- For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot (disambiguation).
- "That ship... brought me to Earth. Landed here in Smallville, right in those cornfields over there. I was sent here when my planet... Krypton, was destroyed."
"Yes. Because I wasn't from here, I had certain powers. Your grandparents, they took me in. They raised me. They taught me how to control my abilities, how to blend in until the day I was ready to leave and become who I was sent here to be."
- —Clark Kent to his sons, Jordan and Jonathan
"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of , and the first episode overall. It aired on February 23, 2021.
|After years of facing megalomaniacal supervillains, monsters wreaking havoc on Metropolis, and alien invaders intent on wiping out the human race, the world's most famous superhero, The Man of Steel aka Clark Kent and comic books' most famous journalist, Lois Lane, come face to face with one of their greatest challenges ever - dealing with all the stress, pressures and complexities that come with being working parents in today's society. Complicating the already daunting job of raising two boys, Clark and Lois must also concern themselves with whether or not their sons Jonathan and Jordan could inherit their father's Kryptonian superpowers as they grow older. Returning to Smallville to handle some Kent family business, Clark and Lois are reacquainted with Lana Lang, a local loan officer who also happens to be Clark's first love, and her Fire Chief husband Kyle Cushing. The adults aren't the only ones rediscovering old friendships in Smallville as the Kent sons are reacquainted with Lana and Kyle's rebellious daughter, Sarah. Of course, there's never a dull moment in the life of a superhero, especially with Lois' father, General Samuel Lane looking for Superman to vanquish a villain or save the day at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, Superman and Lois' return to idyllic Smallville is set to be upended when both a mysterious stranger and impassioned self-made mogul Morgan Edge enter their lives.|
As Superman is called by Sam Lane to stop the potential nuclear destruction of a second power plant, he thinks about his past, from the time he opened his eyes when Jonathan Kent Sr. first opened his pod, his father's death, his marriage to Lois Lane, and the birth of the twins. Superman learns that these dangers are not accidental.
Clark returns to Metropolis where Lois tells him that he has missed Jordan Kent's doctor's appointment and that Jonathan Kent is about to become a starter in varsity football though he is a freshman. After talking to his sons, Clark talks with his mother who asks him to visit. That is the last conversation he has with her.
The first day of high school arrives, but the twins must leave for Smallville to attend their grandmother's funeral.
At the wake, the Kent Farm is filled with people wishing their condolences, including the Cushing family; while the adults talk, the children go to the barn to see if they can improve the internet access. While in the barn, Jordan tries to impress Sarah Cushing by climbing the scaffolding without a ladder to get to the router. He falls hard to the ground as the straps holding steel beams break. Jonathan attempts to save his brother from the falling steel but both are covered. Sara alerts Clark who uncovers the boys, but they only have mild concussions.
The next morning, Clark and Lois go to the bank to meet with Lana Lang Cushing who works there and informs them that, due to Martha's helpfulness to the poorer people of Smallville, the bank has the right to possess the farm unless Clark and Lois buy it. Clark lost his job at the Daily Planet due to the cutbacks made by Morgan Edge and wonders where they can get such money.
Meanwhile, the boys investigate the barn because they were told not to explore it; Jordan finds it odd that they are not dead. Their search uncovers Kal-El's pod.
When Clark and Lois return home, the twins confront their parents and Clark reveals his origins; to prove his alter-ego, he lifts a truck over his head as he flies. The twins feel that they have heard lies all of their lives.
Jordan was invited to a party by Sarah and, though he only knows her, decides to go. While they talk, his attraction to her becomes overwhelming and he kisses her passionately. Sarah reveals that she has a boyfriend, just as he appears to fight. Jonathan has followed his twin to the party and defends his brother. Other boys join the melee. Suddenly, Jordan's eyes emit heat vision, causing a powerful explosion.
At the Kent Farm, Lois learns that Morgan Edge is buying everything he can.
Elsewhere, Superman investigates another nuclear facility and attacks a person in an exosuit. As the two battle, Luthor reveals that he knows practically everything about Kal-El and was only testing his capabilities. Luthor wins the battle, stabs Superman with a Kryptonite blade, and drops him from the stratosphere, leaving him to die. At the last second, Superman recovers.
Clark goes to the party to get his sons and realizes that Jordan has powers. When Clark and the twins get back to the farm, Jordan reveals that he saved Jonathan from the falling steel. Clark and Lois decide that they need to stay in Smallville to raise the boys away from the hustle of Metropolis and to save the Kent Farm from being sold due to Martha's reverse mortgage on it.
Jonathan is happy that he does not have powers; it proves that his athleticism is human, not half-alien.
Captain Luthor returns to his base; his plot to destroy the one who destroyed his world has just begun as his A.I. speaks to him.
- Tyler Hoechlin as Clark Kent/Superman
- Elizabeth Tulloch as Lois Lane
- Jordan Elsass as Jonathan Kent
- Alex Garfin as Jordan Kent
- Erik Valdez as Fire Chief Kyle Cushing
- Inde Navarrette as Sarah Cushing
- Wolé Parks as Captain Luthor
- Adam Rayner (credit only)
- Dylan Walsh as General Sam Lane
- Emmanuelle Chriqui as Lana Lang Cushing
- Fred Henderson as Jonathan Kent Sr.
- Katrina Kwan as Female Scientist
- Fritzy-Klevans Destine as Sean Smith
- Wern Lee as Tag Harris
- Zane Clifford as Timmy Ryan
- Joselyn Picard as Sophie Cushing
- Arthur Corber as Max Mencken
- Jamall Johnson as Benny EMT #1
- Michael Q Adams as Pastor
- Charles Singh as Pastor Lindquist
- Ecstasia Sanders as Power Plant Reporter
- Julie Nolin as Reporter
- Dean Marshall as Samuel Foswell
- Dee Jay Jackson as Cobb Branden
- Paul Jarrett as Perry White
- Dylan Kingwell as Teenage Clark
- Chy Liu as Dr. Frye
- Jaylen Jeffery Holoman as Young Boy
- Daisy Tormé as A.I. Device (voice)
- Warren Chow as Shanghai Car Driver
- Stephen MD Chang as Shanghai Shopkeeper
- Balázs Koós as Whit
- Coral Humphrey as Eliza
- Brady Droulis as 7 Year Old Jonathan Kent
- Dawson Littman as 7 Year Old Jordan Kent
- Lennix James as 4 Year Old Clark
- Filming for this episode was supposed to start on March 23, 2020. However due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, production was postponed.
- Filming for Season 1 began on October 21, 2020.
- This episode is the longest episode ever in the Arrowverse.
- This episode was succeeded by a TV special airing after it, titled .
- An interesting note, is that Toronto cartoonist Joe Shuster, who is one of his cousins was comedian Frank Shuster of the Canadian comedy team Wayne and Shuster, describes the comic book hero he created (1931).
- General Sam Lane mentions to Clark Kent/Superman that there is a phone booth in this Podunk town, is a cliche, although Superman hasn't done in a long time.
- Superman using his freeze breath to create an iceberg to stop the potential nuclear destruction of a power plant could be a reference to his actions in Superman III, where he extinguishes a fire in a chemical plant.
- Jonathan seems to be named after Superman's son from the comics, Jon, who is in turn named after Pa Kent/Jonathan Kent.
- When Clark checks on Jordan, the latter is playing Injustice 2. His player character is Raiden, rather than Superman, as he explains to his father.
- In the comics, Superman has an ironclad contract that should his likeness be used in any way, the proceeds will go to charity.
- In the background of the fight, an excavator can be seen with the name LuthorWayne. In the game this is a result of Lex Luthor and Bruce Wayne working together in response to Superman's actions.
- Clark having trouble parenting can be attributed to J'onn restoring his Pre-Crisis memory. Pre-Crisis, Clark was starting out with a baby; Post-Crisis he has two teenagers whom he barely knows. Unless J'onn helped Clark out by showing him Lois's Post-Crisis memories (or possibly through Cisco's memory ring), Clark is pretty much playing it by ear.
- Revealed Post-Crisis changes:
- Clark and Lois married at some point in the 2000s; pre-Crisis, he proposed in 2018.
- Jonathan Kent was born with a twin brother in 2007, instead of 2019 as an only child.
- Morgan Edge isn't in jail. In the third season of , Edge was arrested after Lena Luthor proved he was trying to kill her in a double trap for her adoptive mother. In the new multiverse, Morgan Edge never went to jail, and owns the Daily Planet, which has resulted in a number of layoffs of staff, including Clark.
- Sam Lane is aware of Superman's real identity and has a device to call him. Clark gets along well with him; unlike pre-Crisis, where Sam isn't aware of Clark's secret identity and is xenophobic of aliens. Considering this change in personality, it is unlikely Sam would have given away confiscated items such as the Omegahedron for any xenophobic purpose in the post-Crisis timeline.
- Pre-Crisis, Clark was wrapped in a blanket when he was sent to the Earth of Earth-38. Post-Crisis, he was not wearing anything when he was sent to the Earth of Earth-Prime.
- Pre-Crisis, Clark was unwilling to work with any form of government assistance due to Project Cadmus. Post-Crisis, Clark works with his father-in-law and the army when necessary. Since Lex owns the D.E.O. on Earth-Prime and never had a feud with Superman, Lillian Luthor likely had no reason to found Cadmus on Earth-Prime.
- The emblem on Clark's first suit seen in the flashback is black with a yellow outline and a red "S"; this is the same emblem seen in the 1941 animated Superman shorts produced by Fleischer Studios.
- The flashback to Superman saving a child from a falling car takes inspiration from the very first comic book featuring Superman, as well as "Superman For All Seasons"; Superman's line "my mom made [my costume] for me" is directly lifted from the latter.
- As a joke about Kryptonians' longevity under a yellow sun, Lana mentions Clark hasn't aged since high school despite everyone from their class now being in their early 40s; Clark passes it off as "good genes".
- When Clark talks to Martha on the phone, there is a message on a whiteboard referring to Dr. Donner. Richard Donner directed the 1978 film Superman: The Movie.
- This episode marks the first time that a main cast member was not present for the episode. The cast member not present was Adam Rayner (Morgan Edge).
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