Smallville

Season 5 Episode 7

Splinter

2
Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 10, 2005 on The CW
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
1,101 votes
72

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Clark gives into paranoid delusions brought on by exposure to new "silver" kryptonite, and Professor Fine is the only one who can save him...before he kills Lana.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Too many colors of kryptonite to keep track of, but other than that, quite a suspenseful episode.

    9.3
    "This week on Smallville, another color is picked out of a hat to be featured as the new kryptonite that messes up Clark. Next week on Smallville, Clark is infected by rainbow kryptonite and..."



    Anyways...I liked the overall episode, but the re-re-re-used idea of other types of kryptonite is pretty lame. I liked how Chloe didn't get all mad at Clark when he accused her of telling Lionel his secret, but instead tried to see what was wrong with him. Good thing she has a brain and notices when something is wrong with him. Conversely, Clark has no brain, and once AGAIN he went to randomly confront Lex when one of the ever famous hey-something-bad-happened-but-no-evidence-points-to-Lex events happened. Good thing Fine was there to tell him not to jump to conclusions. Awesome. Yeah Clark, stop guessing that EVERYthing that goes wrong is Lex's fault. Stop.



    It was funny when Chloe was at the Kent's house after Clark attacked his parents, and she asked if Mrs. Kent was okay, but ignored Mr. Kent who was being choked by Clark as she walked in. Ha.



    When Lana went all Clark on Lex (refer to Clark's Lex confrontation above), Lex's response was AWESOME! It made my day! She's all like, Lex what did you do now? And he says, "Isn't this usually the part where I say, 'Lana what are you talking about?'" WOW! Lana you just got owned. That single quote brought the episode up a whole rating point. Props for Lex.



    Ok back to the real plot...I liked a lot of the ending scenes. Chloe is SO loyal, its really sweet. She's been awesome lately. And the secret Lana has now, wow that's going to mess up their relationship even more. The Professor Fine thing is confusing right now though..maybe that's how it's supposed to be, who knows.



    Some of the music during the episode was pretty cool too. Like when Clark all dilusional in that random room at school. Also when Clark had his sappy Lana moment, the music wasn't sappy, it was tasteful.



    Not too bad of a job Smallville, keep it up.



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  • Crazy Clarky

    9.0
    Splinter-Clark gives into paranoid delusions brought on by exposure to new "silver" kryptonite, and Professor Fine is the only one who can save him...before he kills Lana.



    Now this is definitely more like it! I like it when the writers get all psychological and drive one of the characters crazy for an episode. "Shattered" was a one of the finest episode of the series as we saw Lex quickly lose his mind in a disturbing way and now "Splinter" sees Clark going through the same ordeal. Well, maybe more of a cause of severe paranoia, but it's still the same idea and it works very well here! It's cool to see the writers using a new type of kryptonite and the effects they have on Clark is truly disturbing. Of course, when you have an episode so focused on a character losing their mind, the actor has to come ready to perform and Tom Welling surprises many naysayers once again. He gives a very convincing, even eerie performance as Clark becomes more paranoid. The way Clark looked as deranged, not to mention the faux illusions he was having were so well done. Even you wondered as a viewer if what we were seeing was true at times as we were looking through Clark's perspective.



    The developments surrounding Clark's paranoia are also great. Lex revealing to Lana the black spaceship and both agreeing to research it is an interesting development for both characters. You can just tell Lex is just beginning to manipulate Lana. Then there's Lionel actually wanting to help Jonathan in his campaign, which makes you wonder what his motive might be. The ending scenes of the episode are quite suspenseful as Clark attacks both Lex and Lana. I have to admit I kinda cheered Clark when he choking Lana to death (sorry, had to admit that,lol!) What made the scene even better was Professor Fine's reveal to Clark by using his powers to stop him. It was a cool little fight scene and I loved the SFX shot of Fine using his device to take the silver kryptonite out of Clark. I also liked the final scene between them as they talk about Krypton and the human race. James Masters just has such a great presence and the final scene of the episode effectively creepy as Fine is revealed to be the one who planned to poison Clark all along. Dark, twisted and well written throughout, not to mention Tom Welling's excellent performance, "Splinter" is definitely a superb standout from this season.moreless
  • Clark is infected by a silver kryptonite rock, launching him into wild paranoia about everyone betraying him, until Chloe comes to the rescue. Professor Fine reveals his true identity, and we learn the true location of Smallville.moreless

    9.5
    While Lana is viewing a "Meteor Trajectory Analysis" program on her computer, we see it's calculating a path toward Smallville, and at long last, we learn where Smallville is actually located! The graphics folks marked up a real Kansas road map, and tried to obscure I-35 and I-335 in eastern Kansas, but the road outlines are still visible in blue. The center of the map circle is near Emporia, and Smallville is marked east of that, in far southeastern Osage County on I-35. I should know, my grandfather was born there. Now we just have to figure out the location of Metropolis - is it Kansas City?



    Just then, Clark barges into Lana's Metropolis apartment, (door unlocked??), and Lana slams down the laptop cover - why doesn't she want him to know about this graphic? Is this teaser going anywhere? He brought brain food, bless him, in response to her text message, but she doesn't remember texting him. Hmmm, is this a plot clue? She claims to have been working on some astronomy homework - what's her major? He brings in a package left outside her door, and it has a note: "Given your new major, I thought you might find this interesting, Lex."



    As the package is dropped, Clark's finger is cut, blood drawn!... by a black-silver rock. That means kryptonite in some form, and as Lana identifies it as a new type of meteor rock, Clark leaves hastily, passing Chloe as she drops in.



    As Clark drives home in the eternal red Dodge pickup, a dark and belligently-driven pickup is on his tail, threatening to run him off the road. Why race, Clark? Just brake hard when it's beside you and pull over. But there has to be another multiple rollover, pretty well done, making a lot of bent parts out of another Dodge. Can't fix this one. The road rager has disappeared, but Clark's cell rings with a cryptic message: "I know who you are." Martha is urging Jonathan not to run for the state senate against Lex, fearing a loss of privacy and a threat to Clark's identity, but that's exactly why he want to run - to keep Lex out of office. Clark blows in with the news that someone apparently already knows about him. Strange script gap here, he doesn't even mention that the truck is totaled, just that he was run off the road. Guess they're used to weekly insurance claims. Being Clark's parents means you never have to ask, "Are you hurt?"



    At Central Kansas, Professor Fine is lecturing about powerful men being betrayed by the ones they trust. Is this a history class? Sociology? Fine is lecturing on duplicity and betrayal as human nature. As Clark is last to leave after the lecture, a meteor rock rolls out of his backpack, and an ominous message flashes on the wall: "I know how to kill you." Outside, he talks to Fine, who thinks the same dark truck is after him, too. They suspect Lex, and Fine has a license plate number. At the Planet, Chloe looks it up - is the truck registered to Luthorcorp? Chloe offers that Lex is more from the Rube Goldberg School of Villany, not a direct attack type. No license plate with that number at DMV. Clark spots some email traffic from Lionel on Chloe's PC, and is angry about Chloe keeping this from him. This is getting out of character for Clark and moving to paranoia.



    Lex has a visitor, Lana, who thanks him for the rock he sent, but he disavows it - he's never seen silver meteor rock. Lana still wants the truth, rather than protection, so he takes her to the warehouse to see the spacecraft - it's real, it's there. It has a frictionless surface, a nice feature for any type of travel. Lex sees everything tied together, and asks if Lana will take "the opportunity of a lifetime," as Lex puts it. Answers to her parents' death, the spacecraft, everything that has happened to her - but then he needs her help getting into the ship, too.



    Lionel comes to the Kent farm, offering campaign support and money for Jonathan. If Lex succeeds, Lionel fears the effect of too much power on Lex. He says "I know about Clark," saying Chloe has told him everything, including his vulnerability to kryptonite. Clark is secretly observing this exchange and and feels betrayed. Lionel suggests that Clark will eventually be treated as a distinguished guest, or strapped down like a lab rat. Jonathan pockets the money Lionel offers. Now we have to question whether this is real or increasing paranoia on the part of Clark. This all plays in with Fine's lecture on betrayal.



    Clark angrily confronts Jonathan and Martha; he's having paranoid delusions, and thinks Jonathan took money, but we see it's not cash, just financial records. Ms. O'Toole's stunt lady flies across the floor with a blow from Clark; Clark is still seeing everyone as an enemy, but Chloe appears with meteor rock to deter Clark, and he busts out and zooms away. Martha and Jonathan are stunned to learn Chloe knows Clark's secret; they explain red kryptonite to her, but Chloe suggests silver kryptonite exists also. Clark is back at Lana's, talking wildly about taking her "up north." Clark has "gone all Captain Paranoid," says Chloe, because of the silver kryptonite. She tries to keep Lana out of the loop before she discovers too much about Clark's behavior. At the university, Fine and Clark talk about the black truck, Welling playing this bizarre part with admirable skill, perspiring and irrational. Everything is distorted in his mind; Fine's office looks like a carnival fun house. Back at the mansion, Lana again confronts Lex, accusing him of sending the silver kryptonite to her, what did it do to Clark? Where did it come from? Lex offers to have it examined at his labs, (but surely he sees something to be gained). Clark sees this through Lex's window, is he imagining all of it? He sees Lex and Lana kiss, but we still don't know what's real - every scene slides toward a delusion by Clark.



    A power failure at the mansion puts Lex in a dark hallway, his security force disabled. Clark is there. The Smallville soundtrack always has good sinister music, and in this episode, it's exceptional. Great makeup job on Clark, and he looks increasingly bizarre. Lex has a gun, but Clark takes care of that and throws Lex clean down the hall, so Lana makes tracks. He hears her on the run to the basement and finds her, terrified. Just then Fine shows up, before Clark hurts Lana, but Fine is a worthy adversary, including superspeed and heat vision.



    Fine drops a bomb: "I'm a kryptonian, just like you," as he hits Clark with a tool which extracts the "Splinter" of kryptonite from Clark's body. Fine speeds out as Lex and his security force arrive. We knew he was an alien, but not the exact location of his home galaxy.



    Lana's in the hospital for the umpteenth time, as Clark apologetically visits. She says "Chloe told me everything," causing Clark to nearly choke, but she means something more benign, like his infection and temporary powers. "There could never be anything between me and Lex," she assures him. (But he didn't imagine the part about Lana and Lex talking about a spaceship, though she assures him it was all delusion.) Chloe tells Clark about Lex's claims that the rock disappeared. She admits that Lionel has been feeding Chloe inside info about Lex's campaign, but she promises on her life never to reveal Clark's secrets.



    Lionel sees Lex, a bit banged up from his visit by Clark, telling Lex, "Lana Lang will never love you, son." Foreboding words, is that really on the mind of Lex? These two have a remarkable ability to convey powerful emotion with just a few words and gestures.



    Clark, Jonathan, and Martha talk later, but Clark has told no one about FIne's intervention, does he even remember? Jonathan vows to quit the senate race, but Clark urges him to continue. Professor Fine is in the barn, calling Clark Kal-El. "You people keep popping up," Clark says. "A superior civilization is difficult to eradicate," Fine answers. Clark has words of wisdom for the human race, versus Fine's skepticism about the the planet. Clark affirms the honesty, loyalty and self-sacrifice of earthfolk - he'll believe in his friends and family always.



    Finally, we see Fine at the spacecraft with the silver kryptonite, so was he was the source of the entire plot? Did he plant all those threatening messages for Clark, or were those just imagined by Clark as a result of the infection? Fine is a sinister force, as his hand absorbs the "silver" from the rock of paranoia. Surely much more will become known of his intentions.



    The music accompaniment in this episode is noteworthy, and musician Mark Snow deserves accolades for helping make this one of the best episodes in the series. Re-run rating A.moreless
  • When Clark's exposed to a new kind of meteor rock, he grows paranoid about the people around him. Chloe tries to help the Kents find a cure, while Fine saves the day by removing a splinter of the rock from Clark's system, but has an ulterior motive.moreless

    8.2
    After pricking his finger on a silver meteor rock that was sent to Lana, Clark is run off the road by a mysterious black truck, then receives a call from someone who claims to know who he is. Not long after, he discovers that Chloe's been receiving emails from Lionel, and believes that she's been feeding Lionel information about him. Later, when Lionel stops by the farm to offer Jonathan his support in the upcoming election, Clark begins to suffer from the belief that his parents are working with Lionel to have him locked up in a lab and studied. As he grows increasingly paranoid that Chloe and his parents are conspiring against him, he feels more and more that Lana is the only one he can trust and turn to, until he "witnesses" Lex kissing Lana. Infuriated, he attacks Lex and nearly kills Lana, until Professor Fine suddenly appears, revealing his powers to Clark and removing a sliver of silver kryptonite from Clark's system. Meanwhile, Lex shows Lana the spaceship that crash-landed during the second meteor shower, and Chloe reveals that Lionel's been feeding her information on Lex's campaign.



    My Review: SPLINTER ranks nowhere near my favorite episodes, but that doesn't mean that it's not good or that I can't appreciate what an awesome job the actors did. In fact, the acting is the only saving grace of this episode; that, and the furthering of the Brainiac storyline, coupled with the introduction of a "new" kind of kryptonite. It just irritated me that Clark was having to suffer from all these hallucinations, and wouldn't listen to reason. However, I'll admit that Tom gave a wonderful performance as someone slowly slipping into paranoid delusions, and the other actors - Kristin, Allison, and Michael, in particular - were fantastic in their reactions to Clark's newfound paranoia. I also liked that the audience got to see both sides of Clark's madness, from his delusions to what was going on in the "real world". We saw what Clark saw and how it furthered his paranoid beliefs, but we also got to see through the eyes of the people around him and how he was slowly losing touch with reality. Not many TV shows, or movies for that matter, can pull off that kind of perspective. OK, so I like the episode a little more than I care to admit, but overall, I give the episode eight silver rocks out of ten.



    Highlights: Clark discovering the silver meteor rock; Professor Fine's lecture; Clark showing up at Lana's dorm, paranoid; Lana confronting Lex about the silver meteor rock; Clark attacking Lex in his paranoid state, then Clark looking for Lana; Professor Fine stopping Clark from killing Lana, while showing off superpowers of his own; Clark visiting Lana in the hospital (imagine that, I actually enjoyed a Clana scene!); Clark and Chloe talking at the hospital; Lionel's "fatherly advice" to Lex, as well as Lex's unamused expression; and Clark's talk with Professor Fine.moreless
  • Great Episode

    10
    While visiting Lana in Metropolis, Clark opens a package addressed to Lana apparently sent by Lex Luthor and is wounded and infected by a splinter of silver kryptonite meteor. Clark has paranoid delusions, and sees Chloe, Jonathan, Martha, Lana and Lex plotting against him. He defends himself against his "enemies", jeopardizing the lives of his dearest friends and family. In "Splinter", Clark feels the side effects of the silver kryptonite, becoming paranoid and dangerous. The mysterious Professor Milton Fine uses his powers to save Clark, but the ambiguous conclusion, associated to his class about friendship and the betrayal through the examples of Cesar / Brutus and Jesus / Judas, questions his real intentions with Clark. Meanwhile the real intentions why Lex discloses the spaceship to Lana are also not revealed.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

John Glover

John Glover

Lionel Luthor

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole

Martha Clark Kent

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (17)

    • How can Milton/Brainiac access the ship storage room so easily? The room seems under-protected, given the importance of the spaceship for Lex. And nobody seems too worried about a guard missing.

    • At the very end of the episode, when Milton/Brainiac enters the ship room, the floor looks like flawless steel. This is confirmed by the sound of Brainiac's footsteps. However, the last shot shows the silver kryptonite lying on dirt.

    • At one point, when the black truck slams into Clark's truck, it bends the front fender on the driver's side. However, the last time it slams Clark's truck (just before he crashes), the fender is perfectly straight again.

    • Clark's truck rolls over and over and at the moment just before the angle changes when it settled, you can see the driver's window pane swinging in its frame in the driver's door like some plastic sheet. Next shot an instant later as Clark rises and gets out, the window's gone and there's no door.

    • The black-tinted truck scraps along the left side of Clark's truck, and his wing mirror gets bent sideways. The next shot inside the truck shows the wing mirror in perfect alignment.

    • Chloe seems surprised at the mention of red kryptonite, considering she was one of the first to discover it in "Red".

    • In the previous episode "Exposed," Chloe finds Mr. Lyon's apartment off of a license plate search that is almost instantaneous and the results appear on her computer screen, but in this episode it takes a few minutes and it is faxed to her.

    • Why does everyone buy Chloe's infection story about Clark, including the police who would have investigated all the assaults? To verify he was infected and assure he wasn't contagious, they would have...well, taken blood and skin sample and stuff. Even assuming they could, he'd show up as an alien.

    • Chloe says she heard the commotion with Clark, ran to the barn, got the kryptonite, and came back. Unless she thought Clark arguing with his parents meant she should grab the green-k, there was only about 5-10 seconds for her to get to the barn, find the kryptonite (in Clark's loft according to "Run"), and come back with it. That just doesn't work out unless she has superspeed.

    • Why are they holding a Senatorial election in...January? If Jennings dropped out, his party would probably appoint an interim successor.

    • Chloe tells Lana that the silver kryptonite infected Clark when he scratched himself on it. But neither Lana or Chloe seem concerned that Lana touched it.

    • When we first see Clark driving the truck, his seatbelt is on and highly visible. Then when it crashes there's no sign of it.

    • When Jonathan confronts Clark, Jonathan goes up a foot or so against the wall and then Clark grabs him. It would have to be the other way around.

    • As Lex says the spaceship surface is frictionless, he's leaning on the spaceship. If it were frictionless he'd slip off.

    • In the hospital, Clark tells Lana that he heard her and Lex talking about a spaceship when he was delusional, but they never said anything about the ship during the scene Clark was watching. Lex mentions "his big secret" but never said it was a spaceship.

    • If Metropolis is a three-hour drive from Smallville, how did Chloe manage to just miss Clark in Lana's dorm room as it is clear he's superspeeding back and forth?

    • Clark backhands Martha hard enough to send her 20 feet through the air and crashing into some furniture. A hit like that should've left some kind of mark on her at the very least, and left serious injuries at worst. However, when she gets up she's only mildly stunned and doesn't have a bruise or scratch on her.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Professor Fine: Brutus and Caesar. Jesus and Judas. They all started out as best friends. What happened? Well, if history teaches us one thing, it's that even the most powerful men can be betrayed by those they trust the most. The reason betrayal is such a predominant theme throughout history is really quite simple. Duplicity is human nature. (bell rings) Are these classes getting shorter or is it just me?

    • Lionel: It might be wise to avoid any more press conferences till your face has healed a bit.
      Lex: I wasn't planning to. Not that it's any of your business.
      Lionel: Fatherly advice. I can't help it. But a front page story that you were soundly beaten by a jealous young lover will hardly aid your bid for office.

    • Clark: Thanks for covering for me.
      Chloe: Of course, Clark. You know, I have to admit, for once in my life, I was actually glad I wasn't the object of your desire. You know, you're lucky you just snapped out of it when you did.
      Clark: If I'd killed Lana...
      Chloe: But you didn't. So stop beating yourself up about it.

    • Martha: The election is in January. Putting together a campaign in that amount of time... Who knows what the stress could do to your heart?
      Jonathan: What about watching Lex Luthor get sworn in as state senator? That kind of stress could kill me.

    • Chloe: (to Clark) Hi!... and bye. (to Lana) Has my deodorant gone south? Why is he in such a hurry to bail?
      Lana: I have no idea. I guess Clark's just not into geology.

    • Clark: You don't know anything about this race. Yeah, they can be petty, and dishonest and betray each other over nothing, but they can also be honest, and loyal, and they would give up everything to protect someone they love, even if they were from another planet.

    • Jonathon: You're not my son, You're just a thing I found in the cornfield.

    • Chloe: Look, Clark, I understand that you haven't been yourself, but you know that I would never tell Lionel your secret. I'd never tell anyone. I'd die before I'd ever betray you.

    • Lex: I don't want to hurt you, Clark...
      (Clark punches Lex)
      Clark: But I want to hurt you.

    • Lex: I have a team of political advisors, Dad. Last time I checked, you weren't on the payroll.
      Lionel: Last time I checked, Lana Lang had a boyfriend, and I don't think she's in the market for a spare.
      Lex: I think you know the way out.

    • Lionel: Those Kents...they pack quite a punch, don't they, son?

    • Lana: I should have known you'd do something like this. You can't stand to see us together, can you?
      Lex: I think this is the part where I usually say, "Lana, what are you talking about?"

    • Lionel: Lex is an extraordinary young man – he's always had an extraordinary appetite for power. But if he succeeds in this first foray into the political arena, I'm afraid he'll develop such a fierce taste for it he'll go on to devour the whole world.
      Jonathan: I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    • Lana: Why is it different, Lex?
      Lex: Because there are some doors that can't be closed once they're opened.
      Lana: Thanks – did you get that from a fortune cookie?

    • Chloe: You know, the caffeine in my system is getting to a dangerously normal level.

    • Clark: I thought I was the last son of Krypton, but you people keep popping up.
      Professor Fine: Well, a superior civilization is difficult to eradicate.

    • Lex: My security team's coordinating with Chloe and the Kents.
      Lana: They're not gonna hurt him, are they?
      Lex: If that happens, someone's getting transferred to Siberia.

  • NOTES (7)

    • This episode was nominated for a Leo Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series.

    • International Air Dates:
      The Netherlands: March 24, 2007 on Veronica
      New Zealand: March 16, 2007, TV2

    • This episode was advertised with choppy footage (on a screen) that actually never appears in the episode, and was advertised with the title "Splinter Smallville."

    • Chloe's Email address appeared in this episode as chloe_sullivan@dailyplanetmail.com. If you send an email to this address, "Chloe" responds with the following: Hi, Not sure how you got my e-mail, but thanks for saying hi. Can you believe Lex Luthor is actually running for State Senate??? Check this out, some students at CKU already put up a website supporting his campaign...
      http://smallville.warnerbros.com/internal_sites/cku/
      Scary if you ask me. Check back with me in a couple of weeks. I may have something else interesting for you. Have a great one.
      Cheers,
      Chloe Sullivan
      Obituaries and Classifieds
      */The Daily Planet/**
      *Metropolis

    • Music: "Forget It" by Breaking Benjamin (Smallville Vol. 2 Metropolis Mix), Stereophonics ("Superman" - Language, Sex, Violence, Other?), Moby (Hotel)

    • James Marsters is listed as Special Guest Star.

    • Silver Kryptonite was introduced in comics continuity in Jimmy Olsen #70 (1963). Just as in Smallville, the Silver-K in that story was also not real Kryptonite and was in fact a hoax.

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Chloe: Lex comes more from the Rube Goldberg style of villainy.
      Reuben Lucius Goldberg was a cartoonist and inventor of "Rube Goldbergs." These were complex devices that perform minor, arbitrary tasks in an extremely indirect and convoluted way. The cartooning equivalent of an "Oscar" is a "Goldberg" in his honor. The classic kid's game "Mousetrap" is a nod to his creations, as well.

    • Lex: ... strange visitor from another planet...
      This is a line from the monologue that introduced The Adventures of Superman that started "Faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound."

    • Clark: I thought I was the Last Son of Krypton....
      Superman in the comics is often referred to as "The Last Son of Krypton."

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