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Act 1 Teaser
The football rests in its cradle in the middle of the Smallville High School football field. Day. The bleachers are full of cheering fans as the game is beginning. A whistle is blown and the ball is kicked out of its cradle and soars toward the goalpost. Behind the cradle, we see Clark sitting on the bench with several other players on his team. Jason is standing near them, watching the game, as is Coach Quigley.
Announcer : Here's the kickoff! The winner of today's game will move on to the state championship one week from today.
A player on Smallville's team catches the ball and runs toward the opposite end of the field. He is tackled by a player from the other team. The whistle blows.
Quigley : [To the guys on the bench.] Get in there!
All the players on the bench stand up and walk toward the field. Jason pats Clark on the back as he passes.
Jason : Play a good game, buddy.
Quigley : Let's go. Good hustle, fellas.
Cut to the basement of the school. The announcer and the people cheering in the bleachers can still distantly be heard. Chloe walks down the dark hallway and stops in an even darker corner where an attractive young man is leaning against the wall, waiting for her in the shadows. His name is Mikhail Mxyzptlk.
Chloe : So. Are you the guy?
Mikhail : [In a foreign accent.] Well, I guess that depends on what you're looking for.
Chloe : [Having trouble pronouncing his name.] Um, Mikhail Mik-Mixl-Ptglix?
Mikhail : [Pronouncing it slowly, sounding it out.] Mix-il-pitilik. Let me guess. You want to buy a vowel.
Chloe : [Laughing nervously.] No, I just would like to put 80 on the game.
Mikhail : What, you mean the game that's started already? Well, I'm sorry. I can't take bets after kickoff.
Chloe looks disappointed.
Mikhail : [Charming.] Rookie, huh? Well, maybe in your case, I'll make an exception.
Chloe smiles and hands him some cash.
Chloe : Thanks. Can you, uh, put me down for Smallville to win?
Mikhail : You sure about that? I have a funny feeling about the quarterback today.
Chloe : Yeah, well, as much as I hate to admit it, I never bet against Clark Kent.
Mikhail : Mm. Well, suit yourself. Don't say I didn't warn you. Rule number one: A bet is a bet.
Chloe walks away from Mikhail and toward the outdoors.
Cut to a shot of the scoreboard on the football field. The Crows are 21 and the guests are 24. The clock is stopped.
Announcer : Twenty seconds left in the fourth quarter. It's fourth and one.
The announcer continues to speak as Coach Quigley gives the players a pep talk.
Quigley : This is it boys! This is what we've been working for!
Martha and Jonathan sit together in the bleachers. Martha is clapping and smiling excitedly as Jonathan takes a nervous breath. The team huddles break, and the players get into position. Chloe and Lana are now sitting next to each other in the bleachers and clapping as the play is about to begin. Chloe glances a few seats to her left where Mikhail is now seated. He is watching the field quietly. Clark gets into position behind the crouched player.
Clark : All right, guys, here we go. Ready? Blue-72! Blue-72! Hut!
The ball is passed to Clark and he starts to run with it. He fakes a pass to another member of his team who then pretends like he is running with the ball in his arms, but the ball is still with Clark. The player who faked the catch is intercepted by a member of the other team and gets flipped over the guy's back and lands on the ground.
Clark then tosses the ball to another Crows player running next to him who catches it and runs nearly the length of the field. Chloe and Lana watch closely, clapping their hands. Mikhail is still motionless as he watches the game.
Mikhail : [Quietly.] Fumble.
The player loses his grip on the ball and it falls to the ground, bouncing several times. But before the ball even loses any momentum, Clark runs up behind it and picks it up, running steadily to the goal post. Martha and Jonathan stand up along with everyone else in the crowd, and Martha squeals with excitement.
Mikhail : Trip.
Clark loses his footing and begins to stumble. There is a player from the other team standing in his way, ready to take him down before he gets the touchdown. But as Clark is losing his balance, he ends up ramming into the other player's chest with his head and they both fall down at the end of the field. The referee blows his whistle.
Announcer : Touchdown! Clark Kent! The Crows win again! What a victory!
Lana and Chloe jump to their feet screaming. Jason cheers from the sidelines. Martha throws her arms around Jonathan who now looks concerned. Mikhail looks around angrily and stands up. All of the Crows come to Clark to congratulate him, while the players from the other team surround the guy that Clark knocked down. He is still lying on the ground groaning in pain. Clark takes off his helmet and looks at the player. Martha and Jonathan exchange a worried look. One of the players kneeling next to the injured team member glares at Clark angrily.
Act 1 Scene 1
Outside shot of the Smallville Medical Center. Night. The injured football player is sitting in a hospital room having a sling put onto his arm. Jason and Coach Quigley stand outside the room watching through the open door. Clark gets off the elevator nearby.
Clark : Is he okay?
Jason : His collarbone's broke in two places. I can't figure out how you could pummel a guy that outweighs you by 100 pounds and shatter his collarbone.
Clark : I'm sorry. It must've been an accident. I mean, I got a surge of adrenaline.
Jason : Adrenaline doesn't explain the fact that you went from chucking bales of hay to chucking 60-yard passes overnight.
Clark : I guess I'm a fast learner. I mean, you said yourself I was a natural.
Jason : Yeah, a natural who adamantly refuses to see a doctor after he collapsed a couple weeks ago.
Clark : What are you trying to say?
Jason : Coach Quigley thinks your on some kind of performance-enhancing drug.
Clark : [Stunned.] Like steroids? [Jason nods.] What do you think?
Jason : Well, I put myself on the line and said there's no way that Clark Kent would do something like that.
Clark : [Pause.] I'm not on drugs.
Jason : I hope not. Because if it comes out that you're not on the same playing field as these guys, let's just say it's gonna be pretty disappointing to have to forfeit an entire championship season. [Clark looks away.] And a college career.
Clark returns his gaze to Jason, and Jason walks away. Clark then looks through the window into the patient room.
Act 1 Scene 2
Outside shot of Lex's mansion. Night. Lex is seated at his desk in the study. Mikhail is seated across from him.
Lex : I can't imagine what it must've been like to grow up in a war-torn country.
Mikhail : [Looking around at the room.] Obviously, I mean, I guess this is as far as you can get from scavenging the streets, but growing up hand-to-mouth, uh, does tend to make you resourceful.
Lex : Resourceful enough to get the attention of my father's LuthorCorp foreign exchange scholarship. [Mikhail nods proudly.] So how do you like Smallville High?
Mikhail : I think it is the perfect place to make my American dream. There are many opportunities, and the girls are pretty.
Lex : Well, I hope the classes aren't too difficult for you. I reviewed your application. I must say, I was surprised by your poor test scores and grades.
Mikhail smirks at Lex, waiting for him to continue. Lex stands up and walks to the bar to make a drink. He puts several ice cubes into a glass.
Lex : Look, Mikhail, I'm just curious why my father would award a scholarship historically earmarked for future Nobel prize winners to a perennial "C" student.
Mikhail : You want to send me back?
Lex : No. I'd just like to know what you're really doing here. What potential did my father see in you, Mikhail?
Lex takes a lime from the fruit bowl and starts to slice it with a sharp knife.
Mikhail : [Quietly.] Cut.
Lex's knife slips and he cuts his finger, drawing blood. He gasps quietly and brings the wound to his mouth. He doesn't seem to have heard Mikhail's jinx.
Mikhail : [Smiling.] Potential you do not see on a report card, Mr. Luthor.
Act 1 Scene 3
Outside shot of Smallville High. Day. Chloe is in the Torch office typing on the computer. Mikhail stands silently in the open doorway behind her for a few moments, then knocks on the door. Chloe turns around.
Chloe : Oh, hey. I didn't realize bookies made house calls, especially after hours.
Chloe closes her document on the computer, picks up a stack of files, and takes them to the other desk as Mikhail walks into the room.
Mikhail : Well, I guess I just walked right into the lion's mouth, hmm?
Chloe : What are you talking about?
Mikhail : Well, you know, you're a first timer, and you show up at the end of the season. I have some questions. And, uh, I don't think it is coincidence that you are also Smallville's most notorious whistle blower.
Smiling, Chloe walks back to the desk that Mikhail is standing next to and sits on it.
Chloe : Notorious, huh? I like the sound of that.
Mikhail : So, uh, this bet was just research for the article.
Chloe : Front page if you play your cards right.
Mikhail : Well, I don't suppose that being a local celebrity is going to be good for business.
Chloe : I think maybe you should, uh, change professions.
Mikhail : You just found my Achilles' heel.
Chloe : What, greed?
Mikhail : No, uh, pretty girls with infectious smiles.
Chloe : [Grinning.] I'm still writing the article.
Chloe sits down at her computer. Mikhail takes the chair from the other desk and sits down next to her.
Mikhail : If you don't even know when to place a bet, I don't think you have the inside scoop you are looking for. Promise not to mention my name, and I'll let you shadow me. I'll be your personal escort through the seedier parts of Smallville.
Chloe : [Intrigued.] If I cut you a break, I expect a full behind the scenes tour.
Mikhail : Of course. And the first stop is the winner's circle.
Mikhail pulls a thick wad of cash out of his pocket and starts counting it. He hands a small stack of 20-dollar bills to Chloe. She takes the money reluctantly.
Mikhail : So, what are you going to do with the money?
Chloe : Uh, textbooks.
Mikhail : [Unimpressed.] Ooh, don't go too crazy, huh?
Chloe : Yeah, well, my dad's on unemployment, so my college fund sort of took a massive hit this year.
Mikhail : [He nods.] How would you like to make enough money to pay for an entire semester's tuition before tomorrow morning? I have to go to the Sharks game in Metropolis tonight, Sharks 8 to 1. [Chloe doesn't respond.] Chloe, if you want the big article, you have to get inside the mind of a gambler. You have to be ready to raise the stakes. [Challenging.] That is, uh, if you aren't scared.
Chloe : Count me in.
Chloe gives the money back to Mikhail with a coy smile, and he leaves the office.
Act 1 Scene 4
Outside shot of the Kent farm. Day. Clark is seated in the kitchen, staring downward unhappily. Jonathan is standing near him pouring a cup of coffee.
Jonathan : There's more to life than championships, Clark.
Clark : I bet it's easier to say that when you have one. Dad, when I put on that uniform, it's like I forget who I am. But at the same time, I've never known myself better. It's more than just a game.
Jonathan : Clark, I allowed you to join the football team because I thought you understood your responsibility not to let anybody get hurt out there.
Clark : And I accepted that responsibility because I know I can control my abilities.
Jonathan : Then why don't you explain to me why there's a kid lying in a hospital bed right now?
Clark : Have you ever seen me trip? Ever? [Jonathan can't respond.] Something happened out on the field. It was like I couldn't control my own legs.
Jonathan : Just because you are strong does not mean you can't get rattled out there just like anybody else. Now, I'm sorry, but the last place you need to be right now is out on that football field, and you know it. [Clark refuses to make eye contact.] Coach Quigley is likely to be at the victory party tonight. Now, I'll give him a call and I'll be the bad guy.
Clark : [Standing up.] No, Dad. Like you said, it's my responsibility.
They look at each other for a moment, then Clark walks away.
Act 1 Scene 5
The Talon is full of high school students talking and dancing to loud music at the victory party. Day. There are decorations up for the party including a banner that says "Go Crows." There is a small group of cheerleaders standing around the punch bowl. Martha passes by them with a tray of pastries which she sets on the bar next to where Jason is standing. She smiles at him and touches him on the shoulder as she walks by. Clark enters wearing his letterman jacket and walks to Jason.
Clark : Hey, coach, can I talk to you for a second?
Jason : What's up?
Another player walks up and interrupts and slaps Clark on the chest happily.
Guy : Kent, Kent! Huge save today! Oh, man what a play! You put us in the championship!
The guy pulls Clark away from Jason and another player walks up to congratulate Clark.
Clark : No, the team put us in the championship.
Guy : I can see the ring on my finger already.
Guy #2 : I can see the scholarships already
Guy : Oh yeah! Whoo!
Clark looks at Jason apologetically. A cheerleaders comes over to Clark.
Cheerleader : Hey, Clark, you're here! Ta-da!
Two other cheerleaders walk out carrying a huge cake that looks like a football field with sparkling candles on it. They set the cake on the bar and everyone applauds for Clark. A young man standing nearby pulls the "Go Crows" banner down from the ceiling puts it around Clark's shoulders like a cape.
Guy : [Breaking up the applause.] Whoa, whoa, whoa. Coach!
All the football player start to chant.
Players : Coach! Coach! Coach! Coach!
Coach Quigley walks to the center of the team.
Quigley : All right! All right! [Everyone quiets down.] Topeka West may have three titles under its belt, but I know we have a real shot at the championship, and this year we got it all! An impenetrable defense, an aggressive offense, [He looks at Clark.] and a golden arm!
Everyone starts to cheer again and a few guys pat Clark on the back. He accepts the praise reluctantly.
Quigley : Let's go take the title home!!!
The whole crowd cheers with enthusiasm and they start to chant.
Crowd : Crows! Crows! Crows! Crows!
Clark looks at Jason who is still standing next to the bar. Jason looks back at Clark seriously.
Act 1 Scene 6
Outside shot of Smallville High. Day. Chloe enters the Torch office wearing an expensive-looking pair of sunglasses, a new jacket, and carrying a couple of shopping bags. She puts the bags down on the desk and doesn't see that Mikhail is seated at the other desk behind her.
Mikhail : I like the new textbooks.
Chloe : [Startled, but pleased to see him.] Hi. Don't worry, I just took 10 percent off the top for fun. The rest of my winnings are tucked safely away for college tuition.
Mikhail : Hmm. Well, I'm glad that my tip paid off for you.
Chloe : [Putting her bags on the floor.] Are you kidding me? The game was awesome! I haven't had that much fun on a couch since Johnny Rosenblatt in fifth grade. I mean, all of those painted beer bellies and foam hands suddenly make sense when you have something riding on the game.
She turns on her computer.
Mikhail : Well, now, see? Why would you want to go and spoil all the fun by writing that article?
Chloe : Because it just keeps getting juicier by the minute.
Mikhail : Are you sure about that?
Chloe : What, are you going to do something to change my mind?
Mikhail walks up to her and stares at her flirtatiously.
Chloe : Nice try. You're very cute. But I already gave you anonymity, and it's going to press tonight.
Mikhail : [Walking closer.] But you're only just starting to scratch the surface and I can give you so much more dirt.
Chloe : You're just trying to stall the article, aren't you?
Mikhail : I don't think you understand me, Chloe. [Almost a whisper.] I always get what I want.
Chloe : [Jokingly.] On looks, apparently because your charm just ran out.
Chloe starts to walk past him.
Mikhail : Stop.
Chloe stops moving immediately, staring at him with surprise.
Mikhail : Kiss me.
Clearly against her will, Chloe kisses Mikhail slowly on the lips. He breaks the kiss and puts his mouth to her ear.
Mikhail : This is me asking you nicely. Now, you are going to drop that article whether you want to or not.
Mikhail steps away from Chloe and looks at her silently. She looks back at him with fear and confusion. He leaves the office.
Fade to black.
Act 2 Scene 1
Outside shot of the barn on the Kent farm. Day. Inside Clark is standing on the ground floor with a football in his hand. There are several more footballs sitting next to him on a table. He tosses the football at a tire swing that is hanging several feet away, and the football goes straight through the middle of the tire. He picks up another ball and repeats the process, making it through the tire again.
Then he walks to another table where there is a small lead box. He opens the box revealing a tiny piece of kryptonite. His head shakes slightly with the pain, but he fights it as he picks up the rock and holds it in his hand. He closes his fingers around it and walks slowly back to the footballs to pick up another one.
Holding the kryptonite in his left fist, he throws the football with his right hand, completely missing the tire. Martha enters behind him.
Martha : I've never seen you miss before. [Clark doesn't turn around.] I've also never seen you shrink away from responsibility, no matter how difficult.
Clark : You saw the look on those guys' faces. I couldn't let them down. I just thought I could find a way to play like everyone else.
Martha walks around him to see his face. She notices his clenched fist.
Martha : Clark. Open your hand.
Clark opens his hand and shows her the glowing kryptonite.
Martha : What are you doing? [She grabs the rock away from him.] You know how dangerous kryptonite is.
She puts it in the box and closes the lid.
Clark : Well, I always get better after it's gone. And so what if I'm playing sick? Other guys play injured. [He walks over to the tire swing and picks up the football from the ground.]And if Dad knows I don't have my abilities and I can't hurt anyone--
Martha : [Stern.] You are not taking meteor rocks out on that field. I know this is hard, but you can't make yourself sick.
Clark : And I can't quit, either.
Martha : Clark, the answer is no. You asked your father if we'd ever seen you trip before. Never. Not without kryptonite. I was so excited to see you get a chance to be like everyone else that I guess I forgot for a moment that you aren't. I didn't think anything of it when you tripped, but you've never had mishaps like other kids. [Clark turns to look at her.] Something happened to you out there, and if you really want to play in the game on Saturday, you need to find out what it was.
Clark nods. Martha touches his shoulder and smiles at him lovingly.
Act 2 Scene 2
Clark is in the Torch office. Day. He is watching a videotape of the game from the other day. He rewinds it over and over and watches the part where he tripped. Chloe enters and Clark stands up as if to leave.
Chloe : It's all right, Clark. You can stay.
Clark : I thought you had some self-imposed restraining order against me. Does this mean you're talking to me again?
Chloe : No, this just means that I'm willing to take a chance on getting your Dr. Jekyll side today. [Noticing the paused video.] What's up with the self flogging?
Clark : I'm watching the sports editor's tape of the game, trying to figure out what happened, but... It's like I had no control, like my mind was sending one message, but--
Chloe : But your body was getting another.
Clark : Yeah.
Chloe : It's Mikhail.
Clark : The foreign exchange kid? Mix-uh
Chloe : Mxyzptlk. Say that three times fast. He's our new resident puppet master. This is kind of embarrassing, but he made me kiss him.
Clark : [Slightly doubtful.] Made you.
Chloe : Yeah. It was just like how you explained your trip. It was like someone else was controlling me.
Clark : Okay, but why would he want me to throw the game?
Chloe : Clark, he is the biggest bookie in the school. [She sits down at her computer.]
Clark : The power to control the odds.
Chloe : Let me do a search on his name.
Chloe types Mxyzptlk into the search engine. Nothing comes up.
Chloe : I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Mxyzptlk didn't bring anything up.
Clark : [Pointing to the screen.] What's that?
Under the search bar, it says "Did you mean Kltpzyxm?"
Chloe : It's Mikhail's name backwards.
She clicks Yes. A painting appears on the screen. In the background there is a burning village and to the left and the right are townspeople running around in distress. Down a pathway in the center of the painting walks a black cat.
Clark : It looks like a nursery rhyme gone bad.
Chloe : Yeah. [Reading.] It's some legend from the Piatore region in the Balkans. That's near where Mikhail's from.
Chloe stands up and goes to the other desk. Clark sits down at the computer.
Clark : It says the region has been terrorized for centuries by a bloodline of people who have-- who can control the hand of luck.
Chloe : It's not exactly luck if they're controlling people. What does it say about the backwards name?
Clark : The family changed their name a century ago and fled the area to escape the stigma after the village mysteriously burned to the ground.
Chloe : Looks like Mikhail's still running from his heritage. [She comes back to the computer.] It doesn't exactly say how to stop the kissing bandit, does it? [Noticing something on the screen.] Oh, here. According to the legend, the only thing that stopped them was a plague of locusts.
Clark : There may be one other force they didn't count on. Think about it. Who brought him here in the first place?
Act 2 Scene 3
Lex is playing pool as he talks to Clark in his study. Day.
Lex : You want me to deport a LuthorCorp exchange student?
Clark : Gambling on Crows games isn't a sanctioned extracurricular.
Lex : I'm surprised you care so much about some half-rate bookie. Or is there something else about Mikhail you're not telling me?
Clark : Lex, you sponsored him. I just thought you might want to do something about it.
Lex : Of course I'll look into it. But I'm surprised you didn't go to the principal first or Coach Teague. But then I can see how that could be more complicated than it sounds.
Clark : [Pause.] Why would it be more complicated?
Lex : Come on. I can't be the only one who's picked up on Lana's fondness for quarterbacks. Even retired ones.
Clark : Yeah, to be honest, it has been hard to see her with someone else.
Lex : Don't worry. Paris can have a magical effect on people, but the enchantment has a funny way of waning the longer you're gone.
Clark : I know Lana. She's never been this serious about anyone.
Lex : You sound awfully concerned about that for someone who let her walk out of his life.
Clark : Yeah, I guess the whole "If you love them set them free" thing kind of backfired.
Lex : It's not about love, Clark. It's about what you're willing to do for it. On that field, you'll do whatever it takes to win, but if you're not willing to do the same for Lana, maybe she doesn't mean as much to you as you think.
Lex watches Clark for a response. Clark merely thinks about what Lex said.
Act 2 Scene 4
Lana is in her apartment above the Talon talking to Jason. Day.
Lana : Clark on steroids. It's a little hard to picture.
Jason : It happens to a lot of guys. You want so badly to outperform everyone, before you know it, all you care about is winning, no matter what the cost.
Lana : [Sympathetic.] You're not responsible for Clark.
Jason : Actually, I am. Coach Quigley asked me to give him a drug test, and I never mentioned it to Clark, so I lied and said he came back clean.
Lana : Why would you do that?
Jason : I don't know. Because I believe in Clark. And because he knows about us. I didn't want to stir the waters. If he wanted to get back at me, all he's gotta do is tell somebody at the school and I lose my job.
Lana : Clark wouldn't make it personal.
Jason : Why not? I mean, I can't imagine what I would do if somebody tried to take you away from me.
Lana : Nobody took me away from Clark. I left.
Jason : Right.
Lana : Clark's a big part of the reason why I took off for Paris in the first place.
Jason : Oh, well, that must be from the book of things you never want to hear about your girlfriend's ex.
Lana : Look, Jason, I'm with you now, and I couldn't be happier. And I know, I know, Clark can be unpredictable, but he knows that you need this job to stay in college.
Jason : I know it's hard because you've been so close to him, but are you sure you really know him?
Lana can't respond.
Act 2 Scene 5
Outside shot of Lex's mansion. Day. Mikhail is seated near the desk in the study and Lex is standing.
Lex : [Angry.] Don't get me wrong, Mikhail, I appreciate your entrepreneurial ingenuity, but importing bookies tends to reflect poorly on a company.
Mikhail : These are just fun games.
Lex : The I.N.S. isn't exactly renowned for their good sportsmanship. They're revoking your student fees and sending you back home.
Mikhail : But a man like you can pull strings to keep me here, yes?
Lex : If I wanted to. But whatever talents my father saw in you, they're not worth the embarrassment you bring to me and my company. I've made the arrangements. You'll be halfway over the Atlantic by morning.
Lex starts to leave.
Mikhail : You don't really want that.
Lex stops and Mikhail stands up, coming toward him.
Mikhail : You want to know why your dad brought me here.
Lex : Not that badly.
Mikhail : What if we make a wager?
Lex : Now, why would I take a bet when I can just have you thrown out of here?
Mikhail : Because I know gamblers better than anybody. You're the caviar kind. See, when you hold everything in your hand, the only thing that can give you a thrill is putting your chips on the one thing that can slip through your fingers.
Lex is silent for a moment, then laughs softly.
Lex : And, uh... what would that one thing be, Mikhail?
Mikhail : Well, in this case, me. How much do you believe in this quarterback friend of yours Clark Kent?
Lex : The championship game? [Mikhail nods.] What's the wager?
Mikhail : If the Crows lose, you arrange citizenship for me and one million dollars to start anew again.
Lex : [Putting his hands on Mikhail's shoulders.] And if the Crows win? I have a hard time believing you can cover that bet.
Mikhail : I can't. But the reason your father brought me here was far more valuable than just money.
Lex looks at Mikhail inquisitively.
Act 2 Scene 6
Outside shot of Clark's loft. Night. Clark enters the loft and puts down his schoolbooks, sitting down on the desk. Mikhail enters.
Mikhail : [Sarcastic.] Oh, look. A real live American football superhero.
Clark : What are you doing here?
Mikhail : I came here to thank you for ratting me out to Lex. It wasn't hard to figure out. I knew Chloe would squeal, just not to him. She's too proud. You seem to be the common denominator, so you forget games are my business. So if you don't know the players, you cannot guess the outcome.
Clark : I thought you'd be halfway back to the Village of the Damned by now.
Mikhail : [He smiles.] I'm not cursed, Clark. I am lucky. And on Saturday, the championship game, I'm going to be very lucky.
Clark : If you think I'm gonna throw that game for you--
Mikhail : If? When there is an "if" there are odds, and I always win the odds.
Clark opens his mouth to argue further.
Mikhail : Choke.
Clark's breath suddenly cuts off and he begins to choke, falling to his knees and holding his throat. Mikhail kneels next to him.
Mikhail : For example, the odds in the championship are based on your playing. If you don't go out on the field, then my profit margin takes an unfortunate turn.
Clark continues to gag silently. The veins in his forehead are starting to bulge with his lack of oxygen.
Mikhail : That is why you're not going to tell anyone else about me and you are going to be on that field... unless you want to see more of your buddies in the hospital.
Mikhail gets up to leave. Clark remains on the floor choking as Mikhail starts down the stairs. About halfway down, he turns back to Clark.
Mikhail : Breathe.
Clark is immediately able to breathe again. He takes several large gasps of air as Mikhail leaves.
Fade to black.
Act 3 Scene 1
Chloe steps out of the Torch office with a file in her hands. Day. She seems to be looking for someone. Clark comes up behind her wearing his letterman jacket. The hall is full of students.
Clark : Chloe.
Chloe : Hey.
Jason walks up.
Jason : Clark, warm up in 15 minutes.
He walks away. Chloe and Clark walk side by side as they talk.
Clark : I sure hope you had better luck with the locusts than I did with Lex.
Chloe : The last time I checked, they weren't selling biblical plagues on Amazon, but since every legend is born in the seed of truth, I did look up our favorite apocalyptic critters.
Clark : Besides eating crops in a single bound, what else can they do?
Chloe : [Handing the file to Clark.] Well, when locusts swarm, they emit an energy wave to avoid crashing into each other. Maybe Mikhail's commands operate on a similar frequency, you know, like a radio signal.
Clark : Or a dog whistle. The sound travels, but the human ear doesn't pick it up.
Chloe : Yeah. Now, what's interesting is that once locusts' signals are jammed, they can't fly anymore without running into each other. It's permanent.
Clark : Well, maybe all we have to do is find something that will jam Mikhail's frequency for good.
Chloe : And I think I know just where to find that. So now we just have to find him.
Clark : Well, in his quest for the great American dream, he's got a lot of bets riding on this game. He'll be here.
Chloe : Okay.
Clark : I gotta go. [He hands her the file.]
Chloe : Good luck.
Clark : Thanks.
Clark walks away.
Act 3 Scene 2
Clark sits alone in the dark boys' locker room. Day. He is in deep concentration and we can hear the announcer of the game that is about to begin as the crowd cheers outside.
Announcer : Greetings, football fans, and welcome to the championship game between the Topeka Valley Huskies and your Smallville Crows!
Clark picks up his shoulder pads from where they are sitting next to him on the bench and puts them over his shoulders. He pulls the straps tight then tugs lightly on the shoulder pads to make sure they are secure. Then he stands up and goes to his locker, taking his shoes out of the locker and placing them on the bench next to his helmet.
After lacing up his shoes, he sits down on the bench and pulls his jersey down slowly over his head, staring forward with determination. He stands up again and looks toward the door, mentally preparing himself to go out onto the field.
Cut to the basement of the school. The other members of the team are running toward the field led by Coach Quigley. Jonathan is standing nearby waiting for Clark. Quigley shouts at the team energetically.
Quigley : All right, let's go! All right! Let's go, let's go! Come on, come on!
Clark finally comes into view and almost runs past Jonathan without seeing him.
Jonathan : Clark.
Clark turns around to face Jonathan as the rest of the team keeps running.
Jonathan : [Disappointed.] What are you doing?
Clark : You know what Mikhail said. He'd hurt those guys if I wasn't out there.
Jonathan : A bunch of 250-pound guys banging into each other on a football field is one thing. But getting hit by you is like getting run over by a freight train. It's a big difference, son.
Clark : I hope that doesn't happen. I think Chloe and I found a way to stop Mikhail.
Jonathan : Chloe and you think you've found a way to stop him? Well, I'm sorry, son. Thinking is not good enough.
Clark : Dad, I know you don't agree with me. But sometimes taking responsibility means having faith in yourself to make the hard choices.
Jonathan : And it also means being willing to accept the consequences.
Clark : Every handshake, every hug, every time I'm out on that field, I make a conscious decision to fall when those guys hit me so they don't get hurt. No matter how hard you try, you can't understand that. That's why it's my decision, not yours.
Jonathan is silent for a long moment. Then he takes a deep breath and smiles.
Jonathan : You're starting to sound more and more like your father.
Clark smiles in return.
Clark : I hope so, Dad.
Clark turns away and jogs toward the exit. Jonathan watches him go proudly.
Cut to the football field. The cheerleaders are standing in two parallel rows facing each other and waving their pom-poms in the air as the crowd screams with excitement. The Crows run between the rows of cheerleaders and onto the field.
Announcer : Now taking the field, your Smallville Crows! Today's Crows captains are seniors Cameron Jiff, Jay Crozer, Austin Thompson, and Clark Kent!
Clark Kent puts on his helmet as he runs onto the field.
Announcer : The Crows are undefeated in 13 contests this season. They are lead by third-year head coach Blaine Quigley. We'd like to thank today's sponsors the Smallville Ledger, LuthorCorp, D.D. Davenport's Autobody Shop, and Old Spice Red Zone.
Cut to Chloe walking through the basement of the school. She walks into the sound control room which is full of electronic equipment. She is the only one in the room, and there is a window on the far wall from which we can see the football field.
Chloe looks around the room and finds what she is looking for; an electronic box with several cables connected to it. She puts her small briefcase down on top of the box and disconnects one of the cables. Then she opens her briefcase which has a transistor radio in it and connects a wire from the radio to the box. She turns on the radio and we hear a high-frequency pitch that gets higher and higher as Chloe turns up the dial.
Outside, the sound is projected from the loudspeakers, but it doesn't block out the sound of the announcer's voice. In the bleachers, Mikhail suddenly covers his ears as the frequency is obviously causing him pain. Nobody else notices the sound.
On the field, both teams are just breaking up their huddles as Jason and Coach Quigley watch anxiously on the sidelines. The teams get into position facing each other with Clark standing behind another member of his team who is bent over and holding the ball.
Clark : Iowa 80! Iowa 80! Set! Hut! Hut!
The ball is passed to Clark and he backs up, preparing to throw it to another player.
Mikhail : Trip.
Clark is unaffected. He throws the ball to another Crow who catches it. The referee blows his whistle and the play ends.
Mikhail can still hear the frequency, and he covers his ears, confused and frustrated. Clark looks around, relieved that the play went well.
Chloe turns up the dial on the radio which increases the frequency, and Mikhail starts to squint against the pain. The players get into position again.
Clark : Iowa 80! Iowa 80! Set! Hut!
The ball is passed to Clark and the two teams charge at each other, colliding in the middle. Clark runs past another Crow and swiftly hands the ball to him. That player then starts his run toward the end of the field.
Mikhail : Fumble.
Again, there is no effect. The player continues his effortless run toward his goal. He even leaps over a fallen player from the other team without breaking rhythm. As he is nearing the end of the field, he decreases his speed happily, knowing that he is going to make it.
Announcer : Touchdown!
The Crows cheer, as does the crowd.
Clark : Yeah!
Coach Quigley claps and shouts enthusiastically.
A shot of the scoreboard shows that the score is Crows 7 and Huskies 0. We see a rapid sequence of clips from different plays.
In the first one, a new play starts and one of the Crows is running with the ball. A member of the opposing team tries to tackle him, but he pushes the player out of the way and keeps running. The Crows sitting on the bench cheer.
A shot of a Husky running with the ball in his arm, jumping over a fallen Crow and then a shot of the ball flying across the field and landing in a Crow's arms who is then tackled by a Husky.
A shot of the Crows kicking off and Jason standing on the sidelines with his arm raised triumphantly in the air. Mikhail stares downward in the bleachers, defeated.
A shot of a Husky making it to the end of the field with the football and scoring a touchdown. A shot of the Huskies standing in a circle on the field between plays doing their own type of cheer. The ball is tossed into the air, and when it lands in the middle of the circle, they all fall backwards onto the ground as if being blown back by an explosion. They all grunt loudly when they hit the ground.
A shot of a Crow hurling the ball across the field to where another Crow catches it. He dodges one tackle, then gets taken down by another one. Mikhail is becoming more aggravated.
A shot of Clark tossing the ball to another Crow who then tumbles over a heap of fallen players.
A shot of the fans in the bleachers standing up and cheering. In the middle of the crowd we see Jonathan and Martha.
A shot of the scoreboard shows that Crows are 17 and Huskies are 21.
Chloe is still in the sound room holding the transistor radio. In the bleachers, Mikhail touches his ears, then looks at his hands and sees blood on his fingers. He looks around and realizes that the frequency is coming from the loudspeaker. He gets up from his seat and walks away.
Cut to Mikhail making his way through the basement of the school toward the sound room holding his ears. He gets there and finds Chloe holding the radio. She looks up at him, startled.
Mikhail : Fancy toy!
He rips the wire out of the radio and the noise stops. Chloe pulls back her arm as if to punch Mikhail in the face.
Mikhail : Stop.
Chloe punches him.
Chloe : Looks like someone's been broken. Kind of sucks when you have to play fair, doesn't it?
Mikhail grabs her by the coat furiously and pushes her against the wall.
Mikhail : Yes, well, in my country, you do not survive if you cannot adapt to the unexpected.
He pulls out a switchblade and pops it open next to Chloe's face. She stares at the knife, frightened.
Cut to Jason taking a deep breath on the side of the field as the clock ticks down from 20 seconds to 19.
On the field, a group of Crows takes down a Husky with the ball.
Announcer : The Crows regain possession!
Jason becomes excited and sends the Crows sitting on the bench out onto the field as the crowd applauds.
Announcer : The Crows immediately call their last time out.
Clark is standing near the edge of the field and Mikhail is standing behind him.
Mikhail : Clark.
Clark turns around and walks to him.
Clark : What are you doing here?
Mikhail : [Holding up Chloe's press pass.] Here's how the last play in my game works. If the Crows score another touchdown, Chloe's dead. If you don't go back out on the field right now and lose the game, Chloe's dead.
Mikhail walks away as Jason walks up to Clark. Clark listens to Jason but his expression is distant and worried.
Jason : Kent. Let's go. [Putting his hand on Clark's shoulder.] All right. We're gonna do an ace back Montana post. This is it. This is for the title.
Jason pats Clark on the shoulder and Clark runs out onto the field.
Announcer : The Crows have first and ten on the 50-yard line. Five seconds remaining on the clock. Smallville has time for one more play. The season all comes down to this.
As the announcer is speaking, the team huddles are breaking up.
Clark : All right, guys, let's do it!
They all clap their hands once and run out to the middle of the field and get into position, hunched down across from the other team.
Clark : Blue 32!
Martha and Jonathan watch nervously.
Clark : Blue 32!
Clark looks at the bottom of the bleachers and uses his X-ray vision to look through the concrete wall. He sees Mikhail holding Chloe by the hair as he holds the knife near her throat.
Clark : Set! Hut!
As the time ticks down from 5 to 4 seconds, the ball is passed to Clark and he runs backward as the rest of the two teams run at each other. Another Crow is already running in the opposite direction, waiting for Clark to throw him the ball. Clark throws the ball high into the air toward the other player and the entire crowd is riveted. Jason and Coach Quigley are completely silent as they watch the ball fly through the air.
A Husky runs to Clark, about to tackle him, and Clark suddenly goes into super speed and runs off the field. We see him moving at normal speed while everyone around him seems to be frozen in time.
He runs into the basement of the school where we see two janitors in the process of mopping and sweeping the floor, but again, they are completely still. Clark takes off his helmet as he runs toward the sound control room where he finds Mikhail and Chloe facing each other.
Chloe's hands are handcuffed together and she holds them up in front of her trying to ward Mikhail off. Mikhail is holding the knife pointed at her as if about to stab her. Clark slaps the knife out of Mikhail's hand and pushes him away from Chloe. Then he rips the chain off of Chloe's handcuffs. Mikhail and Chloe stay frozen in their new position and Clark puts on his helmet as he runs out of the sound room and back onto the field.
He gets in front of the Husky who was just about to tackle him and he goes back into normal speed, raising his arm into the air as if he had just thrown the ball. The Husky knocks into Clark's chest, and Clark allows himself to be taken down.
In the sound room, the momentum of Clark's push sends Mikhail flying backwards and crashing into the wall. Chloe looks over at him, unsure of what has just happened.
On the field, the Crow that Clark threw the ball to is still running toward the goal post with his neck craned up to see the ball coming toward him. Jason mouths the words "Come on" and Martha and Jonathan watch the football coming toward the earth.
The Crow jumps into the air and reaches out, catching the football and then falling to the ground just as the clock reaches 0.
Announcer : Touchdown! The Crows win! Can you believe that?!
Martha and Jonathan scream with joy. Jason throws his arms into the air. The roar of the crowd is deafening. The Crow who caught the ball gets back to his feet and holds the ball high above his head.
Announcer : Clark Kent makes another unbelievable play!
In the sound control room, Chloe looks down at the broken chain of her handcuffs, then over at Mikhail who is unconscious on the floor. She cannot figure out what has happened.
Clark is still lying on the field after being tackled. Another member of his team takes his hand and helps him to his feet and holds Clark's head to his own in a half hug as he laughs hysterically.
Player : Yeah!!! Come on, man! We'll miss the party! Ow! Whoo!
He pulls a smiling Clark toward the other players. Martha and Jonathan hug ecstatically. The players and cheerleaders all converge at the end of the field and lift Clark onto their shoulders.
Clark : Yeah! Whoo!
Fade to black.
Act 4 Scene 1
Outside shot of the Kent farmhouse. Night. Jonathan and Martha are in the kitchen. Jonathan is holding a tray of tea and Martha puts a note next to a plate of cookies and a glass of milk on the counter. Clark enters in his letterman jacket and smiles when he sees the cookies.
Jonathan : Oh, looks like championship quarterbacks no long have a curfew, huh?
Clark : [His smile fades.] I'm late. Sorry.
Martha : [Quietly.] Jonathan.
Jonathan : Clark. Your mother and I know that Mikhail was arrested. Now, when I was out on that same field, all I had to worry about was completing the next pass or whether or not I was gonna get sacked. But we're very proud of you.
Martha : For everything.
Clark smiles again.
Martha : [To Jonathan.] Hey, you. Come on. [To Clark.] Good night.
Jonathan : Good night.
Jonathan and Martha leave the room as Chloe knocks on the door and enters.
Chloe : I don't know what it is with you, but no matter how many times I put you in the penalty box, it never sticks. I hear you're quite the hero tonight, Clark Kent.
Clark : Yeah, well, if it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have won the game.
Chloe : Yeah, well, you can thank Uncle Sam for that. [Clark doesn't understand.] My Uncle Sam. It's amazing the access a three-star general has to cool toys. And you never know when a jamming device for stealth fighters will come in handy at a football game.
Clark : Because of that jamming device, Mikhail can't control anyone anymore.
Chloe : Awesome. [She sits on the counter.] But what I don't understand is how I miraculously came untied.
Clark : [Avoiding the subject.] And what I don't understand is how you get sucked into anything besides anonymous tips.
Chloe : Well, we all have our weaknesses, I guess. Except for you of course.
Chloe and Clark look at each other silently.
Act 4 Scene 2
Outside shot of Metropolis. Day. Lex and Mikhail stand outside an elevator door in the LuthorCorp office.
Lex : I think you'll find your new accommodations a lot more comfortable than the county lockup.
The elevator opens and they step inside.
Mikhail : And, uh, where are you taking me?
Lex : Don't worry.
Lex holds his LuthorCorp identification badge in front of a screen on the wall, and a small square appears on the screen. Lex presses his thumb to the square so that the computer can identify his thumbprint. The print is accepted and the screen says "Lex Luthor."
Lex : You're gonna have a lot of company. [The elevator starts to ascend.]
Mikhail : I'm not worried. I have the feeling I can learn a lot from you. But I'm just sorry we can't make good on our agreement.
Lex : [He laughs.] You underestimate the value of my winnings.
Mikhail : I told you, Mr. Luthor. I've lost my talent.
Lex : Mikhail, if there's one thing I've learned, it's that anything lost can be found again.
Mikhail : If you knew I had a special talent, then why did you bet against me?
Lex : I didn't. I bet on Clark Kent.
The elevator stops on the floor 33.1 and the door slides open. They step off the elevator and Mikhail looks around slowly in awe, though we don't see what he is looking at.
Lex : Like I said. You're not alone.
Mikhail nods slowly.
Act 4 Scene 3
Outside shot of Smallville High as students enter the building. Day. In the hallway, Lana is at her locker. Clark walks over to her.
Clark : Lana. Hey, where's Jason? I've been looking for him. I actually left him three messages.
Lana : [Keeping her back to Clark.] Yeah, I know.
Clark : Well, I thought he'd want to know that Metropolis University offered me a scholarship.
Lana : [Unenthusiastic.] That's great, Clark.
Clark : One of the scouts he called saw me in the game. I wanted to thank him for trusting me.
Lana : [Shutting her locker.] Well, it's too bad that you couldn't return the favor. [She turns to him.] Jason was fired this morning.
Lana walks away angrily and Clark watches her with surprise.
Act 4 Scene 4
Outside shot of Lex's mansion. Night. Lex pokes at the fire in his study with a fire poker. Clark stands behind him.
Lex : It's good to know the local football star still has time for his friends.
Clark : [Cold.] I wouldn't put it like that.
Lex : [Facing Clark.] Wild guess. You're not talking about the football star part. [He puts down the poker.]
Clark : Maybe I wasn't clear. But what you and I talk about is supposed to stay between us.
Lex : I see.
Lex walks to the bar and opens a bottle of water. Clark follows.
Lex : So today I'm taking the role of the despicable, untrustworthy friend, and as usual, our hero is making the fatal flaw of jumping to conclusions.
Clark : Are you gonna tell me you're not the one who got Jason fired?
Lex : A teacher-student liaison is a taboo that's pretty hard to come back from.
Clark : Oh, you're gonna take the moral high ground on this.
Lex : Clark, I'd hate to see Lana's infatuation earn her a scarlet letter around town.
Clark : Well, she has you to thank for that. Because you and I were the only two who knew about it. Now everybody's talking. You didn't do this to protect her.
Lex : [Stepping closer.] You know Lana isn't meant to be with Jason.
Lex walks toward the fireplace, his back to Clark.
Clark : Maybe a year ago, I would've believed that you got him fired out of some twisted loyalty from being my friend. But you didn't do this for me. Why did you do it?
Lex turns to face Clark and looks at him with a small ambiguous smile.