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"Fade" is the twentieth episode in the fifth season of Smallville, and the one hundred-eighth episode overall. It aired on April 27, 2006.


While in Metropolis, Clark saves the life of a stranger named Graham Garrett, who vows to repay Clark for his kindness. Unfortunately, Graham happens to be a hit man with the ability to cloak himself, and he decides killing Lex would be the best gift he could give Clark. Meanwhile, Lois confronts Lana about her relationship with Lex.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 5x20


Graham strangles the witness.

On a street in Metropolis, police are escorting an eyewitness into a courthouse while a mysterious man, Graham Garrett, watches from the distance. Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan are on their way to the courthouse to watch the eyewitness testify. Clark sees Graham about to get get hit by a car. He super speeds over to Graham and pushes him away from the car, saving his life. After looking at Clark's press badge, Graham quickly thanks Clark and rushes away. Back at the courthouse, the witness is led into a secure holding room, which is guarded by policemen. As police close the door, Graham appears inside out of nowhere and strangles the witness with his tie, killing him. Police enter the room and find the dead witness, but Graham is nowhere to be found.

Clark and Martha arrive home and find Lois playing a video game on a new plasma television. They are curious as to where it came from, but all they can find is an unsigned card. Clark suspects it is from Lionel Luthor, but Martha is doubtful that he would send them a gift to buy himself back into their lives.


Clark watches as Lex and Lana kiss.

At the Daily Planet, Chloe tells Clark that the trial was canceled because the star witness was murdered in the basement of the courthouse, and there are no leads at all. Clark asks her to pull up the sales records of a plasma store so he can find out who gave him the television, which he sent back to the store, wary of accepting such an extravagant anonymous gift. Chloe also suspects Lionel sent the television, but Martha called him and he claimed he had nothing to do with it. Chloe suggests Lex Luthor sent it since he was feeling guilty, almost giving away Lex and Lana's secret. Clark decides to go talk to Lex.

In the Kent's house, Lois is doing sit-ups while talking to a senator on the phone. Graham seems to appear out of nowhere again, scaring Lois. Graham tells her he is a friend of Clark's and reveals that he is the one who sent the television. He doesn't understand why Clark would send the TV back. Lois invites him to wait at the Kent Farm until Clark comes home.

Lex enters his office and finds Lana Lang waiting for him. He tells her that no one in Washington D.C. was able to verify the existence of Milton Fine. Lex and Lana confess that they have missed each other, and they begin making out. Clark walks in, overwhelmed at what he is seeing. He quietly leaves the office without either of them noticing his presence. Clark meets Chloe at the Daily Planet and demands to know why she kept Lex and Lana's relationship a secret. Chloe says Lana asked her to keep it quiet and that Lana is her friend too. She reminds him that it was his decision to break up with her, and she can date Lex if she wants to. Nonetheless, Clark is still concerned about Lex seeing Lana.

In the loft, Clark looks at a picture of Lana and smashes it in frustration. Graham walks in and looks at the picture, asking Clark why he didn't keep the television. Graham reveals he drove through Smallville last year on business, so he knows the area well. Clark insists Graham doesn't have to repay him, but Graham convinces Clark to go out to dinner with him in Metropolis.


Lois is Graham's date.

At Graham's apartment, Clark enters and is surprised to find a big party. Graham tells him that he is a headhunter; he tracks people down for jobs. Lois is at the party as Graham's date. Lois thinks the party is pretty cool but gets kinda pissed to see Clark and and ditches him. Graham leads Clark out to the balcony, where an attractive woman, Gia, introduces herself. Clark blushes as Gia flirts with him, offering to go the bedroom. After Gia kisses him, Clark smiles, but he then realizes that Graham set them up. On his way out of the apartment, Clark is stopped by Graham, who apologizes about Gia and offers to get him and Lana back together. Confidently, Graham tells Clark that things will work out between him and Lana, even though she is already seeing Lex.


Gia kisses Clark on the balcony.

At the Luthor Mansion, Lex is on the phone with Milton Fine, unaware that he is being watched. Graham suddenly appears and strangles Lex with a rope. Just as Lex is about to die, Lana enters and Graham disappears. Lana has Lex's security guards call an ambulance. Clark arrives at the Smallville Medical Center and sees Lana comforting Lex in his hospital bed. He asks Lana suggestive questions about her relationship with Lex, but she avoids the subject. She gives him a description of the man who strangled Lex and tells him the man seemed to vanish. The description fits Graham perfectly.

Lois is at the Talon pouring excessive amounts of sugar into her coffee when Graham arrives. Even though he was thought to be leaving town, he invites Lois to go with him to a Coldplay concert in Chicago. Lois insists she'd be just as happy with a simpler date, but she agrees to go to the concert.

Accusingly, Clark confronts Graham in his apartment for Lex's attempted murder. After threatening to take him to the police, Clark easily shatters a statue Graham tries to hit him with, revealing his powers. Still holding the broken statue, Graham renders himself invisible and leaves the apartment. At the Daily Planet, Chloe concludes that Graham might be "The Chameleon", a hitman for hire who leaves no prints, clues, or surveillance footage. He is also suspected of the courthouse murder, which happened right after Clark saved Graham's life. Clark is determined to stop him, but Chloe warns him that Graham might know his weakness. Secretly, Graham is watching the entire conversation.

Lois is getting pumped for her date. Lois is taking a shower in the bathroom of the Talon apartment while Graham is secretly stalking her. After seeing the door shut, she gets out of the shower to investigate. Still naked, she opens the bathroom door... only to find Clark standing there. Using his super-hearing, Clark warns her that Graham is there, but Lois is irritated at the fact that Clark attacks every boyfriend she's had. Clark follows Graham's heartbeat downstairs and sees Graham exit the Talon. He tries to super speed up to Graham, but Graham is holding a meteor rock. After confirming he is a meteor freak, he tells Clark that he must be eliminated along with Lex and Lana.

With Lana by his side, Lex has woken up in the hospital. Lana tells him that Clark came to visit, and he asks her to tell Clark about the relationship before he finds out from someone else.


Lex fires his gun at an invisible Graham.

While Lois is getting ready for her date with Graham, Chloe enters the Talon apartment, alerting Lois that Graham is a professional hitman. Lois doesn't believe her, but even so, she follows Chloe outside to look for Clark. Chloe calls his cell phone, and they hear it ringing in the distance. Following its sound, they find Clark unconscious, buried underneath some construction with a meteor rock. Chloe throws the rock away and he awakens and warns them that Graham is going after Lex and Lana.

In the hospital, Lex is instant messaging Milton Fine, telling him that the compound virus is ready. Lana enters the room, bringing Lex a shirt. Suddenly, the guard outside Lex's room collapses and the door opens. Lex grabs the gun by his bedside and blindly fires into the room. He gets knocked out and Graham reappears, bleeding from a gunshot wound. Just as Graham is shooting Lex and Lana, Clark uses his super speed and catches the bullet. Graham collapses and dies, and Lex and Lana embrace while Clark looks on.


Clark congratulates Chloe on her first front-page Planet byline.

The next day, Lois visits Martha at the Kent's house, wondering why she has had so many bad relationships. Martha says that she went through quite a few bad relationships before she found Jonathan, and advises Lois to keep a closer watch for the right man. Clark visits Chloe at the Daily Planet and congratulates her on her first front page byline. He is concerned that saving strangers can get innocent people killed, but Chloe reassures him that it is not his decision. Clark apologizes about questioning his friendship with Chloe.

Clark is in his loft, disassembling his telescope which no longer works. Lana visits him, telling him the truth about her relationship with Lex. He warns her to stay away from Lex, but Lana tells him that she doesn't need to be protected. She reminds him that he was the one who decided to end their relationship and leaves the barn.



Guest Starring[]





  • Fade is defined as to "disappear gradually; vanish".
  • Graham Garrett is a metahuman with the ability to disappear by becoming invisible.
  • Clark and Lana's relationship continues to gradually "fade".


  • Antagonist: Graham Garrett
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: invulnerability, super speed, Super-Leaping, and super hearing.
  • Graham's ability to turn invisible was depicted somewhat differently from the invisibility Jeff Palmer acquired in Shimmer. On this occasion, Clark did not use his X-ray vision to detect Graham. This may imply that Graham's body scattered light more efficiently and over a broad range of frequencies, including x-rays.
  • Lionel Luthor and Jonathan Kent do not appear in this episode.
  • Chloe earns her first Daily Planet front-page byline with the Graham Garrett story.
  • Chloe's story seems to refer to Graham Garrett as 'Christopher Boyer', suggesting 'Graham Garrett' may have been a fake name (though the hitman was only known as 'Chameleon' before). In one scene, Chloe mentions that a search for 'Graham Garrett' came up empty, further indicating that it was not the man's real name.
  • Clark breaking down the telescope is one of the "rites of passage" of moving on from his feelings with Lana. Clark previously used the telescope when Lana was the girl next door and Clark would watch her with it from his loft.
  • This episode marks the 36th appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
  • "The Chameleon" is a Superman villain who appeared in Action Comics #126 (November, 1948). Unlike on the show, he does not possess the power of invisibility in the comics.


  • The game that Lois pays on the plasma TV is one is Dynasty Warriors 5.
  • On the balcony during the party, when Gia introduces herself there is a shooting star in the top left corner of the sky.


  • This is the second episode to feature a villain with the ability to turn himself invisible. The first was Jeff Palmer in Season One's Shimmer. Both Jeff and Graham tried to kill Lex. Interestingly, in this episode, Chloe claims that there is nothing in the Wall of Weird records about someone with invisibility. Though, Jeff used a special cream to make himself appear invisible, as opposed to actually possessing a metahuman ability.
  • This isn't the first time Clark's saved a rich man from a car accident, as in Pilot, Clark saved Lex's life when his Porche fell into a river. And much like Lex, Graham attempts to pay back Clark for saving his life until their relationship turns dangerous, much like Clark and Lex, forcing Clark to fight the man he saved.
  • Clark's concern about Chloe getting close to Lionel is not without evidence to back it up, as during Season 3 Chloe's partnership with Lionel turned dangerous and her attempts to get out from under him eventually resulted in an attempt on her life during Covenant.
  • Milton Fine's supposed involvement with the State Department was revealed to Lex in Hypnotic, and his continued investigation of the supposed professor is also continued over from Fragile.
  • Clark tells Chloe she has no idea how hard it was to see Lana and Lex together. Although Clark does not remember it, Chloe knows exactly how he was feeling as in Season Two's Calling, when she was still in love with Clark, she saw him and Lana kissing and was devastated.
  • Clark unintentionally sees Lois naked. Lois saw Clark naked in Crusade, therefore making them even. Also, this marks the second time, of seeing all three love interests (Lana, Chloe and Lois), with both his X-Ray and physical vision.


  • When Clark goes to the Daily Planet to ask Chloe about Lana and Lex, she asks him about the assassin. She said, "Riddle me this?" - a reference to the Batman villain, The Riddler.


Clark: No really, I'm fine.
Graham: You're hanging out in a barn. Alone. In the middle of nowhere. That doesn't look too okay to me.

Clark: You have no idea how hard it was to see them like that. It was like I couldn't breathe.
Chloe: I'm sorry you had to find out that way. I know how much it must have hurt.

Martha: So, how are you? Clark told me what happened.
Lois: Me? I'm fine. Getting swept off my feet by a notorious hitman is my way of living la vida loca.

Graham: I made a killing the other day, and it's all thanks to Clark Kent. You thirsty? How about a mojito?
Clark: No, thanks. I-I'm good. What exactly do you do?
Graham: I'm a headhunter. I travel the world tracking people down. You know, for jobs. I'd like you to meet my date.

Lois: Maybe I should think about getting a job in the whole corporate-head hunting business myself. Sounds like a load of fun.
Graham: It is. But it can get a little cutthroat. So what do you say?

Graham: So, where's the plasma?
Lois: So, you're the one who sent over all the high-tech booty. You know, I was gonna keep it, but Mr. "I-Can't-Take-Candy-From-Strangers" took everything back this morning.
Graham: That's odd.
Lois: That's Clark Kent.

Graham: Go easy on me; I'm a friend of Clark's. Are you his girlfriend?
Lois: Not in this lifetime.

Lois: (playing a video game) Jimbo, you are mine!
Clark: Lois!
Lois: (the game ends) Ah, come on, Smallville, ya killed me!

Clark: I guess this a bad time to ask for a favor?
Chloe: Are you kidding me? The amount of times you saved my butt you can pull a coin from the favor bank anytime you need. What's up?
Clark: Somebody sent me a 50-inch plasma with all the bells and whistles -- forgot to sign the gift card.
Chloe: Clark, that's not a problem. That's winning the Trifecta. When's movie night?
Clark: Never. I sent it all back.
Chloe: (disappointed) No, you didn't!

Lois: Look, Clark, I happen to actually like this guy, so can you do me this one favor and pretend not to know me?

Chloe: Save first, ask questions later.

Lana: I thought you loved that telescope.
Clark: I did. It doesn't work anymore.

Graham: (to Clark) You think using your powers to be a hero is a rush? Nothing beats using them to kill.

Chloe: Clark, pick up the pace, somewhere between brisk walk and super speed. The star witness testifies in 15 minutes.
Clark: Not that I mind being your boy Friday, but I don't understand why you need an escort.

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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries