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Slow motion opening shot of the Smallville High football players (The Crows) lining up on a scrimmage line for a play. We hear heavy breathing. The players are in red jerseys with white numbers. It's a night game and rain is pouring down. The opposing team wears orange helmets and white uniforms. The Crows are on offense. They have the ball.
Cut to the Crows' sideline. We see a few helmeted players and the coach (Coach Walt) Wearing a red windbreaker. They are all soaking wet, watching the field intently.
Cut back to the field. Quarterback Whitney Fordman (number on his jersey: 14) Calls a play.
Whitney : Blue 32! Hut! Hut!
Whitney drops back to make a pass, patting the ball as he tries to see his receiver through the gloom and the rain. An opposing player breaks through the line but is tackled.
Cut to the crowd in the stands, the ones in the front are on their feet and jumping. They're in rain gear and holding signs, one of which reads "Let's Go Crows." The crowd farther back huddles under their umbrellas.
Cut to Whitney waiting to find his receiver. He spots an opposing player closing in on him. He turns and runs, only to be tackled by another opponent.
Whitney : Ugh!
Crowd : Aahhh!
Cut to the coach at the sideline throwing his playbook to the ground in anger.
Pan across the crowd. They are jumping and milling about in the rain.
Coach Walt is standing on the field yelling angrily for Whitney.
Coach Walt : Whitney, get over here!
Cut to Whitney jogging up to the coach on the sidelines. Players and other on the coaching staff form a small crowd behind them. Above their heads, cheerleader's pompoms can be seen.
Coach Walt : [Shouting angrily and gesturing] Refresh my memory. Didn't I just send a pass play in there?
Whitney : The rain was comin' down so hard-I couldn't see if Donner was open so I figured I-
The coach grabs Whitney by the faceguard of his helmet and pulls him down to see the embroidered lettering on the coach's windbreaker.
Coach Walt : [Angrily] Hey, what does it say on my jacket?
Whitney : "Coach."
The coach pulls Whitney back up by the faceguard and releases his helmet.
Coach Walt : That's right! Coach! Football is not a democracy, and you will do as I say because I know what's best for you! [Calming down a little] Now look, son, we have run this play a hundred times in practice. You don't have to see Donner to know where he is. Just throw it to him. I want you to go out there and run the same play, and I want you to win this game for us, okay? Go ahead.
Whitney nods and heads back onto the field.
Cut to the field. Both team's players line up for another play.
Whitney : Blue 32! Hut!
Whitney drops back to make a pass.
Cut briefly down field, out of focus, indication Whitney's problems seeing his receiver.
Cut back to Whitney still holding the ball. He avoids a tackle, runs forward, and throws the pass a second before being tackled by an opponent.
Cut to the receiver running in the end zone. Cut back to Whitney sitting up from the tackle to see what happens then back to the receiver, who jumps to make the catch and splashes to the muddy, soggy ground. Touchdown.
Coach Walt jumps and yells. Cheerleaders cheer. The crowd screams. Whitney raises his hands in the air in triumph.
Whitney : Yeah!
Cut to the Crows' locker room. Soggy players burst in the door, yelling and banging their helmets against the lockers as they file in and form a group outside the Coach's office.
Football Players : Whoo! Whoo! Whoo! Whoo!
Players wave towels, give a few high fives, and hoot and howl as the coach climbs on something behind the group to speak.
Football Players : Whoo! Yeah! Whoo! Yeah!
Coach Walt : [Loudly to get the player's attention] All right bring it up! Bring it up! Bring it up!
The group quiets somewhat.
Coach Walt : [Enthusiastically, waving rolled papers] All right, listen up. There is another team eating crow tonight, gentlemen!
Pan across the players. We see Pete Ross among them.
Football Players : Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Cut back to the coach. The noise level drops again as he continues.
Coach Walt : I don't have to tell you how important next Friday night's game is.
Whitney steps up to address the group.
Whitney : Yeah, not only is it gonna get us in the state championship, but it'll be Coach Walt's 200th min!
The players huddle in a circle, putting their right fists together while they chant.
Football Players : Coach Walt! Coach Walt! Coach Walt! Coach Walt! Coach Walt! Coach Walt!
They pound their fists and then break up over a crows logo on the floor. Two players jump and bounce off each other's chests.
The camera pans through the coach's office, across a Crows banner, a poster of the coach yelling, pointing a finger, and some pictures in frames.
Fade to a wooden door with a sign that reads "SAUNA". The door has a visible exterior lock. A blue towel or robe is hanging on a hook near the door, and a plaque nearby reads: "Walt's private Sweat Box/From the Alumni Association/In Recognition of twenty years of dedicated service". Some snapshots are visible, their corners tucked between the plaque and the wood of the sauna.
Cut to interior of the sauna. Coach Walt is pouring water from a ladle over heated rocks, which causes a cloud of green-colored steam to rise into the air with a sizzle. He bends forward into the cloud of steam and sniffs deeply. He is wearing a towel with another draped over his shoulders.
Coach Walt : [Grunting] Mmm. Ahhh.
The coach drops the ladle into a bucket of water as he climbs onto a bench and sits back, sighing in relief.
The camera pans back to the heater. The rocks are still emitting green steam. The camera moves to the interior of the heater where we see several layers of the rocks, the lowest ones containing glowing green fragments. They're meteor rocks.
Cut back to the coach. He's leaning back, resting with his eyes closed. A knock on the sauna door rouses him.
Coach Walt : [Calling out] Come on in.
The sauna door opens and we see Principal Kwan, a dark-haired Asian man wearing a dress shirt and tie under a dark sweater. Kwan looks annoyed/uncomfortable.
Coach Walt : [Smiling] Principal Kwan...what brings you to this sweat box?
Principal Kwan : We've got a problem, Coach.
Cut to the coach's office. We see the coach in a red robe looking through a green manila folder. He flips it closed.
Coach Walt : Cheating, huh-my boys? [He sighs softly]
Coach Walt crosses the room and we see Kwan leaning against a desk. Kwan straightens as he speaks.
Principal Kwan : Seven of them, on their math midterm. Which means they're ineligible for next Friday's game.
Coach Walt : [Dismissively] Well, just keep it quiet for a couple of weeks, and, uh, we'll deal with it in the off-season.
Principal Kwan : [Seriously] I'm not sweeping a major academic breach under the carpet so you can win a game.
Coach Walt : [Chuckling] You've been here, what, six months? I've been here twenty five years. We're not talking about just a game. We're talking about my legacy.
Principal Kwan : I don't care about your legacy. I'm here to educate young people.
Coach Walt : [Loudly, with anger] I've been educating young people all my life! You know how many boys have gone to college because of me, have gotten good jobs on my recommendations?!
Principal Kwan : [Seriously] I know most people think you walk on water, Coach. I think you're dangerous. I've seen your temper. I've seen your methods. Just because you win doesn't make you right.
Principal Kwan starts walking towards the door.
Principal Kwan : On Monday I'm suspending the players-end of story.
Coach Walt watches Kwan leave, fuming. His rage is apparent on his face. He slams the towel he is holding in his hands against the top of his desk.
Coach Walt : Damn!
The desktop bursts into flames, rising almost to the roof of the room. As the coach looks on in surprise and confusion, another nearby table with a miniature football field and players bursts into flames as well. Fade out on the coach's confused face.
Cut to the front of Smallville High School. Cut to Clark holding the Torch, reading the headline.
Clark : "Football: Sport or Abuse?"
Chloe : So, what do you think?
We see that Clark, Chloe and Pete are walking together up the stairs of the bleachers, outside by the football field. Chloe is holding a cup of coffee.
Clark : I think you need to seriously decrease your Cappuccino dependency.
Pete laughs at Clark's comment.
Chloe : Pete thinks I'm being too hard on Coach Walt.
Pete : The man coached my dad, all my brothers. He used to come over and watch the Super Bowl.
Chloe : Now, while I'm touched by that Hallmark moment, you don't get points for subtlety in journalism. I've already started getting hate mail.
We see that the three of them are now walking in the courtyard behind the school. A bunch of kids are outside, some playing basketball, others sitting at tables, still others standing around. Many cheerleaders are in the area.
Clark : You seem very happy about that. Why?
Chloe : Because it means I'm hitting a nerve. Besides, between the abysmal sentence structure and generous use of obscenities, I've got a pretty good idea of who's been sending it.
Pete : If you think my team-mates are reading the Torch, you're giving them way too much credit.
We see Lana and Whiney standing together off in the distance. Clark spies them and the camera goes into slow motion as he watches. Lana is in her cheerleading outfit. Lana and Whitney are arguing.
Lana : [Upset] Don't you even care about this?
Whitney : [Grinning, shrugging her off] I don't see what the big deal is.
Lana : [Incredulously] You don't think it's a big deal? I thinks it's a big deal.
Lana storms off past Chloe, Clark and Pete. Chloe turns and watches Lana leave, grinning.
Chloe : Whoo! There's something you don't see every day-a pompom meltdown. [She laughs. A group of football players exit the building. Looking over to Pete] Ooh, ooh, here they come! Pete, I need a picture of the cheating jockstraps.
Pete takes a camera off his shoulder. Cut to the jocks and the cheerleaders gathering around Coach Walt in the courtyard. Clark is watching.
Coach Walt : [To the gathered group] I don't want to hear any rumors going around, any false accusations...
Camera cuts to Clark.
Clark : Any idea how they got that midterm, Chloe?
Chloe : [Raising the digital camera and taking a picture] It's still a mystery, but I'm working on it.
Cut back to Coach Walt's gathering. A football player spies Chloe taking a picture.
Football Player : Hey, what's she doin'?
The Football player throws a football at Chloe's head. Clark catches the football right before the ball can his Chloe in the face, just as she's about to duck, in a show of super reflexes. Chloe looks at Clark in amazement.
Pete : [Patting Clark on the back and grinning] Ooh, nice catch!
Clark looks over at the jock angrily.
Chloe : [To Pete] One of your team-mates attempts to assassinate me, and all you say is "nice catch"?
Chloe walks away and Pete follows.
Pete : I thought you wanted to hit a nerve?
Clark lags behind then throws the football back to the jock so hard, the kid doubles over as the ball hits him in the stomach.
Football Player : Uhh!
Coach Walt : [To the jock] You all right?
The bell rings. Everyone starts walking away. Coach Walt looks across the yard towards Clark, speculatively.
We see Clark turn and walk away in the other direction following Chloe and Pete. We see Coach Walt still watching Clark until the coach turns and walks away.
Cut to the inside of the school. We see Clark and Pete walking down a hallway. They're both smiling. They stop at some vending machines. Coach Walt walks up to them.
Coach Walt : Hey, Kent. I saw your arm out there. Technique was lousy, but you got a lot of power.
Clark : [Smiling] Thanks!
Coach Walt : So why aren't you on our team?
Clark : My dad needs me on the farm.
Coach Walt : Well, your school needs you on the field. We got a big game on Friday night. We're short players. Look, look, I-I know your dad would understand.
Clark : He's kind of stubborn.
Coach Walt : Yeah, I remember. Jonathan Kent was one of the best athletes I ever coached. A lot of God-given talent. It's in your genes, Kent.
Clark : Actually, I'm adopted.
Coach Walt : [His frustration evident] Look, I am giving you a chance to be a part of something special, a part of history. Now, I've seen you stare at your father's picture in that trophy case. Don't tell me you don't want to be a part of this. Why don't you suit up? Look at Ross here. He doesn't have a lick of natural talent, but he's got a truckload of heart.
Pete : Thanks, I-I guess.
Clark : Let me think about it.
Coach Walt : [Calling out] Fordman, get over here.
Whitney and Lana walk up.
Lana : Hi, Clark.
Coach Walt : Fordman, you're the team captain. How do you think Kent here would do on the field? I mean, considering our current predicament?
Whitney : [Looking Clark up and down] He might do all right.
Coach Walt : Hmm... He seems afraid though.
Lana : [Defensively] That's not the reason, is it, Clark?
Clark : It's my Dad.
Coach Walt : Kent, there comes a time when you gotta step out of your father's shadow and be your own man. Now what do you say? You ready to be your own man?
Clark : [Looking at Lana then smiling] Count me in.
Lana rolls her eyes and sighs.
Coach Walt : Good. I will see you at practice today-three o'clock. Don't be late.
Clark nods, smiles. Coach Walt, Whitney and Lana walk away.
Pete : [Pointing at his ear jokingly] Hey, Clark... Hey, um, remind me what your dad said last time you asked him to play.
Clark : He said no.
Pete : [Blandly] He said no. That's what I thought. Call me when the hurting's done. Okay?
Pete pats Clark on the shoulder. Clark looks worried. The bell rings and the two of them go their separate ways.
Cut to Whitney and Lana walking down the hallway.
Whitney : So, we okay?
Lana : This isn't about us.
Whitney : The guys made a mistake. I don't see what the big deal is.
Lana : Whitney, they cheated. I don't see how you can support that.
Whitney : Because they're my friends, and they used to be yours. Do you want to tell me what's really going on here?
Lana : It's just that things I thought I knew for sure don't seem so certain anymore.
Whitney : I don't understand.
Lana : [Sighs] I know how much you love football, and you're great at it, and I support you. I want to find something that I'm great at.
Cut to the Kent Farm. Cut to the inside of the barn. Jonathan is fixing a piece of equipment. He stops and we see that he and Clark are in the middle of a conversation.
Jonathan : Uh, wait a minute. What do you mean you had to say yes?
Clark : [Grinning proudly] Coach Walt sort of didn't give me a choice.
Jonathan : Let me guess. Did he give you the "be your own man" speech, right?
Clark looks sheepish.
Jonathan : [Smiling] Well, Walt's been giving that speech for 25 years-same one. Believe me, I know. What you gotta do is go there tomorrow and tell him you can't play.
Jonathan walks across the barn. Clark follows, upset.
Clark : Dad, please don't make me do that.
Jonathan : Son, I'm sorry. We've already had this conversation.
Clark : It's never been a conversation. I can be careful, and you don't trust me.
Jonathan : Of course I trust you, Clark, but, uh-
Clark : But what? I'm old enough to make my own decisions.
Jonathan : When you're out on the field, and million things can happen that can affect your judgment. I mean, if you get angry, even for just a second, or you, uh, you try to impress some girl with a fancy move, somebody could get seriously hurt out there. You were meant for much more important things than winning football games.
Clark : [Exasperated] I'm sick of being punished because I have these gifts. Most parents would be happy if their son could be star of the football team.
Jonathan : [Placing a hand on Clark's shoulder] Son... I'm happy when you wake up in the morning. I don't need to live vicariously through your achievements.
Jonathan walks away.
Clark : [Sarcastically] Why would you? You got to play.
Jonathan : [Turning around] I'm not signing a permission slip, Clark.
Clark : [Belligerently] You don't have to. I'm playing football, and you can't stop me.
Jonathan stares at Clark. Clark stands his ground, swallowing nervously.
Cut to an outside view of the Luthor manor. Cut to the inside of the house where three guys in suits are standing around in a room impatiently. Lex strolls in casually, wearing workout clothes and a towel around his neck.
Lex : Well, if it isn't the three wise men.
Lex walks into the room. As he passes one of the men, he says facetiously...
Lex : Hello, Dominic.
Lex walks across the room to a beverage table and retrieves a bottle of water. Dominic follows him.
Dominic : [Snidely] I'm assuming you're running late because you've been at a fencing lesson, or have you taken up polo again?
Lex : [Chuckles mockingly] I'm not running late. I canceled this meeting, if you recall.
Dominic : And your father insisted that we drive down here and keep it.
Lex : Mmm, and when he barks, you jump.
Lex walks away from Dominic.
Dominic : Have you seen the quarterly numbers?
Dominic follows Lex across the room.
Lex : Yes, I have. [Lex selects a cue stick from a rack on the wall.] We're twenty percent below projections.
Dominic : And your father wants you to take drastic action.
Lex : [Dismissively] I plan to.
Lex starts to chalk the end of his stick.
Dominic : Good. Then I can inform him that you'll be cutting your workforce?
Lex : On the contrary, you can inform him I plan on increasing my workforce.
Dominic : By how much?
Lex : Twenty percent.
Dominic : [Chuckling] Lex, I've always enjoyed your unique sense of humor, but you can't be serious.
Lex : You gotta spend money to make money, Dominic. If we increase productivity and marketing while our competitors retreat, when the sector bounces back... [Lex hits a pool ball into a pocket] ...we'll corner the market.
Dominic : [Angrily] Your father sent you to Smallville to turn the plant around!
Lex : [Belligerently] My father sent me to Smallville because he'd rather surround himself with drones than people who challenge his archaic business practices.
Dominic : I'll be certain to tell him that.
Lex : Please do. Now, this meeting is adjourned.
Dominic starts to leave.
Lex : [Blandly] By the way, Dominic... Tell your sister I said "Hi".
Dominic turns, and glares at Lex, then storms out.
Cut to Lana's house. We see Lana folding her cheerleading uniform in her bedroom. Nell opens the door and walks in.
Nell : Lana, you're home early. Did they cancel cheerleading practice?
Lana : Sort of. I quit.
Nell : [Walking towards Lana with concern] You loved being on the squad! What happened?
Lana : I just think there's more to life than memorizing cheers and shaking pompoms.
Nell : You just decided this out of the blue?
Lana : Some of the football players were caught cheating-guys I know. When I told Whitney how upset it made me, he said it was no big deal, that people aren't perfect. [She puts the box with her cheerleading outfit in the bottom of her closet] I thought, "Why am I doing this, wearing a fake smile and stupid outfit for people who will do anything to win a game?
Nell : [Sitting down on Lana's bed] Well, you can't let a couple of bad apples spoil the experience. You're part of a team. You're making friends.
Lana : Aunt Nell, I don't want to go back. I want to try different things. What's wrong with that?
Nell : Nothing. It's just that you're on a good track. I want you to be happy. What are you gonna do with this newfound freedom?
Lana : I thought I'd get a job. Something part-time. Earn some extra money so I can go travel in the summer.
Lana sits down on the bed next to Nell.
Nell : Well, I suppose I could always use some help around the shop.
Lana : Thanks, but I'm not looking for help. I want to do this on my own.
Cut to the football team exiting the locker rooms. We see Clark in uniform. He's wearing a red and white practice jersey with the number 89. He smiles as he looks out on the field. Some cheerleaders are practicing, along with the rest of the football team.
Clark looks around, perplexed. He approaches Pete, who is standing on the sideline by the bleachers.
Clark : Have you seen Lana?
Pete : No, but there's your dad.
Pete walks off and Clark looks over to the front row of the bleachers where Jonathan is sitting. Clark walks over to him.
Clark : [Smiling] Dad. I'm glad you're here. It means a lot to me.
Jonathan : [Seriously] I still don't support your decision, Clark. I'm here to see that no one gets hurt.
Jonathan looks away, and Clark turns, walks towards the field with his head ducked, disappointed.
We hear a whistle.
Coach Walt : [Calling out] Kent, get in there at tailback.
Clark jogs onto the field.
Cut to the team on the field running a play. Whitney is at quarterback.
Whitney : Blue 32! Hut! Hut! Hut!
Whitney receives the ball and passes it off to Clark. Clark tries to run with it but is immediately tackled.
Clark lays on the ground, stunned, and looks over at his father in the bleachers. Jonathan looks concerned.
Coach Walt : [Yelling] Kent! Quit lookin' in the stands! [Coach pulls Clark to his feet by his faceguard, yelling in his face] Your dad's not coachin' this team-I am! Now I didn't bring you out here to be a tackling dummy! [He pounds Clark on the chest] Get angry! Kick some butt!
Cut to Jonathan looking concerned in the stands.
Cut to Clark setting up on the field. He's very serious, and it's obvious he's not going to let himself be embarrassed again.
Whitney : All right, guys. Same play.
Football Player : [Looking over at Clark] Oh, yeah, we got him.
Whitney : Blue 32! Blue 32! Hut! Hut!
Clark receives the ball, bursts through the defensive line, knocking linebackers over. He hurdles a group of players, using his gifts to sort of jump completely over them. He runs, unchallenged, into the endzone.
We see Jonathan in the bleachers sigh, then get up and leave.
We see Clark in the endzone, clearly feeling vindicated. He spikes the ball and stands there while everyone is cheering.
He looks over to the stands and sees his father leaving. Clark ducks his head, looking disappointed.
Cut to Coach Walt sitting in his office watching a videotape of Clark's performance on the field. Principal Kwan enters the office.
Coach Walt : Aahhh...[He turns off the videotape] How's my favorite football fan?
Principal Kwan : Coach, one of the players accused of cheating has come forward and said you supplied them with the tests.
Coach Walt : Oh? And what boy told you that little piece of fiction?
Principal Kwan : I'm not at liberty to say.
Coach Walt : But I'm guessing you already went to the school board and asked them to suspend me.
Principal Kwan : You have a lot of friends in high places.
Coach Walt : [Chuckling] I should have. I coached most of them. You don't understand-I'm an institution. Who'd you think the school board was going to believe-some cheating little brat who's just trying to cover his own ass, or the man who's been leading this school to victory for 25 years?
Principal Kwan : They may not believe one, but if I can get all of them to step forward, the board will have no choice. They'll suspend you from coaching for the rest of your life.
Coach Walt : [Getting up angrily and pounding on his desk] You will not bring me down!
The television bursts into flames. Both men stare at the television in shock. Principal Kwan looks back at Coach Walt suspiciously.
Principal Kwan : What the hell's going on here, Coach?
Principal looks around nervously then rushes out of the office.
Coach Walt looks at the burning television speculatively.
Cut to Principal Kwan walking outside the school towards his car. We see Coach Walt watching him through the window in his office. Kwan gets into his car.
Coach Walt : Who the hell does he think he is?
Coach Walt closes his eyes, concentrates. We see Kwan stick his key in the ignition. The car won't start. All of a sudden the steering column bursts into flame.
We see Coach Walt standing at the window, concentration.
Kwan attempts to grab his briefcase but it's on fire. He attempts to get out of the car but the door handle is too hot. Kwan starts screaming.
We see Coach Walt, standing at the window, grinning.
Cut to Pete and Clark exiting the school building.
Pete : Where'd your dad go?
Clark : He, uh, kind of had to get back to the farm. [They hear screaming, and see the burning car.] Go get help!
Clark drops his bookbag and runs toward the car. He smashes the window and pulls the driver's side door off of it's hinges. He pulls Kwan out of the car and carries him away right before the car explodes.
Pan of the Kent house at night. Cut to the Kent kitchen. Clark and Jonathan are sitting at the table eating. Martha is standing in the living room, on the phone.
Martha : [Into the phone] Okay, thanks. Bye-bye. [She puts the phone down and walks over to the table] Principal Kwan's gonna be in the hospital till over the weekend.
Clark : Is he gonna be all right?
Martha : He's got some burns and suffered smoke inhalation, but he's gonna be okay.
Jonathan : [In an exasperated tone] Anybody see you, Son?
Martha looks at Clark, worried.
Clark : [Frustrated] Nobody saw me, Dad! [Jonathan nods] I told the paramedics that I wrapped my hands in my jacket when I pulled him out.
Martha : Lucky you were there.
Clark : Well, I kind of missed my ride.
Jonathan : [Scoffing] Look, I saw you play, all right? [Jonathan gets up from the table with his plate] Now, you could have easily hurt any one of those boys.
Clark : [Getting up and following him] But the point is, I didn't. [Jonathan looks at Clark and sighs, then turns away. Clark glances at his mother] Look, why are we even having this conversation? He's never gonna believe me. [To Jonathan] By the way, Coach gave me your old position. [He smiles hopefully] You're looking at the starting tailback for this Friday's game.
Clark smiles. Jonathan walks over to him as if he's about to say something but then he just stares and walks past Clark. Clark looks sad.
Clark : Don't everyone congratulate me at once.
Clark glances at his mother who gives him a sympathetic look. Clark leaves.
Jonathan : [To Martha] How did he get to be so stubborn?
Martha : Gee, I don't know.
Jonathan : Hey, wait a minute-I was not like that when I was his age.
Martha : no, you were the obedient son who always obeyed his father and didn't run away one summer and try out for the Metropolis Sharks.
Jonathan : Since when did you go and join the other side?
Martha : Jonathan, Clark hasn't been able to do anything normal his whole life-no playgroups, no little league-all because we were afraid he might hurt somebody. He's a teenager now. Let's give him a shot.
Jonathan : His gifts come with responsibilities.
Martha : This isn't about his gifts, it's about his judgment. You're telling Clark that you don't believe in him.
Jonathan : Of course, I believe in him. W-what if he makes a mistake... and somebody suspects the truth? I do not want anyone coming on this farm and taking our son away from us.
Martha : Well, if we don't start trusting him, nobody's gonna have to take him away. He's gonna leave all by himself.
Cut to Clark, Chloe and Pete walking down the street outside of the Beanery.
Chloe : You guys, it doesn't make sense. Cars don't just spontaneously combust.
Clark : the cops said it was faulty wiring.
Chloe : I've already got my headline: "Jockstrap Save Principal From Burning Car."
Pete : Will you lay off the "jockstraps" thing?
Chloe : I still can't believe Clark's been blinded by the Friday night lights.
Clark : I joined the football team, not a cult.
We see Lana walking up behind Chloe. She's wearing a green Beanery apron. Clearly, she's now a waitress.
Chloe : Yeah, next I'm gonna be joining the pompom brigade.
Lana : [Walking past the group] I hear there's a spot open.
Clark : Lana, what are you doing here?
Lana : Taking your order, I hope.
Chloe : W-what is this? Some sort of cheerleading charity, like "be a waitress for a night" sort of thing?
Lana : Yes, it is, except for the cheerleading and charity parts, and tips are always appreciated.
Clark : So you're a waitress for real?
Lana : Even got the perky name tag to prove it.
Pete : First day.
Lana : Ever.
Clark : Where's your necklace?
Lana : Strict dress code-no jewelry and no open-toes shoes.
Clark : You look very...waitress-like.
Lana : Now, if I could only tell the difference between a half-caf decaf and a non-fat late.
Chloe : In that case, I'll have a regular coffee.
Pete : Hey, times three.
Chloe and Pete sit down at a booth.
They find a tray at the table. Clark rushes over to Lana to give it back to her instead of sitting down.
Clark : Uh, Lana, you forgot this.
Lana : Thanks, that's been happening a lot today.
Clark : First days are always rough. So, you just quit cheerleading?
Lana : You sound surprised.
Clark : Well, Its not like you broke any state laws or anything, but I am. You always seemed so happy doing it.
Lana : My mom was a cheerleader, so was my aunt. I figured it was time to break the vicious cycle.
Clark : What did, uh, Whitney say?
Lana : You're his team-mate now. Why don't you ask him?
Clark : You know, it's amazing. The same day I make the team you quit the squad. I was just hoping we'd see more of each other.
Lana : I have four shifts a week. You can stop by anytime you like.
Head Waitress : Lana...table 3 has been waiting for their drinks for 5 minutes. If they go cold, it's coming out of your tips.
Lana : Right, Sorry.
Head Waitress : Don't be sorry, just be faster.
Chloe : Clark Kent is a football player and Lana Lang is a waitress.
Pete : What's the matter with that?
Chloe : Nothing. I just wanna click my heels and get back to reality.
A football player (Trevor) enters the shop and Pete nods a hello. The player goes over to a group of football players and starts talking to them.
Trevor : Coach needs to see us on the field right now.
They get up and leave.
Chloe : What's up with your fallen brethren?
Pete : I don't know.
Chloe jumps up and grabs her coat.
Chloe : I'll see you tomorrow.
She rushes out, passing Clark as he heads back to the table.
Clark : Chloe?
Chloe : Relax, I...I'll see you tomorrow, okay?
She rushes towards the door, past Lana who is holding a tray of drinks. Lana kind of looks towards Chloe and doesn't see a man coming towards her from the other direction. Lana bumps into the man, dropping the try of drinks. Customers applaud. Clark looks at her and grins. Lana nervously grins back.
Cut to the football field at the school at night. Close-up of the sprinkler system spraying shoots of water to water the grass. We see Coach Walt standing in the middle of the field, talking to a group of seven football players.
Coach Walt : Congratulations. I've never seen a group of young men demonstrate such extraordinary stupidity. Now, which one of you talked? Huh? No one here told Kwan that I supplied you with the test?
Trevor : Coach, no college is even going to look at us with cheating on our record.
Coach Walt : So it was you, huh, Trevor? Now why doesn't that surprise me.
Coach Walt hits Trevor across the face, knocking him to the ground. The water shoots from the sprinklers turn to flame.
Football Players : Whoa! Oh, whoa! No way!
Coach Walt : [Hollering] Nothing-nothing-is gonna stand between me and my legacy! Now, you go home, and you keep your mouths shut! Understand?
The players stand around looking scared.
Football Players : Yes...
The coach walks away. There's fire all over the place.
Cut to Chloe in the bleachers with her camera. She's taking pictures.
Cut to Luthor manor. It's daytime. Cut to the inside of the house. We see Lionel Luthor burst through the doors into a room.
Lionel : Congratulations, Lex. You made the business page for once.
Lionel drops a paper on Lex's desk. Lex is sitting at the desk, working on his computer.
Lex : I told Dominic I was doing this two days ago.
Lionel : Yes, and my drone dutifully reported it to me. [Lex smiles a little, mockingly] I just didn't think you'd be stupid enough to implement it.
Lex : if you had a problem, why didn't you pick up the phone and call me?
Lionel : We have a reporting structure. [He turns away] Just because you're my son, don't expect any special treatment.
Lex : Believe me, I never have.
Lionel : [Turning back around irately and walking towards Lex] That wounded-pride routine may have worked for your mother, but don't try it with me. [Lionel has advanced to Lex's side of the desk. He reaches out a hand to touch Lex's face. Lex pulls back. Lionel grabs the lip of Lex's chair instead. Lex keeps his head turned away] You know perfectly well how I feel about you.
Lex : Hence, I'm at a crap factory in Smallville.
Lionel : Lex... Did you know Caesars would send their sons to the furthermost corners of the empire so they could get an appreciation of how the world works?
Lex : Whatever helps you sleep at night, Dad.
Lionel : [Sighing] All right. Here is how I propose we solve our...impasse. [He walks over to an epee stand and grabs a sword. He swings the sword a few times] We'll fence for it. If you win, I'll let you pursue your plan. If I win you fire twenty percent of your workforce. The question you have to ask yourself, Lex, is...are you good enough to take your old man?
Lex glares at him with hostility.
Cut to Lex and Lionel fencing. They are both wearing white fencing uniforms and seem to be fighting in the same room.
Lionel : Look at your moves, Lex They're rash, no thought to their consequences.
Lex : If I wanted a running commentary, I'd buy one of your books on tape.
Lionel : [Chuckling] You know what your problem is?
Lex : [Mockingly] Enlighten me.
Lionel : You're ruled by your emotions. You always have been. [Lionel disarms Lex, holds the sword to his throat] And that can be a fatal flaw.
Lionel backs Lex up with the sword at his throat until Lex falls backward onto a chair.
Lionel : I want those workers gone by noon tomorrow. [He taps Lex twice on the chest with his sword in a condescending manner] Meeting adjourned.
Lionel turns and walks away. Lex gets up, clearly frustrated.
Pan of the Kent farm at night. Pan over to the barn and up to the loft window. Cut to Clark in the loft, looking in a mirror and trying on his football uniform. He's wearing number 32. Martha walks up the loft stairs.
Martha : Heading out to the pep rally?
Clark : How do I look?
Martha : As handsome as your father.
Clark : You don't have to do this, Mom.
Martha : Do what?
Clark : Play Kent family peacekeeper.
Martha : Well, if the Kent men weren't so stubborn, I wouldn't have to.
Clark : So you're taking Dad's side?
Martha : No, Clark, I'm not I told him he's being unreasonable.
Clark : Thanks,
Martha : Well, I'm not saying you're entirely innocent here, either. If you want to make your own decision, you need to be prepared to live with your mistakes.
Clark : You trust me, don't you?
Martha : I want to, Clark. So does your dad. Just...give him a chance.
Cut to the pep rally. We see a big bonfire, cheerleaders cheering, a mascot (a big crow) running around.
Cut to Chloe walking up the bleacher steps. She sees Trevor by the entrance to a passageway. She smiles and walks over.
Trevor : Why did you call me? What do you want?
Chloe : I want to know if Coach Walt supplied the players with the tests.
Trevor is silent.
Chloe : Look, you can talk to me now or later. Either way, this picture's going to be on the font page of tomorrow's Torch.
Chloe shows Trevor her camera's display screen. On the screen is a picture of the player's meeting with Coach Walt. The fire shooting from the sprinklers is clearly evident.
Trevor : [Glaring at her] Just leave me alone. [He rushes away]
Cut to Trevor walking in the parking lot towards his car. He gets his key out and goes to unlock the door. Suddenly, his arm is grabbed from behind by Coach Walt. Coach uses his powers and burns Trevor's arm.
Trevor : Aahhh!
Coach Walt : Talking to the school newspaper, Trevor? I thought you were brighter than that.
Trevor is kneeling on the ground, in pain, as the coach has a hold of his arm, burning him.
Trevor : [Painfully] Coach! I didn't say anything, you gotta believe me! She was at the field last night! She's got a picture of us in the sprinklers!
We hear sizzling.
Coach Walt : All right. [He lets go of Trevor's arm] Go home. I'll take care of this.
Trevor groans. Coach walks away.
Trevor : [Sitting on the ground panting] Damn.
Cut to Chloe in the Torch office working on the computer. She's doing the layout of the article on the football team. We see Coach Walt standing in the stairwell watching Chloe through the glass in the fire exit door. He closes his eyes, concentrates. Chloe's computer bursts into flames.
Quickly, her whole desk is on fire. We see Coach Walt concentrating in the stairwell. Chloe backs across the room toward the window. The fire seems to follow her across the room, spreading across the floor. Chloe is backed into a corner.
Cut to Clark outside the building at the pep rally. Pete walks up.
Cheerleaders : Come on, Crows. Let's go!
Pete : Hey, have you seen Chloe?
Clark : No.
Pete : Hmm.
Cut to Chloe in the Torch office. She looks out the window.
Cheerleaders : Come on, Crows. Let's go! Come on, Crows. Let's go.
Clark sees Chloe yelling and waving from the window, fire visible behind her.
Chloe : [Yelling and waving] Clark!
Clark sprints towards the building.
Cut to the inside of the office. Chloe covers her head with her jacket and tries to jump through the fire. She gets knocked to the ground and her jacket is ablaze. She knocks the jacket off and gets to her feet. She tries to run to the door but the door bursts into flames.
Chloe : Oh God!
She turns around but there's fire behind her too.
Cut to Clark zipping through the hallway at supper speed.
Cut to Chloe in the office. Fire is everywhere.
Chloe : Oh my God!
Cut to Clark at the office door.
Clark : Chloe!
Clark's shout startles Coach Walt, breaking his concentration. The fire immediately dies down. Clark comes running into the room.
Clark : Chloe! You okay?
Chloe : Clark!
They hug. Clark looks around at the charred office.
Cut to Coach Walt walking away from the fire door.
Cut to Clark still hugging Chloe.
Cut to the burned Torch office after the fire has burned out.
Clark : The Torch torched. How's that for dramatic irony? [Chloe glares at him] Just...trying to get you to smile.
Chloe : This is more than just arson, Clark. It's like the fire knew what I was doing.
Clark : And you believe Coach Walt was somehow controlling it?
Chloe : Look at the facts. Principal Kwan launches an investigation into the cheating scandal, Coach Walt tries to fry him in his car. Then one of his players comes forward and he threatens them all with pyrotechnic sprinklers. I am about to print that picture and the Torch goes up in flames.
Clark : What, now you think he's behind the cheating scandal!? Come on, Chloe.
Chloe : Coach obsessed with winning his 200th game helps bonehead players pass the test so he can secure his position in the pantheon of high school sports.
Chloe : [Dryly] No, it's kind of hard to recover the files.
Clark : You don't have any proof.
Chloe : Trevor Chapell.
Clark : What about him?
Chloe : I'm sure he's the one who talked to Kwan about the cheating. He wants to talk. I know it. But he's still scared to talk to me. But I think he might open up to you.
Cut to the interior of the Beanery. Lex is sitting in a chair, rifling though papers. He sighs. Lana comes over to wait on him. Lex looks up, surprised.
Lex : [Smiling] Lana! What happened? Did Nell put you out on the street?
Lana : I decided to join the workforce.
Lex : Good for you. I'm sure you'll be employee of the month in no time.
Lex : Closes the file he was studying.
Lana : Right now, I hold the record for most dishes broken in a single day.
Lex : Better bring my cappuccino in a Styrofoam cup, then.
He smiles and Lana turns away to get his order. Clark walks through the door, still wearing his football jersey.
Lana : Well, if it isn't Smallville's latest football star.
Lex looks up in the background.
Clark : Let's see how I do tomorrow night. Hey, have you seen Trevor tonight?
Lana : no, he hasn't been in.
Clark : How are things going here?
Lana : Today is one of those days I just want to scream.
Clark : Well, for what it's worth, I think it's cool you got this job.
Lana : For what it's worth, I'm sorry I'm not gonna get to see you play tomorrow. New girl gets the worst shifts. So, can I get you anything?
Clark : Uh, maybe a cup of coffee.
Lex smiles in the background.
Lana : Coming right up.
Clark : Thanks.
She walks away. Clark walks over to Lex.
Lex : Rumor has it Clark Kent joined the football team.
Clark : Rumor's true. [Clark sits down]
Lex : Congratulations. Your dad must be thrilled.
Clark : Actually, he freaked out. Told me I couldn't play. I'm surprised with my dad. I mean, he claims I should make my own decisions, but then when I do he shuts me down.
Lex : Ah, and you're out late, waiting for him to go to bed so you could avoid the uncomfortable silence that greets you when you get home.
Clark : How did you know?
Lex : Luthors wrote the book on uncomfortable silences.
Clark : What are you working on?
Lex : [Groaning] Trying to figure out which poor bastard should get the ax. My father wants me to cut twenty percent of my workforce.
Clark : Any way around it?
Lex : Once my father's made his mind up, he's not easy to turn around.
Lana appears and puts drinks down on the table.
Lana : If it makes you guys feel any better, you should have seen the look on my aunt's face when I took this job-not that I was eavesdropping or anything. Lana sits on the arm of Clark's chair.
Clark : I guess we're all in the same boat.
Lex : No, no. You both stood your ground and are doing what you want. I caved. [He lifts his coffee mug in a salute] You two have inspired me.
Clark : [Rolling his eyes] Oh yeah-joining the football team and pouring some coffee. We're a couple of real rebels.
Lana : Long live the revolution.
Lex : Cheers.
Lex sips his drink, getting whipped cream on his nose and upper lip.
Lana : How is it.
Lex : It's perfect.
Lana : Okay. [She walks away]
Clark : Is that what you ordered?
Lex : [Dryly] Not even close.
Cut to the outside of Trevor's house. It's daytime. Cut to the inside of basement or something. We see Clark open the door and walk in.
Clark : [Calling out] Trevor. It's Clark Kent. I'm here to talk.
Trevor : Just leave or he'll come back.
Clark : Coach Walt?
Trevor : once he gets angry, he's...
Clark : What did he do to you?
Trevor : Coach rides me pretty hard, you know? Me and some of the others. Thinks he's our father or something. That's how he justifies it, anyway. Once when I dropped a pass, he drove me home, punched me in the gut, told me not to do it again.
Clark : Why didn't you tell anyone?
Trevor : Coach said he'd throw me off the team! Wouldn't help me pass my classes.
Clark : Did he give you that math midterm?
Clark : Trevor, I can help.
Trevor : That's what Principal Kwan said! Look what coach did to him!
Clark : What happened to your arm?
Trevor : It's nothing. It's a carburetor burn.
Clark reaches out. Trevor jerks back.
Trevor : It's nothing!
Clark : Let me see it, Trevor.
Clark unwraps the gauze from Trevor's forearm. We see that Trevor has a burn mark, in the shape of a person's hand.
Trevor : I don't know how Coach did it. But if I talk, he's gonna fry me.
Close-up of Clark's face. He's looking very serious.
Cut to the sauna door. We can see Coach sitting inside the sauna through the little window. Suddenly, Clark opens the sauna door. The sauna is actually inside the coach's office.
Coach Walt : [Sighing] Kent. Why aren't you in the locker room suiting up?
Clark : I'm not walking out on that field...and neither are you.
Coach Walt : Look, I don't know what the hell your problem is, but you do not want to tick me off right now.
Cut to the green rocks in the heater. They glow and Clark suddenly looks sick.
Clark : [Groaning and looking at his morphing hand in horror] I saw what you did to Trevor's arm.
Coach Walt : Trevor should have kept his mouth shut! [Clark groans and stumbles back a little] What's the matter, Kent? A little too hot for you, huh?
Coach Walt punches Clark in the stomach then grabs him and throws him against the wall inside the sauna. Clark falls to the floor, knocking the heater over. The green rocks spill out onto the floor, right by Clark's head. Clark lies on the floor in pain.
Coach Walt : You'll excuse me now. I got a game to win.
Coach leaves the sauna, shutting the door behind him and locking it. Clark is still on the floor. He can't get up. Coach looks at him through the glass, smiles, and leaves Clark there.
Cut to the football field. Coach Walt is standing on the sidelines. We see Pete in the background. The stands are full. Cut to Whitney on the field, about to run a play.
Whitney : Blue 32! Hut!
Cut to Martha and Jonathan walking the stands. Martha spies Chloe.
Martha : Chloe!
Chloe : Hi, Mrs. Kent! Hi, Mr. Kent!
Martha : Smallville's resident cynic have a change of heart?
They sit down next to her.
Chloe : Well, I decided to put my personal politics aside to support my friends.
Martha : Yes, we're trying the same philosophy.
Jonathan : Where's Clark?
Chloe : I don't know. I was supposed to meet him before the game, but he didn't show. I thought he was with you guys.
Martha and Jonathan look around, trying to spot Clark.
Cut to the sauna. Clark is still incapacitated. He manages to reach out and pick up a rock. He throws the rock at the sauna window.
Cut to the football field. The players are running another play.
Cut to Jonathan running up to Pete on the sidelines.
Jonathan : Hey, Pete! Pete...
Pete : Hey.
Jonathan : Have you seen Clark?
Pete : No, I haven't seen him all day.
Coach Walt walks over.
Coach Walt : Jonathan, you know the rules. No parents on the sidelines.
Jonathan : I'm looking for Clark.
Coach : Join the club. I need him out here. I guess he doesn't have what it takes to be a winner, huh?
Coach Walt walks away, hiding his nervousness.
Jonathan walks over to Chloe who is standing by the sideline.
Jonathan : Nobody's seen him.
Chloe : I think the coach is lying.
Jonathan : What's going on here, Chloe? All right, I'll check the locker room, you check the school.
They walk off.
Cut to Coach Walt talking to one of the asst. coaches as he watches Chloe and Jonathan exit the field.
Coach Walt : I'll be back in five.
Asst. Coach : Walt, we're in the middle of a game-
Coach Walt : Just call the damn plays!
Coach Walt runs in the direction Jonathan and Chloe went.
Cut to the inside of the sauna. Clark is still throwing rocks. He manages to break the glass, then seems to pass out.
Cut to Jonathan walking in the locker room. He walks over to Coach Walt's area.
Jonathan : Clark! Clark?
Jonathan spies the sauna and the broken glass. He looks through the window, seeing Clark.
Jonathan : Clark! Clark! Clark!
Jonathan tries to open the door but it's locked. He bangs on it, puts his shoulder to it, finally kicks it down. He rushes over to Clark.
Jonathan : Can you hear me? Are you all right?
Clark : It's the meteor rocks.
Jonathan : Come on. Come on.
Jonathan drags Clark out of the room. Suddenly, Coach Walt sneaks up on Jonathan from behind and hits him over the head with a fire extinguisher.
Jonathan : Aahhh!
Clark and Jonathan fall to the ground. We can see that Clark regains his powers by the morphing of his hand. Coach Walt goes to bash Clark but Clark blocks him and sends him flying across the room and through a glass wall. The coach hits a bench in the locker room and falls to the floor, stunned. Clark walks over as Coach Walt struggles to sit up.
Clark : Coach, you need help.
Coach Walt : [Getting up and backing away] What I need is to win this game!
Clark : It's too late for that.
The coach closes his eyes, concentrates, and the whole room bursts into flames. Clark looks around, unimpressed. As the flames engulf him, Clark walks right through them.
Coach Walt : How did you do that?
Clark's jacket is burning. He takes it off.
Clark : [Dryly] It's in the genes.
The coach takes a swing at Clark. Clark dodges then sends the coach flying into the wall by the showers.
Clark : Give it up, Coach! You've lost!
Coach Walt : [Yelling in manic frustration] No-o-o-o-o-o!
The showers turn on, raining fire down on the coach. The coach is engulfed in a huge conflagration as Clark watches.
Cut to the outside of the Luthor estate. It's nighttime. Cut to Lionel Luthor walking into Lex's office holding some papers.
Lex gets up from behind his desk and is walking over to meet his dad in the middle of the room.
Lex : Two trips in one week. I'm flattered, Dad.
Lionel : What is this?
Lionel waves a report