Smallville

Season 5 Episode 10

Fanatic

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jan 12, 2006 on The CW
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
913 votes
34

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
The Senatorial race between Jonathan and Lex heats up when Jonathan receives an anonymous threat warning him to drop out of the election. When Clark finds Jonathan badly beaten he determines to find the attackers. Lois is thrown into the mix when she is captured and she is forced to assassinate Jonathan during his speech.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great Episode

    10
    Jonathan's life is threatened by a mysterious source, who urges him to drop out of the race. Clark discovers that Lex's followers, primarily Samantha Drake, are determined to do anything to see that Lex wins the election. Lois is threatened into assassinating Jonathan during his senatorial speech. Lionel offers Martha some money to help Jonathan's campaign, while Lana believes that the answers she is looking for lie in the first meteor shower. It is more interesting to see that Clark chose Chloe for advice on his relationship with Lana, and disappointing that Martha finally went to Lionel in a very un-Marthaish way for the money needed in Jonathan's doomed election, which is the part that annoys me greatly.moreless
  • "Biggest Fan" gets a Whole New Meaning!

    8.0
    Fanatic-The Senatorial race between Jonathan and Lex heats up when Jonathan receives an anonymous threat warning him to drop out of the election. When Clark finds Jonathan badly beaten he determines to find the attackers. Lois is thrown into the mix when she is captured and she is forced to assassinate Jonathan during his speech.



    I realize that a lot of fans find "Fanatic" to be one of the worst episodes of this season, I found it to actually be one of the better episodes of the series. I mean an episode that features a bald naked chick that worships Lex sounds all kinds of creepy. Annie Burgstede (Samantha Drake) gives a pretty disturbing performance, especially that scene where she kills her fellow classmates, slaps herself, than shaves her head bald. Also, the fact is this is pretty much the only episode that centers on the Senate Race plot of the season, which puts Lex and Jonathan's rivalry at the center of the episode. I love Lex growing crueler and power hungry with each episode and Jonathan is growing more conflicted with each episode. Jonathan knows his endangering his life, even his family, but is doing it for the right reasons. I thought John Schneider was great throughout this episode and gives probably his best performance of the series in this episode. Other scenes that make this episode enjoyable are Chloe and Clark's discussion about Clark's impossible sex life with Lana. Just the awkwardness of that scene was priceless. I also loved the development of Lois and Martha taking Lionel's money to fund Jonathan's race. Lionel's motives have been questionable with him helping Jonathan with his race. Is it Jor-El? Does he have his own twisted motives? Whatever the case, whatever Lionel does, he always does it with class and it's always great watching him. Lastly, the scene of Clark catching the bullet during the Senate rally was a stunning sequence by the SFX crew. "Fanatic" is usual called a forgettable, bad episode, but I think it's very enjoyable with some nice developments and a creepy storyline.moreless
  • ouch, this definitely hurts!

    5.0
    So,



    WE are in the campaign part, and as this is not season 1 of 24, you can bet the house that this episode is just too much below average. Even though it is nice to see some Lana/Clark dialogues. The rest of the episode, especially with the pathetic fanatic is way below par. This could have been a gem if it was pasted through the 4-5 episodes, but to just set it like this is wrong to say the least.



    In the end the special FX shots with Clark in action are decent and not bad, but even then there is a physical side to those actions making it too far fetched for it to be comfortable Sci-Fi.moreless
  • The dangers of political fanaticism threaten both Jonathan and ultimately Lex as they square off in a campaign for the Kansas State Senate. Lois becomes Jonathan's campaign manager, as Martha secretly meets Lionel.moreless

    8.4
    Another episode begins with a review of recent installments, then a flash forward, as Jonathan is speaking at a campaign rally, and someone is aiming a weapon at him. The rally features one of the largest crowd of extras ever seen in a Smallville episode, good to see the budget holding up.



    Back in the present, Lex meets with a contingent of Central Kansas U. student supporters, one of whom is a young lady named Samantha, who borders on political worship. As Lex leaves, he's called by political operative Griff, who has developed damaging information, real or contrived, on Jonathan. But Lionel cuts off Griff (at a phone booth, how quaint!), and becomes the high bidder for Griff's information, burning it on the spot. Photograph or document, we don't see what it is, but it won't get into the wrong hands. See, that Lionel isn't all bad.



    After some bungled and pretentious photo shoots and bum press releases, Jonathan fires his campaign manager - next! Here's Lois! A threating phone call to Jonathan - "This is your last warning to drop out of the campaign," but he terminates the call abruptly, and we see he's taking red capsules - nothing worse than nitroglycerine, we trust.



    Lois has a set-to with the student supporters of Lex, including rabid Samantha, during which Lois refers to Lex as a "facist environmental annihilator." Zowie, what that gal could do as a reporter; she's not one to back down from anyone. Meanwhile, in Metropolis, we see Lana studying a meteor shower time line - that can't be her regular homework assignment. What is Lana up to? Clark arrives, and they get into a tense discussion of their love life - who's pulling back? Clark seems fearful of hurting Lana, and they go from kissing to angry in not very many seconds. The tension centers around the changes in Clark since he came back from the dead ("Hidden," earlier this season). Is he the same person? Well, no, he'll never be the human again. Piqued, she leaves.



    Back at the farm, Jonathan is attacked by three CKU students, and Samantha looks on the injured Jonathan with something like smug satisfaction. At the Talon, Martha is surprised to see Lionel, who gives her the lowdown on the resources available to Lex, and the serious cash shortage faced by the Kent campaign. He offers a bundle of dough, but Martha, although tempted, realizes Jonathan would never accept financial help from Lionel. John Glover always plays Lionel as sinister and challenging, but he's just not always that evil.



    Clark and Chloe talk - about Lana and Clark's love life - and this is almost too much information for Chloe. What would he do without Chloe and her good counsel? Her insight into Lana's activities is spot on - Lana is studying astronomy, and she's going to be asking "all the wrong people all the right questions." Lana is nearing understanding more about Clark than he intends to let her know - he knows Chloe is right.



    Back home, Clark and Martha bring in some product placement breakfast cereal (a pox on these demanding corporations, a few bucks and we have to watch more and more not-so-hidden commercials). Good dog Shelby gets them to the barn, where they find Jonathan playing Batman, upside down from the barn rafters, and it's off to the hospital again, but not for long. Jonathan isn't going to let a couple thugs get him down. Anyone calling the police? Assault on a political candidate? Family's getting worried, but Jonathan will bull his way through, suspecting Lex is behind the assault. Speak of the devil, he's there, telling Clark he has denounced the attack and offered a reward to capture the perps. I believe him, maybe Clark does, too.



    Samantha is going to escalate the hostilities, starting with her classmates, who threaten to go to the police about her violence. Bang, bang, they're dead. Then in a stunning scene, Samantha (Annie Burgstede) begins shaving her head. On camera, for real, and next thing ya know, she's at the mansion, even more crazy and offering herself to Lex. Lex does not condone what she did. As he calls his Security, she lays him out with a blow to the head.



    Clark enlists Chloe's help in checking all the calls made to and from Jonathan; they find one made from the students at CKU, but Clark apparently went home to change, as he's suddenly in a different jacket and shirt at the students' office, where he finds two very dead bodies, and photos of Samantha with Lex. With all this evidence in plain sight, it's no problem to figure out what to do next.



    Now we're back at the opening scene - the rally, and an intruder, who knocks Lois to the floor. Seeing it's hairless Samantha, Lois gets the fun lines of the episode: "Talk about an initiation gone wrong," and refers to Samantha as "magna cum laude psycho." But Samantha has the drop on her, and forces Lois to take aim at Jonathan down at the podium. Lois tries to fight back, leaving Samantha to take aim...and fire. As the bullet streaks out, we see some pretty dang cool special effects through use of still camera arrays, and even balloons exploding as the bullet passes through. Clark's superspeed to intercept the bullet is just as impressive, except that an object as big as Clark moving over 2000 feet per second to catch a bullet would create gale force winds in his wake which would knock everyone to the floor. Except for that lapse in physics, good work, FX crew! Lois gets the final hammerlock on Samantha.



    Lionel and Lex have another father-son chat, now that Lex's campaign has taken a heavy blow through the murderous mess of his student "Fanatic." Lex has learned that Griff is dead, but Lionel accuses Lex of slipping - Lex let Professor Fine get past him, and now Griff.



    Back at the farm, Lois and Martha admit to each other that the Kent campaign funds are depleted, and only one option remains...Martha arranges a secret meeting with Lionel.



    Clark and Lana have their usual wrap-up in the barn, but this time Lana has some important revelations, as Chloe predicted. She's been studying the meteor showers, and she knows they were not random. She saw a spacecraft arrive with the second shower; and in satellite imagery of the first shower, she has detected something that landed. Lana is nearing the truth, speculating that someone came in that first craft, and has been with them the entire time. If she learns just a bit more, future episodes will see some major changes in Clark and Lana's relationship. Nice end to a dramatic episode with several unfinished story lines, and excellent music accompaniment, worth seeing several times. Rerun rating B.moreless
  • Average Episode. What made this one particularly special though was that in its original airing it gave us a sneak peak on the 100th epidode. Get past that, and this is an average Smallville episode without the classic "Freak of the Week".moreless

    7.0
    Average Episode. What made this one particularly special though was that in its original airing it gave us a sneak peak on the 100th epidode. Get past that, and this is an average Smallville episode without the classic "Freak of the Week".

    Average episode. I loved the drama between Lex and J. Kent. I also like how Clark is no longer trustfullof Lex Luthor. And I see Lex also starting to notice this. Lana was great. I loved how they explained the lackof emotion within their relationship. Now I feel kind of bad for saying all those bad things. It would have been nice to actually have seen those type of reaction in last episodes, instead of just leaving us in the air. Maybe the creators stop by and read this board? hmmm. Anyways, I loved the Chloe and Clark Sex talk. I love this Chloe. She is so far from that lovesick puppy/Stalker I used to hate so much. She's earned her place in the Superman mythos. Lionel is an enigma. I dont know who or what he's become or what his motives are. He is obviously Lionel but...something more. Is it Jor El? Maybe Braniac (He is known to posess people in the comics)? I also loved how Lois kicked ass. Samantha was freaky. She was definitly a psychtoic villain. I hope we see more of her in future episodes. Lex definitly has NO luck with the ladies. But as good as the episode was, it was outshone by 5 seconds of something else. Thats right. An episode, which would have done great on its own, was made all the better by a commercial. The 100th sneak peak.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

Erica Durance

Erica Durance

Lois Lane

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (11)

    • When Clark asks Lex why he's running for the state senate he says something along the lines of, "that's like Apollo asking Icarus why he's building wings." Daedalus, Icarus's father, was the one who built the wings and gave them to his son.

    • At the shooting, Clark hears the gunshot, then turns and sees the bullet, which he then chases after and stops. However, a typical rifle bullet travels three times the speed of sound, leaving very little time (even for a Kryptonian) to have even heard the explosion before the bullet hits its target.

    • At the start of the episode, Lex mentions that "the nurses' union is key in the 49th." However, Kansas only has forty state senate districts, so there is no "49th" to get any sort of support from, nurses or otherwise.

    • In the rally at the beginning of the show, Jonathan comes out as soon as his name is announced. In the rally later on in the show, he comes out about ten seconds after his name is announced.

    • As hot as that fire was, the damning evidence on the Kents Lionel lights up never actually burns up. Even at the last second of the shot, the paper is completely whole, and still white, despite the fact that it has burned for a good while.

    • Forget the stress of a campaign - Jonathan is hit twice with a baseball bat and hung upside down for an extended period. If his heart was any kind of an issue, it'd be in overdrive then shutdown from that kind of treatment.

    • So why is Martha so comfortable with Lionel? She knows he set up the body-transfer scheme with Clark (and attacked her family, and was ogling her while he was in Clark's body). Plus she knows he tried to kill his own parents, and Chloe, and Lex. Does she really think Lionel is remotely trustworthy?

    • Why does Lex turn his back on Samantha when she is obviously crazy, what with the head shaving, and capable of violence, knowing what she did to Mr. Kent?

    • Jonathan does not give the same speech at the start of the episode as he does at the end. In the first version, he goes from saying how his family was surprised by his decision to about how they did not understand in the same shot. In the later version, after he mentions their surprise he goes on to talk about how his son inspires him, goes on for a good long time while the action with Lois is taking place, and then starts to mention his family not understanding.

    • While the bullet going through the balloon makes for an interesting special effect, it also means that the shooter's view of Jonathan would've been completely obscured by the balloon, as everything but Clark and the bullet were frozen during the sequence.

    • Trivia: It's confirmed here that Lex and Jonathan are in a state senatorial race. Although it seems rather small potatoes for Lex...

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Lionel: I'm always here for you, Martha.

    • Lionel: How does it feel, Lex, to have people worship you?
      Lex: Being the idol for a cult of psychopaths isn't exactly a power trip, Dad.

    • (Clark comes to the rescue)
      Clark: Lois!
      Lois: Don't sweat it, Smallville - better late then never!

    • Chloe: Lex Luthor going "Godfather" on your dad? I don't know, Clark - Lex seems like the kind of guy who lives for the fight as much as the victory.

    • Samantha: You're losing your edge, Lex.
      Lex: And you're clearly over it.

    • (discussing sex)
      Chloe: Awkward factor 8. So basically what you're saying is that you're afraid that in the heat of the moment you might...please don't make me finish this sentence, Clark.
      Clark: Well, you see, that's the thing. I'm not sure what would happen. I mean if I couldn't control myself...
      Chloe: Okay, you know, Clark, right there that's something that can't never be unseen.
      Clark: It's not funny.
      Chloe: No, you're right, it's not. It's just that this conversation definitely cements me as your Krypto-hag.

    • Clark: How far do you want to cross the friendship boundary?
      Chloe: Since when do we have boundaries?

    • Lois: What do I know about being a campaign manager?
      Jonathan: What do I know about being a state senator?

    • Lex: (to Lionel) You know, you really don't have to quote The Art of War to me, Dad, I read it cover to cover three times before I finished high school. Although, I still would've preferred a bike for my 14th birthday.

    • Clark: Lex, why is the Senate seat so important to you?
      Lex: It's a stepping stone.
      Clark: To what?
      Lex: That's like Apollo asking Icarus why he's building wings.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The following scenes were not included in the episode:
      1. Samantha makes a phone call to Jonathan, who tells her in turn not to call again. Afterward he takes his pills, prompting Martha to question if the election is worth the strain on his heart.
      2. Much to the dismay of Clark, Lois covers Lex's campaign posters with Jonathan's posters.
      3. Jonathan receives another call from Samantha and tells her not to call yet again. He also tells her that he won't back out of the campaign and to refrain from threatening his family. After hanging up, he sees a scarecrow (with a picture of his face) being burned.
      4. Samantha is shown to be shaving her head.
      5. Clark convinces Chloe to trace dial the number of the call, allowing him to use his superhearing to trace the person (Samantha) calling Jonathan.
      6. Jonathan thanks Clark for helping him at the rally.

    • Annie Burgstede says that when casting for the role of Samantha Drake the show's producers were looking for someone willing to shave their head for a one-off episode.

    • International Air Dates:
      The Netherlands: April 14, 2007 on Veronica

    • David Richmond-Peck (Sosnick) previously played a meter maid in "Dichotic."

    • Music by: DePeche Mode - I Want It All (Playing the Angel)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Chloe: I'll let my fingers do the walking.
      The motto for the Yellow Pages is "Let your fingers do the walking" as in searching a phone book.

    • Sosnick: Yes, look, this whole John-Boy thing, don't get me wrong, you're very good at it...
      Another series reference to the TV series The Waltons and one of the main characters and narrator, as played by Richard Thomas.

    • Lex: There's always the White House!
      This is obviously alluding to the fact that Lex was the President of the United States in recent "Superman" comics.

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