Season 4 Episode 10


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Dec 01, 2004 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
717 votes

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Episode Summary

A LuthorCorp experiment is released into the atmosphere - a toxin that causes its victims to hallucinate their worst fear. Chloe, Clark, Lana, and Jason all fall victim to the toxin, and Lex, desperate to find a cure, takes a dangerous antidote. Meanwhile, Lionel is released from prison and his conviction overturned thanks to a mysterious benefactor.moreless

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  • Luthorcorp's military contract experiment lets loose a deadly toxin into the air, causing bizarre nightmares for anyone infected, and most of our favorite characters fall victim, even Clark. Will the antidote be ready in time?moreless

    Lana tells Clark that she suspects Jason may have followed her from Paris to Smallville for reasons other than his love for her. Protective Clark reassures her - and she declares that she's always bee in love with Clark. After his continued efforts to keep her at a distance for her own safety, why do the screenwriters have him so willing to kiss and make up? Well, to keep the story going, of course. Jason suddenly appears and bashes Clark around, declaring to Lana that no one can protect her from him (Jason). She up and stabs Jason, who falls from the barn loft and lands...on the floor of the Talon! So wait, whose dream is this? Jason's injuries are real - he's in the hospital with Lana by his side, so it must be his dream. His heart rate and blood pressure are sky-high, and the doctors are at a loss. At the Talon apartment, Chloe begins to snoop into Jason' belongings, finds he had a meeting at Luthorcorp, and they're off to see Lex. At the plant, Clark tells a peevish Lex about Jason's condition - Lex says the meeting Jason had was with the H.R. folks about job leads, Lex claiming to feel guilty about getting Jason fired from his coaching job (revealed in "Spell," a couple episodes back). So this scene seems to be reality.

    Chloe, still poking around the deserted plant, comes upon a whispering figure in a chair in her mother's voice - suddenly the figure turns - a horrible death mask face appears, and suddenly Chloe is strait-jacketed and screaming in terror, until retrieved by Clark - so Chloe is imagining all this. You're infected, girl.

    A bit more is revealed - a Luthorcorp plant accident has disabled the work force - it was a bacteria leak from the toxins they're producing under a military contract. It can produce a person's worst nightmares, and the antidote isn't ready yet.

    Still in prison, Lionel is visited by Warden Stone - and Lionel sounds like a religious convert. The appellate court has overturned his conviction and he's to be released, but he refuses, wanting to stay because he has found his mission in life. Sorry Lionel, it isn't a hotel, she tells him, refusing his request.

    While Clark and Chloe investigate further, Lana is struck by her worst nightmare - her parents, Chloe and Jason dead in a morgue. How did Lana get infected by the toxin? At the plant, the antidote's ready but untested, but Lex, always ready to risk the life of another, orders it tested, with deadly results. Meanwhile, the hospital is overloaded with victims, including Lana, even though Lex confesses to the staff that his plant is the source of the toxin. Just then, a meteor shower hits the hospital, and it looks like Clark's worst nightmare, as he slept, and had some reaction to the bug.

    As the antidote is nearly ready, Clark uses heat-vision to speed the process, and Lex bravely tests it on himself. His nightmare - he's President of the US as ICBMs detonate around the world - Lex the Destroyer. But the antidote works.

    Lionel is released from prison - and leaves with an unseen benefactor - we're left guessing about the identity until a later episode. After the entire town is cleaned up, Jason is packing for departure - leaving Lana alone again. For upcoming shows, here's the clue - Chloe has found her mother in a mental institution. And Clark nears the point of revealing his true identity to Chloe. There's some good surprises in this episode, and scenes that leave us guessing about reality versus nightmare, so it's a good one to see more than once. Re-run rating B.moreless
  • A Plague of Nightmares!

    Scare-A LuthorCorp experiment is released into the atmosphere - a toxin that causes its victims to hallucinate their worst fear. Chloe, Clark, Lana, and Jason all fall victim to the toxin, and Lex, desperate to find a cure, takes a dangerous antidote. Meanwhile, Lionel is released from prison and his conviction overturned thanks to a mysterious benefactor.

    "Scare" is a bizarre episode for me, it gives a lot of emphasis on the characters and their deepest fears, yet the story isn't as cohesive as it should be. There are some scenes that work, there are some scenes that just don't and the whole episode pretty much feels like the writers on auto-pilot for the most part. The deadly virus never feels like as big of the threat as the episode makes it out to be and the whole thing gets resolved too quickly by episode end. But like I said, there are some great scenes here and there, especially the toxen induced hallucinations the characters go through.

    The opening teaser with Jason is quite suspensful as we see fears that Lana will run back to Clark and will kill him in end. Chloe's hallucination is quite creepy even scary as she sees herself as a horrifying looking mental patient looked away in a dark room. It's a great development on Chloe's part as we get more familiar with the situation surrounding her mom. The scene where Chloe confesses her fear of becoming like her mother to Clark is heartbreaking and Allison is brilliant in that scene. Lana's hallucination is the weakest as she fears everyone will die around her. But then there's Clark's hallucination is well directed with great special effects as another meteor shower hits and Lana finds out Clark's arrival killed her parents. Lastly, Lex's hallucination is the best, as he sees himself as President of the United States and starting a nuclear war. A throwback to Cassandra's vision in "Hourglass", it's great forshadowing of the future and one Lex can't stop. I also found Lionel's release from jail as a great development and the mystery of that person is very promising. "Scare" is uneven at times, but there are some disturbing, creepy scenes that make it an enjoyable episode.moreless
  • Great Episode

    After having a scary nightmare, Jason Teague is interned in Metropolis Health Center with risk of death. Clark Kent and Chloe Sullivan decide to investigate, and find that Jason had had a meeting at Luthor Corp. a couple of hours before. They go to the plant, and Chloe has the same trouble. Sooner, many dwellers of Smallville have the same mysterious disease, and Clark finds that it is caused by an experimental bacteria released from Luthor Corp.'s laboratory after an explosion in the facility, and the team of scientists is working in an antidote. Meanwhile, Lionel Luthor is released from prison.moreless
  • every one got all sick n it showed their worst feats or anti-inabitions including clark (big woop it was about lana)

    this episode was sooo scary i was watching it late at night and i was looking behind my shoulder every 3 seconds thinking that (creepy) chloe was behind me all nasty lookinglol. i knew that when clark was under its effects and he pictured lana hating him that it couldnt be true and clark was being stupid. I do wish they showed lois's fear-ish thingy. and i dont think they needed the whole dead creature funky lookn chloe and lana cuz it like stuck in my head ha. it was a ppretty good episode though. i feel bad for chloe's whole situation n allmoreless
  • very nice!

    Lex's (Michael Rosenbaum) secret experiment at Luthorcorp goes awry and causes a dangerous toxin to be released into Smallville. Those infected by the toxin, including Clark (Tom Welling), Lana (Kristin Kreuk), Lex, and Jason (Jensen Ackles) imagine their greatest fears come true and then fall into a coma. Desperate to find a cure, Clark gives some of his blood to Lex and is stunned at what Lex does with the antidote.

    Allison Mack, John Glover, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. David Carson directed the episode written by Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson.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

Jensen Ackles

Jensen Ackles

Jason Teague

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (14)

    • When Chloe is in her nightmare, after she runs out of the room where she sees her mom/zombie-self into LuthorCorp hallway, right before the scene changes you can see the red and yellow lockers of Smallville High in the background.

    • During Lana's nightmare, when she goes over to the "dead" Jason she moves her hand all across his face. While she is doing this, you can see that Jason's eyes are twitching/blinking slightly.

    • Lana seems a little inconsistent with her story here. She claims that the first time she saw Jason, he was lying on the floor of the Talon, but hadn't she gone upstairs to get her jacket when he arrived to take her to lunch?

    • Why does Chloe's father's security pass still work at LexCorp? He doesn't work there anymore.

    • Lana asks Chloe and Clark to go back to her apartment and get Jason's health insurance card, but she never says where it is. Wouldn't she tell them, or does she just expect them to ransack the place and find it? Furthermore, she doesn't give them the keys which leaves two very improbable situations: either Chloe or Clark have keys to Lana's apartment, or she just keeps it unlocked.

    • When Clark is being escorted out of the LuthorCorp plant by the security guard, they come across Chloe, who is currently running at them in a delusional state. Why does Clark decide to knock out the guard by thwacking him on the back of the head? He didn't make any threatening gestures or any thing...he just stood up.

    • When Lionel is freed from prison, he walks out the gate. But at the same time, there is a bus of new prisoners coming in. The is no way the prison guards would leave a gate wide open when people are going in. They usually lock the gate then open the truck, or use two gates and a small driveway in between.

    • A thousand Kelvins is HOT -- far hotter than anything organic could withstand (or Lex could pick up), hot enough even to melt quite a few metals. Any enzymes, hormones, etc. would burn to charcoal at significantly lower temperatures. And unless there's massive air pressure in that incubator (which is doubtful), there's no way that anything that's liquid at room temperature wouldn't boil off into vapor well before reaching 1000K.

    • Clark heats the antidote to 1000K very rapidly using his heat vision. If fast heating was a viable solution, why were they heating it slowly in the first place? Even the most primitive brick oven wouldn't take 5 hours to reach 1000K, much less the high-tech incubation unit they're using.

    • Although the antidote is referred to as a "vaccine," and vaccines do contain a portion of the dangerous substance involved, vaccines serve as prevention, not cure. An antidote would provide a cure, but wouldn't contain the element that caused the problem in the first place. Further, the hallucinatory-invoking substance is described as a bacteria. You use antibiotics to cure bacterial disease, and vaccines to prevent viral infections.

    • When Lana is leaning over the comatose Jason she's crying freely and her eye makeup is kinda smeary. Then she talks to Clark and Chloe and it's perfectly made up.

    • Malcolm Stewart mispronounces "Luthor," saying it luth-ER rather then luth-OR.

    • In every other instance, the person hallucinating is the focus of his or her own hallucination. In other words, they see themselves, they're "present" in the hallucination, they act and interact with things in the hallucination. But for the first couple minutes of Jason's hallucination...Jason himself isn't "present" anywhere to be seen.

    • Although an unknown illness is running rampant around the hospital, doctors and nurses are seen not taking universal precautions such as a surgical mask, although you see the odd doctor with gloves. Think SARS...

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Lionel: You know I've done everything to work this system. I hired the best lawyers in the world. I tried to pay off everyone from the bailiff to the president of the united states and I was told categorically that I was never gonna see life outside these walls again.
      Warden Stall: You do not want to be telling me things of this nature.
      Lionel: Yes I do, I'm guilty. Not of the crime I've been imprisoned for many other crimes which should have landed me in here years ago.

    • Lex: Clark... how the hell did you get in here?
      Clark: The gate was open. Your security seems a little MIA lately.

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode won a Leo Award for Best Make-Up in a Dramatic Series. This episode was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing in Television Short Form - Sound Effects & Foley.

    • On disc 3 of the Smallville Season 4 DVD set, there is an alternate dream sequence for Lex Luthor near the end of the episode. After he gives himself the vaccine, he dreams that he is about to get married. It is then revealed that the person he is about to marry is actually his mother, who starts to blame Lex for his brother's death. She then talks about how he is on a path to destruction. Lex responds furiously by strangling his mother before being woken up by Clark.

    • Wendy Chmelauskas and Ben Odberg reprise their roles as Lana's mom and dad for her hallucination.

    • Malcolm Stewart previously played a different character, Mr. Wilson (Jodi's Dad), in the first season episode "Craving".

    • Music by Mindy Smith "Falling" (from One Moment More).

    • The Lex hallucination uses a combination of reused footage from the first season episode "Hourglass" (spiffied up with some new CGI) and nuclear explosion footage from the movie Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (a Warner property).