Abigail Fine gets plastic surgery to boost her popularity. However, her beauty hides a dark secret - when she kisses someone, they are inflicted with life-threatening hallucinations. When Lana sees Abigail with one of her victims, she becomes the next target.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x03
During freshman year 2001, the Smallville High School football players are rallying the students for the start of the season. Lana Lang is perched above the dunk tank and Whitney Fordman recruits Clark to dunk her. Before he can throw the football, Clark's hands begin to shake from Lana's kryptonite necklace. Just then, the mascot arrives to cheer on the crowd. Instead, one of the players, Brett Anderson, takes the head off the costume, revealing dowdy freshman Abigail Fine. Her hair is dishwater-brown and stringy and she has glasses and severe acne on her face. Brett calls her "Scabby Abby" and Clark tries to stand up for her, but she runs away crying. The flashback ends as Abigail is lying on an examination table in the present time. A female voice soothingly says that her senior year will be different. It belongs to Dr. Elise Fine, Abigail's mother, who is a plastic surgeon. Dr. Fine turns on some machinery and a network of green glowing tubes and needles descend on Abby and pierce her skin.
Clark is in his barn yard catching his own passes and daydreaming of being a Met U football star. Lois arrives and asks him why he's not on the team. He is annoyed at her questions but they are interrupted when General Lane pulls up and informs Lois that she failed her senior year. Clark laughs at Lois' misfortune until Lane also says she must enroll at Smallville High to get enough credits to graduate.
Chloe is thrilled that Lois is in school with her and suggests she write for the Torch for an extra credit but Lois is resistant. Clark is eyeing a poster advertising football tryouts when the students start whistling. A beautiful blonde girl is walking down the hall. She says hi to Clark and he realizes it's Abby; she's had extensive cosmetic surgery and her entire appearance is changed. He admits that he almost didn't recognize her. She tells him that she changed herself because she was tired of sitting on the sidelines. Lois thinks Abby is too young for plastic surgery, but Chloe surprises her by saying she supports Abby's decision. When Clark agrees that Abby looks great, Lois starts to rant about high school being a façade full of people pretending to be something they are not. Chloe again suggests she write an article about her opinion and Lois agrees.
Lana finds a note in her locker from Jason and goes to his office. They are about to kiss when Clark bursts in to introduce himself to Coach Teague. They lie that Lana is giving Jason a school tour and Clark seems to buy the story. He asks Jason about tryouts and Jason gives him a permission slip.
Martha tells Jonathan that she has taken a management position at the Talon. Jonathan is resistant to the idea, but Martha urges him to be reasonable about the subject; they need the extra income to cover his hospital bills.
Jason asks Clark for his permission slip to try out and correctly guesses that Clark doesn't have parental permission, but he lets him try out anyway. During practice, Abby runs by and Brett gets another look at her. He approaches her in the halls just as Lana is walking by. Brett acknowledges that he treated her badly in the past and they go to the showers to make out, where Abby's necklace falls off in the shower. She is kissing him when green veiny strands form on his mouth. She is unnerved and leaves abruptly. Brett chases after her but when he sees his reflection, he sees the lower half of his face rotting away, even though in reality, there is nothing wrong with him. Abby looks on in horror as he runs out in a panic, directly into Lois' car.
Lois is visibly shaken by the event and Clark tries to calm her down. He asks Lois what happened and she speculates that pressure made him go crazy. She follows Clark into the boys' locker room and starts to interrogate the players. Clark finds Brett's jersey by the shower and locates Abby's necklace.
Lana finds Lex opening a package she had sent to the Talon. It is full of books about hieroglyphics, one of which has the same symbol as Lana's tattoo on the cover. Lex remarks that she must be working on the same "school project" that Clark is always working on.
Jonathan learns that Clark joined the football team, but Clark maintains that he knows how to control his abilities and won't hurt anyone. Jonathan is more worried that Clark will get caught up in the game and do anything to win. Clark points out that Jonathan loved high school football and he wants the chance, too.
Lana is visiting Dr. Fine for a consultation about getting her tattoo removed, but Dr. Fine informs her that the tattoo is not ink—it is branded underneath her skin. She tells her that Lana will probably need a complete skin graft if she wants it removed. She recognizes Lana as one of Abby's classmates. Abby arrives and when Lana asks about her and Brett, Abby says she doesn't know what she's talking about. Unnerved, Lana exits quickly. Abby is upset and demands to know what her mother did to her. Dr. Fine says Brett deserved it anyway and they will have to get Lana out of the way since she saw the two of them together. She manipulates Abby by saying that if they get caught, Abby will have to stop her treatment and go back to being Scabby Abby.
Lana meets Jason in the old drama room because he has a birthday surprise for her. He admits that he feels strange as an authority figure of the football team, since he's not much older than the players. He blindfolds her and goes to get the surprise. When he is gone, Abby sneaks up and gives Lana a toxic kiss, then apologizes and runs away crying. Lana sees her reflection and has the same hallucination of her face rotting. In a panic, she backs into a large wall mirror, which falls on her and shatters, knocking her out. Jason is at her bedside at the hospital when Lex comes to visit. He introduces himself and correctly guesses that Lana and Jason have more than a teacher/student relationship.
Chloe and Clark talk about Lana's condition and Clark reports that Lana and Brett had elevated levels of serotonin. Chloe connects that Abby was with Brett and Lana saw them both, and suggests that Abby might be responsible. They go back to the Torch office and find Lois' research on Dr. Fine's facility, Beechwood Medical Center. Dr. Fine has developed a medication to keep serotonin levels in check, so Clark and Chloe decide to go to the facility so she can treat Lana and Brett.
Lois pretends to be interested in plastic surgery and schedules an appointment for the same procedure that Abby had. When Dr. Fine realizes that Lois is taping the interview, Lois gets up to leave, saying she will expose her. Dr Fine pulls her back by her hair, injects her, and renders her unconscious. Lois wakes as needles and tubes descend on her, realizes she's stripped to her underwear and pinned in the plastic surgery machine. Dr. Fine tells her that she will destroy her beauty and she will learn what Abby had been through. Lois is terrified and tries in vain to get out. Clark bursts into the lab to save her, but when he pulls the machinery off, green gas starts to fill the room. Clark is incapacitated and Dr. Fine knocks him to the ground. However, Lois kicks her away, frees herself from the machine, and winds up helping Clark from the room.
Lana tells Jason that her whole ordeal makes her wonder if he only likes her for her looks. Jason assures her that he loves her for her personality.
Clark arrives home to tell his father that he's sorry to disappoint him but he is staying on the team. Jonathan tells him he understands and they make up. At school the next day, Chloe tells Lois that her article was well-received and suggests she write more. They go to the football rally where Clark is now in the dunk tank. Lois easily throws the football and dunks him. Chloe looks on, crestfallen, as Clark and Lois share a flirty moment.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Jensen Ackles as Jason Teague
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor (credit only)
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
Special Guest Star
- Brianna Lynn Brown as Abigail Fine
- Eric Johnson as Whitney Fordman
- Julianne Christie as Dr. Elise Fine
- Michael Ironside as General Sam Lane
- "Everywhere You Go" - The Class of '98
- "Devils And Angels" - Toby Lightman
- "F**k N' Spend" - High Speed Scene
- "What Do You Do in the Summer (When It's Raining)" - Beu Sisters
- "Ghetto" - John Gold
- "My Happy Ending" - Avril Lavigne
- A facade is a superficial appearance or illusion of someone/something.
- The title refers to the special surgery Abigail Fine undergoes, which, while giving her the appearance of being beautiful, also gives her the ability to cause hallucinations in others.
- Antagonist: Dr. Elise Fine
- The last name of Fine, is later used as a facade for Brainiac; as Dr. Milton Fine.
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength and super speed.
- Lionel Luthor does not appear in this episode.
- The Luthor Mansion is not featured in this episode.
- Dr. Fine's first name isn't spoken, but the website Lois is viewing and the article Chloe reads lists her name as "Elise". Her name may be of reference to her preoccupation with physical beauty.
- In a deleted scene on the Season Four DVD, it is revealed that Clark, Abby, and Brett have known each other since grade school.
- When this episode originally aired, Lois Lane's plastic surgery article was featured on the old WB website. One can still read it here (using the Internet Archive Wayback Machine).
- After Lana receives the kiss from Abby in the old drama room, she panics because of the reflection she sees. When the mirror falls on Lana, it resembles her being trapped in the Phantom Zone.
- Lois is shown using a computer in the Smallville Torch office, researching Dr Fine. The same scene is used in Crusade when Lois is watching Chloe's video message.
- After Abby kisses Lana you can clearly see her necklace. Earlier it was shown that Clark found that necklace in the shower drain. Either Abby has multiple necklaces or this scene was shot before the shower one.
- There are two references to Lois' poor spelling, which is often present in versions of her in different media.
- Lana goes to Dr. Fine to get her tattoo, the Mark of Transference she received from the tomb of Margaret Isobel Thoreaux during Crusade, Dr. Fine tells her that the tattoo was not created by ink but rather looks like it was burned on Lana's skin, a possible allusion to the fate of Theoreaux.
- Eric Johnson makes a cameo appearance for the freshman year flashback. This is Johnson's last appearance.
- Lex and Jason introduce themselves to each other, despite the fact that they used to play together as children, revealed in Veritas. However they both could have forgotten about all this.
- Clark: (as Lois follows him into the boys' locker room) Hey - Hey! Last time I checked, you were missing a few prerequisites for being in here!
- Lois: So you have been checking me out!
- Lois: Call me crazy, but I've always been a firm believer that beauty - it's on the inside.
- Dr. Fine: The only people that say that are the ones who already have it on the outside.
- Announcer in Clark's imagination: What a ball game! It's all tied up! With five seconds left, it's a brother here at Metro Stadium! Clark Kent, the young phenom from Smallville has led M.U.'s incredible comeback. Kent takes the step from his own ten-yard line. It's Hail Mary time. He fades back. Here's the pass. A bullet deep downfield! Way past his own receiver! Wait! Kent's now flying down the field. He's going to catch his own pass! Touchdown! The Meteors win! Kent is unbelievable!
- Lois: Nice arm, farm boy. When's the first game?
- Clark: I'm not on the team.
- Lois: Why not? An arm like that is a "Get out of geek free" pass.
- Clark: Have I told you how much I'm gonna miss you?
- Sam: Not to worry, though. I'm sure that Clark will be happy to show you around.
- Clark and Lois: Around where?
- Sam: Bright and early tomorrow morning. You start Smallville High.
- Lois: Great.
- Chloe: Yeah, God. What could be worse than, you know, uncovering the truth and protecting the public?
- Lois: And sticking your nose in other people's business.
- Chloe: Like I said. You'd be perfect.
- Clark: I know. That's why I have just one question for you. You gonna let some assistant coach from Metropolis teach your boy how to play football?
- Chloe: Whatever. Say what you want, but I know inside, it's getting to you. Welcome to the bullpen, Miss Lane. Now, I'm off to see Clark Kent in a wet T-shirt. Care to join me?
- Lois: Like I've never seen that before.
- Clark: Come on, Lois! Didn't those guys on the base teach you anything?
- Lois: Wouldn't you like to know? Doesn't matter 'cause you are going down.
- Clark: That'll be the day.
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