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Season 3 Episode 5


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Oct 29, 2003 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
633 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Perry White, a once promising journalist whose career was destroyed by Lionel Luthor, arrives in Smallville in search of alien stories for a tabloid news show. In spite of being constantly inebriated, Perry believes he has witnessed Clark using his extraordinary speed, so he devises a dangerous scheme to expose Clark's superpowers. Meanwhile, Lex learns that Perry has powerful incriminating evidence of Lionel's shady past.moreless

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  • Great Ceasar's Ghost an excellent episode!

    I loved Michael Mckean's Perry White. His portrayal is of a once world famous reporter who has fallen on hard times and hit the bottle as a result. He has the right amount of hardbitten boozer yet still has the ability to be a likable character. His chemistry with the rest of the cast was excellent and as a result Mckean's White was one of my favourite guest stars on Smallville. It was too bad that the writers/creators didn't bring him back to be in more episodes as he was one of the more interesting guest stars to appear on the show.moreless
  • Move over Chloe, Perry's in town.

    An improvement over the last episode, "Perry" is another one of those watchable episodes of Smallville that never amounts to anything other than average fare, yet never stoops so low its unbearable.

    Frankly, the strong DC ties with the comics manage to make this one an episode to watch…if you're a geek, of course. Not only do we get Perry White, but we also get some insight into Clark's powers and how they react to the sun in sporadic ways.

    As many have commented already, there's an extra oomph in the dialogue this time around. I especially enjoyed the rapport between Chloe and Perry, with his interaction with the rest of the Smallville lot proving to be just as entertaining at times.

    Unfortunately, there's very little here that's not signposted 15 minutes before it happens. The minute Clark's powers began to fluctuate, it was evident that Perry would indeed spot Clark using his powers, only for the finale to have Clark lose them and endure some "human" injury. Then again, this is Smallville, and routine is its middle name.

    Elsewhere, the politics between Lex and Luthor - as always - prove to be interesting. I always liked the character of Lex and an episode that attempts to explore the complexities of his character always seem to do well, especially his mental state (a future episode will prove this). While things are only touched upon here, it's the beginning of an interesting arc.

    Overall, yup, you guessed it, another average episode from the show. Hardcore fans of the Superman will surely dig all of the juicy references, though; so pending on your geek status, you'll either enjoy it or love it.moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of smallville it begin with a washed up reporter comes to smallville and his name is perry white is doing a story on the meters that hit smallville and the werid things that have been happing in smallville. clark is the guy that has to follow him around becasue clark saved him from his car crashing into a pole and the guy supposivle sees and still sorta rememers him walking through the electric to save him. and he goes to the talen to talk to lana it makes her upset because he brings up bad memories and she goes to lex for help and he drives him out of town to the bus stop but as he is waiting clark is having problems with his abilties due to s asolar flar and its making his ablites get out of hand and he tossa tracter all the way to the bus stop and it drops right infront of perry white and it starts to get him interested in clark and he goes on and on thinking clark has powers but then perry thinks of away to be saved by clark to get him to show his powers but at the time he has no powers and he has to get pulled up by pete and lana. this was a good ep and clark bring him to the buss stop and he says i will ow you one in the future clark.moreless
  • A washed-up reporter appears in Smallville - it's Perry White - not ready for editorship at the Daily Planet, but in a precursor to possible plot developments much later in the series. He detects Clark's abilities and tries to get a story.moreless

    A hard-drinking man is booted from a bar, drives off drunk, and swerves to avoid speed-runner Clark, who handily rips off the car door and rescues none other than Perry White, the Daily Planet editor in all prior Superman comics and movies, played here by popular character actor Michael McKean. Turns out he's a washed-up reporter in town to research meteor phenomenon for a tabloid, and enlists Clark as a local guide as compensation for the accident. McKean gets some excellent dialog, playing the part in a convincing fashion. Perry offends both Lana and Chloe with his brusque manner, but Chloe clues Clark in to Perry's history - a former ace reporter in Metropolis.

    Lana enlists Lex to help fed off Perry's probe of her background, and at a bar with Clark, Perry leaves with Lex, and we learn that Perry was investigating the Luthors years ago. Lex drops Perry off in an unidentifiable silver sports car (plates "Lex XX"), giving him until sundown to get out of town. Fun scene - Clark tries to lift a tractor for Jonathan, inadvertently tossing it into the next Section, where it plummets to the road in front of Perry. Turns out a solar flare is making Clark's powers erratic. While the wrecker and Sheriff Adams are on the tractor-bomb scene, we see the Kents have yet another red Dodge pickup, somehow replacing the one wrecked in last week's episode, "Slumber."

    Perry's suspicions of Clark grow, and he starts to fill Chloe in on how his career hit the skids. At the mansion, Lex is resisting probes by a psychologist played by Lorena Gale, as part of his agreed-on exam for Luthorcorp. This subplot has Dr. Foster refusing to sign off on his psych evaluation and Lex first dismissing her, then finally agreeing to submit to examining his feelings. Perry tries to make a deal with Lex - Lionel's information for Lex, in exchange for Clark's information for Perry - but Lex throws him out.

    Clark and Pete hide from Perry, but they find him poised above a gorge, trying to force a rescue by Clark, who is temporarily powerless. Pete and Lana step in to perform the rescue using Pete's mid-60s Ford Falcon convertible. Seeing Clark with ordinary strength, Perry drops the notion that Clark is something special. Clean-shaven and sober, Perry leaves town, hinting of things to come - he tells Clark he has journalism potential and offers to return some favors one day in Metropolis.

    If the Smallville producers had followed up with the Perry White character, McKean's portrayal would have been an important precursor to later episodes, but they didn't, even five years later. McKean would still be a good choice to play Perry. But the lack of follow-on episodes isn't all bad - some Smallville fans don't want the classic Superman story line to progress too rapidly - keep the show going! Re-run rating B-.moreless
  • Perry White annoyed me !

    After Clark saves a reporter from car which crashed into an electric cable the reporter starts getting suspicious about Clark and how he could do these things like super speed and ignroing the electric cables. The reporter was Perry White. A washed up reporter who used to be a great Metroplilis newspaper journalist. First Perry White goes after Lana. The Lana goes to Lex and tells him that she wants something to be done about Perry so Lex goes after Perry and tells him to stay away from Lana so Perry tries to presuade Lex into giving him information about Clark in exchange for a dark secret about Lionel Luthor. Clark is experiencing problems with his power which were due to the Solar shower which either have his powers put into over drive or take his powers completely. After many failed attempts Perry finally does something crazy. He risks his own life and Clark's so he can get the story he wants. He tied his foot to a rope and threw himself into a fountain but Clark who had his powers taken away from him couldn't do anything but go after him so the reporter and a powerless Clark were hanging from a single rope so Pete grabs another rope which Clark holds on to and then Pete connectes the rope to the car and drives so that Clark and Perry are pulled up. That was an exciting scene. Also in this episode : Lex dosen't want to open up to his therapist but after her writing a bad report about his phsycological problem he finally agrees to go on with his sessions. This episode was all about the character's lives and what they are going through. Lana wants to bury her past and Lex needs to revisit his pastso he can relive his bad experiences inorder for him to recover. I think this episode was pretty average. I wasn't that excited during it. I mean I knew all along that Clark was going to have problems with reporters and the media so it was only a matter of time. I saw Perry White as a very annoying character. Chloe had a very small part in this episode. All in all it was pretty good. Favorite part of this episode : When Clark's tractor falls right infront of Perry and Perry empties his alcohol bottle due to his surprise. Favorite character from this episode : Pete !!! I liked how helpful he was and what a good friend he was by finding out what was wrong with Clark's powers and driving Clark to a safe place so he dosen't burn the farm and expose himself to the reporters. Good stuff !!!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

Lorena Gale

Lorena Gale

Dr. Claire Foster

Guest Star

Patrick Gallagher

Patrick Gallagher


Guest Star

Michael McKean

Michael McKean

Perry White

Special Guest Star

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (25)

    • Just before Pete backs his car out to pull the rope up, the rope can been seen to be slack, when Clark and Perry are supposedly hanging on to it for dear life.

    • As Clark rushes (superspeed) to the crossroads where their truck fell from the sky, surely he would have seen Perry standing there, and if he did, why didn't he react i.e., not continue or at least continue at a normal speed?

    • Perry had a rope attached to his ankle before he jumped. But when he was standing on the handrail, it was clear that there was nothing attached to his foot. He couldn't have hidden the rope because it would be drooping down.

    • A comet is made up of ice and rock. The ice would have melted within a million miles of the sun leaving only rock. Rock melts back into magma/lava at nearly 3000 F. The sun is more than 100x hotter than that. Theoretically, a comet wouldn't survive long enough to hit the sun's surface.

    • Perry should probably have a broken ankle as the result of his bungee jump. You jump 30' and get brought up short by a cord - bones break. (Bungee jumping involves a far safer method of securing the rope then just tying it around an ankle.)

    • A comet impacting the sun wouldn't cause "solar flares," which are internal disruptions in the sun's magnetic fields.

    • So Clark goes out and does chores with enough money in his wallet to pay for bus fare from that distance away? That kind of fare ain't cheap - does Clark really carry that much walking-around money?

    • When would Perry have had a chance to tie that rope on his leg? Presumbly Lana was with him the whole time, but she seems surprised he had a rope on his leg.

    • In the second-to-last scene in the barn with Lana, Clark says "I meant what I said back in the gorge". But Clark didn't speak to Lana more than a word or two. Presumably when he was about to die on the rope, (or after he was saved), he said something to Lana that was later cut out.

    • How come Perry and his camera crew didn't catch Clark setting the window on fire? Even if they didn't see how Clark did it, you'd think they'd be interested in that.

    • Pete is driving yet another car from the massive fleet of vehicles he apparently has at his disposal. At least this one survived the episode unscathed.

    • The Kent's truck was at the very least dinged up in the last episode "Slumber" but here it's fine.

    • When we see Lex talking to Lana, the handles of the Japanese swords in the background are turned to the right (signifying War). Later when Perry is there the handles are turned to the left (Peace). Does Lex just pick them up and swish them around from time to time?

    • Perry can see that Clark has no powers by his hands being severely rope burned. However, he fails to notice that Clark's hands healed so quickly after only one day. For rope burns that bad you would need to have them wrapped in gauze for a few days. Perry even shakes Clark's hand just before he got on the bus. Also, Lana should have noted it too when they talk the next day.

    • We should also just resign ourselves to the deep gorges, flowing mountain streams, and towering mountains of Kansas.

    • Lana must miss seeing Clark use his super-strength and speed in the barn at the end by a second or two - given everything else in the past and this episode, haven't they learned Clark shouldn't be using his super-powers unless he's absolutely sure no one could be around seeing him?

    • We should probably just give up and figure no matter how many freaks, weirdos, and wives are going to try to kill Lex, he's not going to have any security guards call him up when Lana or whoever decides to wander in. (Perry later in the episode is the rare exception here.)

    • How many fences does the Kent farm have? Seems like Clark is not just repairing fences, but putting in poles to make a new one every few weeks.

    • The Kents seem oddly impressed by Perry's threat of going after them with a settlement. The sheriff doesn't like him, "his breathalyzer test was off the chart," and there are several witnesses that can testify he was dead drunk before he drove off. The Kents might not want the attention, but it seems pretty unlikely Perry would ever get this case anywhere near a court or investigation.

    • What with the truck last week in "Slumber" (now mysteriously repaired), and the tractor this week, do the Kents have any vehicles left?

    • Lana doesn't understand how Perry could think Clark had super-powers? Just two episodes ago in "Extinction," she was thinking he might have super-powers. Okay, now she's "sure" Clark doesn't have super-powers, but she can't possibly understand how someone else might think that?

    • So...how old is Lana? We're told here the meteor storm occurred 15 years ago. Since she's a junior, that would make her 16-17 now - she didn't really look two years old in the pilot.

    • Several contributors have noted that things in this episode (Clark not having a new truck, Chloe still having the Wall of Weird) don't match up with the first fifteen minutes of the previous episode "Slumber." As noted under that episode, the first fifteen minutes of that episode were Clark's dream and did not actually occur.

    • At the very beginning, when Clark is leaving the house to meet Pete at the Talon, you can see him through the door's windows when he gets out. Right after, we hear the sound that he makes when he "runs," but you can still see him walk outside.

    • Perry and Clark fall, and Clark tells Pete that there's a rope in the car. Wouldn't Pete know this? He's the one who put it in the car!

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Clark: It's been a weird day. My light speed gave out around Lake Tahoe.
      Jonathan: That's gotta be a thousand miles.
      Clark: I know. One second I'm racing across the country, the next I can barely jog. I tried to make it home. My super speed gave out again around Colorado Springs. I barely had enough money for a bus ticket.

    • Perry: "It fell off a truck." That's not an explanation, that's a punch line. I spent the morning combing through police records and newspaper stories. You're Johnny-on-the-Spot, Clark. You're Smallville's own hero on deck.
      Clark: Trust me, Mr. White, there's nothing special about me.
      Perry: Oh, that's where you're wrong, kid. So far I got you pegged as really strong and shock-resistant. The question is, what other tricks have you got up your sleeve?

    • Perry: (to Clark) I don't get you, kid. I strong-armed your parents, picked on your girlfriend, and ticked off your lady editor. And still, here you are trying to play the hero.

    • Perry: I made exactly two mistakes in my life, kid. The first was getting into journalism.
      Clark: What was the second?
      Perry: Thinking it mattered.

    • Clark: Mr. White, I've been looking for you.
      Perry: And here I am. You may have the makings of a reporter yet, Kent.
      Clark: Like you used to be? Chloe and I did some checking after you left.
      Perry: Memories fade, but a Google search never forgets.
      Clark: And another drink isn't gonna erase the fact that you used to be one of the best reporters in Metropolis. What happened?
      Perry: Life is a journey, grasshopper, and sometimes the trip is smoother with a little lubricant.

    • Lana: I think you'd be more comfortable at the Wild Coyote [bar].
      Perry: Well, I was 'til they threw me out.

    • Perry: I'm tellin' you [the Kent's Tractor] fell out of the sky!
      Sheriff Adams: And last night you were begging the nurses to keep the flying monkeys out of your room!

    • Perry: Thanks again for the ride.
      Clark: It's the only way I could be sure you get on the bus.

    • Perry: There's no way that (Lex) could have walked away from that crash without the miracle that is Clark Kent.

    • Clark: You're a reporter?
      Perry: In a past life.

    • Perry: (making a toast) To Littleville, Kansas, and all the Little Kansassians who live here.

    • Chloe: Weather service expects a light shower of threshing machines, followed by a drizzle of combines.

  • NOTES (8)


    • Chloe: ...our resident Ghostbuster.
      Referencing Ghostbusters, the 1984 Ivan Reitman sci-fi comedy movie about four ghost hunters/exterminators in New York City. It had a sequel in 1989 and two succeeding animated TV series versions.

    • Pete: You know I'm always up for a little Undercover Brother.
      Reference to the satire movie Undercover Brother.

    • Sheriff Adams: And don't call me chief!
      Line often said by Perry White in the comic books and movies, usually addressed to Jimmy Olsen.

    • X Styles
      Pretty clear parody on the X-Files show, including some bits about how the X- writers make up stories similar to the incidents in Smallville (an allusion to some krypto-mutants are similar to the bad guys on X-Files?). Michael McKean played Morris Fletcher in several X-Files episodes, and guest-star Lorena Gale also appeared in two episodes of The X-Files. And at the end of the episode "The Post-Modern Prometheus," they played Cher's Walking In Memphis, while here they played the remix.

    • Perry: Life is a journey, grasshopper...
      Reference to the 60s TV series Kung Fu, with David Carradine.