Clark has big concerns after Alicia becomes the prime suspect in a brutal attack against Lana and Jason. Clark initially defends Alicia, but when the evidence begins to pile up, he is forced to take a hard truthful look at the situation. Hurt by Clark's actions, Alicia forces Clark to unknowingly reveal his powers in front of Chloe. Meanwhile, Jason's mother returns to town with an offer for Lex.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x12
It's karaoke night at the Talon - Chloe and Lois are belting out their best version of Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" when Clark comes in with Alicia Baker by his side. The music fades and the entire audience stares at Alicia with contempt. Disgusted, Lana gets up to leave while Jason stays to confront Clark and Alicia. He spits out that he can't believe that Clark brought her there. Clark tries to stand up for Alicia but she hurries away in tears.
Later that night, Lana is showering when an unknown presence glides through the keyhole of her door and tries to suffocate her with the shower curtain. Jason hears the commotion and breaks into the bathroom just in time to save her.
At the hospital, Jason tells Clark that Lana doesn't want to see him. Lois and Chloe point out that there's only one person in town who can enter and exit locked rooms unseen. Clark objects that she was wearing her special lead bracelet to subdue her powers, and that he was with Alicia at the time of the attack, so she couldn't be responsible. He tells the same version of events to Sheriff Adams the next morning. After the sheriff leaves, Martha and Jonathan again tell Clark that they disapprove of him dating Alicia. Upset, Clark maintains Alicia's innocence and reminds them that they taught him to look for the good in people.
At school the next day, Clark asks Chloe to help him see if others in Smallville have abilities similar to Alicia. Their conversation is interrupted when another classmate, Tim Westcott, approaches Chloe with an article he has written for the Smallville Torch about the opening of a historical exhibition. Tim notices Lois and asks her on a date. She reluctantly agrees. Clark then asks Tim if he saw anything that night at the Talon and he remarks that he saw a blond girl in the alley.
In his loft, Clark receives a visit from Alicia. He asks her if she was in the alley and she again tells him that she had nothing to do with Lana's attack. However, she admits that she was not wearing her bracelet, because giving up her powers was like being in prison. She asks Clark if he could ever give up his powers and he says he'd rather not have them than hurt anyone.
That night, Clark goes to the Talon to give his mom a ride home. Lana and Jason are there, but Jason is reluctant to go, even though he has homework. Clark and Martha convince Jason that they will watch over Lana. In his car about to leave, Jason is attacked from behind. A green scarf is pulled around his neck by an unknown assailant. He manages to hit the car horn until Clark comes out and saves him.
At the hospital, Lana has a run-in with Genevieve Teague. Genevieve laughs away Jason's theory that she orchestrated their "chance meeting." Genevieve then confronts Lex and asks him to hire Jason because she believes that it will separate him and Lana.
Clark asks Alicia why her scarf was in Jason's car and she again maintains her innocence. She realizes that he now thinks she's guilty, too, and states that if everybody knew about Clark's powers, he'd be a suspect, too. He urges her to come to the sheriff with him and explain everything, but she says she won't go unless he reveals his powers, too. Clark can't do it and Alicia teleports away. Clark takes the scarf to Sheriff Nancy Adams, but she reveals that Alicia is no longer a suspect because she herself was in an interrogation room with Alicia at the time Jason was attacked.
Alicia shows up at the Torch office, where Chloe is working late. She remarks that one of Chloe's closest friends is one of the so-called "meteor freaks" about whom she writes. Chloe asks why she should believe her and Alicia teleports them into her car. Driving dangerously fast, she calls Clark and tells him her car's brakes are failing. Instantly, Chloe and Alicia are teleported out of the car, out of sight, and Clark superspeeds to the scene. The car speeds into road construction, sending it flying through the air towards Clark. Chloe watches as Clark splays his hands out, catches the car sideways in midair, turns it right side up, and gently lowers it to the ground, only then noticing the car is empty. Confused, he superspeeds away. Chloe is left stunned speechless at witnessing a display of Clark's powers.
Lois's date with Tim turns from awkward to creepy when Tim offers his opinions of Lana and Jason's relationship. He states that a teacher dating a high-schooler is wrong and they got what they deserved. Lois is unsettled by this comment and leaves the date abruptly.
Lois meets Chloe in Talon and asks if she has seen Clark. But Chloe can't answer properly. Lois tells Chloe that she has suspicions about the murderer. She asks Chloe if she is all right and goes away to find Clark.
At her barn, Alicia encounters Tim, who boldly states that he's there looking for something belonging to her to leave at the next murder. She realizes that Tim is the one framing her, but is unable to get away before he drugs and overpowers her.
At the Luthor Mansion, Genevieve tries to persuade Lex to help separate Jason and Lana, saying that she could provide Lex with information about his father's release from prison.
Clark arrives at the barn looking for Alicia and finds her body hanging from a noose. He gets her down but she is already dead. Clark cradles Alicia's body as he cries in his grief. Lois appears and tells Clark that she knows who is responsible. Clark goes to confront Tim.
Clark finds Tim and, after an intense fight, defeats him by severely burning him with his heat vision. In a rage, Clark then attempts to strangle him. Lois shows up just in time and her pleading causes Clark to break down and halt his attack.
Jason meets Lex in his office and is surprised when Lex offers him a job paying $100,000 a year. Suspicious, Jason asks whether his mother put Lex up to it to end his relationship with Lana. Lex confirms this and suggest they work together against Genevieve.
Days later, Clark is in his loft, forlornly throwing a ball against a wall. His parents show up, worried that he's been in the loft by himself for two days straight. He tells them that he can't forgive himself for not going to reveal his powers when Alicia asked him to, and feels responsible for her death. Martha and Jonathan respond by trying to comfort him.
At the Torch office, Lois shows up and Chloe asks if she should tell a friend that she knows a secret the friend hasn't told her yet. Lois offers that if no one's being hurt by the secret, she should wait for the friend to tell her. Chloe begins to take down the articles about Clark that are posted on the Wall of Weird. Chloe meets Clark at Alicia's grave. She drops subtle hints that she understands his situation, but Clark is not ready to open up. She tells him that she is there for him if he ever needs to talk.
- 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 Appearance by
- "I Love Rock 'N' Roll" - Erica Durance and Allison Mack
- "To Die For" - Dan Zweben
- "Deeper Water" - Minnie Driver
- A pariah is an outcast or any person or animal that is generally despised or avoided.
- The title refers to Alicia, who is suspected and despised by everyone who suspects her in the attempted murders of Lana and Jason.
- Antagonist: Tim Westcott
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, and heat vision. He does not apparently use any abilities, including super hearing, when Alicia's car proves to be empty.
- Lionel Luthor doesn't appear in this episode.
- When this episode is aired in the UK and Australia, the shot of Alicia hanging from a noose was cut, presumably because it wasn't deemed appropriate.
- This episode has some deleted scenes on the Season 4 DVDs: Clark and Alicia are on their way to the Talon. She is apprehensive, but he is trying to assure her that the evening will be fun. And Jason confronts Alicia about Lana's attack.
- Tim Westcott's sand abilities are very similar to that of Flint Marko, also known as The Sandman, a well-known Spider-Man villain.
- When Clark nearly kills Tim at the end of this episode, it demonstrates the remarkable amount of control Clark already possesses over his strength. While Clark is in the process of strangling him, despite being nearly insane with rage, he doesn't break his neck, or pull off his head, or do any of the things that his immense strength would allow him to do with ease. Instead Clark simply grabs him by the neck and compresses. Taking into account Clark's previous displays of strength, this scene means that, despite appearances, Clark isn't actually being very rough on Tim by his own estimation, in fact treating Tim very gently given his vast power.
- Erica Durance appears in this episode despite not being credited in neither cast bill.
In Other Media
- Clark catching the car alludes to the cover of Action Comics #1, Superman's first appearance.
- When Clark cries over Alicia's body, he does it in a way reminiscent of the way Superman cries over Kara's body in Crisis on Infinite Earths, and when he cries over Lois's body in Superman: The Movie.
- Lois jokes about Clark and Alicia getting married, which occurred in the previous episode, Unsafe.
- Genevieve Teague was last seen in Bound.
- This episode marks the 16th appearance of Clark's Red jacket/Blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
- Nancy Adams was last seen in Crisis.
- The scene where Clark catches the car is used as a memory of Chloe in season 8's episode Abyss. However, Alicia is cut out of the memory.
- Alicia is one of three of Clark's girlfriends he has confessed to being in love with, the others being Lana and finally Lois.
- Lois' advise to Chloe about what to do with the knowledge of a friend's secret will later become the advice she herself takes when she finds out Clark's secret in Salvation and doesn't reveal she knows until Isis, after he tells her his secret.
- A nearly identical scene of Clark throwing a ball against the wall of the barn continuously in a moment of sadness is repeated in the Season Six episode Wither. It appears to be one of Clark's strategies dealing with grief.
- Chloe learns about the rest of Clark's powers a few weeks later in Blank and about his aversion to kryptonite in Spirit. Clark does not find out that Chloe knows until several months later in the fifth season episode Arrival. However, in the eighth season episode Abyss, Chloe lost all her memories (except Davis Bloome), and when Jor-El restores her memory, Jor-El does not restore the memory of knowing Clark's secret (at Clark's request). In this episode Chloe sees Clark catch a car, after her memory being erased and restored, all she can remember is Clark standing there, she doesn't remember the car. She regains the full knowledge of Clark's secret at the end of Legion after Brainiac is defeated.
- Lois: And the name Alicia Baker came up more than once in a bunny-boiler kind of way.
- Chloe: Jason pulled a T.J. Hooker.
- William Shanter plays the title role, which aired 5 seasons on ABC and CBS.
- Chloe: She can transport easier than Captain Kirk.
- William Shanter plays Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek, the television and the movie series.
- Lois: Sounds like something from the Sci-Fi Channel.
- The Sci-Fi Channel (now as SyFy) is a cable television network that airs television and movies which involved science fiction, but also action, horror, fantasy and reality shows.
- Lois: It's Greek Week.
- Chloe: So?
- Lois: So they're wearing their letters on their shirts, they sing group songs...
- Chloe: Oh.
- Lois: The fraternities are having a power puking contest.
- Chloe: Oh, okay. Enough said.
- Alicia: You look like a big cat in a small cage.
- Sheriff Adams: You flip-flop more than a politician, Mr. Kent. So now you think your girlfriend's guilty, huh?
- Clark: Maybe.
- Lois: And did she also to be wearing anything low-cut when she spun you that tale, 'cause I'm not sure you're thinking with your big brain here.
- Alicia: Chloe Sullivan, ace reporter. You write all these articles about the people you call freaks and you don't even realize that someone close to you is one of them. Why are you ignoring what's right in front of your face, Chloe? Don't you want to know the truth about Clark Kent?
- Lex: The enemy of my enemy.
- Jason: And how do I know I can trust you?
- Lex: You don't. But what other choice do you have?
- Clark: If I had believed her, she wouldn't be dead.
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