Red Kryptonite makes a debut appearance in this episode in the form of Smallville High’s class ring. Clark is a bit too keen to part with 350 dollars on this piece of school memorabilia, and as Pete points out, his Dad certainly won’t approve. As soon as Clark puts the ring on his personality starts to change, he begins to lose his inhibitions and speak his mind. He starts off by defending the new girl Jesse to the school principle about her interpretation of the dress code; then when back at the farm has an argument with his parents about the cost of the ring, which at first, Martha and Jonathan decide is just teen rebellion.
Lionel is making himself feel at home at the mansion, re-arranging the office space much to Lex’s dismay. I can’t help but find these scenes with Lionel amusing. John Glover does a great job dealing with Lionel’s blindness and almost makes him seem comical at times, showing a new side to Lionel as opposed to the one-dimensional ‘bad guy’ that was portrayed in season one.
Clark’s behaviour starts to escalate as he charges money on his Dad’s credit card on materialistic items like game stations and televisions, all the things he has never had, then refuses to return them when his parents find out. Instead he takes off on a motorcycle and picks up Jesse who has just finished an argument with her own father. Clark then sets his sights on Lana and finally decides to tell her how he feels by going to the Talon and making his move by asking her out. He asks Lex to borrow the Ferrari and takes Lana to a dive bar, needless to say she is not impressed but just confused by the sudden change in Clark’s personality. To make matters worse he ditches Lana for Jesse and starts a bar fight when their altercation becomes public.
After Chloe tells Pete their rings are actually fake ruby stones and in fact made from meteor rock, Pete and the Kent’s decipher that this red meteor rock is affecting Clark mentally. They try to confront him but Clark refuses to listen, claiming he wishes he had found the ring sooner and that he can’t wait to ‘get out of this mud hole’. He turns to Lex and they hatch a plan to escape to Metropolis together, but Lex can tell that something is wrong and goes straight to the Kent’s to tell them where he is.
While at the mansion Clark runs into a Federal Marshall who has been looking for Jesse. It turns out she and her father are in witness protection and have escaped with crucial evidence. The Marshall threatens Clark who wastes no time in exposing his own powers by firing a gun straight into his hand to scare him off. Lionel is present for the entire meeting but because of his blindness is unable to see what Clark was really doing. Clark goes to Jesse to try to recover the evidence she and her father have, thinking he can make a lot of money for himself. Jonathan and Pete arrive just in time and armed with green meteor rock to counteract the red, giving Jonathan a big enough advantage to destroy the ring and return Clark to his old self.
Lex takes back control of the mansion, telling his father he is through indulging him like a child and to stop acting like his blindness gives him an excuse for self-pity. At the end of the scene we see Lionel has recovered the bullets Clark fired into his hand, telling Lex that he thinks Clark is an interesting young man. It now looks like there are two Luthor’s interested in the mystery surrounding Clark Kent.
Clark makes amends with his parents, by telling them that all the money in the world can’t buy the support they give him. However, he still is struggling with the two identities he feels he has to have in order to protect his secret. As for his relationship with Lana, it looks like it will take more than a simple apology to regain her trust as she chooses not to forgive his behaviour. It was fun to see a different side to Clark in this episode, which gave us more insight into the feelings he keeps hidden, a great acting performance from Tom Welling also. Next up we have ‘Nocturne’.