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October, 1989

Quote1 We didn't find him. He found us. Quote2
Martha Kent

Pilot is an episode of season 1 of Smallville. It premiered on October 16, 2001.

Synopsis for "Pilot"

October, 1989
In the town of Smallville, Kansas, Jonathan and Martha Kent stop at Nell Potter's flower shop to purchase some tulips. As they leave, Jonathan notices a large parade in the streets and cites that Smallville High School's football team, the Smallville Crows, has won their big homecoming game.

Elsewhere, billionaire corporate mogul Lionel Luthor arrives at one of his fertilizer plants with his young son, Lex. While Lionel conducts business with the plant managers, Lex wanders into the nearby corn field. He hears a mysterious voice calling out, "Help me". He finds a teenage boy tied to a wooden post like a scarecrow, wearing nothing but boxer shorts and a spray-painted "S" on his chest.

Suddenly, a violent meteor shower strikes the town of Smallville. One of the meteors rips through the corn field, and young Lex is caught up in its wake. He is found later, unconscious in the field with no hair. Lionel Luthor finds his son, but is visibly repulsed at what he finds. More meteors strike the main thoroughfare of the town. Three-year-old Lana Lang watches in horror as her parents are killed by one of the flaming meteors. Jonathan and Martha are in their truck, driving down a road when a dust cloud of debris obscures Jonathan's vision. He tries to brake, but the truck skids along the road, eventually overturning.

Moments later, Jonathan awakens and sees a naked toddler standing in the scorched Earth where one of the meteors fell. Martha and he emerge from the truck and scoop the child up into their arms. They inspect the area and find the charred remains of a space-craft. Jonathan doesn't know what to make of this, but Martha has already decided that she wants to adopt the child.

October, 2001
Clark Kent is fourteen-years-old and a freshman at Smallville High School. He wants to try out for the high school football team, but his father refuses to sign the permission slip. He is afraid that Clark's strange gifts might not only give him an unfair advantage against the other students, but that he also might hurt one of them. Frustrated, Clark leaves to go to school.

He misses the bus, so he has to rely on "other means" to get to school on time. He demonstrates the ability to run at super-speed and cuts through a corn field. He arrives in school just as his friends Pete Ross and Chloe Sullivan are getting off the bus. Chloe is perplexed that Clark managed to get to school so quickly.

Clark sees fellow student Lana Lang, who is not only Clark's neighbor, but also the object of his affection. He approaches her, but trips and falls to the ground. Lana helps him with his books, and Clark sees that she is wearing a necklace made from a piece of green meteor rock. Whenever he gets near the meteor rock, he begins to lose his strength. Lana's boyfriend is High School quarterback Whitney Fordman. Whitney meets up with Lana and the two walk off, leaving Clark to pick up his scattered books.

Elsewhere, Lex Luthor, now an adult, has taken control of his father's business interests in Smallville. He pulls up in front of Luthor Corp Fertilizer plant #3 in his Porsche. Looking about, he sarcastically remarks to himself, "Thanks, Dad".

Soon after, Lex is driving down the road in his Porsche. He gets distracted by a telephone call and doesn't see an obstruction in the middle of the road. Striking the object, Lex's car caroms off Loeb Bridge striking Clark Kent. Both Kent and the car crash into the lake. Clark tears open the roof of the car and pulls Lex to safety. He brings him ashore and administers mouth-to-mouth. Lex awakens and asks Clark if he hit him. Clark responds, "If you did... I'd be dead." Paramedics arrive and Jonathan Kent shows up to look after Clark. Lex introduces himself to Jonathan and tells him that he has an extraordinary boy. Jonathan is less than impressed with Lex Luthor and advises him to drive slower.

That evening, Whitney Fordman visits Lana at her Aunt Nell's home. The two share a moment of intimacy, and Whitney says that he is in talks with a scout for the Metropolis Sharks. Lana tells him that Lex Luthor owns the football team, and that Clark saved his life earlier that day. Lana asks Whitney to wear her meteor necklace to the big game on Saturday as a good luck charm. She says that the meteor storm brought so much bad luck to Smallville, that the only kind of luck left is good luck. From across the street, Clark Kent is in his private loft in the barn, looking at Lana's house through a telescope. He wishes that he was the object of Lana's affection rather than Whitney.

Meanwhile, a boy named Jeremy Creek has been making sporadic appearances in Smallville. Jeremy is the boy who was strapped to the scarecrow pole during the meteor shower in 1989. He looks no older than he did twelve years ago. In addition to his halted aging, Jeremy also possesses the ability to generate bolts of electricity from his body. Jeremy wants revenge against the jocks responsible for tying him up. He goes to an auto garage and finds one of the old football players. The man recognizes Jeremy immediately, but doesn't make the connection that Jeremy should be much older than he appears. The mechanic tries pushing Jeremy around, but when he touches him, a giant electrical discharge spits out from Jeremy's body electrocuting the man.

The following day, Clark returns home from an outing and finds a brand new truck sitting in his driveway. The truck is a gift from Lex Luthor for saving his life. Jonathan won't let him keep it though. His prejudice against the Luthor family comes to light, and he tells Clark how Lex's father Lionel has a history of swindling good people out of their property just to expand his own empire. Clark says that he shouldn't judge Lex based upon his father's actions, but Jonathan wants him to realize where the money that paid for the truck really came from. Clark is visibly frustrated, but Jonathan reassures him that such a reaction is normal. Clark explodes with anger. He shoves his hand into a wood chipper and pulls it out without injury, citing that he would give anything to be "normal". Jonathan decides that it is now time to tell Clark the truth about his origins.

He brings him down into the storage shed and shows him the space ship that brought him to Earth. Clark always knew that he had special powers, but he had no idea that he was actually an alien from another world. Jonathan tells him about the day they found him, but Clark cannot cope with such a bizarre story. Shouting "You should have told me!", he rushes off.

He goes to the cemetery to clear his head and finds Lana Lang. Lana is visiting the grave of her parents. The two chat for a while, and Lana tells Clark about a dreams where her parents are still alive. Clark walks her home and asks if she is going to the homecoming dance. She tells him that she is going with Whitney but promises to save a dance just for him. She kisses him on the cheek and walks up to the house. Whitney is on the front porch waiting for her. He doesn't like what he sees.

The following morning, Clark visits Lex at Luthor Mansion. He tells Lex that he's not allowed to keep the truck. Lex knows that Jonathan is the reason why Clark won't keep the truck. Lex tells him that he's used to people misjudging him. He asks Clark if he believes a man can fly. He tells him that when he was unconscious, he imagined himself flying over Smallville. He feels the accident represents a new beginning for him. He regards Clark as a close friend now, and won't let anything stand in the way of that friendship.

At school, several students gather outside as a medical team loads a body into the back of an ambulance. The victim is a former Smallville football player. This is the third such attack within the past week. Chloe sees a strange looking boy in the crowd and snaps his picture. She researches the boy and learns that he is Jeremy Creek, a former student. She tells Pete and Clark what she discovered, and theorizes that Jeremy might be behind the series of attacks against former jocks. Clark disbelieves her theory, citing that Jeremy would be twenty-six by now. Chloe takes him into her private room at the school newspaper. Inside is a bulletin board containing photographs and newspaper clippings of every strange occurrence that has taken place in Smallville since the meteor storm. She calls it her "Wall of Weird". She believes that Jeremy might have gained special abilities as a result of exposure to radiation from the meteors. Looking at the Wall, Clark is horrified. He whispers to himself "It's all my fault".

Later that day, Whitney finds Clark outside the school yard. He's angry at him for his persistent flirtations with Lana. He begins pushing him around and Clark tries to fight back, but Whitney is wearing Lana's necklace. He is too weak to to do anything. Whitney pushes him down and tells him that he is now the Homecoming scarecrow.

Whitney and his friends take Clark out to the corn field. They strip him down to his boxers and tie him to the pole. As per tradition, they also spray paint the letter "S" across his chest. Whitney hangs Lana's necklace around Clark's neck. Later that evening, Jeremy Creek appears in the corn field in front of Clark. Clark asks for help, but Jeremy is listless. He thought that if he punished the people who once tormented him, the scarecrow tradition would come to an end.

Suddenly, Lex Luthor's car pulls up. Lex was on his way to the adjacent plant when he noticed something in the field. Lex instantly recognizes Jeremy and recalls the day the meteors landed. Jeremy disappears and Lex cuts Clark down from the scarecrow pole. The meteor rock necklace falls to the ground. With his strength quickly returning to him, Clark grabs his clothes and dashes off, leaving Lex alone in the field. Lex picks up the discarded necklace.

Clark races back to the school where the Homecoming dance is well under way. He finds Jeremy uncoiling a fire hose. He intends on using the water from the hose and his electrokinetic powers to kill everyone in the school. Clark tries to sympathize with Jeremy's anguish, but tells him that he cannot allow him to commit mass murder. Jeremy tries to electrocute Clark, but it doesn't work. He then gets into his truck and rams into Clark at high speed. The truck smashes through the wall of the school and into a water main. Water pours into the vehicle, and a burst of electricity sends Clark reeling. The power surge pours back into Jeremy's body, stunning him. When he revives, he has no memory of anything that had taken place. Clark goes to the school auditorium just as Whitney and Lana are crowned king and queen of the homecoming dance. Still mad at Whitney for tormenting him, he decides to take revenge against him by stacking all of the pickup trucks belonging to the football players into a large vertical tower.

Later, Clark returns home. He goes up to his loft and has a short conversation with his father. Jonathan tells him that Clark's telescope once belonged to his grandfather. After Jonathan leaves, Clark looks through his telescope across the street. He sees Lana returning home from the dance. Clark whispers to himself, "Thanks for the dance, Lana". Lana turns her head, as if somehow hearing Clark's words carried on the wind.

Appearing in "Pilot"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




  • Clark's Spaceship (First appearance)
  • Kents' Truck (First appearance)
  • Lex Luthor's Porsche (First appearance) (Destroyed)



  • Clark's Kryptonian rocket has a different appearance in this episode than it does in later episodes.
  • Though never stated outright, this episode intimates that Martha Kent is infertile. This fact is confirmed in later episodes.
  • LuthorCorp is known by several spelling variations throughout the series. In this episode, it is identified as two separate words "Luthor Corp". Later episodes identify the name as a combined word "Luthorcorp", also spelled LuthorCorp (with a capital C).


  • In October of 1989, the population of Smallville was 25,001. In October of 2001, the population was 45,001.
  • An Internet web-site includes an article about a record breaking teen who becomes the "Fastest Man Alive". The boy in the article is identified as Scott Higgs. Higg's reputation as the Fastest Man Alive will be challenged in later episodes when Clark meets young Bart Allen in "Run".
  • This episode attracted over eight million viewers, a record for the WB network.[1]

See Also

Recommended Media

  • None.

Links and References

  • None.


  1. Golding, James Grant; Smith, Steven (2006). Look, Up in the Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman (Documentary). DC Comics; Warner Home Video.