Smallville

Season 1 Episode 12

Leech

4
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Feb 12, 2002 on The CW
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
774 votes
20

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

On a class trip, Clark and a fellow student named Eric are struck by lightning, and because Eric was holding a piece of kryptonite, Clark's powers are transferred into him.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Superman

    7.0
    This was fun to watch, but the whole time it bothered me that Superman's powers were transferred through Kryptonite and lightning. The source of Superman's powers is his own biology, they are not dependent on Kryptonite.
  • Best episode of the season!

    10
    Awesome episode!! My favorite episode of the season for many reasons. Also Eric is one of my favorite villians of all time!



    Clark- Really shows his character in this episode. He finally gets his wish, as he becomes human. As hes experimenting with his human side (which are awesome scenes IMO) he finds out a fellow classmate has his powers now. Deciding to live out your #1 wish or helping your friends is a superman decision. Really enjoyed his plot.



    Lana- Discovers that the place where her parents met is getting sold. You really feel for her, as only episodes earlier she is finally discovering things about her parents she never knew before. Also after last episode of her and Clark growing apart, they become closer in this one. When she finds out that Clark brought the necklace back and even her own boyfriend dident, id say thats when Lana started to develp feelings for Clark.



    Lex- He had a double plot in this episode. Not only does he find out his lover slept with his own father (ewwww?!?!) but his investigation with Clark continues. The Hardwick plotline dident really grip me, but I did like the other plot. After he questions Clark about his abilties, I did love how he relized he could lose the only friend he ever had if he continued with his practices. Hmmm...if he only learned.



    Eric- Like I said before, one of my favorite villains of all time. A nerd who suddenly relizes that he has Superman powers. His scenes where he experiments with them are awesome. Hes the first villain where you actually feel sorry for him. The scene where he fights the jock and then his fight with Clark at the end? Outstanding. Im really glad they brought him back in season 3.



    Without a doubt, watch this episode!!!!! It is the best episode in the season. I could rewatch it all day and never grow tired of it. In the top 10 of the whole series.moreless
  • 112

    9.4
    A near perfect episode of Smallville, even though it managed to be somewhat of a filler, it was beautifully executed and watching episodes like these just remind you of Smallville's potential and how good this show can really be. From the unresolved sexual tension between Clark & Lana to Lex's clever dialogue, it's classic Smallville here. Another plot element of classic Smallville is definitely the "freak of the week." Every week, we'd get someone new that survived the meteor shower with some side effects, that wasn't completely the case here, but it still had to do with the meteor rock.



    Clark losing his powers, something new, something that the fans haven't seen all season, and it definitely was interesting seeing Human Clark. We also got tons of great scenes here like Clark pretty much saying goodbye to Lana in The Talon to the hilarious basketball game. It was just an amazing episode.



    Amazingly written, beautifully directed, Smallville, not at it's peak, but definitely one of the best.moreless
  • this was a really good ep

    9.0
    in this ep of smallville the class is out looking for rocks and this kid erick is the teachers son and the dad is yelling at him. thing is erick has a thing for one of the football jocks girls. and then erick gets upset and goes and stand on the edge and thing is that he is holding the krptonite clark grabs him but some how tranfers his ablities to erick and erick has all the power . he makes is family live in fear and he beats up clark and beats up erik and the girl he loves call him a freak and he destroys a ton of police cars and then clark must find a way to get his powers back.moreless
  • Another power transfer from Clark to a classmate leaves Clark as "normal," while the other faces the temptations of vengeance. Clark must devise a means to reverse the transfer.

    7.5
    On a school science trip into the B.C. forest, the Smallville cast has to dig up mineral samples, and once again Clark is adversely affected by the meteor rock Lana wears on her necklace. Chloe gets an amusing idea - order rocks on-line and have them delivered vacuum-sealed. Her heart is in journalism, not in science or algebra. One student, Eric, is treated harshly both by his teacher father and by classmates, so the setup does not take long. But when Eric disappears and tries a risky balancing act on the Reeve dam, Clark attempts to prevent his fall. A bolt of lightning strikes both, and the meteor rocks in Eric's bag transfers Clark's powers to Eric. At the farm, Jonathan's blue GMC pickup is full of hay, but Clark's usual strength is gone, and so is his speed, so he falls into the mud on a late autumn day in Canada. Shawn Ashmore plays Eric, who suddenly discovers he does not need his glasses, and continues to be verbally abused by his father, but also discovers more powers. So "Leech" is a fish-out-of-water theme, Clark without powers, Eric gaining them, as he finds by bench pressing 600 lbs. in the school weight room.



    Lex continues his investigation of the Porsche accident in which Clark's intervention saved his life. Computer graphics of the scene roll over and over again as Lex wonders how Clark survived the collision, while he collaborates with tabloid Inquisitor writer Roger Nixon. Lex offers $10k for the name of each expert Nixon consulted to develop the theory that the Porsche struck Clark at 60 mph.



    This week Lex drives a Jaguar sedan, tagged "LX LTHR" to see Clark, but it's easy to see it coming - just as Lex begins to suspect something very unique about Clark, that something has disappeared. Lex tries again to get Clark to tell him how the collision happened, but Clark continues the story that he simply dove into the river to save Lex. He offers Lex a chance to hit him with a hammer, rejecting this attempt to learn the truth.



    Back to Eric, now with the chance to get back at his tormentors and play the hero, so a conveniently-placed purse-snatcher (in broad daylight in Smallville?) targets Chloe, and Eric speeds to the rescue, with some effective CG and stunts showing the perp's knife shattering on Eric's hand, followed by a toss through plate glass onto the street. Even Eric is surprised, as a crowd congratulates him. The story is predictable - except for figuring out how Clark's powers will be restored and Eric loses his.



    The Kent family correctly realizes that the powers were transferred to Eric by the lightning strike. All believing the change is permanent, the family comes together in support and love for a young man who sees a drastic change in his life - did his powers define his character? The upside is the end of meteor-rock danger to Clark, as he notices when meeting Lana in the hall, and finding that her meteor rock necklace no longer affects him. It's a chance to be "normal," Clark and Pete losing a game of pick-up basketball, to Clark's enjoyment - no more worries about injuring someone.



    Lex greets Sir Harry and Victoria in a high-rise office, but their deal is off, as Harry is still attempting to take over Luthorcorp, but now without Lex's company shares. Sir Harry may be playing a Brit, but it's an Aussie accent he has. Victoria has betrayed Lex somehow in this plan, and Lex knows it.



    In a precursor to later events, Lana and Clark talk of good times in the now-closed Talon theatre, where Lana's parents met. Lana begins to notice Clark's more relaxed approach to life, and we can see he's discovering more advantages to his loss of powers.



    Eric, meanwhile, has been billed as the local Superboy by Chloe's newspaper article, but his parents think he may be ill, and want to have him examined and studied. An angry super guy is a dangerous super guy, as Eric demonstrates at school by flipping a car and Clark's stunt double, too. Speeding off, Eric leaves Clark bleeding on a car roof. At the hospital, Lex comes by, seeing that Clark is truly injured and apologetic about his earlier accusations, so all is well for Clark's (former) secret for now. The larger story here is the contrast between Clark's responsible use of his power for good, versus the temptations any mortal like Eric faces when given any kind of unlimited power - would we respond as Clark, or as Eric? And their family support differs - Clark with loving, supportive parents, Eric with a vindictive, domineering father, suppressing him until he explodes.



    Eric now faces consequences for his tirade at school, as his parents have notified the police, who roar into the scene with sirens blasting and lights flashing, another overdone authority-figure production, often seen in Smallville. Whether local police, a big-city SWAT team, or a military unit, the writers seem stuck on cartoonish exaggeration of any kind of enforcement agency action. Why? To whom does this appeal?



    To end the side plot, we find Lex has double-crossed Sir Harry by false valuation of the lab Harry bought to take over it's patents, and now Sir Harry faces ruin. This was a betrayal of Victoria also, but the loss of his relationship with her is of little consequence to Lex. He has won again, and will be buying out Sir Harry's empire. This story line is rather short and only serves to reinforce the depth of Lex's ability to manipulate others and trap them before they can do the same to him.



    Clark decides he must try meteor rocks on Eric, on the chance he may have the same vulnerabilities. He ask Lana for her necklace - is this the best source of meteor rock to use against Eric? Lana worries, and Clark does not know the consequences of his plan, and says "Goodbye" to her as if he will never return. And there's some truth to that - he realizes his powers may be restored, and his hopes for a relationship with Lana may be dashed. None of these feelings are spoken, simply implied by good subtle acting and direction.



    Eric has created havoc at his home, a cruiser graphically puncturing the roof, clever idea. Clark realizes Eric must have gone to the dam, and when Eric appears next to an electrical substation, all the elements are present for a reversal of the transfer. And of course Eric grabs a live cable to kill Clark, who has the necklace in his hand, and the transfer takes place in shower of sparks and discharges. Eric is normal, and out of the script.



    At the mansion, Lex tells Nixon he's convinced Clark is normal, even though Nixon hangs onto his theory. Lex says he is "closing the books" on the Clark case, but nothing is permanent in Smallville.



    Back at the Talon, Clark returns Lana's necklace, in a lead-lined box, protecting Clark for the time and giving her a subtle message that he does not want her to wear it. To quote Clark, she says, "Sometimes letting go is the only way of moving forward." And the weight of the world is on Clark again, and his hopes for a life with Lana diminished. But this scene will play out again, as it does in most average Smallville episodes like this. It's a variation on the meteor-mutant theme, and a bit more interesting than most, with Mr. Welling dealing convincingly with the change in his life and the loss of powers. It's not an earth-shaking episode, but with good special effects and flawless acting, it's worth seeing a couple times. Re-run rating C+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

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Whitney Fordman

Sam Jones III

Sam Jones III

'Pete' Ross

Allison Mack

Allison Mack

Chloe Sullivan

Kelly Brook

Kelly Brook

Victoria Hardwick

Guest Star

Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty

Eric's Dad

Guest Star

P. Lynn Johnson

P. Lynn Johnson

Mrs. Summers

Guest Star

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Aunt Nell

Recurring Role

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien

Roger Nixon

Recurring Role

Julian Christopher

Julian Christopher

Doctor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (7)

    • Whitney was complaining that he doesn't have any time to train or study, and he can kiss his scholarship goodbye - and then he goes off to play basketball with Clark.

    • It took Clark twelve years to learn to use and control his powers - how did Eric manage all this within a 1-2 day period?

    • When Clark is in the emergency room, Jonathan tells Martha to help him get dressed so he can go finish the paperwork, Martha puts Clark's one arm in the shirt and then drapes the other one around his shoulder. In the next shot Clark's arm is already in the shirt.

    • Lex is right outside the hospital room when Clark says to Martha: "Even though Eric has my abilities, I still think of them as my responsibility." Why didn't he hear that?

    • When Clark goes to confront Eric, why doesn't he wear the necklace around his neck to make sure Eric couldn't hurt him?

    • When Clark confronts Eric, the necklace falls out of the box not too far away from Eric. How come the kryptonite doesn't affect him until he touches it?

    • In the previous episode Clark got shot with an Uzi and the next morning his bruises still haven't healed, yet here the instant Clark regains his powers the scar on his head heals.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • Chloe: I'm sorry, but I find geology even more pointless than algebra. I mean, I could just order these rocks online and have them delivered to my house vacuum-sealed.

    • Roger: This could make one hell of a story.
      Lex: No one's ever going know about this; and if this story is accidentally leaked, you and I are going to have a serious trust issue.
      Roger: As opposed to the close, personal relationship we enjoy now.

    • Jonathan: How are you holding up?
      Clark: Considering my chores used to take me five minutes and now they take two hours, I'm all right.

    • Pete: He's been acting weird lately.
      Chloe: Well, okay, Clark's always acting weird, why don't you give me a gauge?

    • Clark: You don't feel any differently about me now, do you?
      Martha: Clark, you're our son whether you can bench-press the tractor or not.

    • Jonathan: You know what they say: lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Look, my guess is that your powers aren't coming back.
      Clark: Maybe being normal won't be so bad; I mean it works for you and Mom.
      Martha: Oh, thanks.

    • Chloe: Thanks for saving my computer. It's my life. Okay, how pathetic did that just sound?

    • Clark: I hope all this attention doesn't go to his head. He needs to be careful.
      Chloe: Well, you know what, Clark, the second you start throwing people thirty feet, I'll write nice things about you, too.

    • Pete: Why are you grinning? We lost.
      Clark: I know. Pretty cool, huh?

    • Lex: Listen, I had no right to question your honesty. All I can do is plead temporary insanity and hope we can find a way to put this behind us.
      Clark: Only temporary?

    • Victoria: It was just business.
      Lex
      : You call sleeping with me business? I hate to think what that makes you.

    • Victoria: We could've been great together.
      Lex: I plan on being great all by myself.

    • Eric: Come on, Clark. If you had the power to do whatever you want, what would you do?
      Clark: I'd stop people like you.

    • Jonathon: Clark, your gifts may be a part of you but they don't define you.

  • NOTES (9)

    • John Glover has an uncredited voice role, as Lionel talks to Lex on the phone.

    • This is the last appearance of Kelly Brook as Victoria in the series.

    • Music: Inflatable (Bush), Bonecracker (Shocore), Fade (Staind), Fat Lip (Sum 41), Elevation (U2)

    • Injoke: Mr. Summers mentions a "Dr. Litvack." John Litvack, who the producers knew, later joined the show in a variety of production roles.

    • About halfway into the episode when Clark, Chloe, and Pete are walking down the stairs at school, you see the "crow" mascot behind them. His outfit is blue with a red cape, similar to the future Superman's.

    • The kids are out on a geology field trip at the beginning of the episode. In pre-Crisis continuity, Pete Ross became a geologist when he grows up.

    • In the comics and in the animated series, Superman battled a villain that could steal his powers called Parasite. His name was Rudy Jones, not Eric.

    • Cadmus Labs is mentioned in this episode. It is the same lab that created The Newsboy Legion and Guardian clones. It also created the Superboy clone after Superman "died" in Superman: Man of Steel #75.

    • Shawn Ashmore starred in the movie X-Men as Bobby Drake (aka Iceman although not named as such), a boy that Rogue took a liking to. His character here, "Eric Summers," has a name composed of two X-Men movie characters: Eric Lensherr (Magneto) and Scott Summers (Cyclops). And the power his character Eric displays here is similar to another X-Men character: Rogue...who is his X-Men's character's girlfriend in the movie.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Lana: My mom came to see Close Encounters.
      Referencing the 1982 s.f. movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which features a small brownish alien stranded on Earth who befriends a boy, Eliot. The movie then chronicles E.T.'s attempts to communicate with his people and get home despite interference by the U.S. government.

    • Superboy:
      In Chloe's article, Eric is dubbed "Super Boy." In the original DC comics, Superboy was a young version of Superman. He wore a similar costume as Superman and his alter ego was Clark Kent. In modern DC comics Superboy and Superman are distinct characters. Superboy (Kon-El) is a partial clone made from some of Superman's DNA. This new version of Superboy was created by Project Cadmus and artificially aged during the "Death of Superman" saga.

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