"Whisper" is the fifteenth episode of the first season of Smallville and the 15th produced episode of the series. Clark is temporarily blinded by his own heat vision reflected through kryptonite. He develops super-hearing to compensate. While Nathan Dean kidnaps Pete, Lex fires Chloe's dad, and Lana tells Clark she is seeing someone new.
Clark is shopping for his mother's birthday at Smallville Jewelers when Lana approaches him. He notices she is walking without her cane and apologizes for not visiting her as she heads off to work at the Talon. Just as Clark goes into the store, Walt Masterson and Nathan Dean drive up, planning to rob it. Nathan is supposed to smash the cases while Masterson grabs the goods. Masterson is armed with a pistol and a pair of earplugs. Inside the store, the clerk shows Clark some earrings his mother tried on the last time she was in the store. Clark asks to see something less expensive, so he pulls out a piece of costume jewelry that has been made from meteor rock.
Clark backs away just as Nathan walks in. He uses his fingers to adjust his throat, then his Adam's apple begins to vibrate up and down at a rapid rate. With effort he emits a high-pitched sound. Everyone covers his or her ears in pain as Masterson enters the store. He pulls his gun just as the glass jewelry cases begin to shatter. The piece of meteor rock jewelery flies across the room just as Clark shoots two short blasts of heat vision at Masterson. One blast hits Masterson's hand and he drops his gun. Another blast hits the meteor rock and bounces back into Clark's face, blinding him. The jeweler levels a shotgun at Masterson as Nathan slips away into the crowd with the other customers. Lana enters the store and finds Clark. Alarmed, he tells her that he can't see.
Back home, Template:Martha and Template:Jonathan discuss what they might be able to do for Clark. Jonathan says that Clark's retinas were scarred, but he is afraid to take him to another doctor. He is mostly worried that Clark's own powers have done something to hurt him. He is afraid that whatever they do might make it worse. Clark chimes in and suggests that he might just get better on his own. He reasons that even if he doesn't, he can learn to live with a disability.
Pete helps Clark to school the next day to pick up his books. Pete mentions that Masterson has landed on his mom's court calendar. There is no chance that he will be getting off easy. Lana offers to help Clark with his schoolwork, but he turns her down. When Pete closes the locker, Clark can suddenly hear every turn of the combination lock like a crash. The students' footfalls and the sounds of a zipper are painfully loud. Then he overhears a conversation between Chloe Sullivan and Lionel Luthor. Chloe is on her cell phone in another hallway. Lionel is demanding another report on Clark Kent. He also says that Lex is too fragile to help her. The school bell ends the conversation, and Clark asks Pete to take him straight home.
In the loft, Clark explains his new power to his parents who try to help him make sense of it. He is just telling them about Chloe and Lionel when Lex arrives. He offers to put Clark in touch with the best ophthalmologists, but Clark is determined to learn to live with his blindness. Lex empathizes with Clark about the way some people treat the disabled. Lex says he is planning to go back to LuthorCorp, but Clark warns him that his father doesn't think he can really handle the pressure. Back in the house, Martha is filling out paperwork to get Clark a special tutor to finish high school. Jonathan is exhausted. Martha suggests that they hire some extra hands, but Jonathan refuses. Martha becomes very upset that Jonathan cannot accept that his life has changed and he needs to learn to rely on other people.
Lex is going over financial reports from the Talon when Lana arrives at the mansion to thank him for taking care of her medical bills. Lex explains that he felt guilty about what happened to her, but she never blamed him because he wasn't himself. He apologizes for not being able to visit her during her rehabilitation. He assumed Clark was there for her, but she explains that they have decided not to see each other. Lex tries to encourage her to visit Clark saying that when his father was blind, the brave front was an act. Then he asks about Adam Knight; the bills from the Talon included some gift baskets to him. Lana explains that that he is a friend she met during physical therapy, but she plans to reimburse the shop. She admits that he made quite an impression.
Chloe arrives at the Kent Farm looking for Pete. He was supposed to help her with her column for the Daily Planet. Clark is very upset with her and accuses her of being in cahoots with Lionel against him. Chloe comes clean and tells Clark everything. She tries to explain that she is unsuccessfully trying to get out of her deal with Lionel, but Clark isn't ready to forgive her.
Pete arrives at the farm and finds Clark taking a walk, far from his house on the edges of the farm. Clark explains that his parents are worried about him, but he had to get away from all the sounds. Nathan arrives in a tow truck and uses his ability to incapacitate Clark and Pete. He then forces Pete into the truck.
Sheriff Adams arrives to take Clark's statement regarding Pete's kidnapping. They know there's a connection between the kidnapping and the failed jewelry heist, but they can't figure out what it is until Judge Ross arrives. The kidnapper has called her and demanded that she grant a motion to dismiss all charges against Masterson, or he will kill Pete. Clark is desperate to get control of his newest ability in order to help Pete. He turns on every machine in the barn to distract himself and then tries to tune the radio. He's not having much luck when his parents arrive and lend him a hand. Clark is finally able to focus on his father's whisper.
Lionel has arrived at the mansion. Lex wants to ask him if his job at LuthorCorp is for real. He admits that he heard a rumor that his only responsibility will be to sharpen pencils. Lionel wants to know where he heard that rumor. Lex doesn't want to admit that Clark told him, so he just asks his dad whom he was talking to when he said he didn't trust him to really do his job.
Clark and Jonathan drive to the Talon to get an update on Pete. Clark stays in the truck while Jonathan goes inside. Lana gets in the truck next to him. He apologizes to her for not accepting her help this morning. Lana says that her decision not to see him was an over-reaction. Clark also says that his reasons for pulling away are gone, but when he reaches for Lana's hand, she pulls back just as the tow truck rolls by. Clark recognizes it as the truck that took Pete. He sends Lana to get Jonathan and then manages to hop on the back of the truck. The truck takes him straight to where Pete is being held. Clark hears Pete call out and finds him, but Nathan Dean is not far away and he arrives in time to knock Pete over the head and attack Clark with a blowtorch. He knocks off Clark's sunglasses and passes the torch across Clark's eyes several times. Clark reels back in pain while Nathan moves Pete to a new location. When the pain subsides, Clark's vision begins to clear.
At home, his father suggests that the torch must have broken up the scar tissue on his retinas. Clark's vision is still very blurry and his heat vision and x-ray vision are still out. They all hope it will heal itself in time. Clark wants to continue his search for Pete, but Jonathan insists that they stop to get Clark some glasses first. With his new glasses, he plans to go to the courthouse and follow Masterson if Judge Ross lets him go. Martha and Jonathan are doubtful of this plan.
In Metropolis, Chloe has arrived at Lionel's office. She doesn't have any new information on Clark, but Lionel wants to talk about Lex. Chloe claims that she hasn't spoken with Lex, but Lionel has already canceled her column at the Smallville Ledger. Chloe threatens to write a story about "an eccentric billionaire with an excessive interest in a Kansas farm boy". Lionel warns her to be careful with threats and she storms out.
At the Lowell County Courthouse, Clark overhears Masterson talking with Nathan. Nathan promises that Pete will be a "pile of junk," so Clark superspeeds to the junkyard where Nathan has just shut Pete up in the trunk of a car on the crushing machine. He switches the machine on just as Clark arrives. Clark is wandering around the junkyard when he finds Nathan. He doesn't recognize Nathan until he speaks. Nathan uses his ability to disable Clark. Clark backs into a stack of crushed automobiles, which topples over. Clark is able to superspeed out of the way, but Nathan is crushed. Clark hears Pete calling for help and stops the crushing machine just in time.
At the Talon, Pete is telling the story of his rescue, making himself out to be the hero, but Clark doesn't mind. Chloe arrives to talk to Pete. She is visibly upset, but Clark is still angry at her and doesn't talk to her. Pete asks her what is wrong and she tearfully admits that she lost her column at the Smallville Ledger and Lex has fired her father. Clark goes to the mansion to ask Lex about that. Lex says that Lionel suspects Chloe's father is the one spreading malicious rumors about him. He assumes that Chloe overheard her father and told Clark. Lex explains that he went along with the whole thing to better position himself against his father by letting him think that he is weak, in addition to keeping Clark out of it.
Lana visits Clark in his loft to tell him that she has met someone new. As she drives away, Clark can hear her crying.
- "Did she try anything on that didn't have four numbers in the price? "
- "He wasn't baffled, Jonathan, you handcuffed him."
- "I was just offering a helping hand, Clark. But I won't make that mistake again." (she exits.)
- (to Clark) "Whoever said absence makes the heart grow fonder obviously hasn't met the two of you."
- "Lex has a serious mental illness. It's as if there is a crack in his foundation, you understand? The structure may look perfectly stable, but it can't take any pressure. So we will let Lex sit in his office sharpening pencils. "
- (to Jonathan, about Clark) "His life has changed. And so has yours, but neither one of you will admit it. You both think you're Supermen who can do everything alone, but you can't anymore! You need to start relying on people, and so does he!"
- "I may have lost my sight, but things are becoming much clearer now. Exactly how long have you and Lionel been looking into my life?"
- "Since last spring. The day after Lex's wedding."
- "When you saw me and Lana together. Is that why you did this? (Chloe doesn't answer.) Your silence is deafening."
- "For all the times you accused me of keeping secrets, how could you do this to me?!"
- "He just... he caught me at an especially bad time. And I caved. I've been trying to get out of it ever since, but when people like Lionel Luthor have you, they don't want to let go. You know, I thought that you out of all people would understand making a stupid decision in a moment of weakness. But I guess I was wrong."
- "Cold and Empty" - Kid Rock