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Season 1 Episode 4


Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 06, 2001 on The CW
out of 10
User Rating
926 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Clark begins experiencing "vision problems" as his x-ray vision begins manifesting. Meanwhile a mysterious shapeshifter is going about town using his or her abilities to steal and get others in trouble.

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  • The best of the far!

    This was the best episode in the season so far. It features a girl with the ability to shapeshift and being able to turn into her mother following her death. Clark also begins to receive X-Ray vision which I thought was fantastically incorporated in this episode. However, the end truly jerked me off with Lana and Whitney.

    Fantastic premise, great characters, great conflict and some brilliant moments.
  • I Love power episodes!

    This series is all about defining episodes, if its from a new kind of Kryptonite to a DC character comming in to the show to Clark getting a new power. IMO these are the best in the series and this episode is no exception.

    Clark- He gets x-ray vision. Might sound kinda lame and not really useful but I love how the writers made it relevent to the episode. Him dealing with it, is awesome. Also, who could forget the locker room scene!

    Lana- Plot is boring IMO. I dont hate Lana (At least in this point of the series) But the plot just dident appeal to me. Lana worried about her feelings just really bores me.

    Lex- Awesome! The start of the Roger Nixon plot and I love it! So early in the series you can see Lex planting the seeds of darkness all because of Clark. Man do I miss good Lex...

    Chloe- The start of her friendship with Lana. Not much really but its nice to see their journey together up until Chloe becomes Lanas bridesmaid.

    Martha and Johnathan- They really shinned in this episode. Helping Clark with his power when they've never experinced it. Just shows why Clark became the man hes destined to become.

    Tina Greer- Really freaky charcater with awesome powers. But at the same time the writers already did a Lana/stalker plot 2 episodes ago...and were only 4 episodes into the series. But im glad they brought her back into season 2.

    So this episode is great overall and the best "new power" episode. You cant miss it. But once again...watch out for Lanas plot...moreless
  • When Lex – or someone who looks like him – robs the bank, it emerges that a shapeshifter is at work. Meanwhile, Clark develops x-ray vision, Lana finds out more about her mother, and Lex contends with a blackmailing journalist. Another great ep...moreless

    This review contains spoilers.

    Four episodes in, and I'm becoming more and more cross that Channel 4 in the U.K. didn't continue the series in a more secure slot, so I could follow it "first time 'round" as I now really wish I had done (see my review for the Pilot for more on this).

    Anyway, "X-Ray" is another top-notch episode, and – just four episodes in – things feel to really be firing on all cylinders now.

    Tina Greer is a great nemesis, and Lizzie Caplan adds the perfect level of creepiness to the character. After a weak couple of villains in the first two episodes (as I've said on previous reviews, the "guest mutant character" of the Pilot was almost tacked on as an afterthought, and Bug Boy in "Metamorphosis" had great potential was badly underused), by this stage, the writers & producers seem to have much more of a handle on the Guest Mutant of the Week, and the plot is far better as a result.

    I do agree to a great extent with another reviewer about the use of heavy rock tracks to scenes that don't even require them. While I don't find it as grating as in some shows, I do find it a bit out of place at times and unnecessary. "Back in my day..." (where's me zimmer frame), growing up with shows such as 'The A-Team' and 'Knight Rider', composers would score each episode with it's own specific theme, often created specifically for that episode; whereas by the days of 'Smallville', producers just seem content to throw in rock track after rock track "just to appeal to the kids". Thankfully, the quality of the rest of the show is more than good enough for this not to be a major problem, but I'm glad I'm not the only one who has picked up on it.

    It is maybe slightly convenient that Clark develops x-ray vision in this episode, as it helps greatly with the situation. Thankfully, this isn't played out anywhere near as clunkily as it might have done, and can easily be forgiven.

    One thing I like about this episode, is that Clark goes to parents Jonathan and Martha for advice on various matters (both regarding his x-ray abilities, and the shapeshifter); in a world surrounded by shows and films where the leads must keep their special identities secret from their parents (heck, it was even the case in early seasons of 'Buffy'), it is a refreshing change for it to not only be the case here, but for said superperson to go to them for help and guidance.

    Although there have been vague hints of it in previous episodes, here we get our first real taste of the dark side of Lex, as he deals with the journalist attempting to blackmail him, by attempting to wipe all record of him off the face of the Earth, bribing him into helping him investigate Clark's seeming powers that enabled him to save Lex from the crash off of the bridge in the Pilot.

    As a couple of others have picked up on, this episode does tread again into "Lana in danger" territory, but in fairness, Tina's obsession with Lana and the general strong execution of the story prevent this from being a major issue at this point.

    All-in-all, I really enjoyed "X-Ray". A very enjoyable plot, and I really look forward to the next episode. I give it 9.5.moreless
  • "I'm a Freak and Obsessed With Lana" Part 2

    X-Ray-Clark begins experiencing "vision problems" as his x-ray vision begins manifesting. Meanwhile a mysterious shape shifter is going about town using his or her abilities to steal and get others in trouble.

    Already 4 episodes into the series and Lana is danger from yet another psycho meteor freak! But unlike the first time, "X-Ray" features a creepier meteor freak and is the first episode to see Clark developing a new ability. X-ray vision is one of Superman's signature powers and Smallville's version of that power is quite stunning. Unlike the cheesy see-through effects of say "Lois and Clark", Clark's x-ray vision looks exactly like an x-ray and the effects for the first time look top notch. Tom Welling does the worried farm boy routine well and his reactions to his new power are played off nicely. The scene of where Clark x-rays the girls' locker room by mistake and get a full look at Lana's...uhh...assets is priceless. But I also love how Clark's new power plays a part in the mystery behind Smallville's lastest meteor freak of the week.

    Tina Greer is slightly well developed villain who has the ability to shape-shift into any one. Lizzy Caplan is errie in the role and the shape-shifting fake outs become nice little twists. The opening teaser with Tina as Lex robbing the bank and Tina as Lana revealing herself to Pete were both executed well. The final confrontation between Tina and Clark is bit a disappointment though as Tina is disguised as Whitney through the whole fight. While it gives an excuse for Eric Johnson to have more to do in the episode, it would have been more effective fight if Tina was in her regular form. All and All, "X-Ray" is a fresh episode with a nicely developed new power for Clark and a decent opponent.moreless
  • Yet another superb episode of Smallville. (Spoilers)

    This was yet another great character development, reasonably action packed episode of Smallville. After four episodes of this show, I've come to realize that it isn't as much about action as it is character development. And I appreciate that the creators of this show have chosen to actually focus on the characters. They do a great job at making you care about them and what happens to them. Lex showed in this episode that he has a bit of a dark side. Although, I still think he's a great character so far. It's unfortunate though, to see how much Clark goes through to protect Lana, and yet she's still with Whitney. I hope she and Clark become a couple soon. Overall, I give this episode, X-Ray, a 9.5 out of 10.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

Lizzy Caplan

Lizzy Caplan

Tina Greer

Guest Star

Beverly Breuer

Beverly Breuer

Rose Greer

Guest Star

Mark McConchie

Mark McConchie

Mr. Ellis

Guest Star

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Sarah-Jane Redmond

Aunt Nell

Recurring Role

Tom O'Brien

Tom O'Brien

Roger Nixon

Recurring Role

Mitchell Kosterman

Mitchell Kosterman

Sheriff Ethan

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

    • At the cemetery, Tina-as-Whitney morphs back to her own form, but in so doing, she ends up at the same height as Whitney, who in all other scenes is nearly a foot taller than Tina. In the next cut, she is about the same height as Lana.

    • Trivia: While Lana is listening to the tape of the graduation speech, her mother is introduced as Laura Potter (her maiden name).

    • Clark punches a hole through the concrete lid that is trapping Lana in the crypt, and it explodes inward, which would have landed all over Lana, yet when Clark pulls her from the inside and carries her off, she is clean, in fact her pants are perfectly black.

    • When Tina and her mom are fighting over the money that was stolen from the bank, they are clearly standing just inside of Tina's room, which is at a right angle to the stairs. In the next shot when the backpack rips and her mom falls backwards, they show her falling straight backwards down the stairs, which she would have had to turn 90 degrees in order to do.

    • The prom theme for Smallville High in 1977 was "Saturday Night Fever." Since prom season usually happens in the months of April or May, how can this be the theme since Saturday Night Fever did not open in theaters until December 14, 1977?

    • When Clark gets thrown through the window at the beginning, the glass that falls around him is round-edged and clearly prop-glass.

    • At the beginning when Clark and Pete are climbing the ropes, they are on the same side but when the camera goes on Clark, he's on the other side of the rope and Pete didn't change position.

    • When Tina buries Lana, Clark uses his x-ray vision to find her, he sees her in a crypt kicking vicously to get out - she goes motionless as if she had just passed out. When he gets to the crypt a few seconds later she is lying peacefully - completely unconscious. The total collapse seems a little odd.

    • See the synopsis: somehow Tina can also duplicate voices and skin color. Her power appears to be derived from the interaction of the kryptonite with her soft bone disease, which might cover height, weight (if redistributed - her weight probably doesn't change) and maybe even some of the shape of her skin. But how can she duplicate voices? Particularly Lex's - when has she met him or heard enough of his voice to do a good impersonation? Green rock magic, presumably.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Lex: Can I come in? I promise I'm not packing heat.

    • Jonathan: Yeah, you could start with something small. (reaches into pocket) Try to tell me what I have in my hand right now.
      Clark: Your pocket knife.
      Jonathan: You could see through my hand.
      Clark: No, you always carry your knife in that pocket.

    • Clark: You go through life with a gift you have to keep a secret. When you see everyone around you being normal, you get jealous. You just want to be somebody else.

    • Jonathan: I've seen some strange things in my life, but this definitely takes the cake...well, almost.

    • Lex: I promise I'm not a criminal mastermind.
      Clark: I know; a criminal mastermind would have worn a mask.

    • Tina: What do you want me to say? You have the perfect life.
      Lana: You want it? You can have it.

    • Lex: I'd question your integrity, but you're a journalist.

    • Tina/Lana: Clark, what are you doing?
      Clark: I'm just trying to figure out how much change I have.
      Tina/Lana: You could always take it out and count it.
      Clark: Where's the fun in that?

    • Tina/Lana: It's like having a dual identity; there's the person everybody sees, and there's the person you want to be.
      Clark: I know the feeling.

    • Chloe: Pete, you throw that rubber spider at me again, and I'm going for my staple gun.

    • Lex: If you walk out that door, I will make you disappear.
      Reporter: What're you gunna do? You gunna have me killed?
      Lex: (laughs) No. You'll be very much alive. But there'll be no evidence of your existence.
      Reporter: What are you talking about?
      Lex: Driver's license, passports, social security number, bank account, will all be erased. With one call, I can be sure that there will be no record that you actually walk this earth.
      Reporter: You're bluffing.
      Lex: Call your bank, see if your account still exists. That is, if your cell phone hasn't already been disconnected.

    • Lex: You came into my life, thinking you could shake me down 'cause I'm just some spoiled rich brat who needed his daddy's protection. Trust me - when I make things disappear, they stay buried.

    • Pete: So you're telling me that Tina Greer can bend her bones like a contortionist and become anybody she wants?
      Clark: I saw it with my own eyes.
      Pete: (laughs) I'm sorry. This is usually Chloe's territory. I cover girls, football, and general guy stuff; she does the "Tales of the Unexplained".

    • Pete: She wants to kill Lana?
      Clark: Worse, she wants to become Lana.

    • Clark: Mom, if you could see anything, what would you do?
      Mrs. Kent: Learn to close my eyes.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode marks Mitchell Kosterman's first on-screen appearance as Sheriff Ethan - he is one of the two policemen talking to Tina-as-Rose. Tina refers to him as a deputy, however, and it's possible he got a promotion before his next appearance.

    • Music: "Movies" by Alien Ant Farm is being played at the beginning of the episode. "Breathe You In" by Stabbing Westward is played after the first one. "Analyse" by The Cranberries is being played while Chloe and Lana were talking in the Torche's office about things. "Ooh La La" by The Wiseguys is playing when we first see the school and the gym class. "Unbroken" by Todd Thibaud is being played after that. "Up All Night" by Unwritten Law is the next song. "Wall In Your Heart" by Shelby Lynne is the last song in the end of the show, when we see Lana in the truck as the screen fades.