- For the eponymous character, see Arthur Curry
Lois hits her head while jumping into a lake and is saved by a mysterious swimmer, Arthur "A.C." Curry. Clark meets the human form of Professor Milton Fine after his first lecture. Fine tells Clark that Lex Luthor is behind a covert operation manufacturing weapons. A.C. attempts to break into the LuthorCorp Marine Center in an attempt to destroy one of the weapons and is captured. Clark breaks into the lab and saves A.C.
Together they destroy the weapon, thereby ruining the deal Lex has been brokering. Clark finally finds himself unable to trust Lex any longer and agrees to work for Professor Fine in exposing the activities of LuthorCorp.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 5x04
A summer party is in progress at Crater Lake. Clark and Lana are already there when Lois and Chloe arrive on the scene. Lois decides to go swimming, but hits her head on the footbridge and starts to sink underwater. Chloe becomes aware of the dangerous situation and calls on Clark to help Lois. Once underwater, Clark superspeeds into Lois' direction, but a mysterious guy outswims him. The young man revives Lois and introduces himself as Arthur "A.C." Curry.
The next day, Professor Milton Fine lectures in front of freshman students at Central Kansas University. When Clark arrives late, he catches Fine's attention. Fine explains that history is about the context and who is telling the story. He pretends to be interested in Clark's story only to find a good transition to talk about Lex Luthor and his evil doings. He even compares Lex with violent dictators like Stalin, Hitler or Napoleon, prompting Clark to defend Lex.
At the Talon, A.C. visits Lois and they good-naturedly tease each other. Lois ribs A.C.'s choice of wardrobe and he comments on her swimming abilities. A.C. uses it as an opportunity to strike a "deal" and spend some more time with Lois: she can show him how to dress and he can teach her how to swim. Lois agrees self-confidently.
Clark follows Professor Fine to excuse himself for being late. They have a brief conversation about personal attitudes towards life and then Fine offers Clark a job to find out the truth about Lex Luthor himself. He still needs a few research assistants, but Clark doesn't take the opportunity.
At Crater Lake, Lois and A.C. enjoy some relaxed swimming until Lois initiates a race. Arthur easily wins the race, although he starts a few seconds after Lois. She is honestly impressed, but not suspicious of him. They have an intimate moment on the footbridge - almost starting to kiss each other - when a high-pitched noise hurts Arthur. He falls into the water and makes a quick escape to find the power source. He can't bear the volume of the noise for long and subsequently returns to Lois suffering from severe pain. His ears are bleeding and Lois is shocked at his condition and extremely concerned for him.
At the Luthor Mansion, Lex analyzes the effect of a marine weapon, called Leviathan. He is very happy with the results of the last test, which causes him to think about selling Leviathan to the U.S. Navy. When the doctor asks what will happen to the marine life in the surrounding area, Lex reveals an unscrupulous ecological behavior towards life.
Lois cares for a weakened A.C., who recovers after drinking a glass of water. Lois wants to talk about the incident again, but AC has other things in mind. He gently touches Lois, but when he kisses her, she refuses. Lois cannot fight A.C.'s charm for long, and she starts to kiss him passionately. Suddenly, Clark enters the house and interrupts them. Clark wants to know more about AC and his amazing abilities. Chloe finds out that he is a sophomore student at the University of Miami, majoring in marine biology. In addition, he is a prominent member of its swim team. He has not visited Smallville until recently, which Clark takes to mean that his abilities are not the result of meteor rock exposure.
Lois is at the Talon admiring A.C. in front of Lana. Clark joins the small group, asking Arthur why he has come to Smallville. AC says that he worries about the recent mass mortality of the fish in Crater Lake. He gives a speech about ecological responsibility and the way it all affects people. A.C.'s speech impresses the girls, which makes Clark a bit jealous and doubtful about A.C.'s true motives. Due to Clark's rudeness, Arthur leaves the Talon and Clark already regrets his behavior. He tells the girls that he's going to apologize, and follows A.C. out of the Talon.
A.C. trespasses onto a LuthorCorp facility and deploys an explosive in order to destroy Leviathan. Clark appears right in time to absorb the explosive force. A.C. swims away, but stops when Clark blocks his way. Arthur creates a water blister and attacks Clark. Only a few moments later, Clark counters with his super strength and super speed. A second blister from A.C. is strong enough to knock Clark out of the water.
At the barn, Lois asks Clark if he has apologized to A.C., but Clark states that Arthur was too busy playing terrorist. Lois interprets this as some kind of provocation and leaves the barn. A.C. uses the opportunity to speak of Clark's abilities with subtle irony, since Leviathan can now cause more damage. Clark wants to talk to Lex about the issue and A.C. agrees to it only with internal resistance. Lex lies to A.C. and Clark about his projects when he mentions that LuthorCorp's only weapon is the one to fight hunger. Arthur is seriously angry with Lex and leaves the mansion in anger. Clark is also frustrated with Lex's obvious half-truths.
A.C. tries to destroy Leviathan in a second attempt, but he is stopped with a tranquilizer. He awakens inside the facility as a captive of Lex Luthor. Lex wants to know how Arthur manages to breathe underwater. He tortures him by denying him any water. Nevertheless, Lex is unable to worm the secret out of Arthur. Luckily, Clark enters the room to save A.C.'s life by supplying him with water. Clark offers to help A.C. bring down Leviathan once and for all. Meanwhile, Lex is about to present his new invention to some representatives of the Pentagon and an admiral. During the initiation process, the cameras drop out and the demonstration fails. A few moments later, Lex recognizes two streaks super speeding, one through the water, and one on the water.
Clark visits Lex at the mansion and asks him about his latest project. Lex angrily admits that it was a failure due to sabotage. Thinking about Professor Fine's warning, Clark wonders if Lex knows what he has become and what he is going to be. Lex affirms it and explains that the world cannot be separated just into black and white. Clark tells him about his professor's bad opinion towards Lex and his company and tells him he seriously regrets having defended Lex. Later, Clark calls on Professor Fine to ask him if he was still looking for research assistants. Fine specifies all the conditions Clark has to fulfill. He agrees with Fine and his idealistic attitude.
The last encounter of A.C. and Clark is affected by mutual respect and admiration. A.C. thanks Clark for helping him to save the marine life of Crater Lake. Clark warns him to beware of Lex in the future because he witnessed his abilities. However, A.C. is confident concerning the safety of his future whereabouts. The two say good-bye to each other as friends.
Lois and A.C.'s final meeting takes place at Crater Lake. Lois asks A.C. if he will ever return to Smallville, but he confesses that it's very unlikely. They share one last intense kiss before A.C. leaves.
Later, Lois and Clark talk about Arthur Curry and his talents. Lois is really sad about A.C.'s departure because he was absolutely different from the other guys Lois fell in love with until now. Clark consoles her and suggests that she will eventually meet someone even more special.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor (credit only)
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent (credit only)
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent (credit only)
Special Guest Star
- Nathaniel Deveaux as Commander
- Shiraine Haas as LuthorCorp Doctor
- Ken Yanko as Admiral
- "All The Money or The Simple Life Honey" - The Dandy Warhols
- "Waiting for Your Letter" - Cary Brothers
- "Everyday is Like The Weekend" - Amy Ward
- Aqua is from the Latin word for water.
- This episode introduces Arthur Curry, the metahuman destined to become the hero known as Aquaman.
- Keeping with the theme of water, much of the episode takes place at Crater Lake. Clark and Arthur are trying to disable an underwater weapon known as Project Leviathan.
- Aqua (or aquamarine) is also a light blue-green color. Arthur Curry wears this color and the episode features several references to colors. Lex is a white knight. AC claims Lois turned blue when she was drowning, to which Lois states it looks good on her - while wearing a light blue Talon apron (and having worn blue shirts both earlier and at the end of the episode). Lois mentions that AC always wears the combination of green and orange (also the color of the Miami Hurricanes, where AC competes on the swim team).
- Antagonist: Lex Luthor
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, invulnerability, Multi-spectrum Vision, and Super-Breathing.
- Arthur uses the following abilities in this episode: aquatic super speed, super breathing, super strength, night vision, super hearing, healing factor, and hydrokinesis.
- Arthur Curry is the 24th DC Comics character adapted into the series.
- Arthur is the second superhero-to-be introduced on the show.
- Arthur Curry is Smallville's adaptation of the DC Comics character Aquaman, also named Arthur Curry. In the comics, Aquaman is the son of a lighthouse keeper and an Atlantean. He fights on the Justice League with Superman and his friends. AC's UM team colors and his attire in the show are orange and green, like the suit Aquaman wears in the comics.
- Jonathan, Martha, and Lionel Luthor don't appear in this episode.
- This is the highest rated episode for a Thursday night in WB history. This may account for the reason the WB chose to green light a pilot for an Aquaman series.
- This is the first time Brainiac is introduced as Professor Milton Fine. Brainiac first appears in Arrival. In addition, when talking about the most powerful supercomputer, Professor Fine taps his forehead. Brainiac is, in fact, a supercomputer.
- Professor Fine mentions Alexander the Great, and immediately after Lex Luthor. Lex was named after Alexander the Great.
- When Chloe looks up AC on the Miami Hurricanes website, the page she sees is almost identical to the actual website which can be seen here.
- A.C. calls Clark "Superboy" after he finds out about his powers and he also calls him "Boy scout" later which is his code name in the "JLA".
- At the end, AC suggests to Clark that they should begin a "Junior Lifeguard Association". Clark tells him he's not ready for the "JLA" just yet, a reference to the Justice League of America from the comics.
- When Lex is watching the device being used for the first time, you can see a small video of an explosion, this explosion was taken from Batman Forever, when Dick Grayson throws Two Face's bomb into the sea. [picture needed]
- Lois is shown wearing two bikinis in this episode. Also, the part when she comes out of the water wearing her red bikini can be seen in future opening themes for the series.
- Annette O'Toole gives a PSA for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation at the end of the episode. This is the first time the PSA was given after Christopher Reeve's death.
- Chloe is surprised to learn that Clark has previously met someone who didn't get his powers from meteor rocks. Apparently, Chloe has forgotten about Ryan James, Chrissy Parker, Mikhail Mxyzptlk and Margaret Isobel Thoreaux.
- This episode marked the live-action debut of DC Comics superhero Aquaman.
- In his lecture, Professor Fine states the popular urban myth that humans "only use ten percent of the brain", which has long been proven untrue.
- Arthur tells Lex "I don't travel with an entourage." This is a possible reference to the television series Entourage, in which the main character plays Aquaman in a fictional motion picture.
- The sequence of Lois climbing out of the water early on in the episode is extremely reminiscent of the iconic scene in the film Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
- The high ratings drove The CW into requesting a series centered on AC. Al Gough and Miles Milar then created Aquaman. Justin Hartley starred as AC, with Adrianne Palicki, Denise Quiñones, Rick Peters, Kenny Johnson, Corey Sevier and Amber McDonald appearing in that pilot. Aquaman was ultimately not picked up by The CW and Hartley was cast as Oliver Queen on Smallville.
- Alan Ritchson's first time portraying a DC Comics superhero. He would later guest star was Hank Hall/Hawk in Titans, also featuring the characters of Conner Kent and Krypto. Titans also marked the live-action debut of Hawk.
- Clark mentions that AC isn't the first guy he met that didn't get his abilities from meteor rocks, referencing the time he met Bart Allen in the episode Run by saying that he was too fast for his own good.
- AC calls Clark "Superboy" and "Boy Scout". Superman is often said to be a boy scout by other characters in the DC Universe. In Justice, it becomes Clark's codename.
- Brainiac was last seen in Arrival.
- Clark wears a patch to cover up his "fake gun shot wound" he got in Hidden
- Crater Lake hasn't been used as a setting since the Season Three episode Slumber.
- After AC leaves, Lois asks Clark if she is ever going to meet a man who wants to "save the world" again. Clark comforts her, promissing that she is going to "meet someone even more special", foreshadowing their own destined romance.
- Lois previously left Smallville with her father to search for her sister, Lucy Lane, who disappeared in Lucy, given that Lois returned here and that Lucy later shows up in Ambush it's safe to say that she found Lucy.
- Clark meets AC again when he joins Oliver Queen's hero team in the Season Six episode Justice. He also appears in the Season Eight premiere Odyssey and the Season 10 episodes Patriot and Icarus.
- AC says to Clark that they should set up a Junior Lifeguards Association, to which Clark replies "I don't think I am ready to join the JLA just yet". This is an obvious reference to the Justice League of America which starts to take place in the Season Six episode "Justice".
- Milton Fine: (to Clark Kent) Don't apologize. If you're going to be late, at least be late with conviction.
- Lex: It's a complicated world, Clark. Only the naïve view it in black and white
- Arthur Curry: Maybe we should start up a Junior Lifeguard Association or something.
- Clark: I'm not sure I'm ready for the JLA quite yet.
- Milton Fine: What is your story, Mr. Kent? How will you affect the world in the generations to come?
- Clark: I'm not sure you know that, at 18.
- Milton Fine: Tell that to Alexander the Great! Or bring it closer to home, Lex Luthor, and he's not much older than you are. And yet he's turn his father's agribusiness into a leading defense contractor. He's gone from feeding people to killing them. And yet his story is that he is a white knight, who's just put a small Kansas town on the map. Beware of white knights, people. They don't, uh, slay dragons. They train them to suit their own dark purpose. Think of Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon-
- Clark: Lex is not a saint, but I don't think you could put him in the same league as those guys.
- Milton Fine: An honest opinion. I like that!
- Lois: You know this whole orange and green thing you got going? Looks like Flipper threw up.
- Milton Fine: I'll never lie to you, Mr. Kent. After all, I'm an educator. Truth is my life's work.
- Milton Fine: Well you know Groucho Marx once said "There is one way to find out if a man is honest; ask him! If he says yes he must be crooked".
- Clark: I would think a college professor would be quoting Karl Marx, not Groucho.
- Milton Fine: German philosophy's easy. Comedy's hard.
- Arthur Curry: Wet and ready, bro.
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