Originally aired November 17, 2005
Written by Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer
Directed by Paul Shapiro
When Martha contracts a strange virus and Professor Fine claims that Jor-El is responsible, Clark resolves to follow his suggestion and destroy the Fortress in a desperate effort to save his mother, but he is not prepared for what happens when he and Fine arrive at the Fortress.
Tropes present in the episode:
- Aggressive Categorism: After Clark reveals that Fine is a Kryptonian, Jonathan warns him to steer clear of Fine and then declares that every Kryptonian that Clark has encountered has been bent on causing destruction. Martha immediately calls him on this, pointing out Clark is Kryptonian, but Jonathan counters that Clark is a Kryptonian raised with human values.Jonathan: Clark, I want you to steer clear of this fellow.Clark: I didn't have a choice.Jonathan: What do you mean? You always have a choice, son.Clark: I wanted to learn more about Jor-El.Jonathan: I'll tell you what you need to know—every Kryptonian has been hell-bent on death and destruction.Martha: You can't judge an entire people by the acts of a few. Clark is Kryptonian.
- Calling the Old Man Out:
- Martha calls Jonathan on judging all Kryptonians as evil and basing his opinions on the actions of just a few people.
- Clark goes to the Fortress to confront Jor-El, believing him to be the one who infected Martha. It turns out Jor-El isn't responsible.
- Insufferable Genius: Fine/Brainiac shows this trait after Clark inserts the black crystal into the Fortress's console and he weakens him with Kryptonite.Clark: You're not even Kryptonian, are you?!Brainiac: I was created by Kryptonians, but I'm a whole lot smarter!
- Jerkass Has a Point: Jonathan may have been out of line for deeming the entire Kryptonian race as evil based on the actions of just a few individuals, but he does end up being right about Fine having an ulterior motive for helping Clark in the previous episode.Jonathan: Clark, we don't have any idea who this professor really is.Clark: He's done nothing but help so far. He told me the truth about Lex. He saved Lana. He took the Silver Kryptonite out of me.Jonathan: But why, Clark? We have no idea what his motives really are!
- Kill All Humans: Brainiac announces Zod's plan to wipe out the human race and re-create Krypton on Earth.Brainiac: Finally, [Zod] will rid this fertile planet of the scourge of humans and create Krypton here on Earth.
- Nature vs. Nurture: When Martha points out their son is a Kryptonian after his Aggressive Categorism tirade, Jonathan replies that Clark only escaped the apparent "evil" of his native race by being raised by humans.
- Power Crystal: Fine/Brainiac gives Clark a black Kryptonian crystal so he can use it to destroy the Fortress and free Zod from the Phantom Zone.
- Red Herring: For a time, Clark is led to believe that Jor-El is responsible for infecting Martha, but it turns out that Fine/Brainiac is the one behind everything.
- Tainted Veins: Martha displays these after Brainiac infects her with a Kryptonian virus.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Jonathan calls Clark out for not telling him about Jor-El's deal earlier.Jonathan: Hey, wait a minute. Are you telling me Jor-El is responsible for this? [...] What's going on, Clark?Jonathan: So he is going after your mother. And why didn't you tell me about this before?Clark: I didn't want you and Mom to worry.
- Xanatos Gambit: Fine/Brainiac executes this on Clark to try and release Zod from the Phantom Zone.Brainiac: [as he weakens Clark with Kryptonite] I couldn't have done it without you! You're the only one who could affect the Fortress. Now that you've accomplished your task, you're just a petty annoyance.
- You Can't Fight Fate: After saying he isn't responsible for infecting Martha, Jor-El tells Clark that someone he loves will still die to compensate for his resurrection in "Hidden."Clark: If I'd have known someone close to me would die, I'd have given up my life.Jor-El: It was you who chose to give up your powers and turn your back on me.Clark: Please let her live!Jor-El: I am sorry, my son. The wheel of fate has already been set in motion. Even you cannot alter destiny.