Season 1 Episode 17


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Apr 23, 2002 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
734 votes

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Episode Summary

Tyler gains the power to destroy organic matter with a touch, and resolves to put the dying out of their misery...and Whitney's father is his next target. Meanwhile Lionel and Lex spar over Lex's rising success in Smallville.

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  • in this was a good ep

    in this ep of smallville a teenager is visting his unhealthy relitive in the hosipital and she wants him to kill her so she does not have to suffer but the people catch him but he falls out a window and they think he is dead but he gets infected by the metor rocks and can turn people ashes. in a touch. and from then on he thinks its his duty to help people in dieing need. clark and cloey must figure out what happening before the next person to die is whitneys dad. this was a good ep and a sad one at some times.moreless
  • A local boy has died but lives, turning to ashes anyone he touches.

    Smallville resident Tyler Randall gains the ability to turn to ashes anything organic that he touches, and that includes some unfortunate cast members. Actually, he's already dead, he just doesn't know it, and Clark pursues this unknown death-dealer, who almost does in Whitney's father, hospitalized and near death anyway. Even a dog and a little old lady fall victim to Tyler, who thinks he is helping people by putting them out of their misery. Whitney has trouble facing the mortality of his father; Clark urges him to maintain the relationship. Car fans might like the scene with Lex driven to a meeting in a blue Bentley, while the Kents struggle along with the same old GMC pickup. Re-run rating B-.moreless
  • Quick Death...Slow Episode!

    Reaper-Tyler gains the power to destroy organic matter with a touch, and resolves to put the dying out of their misery...and Whitney's father is his next target. Meanwhile Lionel and Lex spar over Lex's rising success in Smallville.

    Probably one of the lamest freak of the week episodes and a guest star who acts like he barely knows what his doing, "Reaper" become a parody of itself half-way through the episode. I don't know whether it was Tyler's poorly developed situation or Reynaldo Rosales's incredibly dull performance, but the storyline just drags to no end! Tyler's speechs before he sucks the life out of his victims are so boring and this freak of the week has absolute no sense of M.O. or inflicting any type of fear what so ever. The lines of "I can releash your pain" are not only cliche but are delievered with no life by Reynaldo. Maybe that was point, since he had a Death-influenced power? But whatever the case, the character fails as a sympathic character or as a real threat! Well at least the life sucking special effects were good!

    Despite the lame A plot, the sub-plot was actually good. I liked Clark and Whitney's scene. It's the first time with both character worked well on screen and Eric Johnson managed to actually give Whitney a little depth. Also, I love the interaction between Lionel and Lex as already John Glover and Micheal Rosenbaum feel very much like father and son. The episode ends with a great scene as Whitney's fatehr gets to watch him play out on the field. Even though it was out of Clark's request to Lex, it's still helps build an understanding between the characters. "Reaper" is a dull, dreary episode yet there are some nice scenes worth watching.moreless
  • Great Episode

    Tyler Randall, while trying to assist the suicide of his ailing mother, accidentally falls out of a window and a piece of meteor rock becomes embedded in his wrist as he dies. When the coroner removes the rock from his wrist, Tyler becomes reanimated. Whenever Tyler touches someone, or something, they instantly incinerate and die. Believing he is helping, Tyler tries easing the pain of Whitney's dying father. Clark Kent arrives in time to stop him, and inform him that his mother is still alive. Thinking his mother could not accept the monster he had become, Tyler takes his own life.moreless
  • A man named Tyler comes back from the dead and gains the ability to turn things to ash.

    The episode starts out on a very sad note as Tyler is asked by his ailing mother to end her suffering. He is halted by the medical personnel, but in the struggle he falls out a window to his own death. Thanks to his meteor rock bracelet, he returns from the dead with the ability to destroy organic matter. He then decides to continue what he had started with his mother and to end the suffering of the sick and infirm.

    This is the weakest episode of the season. First, this is the third time someone has gotten powers from meteor contact to the skin. While coming up with believable powers, origins and explanations is no doubt very difficult, even is Season 1 it looked like the writing staff were running out of ideas. Second, Tyler is shown to be a loving and devoted son. Why wouldn't he check up on his mother to at least see if she was getting proper arrangements for her wake or finding out when her funeral was? Like any other generic 'Villain of the Week', he decides to go out and kill people simply because he can. Tyler eventually does find out he failed in suffocating his mother. Instead of trying to rectify the situation for either good or bad, he simply kills himself with no real explanation.

    On the plus side, Whitney's character finally gets explored some more. He finally got to do something besides 'quarterback' and 'Lana's boyfriend', getting a chance to show some range with the pain and remorse of a son dealing with an ill father. The always sick Mr. Fordman finally makes an appearance and plays a part in the story, as well. He even gets to have a lifelong wish come true when he gets to see Whitney play for a college team (thanks to Lex). While Lionel only has a small role in the episode, any opportunity for him and Lex to get confrontaional is good. And Jonathan, who has made his opinion on the Luthor's quite clear, fianlly starts to see a glimmer of what Clark sees in Lex.

    Ignore the main story for this episode. The only thing that keeps this episode going are the secondary plots, as they also have an effect on the overall plot of the show.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

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Whitney Fordman

Reynaldo Rosales

Reynaldo Rosales

Tyler Randall

Guest Star

Patrick Keating

Patrick Keating


Guest Star

Jason Connery

Jason Connery

Dominic Sanatori

Guest Star

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • When Lex and Jonathan are talking at the football field towards the end of the episode, you can see a microphone come up at the bottom of the screen in front of Lex.

    • Why do the market manager's glasses turn to dust when he touches Tyler? The guy doing the autopsy was wearing glasses and his didn't turn to dust.

    • Lex tells Jonathan that the only picture with his father is on the Luthorcorp financial report. In "Insurgence," we can clearly see a picture with both of them on Lionel's desk in his office.

    • In the scene with Dominic and Lex, Dominic hits the cue ball, sending it to an edge of a side pocket. Yet when there is a close up on Dominic, the cue ball is safely in the middle of the table.

    • When Tyler goes in to see Mrs Sykes (when he gives her the white rose), he touches Pepper first (as denoted by the yelps, and the finding of Pepper's ashes later by Clark). In order to turn Pepper to ash, Tyler would have had to take his glove off, yet when he walks over to Mrs Sykes, he has both gloves on, and takes one off again to touch her. He could have put the glove back on but why bother if he knew he was going to be touching Mrs Sykes?

    • The scene with Lex and his father meeting has two discrepancies: when Lex tells his father to open the trunk, Lionel pushes a button on the key and we hear the "unlock door" sound, not the trunk release. Granted, the car may have been locked, but who locks their car and then stands by it? Also, we never hear the "unlock trunk" sound. Finally, the other discrepancy is that Lex walks away from his car and his father at the end of the conversation. If he leaves his car behind, how does he get back to Smallville?

    • The scene where Clark and his father are having an argument over the fishing trip, there is a sign hanging on the wall above a door in the background. It's a red sign that says "Horses Boarded" and beneath that "______85 cents" and "_____75 cents" (____ being something difficult to make out). So why haven't we seen it before and why do the Kents have it?

    • In the graveyard scene, it's completely different from the first graveyard scene in the pilot. Also, in the graveyard scene of "X-Ray," it's a different graveyard from the pilot (no Angel monument, no trees in sight, etc). We know it's supposed to be the same graveyard because Lana's parents have a gravestone there. So...what's with the changing graveyards?

    • When Tyler touches his victims, their clothes also dissolve into ash, yet when he wears the gloves (to prevent his "gift" from working) they don't turn to ash.

    • Judging from the scene with Martha and the produce, Tyler has no conscious control of his power. It affects vegetables, so it's not limited to living beings and arguably works on anything organic. It also seems to happen with any contact with his skin, not just his hands. So how does he wear leather gloves or cotton clothing? (editor's note: maybe it has to be living organic substances?)

    • When Tyler takes his gloves off in Mr. Fordman's hospital room, his hands are curled, almost into a fist. If he later kills himself by touching himself, shouldn't that have killed him right then?

    • After Tyler almost kills Martha Kent, Lana says that Tyler "seemed nice". At that point in the episode she's never met him as far as we ever find out.

    • Whitney says that he's never been out at the graveyard with Lana. Lana doesn't contradict him, although Tina-as-Whitney was out there with her in "X-Ray." So is the knowledge of krypto-mutants, or at least shapechanger Tina, common knowledge? (Later, in "Visage," Lana seems skeptical at the idea of a shapechanger.)

    • Chloe has pictures of Tyler's corpse from the autopsy. Ummm, when did they take them? We saw most of it, and the coroner didn't take any pictures or seem to have a camera nearby.

    • Chloe says that the combination of kryptonite and painkillers turned him into a walking corpse. Umm, what painkillers? Tyler died when he fell out the window: who the heck gave him painkillers?

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Lex: Do you know what my father gave me for my tenth birthday? A copy of The Will to Power. "Behold the Superman - man is something to be overcome." Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, they were the voices that nurtured me after my mother died. My father made every question a quiz, every choice a test. Second best was for losers, compassion for the weak, trust no one. Those were the lessons I grew up with.
      Dominic: I'll remember that if I'm ever interviewed by the Biography Channel.
      Lex: All I'm saying, Dominic, is try to remember who I was raised by. I try to deny it, but I'm still my father's son. Tread carefully.

    • Martha: I'm not going to play referee, you two need to work this out.
      Clark: We will. First we'll have a week of uncomfortable silence and then we'll start talking about something trivial. And then we'll move on.

    • Lex: Let's be frank, Dominic. My father sent you here to spy on me because he's afraid of how well I'm doing. This was my last chance to prove myself and he just assumed I'd fail. Now he has to revise his definition of me. I'm not just his screw-up son anymore. Now I'm competition. And my father only knows one way of dealing with competition.

    • Lex: You know in ancient Persia, the kings would kill a messenger who brought them news they didn't like. In modern times a sword in the chest might seem a little extreme. Something more subtle would be in order. Enjoying your drink?

    • Tyler: It's a miracle.
      Clark: It's life. As long as we have that, there's still hope.

    • Lex: It bothers you, doesn't it. That I'm not dependent on you anymore. I've made friends in Smallville, people I can trust.
      Lionel: Don't be ridiculous, Lex, I'm happy that you're doing well.
      Lex: No you're not. You're afraid I won't need you anymore.
      Lionel: You'll always be my son. And you will always need me, Lex.

    • Lex: You want to ask an accounting question, Dad? Call me. And the next time one of your drones bothers the Kents, he'll be lucky to ride home with the spare.
      Lionel: Lex... well done.

    • Clark: You don't have to look so happy about it.
      Chloe: I'm not happy. I'm intrigued.
      Pete: Which means you're still going to look into it.
      Chloe: Am I that transparent?
      Pete and Clark: Yes.

    • Lex: No, I just want you to understand that if I'm guilty of anything regarding your family, it's envy.

    • Jonathan: He's a good kid, Lex, I don't want that to change.
      Lex: Neither do I. (pause) You know, from the day I first met Clark, all you've ever seen is the name "Luthor."
      Jonathan: Well so far you haven't given me a reason to see anything else.

    • Clark: You know this is a crime scene.
      Chloe: So?

    • Lex: In his own way he's just trying to give you something my father never gave me.
      Clark: What's that?
      Lex: Limitations. All my father ever told me was "don't get caught" and "don't cause a scandal." That's not love, it's public relations. You have no idea how lucky you are. When my father dies, kings will come to his funeral but when yours does, his friends will come.

    • Clark: Besides, I know how we can catch more fish this year.
      Jonathan: More lures?
      Clark: X-ray vision.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Music: Rubyhorse (Sparkle), Trik Turner (Friends & Family), Kings of Convenience (The Weight of My Words), and Firengine Red (Falcor).

    • Lex, while talking to Dominic, describes his 10th birthday gift: a copy of "Will to Power" or some such book. He quotes a line "Behold the Superman..." Foreshadowing?


    • Lex: Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, they were the voices that nurtured me after my mother died.
      Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher who questioned the positive and negative attitudes of various systems of morality toward life. Nietzsche's most relevant work (to this show and Lex) is Übermensch (in English, "overman" or "superman").

    • Lex: Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, they were the voices that nurtured me after my mother died.
      Niccolò Machiavelli was one of the first people to study objectively -- with what we might now call a scientific attitude -- politics and government as they are actually practiced. His best known work is Il Principe (The Prince), which argued the advantages of cruelty and fraudulence. He inspired the term Machiavellianism, which some social and personality psychologists use to describe a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for gain.

    • Lex: Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, they were the voices that nurtured me after my mother died.
      Sun Tzu was the author of The Art of War, an immensely influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy.

    • Lex: Do you know what my father gave me for my tenth birthday? A copy of "The Will to Power."
      Will to Power is a book by Friedrick Nietzsche. Nietzsche was a German philosopher who produced critiques of contemporary culture, religion, and philosophy centered around a basic question regarding the positive and negative attitudes of various systems of morality toward life. Another reference to Nietzsche was in the pilot episode which referenced Nietzsche's Übermensch (in English, "overman" or "superman").

    • Title
      A nod to the fictional personification of death, the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper is often depicted with a black cloak and scythe which he uses to harvest souls.