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Recap / Smallville S 02 E 12 Insurgence

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Originally aired January 21, 2003

Written by Kenneth Biller & Jeph Loeb

Directed by James Marshall

Angered that his father had his mansion bugged with surveillance hardware, Lex hires a group of thugs to bug Lionel's office at LuthorCorp, but things go horribly wrong when the thugs take Lionel and Martha hostage. Lana has lunch with Henry Small and his wife, Jennifer.


Tropes present in the episode:

  • Absentee Actor: Allison Mack (Chloe) and Sam Jones III (Pete) do not appear in this episode.
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  • Bald of Evil: Pine has little hair on his head.
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Lex confronts Lionel about bugging the Luthor Mansion with surveillance hardware, but Lionel snidely dismisses him and leaves.
      Lex: Remember the new American Embassy in Moscow, Dad? It was so riddled with surveillance hardware, the State Department had to abandon it.
      Lionel: I've got a meeting. I don't have time to chat about foreign affairs.
      Lex: Actually, the topic is domestic. I've discovered a bug problem right here in my very own home.
      Lionel: [chuckles] Corporate espionage—it's a fact of modern business, Lex. I'm surprised your security was so lax. [starts to leave]
      Lex: It's still hard to imagine how the perpetrator could have gained access to the mansion.
      Lionel: [stops and sniffs the air] Do I detect a faint whiff of innuendo?
      Lionel: Oh, is that what this is about? Making an excuse for your defeat. Hmm? Because I don't have time for excuses. [starts to leave, then stops in the doorway] As for your bug problem... I suggest you call an exterminator. [leaves]
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    • After Jonathan rudely snubs Lex's help, Clark steps forward and tells his dad that what he did to Lex wasn't fair, but gets harshly told off by Jonathan.
      Clark: Dad, that was not fair!
      Jonathan: Everything was fine in this family until we let the Luthors into our lives!
      Clark: That wasn't Lex's fault!
  • Code Silver: Lionel and Martha get taken hostage by Pine and his goons at LuthorCorp.
  • Death Glare:
    • Lex does this to his father after Lionel rebuffs his calling him out for bugging the Luthor Mansion.
    • Jonathan gives Lex one while the latter is calling him out for always assuming the worst about him.
    • Martha glances angrily at Lionel after finding out that Lionel has Clark's spaceship key, bars of refined Kryptonite, and a file on Clark in his office safe.
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  • "Die Hard" on an X: Basically, Clark takes the place of John McClane despite his lack of police credentials, Pine and his goons stand in for Hans Gruber and his band of terrorists, Lionel is Joseph Takagi, Martha is Holly McClane, and the action takes place at LuthorCorp Plaza instead of the Nakatomi Building.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jonathan, very offended when Lex and Clark arrange for him and Martha to have dinner in Metropolis to help them mend fences following a heated argument early in the episode, harshly tells Lex off, earning himself a Calling the Old Man Out from Lex and then Clark, the latter of whom he tells it's not his job to fix everything and to stay out of things.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Nicky and Bishop don't take kindly to Pine shooting Kern, but they still work with him to get into Lionel's safe.
  • Event Title: The episode's title refers to Lex rebelling against Lionel by hiring a gang of thugs to bug the latter's office, only for the gang to stage their very own insurgence against Lex.
  • Feud Episode: Martha and Jonathan's relationship becomes strained after Martha is forced to cancel her anniversary picnic with Jonathan to come to work. Fortunately, they make up by the episode's end.
  • Internal Reveal: Martha tells Jonathan and Clark that Lionel kept a confidential file on Clark and had bars of Kryptonite in his safe, but she doesn't tell them that Lionel also had the Key to Clark's spaceship, which she hides in a flour container in the final scene.
  • Jerkass Ball: Jonathan grabs this when he angrily rails at Lex and then Clark for trying to help him make up with Martha. After learning that Martha is being held hostage at LuthorCorp, he's forced to swallow his pride and accept Clark's suggestion to ask Lex for a helicopter ride to Metropolis.
  • Kick the Dog: Lionel contemptuously dismissing Lex's implication that he had the Luthor Mansion bugged, and also mockingly suggesting that Lex hire an exterminator. Lionel, you Jerkass.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Defied. Clark prepares to break into the LuthorCorp building, only to be stopped by Lieutenant Maggie Sawyer, who tells him that the building is rigged with sensors that the thugs are monitoring, meaning he almost got his mother killed.
    Clark: My name is Clark Kent. My mom's a hostage being held up there.
    Sawyer: Thought you'd play hero? Assuming you're who you say, you almost got your mom killed. Every opening in there is wired with alarms. The kidnappers control the security system. And they've threatened to shoot hostages if anyone so much as sets a big toe inside.
  • Mythology Gag: Clark enters the LuthorCorp building by jumping to it from the neighboring Daily Planet building. That's right, leaping from a tall building.
  • Oh, Crap!: Clark's reaction just before he goes crashing through a window following his leap off the Daily Planet rooftop.
  • Parental Neglect: During a lunch with Lana, Jennifer, Henry Small's wife, claims that Henry doesn't keep in contact with any of his other children and warns Lana that Henry will lose interest in her eventually.
  • The Reveal: Lionel's office safe has bars of refined Kryptonite, a file on Clark, and the Key to Clark's ship.
  • Roofhopping: Clark jumps off the top of the Daily Planet building and crashes through a window in the LuthorCorp building.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Bishop is the only female member of Pine's team.
  • Terrible Trio: Pine, Nicky, and Bishop, after Pine shoots and kills Kern.
  • Token Good Teammate: Kern, who gets shot by Pine when he refuses to go along with their plan to rob Lionel's safe.
  • Token Minority: Bishop is the only black member of Pine's team.
  • Villain of the Week: Pine, Nicky, and Bishop.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lex's response to Jonathan after the latter angrily rejects his and Clark's well-meaning attempt to help him make up with Martha following a marital spat between them earlier in the episode.
    Lex: Mr. Kent... since the day I moved to Smallville, I've done nothing but try to be a friend to you. And in return, you do nothing but lecture me with sanctimonious platitudes. I'm done listening to them. [turns and leaves]

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