After Lois departs for Egypt, the Daily Planet hires a new reporter by the name of Cat Grant to take her place. An assassin named Deadshot takes aim at Cat but Clark learns the man has a dangerous agenda that involves the Blur. Carter Hall turns up in Egypt to keep an eye on Lois and he tells Lois about his wife Shayera Hall a.k.a. Hawkgirl.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 10x02
Lois has arrived at the sand dunes of Egypt, Africa, at a special international archeological working base. She leaves Perry White a cellphone message telling him that she is hoping his "story" is worth working for, amid all the harsh circumstances in a desert. She enters a huge pavilion tent, filled with chairs, tables, books, ancient archeological artifacts, Including the medallion of Isis. She soon finds an ancient painting on parchment, showing two Egyptian deities side-by-side. Carter Hall soon enters telling Lois that they were star-crossed lovers and that she never knows what fate has planned for her.
Back at the Daily Planet in Metropolis, Clark is desperately trying to contact Chloe with his cellphone. He is desperate for her to find out what Jor-El was talking about when he spoke of "some dark force coming." After Clark leaves many messages, a journalist excitedly hands Clark a newspaper with a Page 3 article about Lois Lane joining Perry White on the Planet's Foreign Desk. Clark is really taken aback by this. He soon prints out a flight ticket, planning to go to Egypt for Lois. Clark is then stunned by a new chirpy cheeky colorful blonde woman that has taken Lois' desk as her own, and introduces herself as Cat Grant, the Daily Planet's newest recruit, AND Clark's new partner. Clark greets her. Cat then puts on a pink stereo with an obnoxious radio broadcaster known as Gordon Godfrey slandering the Blur. Clark slams the stereo off, telling Cat that HR doesn't allow them to listen to the radio during working hours.
Meanwhile, Oliver is at Watchtower, desperately trying to look for Chloe. Tess shows up, and tells Oliver that she got his message and she doesn't understand what happened to Chloe. Oliver professes that Chloe is gone, and he'll do everything he can to find her. Tess remarks that Clark tends to do the same thing for Lois, but Oliver states that they both of course know where Lois is, but Chloe has totally disappeared. Tess remarks that Chloe possibly erased her own "existence" records. Oliver believes that possibility is very unlikely, and hands Tess a printed e-mail that she supposedly sent him. Tess reads the e-mail, which reveals much affection, passion, and devotion for Oliver. Tess denies posting such an e-mail, and points out that Chloe did. Tess admits that she helped Chloe with her program of "erasing" herself, knowing that she had a plan.
Back in Africa, Lois is observing a lot of valuable Egyptian jewelry and trinkets, including a long beaded necklace. Carter tells her that it belonged to the Egyptian goddess, Isis, who spent a lifetime looking for the cut-up remains of her dead husband. Lois remarks that her own relationship with Clark isn't at present able to be repaired. She questions Carter about his archeological finds, and he states that they are much better un-touched (while sending a text message to Clark on his cellphone that Lois is safe and he owes him Big Time). Lois holds an artifact, an ancient statue, which Carter explains is the Sun god, Ra. He goes further into the Egyptian mythology about Ra and his origins, when a mysterious black-robed maid enters to set a tray of tea cups and hot pot on the table. Lois then remarks on and on about the crazy possibilities of thinking any deities existed, while the person sitting right across from you may very well be that deity. Carter gets annoyed, and pulls out a bottle of whiskey, hoping for Lois to calm down as well as informs Lois he is well aware she was referring to Clark and that he is also aware of his powers.
Out on the streets of Metropolis, Clark is walking along with Cat Grant to her car to follow a story, while a mysterious hatted-cloaked-man closes a red digital-tracking lenscape on his right eye. Clark and Cat get into her car, while the mysterious assassin takes aim, and fires a homing bullet that streaks past every obstacle, and lodges itself perfectly in the car's combustion, causing it to explode into the air. Luckily Clark superspeeds to get Cat out of the car, before the car blows up and the flames engulf them. Back at the Planet, Clark is holding the squished homing bullet, with the letters "A R N T" still visible on it. Clark thinks the assassin tried to kill Cat. She thinks he's crazy, and continues to talk about the so-called heroes of Metropolis as if they are plain evil. Clark gives her proof that a bullet was found in her car, and says that she needs to get somewhere safe.
Oliver is avidly searching through Chloe's belongings at Chloe's apartment, when he comes across a beautiful picture of Chloe, and a mysterious vial of cyanide. Cat Grant suddenly enters, when Oliver just in time stumbles away to dress up in his Green Arrow costume. Cat uses many humorous devices to defend herself, but Arrow overcomes them. Arrow keeps Cat from leaving, and she stresses that people like him are responsible for trying to kill her. Arrow states that he's one of the good guys. But she tries to show him proof that she knows what she saw, with her cellphone camera. He takes it from her. While she tries to get out of the room, Green Arrow escapes out the window.
Clark is going through some journalist identity files at Tess' office at the Daily Planet and finds Cat Grant's file. Tess returns, startled. Clark finds that Grant's real name is Mary Louise Shroger. Tess knows that Clark won't like anybody sitting at Lois' desk, and encourages him to do as he wishes and bring Lois back from Africa. But Clark knows that something weird is going on with Cat, making suspicious phone calls and almost getting blown up in her car. When he mentions the bullet with the only visible letters, Tess mentions that she's seen this work before. She comes up with a picture of the same mysterious hatted-cloaked-man closing a red digital-tracking lenscape on his right eye. She points out that they never could find out his name, and just called him "Deadshot".
Deadshot is shown in his warehouse, which is filled with various types of guns and bullets. He talks to someone on the phone about not letting targeted people walk away. The caller says it was just a test and making sure they were after the right target. Deadshot finishes engraving a name on a bullet, "CLARK KENT", revealing that Clark was the one they were trying to kill, not Cat Grant.
Back at the Talon apartment, Cat is wearing a bulletproof vest and is busy packing her belongings, when she hears footsteps coming up to the door. She grabs a kitchen knife. The visitor is only Clark. Cat Grant professes that Green Arrow tried to attack her, and that supposed "heroes" like him don't want her to be a reporter at the Planet to expose "the truth" about them. Clark questions her why she deceptively changed her name. She comes out to explain that she has a son named Adam, living with his grandparents at the moment. She had a boyfriend whom she went out with for two years, but never married. Clark tells her that he has had similar feelings of not ending up with someone. Grant explains that she needed to get Adam away from the guy she used to love, so she changed her name so he couldn't find them. Also, she doesn't want him to know who's writing the articles in the newspapers. She remarks that the world may not see her as a hero, but her son will. Clark receives an urgent text message from Tess, and leaves. Cat then finds a dark jacket and black wig, and determines to go out in disguise.
After several cups of whiskey, Lois is still talking to Carter, and tells him that she knows Clark has a very important destiny and she doesn't want to get in his way. But Carter tells her that she could be the very thing that can make him become what he needs to be. Lois suspects that Clark intentionally sent Carter to take care of her, and Carter admits it. Carter then says that Clark thinks Lois still doesn't know about his secret, and Lois remarks that that is one big reason for her to be in Africa. She thinks she's not good at keeping secrets. Carter says it requires strength. Lois states that she wants to go to sleep. Before she does, Carter gives her his wife's book. A story about him and his wife. He envisions Shayera standing right in front of him, and tries giving her a kiss, but accidentally kisses Lois. She slaps him, and threatens him that she will punch him the next time he does that.
Back at Tess' office at the Daily Planet, Tess shows Clark that the bullet lodged inside the car had the name "CLARK KENT" embedded on it. Clark points out that Deadshot doesn't know Clark's invulnerability. Tess says it's possible he was just testing him, even that he'll target someone else he knows he'll save. Clark starts to go, but Tess' tracking computer shows that Cat is already on the move.
At the bus station, Cat is wearing a black wig, and dark clothes, telling someone by phone that Deadshot may know about her. She hears someone call her from behind, and realizes it's Deadshot. He pulls out a gun, but she hits him with a bag, and makes a run for it. She jumps over, through, and under things and people, desperately trying to get away. She comes to a dead end with a strange black skull death symbol painted on the wall. She looks back to see a remote-controlled rifle aimed at the direct position of the painting and Cat Grant. Clark arrives, knocks out Deadshot with a super uppercut punch, and superspeeds to stop the bullet, and places it on her bulletproof vest. Cat is impressed by her vest, and tells Clark that she doesn't need a super-powered meta-human to help her - just Clark. Especially that others would prefer a hero in Red-and-blue. As she walks away, Clark is marked with the same death symbol.
Elsewhere in Africa, the same dark mysteriously-gowned maid hands Carter Hall a bowl of water to wash his face with. He, as well, is marked by the death symbol. She looks at him with fiery eyes, revealing that she's actually Plastique.
Meanwhile, Oliver is back at the warehouse in his Green Arrow suit where he was kept hostage. Rick Flag comes out, and they have deluded conversation. Rick shoots Oliver with a bullet that embeds the same symbol as on Clark and Carter. Oliver shoots and muggers Rick for answers as to where Chloe is. Rick says that Chloe wasn't kidnapped, but downed a cyanide pill and traded herself in to save Oliver. He professes that she's dead.
Back at the faded Watchtower, Oliver is sitting on the stairs, distraught over what he just heard. Clark arrives, and Oliver tells him that Chloe is gone, the people that kept him hostage took Chloe in trade, call themselves "crimefighters", and that Oliver and his friends all better keep hiding. He shows Clark the cyanide vial, and states that Chloe faked her own death. Clark then understands that Chloe had been planning this, since she saw the future when she put on Dr. Fate's helmet. Oliver professes that he spends so much time protecting strangers so that they can be at home with those they care about, but is so disappointed that he failed the one person he cares most about. He states that he hates people painting heroes like them as vigilantes. Clark shows Oliver the plane tickets, stating that he does indeed want to go get Lois. Both Clark and Oliver's loved ones left them. Oliver says that it's time for them to make a new fate and change things since they've lost too much.
Meanwhile, back in Africa, outside the tent, Carter Hall apologizes to Lois about accidentally kissing her. He was just thinking too much about his wife. Lois tells Carter that she wasn't fooled, because the book was an autobiography and not a story book. She hands him a love note written by his wife. And they start to have a conversation about destiny. Carter claims that the only way he could join his wife in their next reincarnation would be to die - so he intends to embrace his full destiny as a hero. He tells Lois about something important that Nietzsche talked about for living in the present and not for the future. He called a person who embraced the life that he or she was given and made it better, "Übermensch." Lois recognizes it as the German word for a "Superman".
Meanwhile, at the roof of the Daily Planet, Clark emerges from out of the shadows in a new prototype Red-and-Blue outfit with the House of El emblem engraved on the chest zipper of his jacket with his hair slicked back. He steps up to the edge of the building, and drops the plane tickets. And the camera pans to an angle where it has the American flag look like a cape behind Clark.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane
- Cassidy Freeman as Tess Mercer
- Justin Hartley as Oliver Queen
- Keri Lynn Pratt as Cat Grant
- Bradley Stryker as Floyd Lawton/Deadshot
- Jessica Parker Kennedy as Bette Sans Souci/Plastique
- Michael Shanks as Carter Hall
- Ted Whittall as Rick Flag
- Michael Karl Richards as Reporter
- Sahar Biniaz as Shayera Hall
- A shield is a type of personal armor meant to intercept attacks. It also refers to an armorial bearing.
- The title refers to Clark protecting Cat Grant from Deadshot and serving as her personal "shield".
- Clark's new uniform has the House of El "shield" on it.
- To shield also means to prevent from being seen, as in the death symbols that were tattooed then disappeared on the skin of the super heroes.
- Antagonist: Suicide Squad
- This is the third time that Superman's name is officially mentioned in Smallville.
- This is the second episode of the series in which Lois is featured but not Chloe. The first was in Crusade, which was Lois' introductory episode on the show (though Chloe did appear in a video message during Crusade).
- This episode introduces the Suicide Squad for the first time since the mention was made by Amanda Waller in Absolute Justice, Part 2.
- The killing method Deadshot uses—firing bullets over very long distances while following seemingly impossible trajectories—is very similar to the assassination methods used by the Weaver's guild in the movie Wanted, which was also based on a comic book series, which was not published by DC Comics but was co-written by Mark Millar and in the original pitch used DC Comics characters.
- This is the first episode without Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) since Season Four's Sacred. She is seen in a photograph viewed by Oliver Queen but does not appear in person.
- This is the third episode without Allison Mack (Chloe Sullivan) in the main credits. She was uncredited in Season Four's Crusade and Gone to maintain suspense for Chloe's fate.
- Had Smallville not been affected by the Writers Strike in 2007 (during filming of Season Seven), it would have had its regular 22 episodes, which means that this episode would have been the 200th episode.
- Cat explains to Clark that she is of no relation to the one of TV, meaning the Catherine Grant whom he met in Season Nine's Crossfire.
- This episode marks Shayera Hall's first appearance on the show as well as the first live-action appearance of her in any media.
- With Cat Grant, Deadshot, Shayera Hall, and Gordon Godfrey being introduced in this episode, Smallville has a grand total of 80 DC Comics characters adapted into the series thus far.
- This was the first time since Erica Durance's guest appearance in Stargate SG-1's eighth season episode Affinity, that she worked with Michael Shanks. Although both appear in Absolute Justice, Part 2 and Salvation, they share no scenes together.
- Carter Hall's desert outfit resembles that of Indiana Jones.
- Carter Hall's text message to Clark Kent reads as follows: "Lois Lane is safe. You owe me big time."
- Lois says the word Superman in this episode, although not in the context of calling Clark that.
- Carter Hall is aware that Lois knows Clark's secret.
- When Carter Hall speaks of needing "something stronger than tea," he is not shaved, but when he retrieves the liqueur he is neatly shaven only to return in the next shot to being burly once more.
- Clark's new costume is very reminiscent to Conner Kent/Superboy's first costume with the \S/ on the back of the jacket.
- This is the first episode since Hostage that Lois appears in where she isn't in any physical danger.
- This is the first episode since Escape in which Clark doesn't wear his "black" Blur costume.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Clark's new Blur outfit consisting of a Red Leather jacket with the House of El emblem engraved on the front, a Blue T-Shirt, Dark Blue Jeans, and Black Boots.
- Lois doesn't interact with any other character from the main cast in this episode.
- In the newspaper article regarding Lois' move to Africa with Perry White, Perry's name is mistakenly spelled "Parry."
- This episode is the last episode to show Clark wearing his blue jacket and red t-shirt which is reminiscent to his Red Jacket and Blue T-Shirt attire.
- Carter Hall was last seen in Salvation.
- Lois is in Egypt on assignment for Perry White. Perry offered her the job in Hostage and just in case she changed her mind, he sent her a plane ticket in Salvation.
- In Season Nine, a character named Catherine Grant appeared in the episode Crossfire. In this episode was revealed that there was no relation between the two characters.
- It's open to debate which Catherine Grant is the "real" adaptation of the DC Comics character. On the one hand, "Cat Grant" in this episode is an alias. However, Cat's job at the Daily Planet and her young son Adam whose father she's bitterly estranged from bears a stronger resemblance to the character from the comics.
- Bette Sans Souci was last seen in Injustice.
- Clark wears a red shirt for the first time since Season Eight's Eternal. Clark wore a red shirt in Season Nine's Conspiracy, but in a deleted scene.
- The Suicide Squad were last mentioned by Amanda Waller in Legends.
- Checkmate was mentioned by Tess. The organization was last seen in Sacrifice when Zod burns the Castle with his heat vision.
Homage to previous seasons
- Lois and Carter's conversation about Friedrich Nietzsche and Superman mirrors Clark's first on-screen conversation with Lana in the Season One's series premiere Pilot, when she asks Clark if he's a man or Superman based on the Nietzsche book he was reading. Nietzsche is referenced several times over the course of the series. The word "SUPERMAN" is used for the third time in the series in this episode.
- Clark has created a new costume using the colors red and blue. These were his main colors in the first seven seasons and as the Red/Blue Blur in Season Eight.
- Carter's conversation with Lois concerning starcrossed lovers is very similar to Kyla Willowbrook's talk with Clark about Naman and the woman he's destined to be with in Season Two's Skinwalker.
- An unseen gunman tries to kill Clark by shooting the gas tank of the car, is much like the Season Two's Suspect. In both instances he must rescue the driver while sitting in the passenger seat.
- The newly hired reporter, Cat Grant, fighting the Green Arrow and accusing him to be a thief and calling him impostor at their first meeting, resembles Lois' reaction in Season Six's Arrow.
- Chloe writing a letter to express her feelings about the man she loved echoes the letter she wrote to Clark in Season Two's Fever.
- Clark's reaction to being assigned a new partner that wants to sit at Lois' desk is similar to Lois' reaction in Season Nine episode Savior when she was assigned to John Corben, as both Lois and Clark discouraged their new partner who hates super heroes like The Blur and Green Arrow from settling in and retrieved their previous partners nameplate from the garbage can.
- Clark catches a bullet in his hand in this episode, similar to how he did in S2's Red, Season Three's Extinction, S5's Fade, Season Six's Combat, S7's Action, S9's Crossfire and in S9's Checkmate (episode)
- The black outfit that Cat wears is similar to the disguise that Tess donned in Checkmate.
- Tess: (to Oliver) Trust never was the golden rule for the kids in this clubhouse.
- Tess: (reading the printed e-mail) 'Oliver, I never thought I'd have to tell you how I feel about us, because the smile on my lips - when I looked at you - pretty much said it all. But now that you won't be seeing it anymore, I'll have to use words to tell you. I've never loved anyone the way I've loved you - and I never will again. You will always be my brightest star. My knight in shining leather, my hero.' ...Oliver, this may be difficult for you to face, but I didn't write this. We both know Chloe did.
- Carter Hall: You know, the philosopher Nietzsche believed we shouldn't live for the future, but for the present. He thought that people who chased after some far-off future dream were really running away from their true destiny.
- Lois: Yeah, well, Nietzsche can call me a chicken if he wants, but he has never dated someone like Clark Kent.
- Carter Hall: It wouldn't have mattered. To him, the true hero was the person who embraced the life that he or she was given and made it better. He called that person "Übermensch."
- Lois: A Superman.
- Carter Hall: Nietzsche believed we could all be one. In our own way.
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