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"Extinction" is the third episode in the third season of Smallville, and forty-seventh episode overall. It aired on October 15, 2003.


Clark discovers someone is hunting people affected by the kryptonite rocks and the killer's next target is Lex. Clark uses his powers to save Lex, but is caught off guard when the killer learns his weakness and shoots him with a kryptonite bullet.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x03


Van McNulty

At the beginning of the school year, Van McNulty is teasing his friend Jake Pollen for admiring Lana Lang from afar. Later, while Lana is swimming in the school pool alone, Jake attacks her. Lana puts up a good fight, but Jake can breathe underwater and he holds her down until she almost drowns. Suddenly, a mystery shooter kills the boy, saves Lana, and disappears. At the bottom of the pool is a meteor rock with the word "freak" scratched onto it. The next day at school, Clark disagrees with Pete's assessment that the shooter was a hero. Clark rejoins the Torch staff and launches an investigation to learn the identity of the mysterious shooter. Chloe reveals her personal database. She has started a file on everyone she remotely suspects of being affected by the meteors, including Jake... and Lex.

Clark interviews Lana to find out that Jake was with Van McNulty earlier on the day she was attacked. Lana complains that Clark has been avoiding her and states that he doesn't need an excuse to come see her. Chloe interrupts the interview to share photos from Jake's autopsy showing that he had gills. Lana expresses disgust and Clark remarks that the bullet wound is more disturbing. Lana does not apologize for her lack of sympathy, saying she and Chloe have both been attacked more than once by meteor freaks. She points out that Clark has saved them, making him no different from the vigilante who shot Jake. Clark argues that no one asked to be exposed to the meteor rocks, and claims he has never killed anyone.

Lex reports for his new job at LuthorCorp and learns that Lionel has taken out a $50 million life-insurance policy on him. Lionel claims that it is standard for all upper level executives at LuthorCorp, but Lex is not comfortable with it. Lionel makes it clear that he cannot work at LuthorCorp without signing the policy. Chloe goes to visit Lionel in Metropolis and gives him her final article for her Daily Planet column. She is turning in her resignation today, stating that her friendship with Clark is too important to her. Lionel does not let her walk away so easily and tells her that her father will be disappointed to find himself unemployed since he just got a promotion and put a sizable down payment on a new house in Bratt Flats, a luxury community. Trapped, Chloe sadly leaves.


Clark saves Lex from being shot.

Clark corners Van McNulty in the school hallways. Van is listening to a police scanner and tells Clark that he is listening to find out when they catch the person who killed Jake. Clark learns that he and his father were very close. Chloe discovers that Jake is not the first victim. Two other bodies have been found with meteor rocks next to them. One was Leonard Wallace, a mechanic that Chloe has suspected might have some kind of stretching ability after she saw him reach three feet under her car to grab a wrench. Clark's research has turned up the fact that Van's father was Lt. McNulty, murdered by Tina Greer last year. Chloe concludes that Van is now avenging his father's death by targeting metahumans. Clark and Pete go to the McNulty hunting cabin looking for evidence. They find an impressive arsenal of weapons, as well as a hit list tacked on the wall. They realize that Lex Luthor is the next name on the list. Clark speeds to Metropolis just in time to catch a bullet fired at the back of Lex's head. Van witnesses Clark catch the bullet before Clark chases him down. When Clark catches Van, several meteor rocks tumble out of his bag and Clark is incapacitated. Van realizes that bullets might not hurt Clark, but the rocks do. Van escapes as LuthorCorp security approaches. Clark and Lex wonder why Lex was on Van's hit list. When Lionel comes in to check on Lex, he informs him that his life insurance has hit a snag because of so many near death experiences. Lex wonders out loud why he hasn't been sick since the meteor shower.


Van makes kryptonite bullets.

Clark asks Chloe why she thinks Van went after Lex, and she offers her theory that Lex was targeted because he has survived so many near-death experiences. She also shows him her file on Lex with his medical charts, which indicate that he has an elevated white cell count. Clark notes that Chloe's file matches the hit list and Chloe is horrified to realize that Van had access to the database when he networked the new computers. Clark gives the list to Sheriff Adams in hopes of catching Van before he makes his next hit. Lana asks about Lex, and Clark ends up giving her another lecture on tolerance.


Jonathan saves Clark.

Hiding in the woods, Van manufactures kryptonite bullets. He stakes out the Kent Farm. Clark and Jonathan are delivering hay to the feed troughs and talking about Lana's attitude towards kryptonite-infected people. Clark wonders if he's any better than Van, since he himself has defeated or imprisoned many metahumans. He says he talked to Lana about tolerance, but he too always assumes the worst. Van watches the exchange, and when Jonathan leaves, he shoots. Clark tries to nonchalantly catch the bullet in super speed, but to his astonishment, it goes through his hand and lodges in his shoulder. Clark falls instantly, calling for his dad. With the kryptonite quickly poisoning Clark, he passes out as Jonathan and Martha extract the bullet from his shoulder with pliers and a knife. When Martha takes the kryptonite away, the wound heals instantly, but Clark remains unconscious.


The kryptonite bullet.

After shooting Clark, Van goes to Lana and asks her to help hide him from the police. Lana urges him to turn himself in, and Van gets angry. He tells her that Clark is bulletproof, but he made special bullets and killed Clark. Lana pushes him down a staircase and calls the police to report Clark's murder before Van abducts her.

Clark wakes up eager to find Van. His parents want him to rest, but he insists that he is fully recovered and must go stop Van. The sheriff arrives in response to Lana's call and she is annoyed to see that Clark is, in fact, not dead. Clark uses the police radio to lure Van to the school. Van loads Lana into his truck and plans to hit Clark with an entire clip of kryptonite bullets. This time, when Van opens fire, it has no effect. Van and Lana are stunned, but Lana takes Van out with a well-placed spin kick. Then Clark shows her that he is wearing a lead plate under his shirt.

Clana Extinction

Lana tells Clark it would be all right if he was infected by the meteor-shower.

Clark visits Lex to let him know that Van has been taken into custody and placed in the psychiatric ward. Lex disagrees that Van is insane. He has decided that his several brushes with death are evidence that he really is special in some way. The next day, Lana visits Clark. She tells him that she almost believed Van when he told her that Clark was bullet-proof. She assures Clark that if the meteor rocks infected him it would be okay. Clark says that he might not ever be able to let anyone get close to him.

Chloe attempts to delete the database from her computer, but finds that she doesn't have access. Lionel appears and tells her that the computers and their contents are property of the LuthorCorp Foundation. Chloe tells him that the file on Clark is not on this computer, but Lionel is interested in metahumans in general. He threatens her if she ever investigates a member of his family again.

Lana and Chloe's Scorecard[]

"Chloe's been attacked by more of these people than me." - Lana Lang

Lethal attempts against Lana Lethal attempts against Chloe
  1. Tina Greer in X-Ray
  2. Ian Randall in Dichotic
  3. Emily Dinsmore's clone in Accelerate
  4. Jake Pollen in Extinction
  1. Walt Arnold in Hothead
  2. Sean Kelvin in Cool
  3. Justin Gaines in Crush
  4. Ian Randall in Dichotic
Non-lethal attacks against Lana Non-lethal attacks against Chloe
  1. Greg Arkin in Metamorphosis
  2. Byron Moore in Nocturne
  1. Member of Wade Mahaney's gang in Kinetic

Actually, it would seem that, as of this comment, they are even in their number of lethal attempts. However, Lana would be unmistaken if she were only talking about all attacks.



Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

  • "Way Away" - Yellowcard
  • "Give It to Me" - Vishiss
  • "I Give, You Take" - Maria
  • "Goodbye Again" - Vertical Horizon


  • Extinction refers to something that is no longer in existence, such as plant or animal.
  • The title refers to the extinction of the "race" of meteor-infected people, which is what Van McNulty desires. Also, it refers to the near-mortal wound Clark suffers from the kryptonite bullet, and the possibility of the Kryptonian race becoming extinct.


Extinctionws 049

Lt. McNulty

  • Antagonist: Van McNulty
  • When Van claims to have killed Clark, Lana calls the police. The sheriff finds him perfectly well after he recovered from the kryptonite bullet, and says "rumours of your death has been greatly exaggerated", a quote of Mark Twain, with the original being "my death".
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision and accelerated vision.
  • Lex wonders if he is invulnerable to all diseases. However, Chloe mentions in this episode that Lex has a dramatically increased white blood cell count, a warning sign of many autoimmune diseases. This was also mentioned in Craving when Lex received his annual physical. Also in Craving, Lex is given a clean bill of health, so it's possible that that is just normal for him. In the comics, Lex gets cancer and loses his hand from prolonged exposure to kryptonite by wearing a green kryptonite ring.
  • Lex also speculates on how often he has been faced with death. Since moving to Smallville, he has almost died dozens of times.
  • This is the first appearance of kryptonite bullets.
  • The actor pictured in Van's locker as Lt. McNulty is much older than the actor who played Lt. McNulty in Visage (D. Neil Mark).
  • Clark says his encounters with metahumans never lead to them shaking hands, but he's discounting Kyle Tippet and Cyrus Krupp, as well as his friendship with Cassandra Carver. He also claims to have never killed anyone, but his involvement with the deaths of Sean Kelvin and Tina Greer raise the question. Although it should be noted that in all occasions he never actively sought to kill them; the fight simply ended with them forcing him to make a maneuver that resulted in their deaths, such as dodging an attack from Tina only for her to be impaled or throwing Sean into a pool of water only for the water to freeze. However, the producers of the show maintain that Clark has never killed another human being. [1](See a discussion on the Talk page.)
  • Lana's innuendo that Clark is a vigilante similar to Van, and may have killed Tina due to the fact that police found her body impaled in an ally after fighting Clark, is especially ironic because in the previous episode Phoenix, Lana herself performed a fighting maneuver that lead to the death of one of Morgan Edge's henchmen when he was flung backwards and became impaled on a pitchfork.
  • When Clark runs off to save Lex, the running-clips are taken from the episode Ryan, when Clark ran hundreds of miles to get to a doctor.
  • In the beginning of the episode, Clark, Chloe, and Pete wear shirts resembling Superman's colors: red, yellow, and blue, respectively.
  • Chloe has created her MF database, using Starr-Ware Database system 5.0. In the comics Starrware is a corporation founded by Karen Starr (better known as Power Girl).
    Starr-Ware Database System 5
  • Lead is a soft metal, and would be a poor choice for anti-bullet armor. Even if reinforced by Clark's power, as tight-fitting clothes often are in Superman comics and media, it would be a suspicious choice for anyone not aware of them. Yet Lana never remarks on it, even after she had time to think of the matter.
  • Lana lists Greg Arkin and Tina Greer as two people who went psycho, as soon as they got their powers, and tried to kill her. However, Greg had been obsessed with Lana and stalking her (even breaking into Lana's house), long before getting his powers (as demonstrated by the real-life murder of actress Rebecca Schaeffer, stalkers can turn violent). Furthermore, Greg's goal was to mate with Lana, he never tried to kill her. And, while Tina Greer attempted to take over Lana's life in X-Ray (where she only locked Lana in a crypt, instead of trying to directly killing her), in Visage (whose events are referenced and heavily tied into this episode) her goal was to be romantically involved with Lana, not to kill her.




Jake Pollen: I'm waiting for someone.
Van McNulty: Lana Lang? Very original.

Van McNulty: That girl's got so many guys tailing her, she should qualify for Secret Service protection.

Lana: Just like Greg Arkin didn't ask to become a bug-boy, and Tina Greer didn't ask to become a bone-morpher. The fact is, when they got their powers, they went psycho and tried to kill me. Tina even came back for seconds. Chloe's been attacked by more of these people than me. You remember Justin Gaines and Sean Kelvin.
Chloe: Yeah, one tried to psychically impale me with farm implements, and the other just wanted my body heat. Thanks for the memories.

Clark: I've never killed anyone.

Lex: Clark, the only abilities I have are playing the market and falling for the wrong women.

Clark: It's just I've come into contact with a lot of kryptonite-infected people and it never ends with us being friends and shaking hands.

Lex: Maybe that kid was right about me... How many times have I come face to face with death and walked away without a scratch? I've practically lost count... Maybe I am a freak.

Lana: (to Van) Clark is more human than you will ever be.

Van McNulty: (talking about Clark's seemingly immunity to Kryptonite bullets) Told you he was a freak!
Lana: (gets up and kicks Van in the groin) You're the freak!

Clark: I didn't get a chance to tell you, but you really kicked ass yesterday.
Lana: Yeah, well, some hero I turned out to be. You still got shot.

Chloe: (to Lionel) You are so low, you're subterranean.

Clark: I may not have a choice.
Lana: You always have a choice.

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