Originally aired October 20, 2005
Written by Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer
Directed by Bradford May
After hitting her head while diving into a lake, Lois is saved by Arthur "A.C." Curry, a mysterious swimmer. Clark begins attending college and meets his new History professor, Milton Fine (secretly Brainiac).
Tropes present in the episode:
- 90% of Your Brain: In his introductory scene, Professor Fine/Brainiac claims humans only use 10% of their brain capacity.Professor Fine: Do you know where the greatest supercomputer in the world resides? [points to his head] Right here. It's the human brain. Yet we only use ten percent of it.
- Almost Kiss: Lois and A.C, before he falls into the lake due to Leviathan, an earache-inducing sonar noise.
- Always Someone Better: A.C. can swim a lot faster than Clark can.
- Beach Episode: The closest the show has, with Clark, Lana, Lois and Chloe going to swim at Crater Lake.
- Body Horror: After being deprived of water for a long period of time, A.C.'s skin starts to dry out. Needless to say, it isn't a pretty sight.
- But Now I Must Go: A.C. to Lois at the end.
- Distressed Dude: A.C. is captured and held prisoner by Lex until Clark rescues him.
- Ear Ache: Leviathan, Lex's sonic weapon, causes A.C.'s ears to bleed.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Lois does this to A.C twice, first after he saves her from drowning and again at the café while she judges his fashion.
- Evil Teacher: Milton Fine AKA Brainiac, though Clark isn't aware of his true colors yet.
- Fanservice: Lois in a swimsuit and Female Gazes up A.C.'s torso are sure to serve everyone's interests.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Clark and A.C. become friend when working together to disable Project Leviathan.
- Kick the Dog: While A.C. is strapped to a table and growing weaker due to being out of the water for a while, Lex tauntingly holds a glass of water over his head before withholding it completely.Lex: You may be a fish out of water, but up here, I'm the shark.
- Love Triangle: Clark/Lois/A.C
- Making a Splash: A.C. can control water.
- Mythology Gag:
- Only a Flesh Wound: A.C to Lois after his earache out in the lake earlier. Though Lois insists he should see a doctor, A.C brushes it off as just a minor headache and (unknown to Lois) spontaneously recovers just from drinking glasses of water.
- Poorly Disguised Pilot: The episode is almost entirely devoted to a reinvention of the classic Aquaman character, with little relation to the regular plot. It was later revealed that The WB planned to launch a Smallville-esque Aquaman series called Mercy Reef. The proposed series would have diverged widely from the episode's version of the character; in the unaired pilot, Aquaman was played by Justin Hartley rather than Alan Ritchson, who played the character in Smallville. After the pilot failed, Hartley was cast as Green Arrow on Smallville and Ritchson keep guest-starring as Aquaman.
- Rescue Romance: Lois and A.C. romance starts with him rescuing her after she almost drowned.
- Romantic False Lead: A.C. and Lois are ultimately this to each other.
- Sexy Surfacing Shot: Lois surfacing out of the water in a bikini in Slow Motion, so the audience can drink in her curves. We even get a close up shot of her toned legs and navel. The shot would later make it into the opening credits when introducing Erica Durance as Lois Lane.
- Shirtless Scene: A.C. in the teaser and later in the episode.
- Arthur tells Lex "I don't travel with an entourage." This is a possible reference to the television series Entourage, in which the main character plays Aquaman in a fictional motion picture.
- The sequence of Lois climbing out of the water early on in the episode is extremely reminiscent of the iconic scene in the film Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
- Strapped to an Operating Table: A.C., after being captured by Lex.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: A.C. wants to protect the ocean and sea life, but his methods are questionable, to say the least.