It’s ‘spirt week’ at Smallville High School and we begin with Clark and Pete at swim try outs. While competing against Clark, fellow student Troy receives a good luck kiss from his girlfriend Chrissy. Shortly into the swim Troy starts to struggle and Clark saves him from drowning, but after a matter of seconds Troy has mysteriously aged into a old man. Cue the shocked expressions on everyone’s faces before the opening credits roll.
At the farm Martha and Jonathan are discussing their financial problems and the subject of asking Martha’s father for help comes up. Clark is upset that he has never had the chance to meet his grandfather because of an old feud between him and Jonathan. Family is also on Lana’s mind when she finds pictures of her mother and another man and decides to question Aunt Nell about his identity. It transpires that Lana’s parents split up for a short time and her mother began seeing someone else, but when Nell brushes it off Lana goes to Lex and asks him to find this mystery man.
Unbeknownst to Jonathan, Martha contacts her father and asks him for money to help keep the farm going. This is an interesting plot point and gives a bit more context to the early parts of Jonathan and Martha’s lives. We are led to believe that Martha ‘settled’ for the life of a farmers wife when she could have had a successful law career in the city. Her father never approved of her relationship with Jonathan, clearly thinking that he was not good enough to be with her, as Jonathan tells the story of being rejected when asking for Martha’s hand in marriage. Since then the relationship with Martha’s father has been strained to say the least. Martha however, never felt like she was ‘settling’ and makes it very clear that it was her choice to live the life she does and that she is happy with her decisions. Not willing to accept that he can’t have a relationship with his grandfather, Clark tries to help Jonathan make peace with Martha’s father, unfortunately they are both stubborn men and Clark has to learn that some relationships just can’t be fixed.
Back at school Clark has a run in with the new school Principle after turning up late again. Lex comes to Clark’s defence after giving him a ride and it appears Lex and Principle Reynolds have a history from Lex’s boarding school years. The fact that Clark and Lex are friends doesn’t please Principle Reynolds and he starts to challenge Clark about his life aspirations, setting him the assignment of writing an essay on where he wants to be five years from now.
The Principle then sets his sights on Chrissy and questions her previous school history, something Chrissy is not so keen to divulge. At the Torch Chloe has put her investigative skills to work again and discovers that Troy died from a rapid ageing condition called progeria. Chrissy starts to notice herself getting older and targets another student at school who she literally sucks the youth out of with a kiss.
Clark and Chloe begin to suspect Chrissy is responsible for the strange deaths occurring and discover that she has a been re-living her high school years since the 1920’s. They worry she may be after another victim so Clark heads to the Talon where Chrissy has arranged to meet the Principle. Not happy with his questions into her past she decides to take the very little youth the Principle must have left. (An odd choice for someone who wants to stay eternally young.) Clark arrives just in time to stop her and because she hasn’t been able to steal any more youth Chrissy disintegrates right in front of Clark’s eyes and turns into a pile of ash, bringing ‘spirit week’ to an abrupt end. This new Principle sure has his work cut out for him with these strange weekly occurrences at the high school!
This was a good episode with the primary focus being family and what they keep hidden from each other and the ‘villain of the week’ becoming a ‘b’ plot. Lana learns that the man with her mother could be her biological father and her image of her parents having a perfect relationship is shattered. Martha and Jonathan tell Clark that they never wanted him to have a relationship with his grandfather as they never trusted him to keep his secret. Clark being who he is still wants to try. It was good to learn about how Martha and Jonathan’s lives together started. The story about Martha’s career potential is drawn upon again later in the story, as the long term viewer will know Martha’s future life lies way beyond the Kent farm. The theme of family continues and will become even more complicated in the next episode Lineage.