Smallville (2001–2011): Season 5, Episode 19 - Mercy - full transcript

Lionel Luthor is chased by a man with a mask and forced to play hangman to save his life when he traps Lionel in his limo in the path of a moving train. Later, he is abducted by the same stranger who places Lionel in an abandoned warehouse where he has to play lethal 'Jigsaw' type games to survive. Martha is also kidnapped and in his last test, the life of Martha is also put at stake and Lionel has to fight to save her life. Meanwhile, Chloe, Clark and Lex join forces trying to find Martha and Lionel.

Yes. Yes, yes, I realize that your division
has been trying very hard...

but unfortunately,
this isn't grammar school.

Efforts don't count.
You only get an A for results.

Yeah, well, you know, if...
If I give you more time...

that will continue to reflect negatively
on LuthorCorp's balance sheets.

So I... I wish you and your people
much success...

with a less demanding company.

Yeah, well, thank you.

Hello, Lionel.

Alex, what are you doing?

Sorry, Alex is a little busy right now.

What the hell are you doing?
Who are you?

You're used to being in control.

If you wanna regain it,
you're gonna have to play a little game.

The 11:35 from Smallville to Metropolis
is running on time.

Win the game, or you'll be
catching a ride the hard way.

- What game?
- Hangman.

Call out a letter. Guess the phrase.

Lose the game, your life follows.

Hurry, Lionel.
You only get an A for results.

- A.
- Too obvious.


- O.
- Lucky guess.

- T.
- Wrong again.

- G.
- Sorry.

- S.
- Nope.

Would you like a hint?

It's a lesson I learned from you.



R, Y, N.

No mercy!
The answer is no mercy.

Lionel's at my house constantly,
acting like he belongs there.

From what you're telling me,
it sounds like your mom...

kind of invited the wolf
to come on in.

We've tiptoed through these
tulips before.

What if you're wrong?
What if Lionel doesn't know?

The things he says to me,
the look in his eye. Chloe, he knows.

Well, then he's probably using your mom
to get closer to you.

He's always there, helping her,
offering advice.

She's trusting him more and more.

And she wouldn't
if she knew the truth.

I know I need to tell her.
I was going to after I found out.

- So, what stopped you?
- She's been through so much.

Since my dad died, I just...

I didn't wanna give her
one more thing to worry about.

Well, by not telling her, you could
be putting her at risk of a lot worse.


You haven't played chess in years.

Why the sudden interest
in such a complex game?

A friend of mine
wants to learn the finer points.

I used to dismantle
your two-dimensional assaults...

with alarming regularity, remember?

Maybe you should teach your friend
something less complicated.

What about a game of hangman?
That's always fun.


I'll stick with chess.

And you'll lose, as always.

I'm not playing to win.

I'm playing to instruct.

No mercy?

- What are you talking about?
- It was you, Lex.

- I know it.
- What?

Disabling my limo
in the path of an oncoming train.

That kind of melodrama
went out of style with silent movies.

Wait, someone tried to kill you?

Is this the part
where you feign innocence?

I brought you in
to help run LuthorCorp again.

Profits have never been higher.
Why would I want you dead?

Not so long ago, I tried
to take LuthorCorp away from you.

- The Apex takeover.
- Right.

Please. Seeing you fail miserably
was retribution enough.

All right.

All right.

So it wasn't you.

I may not like you very much, Dad...

but you're a valuable asset
to LuthorCorp.

Killing you would hurt the bottom line.

Your concern is truly touching.

I am concerned.

A threat against you
is a threat against LuthorCorp.

I have been fending off attacks
on my life since before you were born.

I think I can handle one more.

Oh, Clark. What do you think
about this as a closing?

"It isn't enough
to simply give when we can."

Upholding the principles of truth, justice
and the American way...

"isn't a matter of convenience.
It's a matter of conscience."

Sounds like words to live by.

Let's hope the deep pockets
at the fundraiser think so too.

I need to talk to you.

Can't it wait until tomorrow?
I gotta get to Metropolis.

Lionel knows.

Knows what?

Lionel knows about me.

About my secret.

- I don't know how.
- I think I might.

A while ago...

I found
a package on our doorstep.

Inside was a video of you
surviving an explosion.

- Who sent it?
- I'm not "sure..."

but Lionel took care of it.

He said he wasn't interested
in why I was being blackmailed.

He just wanted to help.

And I believed him.

Why didn't you tell me about this?

You were still in so much pain
about your father.

I guess I...

I just wanted
to protect you for a change.

Lionel's gonna be
at this fundraiser tonight.

- When I see him...
- No, you can't say anything.

We have to handle this
the way Dad would.

Stick to our routine.
Give nothing away.

Not until we know
what Lionel's up to.

I better get going.

- I'll go with you.
- No, no.

If you start guarding me all the time,
he'll definitely know something's up.

Don't worry.

I can handle Lionel.


Well, there are no concealed electronic
devices here in the office anywhere, sir.

Office is clean.

I hope so, for your sake.

Or you'll find yourself working
in a convenience store...

watching hot dogs spin. Thank you.

Watching hot dogs spin?

That wasn't very nice.

But that's the way you treat
the people who work for you...

isn't it, Lionel?

What do you do, read lips?

I see everything.


Hello, Lionel.
How does it feel to be helpless?

I'll let you know if it ever happens.

Now, that's that winning spirit
that made you a billionaire.

Let's see if it can keep you alive.


what do you want, huh?

I want to play another game.

Hello again, Lionel.

Where am I?

In a hell of your own making.

Who are you?

Just another one of the many
faceless people...

your greed has destroyed.

That narrows it down some,
doesn't it?

You may not know me, Lionel...

but I know you.

You're a man above it all...

commanding your workers
to carry the burden of your empire.

They toil while you profit.

It's called running a business.

That's how it works!

Not anymore.

Now you're gonna have to get
your own hands dirty.

Bright, isn't it?


Oh, well now, what do we have here?

Take a closer look.

Go on.

Not exactly spring water, is it?

A good story always needs a hook.

Wouldn't you agree?

All right. So, what happens now?

Now we're gonna play another game.

Would you like to see how it's played?

Yeah, show me.

These are the scales of justice.

Fill the buckets
with the liquid from the tap...

and balance them on the pole.

Succeed, and the door
to this room will open.


he didn't do too well.

Did I forget to mention
the liquid is highly flammable?

He was my driver, an innocent man.

No one connected to you is innocent.

- Ready to play?
- No.

No, Lionel Luthor
doesn't jump through hoops.

In 10 minutes, flames beneath your feet
will consume this room.

Balance the scales...

or burn for your sins.

Take your time.

The key to mastering chess
is to anticipate your opponent's "moves..."

and keep him on the defensive.

Lex, what are we doing?

I thought we were enjoying
an evening of chess.

I think I have Monopoly here.

You know what I'm talking about.

We've spent the last week
avoiding what happened.

I was kind of waiting for you
to bring that up.

You kissed me.

And then you kissed me back.

God, after all that talk about friendship
and not wanting to ruin what we have...

we really don't listen very well,
do we?

Are you asking me
to forget what happened?

Because short of
a serious blow to the head...

I think it's a memory
that's gonna linger for quite a while.

You should get that.
I'm gonna go back to Metropolis.

I'll call you later.


Get a security team
and meet me at LuthorCorp Plaza.

And keep this internal.

I don't want anyone to know
my father's missing.

Getting a little warm?

How does it feel?

The flames licking at your heels.
Every step, blistering pain.

I bet a pair of those thousand-dollar
Italian shoes you favor...

would really make a difference
right about now, wouldn't they?

I understand how hard
it must be for a man...

who's not used
to breaking a sweat.

I grew up in Suicide Slums.

Sweat's something
I'm very familiar with, my friend.

I know all about
your underprivileged youth.

But that all changed when your
parents died in the fire you set.

Oh, did I hit a nerve?

I didn't kill my parents.

Tell a lie long enough,
you'll believe it to be truth.

You're running out of time.

You wanna tell me
what you've learned...

from this little game before the flesh
is seared from your bones?

Yeah, you talk too much.

Shut up.

Careful, careful.

Remember what happened
to your limo driver.

The scales of justice are hard to balance
with blood on your hands...

aren't they?

Congratulations on your acquittal.


- What? Another game?
- Yes.

But for this one,
you're gonna need a partner.

Someone to help you
through the dark times.




Lionel, please!

Don't... Don't...

Don't... Don't panic.

- Martha?
- Lionel! What's...? What's going on?

Someone is playing a very sick game.

- Who?
- I don't know. How did you get here?

I don't know! I was
in the parking structure at the Plaza...

and I... I heard this noise behind me.

I don't know. Just please get me out!

All right. All right. Martha, stand back.

All right!

All right! She's got nothing
to do with this. Let her go!

She has everything to do with this.

You use your wealth to buy influence,
controlling the halls of power.

You're the man in the shadows,
pulling all the strings.

And your puppets...

they're as guilty as their master.

And they deserve a similar fate.

All right. All right. So, what's this game?
How do I get her out, huh?

You use words as weapons.

Twisting them to your purpose.

Obscuring truth with double meaning.

Now it's my turn.

"A toad like fever."
I don't understand this!

Shift your perceptions.

- Shift your...
- Her life is in your hands.

No, wait! Wait! I need more! I...

I understand the whole
acting-normal thing...

but ferreting out the truth
is acting normal for me.

- Chloe...
- You're not the only one Lionel's playing.

He fed me information
about Fine being in Honduras...

because he knew
I'd come to you with it.

Why don't you let me use that as an in
to find out what he's up to.

What if he finds out what you're up to?
It's too risky.

Oh, and waiting for Darth Luthor
to hatch his evil plan isn't?

Hey, Lois.

No, she left hours ago.

- I'll let you know if I hear anything.
- What is it?

My mom never showed up
at the fundraiser in Metropolis.

Oh, my God.

Pull the security vids
for the last 24 hours.

See if you can find
anything else unusual.

Yes, sir.

It's okay.

- What are you doing here?
- Looking for your father.

- Where is he?
- I wish I knew.

He's missed meetings
and never showed up...

for a fundraiser at the Plaza.

Neither did my mother.

Lex, if you have any idea what's
going on, you better tell me now.

Clark, earlier today,
my father accused me...

of orchestrating
some bizarre attempt on his life.

Think someone's giving it
a second shot?

All I know is that he was taken
from this office.

How do you know that?

I found his cell phone on the floor.

Last call he tried to make was to 911.

Time stamp on it matches an unexplained
gap in the building's security tapes.

What about the cameras in here?

There aren't any.

My father liked to have a place where
he could conduct certain transactions...

- without any electronic records.
- Would that be the less-than-legal kind?


Has this always been chipped
liked that?

My father wouldn't tolerate
a flaw in his prized collection.

Nice catch.

This isn't your standard issue.

This was homemade by somebody
who really knew what they were doing.

High res. Wireless carrier.

- Is it transmitting?
- No, it's powered down.

But if we juice it up, I might be able
to trace where it's located.

Let's try it.

"A toad like fever!"

Fever? It doesn't...
It doesn't make any sense.

It has to mean something!

- Have you ever heard it before?
- No.

Wait! Why aren't they all the same?

The first letters of the words.

The T and the F are capitals.

But not the A in the beginning
and the L in "like"!

T, F, right, right.
He said it was a... What?

He said, "Shift... Shift...
Shift your perception."

It... It... It's an anagram.

It's an anagram!
The w... The true meaning is scrambled.

- It's a word puzzle!
- A word puzzle.

It's transmitting on a rotational code.

I'll see if I can hack the sequence
and locate the termination point.


It's a shame, isn't it?

It takes a crisis like this to get us
in the same room together.

Look, Clark, maybe when
this is all over, we can...

try to find our way back
to some common ground.

Excuse me. I need to take this.

Is there anything I can do
to make this go faster?

Not unless computer skills
are one of your abilities.

The signal's strong. Minimal degradation,
which means it must be local.

Got it. 8320 Vermont Avenue.
Five miles from here.


You find something?

An address not far from here.

Great. We'll take my Porsche.
It's a lot faster than your truck.

Let's go.

V- I-L. "Evil."

"To dare fake evil."

It's gibberish. It's...

There's meaning in it!
There has to be!

No, there's...

You want me to fail, don't you?
You want me to watch her die?

- Is that what you want?
- Lionel!

He wants me to fail.

Fail, fail, fail.

Fail, all right. He said:

"The truth is obscured
with double meaning. " Double.

It's double meaning. No mercy.

Greed, grab, take.

Take, take, take. To take.

Over. Takeover!

Failed takeover! Failed takeover!
The answer is "failed takeover"!

Failed takeover!

Apex. Apex!


It's Apex.




You're all right.

It's all right.

Genuine concern
for another human being?

I suspected your relationship with
the senator was more than just political.

All right.

All right.

All right, we won your game.
Now let us out.

As you wish.

Come on, Martha.

Wait, wait! Wait!

- What's...? What's up here?
- "Freedom."

Or death, depending on the outcome
of your final game.

You expect us to walk
right into another trap?

You could stay right where you are
and wait for the floor to be electrified.

Come on.

- What happens now?
- I don't know.

No! No!

I'm sorry that you got dragged
into this.

Dragged into what? Who is that man?

- I don't know.
- Apex? A failed takeover.

- What does that mean?
- Apex Group was an Asian consortium...

I used to try to take back control
of LuthorCorp from Lex.

Lex found out...

and made a very compelling
argument for me to pull out.

Apex funded hundreds of companies.

The investors were ruined.
A lot of people lost everything.

- Because of you. Because of your greed.
- No, this wasn't about me.

- This was about Lex.
- Lex?

About hurting him?

- You hate him that much?
- I was trying to teach him, Martha.

- Lessons. Hard lessons. I thought that if...
- Oh, God!

If I removed the temptations
that power and money gave him...

maybe then he would be able
to rediscover his own humanity.

Did you ever think of just talking to him?
Father to son?

That might work in the Kent family.
But Lex is not Clark and...

I'm not the father
Jonathan Kent was.

It's never too late to change.

Unless you're dead.

Lionel Luthor, you've destroyed
so many lives without consideration...

all to win your own games.

Let's see if you can do the same...

when the life in the balance is
someone you so obviously care about.

One bullet.

Kill Senator Kent, win your freedom.

Or if she kills you, winner goes free.


We're not playing any more games.

There's an explosive charge attached
to the elevator cable above your head.

If one of you isn't dead...

you both lose.

Your decision.

Clark, how close are you?

We're in the building.

I think we found it. Hold on.

- You wanna wait for the security team?
- No.

Me neither.

- Chloe, there's no one here.
- They must've rerouted the "signal..."

- in case we found the camera.
- Clark.


I'm sorry, Martha.

Please forgive me.

Only one of us
is gonna walk out of here.

- Lionel...
- No, don't talk.

You take it.

You're good, Martha.

So many people depend on you.

Especially Clark.

And we both know that he...

What a special boy he is.

And now, because Jonathan's "gone..."

"he's" gonna need you
more than ever.

To become the man this...

world so desperately needs.

Do it.

And go home to your son.

I can't. I can't.

I'd hoped that...

I'd "always..."

hoped that things would end
differently with us, Martha.

Don't blame yourself.

- Your life is truly important.
- No!

Chloe? What happened?

The feed was terminated
at the source.

I'm trying to trace the location.

The signal's all over the place,
trying to throw us off.

A selfless act from Lionel Luthor.

Life is full of surprises.

So is death.

- Son of a...
- I got it!

- They're somewhere across town.
- Where?

It's gonna take a minute
to narrow it down.

Okay, start heading west.
I'll guide you in.

Pull the security detail...

Clark, we should...

There's no escaping, Lionel.

The charges have been primed.

One more touch of a button...

and the LuthorCorp empire
mourns its founder.

You were never
gonna let us go, were you?

You're the master manipulator, Lionel.

You should know
that some games are rigged.

Why didn't you just kill me?

Because I wanted
to watch you suffer like I did.

You. You're the... The...

Yeah, I stood right in front of you today.
You didn't even know who I was.

You didn't see the house I lost.

Wife. Children.

An entire life gone
because of your little game with Apex.

I'm no one.

Just another piece of Lionel Luthor's
collateral damage.

This is between me...

and you.

Let her go.

Does it hurt, Lionel?

Knowing you're gonna watch her die?

The one person you would have
sacrificed your life for.

Let her go.

This is my fault.

All of it.

I'm sorry.

That's all I wanted to hear.

That was...


Thank you...


- Oh, sweetie, thank you.
- Yeah.

You're sure you're okay?

I got some bumps and bruises,
but I... I'll live.

No thanks to Lionel.

What happened...

was the work of a very disturbed man.
Lionel's no "saint..."

"but" this wasn't his fault.

Maybe not directly.

He was willing to sacrifice himself.

For your future.

Lionel never does anything
that doesn't benefit him in the end.

We can't trust him.

If we wanna protect your secret,
we might not have a choice.

Lincoln Kole.

That was the name
of the man who did all this.

- You found him?
- In a bar around the block.

He was toasting your demise.

Didn't care if he was caught,
as long as you were dead.

The authorities had to sedate him
when he found out you weren't.

Powerful men, son.
We attract the occasional lunatic.

It wasn't insanity that drove him
to that, Dad. It was you.

We all make mistakes, son.

And yours almost cost
Martha Kent her life.

Well, I'm just "thankful..."

"the" elevator's safety brakes slowed us
down enough to survive the fall.


You should be.

Especially since Kole disabled them.

That's enough to make
a man believe in miracles.

Isn't it, son?

I don't suppose Clark had anything to do
with that divine intervention.


I heard what you said over the video.

About what a special boy he is.

What'd you mean by that?

I meant that...

"he's" the kind of son
a father could be proud of.

One minute he's standing
in the same room with me...

"and" the next he's across town.

You're still obsessing over him
after all these years?

Clark Kent's a simple farm boy.

Let it go, Lex.

Let it go.

I've been expecting you, Kal-El.

How long have you known?

From the moment I held
in my hand the crystal...

that helped to form
your Fortress of Solitude.

The one that put you in a coma?


I'd like to think of it as a...

A state of...

contemplative repose.

You've known my secret
for almost a year.


Why haven't you done anything?

What? Expose you to the world,
some strange visitor from another planet?

I've tried to tell you,
I am not your enemy.

To reveal your secret...

would change your destiny.

And it would harm someone
I care about very deeply.

You had a choice...

to kill my mother or to kill yourself.

I could never harm your mother.
There was no choice.


Unless you knew the gun
wasn't loaded.

You have no reason
to believe anything I say.

I realize that.

But I hope eventually,
you will come to trust me.

I only want what's best
for you and your mother...


You don't call me that.

Jonathan Kent was my father.

- No, I'm not trying to take his place.
- You couldn't.

My mother seems to think
there may be some good in you.

But I'm not so sure.

It takes time, Clark.
Maybe you will be.

Or maybe you'll just
show your true colors.

Secret or no secret...

you stay away from my mother.

Or you'll wish I never saved your life.