Stan Berkowitz on a the episode element: Paul Levitz of DC took the writers to lunch and talked about the different kinds of Superman stories that had worked well in the comics. He mentioned that one kind of story they liked were the ones in which a problem for Clark affects Superman. So, I thought later, what bigger problem could Clark have than to be "killed"? (A bit of trivia about the episode: the man who witnesses Clark's death turns out to have bad vision, but in the original draft, I took into account that he was an old man, living out in the middle of nowhere, and wide awake at three in the morning. Why? He was waiting for the fairies to come, as he believed they did every night. Yep, the old guy was crazy, not nearsighted, and Clark discovers this at the very end... much to his relief. But I guess Alan didn't want it to look like Clark was somehow exploiting someone with mental illness. So he suggested the new ending, which everybody seems to be pretty happy with).