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Wayne Irig, a Smallville farmer and a friend of the Kents, discovers a glowing green meteorite on his farm. When he disappears and a government agency takes over his farm, Lois and Clark visit Smallville to learn the truth. But the truth involves an old enemy of Superman, who thinks he has the upper hand, and is determined to find and destroy the Man of Steel once and for all.
Car Thief: Man... don’t anything hurt you?
Superman: Not so far...
Wayne Irig: You know that big oak tree I got out back?
Wayne Irig: Tuesday’s storm blew it right out of the ground!
Jonathan: You need some help chopping it up?
Wayne Irig: Oh, no... I found something under that tree... it was a rock, and I sent a little piece off to the lab for tests. Today I got Federal agents asking me a lot of questions. And they got bulldozers coming tomorrow – that’s all I know! I...I...I need you to keep this for me until I can figure it all out.
Jonathan: What do you think it is?
Wayne Irig: Something I’ve never seen before... it is something weird. Here...
(Wayne opens the box. Inside is glowing green crystal.)
Clark: American’s breadbasket, Lois.
Lois: Don’t tell me – 4H changed your life.
Clark: That’s why we’re called the Daily Planet – we cover the word.
Lois: Plus, Smallville.
Martha: All his life, he’s talked about being normal. Now he is. It’s what he says he wants, but it doesn’t seem to be...
Jonathan: Oh, Martha, it just doesn’t feel right. Because... Clark is not normal. Normal for him is being super. (bitterly) Until I opened this box.
Jason Trask: Your situation grows desperate, Mr. Kent. I now have your parents. But who I want is Superman! Now, you want to save them – you tell me what I want to know.
Clark: You’re going to prison, Trask. For murder, for kidnapping, for abuse of power.
Jason Trask: Oh, but I’ll tell everyone your little secret.
Clark: I don’t care! This ends now!!
Jason Trask: I agree. The question is... for whom?
(Clark races to confront Trask and is immediately affected by the Kryptonite Trask has concealed behind his back.)
Jason Trask: You think you’re better than humans, don’t you. Flying around, oh so perfect and superior. Well... those days are over now, aren’t they?!?
Jason Trask: Now... who goes first? You? Or the human traitors who sheltered you all these years.
Perry White: (reading from the newscopy) And in the end, Jason Trask’s obsession cause him to search for a mystical rock he alone imbued with destructive powers. And to confuse one reporter with the target of his fixation, Superman. He came to see this strange visitor from another planet where he was not, and to see enemies where there were none. It was an obsession that for Jason Trask would prove fatal.
After Jonathan removed Clark from exposure to kryptonite earlier in the episode, Clark could barely lift a pitcher of water. Yet during his confrontation with Trask, he’s able to grab the kryptonite, stand, and hurl the meteor several tens of feet into a pond.
When Clark reported feeling ill, Jonathan immediately wonders if the kryptonite could be the culprit. Seconds later, Clark collapses and Jonathan races to his side – without closing the lid of the box! Since Clark did not react to the kryptonite until Jonathan opened the box, we can safely assume the box provided at least some level of protection. So why didn’t Jonathan close the box before rushing to Clark’s side? The only possible explanation is panic, but one of the first lessons of first aid is – remove the victim from the hazard, or the hazard from the victim, if one can do so safely. It seems odd that Jonathan wouldn’t close the box as soon as he suspected trouble.
Jason Trask probably suffered from severely low self-esteem. This might have driven him into a line of work (clandestine government operative) where few rules constrained his behavior. It was certainly evident in the bitter comments he made to Clark that revealed a profound jealousy of Superman, whose paranormal capabilities Trask knew he could never match. It is possible that this severe personal jealousy motivated Trask to seek Superman’s death, rather than any real fear for the future of the planet – but maybe Trask believed anything that threatened him, also threatened Earth.