Smallville

Season 3 Episode 3

Extinction

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 15, 2003 on The CW
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
662 votes
17

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Clark discovers someone is hunting people affected by the kryptonite rocks and the killer's next target is Lex. Clark uses his powers to save Lex, but is caught off guard when the killer learns his weakness and shoots him with a kryptonite bullet.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • God Loves, Man Kills

    8.0
    This reminds me of X-Men (using meteor freak phobia as a metaphor for racism/prejudice/discrimination) but at the same time it took a break from the main stuff and showed how Clark grew to become the man who bridges the gab between differences.
  • this was a good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of smallville it was really good in this ep lana is chased down to the pool and is tring to breath in the water and then the guy that was pursuing her is shot with a bullet and there is a rock that says krpto freak on it . in green. clark thinks this guy was not tring to be a hero and lana thinks he was tring to save her . clark gets info on him and learns he has alot of guns and has a hunting list that even involves lex and clark races towards there to save lex and the hunter learns that clark is weak aginst krptonite. so he makesa bullit that shoot clar in the shoulder were he is bleeding really bad and he is brought inside to get the bullit out . and he gets mad at cloey for investgating lex and keeping files on supposive krpto freaks because the guy hacked the datbase and that is how he was getting the info. and at the end clark brings a vest that is made of the thing kriptonite cant pearce and he gets shot but he stops the guy and linonel luther gets mad at cloeny and locks the file so she cant get to it. and threatens her .moreless
  • After the high drama of the previous four episodes, Smallville takes a breather in a routine high school rock-n-roll story about a vengeful student pursuing Lana, and Clark races to the rescue.moreless

    7.8
    Lana takes an ill-advised solo dip in the high school pool, with no supervision and no lifeguard, and is attacked by lovesick fellow student Jake, who is shot by an unknown rescuer. It's another implausible event that everyone takes in stride - just another Smallville student killed on campus. Oh, well, on with the story.



    Chloe's Wall of Wierd database has become pretty sophisticated, and Clark rejoins the Torch staff at Chloe's invitation. Lex does some rejoining of his own, with Lionel at Luthercorp, but he balks at some of the red tape Lionel lays on him. Chloe attempts to quit the Clark-investigation agreement with Lionel, but he virtually blackmails her with implied threats against her father - Chloe is trapped. But she and Clark begin to suspect Jake's friend Van (Jesse Metcalfe) in the murder, because Van's father, a Marine recruiter, was murdered by a meteor-infected teen (Tina).



    Clark and Pete find guns and other evidence in Van's hunting cabin, leading them to believe Lex is also a potential target, and in a few super-speed moments, Clark intercepts the bullet Van intended for Lex. A possible production gaffe occurs here in the Luthorcorp parking lot: a silver Porsche owned by Lex has the plates "Lex XX," the same ones which appear two weeks later in the season on a different silver sports car in "Perry." Van is packing kryptonite, allowing him to escape Clark's football tackle, and return to his kryptonite-bullet production.



    Van pursues Clark to the farm, and Van's first shot at Clark passes through his hand and into his shoulder. He's saved by tool-box surgery by Jonathan and Martha. Van accosts Lana, and tells her that Clark was a bullet-catching meteor freak, and caught one that ended his life. He kidnaps Lana, then Clark gets him word that he's still alive, provoking Van to shoot Clark again. Clark has prepared for this occasion, deflecting Lana's suspicion that he's meteor-infected.



    In this episode, Lex is seen wondering if he, too, has healing ability from the meteor shower. Lionel visits Chloe again, and threatens her over computer insecurity, which let to the leak of data about Lex. Good acting all around. Overall, this episode has a familiar theme - a protagonist threatening Clark's loved ones, Clark barely escaping the dangers of kryptonite, and Lana still wondering and hoping. Re-run rating C+.moreless
  • Van, The Meteor Freak Slayer

    8.9
    Extinction-Clark discovers someone is hunting people affected by the kryptonite rocks and the killer's next target is Lex. Clark uses his powers to save Lex, but is caught off guard when the killer learns his weakness and shoots him with a kryptonite bullet.



    A refreshing episode that takes the meteor freak of the week concept of the series and turns it around. The idea of a teenaged assassin killing meteor freaks was ingenuis and surprised, the writers didn't use it sooner. Van McNulty makes for a great villian and his M.O. is fleshed out nicely, giving a good reason for why he became a meteor freak killer. Not to mention, Jesse Metcalfe actually gives a good performance as the character despite his Soap Opera roots. I liked how Van's rampage brings up references from past episodes from "Cool", "X-Ray", etc. where both Lana and Chloe were attacked by meteor freaks. They both bring up a good argument about are all meteor freaks dangerous or are they just misunderstood and don't deserve to die?



    The most impressive aspect of the episode is Van developing kryptonite bullets to kill Clark. The scene in which Clark gets shot by Van is quite heartbreaking as both Tom Welling and John Schiender play the sequence beautifully. The special effects are top notch as well like Clark superspeeding to Metropolis to stop a bullet from hitting Lex. Speaking of Lex, I liked the continuing drama between Lionel and Lex as Lex comes back to Luthorcorp. There is always great tension between them and I love how Lionel might just be using Lex's new position just to watch over him. All and All, Another stellar episode with a great plot and impressive sequences.moreless
  • He shot him down. BANG. BANG. Clark hit the ground. Bang. Bang. That awful sound...oh, you get the point!

    6.5
    A fairly unimpressive Smallville outing, though there are a few note-worthy moments. The throwback to previous episodes works in favour and against "Extinction". On the one hand, well, Chloe says it best "thanks for the memories", but on the other hand it just goes to show how many times we've seen an episode exactly like this - the flipside being the freaks are the victims.



    Visually, of course, it's amazing. The special effects have been stellar so far this season, really adding a truly epic canvas to an otherwise drib storyline. Chloe manages to get the best lines, and while I'm not really a fan of Lana-in-danger episodes, admittedly, it's one of the more savvier ones - some nice throwbacks, a few mocking jabs at Smallville's formulaic routine etc., but this all falls flat on its face when it actually dips into the territory it mocked so easily in the beginning.



    Interestingly enough, we're given signs that Lana would accept Clark for who he really is. While she spends most of this episode putting meteor infected down, when she gets that glimmer of hope that Clark might be invincible, she no longer becomes the damsel and kicks ass, expecting Clark to reveal his big secret. It was a nice touch.



    Overall, a forgettable episode altogether. Still, it's an easy sit through and has some lovely FX shots throughout.moreless
Tom Welling

Tom Welling

Clark Kent/Kal-El of Krypton

Kristin Kreuk

Kristin Kreuk

Lana Lang

Michael Rosenbaum

Michael Rosenbaum

Alexander ('Lex') Joseph Luthor

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Sam Jones III

Sam Jones III

'Pete' Ross

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Jesse Metcalfe

Jesse Metcalfe

Van McNulty

Guest Star

Harris Allan

Harris Allan

Jake Palmer

Guest Star

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (42)

    • According to the Smallville Ledger article that Clark shows Chloe, Mr. McNulty's killer was already known and being held in jail. However, Tina never went to jail and nobody knew that it was her that killed him until Clark figured it out later.

    • Trivia: Van McNulty's father was the officer killed by Tina Greer in "Visage."

    • When Clark's dad is removing the bullet from his chest, he claims it is difficult because the bullet "is so far in there", yet his small needle-nose pliers are only about a half on an inch into the wound, the same distance as when he finally gets the bullet. That's not very deep.

    • In the scene when John removes the bullet, if you watch carefully, as John steps over Clark, there is a pair of pliers on the floor. The pliers already have a K-Bullet in them and the green glow is easy to see. But this is before he even removes the bullet from Clark. Later he switches to that pair of pliers and slams it down on the plate and it is easy to see the bullet is stuck to them.

    • During the scene where Van shoots Clark the second time, with Lana watching, he shoots twelve bullets straight into Clark's chest. However, when Clark reveals the lead breastplate, there are only six in the breastplate.

    • In the pool, while Jake is strangling Lana, Van takes a shots and apparently kills Jake. However if you look at the distance the bullet had to travel, there is no way a bullet could have entered Jake. It has been proven that with a high-powered rifle (presuming he is using a high-powered rifle) its bullet breaks upon impact with the water due to the immense deceleration. Even if it weren't a high-powered rifle, a bullet would slow down dramatically and change course due to water tension, and with such a distance to travel from the surface of the water to where Jake was, it's clearly not possible for him to be shot as we see here.

    • Trivia: In this episode, several previous krypto-mutants are mentioned including: Greg Arkin, the bug boy; Tina Greer, the shapeshifter; Justin Gaines, the telekinetic; and Sean Kelvin, the iceman.

    • While making the kryptonite bullets Van pours the liquid kryptonite into the bullet molder and dips it into the water to cool it off. But when he pulls it out the now-solid-bullet has become taller than the molder which the liquid was poured into so that it is protruding from the molder.

    • How did Clark get out of the alley and into LuthorCorp's lobby to talk with Lex? He should have been incapacitated by the kryptonite scattered around him.

    • There's one scene where Lex is watching a CG version of his car driving off of the bridge and hitting Clark from Season 1. There's a box in the top-left corner, stating the conditions of that day, and it states that the time was "20:34", or 8:34pm. In the actual scene, it was relatively light, and there's no way it could've been that late.

    • If Jake was breathing in the pool with gills like a fish then he would have suffered from the high chlorine content in a swimming pool. The chlorine enters the bloodstream through the gills like oxygen.

    • Van throws Lana on the floor and as he prepares to shoot Clark he says that she'll see that her "boyfriend was a freak show." But the bullet would wound him regardless, so how will shooting Clark prove anything?

    • Clark claims that his meetings with kryptonite-infected humans never ends with them being friends and shaking hands. But, in fact, Clark has met several people who were affected by kryptonite and stayed good. Most notably, Kyle in "Hug," and Cassandra in "Hourglass." In "Hug", the episode actually does end with Clark shaking Kyle's hand and proclaiming friendship.

    • The scene where Clark super-speeds to save Lex was taken directly from Episode "Ryan". You can see the magazine about the brain surgeon in his back pocket.

    • So when Lana gets in her SUV at the beginning, where's she going? Apparently she's leaving the school in her SUV to drive to...the pool at the school. There appears to be a gap in time, but then how does Jake know when she'll be there?

    • Why would Clark's parents bring him all the way over the giant step in the kitchen (visible as the camera is zooming out after the kryptonite bullet is removed)? Wouldn't that cause more injury than just dragging him in the door of the Kent house (this is assuming that Jonathon didn't carry him to the kitchen)?

    • The staging of the first killing is a bit odd - Jake seems to be facing stage right (let's call it "east") when he's shot from what appears to be the "north" (Jake's left). Then Lana swims to our right and toward the camera ("southeast"), gets out of the water and looks up at Van. So Van's on the "south" side of the pool, but it looked like the bullet came from the "north." Either that, or the director reversed the orientation of the shot 180 degrees which is kind of sloppy.

    • Clark says he searched all over for Van, but he must not have been trying very hard - Van has a big bright fire burning at his campsite.

    • How does Clark know where in Metropolis Lex is? Or that he is even in Metropolis and not at his manor in Smallville?

    • What order are the list of names in? The two dead guys, then Lex Luthor, then Greg Arkin (when the sheriff looks at it). That's not alphabetical, and it's not chronological (Chloe only knew about the garage guy fairly recently.) And it can't be with the dead people at the top, because Lex isn't dead.

    • Why didn't the bullet at least seem damaged when it hit Clark? Even metal bullets take some damage when shot at humans, so you'd think that a bullet made of something that can melt over a campfire would be weak enough to at least shatter when it hits its target.

    • Lex says that he has never been sick since the meteor shower. Did he forget his recent time on the island where he had malaria? (editor's note: however, later in "Perry," it's stated there was no trace of malaria in his blood. Still, they don't know that here.)

    • Why is Jake following just Chloe's files from her computer? Didn't he bother looking at the "wall of weird"?

    • Even with the inexplicably poor lighting in the pool, it seems odd that Lana couldn't see Jake in the pool.

    • The kryptonite bullets would have easily passed through the thin layer of lead (which is very soft and melts at a relatively low temperature). Even if Clark wore a bulletproof vest underneath, the kryptonite should have been more than close enough to affect him.

    • Kryptonite maintained its crystalline structure right through the intense heat of meteor impact. And yet it melts over the significantly lesser heat of a campfire? In "Hothead" they could be used as sauna rocks. (editor's note: a fire is roughly about 600-700 F - the melting point of copper is 1981.4 F, silver is about 1700 F, lead is about 621 F, just in case you were wondering... :) )

    • Clark superspeeds to Metropolis to save Lex, and Lex doesn't even think to question how Clark got to Metropolis without a car.

    • If the sheriff is so busy, why doesn't she just call the Kents instead of driving out there to check up on Lana's call?

    • In the scene where Van shoots Clark at the school, Lana is shown in one shot lying on the ground, then the shot changes, but goes quickly back to her. When it goes back, she's shown sitting up, she couldn't have sat up that quickly, especially with her hands tied behind her back.

    • The line where Lana says to Van, "No, You're the freak", is obviously and rather poorly dubbed. In fact, a lot of things she said in that scene were badly dubbed, for example, "What is that? Lead?".

    • Lex seems truly puzzled when Clark mentions people having super abilities - where he's been the last two years? He's had personal experience with an invisible boy and thieves who can walk through walls.

    • What high schools have late night swimming? And with no lifeguards in this age of lawsuits? If Smallville High did its kinda convenient that Lana is the only one who takes advantage of it (they keep the pool open just for her?), and why would they turn the lights down so low?

    • We once more see that Metropolis, Kansas has a pretty substantial harbor appropriate to big ocean-type docks and machinery.

    • What kind of police don't investigate a breathless, hurried, distressed 911 call about a murder that is abruptly cut off? It's natural they would want to go to the "crime scene," but wouldn't they send someone to check out where the call came from, especially since Lana sounded like she was in trouble? They can trace the calls.

    • Van made the bullets out of kryptonite.... but where's the outer casing - the bit that explodes to give a bullet its momentum up the barrel.

    • How often does the Torch get published? Or does Chloe get to put out "extra extra!" editions? The Torch comes out with an article about Lana's attack the morning after she is attacked - that's an awfully quick release.

    • The Sheriff seems surprised at the list Clark shows her - didn't she see all the photos at Van's cabin showing Lex, Jake, etc., when Pete called her (like Clark told him to).

    • It's a little odd that people are leaving school while the bell is ringing. Typically, the bell rings, and people leave. And also, there are a lot of people already outside at the end of the school day.

    • It seems almost impossible that Van could have got up the stairs and grabbed Lana in the few seconds between when she knocked him down and when she made the phone call.

    • Why doesn't Clark just x-ray the high school for Van and super-speed take him out?

    • So...doesn't every policeman in Smallville know that Clark went out to confront Van when he announced his challenge over the sheriff's police radio? That would seem to be the kind of thing the sheriff wouldn't look on too kindly.

    • How good is business for Lana? She's driving an SUV at the beginning of this episode.

  • QUOTES (7)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Camille Mitchell was nominated for the 2004 Leo Award for Dramatic Series: Best Supporting Performance by a Female for playing Sheriff Nancy Adams in this episode.

    • Music: "I Give You Take" by Maria, "Goodbye Again " by Vertical Horizon, "Give It To Me" by Vishiss, and "Way Away" by Yellowcard.

    • In "Visage", Van's father, Lt. McNulty was played by D. Neil Mark. However, in this episode "Extinction," we see a picture of Van's dad in his locker, and the actor on the picture is actually Anthony Heald (Boston Public).

    • Chloe mentions in this episode that Lex has a dramatically increased white blood cell count, a warning sign of leukemia. In the comics, Lex Luthor got cancer from prolonged exposure to kryponite.

    • Back in "Nicodemus," Kristin Kreuk (Lana) used a body double in the infamous pool scene. Here in this episode, you see that she is much skinnier than the body double.

    • This episode originally aired 10/15/03 - coincidentally Star Trek: Enterprise used the exact same title for an episode airing 9/24/03, beating Smallville by less than a month.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Sheriff Adams: Well, rumors of your death have been greatly exaggerated, Mr. Kent.
      Referencing Paul McCartney of The Beatles. Paul was assumed to be dead but he wasn't. He was on a TV interview when he quoted Mark Twain saying "Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."

    • Pete: Yeah, but I never imagined that Jake would go all "Swimfan" on her...
      The movie Swimfan is about a psychotic fan who stalks a swimmer. The movie is your basic "psycho stalker" and "unfortunate victim," much like what happened to Lana with Jake. Only, in Swimfan, it was a guy as the victim and a girl as the stalker.

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