Bob Rickman is this episodes villain of the week, and he has a certain power of persuasion. With just the shake of a hand he can make anyone agree with what he wants. This power comes in useful for Bob when he comes to Smallville wanting to buy the Kent farm to use the land to build his own plant. He convinces Jonathan to sell him the farm but after the deal, Jonathan has no memory of what happened.
There is a lot of memorable moments in this episode, the first comes in the form of a nice piece of foreshadowing when Lana asks Clark what he will do when he finishes school. Clark’s response being ‘as long as it doesn’t involve wearing a suit and doing a lot of flying.’ We also meet Kyle Tippet, a recluse who lives out in the woods. While Clark, Lana and Chloe are out horse back riding in the forest, Kyle appears after Lana is injured. While there is no evidence to suggest that Kyle is the culprit people in the town seem to think Kyle is dangerous. It turns out Kyle and Bob used to be business partners and the relationship turned sour.
Speaking of relationships Clark and Lana’s appears to take a step in the wrong direction when Clark goes against Whitney after he attacks Kyle. Clark wants to give Kyle the benefit of the doubt but Whitney and Lana are convinced he is guilty. Here Lana is a bit too quick to judge Clark and side with Whitney especially after how close they had become in previous the episode.
Lex however is on Clark’s side and is there for him when Clark needs help getting the farm back from Bob. There is a great literary comparison from Lex in this episode when he tells Clark he like Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird, saying he is also a small town hero wanting to find the truth and not willing to back down. Surprisingly Clark has not read it and when he enquires how it ends Lex delivers a smooth line ‘it is not about the end it is about the journey.’ Lex agrees to help Clark win back his family’s farm and is inquisitive as to how Rickman convinced Jonathan to sign the farm over to him.
When Rickman tries to have Kyle killed Clark comes to his rescue and takes him to Lex for help and tells Lex he is the only one he can trust. Chloe figures out Kyle’s connection to Rickman and she, Clark and Lex join forces to find out the truth. Kyle admits he has the same power as Rickman and that is why he has been living by himself in the woods as he didn’t want to abuse his power like Bob.
In the episodes final part, Lex succumbs to Rickman’s powers when he finally agrees to shake his hand. Not knowing he is doing Rickman’s dirty work Lex almost kills Kyle and also witnesses Clark use his strength and super speed to save him. We all know this is too good to be true as it is far to early in the story for Lex to know about Clark’s abilities, but it is certainly a fun five minutes. Michael Rosenbaum puts in a great performance playing Lex under the influence of the villain, showing off his menacing side. When he opens fire on Clark using a machine gun we see that Clark is not yet fully bullet proof as he sustains multiple bruises from the gun shots.
In the end of course Lex doesn’t remember a thing and Kyle’s powers of persuasion prove to be greater than Bob’s as he convinces him to turn the gun on himself. Clark and Lana also make up after their disagreement but my favourite scene is the final moments shared between Lex and Clark. The show is certainly at it’s best when it is showcasing what is truly unique about it, and that is the dynamic between Clark and Lex. The final words said by Lex being ‘our friendship is going to be the stuff of legend’ as we pan out on the two men standing side by side looking out at the farm. One of my favourite moments so far.