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Season Two - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season One: Pilot - Metamorphosis - Hothead - X-Ray - Cool - Hourglass - Craving - Jitters - Rogue - Shimmer - Hug - Leech - Kinetic - Zero - Nicodemus - Reaper - Drone - Crush - Obscura - Tempest

Stray

Ryan in "Stray"

First aired April 16, 2002

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

After Martha (Annette O'Toole) accidentally hits a young boy with her car, the Kents take him in until they can locate his parents, unaware that the boy can read minds and has unlocked the secret thoughts of Lex (Michael Rosenbaum), Lana (Kristin Kreuk), Jonathan (John Schneider) and Martha, which puts Clark's (Tom Welling) secret in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Lex must decide if he wants to take his father (guest star Lionel Luthor) up on his job offer and move back to his old life in Metropolis.

Allison Mack, Sam Jones III and Eric Johnson also star. Paul Shapiro directed the episode written by Philip Levens.

Detailed Description:

By Nadine

Freak of the Week: Ryan James (Ryan Kelley) has the ability to read minds. His stepdad, James Gibson (Jim Shield) and his stepmom (Brandy Ledford) are using his abilities to rob people. He visits a pawnbroker who gives him $60 for an item, and, as he opens the safe, Ryan reads his mind and the safe combination. He goes back out to the car where his stepparents wait for him to give them the combination, then go in and rob the store while Ryan waits outside. Ryan decides to run away, and while his parents chase him, Ryan runs onto the road where he is hit by Martha Kent (Annette O'Toole), who picks him up and drives him to the hospital before his stepparents can make it to the road.
The doctor at the hospital explains to the Kents that Ryan claims to have lost him memory, but she thinks he may be running away from something. Child Services are too busy to pick Ryan up that evening, so Martha and Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) offer to take him home for one night. Clark Kent (Tom Welling) and Ryan smile at each other through the hospital room window. The next morning, Ryan impresses the family by preparing a huge breakfast, and reads Jonathan and Martha's minds by offering them their favorites. He seems to be unable to read Clark's mind. Clark and Ryan get along immediately, and Martha looks on with great affection.
The stepparents are hot on Ryan's trail, but decide to hold out until they need him next.
Ryan meets other Smallville residents, and while he is not very impressed with Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum), he is immediately taken by Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk). He even warms her about one of her employees who is not completely honest. He also reads Chloe Sullivan's (Allison Mack) mind, and tells Clark that she wishes he would ask her to the prom, and she has already bought a pink dress. James Gibson shows up at The Talon, and Ryan runs out to the back alley, where he hides in the trash. His stepdad can't see him, but the trash compactor is about to crush Ryan, but Clark saves him. When Clark appears, Ryan sees him as the superhero of his favorite Angel comics.
Chloe and Clark return the the site where Martha hit Ryan, and they find his backpack with a picture of Ryan with his mother. Chloe confirms to Clark that she did indeed look at a pink dress for the prom. Ryan tells Martha that he knows she can't have children, and that he knows Clark is different. He finds the ship in the shelter, because he read it in Martha's mind. Clark is upset with him, but they bond over being different. Ryan explains how he feels close to Clark and how he won't betray him.
That evening, Ryan's stepmom arrives and poses as Child Services. Clark was not there to say goodbye. When Clark gets to the farm, he sees Lex's limo pull over, Lex is on his way to Metropolis for a dinner, and on the way, came to give Clark a sword from the mansion, claiming "every hero should have one", in reference to Ryan seeing Clark as a hero. As the limo leaves, Clark notices Lex's limo driver. Later, the limo pulls over on a deserted road, it turns out to be Ryan's stepdad, with Ryan and his stepmom hiding in the front. While the stepmom drives the limo, James Gibson and Ryan get into the back, James forces Lex to give him the password to his trust fund, when Lex refuses, Ryan reads it from his mind. They then throw Lex out of the moving limo. At the same time, Chloe shows Clark her research on Ryan, and shows him a picture of James Gibson, a career criminal. Clark recognizes the limo driver. The limo pulls over near a bowling alley, but James realizes that Ryan lied about the password. Ryan tells his stepmom that James plans to kill her once they have the money. James agrees and shoots her. Ryan hides in the bowling alley, and just as James is about to shoot him, Clark knocks James out and rescues Ryan.
The following day, Lana thanks Ryan for telling her about the waitress, who was stealing from the till. Ryan leaves the Kents to go live with his aunt in Edge City. When Clark is worried, Ryan reassures him, saying he can tell that she is a good person. He promises the Kents to keep Clark's secret and also warns Clark about Lex's dark side. Clark says he prefers to believe in the good of people.

Character Development: Lionel Luthor (John Glover) tries to convince his son to return to Metropolis and offers him the position of second-in-command. Lex refuses. Lionel is actually worried that Lex may become too powerful in Smallville and would rather keep an eye on his son in Metropolis.
Lex also tells Clark that, when Lex was 11, his mother gave birth to another son, Julian. He said he never saw Lionel so happy. On the day that the baby was going to be christened, his mother found the baby dead in his crib, he died of natural causes, but his family was never truly happy again.

All detailed descriptions © Copyright 2000-2008- All Rights Reserved

Notes:

Neither Pete or Whitney appear in this episode.

We learn that Lex had a brother, Julian, when he was young, but the boy died of crib death (presumably) on the day he was due to be baptized.

There doesn't appear to be an "Edge City" in the DC Comics Universe. However, there is a comic strip called "Edge City", and its reference here was apparently another in-joke. Edge City is also the home city of Stanley Ipkiss in the Dark Horse comic "The Mask" a hero made famous by the Jim Carrey movie of the same name.

Several Batman-type in-jokes and/or further hints of a future Bruce Wayne appearance: Chloe calls Lex Clark's "millionaire playboy" (a term inevitably used to describe Bruce Wayne), and at one point Lex asks Clark where his "sidekick" is; although Superman doesn't have a sidekick in the comics, Batman has had a number of young boys in that role.

Chloe having a secret involving the color 'pink' that someone finds out about by using superpowers echoes Superman telling Lois what color her underwear is in Superman: The Movie.

In the final sequence on the farm, the music is "Superman", by the band Five for Fighting.

The bowling alley sequence was filmed at a bowling alley in Richmond, British Columbia. Coincidentally or not, the name of the alley is "Lois Lanes".

When Ryan's stepfather shoots the janitor at the bowling alley, you can see the lower body of his "dead wife lift up an inch or so -- hardly a plausible reaction when you've been shot point-blank in the chest with a shotgun. Chances are she was dead before she hit the ground, ergo her body probably wouldn't react like that. Just an accidental human reflex by the actress.

When Clark tears open the back of the garbage truck to save the boy, you'd think the driver would notice and say something!

So does Ryan's powers come from exposure to kryptonite? It's a nice relief from the "super-powered kryptonite mutant" of the week if he doesn't, but it seems rather odd that they don't address the origin of his powers at all.

Once again Clark super-speeds to Lex's rescue over a great distance (see "Zero") with no indication that he used a vehicle or anything. In fact, Lex was dropped off a considerable distance away from where he last saw Clark. Granted, Lex has just been drop-kicked out of a moving car so he's probably not at his best, but you'd think he'd kind of wonder about how Clark gets to the scenes of the crimes so quick.

Why are TV characters always so much more dense then the audience wonders? Despite some clear indisputable evidence of his telepathic powers, particularly when Ryan reads Chloe's mind about the other orphan kid, it takes everyone, particularly freak-theorist Chloe, forever to even consider that Jake can read minds.

Like most TV characters, Ma Kent doesn't seem to know much about basic first aid. Bouncing someone off your hood and then pushing them around and into your car despite the possibility of internal injuries really isn't a good idea.

The package of Twizzlers that Chloe finds has a mostly solid wrapping and looks odd...unless you're in Canada instead of Kansas. They package them that way in Canada, but never in the U.S. (where the bag is mostly transparent except at the ends). The show, of course, is filmed in Canada.

How did the two crooks know when Social Services was supposed to show up so they could get there earlier and grab the kid?

Why doesn't Lex tell Clark something...well, useful when Clark runs up? All he says is Ryan is gone and that Clark should "get some help". He doesn't say who has the kid, or the license plate of the limo (Lex seems to have about five different vanity plates), or anything that Clark could tell the police if he did go for help. All Lex tells Clark is which way the limo went, which wouldn't be much help to the police by the time Clark got to them unless the highway doesn't have any turnoff roads.

Lex's expert security at the manor doesn't extends to his limo service as well - kidnappers grab millionaires and their sons from time to time. That some petty thief could sneak in and take a chauffeur's place doesn't say much for Luthor security.

So what happened to Ryan's step dad? Presumably he's still alive (it's pretty unlikely the writers want to show Clark killing someone directly) but it seems like the guy could ruin Ryan's life by telling anyone he felt like it about his psychic stepson. Granted, Ryan's life gets messed up later anyway, but in a different way.

Season Two - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season One: Pilot - Metamorphosis - Hothead - X-Ray - Cool - Hourglass - Craving - Jitters - Rogue - Shimmer - Hug - Leech - Kinetic - Zero - Nicodemus - Reaper - Drone - Crush - Obscura - Tempest

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