After Jonathan's wallet is stolen, Clark chases after the thief, but is stunned when he cannot catch him. The thief, Bart, later shows up at the farm and tries to talk Clark into leaving Smallville for a life on the road together, flexing their super powers in the process. Meanwhile, Lex buys a priceless framed manuscript with Kryptonian symbols written on it, and Clark learns that it contains a mysterious hidden map. However, when Bart steals the manuscript from Lex, he inadvertently puts Clark's life (and his own) in danger and must make the decision whether to save Clark or himself.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x05
Bart Allen, a street urchin, is attempting to sell stolen personal items in Suicide Slums, but his fence, Hanison, is unwilling to give him a fair deal. When Hanison is momentarily distracted, Bart steals the goods and the money, and puts himself on Hanison's radar.
In Metropolis, Clark and Jonathan are walking out of Jonathan's latest cardiologist's appointment. They are on their way to a Metropolis Sharks football game, tickets courtesy of Lex Luthor, who is still trying to repair his and Clark's friendship. Jonathan reminds Clark to be careful of Lex, but Clark brushes off his concern, saying he wants to put his issues with Lex and Jor-El behind him, play football, and enjoy his senior year of high school. Jonathan waits to be picked up by Clark at the curb. Suddenly, a truck comes careening down the street, the driver drinking and falling asleep at the wheel. He wakes up and swerves, pipes flying from the back, but is headed straight towards Jonathan. There is a flash of red lightning. Bart smiles, and the truck seems to freeze as Clark goes into super speed. Before Clark can get to him, Jonathan is pushed out of the way by a kid in red and yellow, who, to Clark's surprise, can move faster than he can. Clark tells Jonathan what he saw and Jonathan notices that he is fine, but his wallet is missing. He realizes Bart must have taken it.
Because their game tickets were also stolen, Clark and Jonathan return to Smallville early. Clark asks his parents not to report their credit cards stolen for a few hours so he can track the boy down. With Chloe's help, Clark finds him at a hotel in Metropolis and discovers he has multiple identity cards under the names of Barry Allen, Wally West, and Jay Garrick. He also has much more stolen goods. He confronts the boy, Bart, who is unconcerned about being caught, because he'll be gone before Clark can catch him. He zips out of the room at super-speed and Clark chases him. However, he is faster than Clark and leaves him behind, even skimming over a lake. Clark returns home, but is surprised to find Bart sitting at his kitchen counter, sipping orange juice.
Bart tells Clark that he's been able to run at super-speed for several years, after an accident involving lightning. He went to the Kents because he'd never met anybody who could run as fast as he could. Clark asks Bart where his parents are. Bart explains that he ran away because they began to treat him differently. He suggests that Clark come with him, and use their abilities to have fun and do what they want. He reasons that he only steals from the rich and needs the money to avoid sleeping on the street. Clark tells him that stealing isn't right, no matter who it's from or for what purpose. Bart changes the subject by speeding around Clark's loft and observing that he's in love with Lana Lang, and that he collects rocks. Clark is confused until Bart opens a lead box containing a meteor rock. Affected, Clark tells Bart that he is "allergic," and Bart puts it away and convinces Clark to go to Florida with him just for fun.
Clark and Bart return from Florida that night and they go to the Talon, where Clark introduces Bart to Chloe. Bart flirts with Chloe and impresses her with a "magic trick" using his super speed.
Martha remarks that Lex was looking for Clark, so Clark leaves Bart to see what Lex wanted. At the Luthor Mansion, Lex shows Clark his newest find, the last page of a Fourteenth Century manuscript with Kryptonian symbols drawn along the border. He says he wants Clark to help him uncover the mystery behind the manuscript. Clark uses his X-ray vision and sees some sort of map behind the image on the manuscript. Lex receives a phone call and leaves. Suddenly, Bart shows up, marveling at the mansion and getting a look at the manuscript, but he disappears before Lex can see him.
Clark arrives home and tells Jonathan about the map and that the symbols had one sentence repeated over and over: "Look deeper." Clark says he wants to get a closer look at it, because he thinks the map leads to something powerful, and does not want it to fall into the wrong hands. In the barn, Bart shows up and thanks Clark for hanging out with him by giving him an MP3 player. When Clark asks if he stole it, they argue; Bart reasons that he isn't hurting anybody and Clark lectures that he should use his abilities to help. Bart doesn't want to listen and speeds away. When Clark goes back to the mansion to get another look at the manuscript, Bart steals it right from underneath him, setting off the alarm and leaving Clark alone in the library. Lex asks Clark if he saw who took it. Clark lies that he doesn't, and Lex believes him. Lex isn't worried; he knows all the fences in the area and figures he'll find it when the thief tries to sell it.
Lana and Martha have a conversation about Martha's avoidance of Jonathan. Martha admits that she has thrown herself into managing the Talon because it keeps her mind off of Jonathan's health. Lana points out that it does no good to distance herself from Jonathan while he is actually here.
Bart tries to sell the manuscript to Hanison, but Lex arrives. When Lex realizes the thief is just a little kid, he tells Hanison to let Bart go, but Hanison disagrees. He knocks Bart out and his goons take out Lex. Before they can kill them both, Clark arrives on the scene and saves Bart and Lex. However, Bart overpowers Clark with a meteor rock, and steals the manuscript. Clark pleads with Bart to do the right thing, but Bart speeds away. Before he does though, Bart closes the lead box with the meteor rock so that Clark can recover. Clark leaves quickly before the police show up and before Lex wakes up. Eventually, Lana takes Jason to the Kawatche Caves, where he notices the symbols on the walls are identical to her tattoo. She explains that this is the reason she abruptly left Paris and Jason promises to support her as she figures it out.
The next day, Clark goes to visit a recovering Lex, who states that the manuscript
was waiting on his desk when he got home and that the thief must have had a change of heart. On the farm, Clark is visited one last time by Bart, who thanks Clark for looking out for him. He says he's going to explore the world, and invites Clark to come. Clark asks him to stay, and Bart slyly says he'd consider it... if Clark can catch him. The two superspeed down the roads of Smallville, and Clark is catching up . . . When Bart turns around and starts outdistancing him running backwards. He salutes before turning forward again and disappearing in a flash of red and yellow lightning.
Clark comes to a stop, and stares after him, realizing this impulsive kid is too fast to catch. He smiles and turns to run home.
- 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
- "Don't Say Nuthin'" - The Roots
- "Welcome to My World" - Kyle Newacheck
- "Cruel Sun" - Silver
- "Feels Like Today" - Rascal Flatts
- To run means to move at a speed quicker than walking and jogging, though slower than sprinting.
- The title refers to Bart Allen and his ability to move at sonic speeds, similar to Clark.
- Antagonist: Hanison
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, Accelerated Vision, and X-ray vision.
- Lionel Luthor does not appear in this episode.
- Bart Allen is the alter ego of DC Comics superhero Impulse, who later becomes Kid Flash and eventually is the fourth hero to be called The Flash.
- Among the names Clark reads off of Bart's fake IDs are Jay Garrick, Barry Allen, and Wally West, which are the real names of the various superheroes to use the name The Flash in the comic books.
- At the Talon, Chloe asks Bart where he's from, and he jokingly replies "the future." In the comics, Bart Allen, also Impulse and Kid Flash, really was from the future. In the Season 11 comic Argo, it is revealed Bart really is from the 31st Century.
- Like Clark's usual blue and red, Bart wears red and yellow, the colors worn by the Flash in the comics. Bart's backpack, belt, and shoes have a lightning bolt design stitched into them, the Flash's trademark symbol.
- When Bart is first seen moving at superspeed, he is surrounded by a lightning-like effect, which is an artistic convention commonly used for superspeedsters in the current Flash comics.
- In the comics much like this episode Superman would race against The Flash to see who is truly "The Fastest Man Alive".
- In the comics Bart Allen has actually raced against Conner Kent.
- Bart mentions to Clark that the two of them and other people like themselves should "form a club or a league or something". This is a reference to the Justice League of America.
- One can note that Bart already has the tulip he gives to Chloe in his hand. Whether this is intended or a simple production error is unknown.
- Bart Allen referred to himself as the fastest man alive which is a nickname for the Flash.
- When Clark enters Bart's room, a Smallville comic book is seen open on the coffee table.
- At the start of the episode Bart says "I'll be there like a flash!", in reference to his future alias as "The Flash"
- When Bart visits Clark to "hang out" he mentions the Keanu Reeves movie "Speed", as an internal joke in reference to Bart's super-speed abilities.
- Clark and Lana do not share a scene in this episode.
- When Lex is opening the crate with the manuscript, the writing upon it is Cyrillic letters spelling "FRAGYL". As of March 2015, Google search for these letters largely gives Russian pages making fun of this scene.
- Bart Allen is the first future Hero introduced on Smallville, and the 17th DC Comics character adapted into the series. He's also the first DC Comics character introduced in Smallville who's not directly tied in to the Superman mythology.
- Bart: Your watch is fast. I say if there's one thing I never am, it's late. I say I'm gonna be somewhere, I'll be there like a flash!
- Clark: Chloe, this is my friend Bart; he's from...
- Bart: ...The future.
- Chloe: Really?
- Bart: Yeah, I ran all the way back through time to tell you we're still in love a hundred years from now. (Chloe laughs; Clark looks exasperated)
- Clark: Bart...
- Bart: What's your favourite kind of flower, Chloe?
- Chloe: Er, tulips. (Bart super speeds away and back, holding a tulip)
- Chloe: How did you do that?
- Bart: Magic.
- Bart: I'll be a thousand miles away before you can blink.
- Clark: I don't know, I can blink pretty fast.
- Bart: Hey, Clark. What took you so long?
- Bart: Anywhere we want. I mean, dude, we are two super-powered studs here. Why else do you think I came to Smellyville looking for you, man? Let's go crank it up, go have some fun!
- Bart: Dude! Lex's place was sweet! I mean, that guy's got like, twenty cars, man! There is no way someone gets that rich playin' it straight! Man, I gotta step it up a notch, because that is definitely how I want to live.
- Bart: Dude, your drawing sucks. Stick to the hero thing.
- Clark: So, um, what are you gonna do now?
- Bart: I don't know. I mean, it's a big world. I figure I'd check it out, see if there's anyone else out there like us. Maybe start, like, a club or a league or something.
- TV.com (notes and summary source)
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