Meteors hurtle through outer space, and among them is a small space ship. The meteors pass the moon and shoot towards Earth...
A helicopter approaches the Kansas town of Smallville, population 25,001. Inside, Lionel Luthor folds his paper and chides his son Lex, who has covered his eyes with his hands; Lex fears flying and this irritates his father, who tells him that Luthors are not afraid – they don’t have that luxury.
On the ground, Jonathan and Martha Kent visit a flower shop. Martha says high to a little girl named Lana whose aunt runs the shop and minds Lana. Outside, Jonathan puts bags into the pickup and slides behind the wheel. He notices Martha’s wistful expression. She’s melancholy after seeing Lana; all she’s ever wanted is a “little face” of her own. Jonathan draws her close and kisses her. Horns interrupt as a car drives by; the Smallville Crows have won another football game!
Meteors and ship enter Earth’s atmosphere and begin to heat.
Lex wanders near a cornfield while Lionel inks a deal with other men. Lex hears a voice call for help and follows it. Lex breaks into a run and then trips; his asthma inhaler skitters away from him. He retrieves it and squeezes off a dose, and only then looks up at what he has found. A teenager, stripped to his boxers, stands tied to a crude scarecrow frame. On his chest someone has painted a large red letter “S.” As Lex ponders what to do something slams into the ground nearby! Lex runs but the dust cloud quickly expands, covering them both.
In downtown Smallville people notice the smoke trail of the meteor. Lana notices her parents and waves to them. As they wave back a meteor slams into their car, causing it to explode and killing them instantly while their child watches. More meteors smash into the town, gouging the fields and splintering the welcome sign. A meteor shoots across the road in front of the Kents’ truck. Jonathan brakes too late to avoid the smoke. The truck crashes into something inside the dense smoke.
After the blast Lionel searches for his son. He finds a scrap of red hair and then, shaking and huddled under a pile of blasted cornstalks, he finds Lex. Only wisps of the boy’s red hair remain.
Jonathan and Martha hang from the seats of their overturned truck. Jonathan wakes first, and sees... small feet. He wakes Martha and she sees them, too. A small, completely nude boy has walked back along the meteor furrow towards their car, and now regards them solemnly. Moments later, Jonathan and Martha find the scorched and burned ship. Martha has wrapped the strange child in a blanket and now carries him. It’s clear to Jonathan that the boy isn’t from around here...
Clark Kent examines web sites. One describes super sprinter Scott Higgs who has managed to run the hundred meter dash in 2.4 seconds and has been dubbed the “fastest man alive.” Another describes a six year old Korean boy who lifted a car off of his father. The man closes the laptop and grabs a bottle of milk from the refrigerator. Martha Kent catches him drinking from the bottle and takes the bottle away from him, asking where he learned his manners. Clark claims milk tastes better directly from the bottle.
Jonathan enters and Martha reminds the men that she has class that evening, admonishing them not to order pizza because there is plenty of food in the refrigerator. Jonathan Clark sees Clark looking over a permission slip that would allow him to try out for football. Jonathan won’t let him and when Clark asks why Jonathan tells him he knows why. Clark says he could run at half speed and would probably ride the bench most of the time anyway. Jonathan believes football too risky because things happen in the heat of play. He knows Clark can be careful but wonders what might happen if there were an accident. He asks Clark to “hang in there” and Clark replies that he’s sick of hanging in there and wants to go through school without being a total loser.
Clark leaves Kent home in time to see the bus driving away. Aboard that bus, Chloe Sullivan hands Clark’s best friend Pete Ross money. He bet Clark would miss his bus, saying that if Clark moved any slower he would be extinct. Outside his house, Clark watches the bus drive away and then disappears in a blur! Clark moves through the cornfield near the Smallville welcome sign (It now advertises Smallville as the “Meteor Capitol of the World” and boasts a population of 45,001). As the bus stops for more students passengers hear something thump on the roof but see nothing. A blue blur disappears into the next field, passing a sign that advertises “Pleasant Meadows – Another Luthor Corporation Project.”
At school Pete asks Chloe about the Homecoming Dance. She’s waiting to be asked. Pete thinks she’s interested in Clark, which she denies. Chloe doesn’t understand how Clark got to school so fast, and as a reporter for the school paper she wants to. Pete interrupts the questioning so that he and Clark can get their football permission slips in before homeroom. Chloe doesn’t believe these two are trying out; Pete lets slip that in part they hope to avoid becoming this year’s “Smallville Scarecrow” – a freshman stripped to his boxers, tied to a scarecrow frame, and painted with a large red letter “S.”
Clark walks towards Lana Lang but trips and falls as soon as he gets near her, spilling books everywhere. This time Pete pays Chloe, who has seen Clark around Lana enough to know that he always embarrasses himself near her. Lana collects one of Clark’s books, a volume about Nietzsche, and comments that she didn’t realize he had a dark side. Clark tells her everybody has a dark side and she allows that might be so. She asks him whether he is man or superman but he has not figured that out yet. As Lana bends toward Clark her necklace dangles free, a gold chain and a beautiful green stone.
Football player Whitney Fordman appears and asks Lana to check over his English paper since he was up until nearly two o’clock working on it. She’s sure the paper is great. As she gets up and walks over to Whitney, Clark regains his strength.
Inside the school, a young man stands smashes a trophy case and removes a picture of three football players. He walks away, muttering about payback time.
A fast sports car blazes into Luthor Fertilizer Plant #3 in Smallville. A completely bald young man hops out and sarcastically thanks his father before entering the building. His license tag reads “Lex.”
On the Smallville High field football players practice with tackling dummies and other gear while cheerleaders rehearse their routines on the sidelines. Clark sits in the stands watching. He has heeded his father’s request not to try out. As he sits there he imagines himself effortlessly tossing off tacklers, leaping linebackers and racing downfield to the end zone for a winning touchdown. Lana smiles admiringly at him and... suddenly Pete’s arrival jerks Clark back to reality.
Lex’s sports car races along. A truck approaches from the other direction bearing a load of building supplies. Suddenly a heavy coil of wire works loose and bounces to the pavement. In his car Lex answers his ringing phone. Distracted, he fails to see the coil until he cannot avoid it. When he hits the hazard he swerves into the guardrail and slams into Clark Kent who was walking home. Lex, his car, and Clark all crash through a guardrail into the river. Underwater, Clark peels the roof from Lex’s car as easily as someone else might peel an orange. Then he pulls Lex from the wreck and swims to the side of the river, where he revives Lex.
Sometime later Jonathan Kent arrives at the scene to bring Clark home. Lex tells Jonathan that he has an extraordinary boy and asks what he can do to repay Clark for saving his life. Jonathan curtly tells him to drive slower and escorts Clark away.
That evening, Clark stargazes with a telescope. Tempted, he swivels the instrument toward neighbor Lana Lang’s house and watches the object of his unrequited love talk to her boyfriend Whitney. Whitney hopes Lana’s aunt might exploit a connection with the Luthors to help him get a tryout with their professional football team the Sharks. Lana suggests Clark could probably do better since he just saved Lex’s life. This surprises Whitney; Lana simply says that sometimes people surprise those who know them. Then Whitney tells Lana a scout from Kansas State will attend Saturday’s game, and she gives him her necklace for luck. He tells her that he cannot take the necklace, made from a piece of the meteor that killed her parents. She suggests that it might bring him good luck to balance out the misery it brought her and to give it back when he wins.
Elsewhere, a mechanic finishes repairing an engine and slams the hood, revealing a kid standing at the door of the garage. The mechanic jumps, startled, and scolds the kid for scaring him before recognizing him as the kid he and his football buddies picked as their year’s Smallville Scarecrow. When he says it was all just a game, and asks the kid what he wants, the kid replies that he wants to play. Then lightning surges from his fingers into every part of the surroundings...
Clark returns home to discover a new truck parked there. He asks his mother and she tells him it belongs to him! Lex sent it; his father has the keys. Clark finds Jonathan by the wood chipper, and they talk. Jonathan tells Clark that he cannot keep the truck and Clark asks why not, since he saved Lex’s life. Jonathan asks Clark if he feels he deserves a prize for that, and tells him saving Lex wasn’t about winning. Clark counters that the Luthors can certainly afford it. Eventually the root of Jonathan’s objections comes out: he dislikes Lex’s father Lionel, who he believes mistreated several neighbors, promising them profits from land deals and then reneging once they signed. Jonathan doesn’t want Clark to have anything purchased with Luthor money.
Clark wants very much to be normal and to fit in but he is not. To emphasize this he plunges his hand into the still running wood chipper and the machine makes awful sounds! Jonathan yanks Clark’s arm free and it is uninjured! Clark also reminds his father Lex’s car hit him at sixty miles an hour and did not hurt him. Martha approaches, anguished, as Clark storms off.
Jonathan catches up to Clark and tells him the time has come for him to learn the truth. Jonathan first gives Clark a strange metal box with odd writing on it. Clark asks what it says and Jonathan cannot tell him. Years earlier he spent time trying to decipher it but the language is not from Earth! Jonathan takes Clark to the family’s storm cellar to see the ship he arrived in. At first Clark thinks his father is joking, but then he gets angry and asks why he his parents did not tell him this until now. Jonathan tells him they kept the secret to protect Clark. Clark angrily races off, telling Jonathan he should have told him the truth before this.
Lana Lang enters a graveyard with a bouquet of flowers. She sees Clark, perfectly framed by the statue of an angel. She wasn’t expecting Clark and asks why he’s there. He replies that she wouldn’t believe him if he told her. She tells Clark she visits from time to time to speak to her parents. Clark tells her he’s sorry and she tells him he has no reason to be because it wasn’t his fault. Then Lana cocks her head and tells Clark her Mom wants to know if he’s upset over a girl. He tells Lana no, and she continues by telling him her dad wants to know if he’s upset over a guy
, then quickly apologizes for her father’s quirky sense of humor.
Lana asks Clark if he ever feels like his life was supposed to be something different. Clark struggles with the knowledge that he is not human but Lana doesn’t realize this. She continues by telling Clark that sometimes she dreams her parents are alive and they driver her back to her real life in Metropolis. Then she wakes up, for a moment totally happy until she remembers the truth. Clark now seems to listen and then tells Lana that her mother told him she was never alone, that she would always watch over Lana. And that her dad thinks she’s a shoo-in for Homecoming Queen. Clark walks Lana home and at her house she mentions this was the longest conversation they ever had and that they should do it again. He asks if she’s going to the prom and she tells him that Whitney has asked her. She asks if he’ll go and he tells her he figured he’d sit this one out. She tells Clark that if he changes his mind she’ll save him a dance and then says good night. Whitney watches Clark leave with an angry expression.
Clark enters a mansion in search of Lex. At first there is no response and then Clark sees two fencers dance past him. One scores a touch and the other throws his foil point first; the weapon sticks into the wall inches from Clark’s head. The fencer removes his mask, revealing Lex. Clark comments that Lex’s home is great, and Lex somewhat bitterly agrees – if one is dead and looking for a place to haunt. The mansion, Lex tells Clark, is the ancestral home of the Luthors. Lionel had it shipped to America stone by stone; Clark remembers weeks of trucks rumbling through Smallville bearing the dismantled parts of the enormous home. Lex dismisses his fencing instructor, a beautiful woman named Heike, and continues: Lionel never intended to live in the house; he just had it shipped over and rebuilt because he could.
Clark thanks Lex for the truck but tells him that he cannot keep it. Lex realizes that Jonathan doesn’t like him and says that because he’s been bald since age nine he is accustomed to people judging him before they know him. Clark tells Lex than Jonathan doesn’t like Lionel and Lex nods, understanding that Jonathan doesn’t believe the apple fell far from the tree. Lex then asks Clark if he fell far from the tree, a question Clark does not answer.
Lex moves on, asking Clark if he believes a man can fly. When he heart stopped after the accident, Lex experienced soaring through the clouds over Smallville. And for the first time he did not see a dead end, but a new beginning. He feels he has a second chance thanks to Clark, and does not want anything to stand in the way of their friendship.
Elsewhere paramedics load a blanketed body into an ambulance. An onlooker comments that this victim is the third dead guy that week, all of them former jocks. The kid who electrocuted the mechanic earlier watches.
Chloe Sullivan discusses the deaths with Clark. She mentions the strange case of Jeremy Creek. Jeremy was the Smallville Scarecrow the day the meteors hit, and a meteor struck near him. He developed a massive electrolyte imbalance and slipped into a coma. Recently a powerful electrical storm passed over the hospital where he lay, and when it had passed Jeremy was gone. The electrocution victims were those who had made Jeremy the Scarecrow. Chloe’s theorizes that the storm charged Jeremy and that he has been taking revenge on his long ago tormentors.
Chloe next shows Clark her ‘wall of weird’ – a collage documenting strange occurrences since the meteor shower. One picture is a TIME magazine cover depicting a weeping Lana Lang who has just seen her parents die and titled “Heartbreak in the Heartland.” Clark mutters that it’s “his fault” and leaves.
At school, Whitney Fordman claps Clark on the shoulder and congratulates him – he is this year’s scarecrow. Clark warns him off and tries to punch him but Clark weakens as he once did around Lana. Whitney wants to know what’s going on with Lana; when he notices Clark has spotted Lana’s necklace, he tears it from his own throat and puts it around Clark’s throat, telling Clark it is the closest he’ll get to Lana. He and other players lift Clark into a truck; Clark is too weak to prevent it. Jeremy watches from around a nearby corner.
Later, the jocks have made Clark the Smallville Scarecrow. Jeremy discovers him and tells him that it “hurts, doesn’t it?” Then Jeremy says he thought that if he ‘punished them’ it would stop, but it never stops. He tells Clark that he is going to the Homecoming Dance. Clark asks Jeremy to free him. Jeremy refuses, telling Clark he is safer as the scarecrow. Jeremy leaves but Lex sees him emerge from the field and remembers their earlier encounter. Lex goes to the edge of the field and hears Clark calling for help. Following the calls Lex discovers Clark and cuts him down. Clark pitches forward, dislodging the necklace. Almost immediately he feels stronger and races off; Lex sees the necklace, picks it up and looks after Clark speculatively.
At the dance, Jeremy breaks into the sprinklers. Clark catches him and tells him to stop this and that he won’t let Jeremy hurt his friends. Jeremy tells Clark the sprinklers will get them nice and wet and he’ll handle the rest. Clark reminds him these people didn’t do anything to him, but Jeremy tells Clark he’s not doing it for himself but for all those like him. Jeremy tries to shock Clark without effect. Then Jeremy uses his power to start a nearby truck. Hopping inside, he rams Clark, who tries to dig his heels in to stop the machine. Jeremy crashes the truck and Clark through a wall and water gushes everywhere. A blinding crack knocks Jeremy cold; when he awakens moments later his memory seems gone. He does not remember meeting Clark or where he is.
Clark thinks about going to the dance, but has a better idea. Moments later, students see the trucks belonging to the football players who strung Clark up have been stacked atop each other...
Later Clark stargazes; Jonathan tells him the telescope was a gift from his own father to him when he was about Clark’s age. Then Jonathan asks Clark if he is okay and Clark asks if he can answer that in about five years. Jonathan smiles and starts to leave; Clark interrupts to say he’s glad the Kents found him. Jonathan tells him the Kents did not find him, he found them.
Lana appears on the roof next, telling Clark she didn’t see him at the dance, so she brought the saved dance to him. They dance and she asks him if everything is okay; he tells her it’s perfect. Cars drive by; Smallville has won the Homecoming Game. Clark thanks Lana for the dance and she leaves. Share this article with your friends