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"Bulletproof" is the twelfth episode in the eighth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-sixty-fourth episode overall. It aired on January 22, 2009.


Clark discovers John was shot while working as a police officer, so Clark goes undercover as a cop to find the culprit. Meanwhile, Lana confronts Tess and tells her Lex isn't the man she thinks he is. Lana's shocking revelation causes Tess to re-evaluate her position as head of LuthorCorp.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 8x12

John Bulletproof

John on patrol in Metropolis

John Jones is out on patrol in Metropolis pursuing an escaped convict. Jones catches the crook, and other members of the Metropolis Police Department take the convict back to prison. Jones gets back into his car, but comes under fire from an unseen shooter. Bullets riddle the car as he attempts to get out and take cover. As he does, a bullet pierces the door and catches Jones in the chest. He falls to the ground, bleeding. Up on a rooftop, the unknown gunman puts away his high powered rifle; there is a Metropolis PD crest on his jacket.


Clark and Lana at the Metropolis Hospital

Clark is in the Metropolis General Hospital, when Lana arrives. They talk about the thing that took Chloe. Meanwhile, John is brought in and doctors start to work on him, as Clark watches from outside. Oliver then arrives, revealing to Clark that he knows that John is a Martian, and that John has saved him from problems with the police. When Clark asks if he knows what John was working on, he says no, and suggests they split up to investigate, saying "teamwork's never really been our strong suit".


Lana and Tess meet for the first time

Tess is at the Mansion, training in martial arts, when Lana comes in and says that she wants to thank Tess, because her arrival in Metropolis has not been published in the Daily Planet. Then Lana says she knows that Tess has spent a lot of Lex's money on a project called Prometheus, and that Lex is, in fact, alive. Tess says that Lana doesn't know Lex the way she did. Lana replies "For your sake I hope you're right". Lana then leaves, and when outside checks the WiFi in her bag.

Clark arrives at the Isis Foundation, and Chloe tells him that Jones has been investigating some officers in his own precinct. She says she is happy to be "Brainiac-free", but misses how useful it was. Clark says he is just glad everything's back to normal, which Chloe takes to be a reference to Lana's return and warns him not to involve Lois in the Clark/Lana triangle. When Clark looks quizzically at her, Chloe says "Yeah, it's that obvious" and asks Clark to not "slam my cousin in the door". Changing the subject, Clark notices from the police files that the bullet which hit Jones has gone missing and they conclude that it must have been a police officer from his own precinct that shot Jones. Chloe says that Clark will need more than just a press pass to get on the inside, and starts working on her computer.

At the police station, an officer called "Danny Boy" by the other cops is about to go on patrol with his new partner "Joe", who is Clark now working undercover.

"Joe" and Dan set off on patrol and soon receive a call to action. As they arrive at the location, a thief is seen running out of a pharmacy. Dan tells Clark to make sure everyone is okay, while he personally chases the thief. He follows the thief into an alley. The thief hides, and comes up behind Dan, aiming his gun at him. Dan hasn't noticed anything yet when he hears a bullet firing, turns around, and sees the thief bouncing against the wall and Clark standing there. He then sees the smoking gun and arrests the thief. He realizes that Clark just saved him, and says "Guess I owe you one". After Dan leaves, Clark opens his hand and checks out the bullet which he'd caught to save Dan.

At a barbecue at Dan Turpin's house, "Joe Fordman" (Clark) meets Dan's son and wife. Dan's son is running around in a homemade costume. Clark asks who he is supposed to be and the child replies "The Red and Blue Blur". Clark looks to Dan, who remarks that he doesn't like his son emulating vigilantes. The son then falls over and gets hurt and Dan goes over to help him. Dan's wife starts talking to Clark. During their conversation, Suzie tells Clark that Dan's previous but now deceased patrol partner was his ride-along since they both graduated the academy. Clark then talks to the men and asks questions about the shooting of John Jones, but all they will say is that nobody in Dan Turpin's squad, which John was part of, liked him. The cops then get a call and Clark leaves with them.


Lana reveals Lex's true intentions to Tess

Lana is at the Isis Foundation, using a USB with the computer. She is talking to someone, telling them she stole information from Tess' computer. As she downloads the data, the contents of the USB (Tess' files) seem to be linked to another server as well. Tess then arrives and tells Lana that her judgement of Lana's character may not be as good as she thought it was. They get into an argument and then, as Lana moves to the door, Tess pulls a gun on her. Lana manages to knock the gun out of Tess' hand and a fight ensues, with Lana eventually getting the upper hand when she manages to pick up the gun and aim it at Tess.

The cops have captured a man who apparently killed Dan's old partner, but somehow beat the rap, and Dan starts beating him up in a rage. One of the other cops makes a comment that justice will be served. He then throws Clark a tire iron and prods Clark to "help" his partner. Before Clark is put in a difficult position, Green Arrow swoops in and knocks out most of the gang with shock arrows, although Clark catches the arrow meant for him. Oliver is surprised to see Clark masquerading as a cop. Clark tells Green Arrow to leave. They are unaware that Dan, who is still semi-conscious, has seen everything that happened.

Still holding Tess at gunpoint, Lana takes her into the surveillance room and asks Tess if she was this devoted before or after her accident in the South Pacific, slightly impressing Tess with her detailed knowledge. Tess tells Lana that Lex saved her life, so she owes him everything. Lana reveals to Tess how a Luthor repays that kind of loyalty: she shows her a live feed on the screens of everything Tess is seeing, explaining that Lex had a nano-transmitter wired to her optic nerve, which means that she has been Lex's eyes and ears ever since. Tess watches the screens in horror as everything she sees is shown and everything she hears echoes. Lana says that Lex may have saved her, but he never trusted her. Tears fill Tess' eyes.

At the hospital, Clark finds out that Jones is holding on, but is still in critical condition. Clark is then confronted by Dan Turpin about what he saw and he demands to know who Clark is working for. Clark says he knows that one of Dan's squad members shot Jones, and he asks Dan to come back to the side of justice.


Clark and Oliver talk

Clark is sitting in his kitchen when Oliver arrives and rails at him about condoning the beating. Clark insists that not all of them are all bad, but Oliver tells him the man Jones was chasing after never arrived into custody, but instead ended up at the bottom of the river.


Dan Turpin and Talbert

Back at the police station, Dan reveals to one of his fellow cops that "Joe" is not who he says he is.

Clark arrives at the Simmons house and uses his x-ray vision to find the sniper rifle in the trunk of a car. Suddenly, Turpin arrives with the rest of his squad and they tell Clark they are arresting him for the attempted murder of Detective Jones. After Clark is driven away, Talbert tells Dan that Dan will be the one to take down Green Arrow.


Jones fully recovered

Talbert sits on a nearby roof with his sniper rifle as Dan arrives with the thug who robbed the pharmacy and he starts beating him. The thug screams for help and Green Arrow arrives. Dan gets the drop on Green Arrow, but hesitates to kill him. Ollie tells Dan it's not too late to go straight and Dan lowers his gun. Talbert then takes matters into his own hands. A red laser dot appears on Dan's chest. Green Arrow notices and tackles him out of the way, behind some cover. Dan tries to move, but gets caught in the shoulder by Talbert. Clark arrives and disarms Talbert, but Talbert pulls a gun from his back pocket and fires; the bullet bounces off Clark and wounds Talbert. Talbert asks how that could happen, and Clark simply replies "Like you said, always wear a vest." Other police arrive just as Dan is arresting the other officer. He tells them "Don’t shoot. I'm one of the good guys", as Clark looks on and smiles.

Clark and Oliver visit Jones in the hospital. Clark asks John why he didn't contact him sooner. Jones says it was the same thing that keeps Ollie and Clark from asking for help: pride. Jones mentions that when you have had so much power, you get used to not asking for help. Clark talks about how he saw the brotherhood that policemen have, how it is good to have someone who has your back, and sometimes you can't do it alone, no matter how powerful you are.


Tess confronts Lex

Later, in the Luthor Mansion, Tess sends a message to Lex via the transmitter attached to her optic nerve, looking into a mirror so he will be able to see her. She tells him she respected and trusted him, but not anymore. She threatens to cut him off from the world and make him disappear. She presses a switch to activate a scrambling device that blocks the signal from her to Lex. As she does so, she says she loved him. At the same time, Oliver walks in, and Tess, quickly recovering her composure, tells him she would like to discuss a merger over dinner. As they leave, Tess leaves the Daily Planet newspaper on her desk with the headline "Lex Luthor Declared Dead".


Clark kisses Lana

At Dan's house, Clark and Dan talk about Dan's job as a police officer and how hard it is to put his wife and son through what he does every day. He says he does it to keep them safe and it would be harder not to do it. He questions Clark, asking if he has someone who makes it all worth it. Clark thinks a while, and then gives a little smile.

Arriving at the Talon, Clark finds Lana. He asks why she's still in Smallville, and she says leaving is harder than she expected it to be. Clark says the important thing is that she is here today. They kiss.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]




  • Something that is bulletproof is capable of withstanding absorbing the impact of bullets. It can also be used to refer to someone who is without errors or shortcomings.
  • The title refers to Dan Turpin being uncorruptible even after being pressured by the other cops.
  • Dan Turpin's former partner and long-year friend Mike used to call himself "bulletproof" before he was murdered.
  • John Jones used to be bulletproof before losing his powers in Odyssey.
  • In this episode, Clark is literally bulletproof; he is shot with a bullet, which bounces off of him. He claims he was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time.


  • Antagonist: Joe Simmons and Talbert
  • Clark’s Abilities: Telescopic vision, Super-Speed, Invulnerability, Super-Strength, X-Ray Vision
  • Oliver’s Arrows: Taser, Grapple
  • When Clark goes undercover as a police officer, his alias is "Joe Fordman." This could be a reference to the Fordman family from Season One, and also a reference to Jor-El's Earth name in Relic.
  • This is the second time that Lex Luthor has been declared dead (and his obituary published in a newspaper). The first time was the Season 3 premiere, Exile.
  • After Clark out speeds him on the first day on the job, Danny asked if he ran track; the last time Clark was on the track team was in Hereafter. But either way, he used super speed to apprehend the criminal not normal running.
  • The police refer to Metropolis superheroes like Green Arrow and the Red-Blue Blur as "capes". This is somewhat surprising, because neither Clark or Oliver fights while wearing a cape. The only time Clark or Oliver has ever worn a cape in battle is when Oliver pretended to be the Red-Blue Blur in front of Jimmy. However, just like in the real world, in the world of Smallville most comic book superheroes, like Warrior Angel, wear capes. It should also be noted that the time Oliver wore the cape disguised as the Red-Blue Blur was the very first time the existence of the Blur was definitively "proven" to the satisfaction of the general public, making that one time an iconic, unforgettable moment to the normal people of the Smallville universe.
  • Chloe manages to forge the paperwork that shows that Clark is "Joe Fordman", a cop transferring from Coast City. This is almost as impressive as the time she forged Kara Kent's paper trail, which claimed that Kara was Clark's cousin on his adoptive father's side and raised in Minnesota for the past 19 years.
  • Chloe's response to the "Clark/Lana" love triangle discussed at the Isis foundation is very similar to Lois telling Clark in Devoted that if "you break my cousin's [Chloe's] heart, I'll come back and break your legs." Chloe says that the 3rd point in the love triangle always hurts and she hopes Clark doesn't slam Lois in the door of his need for closure.
  • Clark catches a bullet meant for Dan Turpin. This is the seventh time Clark has caught a bullet shot by someone else with his bare hands: he caught the bullet(s) Edge's clown fired at him during the bank robbery in "Exile"; the bullet that Van McNulty fired at Lex in Extinction; the bullet that Samantha Drake fired at Jonathan Kent in Fanatic; the bullet that Maddox fired at him in Combat; the bullet that Graham Garrett shot at Lex and Lana in Fade; and the one that Ben Meyers fired at Rachel Davenport in Action.
  • Clark catching the bullet in the alley is reminiscent to a scene in Superman: The Movie, in which he catches a bullet in an alley to save Lois Lane.
  • Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, and Davis Bloome are absent from this episode.
  • A photograph of Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor is seen on the front page of the Daily Planet.
  • In the hospital scene at the beginning of this episode, Oliver Queen confirms that Martian Manhunter is now a part of the Justice League, although he is more an honorary member until he gets his powers back. This was revealed when Clark asked Oliver: "Since when did he become one of us?", at which point Oliver explains the times when Martian Manhunter helped him get out of trouble.
  • In this episode, Clark is a reporter who goes undercover as a policeman. In Jimmy Olsen's dream in Season 6 episode Noir, Clark is a policeman who goes undercover as a reporter.
  • When Lana is at the Isis Foundation uploading the files from Tess's computer, the monitors show what seems like a model of the Warsuit Lex Luthor uses in the comics.
  • Lana tells Tess that Lex had a nano-transmitter wired into Tess's optic nerve so she could be "Lex's eyes and ears". However, the optic nerve only processes vision, not sound which is processed through a different system entirely.  Although, if Lex has the technology to tap directly into the optic nerve, it is quite feasible that the addition of a simple microphone to record sound independently is quite feasible.
  • In the beginning of the episode, a UFO doll can be seen hung on the mirror of John's car. This is an allusion to his Martian nature.

In Other Media[]


  • David Paetkau (Dan Turpin) previously appeared on Smallville as Trevor Chapell in Hothead.
  • Ty Olsson (Talbert) and Alessandro Juliani (Emil Hamilton) were regular characters in Sci-Fi Channel's military science fiction television series Battlestar Galactica. Olsson portrayed Captain Aaron Kelly and Juliani portrayed Lt. Felix Gaeta.


  • When Clark and Lana are at the Talon, Clark tells her that if he squints his eyes, they're fourteen again. The Talon opened in Zero, the 14th episode of Season One which aired on March 12, 2002. Clark celebrates his birthday as early May 1987, while Lana's birthday is the Fall of 1986.
  • Martian Manhunter was last seen in Prey and lost his powers in Odyssey, causing him to become vulnerable to a bullet wound in this episode.
  • Lana displayed outstanding martial arts ability while fighting Tess, a highly trained martial artist. Lana first learned to fight after being attacked by Andy Arthur in Season Two; after she asked for help, Lex trained Lana and she was able to take Andy down with a spin-kick.
  • Oliver reveals that he's collaborated with Detective Jones in the past, while fighting crime in Metropolis, after he met him in Odyssey.
  • This is the second time Lex has been seen in a picture since Abyss.
  • Tess mentions Lana's miscarriage. Lana revealed she was pregnant with Lex's baby in Rage, but miscarried in Combat. It was ultimately revealed in Progeny that Lex had faked her pregnancy by injecting her with hormones.
  • This episode marks the 85th appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.



Recurring sets


Tess: Lex saved my life. I owe him everything.

Chloe: Clark, things always get messy when you start throwing around the Clark-Lana triangle, and I'm speaking from experience when I say the third point always hurts.

Tess: I'd like to discuss a merger.
Oliver: A merger? What kind of merger?
Tess: Any kind you want.

Clark: If I squint just right, it's like we're 14 again.
Lana: You say that like it's a good thing. What's up?
Clark: I couldn't sleep.
Lana: So you came to a coffee shop? Not your best plan, Mr. Kent.

Tess: (speaking to a reflection of herself, which can be seen remotely by Lex.) I did everything you ever asked. You've seen it with your own eyes, and apparently, with mine. But not anymore. I hope you watch with rapt attention as your bank accounts close, and you lose all contact with the outside world. Goodbye, Lex. (disables the signal) I loved you, you son of a bitch.

Tess: You don't know Lex like I do.
Lana: For your sake, I hope you're right.

Danny: What about you, Clark? You got someone who makes it all worth it?

Chloe: You know I gotta say being at the mercy of modern technology really sucks. (Clark gives her a strange look) I know, I know, I'm happy to be Brainiac-free but, my evil upgrade was really... convenient.

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