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"Dichotic" is the ninth episode in the second season of Smallville, and thirtieth episode overall. It aired on November 19, 2002.


When Clark tries to warn Lana and Chloe about Ian, an overachieving student who is surreptitiously dating both girls, they accuse Clark of jealousy but realize too late that he was right. Meanwhile, frustration with his father causes Lex to lose his temper and attack a parking attendant's car with a golf club, landing him in an anger management class where he meets an interesting new woman.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 2x09


Ian confronts Mr. Frankel about his grade.

A bunch of students are in Mr. Frankel's foundry class in Smallville High, where Clark and Pete are partners. Frankel soon approaches Ian Randall, and is typically unimpressed with his work. When the class is over, Clark x-rays the gradebook to find that Pete got a B+ for his work (while Ian got a C and Clark got a C+). Later, Ian confronts Mr. Frankel and pushes him for answers about his grade. When he hears it's a C, he kills him, expressing his dislike for a C since he tried attending every class for a LuthorCorp scholarship.

Lex is exiting the Talon to find that he is getting a parking ticket. He argues with the meter maid to no avail, and suddenly and impulsively removes a golf club from his backseat and proceeds to bash the shocked meter maid's car with it.


Lex meets Dr. Helen Bryce.

Jonathan is repairing the tractor when the jack breaks, crushing his leg. Clark rushes out to help him and uses his X-ray vision to see that it is broken, and takes him to the hospital. Jonathan is treated by Helen Bryce, who gives him a promising prognosis. Martha rushes in and explains that she was in a board conference. Lex arrives with contact information for a high-profile orthopedist for Jonathan's care, and Helen bristles at being second-guessed, but takes it in stride. Clark tells Lex that he's worried that his mother feels guilty.

Ian approaches Chloe at the office of the Torch. He tells her that he's been taking night classes and extra-credit work to graduate as a sophomore and get into an ivy-league college. Chloe asks for an interview, and they talk at The Talon. He asks her out, and Clark arrives just as Ian and Chloe are leaving. He tells Lana (who has just moved in with Chloe), that he has to break their study date to do some of his dad's errands. Ian offers to help Lana instead. Ian goes into a back room, and produces an identical clone of himself. The two Ians then leave to go on their respective dates with Chloe and Lana.


Ian splits himself in two.

The next morning, Martha announces that she is staying home, and she and Clark both try to persuade Jonathan to take it easy, but he insists on working. Martha says she still feels guilty. At school that day, Clark and Pete notice that Mr. Frankel is absent, and shop class has been canceled. They also see Ian and Lana in the halls. Ian leans in to kiss her, and Clark asks her what Chloe thinks. Lana is confused, and Clark explains that Ian broke the date with Chloe to study with Lana. Lana is doubtful, because Chloe didn't say anything, and tells Clark to stay out of it.

Lex arrives at his anger management class and sees a familiar face - Dr. Bryce. He asks her out, but she turns him down, cryptically saying, "You don't remember me?" Later, he finds her at the hospital, and he does remember- they had an encounter years ago in a Metropolis ER. She accepts his date.

Clark goes to the Torch office and asks Chloe if she likes Ian, because he saw him flirting with Lana. She gets defensive, and says Ian told her that Lana likes him, but not to say anything because he'd rather be with her. Clark is skeptical because he thinks Ian is playing both girls, but Chloe gets upset because she thinks Clark can't imagine that someone would choose her over Lana. She storms off.


Chloe and Lana are trapped by the two Ians.

Clark confronts Ian, and accuses him of using Chloe and Lana to win his scholarship. He asks Ian about the C he made in shop, and Ian simply says that the teacher never posted grades. Clark and Pete go the metal shop classroom to look around. They find Mr. Frankel's body in a cabinet, but suddenly a barrel of chemicals tips over and the floor lights on fire. They see Ian running away.

Clark goes to Chloe's house to find Ian and Chloe kissing. He tells them what he saw, but Ian and Chloe claim he's been at her house for three hours. He goes to talk to Lana, who is mad that he is still prying. He tells Lana that Ian is seeing Chloe, but Lana doesn't listen.

Clark and Pete gets information from the scholarship fund and realize that Ian was taking classes at community college at the same time of day he was in school at Smallville High. They decide to follow Ian to see how he is in two places at the same time.

They page him with the girls' pagers and he arrives at both the Talon and Chloe's house at exactly the same time. Clark calls Chloe to warn her, but she doesn't answer. Instead, Lana comes in and they realize they might both be dating Ian at the same time. When he shows up, they confront him, and he realizes Clark and Pete are onto him. He locks the door, and he and his double corner the girls. When Pete and Clark arrive at the Torch, they find a "suicide note" from both girls. Ian takes the girls to a dam and tries to throw them over. Chloe makes a run for it, but one Ian tackles her. She falls and is knocked out, and he throws her over. Clark super speeds to the scene and catches Chloe, who is still unconscious but unharmed. He knocks out one Ian while the other tries to throw Lana over, but both tumbles over the edge. Clark pulls her to safety, but Ian falls to the bottom.


Jonathan and Martha resolve their issues.

Clark arrives home and reports that both girls are fine. Martha announces that she is probably going to quit, and Jonathan admits that he doesn't want her to quit her job, but feels like the Luthors come first sometimes. Martha assures him that that isn't the case.

Lana and Chloe agree not to keep secrets from each other (again). Later, they call Clark to the Talon to apologize. They discuss their complex friendship, but don't really resolve anything. Clark expresses disappointment that they both trusted Ian over himself, while Chloe and Lana admit the mistake but cite that it was their mistake to make. The conversation ends with Clark affirming that he doesn't think he should be treated like the jealous boyfriend, and would rather be treated like a friend. This marks the first time Clark takes a truly proactive and decisive role in defining the relationships between all of them.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

  • "In a Young Man's Mind" - Mooney Suzuki
  • "Uneven Odds" - Premonition
  • "I Ain't Waiting Here for You" - Bosshouse
  • "I Want This Perfect" - Son of Adam
  • "I Wish I Cared" - A-Ha
  • "Settle Hills" - Dem Hills


  • The title refers to Ian Randall's ability to duplicate himself.


  • Antagonist: Ian Randall.
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision, and telescopic vision.
  • Lionel Luthor does not appear in this episode.
  • The Luthor Mansion doesn't appear in the episode.
  • The S that Clark makes in shop class (for "Smallville High") and was even held up in front of his chest looks just like the "S" logo that he wears on his Superman costume in the comics. This is later shown, in the series as in the comics, to be the symbol of the house of El.
  • On the Season 2 DVD of this episode, there is a deleted scene where the Ian that didn't fall suffers from the same injuries as his double, and they both die, one vanishing. This scene shouldn't be viewed as canon due to the later appearance of Ian.
  • To create the effect of Ian splitting himself, Entity FX used three difference techniques. First, the primary shot of a CGI face pushing its way through a digital image of Thomas' back in three dimension; second, the team used "shadowplay", which is a two dimensional shot appearing on a wall as though the audience is seeing Ian's shadow as he splits himself; last, the team applied another two dimensional effect to the final moment of separation, when strands of CGI flesh snap back to each body.
  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas is billed as a "Special Guest Star".
  • This episode marks the first appearances of Ian Randall and Dr. Helen Bryce.
  • It is unexplained how Clark could fall faster than Chloe when she was thrown off the dam as he has not learned Flight.
  • This episode possibly marks the first time Clark carries someone while in super speed; in this case, he is holding a (conveniently unconscious) Chloe in his arms while he runs back up the dam. While his invulnerability shields him from harm of high-velocity movement, this may be another hint since "Obscura" that he could partially extend it to whatever he touches.


In Other media[]



Lex: I employ 2500 people in this town... I pay taxes, which provide... your salary. Get a real job.

Clark: You know, I lucked out. My mom called and said she was gonna take off early. Help finish up the chores. So you want to celebrate?
Lana: I wish I could, but I've got to get changed and take a shift at the Talon.
Chloe: Yeah, and I only have like a second to grab a bite before I need to run over to the Torch. Sorry.
Clark: Oh. When you two are scheduled to take a breath, give me a call.

Clark: I guess I'm just lucky she didn't take a nine-iron to a meter maid's car.
Lex: You heard about that?
Clark: The town is called Smallville.
Lex: I was having a bad day.
Clark: (laughing) Yeah.

Chloe: So perfect attendance, straight A's, and a class load that would make Einstein crack. You know what — forget the interview. Let's just call Ripley's.
Ian: It's kind of intense, huh?
Chloe: That's like saying the sun is "kind of hot".

Clark: Dad. The couch is over there.
Jonathan: Clark, believe me, I can take it just as easy greasing the bearings on the tractor out in the barn as I can sitting on that couch.

Helen: I drop kicked an orderly. I have a violent reaction to incompetence.

Ian: (after killing Mr. Frankel) I just can't accept a C.

Chloe: Oh I get it, you just want to make sure poor little Chloe doesn't get burnt. Again.
Clark: No, Chloe-
Chloe: You know what Clark? Not that it really matters, but Ian already told me that Lana was kind of into him, but he'd rather be with me. He-he asked me to keep it a secret because he doesn't want to hurt her feelings.
Clark: And you believe that?
Chloe: You really can't imagine that someone would choose me over Lana, can you Clark?
Clark: Chloe, wait- (Chloe storms out and slams the door)

Clark: Lana, have you seen Chloe?
Lana: She's at the Sheriff Station giving her statement.
Clark: I don't remember ordering a side of hostility.
Lana: I can't believe you accused Ian of murdering Mr. Frankel!
Clark: Lana, you have to believe me. I don't know how he did it but he is lying to everyone.
Lana: A boy with secrets. I'm surprised you guys aren't fast friends.
Clark: Don't try to turn this around on me. He's seeing you and Chloe at the same time. He's at her house. She's his alibi!
Lana: Clark, they were finishing up an interview!
Clark: Does Chloe always finish up her interviews by making out with the subjects?

Helen: Actually, I should be thanking you. It's cases like yours that convinced me to leave Metropolis.

Lana: Clark came by the Talon. I know about you and Ian.
Chloe: For a guy so concerned with privacy, he can't seem to keep his mouth shut.

Chloe: Making me 0 for 2 in the "They always go for Lana" sweepstakes.

Chloe: What really gets me is I should have known better. Only Chloe Sullivan could fall for a guy who splits himself in two. What is it about me? Do I have a sign around my neck that says "Mutant Magnet"?

Chloe: Sure. Now, let's go over the house rules.
Lana: And they are?
Chloe: One, do not make your bed until after 5:00 PM. Two, do not touch the dishes in the sink until it's overflowing, and three, contrary to my dad's protestations, your bedroom floor is definitely a closet.

Clark: Well, first we can stop treating me like the jealous boyfriend, since none of us have actually dated. You wanna be friends, let’s be friends.

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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries