Clark is exposed to a new kind of meteor rock, silver kryptonite, causing him to have paranoid delusions about those around him. The silver kryptonite makes him believe that Chloe is going to reveal his secret, Jonathan is scheming against him with Lionel, and Lex and Lana are having a secret relationship. Chloe and the Kents frantically search for a cure, but it is Professor Fine who comes to Clark's rescue - but not without an agenda.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 5x07
Clark's hallucinations are in kryptonite-green text.
Lana is studying astronomy and meteors in her dorm room when Clark comes to visit. He brings in a package from Lex that was outside her door. Clark opens the package and scratches his finger on the silver rock inside. The note indicates that it is a new kind of meteor rock and Clark leaves abruptly. Driving home, a large black truck pulls up behind Clark's and honks. He signals the other driver to pass but the truck rams him and begins to chase him. Clark's truck is run off the road and rolls into a ditch. Unharmed, Clark exits the totaled truck but the black one has disappeared. He then receives a phone call. When he answers, a garbled voice says, "I know who you are."
Jonathan is reading the paper about Lex's senatorial run. He muses that he could possibly run in Jack Jennings' place but Martha doesn't like the idea. She feels that it would be detrimental to Jonathan's health and might put their family in the spotlight, risking Clark's secret. Clark arrives home and tells his parents what happened to the truck. Jonathan advises that Clark stick to his normal routine in case someone is watching him. The next day, the subject of Professor Fine's history lecture is powerful men who were betrayed by close friends. As Clark is gathering his things to leave, a piece of green kryptonite falls out of his backpack and Clark reads a message on the wall from the slide projector: "I know how to kill you." Clark tells Professor Fine about the truck. Fine says the same truck has been following him and that he thinks Lex is responsible. Fine says he jotted down the license plate and gives it to Clark to track.
Clark takes the plate number to the Daily Planet and asks Chloe to track it. While she is working on it, Clark notices that she has an incoming email from Lionel Luthor. It says "There are no secrets," and just as Chloe reports that the truck doesn't exist, Clark gets upset with Chloe and accuses her of telling Lionel his secret. She is shocked at his accusation and insists she'd never do that, but Clark doesn't listen and storms out.
Lana goes to the Luthor Mansion and thanks Lex for the silver meteor rock, but Lex claims he doesn't know anything about it. She doesn't believe him and says that she is determined to find out answers about the spaceship she saw. He claims he is protecting her and she says she doesn't need to be protected. He takes her to Warehouse 15 and shows her the spaceship. Lex claims he wants to help her get to the bottom of the ship's mystery, but Lana knows that he is only showing her because she is the only one who has seen it open. Despite her skepticism, she decides to help him.
At the Kent Farm, Lionel visits Jonathan and offers his assistance in Jonathan's Senate race. Jonathan doesn't understand why Lionel would want his son to lose and is skeptical of his motives. Lionel says that Lex's thirst for power is insatiable and it would be dangerous for him to win his first foray into politics, and Jonathan's wholesome image could give him a shot at winning. When Jonathan is still reluctant, Lionel produces an envelope full of cash. He says he knows Clark's secret and unless Jonathan accepts, he will experiment on Clark. Clark is watching the exchange and is shocked when he sees his father collect Lionel's money.
When Jonathan enters the house, Clark snatches the envelope out of Jonathan's pocket. His confused parents look on as Clark rants angrily. He waves the "money" around, which is, in reality, Lex's balance sheets for his campaign. Clark loses control. He hits Martha across the room and shoves Jonathan against the wall. To Clark's horror, Jonathan reveals that Clark was never his son, just a "thing [he] found in the cornfield." Clark abruptly drops Jonathan because Chloe has come up behind him with a chunk of green kryptonite. He accuses them of working together against him and speeds away, although he is still under kryptonite exposure. The Kents are surprised to realize that Chloe knows Clark's secret. Chloe tells him about how Clark accused her of betrayal and Martha suggests that his behavior must be due to red kryptonite. Chloe realizes that Lana had a silver meteor rock in their dorm room, but none of them have heard of silver kryptonite.
Lana finds Clark in her dorm room and he embraces her, then tells her they have to go North. Lana is hesitant and confused and Clark realizes Chloe is on her way. Telling Lana not to trust Chloe, he leaves. When Chloe arrives, Lana is unsure who to trust due to Clark's warning. Realizing that Clark is acting strange and erratic, she decides to believe Chloe and reveals she has the silver meteor rock hidden away. Chloe leaves to find Clark, instructing Lana to wait for him and keep him calm if he comes back. Clark goes to Professor Fine and asks him about the black truck again. Fine is confused and claims Clark hasn't been to class in over a week.
Clark tries to remind him about their earlier conversation, but Fine doesn't know what he's talking about. Clark is highly agitated and Fine explains that he has to go to a meeting, but asks Clark to wait for him in his office. Clark steps out through the door of his office and hallucinates that the room is full of random imagery, including his spaceship, a cradle, and a child running through the shadows. Lex's voice announces that Clark is an invading alien and that he is going to kill Clark. The room starts to fill with green gas and Clark stumbles out.
Lana angrily confronts Lex, but he insists again that he has no idea who sent her the rock. She tells him that it has infected Clark. He insists they're partners and that he'll take the rock to LuthorCorp and find a cure. Clark is watching their conversation through a window; from Clark's perspective, Lana kisses Lex, hugs him, then looks Clark straight in the eye and smiles. Suddenly the lights in the mansion go out and Lex goes to investigate. He finds one of his security guards unconscious and collects his gun. Clark comes up behind him, accusing him of trying to steal Lana from him. Lex tries to calm him down, but Clark grabs Lex's wrist and squeezes until he yells in pain and drops the gun. He then pushes Lex across the room. Lana hears the commotion and hides. Clark uses his super-hearing and X-ray vision to find her in the basement, slurring that they were meant to be together. He tells her that he stopped Lex and Lana asks if he hurt him. Lana assures him that she did not kiss Lex, but he doesn't believe her and begins to choke her.
Professor Fine appears behind him and interrupts Clark's assault on Lana. He superspeeds after Fine, who somehow evades him. Trying to calm Clark down, he states that it would destroy Clark to know that he harmed Lana. Fine uses a blast of heat vision to knock Clark down. He overpowers him, announces that he too is a Kryptonian, and uses a device to extract the splinter of silver K from Clark's neck. Fine calls him Kal-El and superspeeds away as Lex arrives to find Lana unconscious in Clark's arms.
Clark visits a recovering Lana in the hospital. Chloe is there too, but she excuses herself when Clark arrives to apologize. Lana tells Clark how Chloe explained to her that the meteor rock was responsible and gave him temporary powers. Clark is extremely guilt-ridden but Lana accepts his apology. She assures him again that there could never be anything between her and Lex. Chloe is waiting outside. Clark thanks her for covering up for him and when he starts to speculate on if he'd killed Lana, Chloe tries to reassure him that it wasn't his fault.
Clark asks Chloe about the rock but she says it disappeared from Lex's manor in the confusion. Chloe also clarifies that she has really been e-mailing Lionel, but only to get inside information on Lex's senate campaign. She reiterates that she would die before she told anyone Clark's secret, and Clark gives her a hug. Lex is recovering at home, his wrist bandaged. Lionel tells him that he might not want to let the story get out that a jealous young man beat him up. Lionel advises that all Lex's efforts to change his image won't help with those who know him, and Lana Lang will never love him.
Clark talks with his parents about what has happened. He says he has no idea what was real and what was not. They think the infection burned itself out of him. Clark doesn't mention Fine's involvement because he thinks he imagined it. Jonathan is worried about how his joining the senate race would invite scrutiny in their lives, but Clark objects and says that they can't let fear rule their family. Clark realizes he did not imagine Professor Fine when he finds him in his loft. Fine tells him he is there to make Clark walk the path of a true Kryptonian. Fine wonders why Clark trusts humans because they don't impress him. Clark tells him that the humans in his life are trustworthy and he will always stand by them. Fine says that Clark can come to him when he is ready to accept the truth.
Fine then goes to the Black Ship and absorbs the "silver kryptonite" back into his body, leaving a plain rock - revealing that it was Fine who caused the infection.
- Tom Welling as Clark Kent
- Kristin Kreuk as Lana Lang
- Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor
- Erica Durance as Lois Lane (credit only)
- Allison Mack as Chloe Sullivan
- John Glover as Lionel Luthor
- Annette O'Toole as Martha Kent
- John Schneider as Jonathan Kent
Special Guest Star
- "Superman" - Stereophonics
- "Forget It" - Breaking Benjamin
- "Homeward Angel" - Moby
- A splinter is a sharp, slender piece, as of wood, bone, glass, or metal, split or broken off from a main body.
- In this episode, Clark gets a splinter of silver kryptonite under his skin, causing him to become paranoid and delusional.
- Antagonist: Milton Fine
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision, and super hearing.
- Milton Fine uses the following powers: Super-Strength, Super-Speed, Heat Vision, Mineral Manipulation.
- Lois Lane doesn't appear in this episode. However, her name is mentioned in the song heard while Clark is driving. Fortunately the song doesn't reach any mention of Superman or Lois before it the music becomes Non-Diegetic, otherwise this would have been a 4th wall break. It could have been interesting to have Clark hear the reference to Lois Lane then later write it off as a paranoid fantasy.
- It is sometimes unclear which parts are Clark's illusions and which parts are real; however, as the scene continues normally after Clark leaves, the scene where Chloe subdues him with green kryptonite should be real, which leads to the question of how he could super speed away with little effort.
- Clark says he'll take Lana north to a place where no one will find them, this could be the Fortress of Solitude.
- Martha and Jonathan learn about Chloe's knowledge of Clark's secret in this episode. This is also the first time Chloe uses green kryptonite against Clark.
- This is the only appearance of silver kryptonite in the series, which is revealed to be created by Brainiac. Silver kryptonite was introduced in comics continuity in Jimmy Olsen #70 (1963). Just as in the episode, the silver K in that story was also not real kryptonite and was in fact a hoax.
- Because he orchestrated the entire situation, it is possible that Fine only feigned ignorance of his and Clark's conversation about the black truck as a way to further aggravate Clark's paranoia.
- This episode was advertised with choppy footage on a screen that actually never appears in the episode, with the title "Splinter Smallville."
- Clark refers to himself as the last son of Krypton for the first time. He also says that Kryptonians keep popping up.
- Chloe's email address is displayed as email@example.com. If one sends a message to it, they receive this reply:
- Not sure how you got my e-mail, but thanks for saying hi. Can you believe Lex Luthor is actually running for State Senate??? Check this out, some students at CKU already put up a website supporting his campaign...
- Scary if you ask me. Check back with me in a couple of weeks. I may have something else interesting for you. Have a great one.
- Chloe Sullivan
- Obituaries and Classifieds
- /The Daily Planet/
In Other Media
- In one of Clark's hallucinations, Lex says that Clark is "the first vanguard of an invasion." The comic version of Lex also makes this claim in the 2003 limited series Superman: Birthright in an attempt to discredit Superman. Lex also says "I know how to stop this strange visitor from another planet" which may be a reference to the opening narration from the 1950s Series, or to the 3rd episode from Lois & Clark season 1.
- The truck Clark wrecks is identical to the one he wrecked in Slumber. This is the fourth time in five years that Clark has wrecked one of the Kent's trucks -- Exodus, and Delete are the other instances so far.
- Milton Fine was last seen in Thirst.
- The very first scene of the episode shows Clark bringing Lana Chinese take out. Lana seems to have an affinity for Chinese food, especially chow mein (fried noodles) for in Season Four she brought the very same thing for her and Jason.
- This episode marks the 27th appearance of Clark's red jacket & blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
- When Lana meets with Lex the first time in the episode, Lex is talking on the phone to a guy named Griff, who will appear in later episodes (Lexmas and Fanatic)
- Chloe says that "Lex comes from more of the Rube Goldberg school of villainy," a reference to cartoonist Rube Goldberg, who drew cartoons of inventions that performed simple, everyday functions in unnecessarily complicated ways.
- Clark: No more lies. Tell me the truth. Tell me!
- Jonathan: You want the truth? You were never my son. You were the thing I found in a cornfield.
- Lana: (storming in angrily) I should have known you'd pull something like this! You can't stand to see us together, can you?!
- Lex: (calmly) I think this is the part where I usually say, "Lana, what are you talking about?"
- Lana: They're not going to hurt him are they?
- Lex: If they do that, some one is going to get transferred to Siberia.
- Chloe: Look, Clark, I understand that you haven't been yourself - but you know that I would never tell Lionel your secret. I'd never tell anyone. I'd die before I'd ever betray you.
- Lex: I have a team of political advisers, Dad. Last time I checked, you weren't on the payroll.
- Lionel: Last time I checked, Lana Lang had a boyfriend, and I don't think she's in the market for a spare.
- Clark: (to Milton Fine) I thought I was the last son of Krypton, but you people keep popping up.
- Clark: You don't know anything about this race. Yeah, they can be petty and dishonest and betray each other over nothing. But they can also be honest and loyal. And they would give up everything to protect someone they love... even if they were from another planet.
- Professor Fine: Kal-El...
- Clark: My name is Clark. And I'll always believe in my friends and my family.
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