Pete Ross is back! That's right, Sam Jones III has returned to the hallowed grounds of Smallville to hang out with Clark, Lana and Chloe again. Of course, things have changed a bit since he was last on the show, as poor Pete is bound to discover. So, shall we dive right into Hero?
Jimmy and Kara are at a rock concert together, where Kara is still suffering from the loss of her memory as the episode begins. We then cut, unexpectedly, to Pete, who is asking the DJ for a piece of gum for the concert promoter. The DJ reminds him that they're in a gum factory, and Pete goes off to filch a piece, in what may be one of the most awkward product placements I've ever seen.
Pete returns with the gum, and sees Kara dancing alone. He takes a piece of gum, which glows ominously as he unwraps it. That's right, it's kryptonite-laced gum! Meanwhile, Jimmy snaps a picture of Kara with his cellphone, which fortunately catches Pete as well.
All is going well until the speakers fall, threatening to crush Kara. Pete reaches out to save her, and unexpectedly stretches as he reaches, something that Jimmy managed to capture on his camera phone.
Back at the Kent farmhouse, Clark is coming downstairs to gripe to Lana about Kara using all the hot water. But he is surprised to see Lionel there chatting with Lana. Lionel wants to know if Kara has regained her memory, and is concerned about her not regaining it, especially since Kara has been spending time with Lex. Lionel suggests taking Kara to the Fortress to get her memories, but Clark is understandably reluctant. As Lionel is preparing to leave, Pete arrives. There is a brief reunion between Clark, Pete and Lana, but it is ruined by Pete wondering why Lionel is at the farmhouse. Clearly more has changed than Pete was ready for.
Meanwhile, at Lex's mansion, Lex is playing with one of the roman figures seen last episode in his memories. Kara appears, and Lex taunts her that her memory isn't returning from being at the farmhouse. Kara says that nothing feels familiar to her, and thanks Lex for what he found out about "Kara Kent," but she doesn't feel like that girl is her. Kara wonders if Clark is lying to her, or hiding something from her, and Lex is unwilling to reassure her on that point, obviously. Lex asks about her bracelet, and then tells Kara about the fact that her missing bracelet has symbols that have appeared in the caves, and then later on burned into the Kent barn. Lex strongly implies to Kara that there is a connection between those symbols and her past - and he's right, in his way.
Returning to the farm, Clark loads a ton of wood into a pickup truck as Lana drives off. Pete and Clark have a basketball game during which they talk about how many folks know Clark's secret. They play a game where Pete uses his newfound powers to steal the ball. Pete isn't willing to buy the "reformed Lionel" act, and asks Clark what his father would think about Lionel hanging out in his kitchen. As Clark tries to defend the new Lionel, Pete reminds Clark about how many lives Lionel has ruined in the past. It's a nice reminder to viewers that Lionel wasn't always Jor-El's avatar, and that he used to be a worse person than even Lex is becoming. Pete also tells Clark that he's been a roadie, and that he has had to basically leave his life behind after leaving Clark, but that it's better than living in Clark's shadow. Pete shows off his stretching powers, and talks about how great it is being a hero, like Clark. Clark worries about Pete, and wants to help Pete find a cure. Pete interprets this as jealousy, and tells Clark that if he should try to stop Pete from being a hero, he will reveal Clark's secret to the world.
Enter Chloe, present as always at the Daily Planet, trying to find out why she has been locked out of her files. Her being in IT hell has kept her from seeing Jimmy's e-mail, where the photo reveals Pete. Jimmy is totally jazzed about the idea of the story, and the fact that Pete wants to be interviewed about his powers. Jimmy thinks this could be a great boon for the "meteor-enhanced community." Chloe worries that the press will devour him, but then seems to have a change of heart, so long as Jimmy will let her make some edits to the story. As soon as Jimmy leaves to interview others from the factory, Chloe calls Clark to tell him the situation. She is surprised to notice that her files are loading more slowly than normal, and then barges in to confront Lex about it. Lex doesn't deny that he's monitoring her files, and even challenges her to make an issue about it, threatening to fire her. Chloe leaves, clearly upset.
Clark goes to the gum factory to talk to Jimmy about Pete. Clark remains skeptical and worried, but Jimmy is entirely in line with Pete. Jimmy thinks that Pete represents a chance for meteor freaks to be heroes, something the world desperately needs. Clark is at a loss for words, and as he watches Jimmy leave, he finds the source of the Kryptonite contamination of the gum.
Once more at the Daily Planet, Pete goes to visit Chloe. He congratulates her on moving up to working at the Planet, and she gripes about Lex playing Big Brother. Pete shows off his powers to Chloe, and Chloe shows that she sympathizes more with Clark's point-of-view about Pete's powers than Pete and Jimmy's. Pete remains undaunted, however, stating that perhaps a real hero doesn't need to hide in the shadows.
(As a side-bar here, why is it that neither Clark nor Chloe have thought to bring up the fact that there are people with powers, acting as heroes, who aren't meteor freaks?)
Still on the quest to regain her memory, Kara is digging about in the barn. Lana surprises her, and asks why Kara is going through Clark's private things. Kara shows Lana the pictures of the Kryptonian symbols, wondering what Lana knows about them and why they were on her old bracelet. Lana starts to lie, which Kara calls her on. Lana asks the Maid of Steel where she got the information from, and Kara tells her that Lex gave it her. Lana tries warning about Kara, but Kara says that if Lana and Clark want to prove that Lex is lying, they need to tell her the truth.
Returning to the Planet, Jimmy enters with the results of his time at the gum factory. When he returns, he sees Pete loading a virus onto Lex's computer. Unfortunately, so does Lex, who confronts Pete about what he is doing. Lex tries to tell Pete that perhaps they now have something in common, and when Pete rejects his offer, Lex turns to blackmail. He tells Pete that since he controls Chloe's fate, Pete works for him now, and that Pete will steal Kara's bracelet out of Lionel's vault. And if Pete doesn't do this for him, the world will find out about Chloe being a meteor freak. Jimmy overhears this, and seems shocked that Lex knows his psudeo-girlfriend's secret.
Clark and Chloe are sharing what they know as they return to the Planet, including Clark talking about the fact that Pete's powers came from the Kryptonite-laced gum. Clark does casually mention that he destroyed the gum. Chloe notices the mayhem in the office from the virus Pete planted, and suspects that it was from Pete trying to play hero. Before Clark can react to this news, Jimmy shares the news about Pete's upcoming theft from Lionel's vault.
It is time for Clark to play hero again, clearly. Especially since as we return from commercial, Pete is already trying to break into the vault. Chewing his super-power inducing gum, Pete sends his malleable flesh inside the vault door, to open it from within. Pete digs around for a bit and finds the bracelet as Clark appears behind him. Pete still thinks that this is all about Clark's jealousy, and uses kryptonite to incapacitate Clark while he goes and deals with Lex permanently.
During a concert, Pete returns to Lex. When Lex says that he's late, Pete attacks Lex. Lex, however is prepared for him, and hits him, knocking the gum out of his mouth. Lex still wants the bracelet, which Pete says he never found.
Lionel gets back to his office and saves Clark from the Kryptonite. Clark is angry with Lionel, and says that they need to talk, but first he has to save Pete. Lionel sees the empty case from the bracelet as Clark zips away.
Lex is torturing Pete to find out about the bracelet, until Clark takes out both Lex and his hired goon. Pete thanks Clark for saving him. Pete may be back to his old self, though clearly Lex is going to end up wondering what saved Mr. Ross.
Pete and Clark are at the farmhouse, where Pete apologizes for being a jerk. Clark isn't willing to let Pete take all the blame, but the "back to normal" Pete understands, now, why Clark has to keep his secret. Pete says that it's time for him to make a change as well, and that he knows there is a hero inside him - he just has to find another way to save the world.
We then cut to the Daily Planet where Pete is coming to say goodbye to Chloe, and to apologize for being a jerk. He also tells her that he knows about her power, but that she doesn't need to tell him what it is. Jimmy sees Chloe and Pete embracing, and looks at the two with a bit of jealousy. Pete apologizes for taking away the story, and Jimmy comments that some secrets are better off kept that way, alluding to what Lex said about Pete being in love with Chloe. Jimmy also tells Chloe that there isn't really a spark between him and Kara any longer, and he asks Chloe if they might be able to get back together. Chloe shyly accepts, in her own witty fashion.
Once more at the farmhouse, Clark hides Kara's bracelet in his hidey-hole in the barn. It seems that he intends to continue to hide Kara's past from her.
Meanwhile, Luthor has an aide appear to tell him that there is a similar stellar alignment from when Kara's ship arrived to that during the first meteor shower. Before the aide can tell her more, Kara appears, wondering if Lex would be willing to let her stay at the mansion, with her. Lex, to his credit, manages to not completely look like the cat who ate the canary as he closes the doors to the room, ending the episode.
Other than the fact that the episode was basically one big commercial for Stride gum, and that it kind of under-used having Pete return, not a terrible episode of Smallville over-all. The most important part of the episode was, of course, the Kara subplot, which was a bit disappointing. Still, the preview of next week's Veritas looked pretty good.