Season 2 Episode 8


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 12, 2002 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
709 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Ryan (from "Stray") returns and Clark has to save him from Dr. Garner of the Summerholt Research Facility. Meanwhile, Aunt Nell leaves Smallville, and Lex wants to expand the plant but runs afoul of the mayor.

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  • Touching Episode

    Everything about this Episode was Touching

    From Ryan Being Rescued by Clark from the Facility and to him finding out he had a Tumor and was Dying It Made Me cry cause i like the Ryan Character and Clark Trying to do everything he can to save him was Touching and the fact he couldn't save him in time made me cry it alot
  • this was a really good ep

    in this ep of smallville clark gets a call from a place called summer home and its ryan and clark tells his parents and goes there and breaks him out of ther. becasue they were doing tests on him to see the funtion of his abilty. thing is it caused him to have a brain toomer. and the summer home trys to get him back but its too late clark learns that he dieing. but clark does not want him to die soe he goes and gets a well know doctor but its too late it did work and clark takes him high above the cloudns in a hot air enjoy his last moments togeater and he dies. it was very sad ep i thoguht. but a really good onemoreless
  • Ryan- This is one of the most touching episodes of Smallville for me.

    Reindroducing Ryan just to let him die in the end was something I really did not reckon with when I first watched "Ryan".

    To me it seemed sure that the little boy had been saved by Clark as soon as he had the surgeon convinced to help- but it was not so.

    Clark did all he could to help but it was in vain. He was not willing to accept his helplessness until the end but when he finally did this step made him

    more grown-up.

    The cross-fading from the comic figure's mask to Clark's face is so nicely done, I really liked it.

    Angels or Devils from Dishwalla fits so perfectly and the whole end is so touching I could watch and listen to it all the time.

    The idea with the captive balloon is nice as it stands for the floating fortess Ryan always wanted to have. Then, Clark collects the comics, looks at the empty bed and just stands there in the way with everybody around him moving and going on or maybe not even noticing what just happened to him...

    His sad and mourning face and view says so much more than thousand words.

    By the way: Maybe it is too far interpreted, but the doctor that walks by Clark holds some kind of schedule in his hands and it throws a light red shadow at Clark which could remind one of the cape he has not yet gotten.

    I do not want to know how many so unbeliavably great songs I would have missed and never heard anywhere else if Smallville had never been there to show them to me.moreless
  • Clark shows his humane side and his vulnerability to the natural force that is death.

    This episodes is one of my favorites and it's the first one of Smallville i've ever seen. Ryan's acting was amazing and the dramatic build up was spectacular. I've seen this episode like 3 times and everytime i see it i always keep hoping that Ryan will survive even though i knew he'll die. Even though this never happened in real life, i think this episode actually shows examples of how one can believe in hope even if it is dim. I always hope that Ryan survives whenever i watch this and so do my friends. What's so great about this episode is that Clark learns he can't save everyone. Death is one force that he can't fight with brains or brawn, but he still tries and never gives in to it. He comes to term with the fact that he can't save everyone and still challenges it like a true hero should. He really grows up in this episode and you can see a Superman type of look in his eyes, a more clearer look than usual. I gave this episode a 9.5, but i was trying to be unbias while reviewing it. If i gave it what i feel it would be a 10/10 at min.moreless
  • Ryan comes back to Smallville! He was left by his aunt to be experimented on. Clark saves him...but can he be saved?

    Ryan, who was previously seen on smallville is back. In the last episode he was taken by his aunt to live a nice life. But he ends op in an experimental institution where they search a explanation for his 'mind reading'.

    I loved the episode. The episode was slowly build to an awesome ending. The love of the people in smallvile for a boy that they barely know. Ryan, the boy who doesn't even want to be special and his whole life is being exploid. No miracles at the end, ryan is sick and dies. But in a way everyone would want. peacefull and with loved ones around him.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

Catherine Lough Haggquist

Catherine Lough Haggquist


Guest Star

Ryan Kelley

Ryan Kelley

Ryan James

Guest Star

William B. Davis

William B. Davis

Mayor Tate

Guest Star

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Aunt Nell

Recurring Role

Mitchell Kosterman

Mitchell Kosterman

Sheriff Ethan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (16)

    • In the opening scene, when Ryan is strapped to the chair and begins to have a nosebleed, he wipes the blood away, making a smear across his top lip. Yet in the separate side shots of the same scene, there is still blood dripping and no smear. In fact the amount and distribution of blood differs from shot to shot throughout.

    • Doesn't anybody wonder how how Clark got all the way to the brain specialist in such a short amount of time?

    • Hub City's airport security is really lax. Apparently, anyone can just drive up the road and end up on the runway as there was no gate, barrier, or even a guard for that matter that would prevent anyone from doing so.

    • They use a gauze pad with a single strip of adhesive sports tape holding it in place for Ryan's post-surgery brain operation. The bandage wouldn't be suitable to cover a heavy scrape, let alone a hole in the side of your head.

    • Why didn't Ryan know that Devilicus was Warrior Angel's best friend before becoming his greatest enemy? When Lex explained it to him, he seemed completely suprised about the whole thing. Ryan seemed to know everything else about Warrior Angel - even that issue #66 was the rarest of all comics.

    • Chloe calls him Brian, not Ryan, when she meets Clark at school the morning after Ryan's phone call for help. (Chapter 2, 6 minutes and 23 seconds into the episode)

    • As a researcher of human physiology, specifically but not necessarily exclusively the brain, Dr. Garner isn't the least bit interested in a boy who can kick in a security door and toss a grown man across the room like a rag doll?

    • In the episode "Crush" Chloe mentions the mayor as Mayor Siegel (a shout out to the co-creator of Superman), however in this episode we meet him as the incumbent Mayor Tate. Since Tate mentions that he has been around forever, Siegel couldn't have been running the town in "Crush." They probably should have kept his name as Siegel instead of Tate.

    • If Lex really wanted to, couldn't he get a helicopter to take him to Hub City?

    • Can't Lex just call the airport in Hub City? He's rich, he's connected - can't he call ahead and ask Dr. Burton to wait?

    • Ryan's aunt gave up custody of him to a complete stranger? She might have noticed that he was being experimented upon if she had ever visited him, which, of course, she didn't, since she moved to Arizona while he was in the hospital, apparently not even leaving a forwarding address. Why did she even bother to take him in if she was so unable or unwilling to care for him? And yet, Ryan insists she's a good person. (note: some abused children still defend their parents.)

    • Another nitpick related to moving people around, is how Clark got Ryan from Metropolis. Didn't Lex wonder how he got the boy all the way back without a car looking the way he did?

    • Once more Clark uses his superhuman abilities in a hi-tech facility that just happens not to have any security cameras. How lucky was that?

    • So...are Lana and Lex partners in The Talon? It's always Lex and Lana talking business, Lex closed out the deal (in "Heat") with Lana rather than Nell, etc. But she's definitely a teenager as established here - can she really have any kind of meaningful legal contract with Lex? More importantly to this episode, if Nell is the legal partner, could she close down The Talon? And is she content to let Lana manage it single-handedly while she lives in Metropolis? Later episodes establish that Lana and Lex are equal partners, although this may be a simplification.

    • Why doesn't anyone find it odd that Dr. Garner vehemently denies holding Ryan (several times people say it's "just a research facility and we don't experiment with people") but then when he arrives in Smallville, he's claiming that Ryan legally belongs to him and they have been doing experimentation with people? Even says he had the police come in (twice) to search for Ryan. At the very least it seems odd to be threatening Clark with a kidnapping charge over something Garner was probably doing illegally. Lex says the D.A. might look into Garner holding Ryan for unethical treatment - seems like it would be a given.

    • Clark puts the magazine about Dr. Burton in his back pocket, then super-speed runs to the airport. When he gets there, the magazine is still in his back pocket. Between the super-rapid movement of his legs and the wind-shear, it should have fallen out several dozen times over.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Ryan: I don't want to be a problem.
      Martha.: Ryan. You are a gift. Like Clark.

    • Lex: When Winston Churchill heard about the attack on Pearl Harbor, he broke out a bottle of champagne and said, "We've won the war." His generals looked at him like he'd lost his mind. America's Pacific fleet was wiped out, France was overrun and the Luftwaffe was bombing London. Churchill said "America is like a giant boiler. Light a fire under it and there's no limit to the amount of heat it can generate." If you start a fire, Mayor Tate, you'd better be prepared to deal with the flames.

    • Ryan: Why do you think Devilicus went bad?
      Lex: I'm not sure. Probably wasn't aware of it. You see, Ryan, in life, the road to darkness is a journey, not a light switch.
      Ryan: You should remember that, Lex.

    • Lex: Ryan. Real life is not a comic book. Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty, make compromises.
      Ryan: That's what your father told you. That doesn't mean he's right.

    • Clark: Don't go to Metropolis.
      Lana: Or what? You'll kidnap me too?

    • Clark: You knew about this the whole time, didn't you?
      Ryan: Half a block away.

    • Chloe: Surprise! It's your obligatory jailbreak party!

    • Ryan: You should have seen him throw that orderly. He must have been 300 pounds.
      Clark: He's exaggerating...a little.

    • Lex: How did you get him out without anyone seeing you?
      Clark: Just lucky, I guess.
      Lex: You're the luckiest guy I've ever met.

    • Clark: If I took him home, my parents would have freaked.
      Lex: Yeah, kidnapping has that effect on people.

  • NOTES (6)


    • Comic Books
      Warrior Angel #66 tells the story of how Devilicus and Warrior Angel used to be the closest of friends prior to becoming the greatest of enemies. A nice foreshadowing of things to come between Lex and Clark. Action Comics #66 (November 1943) was titled "The boy who came back..." The title is somewhat similar to what this story is about, the boy (Ryan) comes back into the Kent's life. And finally, Superman #66 v.2 (April 1992) dealt with Superman's nemesis "Brainiac" whose main power was...telepathy.

    • Ryan: What's OxyContin?
      OxyContin is a sustained release form of the synthetic opiate Oxycodone. Oxycodone is a highly addictive narcotic.

    • Chloe: That's very Erin Brockovich of you.
      Erin Brockovich helped organize 650 plaintiffs who sued Pacific Gas & Electric for damages resulting from a chemical in the drinking water in Hinkley, California. They were awarded the largest damage settlement in history.

    • Lex: Churchill turned to his staff and said..."America is like a giant boiler..."
      Winston Churchill did not say this in any known public setting. It is a quote from his book A History of the English Speaking Peoples. The correct quote is: "The United States is like a giant boiler. Once the fire is lighted under it, there is no limit to the power it can generate."