Pilot Rewatch: Smallville
Teenage Clark Kent discovering his powers.
Smallville – Pilot
Season 1, Episode 1 – Original air date: 10/16/2001
Realizing that Lois in the new Man of Steel movie was in an episode of Smallville I decided that this time for Pilot Rewatch I would pull out my season 1 Smallville DVD. It’s been quiet a few years since I last watched the first episode, and it seemed like a good time to change that.
The show opens on October 12th, 1989, with the meteor shower that is about to rain down on Smallville. The scene switches to the small town, where we meet the Kent’s, young Lana, and the Luthors. All these scenes serve to set up the story background, and characters for us; The meteor shower is the cause of Lana losing her parents, and young Lex losing his hair. It also causes the Kent’s truck to turn over in a corn field, where a young, naked, little boy finds them (Kal-El/Clark). The tradition of “The Scarecrow”, a prank done during homecoming, is also introduced.
Twelve years later teenage Clark is on the computer researching people who have performed amazing feats of strength, clearly trying to find an explanation for some of the things he’s capable of. Clark pleads with his parents to let him sign up for football, but they refuse to allow it.
Clark misses the school bus, but to the surprise of his friends he still managed to get to school before them (he ran at top speed to get there). Clark isn’t portrayed as really awkward in this series, but he comes across like that around Lana. She wears a piece of the meteor that killed her parents around her neck. Which we of course know is kryptonite, so anytime Clark tries to get near Lana, he appears to klutz out.
Now to sum up a few key plot points:
Clark is hanging out on a bridge, where Lex loses control of his car, hitting Clark, and driving through the railing guard. Of course Clark is fine, pulls open the top of the car, and saves Lex. This is what starts Lex Luthor’s obsession with Clark.
Back on the farm Clark gets upset, and is bothered about why he’s different. Jonathan decides it’s time to let him know that they believe he’s from another planet.
But this episode isn’t just about getting to know the characters, and their stories. Remember the scarecrow kid from 12 years ago? His name is Jeremy, and he’s been in a coma. He somehow comes out of it, looking the same, but now he has a power, and a thirst for revenge. He starts to eliminate the jocks who humiliated him.
Lana lets her boyfriend, Whitney, wear her necklace for luck. This is all to set up a scene later when he becomes jealous of Clark, and decides to make him the “scarecrow” this year. Thanks to the necklace, when Whitney confronts Clark, he takes the young pre-superhero down easy. Clark is staring at the necklace, so Whitney puts it on him, and tells Clark that’s the closest he will ever get to Lana.
Lex ends up finding Clark, and helping him down, just in time for Clark to save the homecoming dance from the vengeful Jeremy.
Is it a bit cheesy? Yes. Do I love it anyway? Yes. Because it’s still kind of awesome. I remember when the show first premiered, and I heard that this series would be centered around a teenage Clark Kent discovering his abilities, and then there was the “no tights, no flight” rule. I was intrigued, plus I love superheroes. A lot of people complained about the krypto-freak of the week format, but I didn’t seem to mind it much. That said, I totally get why people got bored with it.
There are a few things that make me chuckle in this episode, like the fact that Clark appears to be a bit too obsessed with Lana, to the point of practically being a creepy stalker. And the day dream scenes, definitely something I’m glad they didn’t keep doing.