Smallville

Season 2 Episode 19

Precipice

1
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 22, 2003 on The CW
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
615 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
After Lana is almost assaulted by a college student, Clark injures the boy while helping her. When the Kents are sued for damages that could cost them the farm, Clark tries to find a way out of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Helen's obsessive ex-boyfriend comes to Smallville to win her back but when she turns him down, he stabs her, prompting Lex to take the law into his own hands.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Dullville

    4.9
    Precipice-After Lana is almost assaulted by a college student, Clark injures the boy while helping her. When the Kents are sued for damages that could cost them the farm, Clark tries to find a way out of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Helen's obsessive ex-boyfriend comes to Smallville to win her back but when she turns him down, he stabs her, prompting Lex to take the law into his own hands.



    An episode is a completel snorefest and just gets dull as it moves forward, "Precipice" annoys more than it entertains. First off, this episode she's the introduction of Sheriff Nancy, who has to be the worst recurring character Smallville ever had. I don't know it's Camille Mitchell's acting, her unbearable accent, the horrible writing for the character or Camille Mitchelle herself, but everytime she's on screen, I wish my TV would break in half! Second, the 2 storylines in this episode bore me to tries. Who wants to watch Clark do community service for an hour? It's also extreme for Clark to use his powers on a couple of jocks out in public. The storyline just gets even more pathetic when one of the jocks turns out to be faking their injuries. How many times has that cliche of a plot twist been used in tv shows, especially sitcoms! Also, Lana's self-defense storyline is both rushed and unconvincing, I mean at this point, Lana is anything but threatening and her doing some facny kicking moves don't helo. It was also incredibly cheesy how Lana said she was saving Clark this time, really Lana....really? If that wasn't enough the other plot with Helen's ex-boyfriend returning and going all "Fear" throughout the episode grew more tedious. Anson Mount is creey enough in the role, the situation doesn't play out any differently then any other horror movie. I just couldn't wait until it was over as there wa snothing remotely exciting or tense about it. "Precipice" is all things that can go wrong in a Smallville episode, bad storylines, boring developments, weak plots etc.moreless
  • hey

    9.0
    in this ep of smallville lana is assulted by older guys from school and clark beats him up really bad and injurers him but clark thinks he is faking his injuries so he can take everything they got. and also in this ep hellen sees a old boy friend of hers that comes to town and is still ussive about her and lex kinda realizes that . and the man makes her car not start and then smashes his own head on the mirror and then also goes after her and stabs her. she gets rushed to the hospital and lex decides to take matters into his own hands. and clark has lana pretend she wantes to talk to him to get him to confess and he does after doing a spin kick and knockes him out . and meanwhile clark is on the other side trying to help lex and not get him to do something he will regret this was a great ep i thought.moreless
  • Assailants are after both Lana and Dr. Bryce - Clark is the source of aid for both, but Lex barely avoids becoming a murderer. Lex and Dr. Bryce become closer than ever.moreless

    7.0
    "Precipice" presents parallel, and similar story lines - assailants after both Lana and Dr. Bryce (Emmanuelle Vaugier). Lana get knocked about in the Talon by three brutes, but is rescued by Clark, oddly keeping his distance at first, then in the alley, he tosses one of the thugs into the windshield of the patrol car driven by new-Sheriff-in-town Nancy Adams (Camille Mitchell, in a role that will extend for a several seasons). There's got to be a better way of putting your man down, Clark. His reward for saving the damsel in distress is community service for assault, and a million-dollar lawsuit by Mr. Thug.



    In the same scene, Dr. Bryce is spotted by her ex-boy toy Paul from medical school, who claims a platonic coincidence in meeting her, but is soon spotted by Lex as a stalker. A crazed one, too, as he beats himself up to blame Lex.



    Lex assures Clark that crouching tiger Lana is about to find her hidden dragon. Lana gets buffed in boxing skills by Lex; she has tired of having to be rescued by Clark. Ms. Kreuk obviously has done some martial arts work before - she sports a wicked kick, too. Chloe is again a good source of counsel to Clark on Lana's new girl powers. Creepy Paul assaults Dr. Bryce, and Lex pursues him to a Vancouver train station - oops, that's Amtrak in Smallville - but Clark keeps the battle evened up until Sheriff Nancy rides in.



    Thug Andy finally gets a swift kick in the soft tissue by assertive Lana, and Lex, realizing his strong feelings for Helen, asks for her hand in marriage, the only significant story line progress in Precipice. An unusual episode for Lex - his role is entirely positive and admirable.



    One celestial gaffe by the graphics crew - another misplaced crescent moon over the Kent barn. If the moon is close to the sun's position, the crescent can't be turned upwards - it has to point toward the sun, which had already set. Re-run rating C, not much need to see it again.moreless
  • Great Episode

    10
    After Lana is assaulted by a college student, Andy Conners, Clark loses control and seemingly injures the boy. When the Kents are sued for punitive damages, Clark begins to question his powers, while trying to find a way out of the lawsuit. Meanwhile, Helen's ex-boyfriend arrives in town, intent on winning her back. When she turns him down, he stabs her, prompting Lex to take the law into his own hands. "Precipice" is another great episode of "Smallville". The story shows that for any act of violence, there is a consequence, which sometimes may not be fair and inclusive generate false accusation.moreless
  • Lana finally saves her own ass!

    8.4
    I enjoyed this episode as it highlighted the fact that when CK saves someone, he has to be careful what he does, because he is not disguised. I didn't find the whole plot with Helens ex-boyfriend stalking her particularly appealing but still enjoyed the episode. Again i loved the witty dialogue and seeing Clark in his community service outfit! Clark: Forty hours of community service is not funny. It's an orange vest.

    Chloe: Oh, no! It's gonna clash with the plaid!

    Pete: Welcome to Smallville, where you stop the crime, you do the time. And finally i loved this episode because Lana finally decided to learn to fight, rather than having her butt kicked every week!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

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Michael Soltis

Michael Soltis

Deputy Nees

Guest Star

Michael Adamthwaite

Michael Adamthwaite

Andrew Connors

Guest Star

Anson Mount

Anson Mount

Paul Hayden

Guest Star

Emmanuelle Vaugier

Emmanuelle Vaugier

Dr. Helen Bryce

Recurring Role

Camille Mitchell

Camille Mitchell

Sheriff Nancy Adams

Recurring Role

Julian Christopher

Julian Christopher

Doctor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (18)

    • Clark gets fined for $1.500 for public harassment. That fine is put into 40 hours of community service. If $1.500 is equal to 40 hours (one week) of community service. That would make the monthly rate for community service $1.500 times 4 is $6.000. That is a very high monthly wage for community service.

    • When Helen opens the door to the Pathology lab, there's only one door. But in the next shot from the inside, there's two doors. And there's windows in the door from the inside but not from the outside.

    • When the supposedly injured college student enters his friends' truck, we can plainly see him taking off the neck brace despite the tint on the windows. So why does Clark have to use his x-ray vision to see inside?

    • At the train station Clark sniffles, like he is coming down with a cold or has trouble with the smoke and steam - apparently his invulnerability doesn't extend to his nose and lungs.

    • So is the guy's name Andrew (or Andy) Connors, or Andrew Arthur. Because on the papers that Clark was holding (about Andy suing him) It said Andrew Connors, but on the official Smallville Torch website, in an article written by Chloe, she writes his name as Andy Arthur.

    • How did the sheriff find Lex and Clark? They were the only ones that knew where to look for Paul - there seemed to be no way she could track Paul or them to the train station, but the sheriff and seemingly all of her deputies are there.

    • Given all of the times he's put his team of lawyers on Clark's problems, why doesn't Lex offer to help him with the lawsuit?

    • Lex tells Lana she always felt safe in the Talon...but Tina attacked her there in "Visage." There was also a mysterious fire or two in "Heat."

    • Even given that she kinda saw Clark throw Andy a good long distance into her car, does the Sheriff really think Clark decided to pick a fight with three older and (apparently) stronger guys? Or if she really does believe Clark is that strong and doesn't have a mark on him, she doesn't seem very suspicious of how he did manage to beat up three guys. Wouldn't they run a blood or urine test for PCP and discover something amiss?

    • Actually, the reason that the sheriff is dismissing Lana's case has nothing to do with "hearsay," as Lana claims. That typically refers to testimony from a third party as to statements made, and Lana was the one being assaulted. Her problem is that there were no corroborating witnesses to the event. (see below, however)

    • Lana seems kinda surprised at the thought of Lex being vulnerable - apparently nobody's told her about all the times he's been kidnapped, drugged, knocked out, gagged, and bound in the last two years.

    • When Lex is at the hospital after Helen got attacked, there is a blood stain on his shirt. During the train scene, which takes place right after it, that blood stain is gone.

    • The closed captioning says the Sheriff yells for whoever's in the hotel room to come out, but on-screen she doesn't say anything and just bursts into the room. The former would be correct police procedure.

    • The train car has window instructions on it in four languages, including French and Japanese. Kansas train station don't have this kind of writing (although you would in Vancouver, Canada where the show is shot).

    • One gets the impression the Sheriff isn't trying too hard here. A local businesswoman hits the silent alarm. Dr. Bryce can testify the three college kids were drinking and making lewd comments (which wouldn't be hearsay). Clark can testify they attacked Lana (he shows up just as Lana hits the floor). If the Sheriff was doing her job she should have administered blood-alcohol tests and determine they'd had a lot to drink. It's not the best case in the world but it hardly seems worthy of casual dismissal either.

    • So...couldn't Andrew sue Lana now? It seems to be relatively common knowledge that she has been training (note that Chloe knows it, and doesn't seem to be one for keeping secrets) and Andrew could claim he was already injured so she could attack him more easily. And the sheriff is already bugging Clark even though he supposedly attack a tougher (bunch) of opponents.

    • Immediately after telling Clark not to get involved, the sheriff announces the hotel right in front of him.

    • Concerning the hotel room and the sheriff wanting a warrant - some thought no warrant is necessary. Here is apparently the current law - if the hotel room is currently occupied, it is considered a temporary residence, subject to the same 4th Amendment protections as your permanent home. So yes, police must either wait for a warrant to enter the hotel room or get consent to search from the "resident." If, however, the room has been vacated, if the customer has checked out, then the police may obtain consent to search from the hotel manager, owner, etc. (editor's note - actually, there seem to be differing legal opinions on this, so apparently the issue isn't that clear - she might have been playing it safe. And she'd want a search warrant for any evidence they did find while capturing Paul. The real question is how she came up with probable cause?)

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Jonathan: Son, I got into a lot of fights when I was your age, too, believe me. But, Clark, these are not alien feelings. What you have to remember under these circumstances is that there are consequences.
      Martha: Your father is right. You don't make decisions in a split second you have to live with for the rest of your life.
      Jonathan: Clark, it's true. We are a flawed race, sure. But we're a flawed race that raised you. You're a lot more human than you think.

    • Clark: Forty hours of community service is not funny. It's an orange vest.
      Chloe: Oh, no! It's gonna clash with the plaid!
      Pete: Welcome to Smallville, where you stop the crime, you do the time.

    • Lana: Touch me again, and you'll have some real soft-tissue injury.

    • Lana: By the way, it's not every day that Lana Lang gets a chance to save Clark Kent.

    • Chloe: You know I'm always up for a good conspiracy.

    • Lex: I wouldn't worry about Lana.
      Clark: Why do you say that?
      Lex: Let's just say the crouching tigress is finding her hidden dragon.

    • Paul: You're really paranoid.
      Lex: No, I'm just a frighteningly good judge of character.

    • Lex: Trust me – eccentric bald kids sit pretty low on the prep school totem pole.

    • Lana: You're always there to save me. For once I wish I could save myself.

    • Clark: So you're the new sheriff in town?
      Sheriff Adams: You writing a book, Mr. Kent?

    • Lex: I did not have Paul Hayden beaten up.
      Sheriff Adams: You know, I usually like to ask the questions before I'm given the answers. Sort of the natural flow of things.

  • NOTES (5)

  • ALLUSIONS (8)

    • Sheriff Adams: I ran a complete check on your son, Mr. Kent. He's been at more crime scenes than Eliot Ness.
      Eliot Ness was a famed enforcer of Prohibition. His team was nicknamed "The Untouchables" which is the title of a TV show and movie based on Eliot Ness and his team.

    • Lex: No, I'm just a frighteningly good judge of character
      The Recruit, starring Colin Farrell and Al Pacino seems to be referred to, here. Al Pacino is a recruiter for the CIA and his catch phrase throughout the movie is "I'm a frighteningly good judge of character." I'm not too sure how it relates here, for anyone who's seen the movie, you don't really get the connection, but it's there.

    • Andy: Listen, John Boy...
      Another reference to that good ole homespun family and the TV show of the same name. Someone on the show must be fixated on the Waltons, because Lionel referred to them in "Prodigal" too.

    • Andy: Check out Speedy Gonzales.
      Speedy Gonzales was a Warner Brothers cartoon character. He would shout out, "Arriba! Arriba", right before running really quickly, and outsmarting his fellow cartoon characters. You won't see him as often on television anymore because he isn't considered PC, and portrays Mexicans (at least the super-speeding mouse-like ones) badly. Warners Brothers also owns DC Comics and are the corporate owners of Superman.

    • Sheriff Adams: ...good ole boys day are all over.
      "good ole boys' was how they used to describe Luke and Bo Duke (and probably Vance and Coy too) on The Dukes of Hazard in the show and during the theme song - John Schneider played Bo.

    • Lex: Let's just say the crouching tigress is finding her hidden dragon.
      Referring the movie Wo hu cang long, better known in the U.S. as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    • Chloe: Why do I get the impression you're not happy about Lana going all Charlie's Angels?
      Lana and her training in self-defense are compared here with the crime fighting trio who had a TV show in the 70s and two movies.

    • Andy's Friend: Yo, Joe Millionaire!
      This is referring to the Fox reality show where a guy uses dishonesty about his worth while women compete over his affections. Dishonesty is the theme here, because right after Andy's friend says this to him, we see Andy take off his fake neck brace.

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