaves.

Act 4 Scene 3

Outside shot of the barn on the Kent farm. Day. Inside Clark is taking bales of hay off the back of the truck. Martha enters.

Martha : Clark, breakfast is almost ready.

Clark : Great. I'll be down in a second.

Martha : So you're sure everything's okay now.

Clark looks at Martha slyly. Then he picks up a bale of hay and tosses it easily at the upper level of the barn. While the bale is still flying through the air, Clark super speeds to the upper level just in time to catch it.

Clark : Once the effects of the solar flare faded, everything went back to normal.

Martha : Including your sense of humor. [She laughs.]

Clark looks past Martha, and Martha turns around, realizing someone has entered.

Martha : [Brightly.] Hi, Lana. This is a surprise.

Lana : Mrs. Kent, I hope I didn't come at a bad time.

Martha : No, not at all. Clark, I'll keep a plate warm for you.

Lana : Bye.

Martha leaves. Lana looks up at Clark and he comes down the stairs.

Clark : Hey, Lana. You know, I was gonna stop by the Talon later. With all the craziness, I didn't get a chance to thank you.

Lana : Well, I still don't understand why Mr. White thought you could do all those incredible things. But I'm glad I was able to help.

Clark : You know, I wasn't just talking about the gorge. Whether I meant to or not, I helped dredge up all your old memories about the meteor shower. I wanted to thank you for forgiving me.

Lana : Well, that's part of the reason why I came by. I went to the graveyard this morning.

Clark : I bet your parents were happy to see you.

Lana : Suddenly I realized I hadn't been there for months. At first I felt guilty, you know, like I'd done something wrong. But then I realized that that is the last thing they would've ever wanted for me.

Clark : So what did you tell them?

Lana : The truth. That I never meant to ignore them, but... there's someone else in my life now, someone I really care about.

Clark : Lana--

Lana : Clark. It's okay. I also told them that we were in a kind of strange place right now. But I am still hoping that we can work it out. The important thing is, they know they will always be in my thoughts.

Clark looks deeply into Lana's eyes.

Lana : I better go.

Clark watches as Lana leaves the barn.

Act 4 Scene 4

Clark drives Perry to the bus stop. Day. They get out of the truck.

Perry : Thanks again for the ride.

Clark : It's the only way I could be sure you'd get on the bus.

Perry stares at Clark.

Clark : What?

Perry : You really are kind of a freak, you know that?

Clark : Mr. White--

Perry : I'm serious. You try to help people, even fools like me, and you never ask for anything in return. When I saw your face up there after it was all over, I suddenly realized I was about to tear down a good person. I just couldn't believe there was actually anyone like you out there.

Clark : Trust me, Mr. White, I'm not that good.

Perry : Well, I'm just glad nobody got hurt. Chalk it up to hallucinations or the DTs. All I know is, I got a wakeup call. I am, uh, [Glances at his watch.] exactly 17 hours and 5 minutes sober.

The bus drives up.

Clark : Well, I'm glad some good came out of all this. So what's next?

Perry : Well, if you found the guts to go over that cliff, maybe I can find the courage to finish the one story I let go.

Clark : Something tells me the world hasn't seen the last of Perry White.

Perry : Something tells me you're right. Rumor has it I still have a friend or two on the Daily Planet.

Perry walks to the bus and steps on. He stops on the stairs, turning back.

Perry : Oh, uh, by the way, I, uh, I went over a couple more of your Torch stories.

Clark : And?

Perry : Well, they're rough, and half the time you buried the lead, but I see a glimmer of hope. If you ever make it to Metropolis, look me up. I owe you one.

Clark smiles and Perry gets on the bus. Clark walks into the middle of the street to watch as the bus drives away, leaving a small cloud of dust floating above the narrow road.


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