Clark discovers the new intern at the Daily Planet - a bespectacled, bumbling woman named Andrea Rojas - is actually a masked avenger who fights crime at night. Meanwhile, Clark's bottled-up grief threatens to get the best of him.
→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 5x13
Clark is in the barn trying to repair the tractor, breaking tools in frustration. When Martha comes in, he tells her that he dropped out of school for the rest of the semester because there is too much work to do at the farm. Martha is disappointed, but doesn't press the issue. She tells him that she has to go to Metropolis to talk to the Governor's office about Jonathan's State Senate seat. While she is there, she plans to drop off some of Jonathan's clothes at the homeless shelter. She suggests Clark look and see if there is anything he wants to keep, but he refuses. She offers Clark Jonathan's watch, but he tells her to wear it instead. Martha looks worried and leaves.
As she is dropping off the items in Suicide Slums, muggers push her down, steal the watch, and almost kill her. However, she is saved by a masked female fighter who swoops out of the sky and beats them up. The rescuer leaves just as the police arrive.
Lana asks Clark to coffee, but he says he is too busy. She urges him to stop bottling his emotions up, but Clark insists she doesn't have to worry. Martha arrives home with a large bruise on her cheek and tells him about the masked rescuer and the stolen watch. Clark goes to the Daily Planet and reports to Chloe that the police have no leads. As they wait for the report to be faxed, they talk about Martha's benevolent rescuer. Chloe says she has been tracking the vigilante for weeks and is excited to have an eyewitness to complete the story. Clark is guilty about not taking the watch or taking Martha to the city. With his emotions close to the surface, he gets upset with Chloe for trying to "cash in" on the situation. He says all he can think about is getting the watch back. As he exits the office, he runs into another intern, clumsy and bespectacled Andrea Rojas, who apologizes profusely and shuffles away.
Lex finds Lana at the Talon doing closing work for Martha. They talk about how Martha and Clark are coping. Later, Lex goes to confront Lionel, who is covertly leading the Apex Group in a takeover of LuthorCorp, and Lex can't stop him after the losses LuthorCorp suffered by financing Lex's unsuccessful bid for the Senate.
Chloe and Clark continue to research the masked avenger and Chloe names her the "Angel of Vengeance". The police report arrives, but when Chloe goes to retrieve it, the Angel swoops down and tells Chloe to stop her investigation. Clark tries to stop her, but she is as strong as and more agile than he is. She tells him to stay out of her way and flies away. Chloe is enthralled, but Clark seems uninterested until he realizes that the Angel of Vengeance is probably the only person who knows who mugged his mother. He devises a plan in which he pretends to mug Chloe to draw her out.
When she arrives, Clark unmasks her, realizing it is Andrea. She tells him that she received a heart transplant from a victim of the second meteor shower and with it, superhuman agility and strength. She reveals that she always carries a locket with a meteor rock in it to remind her. Clark asks her about saving Martha and the stolen watch. He admits that it belonged to his father and she correctly guesses that Clark is grieving his death. She tells him that she was stabbed during a botched mugging in which her mother was killed. She agrees to help him get the watch back, but acknowledges that what Clark really wants is justice. They decide to confront the gang that was responsible.
Martha goes to the Daily Planet looking for Clark, but only finds Chloe. He hasn't answered his cell phone all day and she guesses that he is trying to find the muggers. Martha worries that his guilt and denial will manifest itself somehow and with Clark's abilities, she is afraid of what will happen. She says Jonathan always knew what to say and tells Chloe that she appreciates being able to share Clark's secret. Clark and Andrea find the gang, but they refuse to reveal their leader, Snake. As they leave, the gang member calls Snake and Clark superspeeds and steals the phone from him and takes it to Chloe. After they get the address, Chloe starts to call the police, but Clark intends to deal with it himself. Knowing that Clark probably isn't thinking straight, Chloe strongly protests, but Clark speeds away. Andrea follows to keep an eye on him. Clark finds Snake and the two fight. Snake says he sold the watch and Clark chokes him until he is almost dead. Andrea arrives and encourages Clark to kill him, but he stops himself. Andrea decides to finish the job. She subdues Clark with her locket and threatens Snake. Snake claims that the man who hired him to kill her mother, had received a call from Lionel Luthor. Against Clark's protests, Andrea kills him and leaves.
Lionel is making himself comfortable in an office at LuthorCorp and mocks Lex for his unsuccessful efforts to get the company back. Lex threatens to tell Martha that Lionel and Jonathan met secretly just before he died. The blackmail works and Lionel concedes. He stops trying to obtain the company and Lex hires him as a special consultant.
The other gang member arrives, sees that Snake is dead and prepares to kill Clark, unknowingly pulling him away from the kryptonite. Clark dispatches him and gets to LuthorCorp just as Andrea is about to throw Lionel out of the window and tries to talk her out of it. Realizing that Clark would never let her get away with murder, she flies away and vanishes. Clark catches Lionel before he falls.
That evening, Martha starts to cry when she sees one of Jonathan's jackets hanging up in the barn. She is interrupted by Lionel, who offers his condolences. He asks about Jonathan's Senate seat and tells Martha that he refuses to accept Jonathan's campaign finance repayment - a sizable portion of their farm land.
The next morning at the Planet, Clark and Chloe learn that Andrea has disappeared. Clark admits that Chloe was right; he shouldn't have gone after Snake. He confides that he was ready to kill Snake, but his dad's voice in his head made him stop. Chloe said to Clark, if Andrea didn't cross any line the city of Metropolis needed somebody like her and ask Clark could do what she could do but a lot of better. Clark said maybe he could, become a reporter by day and moonlight as a crimefighter to give hope to people in Metropolis. He arrives at his loft and finds his father's watch, found by Lana, who searched every pawn shop until she found it. Clark finally admits that he feels lost and alone and Lana offers a sympathetic ear. She encourages him to put the watch on. When he goes inside the house, he is startled to actually hear his father's voice—Martha is watching an old home movie in which Jonathan is teaching a young Clark how to drive the tractor. Martha sees that Clark is wearing the watch and hugs him as he begins to cry.
- 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
- Douglas Arthurs as Snake
- Gerald Wong as Ono/Second Robber
- Brandon Fonseca as Young Clark
- Floyd Faircrest as Earrings
- Vengeance is the "infliction of punishment in return for a wrong committed; retribution".
- In this episode, Andrea Rojas is seeking vengeance for the botched mugging in which her mother was killed. While interrogating a gang leader named Snake, he claims that he was hired by Lionel Luthor to kill her mother. She kills Snake and almost kills Lionel as well, before Clark stops her.
- Clark is also seeking vengeance for the mugging of his mother, and the theft of his father's watch. He almost kills Snake, before he decides not to; shortly after, Andrea kills Snake herself.
- Clark and Andrea represent two different responses to a wrong. Andrea seeks vengeance and is willing to kill others to get it. Clark seeks vengeance, but decides in the end to put his need for retribution aside. Clark's dialogue suggests that the difference between the two reactions is Jonathan Kent's upbringing.
- Antagonist: Snake
- Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed and super hearing.
- Lois Lane does not appear in this episode.
- The Luthor Mansion is not featured in this episode
- The home movie Martha is watching was original footage filmed for the episode.
- Andrea's adventures as the Angel of Vengeance are continued in Volume Three of the Chloe Chronicles.
- Clark future destiny was in this episode and when Chloe mentions that if Clark could do what Andrea could do and take her place as reporter by day and moonlight as a crimefighter, Clark is considering it. He did take over Andrea's place in season 8 as the Red-Blue Blur; in season 9-10 as the Blur; and, at the end of season 10: Superman.
- In the home video of Jonathan and Clark, Jonathan says that "this young man's a man of steel". This is an allusion to Superman, who is sometimes referred to as the "Man of Steel".
- Clark is again referred to as "Boy Scout" - the first time since Arthur Curry referred to him as that in Aqua.
- In this episode, Lex begins his plan to "divide and conquer". Talking about Clark, Lex, in a manipulatory way, makes Lana notice how he, unlike Clark, appreciates her and is always there if she needs help, pushing Lana to rely on him in the next episode.
In Other Media
- Clark asks Andrea, "Do you always change in a phone booth?" In the original Superman comics and films, Clark Kent uses a phone booth to change into Superman.
- The Angel of Vengeance is based on a DC Comics superhero named Acrata, a.k.a. Andrea Rojas. Although she does not go by this name, Andrea mentions her mother was part of an organization called Acrata.
- Andrea Rojas is the 26th DC Comics character adapted into the series.
- This episode was sponsored by Acuvue brand contact lenses and featured a "Reveal the Real You" sweepstakes during the episode's initial run.
- When Clark unmasks Andrea and she steps out of the steam, Danny Elfman's "Batman" score is playing at the exact moment her face is revealed.
- This is the first time John Schneider is credited in the title sequence after the character's death. This will continue until the end of the season in Vessel, the first episode where he is not credited in the title sequence would be the Season Six premiere, Zod
- The musical score that plays when Andrea first appears as the masked vigilante was heavily influenced by the theme song of the 1992 Batman: The Animated Series.
- After knocking Clark down, Andrea scales several balconies to reach a rooftop. During this scene, the music playing is identical (note for note) to the music playing when Helena Kyle/Huntress first evades Det. Jesse Reese by jumping off a rooftop in the pilot episode of the other DC live action show "Birds of Prey" (four years earlier in 2002). This makes sense when you consider that the music for both shows is produced by composer Mark Snow.
- Lionel makes mention of his parents deaths, which as revealed in Shattered was a result of an orchestrated criminal act done by Lionel, likely his first.
- It's interesting to note that Lionel is going to die in Descent by Lex at the exact same place that Andrea Rojas tried to kill Lionel, and in the same way, i.e. being pushed out of a window at the top of LuthorCorp Plaza.
- Chloe: Well, I guess my go-to status has been reinstated. For a while there I thought maybe I'd been replaced by the leather-clad version.
- Lionel: Exceptional woman. Grossly misguided.
- Clark: She's been through a lot.
- Lionel: Why do I think you saved my life for her sake not for mine? Whatever the reason... thank you, son.
- Clark: I should have listened to you, Chloe. You tried to warn me. I had my hands around that guy's throat, and I thought that if I just kept squeezing the life out of him, then it would make everything right again.
- Chloe: God, Clark. But you didn't?
- Clark: No.
- Chloe: What made you stop?
- Clark: My dad's voice. This is going to sound weird, but I could hear him. He was the one that always kept me from going over the edge when I was too close.
- Chloe: Do you think you could ever do what she did? Play the mild-mannered reporter by day and a crime-fighter by night?
- Clark: Honestly? I'm kind of hoping I can find a way to not have to hide who I really am.
- Chloe: All right, you know what? We've taken this show all over town, and this obviously isn't working.
- Clark: You're not screaming loud enough.
- Chloe: Clark, I have freaked out every alley cat within a four-block radius.
- Chloe: I thought the glasses were fake.
- Andrea Rojas: Are you kidding? I'm blind as a bat. Besides, the mask doesn't look so good with glasses over it.
- Chloe: Hm. Acuvue to the rescue.
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