"Perry" is the eleventh episode of the first season of Smallville and the 11th produced episode of the series. Perry White arrives in Smallville in search of alien stories for a tabloid news show. He devises a dangerous scheme to expose Clark's superpowers, and Lex learns that Perry has powerful incriminating evidence of Lionel's shady past.
A comet hits the sun, causing the largest solar flares ever recorded. Clark is on his way to meet Pete at the Talon when he abruptly runs out of super speed in the middle of the road. A car driven by the perpetually drunk Perry White careens to miss him and hits a utility pole. Clark is unharmed by the power cables. He uses his super speed and super strength to rip the car door off and pull Perry to safety.
Perry had just been thrown out of the Wild Coyote. Back at the farm, Clark is driving fence posts when he misjudges his strength and drives one almost completely into the ground. Perry approaches and tells them that it was somehow Clark's fault that he swerved and crashed his car. He threatens to sue the Kents unless Clark takes him around town and help him investigate the meteor shower and its strange effects.
Clark takes Perry to the Talon, where Perry callously asks Template:Lana for an interview about the day of the meteor shower. She is offended and asks them both to leave. Perry asks him to take him to meet the editor of the Template:Torch which has "a reputation among the bug-eyed monster circles." Template:Chloe is eager to talk about her Wall of Weird until she learns that Perry works for X-Styles. Her interest is renewed when she realized that he is Perry White: multiple Pulitzer-nominated journalist extraordinaire.
Template:Lex is finishing up his last session with Dr. Claire Foster, talking about the art in the castle and claiming that he has no emotional issues. Lana arrives and asks Lex to do something to prevent Perry from interviewing or videotaping her. Lex says he'll make sure he doesn't bother her again. Perry was supposed to go back to the hotel, but Clark finds him back at the Wild Coyote. He asks what happened to his career, but they are interrupted by Lex. Perry promises Lex that he is not doing a story on Lionel, but Lex says this doesn't have anything to do with that and takes him to the bus stop. Lex hates Perry for approaching him at boarding school, scrounging for dirt on his father.
Thinking Perry has left Smallville, Clark returns home and helps his dad lift up the tractor. At first Clark doesn't seem to have any strength, then to his and Jonathan's shock, he throws the tractor clear over his head. It lands several miles away in front of Perry White at the bus stop. Clark superspeeds towards it and Perry looks on in wonder. Clark and Jonathan try to cover by saying it fell off a flat bed truck while someone was trying to steal it, but Perry maintains that it fell out the sky. The sheriff knows he's a drunk and doesn't pay him any attention. Instead of leaving town, Perry visits Chloe at the Torch to study her Wall of Weird. Chloe offers to help him find what he was looking for because he used to be the kind of journalist she wants to be. He insinuates that he had a great story about Lionel Luthor, but he was prevented from writing it. He also admits to being intrigued by Clark.
Clark and Jonathan guess Clark's problems have something to do with the solar flares, and Pete discovers that they have caused glitches and power surges all over the world. Clark decides to avoid using his powers until the effects from the flares wear off tomorrow. Chloe arrives to warn him that Perry is still investigating and seems particularly interested in Clark. Clark finds Perry in the barn yard. He has researched Clark's hero history in Smallville. Clark hears his mother calling and as he turns to go, he suddenly super-speeds away, right in front of Perry.
Lex is furious when he finds out that Dr. Foster will not sign off on his psychological release, recommending continuing sessions on an indefinite basis. She maintains that he has yet to deal with any of his emotional or physical trauma. Lex seems to know that she is right, but he is still upset and throws her out. Perry goes to Lex with information about Lionel, which he will trade to Lex for anything he knows about Clark. Perry guesses that the only reason Lex made friends with Clark was in order to investigate the mystery surrounding him. Lex reacts violently, threatening Perry if he doesn't stay away. He seems surprised by his own outburst. Trembling, he agrees to extra sessions with Dr. Foster.
Clark arrives home by bus that night. He says his speed gave out around Lake Tahoe (a thousand miles away). He tried to run home, but his speed gave out again around Colorado Springs. He barely had enough money for the bus ticket. He vows to stay home until the flare passes, but Perry has installed a camera crew outside. Clark's heat vision sets the curtains on fire and he worries that he'll burn the farm down. Jonathan lures Perry away from the farm so Clark and Pete can sneak out. Perry goes back to the Talon, apologizes to Lana, and asks her to take him to the bus stop.
Clark gets a distressed call from Lana at Saunder's Gorge, but his speed is still out, so Pete has to drive him. They make it to the viewpoint, where Perry is standing on a ledge. Lana explains that Perry got out of the car and threatened to jump unless she called Clark. Perry jumps to prove that Clark has the power to save him, and Clark dives to catch him. They both fall, but Perry has tied a rope to his ankle. Clark and Perry dangle perilously. Pete throws Clark another rope and hauls him up with the car. Perry's rope breaks and he grabs Clark. Pete successfully pulls the two up and Perry realizes his error when he sees Clark's bloody hands.
The next day, the effects of the flare have faded and Clark's powers are back to normal. He proves this with a neat little trick for his mom; he throws a bale of hay to the upper level of the barn and then superspeeds around to catch it. Lana comes by to tell Clark how much she cares about him. Clark takes Perry to the bus stop again and Perry admits that he feels guilty for tearing down someone who is so considerate of others. Perry says he now has the courage to finish the story he never wrote, and is going to try the Daily Planet. He also says he sees a glimmer of hope in Clark's journalism skills and they part on good terms.
- "To Littleville, Kansas and all the little Kansassians in it!"
- (slurring) "You walked right through the power lines?!"
- "Uh, you're a little drunk, Mr..."
- "White. Perry White."
- (to Clark) "I don't get you, kid. I strong-armed your parents, picked on your girlfriend, and ticked off your lady editor. And still, here you are trying to play the hero."
- "Sometimes Clark's faith in his fellow man outweighs his common sense."
- (to Perry) "Wise decision coming inside. The weather service expects a light shower of threshing machines followed by a drizzle of combines."
- "I already explained that."
- "It fell off a truck." That's not an explanation, that's a punchline."
- "I spent the morning combing through police records and newspaper stories. You're Johnny on the Spot, Clark. You're Smallville's own hero on deck."
- "Trust me, Mr. White, there's nothing special about me."
- "Oh, that's where you're wrong, kid. So far I got you pegged as really strong and shock-resistant. The question is, what other tricks have you got up your sleeve?"
- "I'm warning you. Stay away from me, and stay away from my friends. Trust me, there won't be any blood on my hands when they find what's left of you."
- Lex Luthor warns Perry White
- "I'm telling you it fell out of the sky!"
- "And last night you were begging the nurses to keep the flying monkeys out of your room."
- "I Love This Bar" - Toby Keith
- "Arms Down (Demo Version)" - Xolie Morra
- "Blue" - LeAnn Rimes
- "Crossroads" - Lizzie
- "I'll Be Okay" - Q
- "Walkin' In Memphis" - Lonestar
This episode marks the first appearance of Perry White.