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Smallville: Hothead

Clark and his father come to a standoff as he joins the football team despite his father's wishes, ultimately discovering the coach has been altered by kryptonite and is using his fire-starter abilities to hurt anyone who gets in his way of winning. Lex, meanwhile, goes saber to saber with his father over the control of Luthor Corp.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 227603
Airdate: Tuesday October 30th, 2001

Director: Greg Beeman
Writer: Greg Walker


  • Currently 9.3/10
9.3/10 (8 Votes cast)
Special Guest Stars
John Glover
As Lionel Luthor
Recurring

Guest Stars
Jason Connery
As Dominic Sanatori
Recurring
Sarah Jane Redmond
As Aunt Nell
Recurring
Hiro Kanagawa
As Principal Kwan
Recurring
David Paetkau
As Trevor Chapell
Recurring
Dan Lauria
As Coach Walt Arnold (credited by character name)

Co-Guest Stars
Allan Franz
As Football Player
Jada Stark
As Beanery Manager
Main Cast
Tom Welling
As Clark Kent / Kal-El

Recap

The Smallville Crows near the end of a football game in driving rain. The quarterback cannot find his receiver and tries to run without success. Coach Walt screams at the boy, reminding him that he called in a pass play; the boy makes excuses and the coach grabs his facemask and demands he read the coach’s jacket – the word Coach written there means Walt is in charge, because (he says) he knows what’s best for the boys. He sends in the same play, telling the quarterback they’ve practiced it hundreds of times so he shouldn’t need to see his receiver. He should know where that receiver is and throw there. The quarterback follows instructions, throws the pass. The receiver snags it and scores, giving the Crows their victory...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Freak of the Week: Coach Walt Arnold - Ability to ignite fire (pyrokinesis).

Hiro Kanagawa makes his first appearance as Principal Kwan.



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
BinocularYou 
FuelBad Day 
GorillazClint Eastwood 
Remy ZeroSave Me 
Sum 41Motivation 
Third Eye BlindNever Let You Go 
ZedRenegade Fighter 


Episode Quotes
Coach Walt: You been here, what, six months? I’ve been here twenty years! We’re not talking about just a game!! We’re talking about my legacy!!
Kwan: I don’t care about your legacy. I’m here to educate young people.
Coach Walt: I’ve been educating young people all my life! You know how many boys have gone on to college because of me? Have gotten good jobs on my recommendations?!?
Kwan: I know most people think you walk on water, Coach. But I think you’re dangerous. I’ve seen your temper. I’ve seen your methods. Just because you win doesn’t make you right. On Monday I’m suspending the players. End of story.

Clark: I'm sick of being punished because I have these gifts.

Lex: My father sent me to Smallville because he'd rather surround himself with drones than people who challenge his archaic business practices.

Coach Walt: Look at Ross here. He doesn't have a lick of natural talent, but he's got a truckload of heart.
Pete: Thanks...I guess.

Martha: Jonathan, Clark hasn’t been able to do anything normal his whole life. No play groups, no Little League, all because we were afraid he much hurt somebody. He’s a teenager now, let’s give him a shot.
Jonathan: His gifts come with responsibilities.
Martha: This isn’t about his gifts; it’s about his judgment. You’re telling Clark that you don’t believe in him.

Lex: Rumor has it Clark Kent joined the football team.
Clark: Rumor’s true.
Lex: Congratulations! Your dad must be thrilled.
Clark: Actually, he freaked out. Told me I couldn’t play. I’m surprised with my Dad. I mean, he claims I should make my own decisions but then when I do, he shuts me down.
Lex: And you’re out late, waiting for him to go to bed, so you can avoid the uncomfortable silence that greets you when you get home.
Clark: How did you know?
Lex: The Luthors wrote the book on uncomfortable silences…

Lex: You have no idea what I'm capable of.



Episode Goofs
When Coach Walt tells Whitney to come over and talk with Clark and himself, Lana walks over with them but there is no sign of Clark getting sick from her Kryptonite necklace.

Clark walks through a fire and emerges good as new - clothing unscathed. Fire may not bother Clark but it would certainly at least char his clothing.

When Clark finally throws a rock through the sauna window, it shatters most of the glass. However, when Jonathan comes in and looks through the window, there is only a relatively small, neat hole.




Cultural References
Coach Walt Arnold’s Last Name
The coach’s last name of Arnold is a nod to actor Dan Lauria’s six seasons portraying the patriarch of the Arnold household on The Wonder Years.



Analysis
The permission slip
Jonathan tells Clark he won’t sign the permission slip and Clark plays anyway. If the school doesn’t really need a signed permission slip, why send slips home with students at all, as it did in the pilot? And if it does need such a slip, did Clark or Coach Walt forge Jonathan’s name to one? Why wouldn’t Jonathan be angrier about something like that. The most probable explanation is that Jonathan yielded to Clark’s resolve and eventually did sign the slip, but we get no evidence of this from the dialog.

Fire!
Coach Walt slams his hand down on the desk, causing a nearby television to burst into flames. Principal Kwan rather calmly asks what’s going on and then simply leaves, instead of grabbing the extinguisher that can be seen hanging in the hall outside the coach’s office, or even pulling the fire alarm. A school official should react differently to a fire than that, regardless of the strange circumstances surrounding it.

Jonathan’s Real Fear?
Dialog in this episode offers some insight into a possible reason Jonathan keeps Clark on a tight leash. He fears that some third party will learn of Clark’s gifts and take him away from the Kents. Jonathan loves his son so much he may be over-reacting to forestall that possibility. He does not at this point realize there is no danger – few indeed are the people who can force Superman to do something he does not wish to do.



Other Episode Crew

DeveloperAlfred Gough  |  Miles Millar
OtherJerry Siegel (Superman Created By)  |  Joe Shuster (Superman Created By)
Main Title ThemeRemy Zero
 
Warning: Smallville season 1 episode 3 guide may contain spoilers
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