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"Recruit" is the thirteenth episode in the fourth season of Smallville, and seventy-ninth episode overall. It aired on February 9, 2005.


Clark is scouted for football recruitment by Metropolis University and meets star athlete Geoff Johns, a former Smallville resident. It soon becomes apparent that Johns is using his powers to paralyze anybody who gets in his way... including Lois.


→ see also Category: Screencaps from episode 4x13

At Metropolis University, Lois is at a frat party competing in a drinking contest against football player Coop. When another football player, Coop's roommate Geoff Johns, tries to break it up due to upcoming physicals, Coop continues and loses against Lois. After the party, a drunken Coop attempts to hit on Lois, but when he grabs a hold of her shoulder, Lois kicks him to ground and walks away. The following morning, a hungover Lois is woken up in her dorm by the knocking of police officers at her door. Lois confirms the fact she knocked down Coop and is put under arrest for allegedly paralyzing him.


Geoff Johns arrives to give Clark the Met U tour.

At the Kent barn, Clark is preparing for his visit to Met U. Jonathan does not feel Clark will be able to resist using his abilities in the pressured atmosphere of college football, when Geoff shows up to pick up Clark and show him around Met U. Before leaving, they stop by Smallville High, and Geoff encourages Clark that he will be a great football player there. Lois, out on bail, arrives at Smallville High to talk to Chloe about the incident. Lois plans to go back to Met U and Chloe decides to join too so she could visit the financial aid office. When Clark meets up with them, Chloe is surprised that Clark decides to take the Met U football scholarship, considering he has an unfair advantage. Clark, not knowing that Chloe knows about his abilities, tells her that being a great football player is what is bringing him to Met U. Chloe doesn't want to let Clark know she knows his secret, so she glosses it over by saying that she doesn't understand football. Before the conversation can go any further, Geoff returns to escort Clark away.

Jason enters the Luthor Mansion and questions Lex Luthor's job offer. Jason does not like the fact that Lex was trying to break up his relation with Lana. Lex tells Jason that his true threat is his own mother Genevieve, who has been researching about their ancestry, which ties in with Lana and her being possessed by a former ancestor, Countess Margaret Isobel Thoreaux. Lex is trying to convince Jason that Genevieve may be the cause for the Countess's possession of Lana, and Jason's assignment is to learn how much Genevieve and Lana know about the Countess. Jason, convinced, does not like the fact that he would have to spy on both his mother and his girlfriend about their ancestrally intimate bonds.

At the hospital, Lois attempts to speak with a paralyzed Coop. Wanting to learn more about Coop, Chloe and Lois decide to look through his bouquets of flowers and "Get well" cards. They figure they should meet Coop's girlfriend Monique, a sorority girl of Tri-Alpha.


Geoff kills Coop.

Clark and Geoff enter the Tri-Alpha sorority house where a welcome party has been thrown just for him. All the sorority sisters run to the door to greet him and are willing to do anything to make him commit to Met U. Two of the girls bring Clark into a bedroom where they attempt to seduce Clark. An uneasy Clark tries to stall and hears a noise in the closet. He uses his X-ray vision on the closet and sees a person. He convinces the girls that he is both hungry and thirsty as he finds Lois in the closet. Clark questions Lois on why she is there, to learn that she is reading the diary of Coop's girlfriend Monique for clues. She discovers that Monique had suspicions that the football team has a secret, and this resulted in Coop meeting with a reporter about it.

At the hospital, Coop is visited by Geoff as he sees Coop's paralysis is wearing off. Geoff suspects that when Coop regains consciousness, he will tell the world about his secret. So Geoff induces more paralysis and then smothers him.

At Met U, Lois and Clark are looking for Geoff at his dormitory. Geoff, teary-eyed, informs them that the coach just called to inform them that Coop is dead. Lois, fearing that she will be locked up for sure, tells Geoff she knows that Coop wanted to go to the newspaper to reveal something. After some tension between Geoff and Lois, Geoff tells Clark that Lois has done enough damage already.

At the Talon apartment, Lana is furious that Jason accepted Lex's job offer. Jason tells her he would use this to get to know more about Lex, as well as for his and Lana's research on the Countess. Lana fears that taking this job would be Lex and Genevieve's way of breaking them up. Jason tells Lana to trust him and she decides to see Lex for herself.

At Met U, a wake is being held for Coop with Geoff giving a speech. Geoff begins drinking and tells Clark that being a Metropolis Bulldog player is a dream come true, but it also brings much pressure from everyone. Clark uses his super hearing when Geoff meets with a student, Marcus, outside of the room. He learns that Marcus has been paid to provide fake urine samples for Geoff's physicals, and witnesses Geoff momentarily paralyzing Marcus with his hands.

Chloe is filling out her financial aid form with Lois in the dorm as Clark comes in. He tells them that Geoff paralyzed Coop and that he passes his physicals using Marcus' urine sample. Clark realizes that Geoff must have the ability to paralyze other people with the touch of his hand. Concluding that he must be meteor-infected, Lois tells Clark that no one beyond the Smallville town limits would believe that the Metropolis football star has superhuman powers.

Lois finds Marcus and obliquely asks him where she can find a clean urine sample. Marcus denies this and Geoff comes from behind. Lois attempts to leave, but is completely paralyzed by Geoff. He tells her that in high school, he played football fairly, but once he entered college, there was too much pressure to win. Now that Lois knows too much, Geoff decides to take matters into his own hands. He drags her into his truck and he drives away as her sunglasses fall from her pocket. Chloe looks for Lois in the parking lot and sees Geoff's truck drive by. She finds Lois' shades now broken in her hands. Chloe races to find Clark and tells him what happened. Clark knows that if Geoff is in his truck there is a way to track him down due to the TripStar system. But in order to hack into the system from a computer, they need Geoff's PIN. Clark impersonates Geoff on the phone and after discovering the truck's location, he super-speeds away, leaving Chloe alone in the room.

Down in the sewers, Geoff is carrying the paralyzed Lois and places her on the ground. He apologizes, saying he never meant to hurt anyone, and turns on the valve, slowly flooding the floor as he leaves Lois. Geoff heads towards his truck until Clark gets a hold of him. Geoff's paralysis ability is ineffective against Clark and Geoff confesses that his ambition to win is what led him to use his abilities out in the field. He lightly paralyzes any football players that come in his way. He had to resort to killing those that would expose him, beginning with Coop. He confesses where Lois is, and Clark heads down the sewers. Lois is still fully paralyzed on the ground submerged in water, losing consciousness. Clark incinerates the gate using his heat vision and lifts Lois from the water.


Clark saves Lois from drowning.

At the Kent house, Jonathan and Martha are speechless after discovering what Geoff the football star did. Clark reconsiders his football scholarship, not wanting to have to lie on every physical and ultimately resort to using his abilities on the field like Geoff, where the stakes are much higher than in high school. Clark decides to give up football and with it, his full scholarship to Met U.

Lex meets Lana at the Talon apartment and tells her how Jason was brought up knowing about the Countess. This causes Lana to reevaluate how well she knows Jason.


Clark says goodbye to his football aspirations.

Lois visits Clark at the barn to thank Clark for saving her. Lois reveals that she ends up being cleared of all charges, but has been expelled from Met U for drinking underage (and not for the first time). Lois guilts Clark into inviting her back to living with the Kents.

At the school, Chloe meets Clark and excitedly tells him that she is also admitted to Met U, so he wouldn't go there alone. Clark says that he refused the university. Chloe is at first surprised, but then feels respect for Clark. She says he is destined to do a lot more in this world. Clark is surprised at these words, but Chloe clears herself saying that it's "just a hunch".

At the Met U football stadium, Clark stands alone staring all around him at what could have been his... then slowly walks away.



Special Guest Star[]

Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

  • "Wonderful Night" - Fatboy Slim
  • "It's All Behind" - Anthony Michaelanglo
  • "The Thunderer" - APM Music.
  • "Finding Out True Love is Blind" - Louis XIV
  • "Wild West Show" - Big & Rich
  • "Untitled" - Simple Plan


  • A recruit is a newly enlisted member of an organization or group. The title refers to Clark being scouted as a college football recruit by the Metropolis University.
  • Lana berates Lex for "recruiting my boyfriend... to conduct some covert investigation. "


  • Antagonist: Geoff Johns
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, heat vision, X-ray vision, and super hearing.
  • This episode marks the 17th appearance of Clark's red jacket/blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series. The jacket that Clark wears has a red-and-yellow "S", hinting his future as Superman.
  • Lionel Luthor does not appear in this episode.
  • Geoff mentions that he wants to see his former coach, Wayne Quigley, with Clark. However, Walt Arnold would have been coaching when Geoff attended Smallville High. It is unclear whether this was an error, or Quigley was the assistant coach under Arnold at one point.
  • The navigation device on Geoff's dashboard is labeled TripStar, a parody of OnStar.
  • Chloe says "I just have a feeling you're destined to do a lot more in this world then just score touchdowns", which is similar to a line said by Jonathan Kent in Superman: The Movie.
  • Geoff refers to Clark as "C.K." in this episode. In the Lois & Clark TV Series, Jimmy Olsen also refers to Clark as "C.K." on a regular basis.
  • Strangely enough, Clark doesn't seem upset anymore about Alicia Baker's death, which happened in the previous episode Pariah. However, it is possible that this episode takes place many weeks afterwards and Clark has already gotten over the grieving.


  • The character of Geoff Johns is named after a DC Comics writer, who is known for his work on The Flash, Hawkman, Teen Titans, JSA, 52, Green Lantern (including the Rebirth and Blackest Night storylines) and the company-wide event Infinite Crisis. Johns co-wrote Action Comics, one of the flagship Superman comics, with Superman: The Movie and Superman II director Richard Donner, for whom Johns had worked as an assistant for four years in the mid-to-late 1990s. He also wrote the mini-series Superman: Secret Origin, an origin story for Superman.
  • When Geoff Johns is driving Clark around Metropolis, at about the time Geoff says "You have to be better than good", a Canada Post truck can be seen driving by in the opposite direction through the window. Similarly, several Canadian flags can be seen on the buildings outside Clark's passenger-side window. This is because although Smallville's plots are set in Kansas, the show was actually produced and filmed at the famed "Hollywood North" in the western Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • The Metropolis Bulldogs stadium is actually Vancouver's BC Place Stadium.
    • The stadium's interior featured in this episode was that with its original fiberglass dome. That air-supported doom roof was later damaged by ice accumulation in January 2007, had to be deflated and was eventually replaced by a new cable-supported retractable roof in 2010.
    • The scene where Geoff and Clark drove into the stadium garage was filmed on the BC Place's East Field entrance on Griffiths Way, where the Rogers Arena (then named GM Place) and the eastbound Georgia Viaduct (A1) overpass can both be seen adjacent to the entrance carpark. The row of apartment buildings in the Strathcona neighborhood, which were previously featured in the episode Run, can also be seen to the east in the distant background across the False Creek inlet.
  • Actress Brandi Alexander, who plays one of the sorority girls in this episode, also plays one of the exotic dancers in the Season Five episode Exposed.


  • When Clark found Lois hiding in the room closet and asked what she was doing there, she replied, "I could ask you the same question, but it seems fairly obvious... Hef", referencing the tycoon publisher and businessman Hugh Hefner, who was famous for his Playboy adult magazine and known to throw lavish parties in his luxurious Playboy Mansion, which featured a harem of "girlfriends" in the reality show The Girls Next Door.
  • Lois remarks that Monique (Coop's girlfriend) is no Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway was a 20th century novelist. He was also the grandfather of actress Mariel Hemingway, who portrayed Lacy Warfield in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (1987).



Clark: (Confused) What just happened?

Clark: Lois. Whoever thought I'd be relieved to hear your voice?

Chloe: I just have a feeling you're destined to do a lot more in this world then just score touchdowns.

Clark: Chloe, you've been saying a lot of weird things to me lately. What makes you think I'm destined to do anything?

Chloe: Just a hunch...

Lana: Who the hell do you think you are?!

Lex: (says coolly) Something bothering you, Lana?

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ComicsThe Comic · Season 11 · Miniseries