What's Socrates doing here?
I'm not leaving him. We're in this together.
Okay. But he's your responsibility.
- We're in.
- It's about time.
What about the main gate?
I can't figure out
how to zap the security system.
Okay, guys, let's get smart.
Consider it zapped.
Look out, Metropolis, here we come.
Is that a pig?
Of course it's a pig.
Haven't you ever seen a pig before?
Not very smart, is she?
Could you turn up the volume on that?
I don't think they heard you in Borneo.
Fascinating place, Borneo.
I did some work there...
in preserving the natural habitat
of the native orangutan.
I love a well-traveled man.
- They broaden my horizons.
- Assuming that's possible.
orangutans always look so wise.
Orangutans throw mud at people
at the zoo, Jimmy.
Elvis' pet chimpanzee, Scatter.
Poor little fellow drank himself to death.
All right, let's get started.
Kent, what's up at the Governor's office?
We can expect a fiscal turnaround
sometime next year.
Well, that's some news.
Three more people are claiming
to be the President's brother.
Well, his father was a busy man,
Those kids are still missing
from the Beckworth School.
Jimmy, come on. We've used that as filler
for the last three days.
Nothing's changed. And what happened
to your nose for news?
there are 12 million people
in the city of Metropolis.
There is bound to be something
of significance happening somewhere.
We interrupt your regular programming
to bring you this special report.
Smart Kids still at large.
Authorities search for clues
to Kids' whereabouts.
Meanwhile, the Kids say, "Leave us alone.
"Don't look for us.
Don't try to get us back. Or else. "
We now rejoin our show in progress.
What I liked best about this film
is the metaphorical content.
Porky, of course,
is our Everyman character.
And his antagonist is Death.
- I agree, Amy.
Who amongst us have not felt
the pangs of mortality?
Yet we persevere.
I give this film
my highest recommendation.
I second that.
And that about wraps it up.
Join us next time when we review
that classic of post-modernist angst:
Bongo's Bad Day.
This has been a production
of The Smart Kids.
It's theoretically impossible.
- Every television set in Metropolis.
- And every channel.
Somebody's behind it...
and it sure isn't
a couple of grade-schoolers.
What is postmodernist angst?
Philip Manning, Amy Valdez,
Twelve, eleven, and eleven.
Three of the four kids who escaped
from the Beckworth School last week.
Did somebody say something
about "a nose for news"?
That's good work, Jimmy.
What is this? A prank? A scam?
Kids do the darnedest things.
I keep thinking
I've seen her somewhere before.
Okay, it's your baby.
Give me some answers.
We must get them back.
Why are you so nervous, Dr. Carlton?
You told me
there would be no risk of exposure.
I have a reputation
in the scientific community.
I cannot afford...
It's no time for panic.
We'll have our little rug rats
back in the lab soon enough.
But now the police are involved.
If they find them before we do,
they'll simply return them to the school.
- But what if they talk?
- They won't. They're too smart for that.
If they do,
it'll be their last taste of Mentamide 5.
Do you think that they'd risk it?
No, the emotional dependence
is too great.
Just how smart are they?
I expected a 10% to 20% rise in IQ.
- It seems to be a great deal more.
- Don't you think?
How long before they reach stage two?
Well, that would depend
upon the rate of absorption...
- into each of their individual systems.
- We'll need to pinpoint that data.
But that would require vivisection.
Mind you, Dr. Carlton,
you can't make chicken soup...
without plucking a few chickens.
- This is a total waste of time.
- What do you want?
To pick up the cab and fly like Superman?
In your dreams.
"The Beckworth State School,
founded in 1953...
"is dedicated to fulfilling the educational
needs of orphaned children...
"who require the individual attention...
"and specialized instruction available
in a controlled environment. "
Because public schools
can't handle them...
so they park them there
to keep them out of trouble.
- That's sad.
- They're problem kids, Clark.
Problem kids can be solved.
The story is a waste of time
because it's entirely predictable.
- How so?
- A: Kids escape.
B: Kids get mixed up in something
that first seems unusual...
but is in fact uninteresting and dull
once the facts are known.
C: Kids are found and returned to school.
End of story. This, you volunteered for.
We're walking. How much?
- All these students live here full-time?
- That's correct.
- Any of them ever get adopted?
- At their ages, the chances are poor.
This is their home.
This escape has been very unsettling
for all of us.
Did you consider the possibility that
they were kidnapped or coerced to leave?
Yes, we have. The police have, too.
You see, it would explain a lot.
Is there anything else
that links these particular students?
They seemed unusual.
I mean, for what it's worth,
they're all very bright kids.
The infirmary stays closed
when Dr. Carlton isn't here.
Alfred Carlton, Staff Physician.
He gives his time to the school
free of charge.
He also has a degree
in clinical psychology.
He's been enormously helpful in
our testing and counseling programs.
Must be busy now, with the kids being
upset about their missing classmates.
He wanted to let things calm down a bit
before he began therapy.
Frankly, waiting seemed
contraindicated to me...
but he's the expert.
If you all just come with me to my office...
I'll get you the copies of the kids' files.
Now listen to me, young lady.
I'm Inez. What's your name?
Listen carefully, Inez.
I am not a target. I am an adult.
You cannot just go...
Amy's my big sister.
Amy Valdez. She escaped.
You have to help her.
Help her how?
She'll come back for me. I know she will.
But then he'll catch her.
Who? Who will catch her?
I can't say.
the best thing for Amy
is for her to come back and be caught.
You don't know anything.
How much is left on the credit card?
- A couple of thousand.
- That's it?
he was the richest man in Metropolis!
Everything costs money, Philip:
- Supplies, equipment...
- I knew that TV stunt was a mistake.
- It was fun.
- It was expensive.
We had to let them know
to leave us alone.
I don't think it worked.
Surveillance systems up and running.
We've got the town wired.
It's like a giant video game.
Have you tightened the lasers?
- I'm waiting on components.
- Which we can't afford.
We'll come up with something.
You worry too much.
Well, someone's got to.
Look at this place. It's a mess.
- We're kids.
- But we're Smart Kids.
We don't have to live like this.
What a grouch.
Just because you're oldest
and been on the Smart Stuff longest...
That's another thing. We're almost out.
You wanna go back to being dumb?
We'll get more.
I'll do the job myself.
As soon as I rescue Inez.
- No way.
- I'm going, and you can't stop me.
What are you so happy about?
I think we've got the money thing licked.
- I don't even know what I'm looking for.
- What's Mentamide 5?
- Never heard of it.
It's mentioned several times.
Maybe it's some kind of medication?
That reminds me.
Don't you think it's strange
that that school doctor...
would delay counseling
to the kids left behind?
Isn't that the sort of thing
you start right away?
That'd be my guess.
- We should talk to him directly.
- As soon as possible.
Inez seemed genuinely frightened.
- Poor kid.
All those kids on TV seemed really smart.
- There's no such thing as too smart.
- Yes, there is.
Borscht. Just because they're involved
in a few stunts.
They're just kids.
They're just kids.
- It's me, Inez.
- From the school.
Is it past your bedtime?
Inez, how did you get this number?
- I'm not listed.
I copied it off Mrs. Powell's desk.
Isn't it past your bedtime?
- I don't have a bedtime.
- All little girls have bedtimes.
Inez, why are you calling?
Amy's in trouble. They caught her.
She came back for me.
- Who caught her?
- The policemen.
Inez, Amy is better off being caught.
No, he'll get her.
- I can't say.
- One of the other kids?
- One of the teachers?
- Not exactly.
I can't say.
I'll take care of it.
It's not in the child's best interest.
Legally, we have here a faxed copy
of authorization from Mrs. Valdez...
- Amy's mother.
- Mrs. Valdez?
Mrs. Valdez gave the child up for adoption.
She has no rights.
she doesn't currently hold custody...
doesn't mean she has no rights.
Amy's already escaped
from the school once.
Maybe this isn't the place she wants to be.
Maybe we should try something else.
Children don't know what they want,
or what's right for them.
Is that your professional opinion?
I'm just concerned for the child's welfare.
We all are, Dr. Carlton.
I see no reason why Amy can't stay
with Miss Lane on a temporary basis.
I'll leave word that she's to be released
into your custody.
How you pulled this off, I will never...
Once they found Mrs. Valdez,
the rest was easy.
Her husband left when Amy was four
and Inez was just a baby.
No money, no job, no family to help out.
She felt her only choice
was to give up her kids.
- That's pretty tough on everyone.
Now all I have to do is find out
about the other missing kids.
Children don't automatically open up.
You have to earn their trust.
The day that
I can't outsmart an 11-year-old...
is the day I hang up my press pass.
Maybe, but these are
unusually bright kids.
No one even knows
how they're doing this stuff.
They're bright, but not that bright.
I was a smart kid. That doesn't mean
I could outwit an entire city...
or hold my own with competent adults.
Some, I could. Most, actually, but...
Lois, have you ever actually
taken care of a child?
My sister, Lucy.
If you're implying that I'm not capable
of handling this juvenile...
you are in for a big surprise.
She will be putty in my hands.
See? You'll get all the channels now...
and you won't even have to pay for them.
Thank you, Amy. I'm so pleased.
Could we just talk
in a calm, rational manner?
- Because before, you were yelling.
- I was not...
I may have raised my voice.
Does this stuff come off?
You just want me to tell you
where the other kids are...
because you're a reporter
and you think we'd make a good story.
And that's why you took me, right?
Of course not.
If you and the other kids are in trouble,
I can help you.
Who did this to you?
- Did what?
- Took you out of the school.
No one. We're on our own, okay?
And we don't need you,
or any other stupid old adults butting in.
Then why don't you just leave
and go back to them?
I'm not exactly in a position to stop you.
This is a nice place. I like it here.
- Wrong answer.
I can't risk being followed back.
Besides, my sister, Inez, likes you.
She's a good judge of character.
we do have something in common.
My parents are divorced,
and I have a little sister, too.
You don't know anything about me
or my family.
That's not true. I talked to your mother.
My mother doesn't care anything
Sometimes, it's very helpful to talk to...
an impartial, understanding adult.
I would just like for us to be friends,
Amy, what's that?
What are you doing?
- How does this stuff...
- Sorry. Can't say.
You should clean yourself up.
You're a big mess.
The streets of Metropolis are no place
for unsupervised, delinquent children.
Unsupervised? So you don't believe
that someone else...
an adult, a group of adults,
is behind the escape?
I didn't say that.
We simply don't have the facts.
I am a scientist, and I abhor
rampant, unsubstantiated speculation.
In fact, you're a distinguished scientist.
Your work in experimental
neuropsychology is world-renowned.
You've done your homework, Mr. Kent.
That still doesn't explain why
a researchist of your credentials...
is working as a school doctor
in a place like this.
You see, I think of it as accounting.
After all, the doctor-patient relationship
is the framework for all medical science.
Then why, after the breakout,
didn't you think it necessary...
the other students immediately...
to help them cope with any anxiety?
I made an evaluation.
I made an evaluation based upon criteria...
which a lay person such as yourself
couldn't possibly comprehend.
Delinquent children, my... What a jackass.
Look what I found.
Mentamide 5. "Found"?
You mean "stole," don't you?
You took advantage
of a privileged interview situation...
to grab potentially incriminating evidence
from an unsuspecting subject.
I love that!
Thank you. And add a nice tip for yourself.
Yes, Doctor. What is it?
Is that so?
I see your point.
Perhaps you should leave town for a while.
No, of course I'm not angry with you.
You've done splendid work.
The papers are filled
with accounts of their exploits. I feel like...
a proud father.
Why don't you come over now?
I'll have your final payment waiting.
Refused. Over the limit.
Impossible. I've a line of credit
of $5 million dollars in that account.
Sure you do.
Would you take a check?
Run it back.
This just in:
Water supply returns to normal.
How did they do it? We'll never know.
Meanwhile, the Kids say again:
Leave us alone.
It's a big city.
Lots more can go wrong with it.
The reign of the Smart Kids continues.
Okay, so what did you find
on Mentamide 5?
It's an organic stew.
Amino acids, neurotransmitters,
herbs, you name it.
It's so complex, not even StarLabs
computers can analyze it completely.
They were able to produce
a synthetic facsimile, though.
- So they're testing the synthetic.
Nothing conclusive yet...
but it seems to stimulate
cerebral hyperactivity in lab rats.
- They got smarter.
- A lot smarter.
These kids are on their own.
Somebody's been using them
as guinea pigs.
I have a pretty good suspicion who.
Mr. Experimental Neuropsychology.
Dr. Carlton, please. Lois Lane.
He took a leave of absence.
No forwarding address.
I'm going back to the labs.
Keep tabs on the testing.
I'll let you guys know.
How's Amy doing?
I now get all the channels on my cable...
and I don't even have to pay for them.
I guess that means no progress.
She won't even talk to me.
I'm an adult so that makes me the enemy.
Think about all she's been through:
Orphaned, force-fed drugs.
Do you blame her?
Even growing up in a normal household,
it's tough being a kid.
Everybody telling you what to do
all day long.
Even if you're smart enough
to have better ideas yourself.
Does this bring back memories?
I guess I'll give it another try.
I bet you were a cute kid.
I'm still a cute kid.
"2:00 p. m. Superman costume.
Smart Kids. "
How come you're not wearing
your suit, Superman?
I don't have a suit. I'm not Superman.
Here's what we want:
An F-18 Hornet Fighter Jet...
painted red and yellow,
four mountain bikes...
an emerald, 10 carats at least...
100 pounds of Gooey Bears...
and an island.
That's all we can think of
for now, Superman.
I'm not him. I wish I was.
What makes you think
that I am Superman?
We saw you land.
In the alley?
Last night, behind the Daily Planet.
I didn't land there. Superman did.
I was just waiting for him.
As a matter of fact,
he'd been out looking for you.
He hadn't found anything,
so I left and went to my office.
Why would Superman be looking for us?
He's worried about you.
So am I. Are you guys okay?
Where did Superman go after you left?
Down a manhole to check the sewers,
to see if you were down there.
That could be true.
We don't have underground surveillance.
Well, not yet.
We'll think about it
and call you back tomorrow.
- Superman doesn't bleed, does he?
- I don't know.
I hope that worked.
Amy, what's wrong?
I'm not so smart anymore.
I took this apart to make it work better,
but then I couldn't put it back together.
- It's all right.
- I think I broke it.
It's just a dumb old thing.
It doesn't matter.
I know about Mentamide 5...
and what Dr. Carlton was doing to you
and the other kids.
- It's awful.
- It made us smarter.
It made you something
you're not ready to be.
We start off as kids
so we can learn to be adults.
When I was a kid,
I thought all adults were incredibly stupid.
I thought it was because
their bodies kept growing...
and their brains stayed the same size,
It's just not that simple.
Do you want to know
how the Smart Stuff works?
Only if you're ready to tell me.
At first, you don't even notice.
Then things just get easier.
You understand everything.
You remember everything.
But if you stop taking it,
you get dumb again.
Like me now.
It's just so hard to go back and forth
from being smart to dumb.
That's why we escaped.
Why didn't you tell someone?
Would you have believed
a bunch of problem kids?
Do the other kids
have enough Smart Stuff to last them?
They're probably running out.
What will they do?
I can't say.
Can you at least tell me where they are?
If they get caught, no more Smart Kids.
Would that be so bad?
It's up to them.
Is it so bad for you?
Not so bad.
Well, we knew precisely
how many have escaped.
We knew precisely how much
Mentamide 5 they had with them.
So therefore we were able to predict,
with reasonable accuracy...
how long it would be
before they came looking for a refill.
Yes, granted it would have been easier
if we'd caught them sooner.
But then I'd have been denied the pleasure
of watching them perform.
I must say, Doctor,
you have outdone yourself.
I'm sure that with the proper time
we'll overcome the stage two problem.
Soon our young Einsteins
will mount their assault on LexLabs.
There they will find Mentamide 5,
and they will drink.
But, of course, it won't be Mentamide 5...
but new, concentrated Mentamide 6.
And then they will be transported
directly to stage two.
Don't pass Go, don't collect $200.
Yes, a real knee-slapper.
Doctor, I've arranged a little entertainment
for this evening.
Wine, beautiful women, strip charades.
Perhaps you'd like to join me.
- Get the cart.
And get the Smart Stuff.
Why Lex Luthor?
If they wanted someone prominent,
What do you think they'll ask for?
Could be anything.
If Metropolis wants Lex Luthor
back in one piece, listen carefully.
First, we want Amy Valdez
released from custody.
Second, we want promises in writing
there will no more attempts to find us.
Third, our own island.
A nice one, with palm trees. Fourth, 100...
1,000 pounds of Gooey Bears.
You have 24 hours.
What, no military jet?
What is a Gooey Bear?
- The test results are in.
- Tell us.
Again, this is from
the synthetic they made...
but this stuff does boost intelligence
for a while.
However, once enough residue
has built up in your system...
there is a kind of an overload.
Conscious cerebral activity
drops to almost nothing.
It burns out your brain.
This isn't a game anymore, honey.
It's life or death.
How do I know you're telling the truth?
We have the lab report.
That could be forged.
You don't know that
we're telling the truth. Not for sure.
You have to trust us.
I don't have to trust anyone.
Adults lie all the time.
Do you think we're lying now?
Amy, you have to believe us.
Your friends are in danger.
You can save them.
Okay, you do what you think is right.
That's all any of us can do...
no matter how young, or old,
or smart we are.
Just you two?
Hold it right there.
Dudley, cut it out. They're with me, okay?
I have my orders.
Where's Lex Luthor?
- Not so fast, lady.
- Guys, they're here to help us.
They found out that the Smart Stuff
turns to poison if you keep using it.
- It's a trick.
- It's not a trick.
You guys have to stop
taking Mentamide 5 right now.
But then we won't be smart anymore.
You'll still be smart.
You were always smart.
You'll just be normal.
These are friends of mine,
and I think we should believe them.
Where's Lex Luthor?
Philip's got him in the main spy center,
down the hallway.
Go ahead, but be careful.
I'll keep an eye on these three.
Even you're not fast enough
to stop me from using this.
Mr. Luthor here could end up
with the IQ of a radish.
Philip, are you all right?
- Did you take more Smart Stuff?
- Yeah, the new and improved version.
My mind is so big.
You took Mentamide 6?
- But you're still...
- Smart? Yes.
There's a flaw in the formula. But I fixed it.
The other kids want to go back
to being normal.
How about you?
Normal is boring.
Different is worse. I know.
Different is never quite fitting in.
Never quite blending.
Different is wishing you weren't.
You're not different, Philip, you're special.
I had no idea that Dr. Carlton
was using his research grant at LexLabs...
to experiment on you kids.
I'm shocked, of course.
But I take full responsibility.
Let me make it up to you...
you and the others. But don't change.
Don't listen to him.
He wants to take it away from you.
I want to give.
It's the other way around.
Come with me. I can show you.
We can see everything from here.
Okay. Metropolis Park.
- Can I jump in here?
The angle's wrong.
They should run into the wind
to get the lift.
You'd get it right the first time.
- Every time.
- Then you've missed something.
Learning while you mature
is an exciting and wonderful experience.
Why deny yourself?
Because he doesn't need
to get stupid again!
He's got everything he needs
and would ever want...
in his grasp right now:
Power, privilege, wealth!
But would he enjoy it?
Someone who has moved
beyond humanity into becoming...
What do you feel, Philip?
How wonderful or terrible is it, really?
You are the only one who knows...
and you are the only one who can decide.
That I agree with, Philip. Choose.
Back to kiddie-hood...
or onward to greatness?
Would you go back to being a kid
if you could?
No, I've already been one.
I've moved on.
Someday you will, too, when it's time.
It's not easy being a kid.
No one ever said it was.
Don't do anything you'll regret.
Some story, huh?
Thank God Lex wasn't hurt.
Do you know he made sure
all Dr. Carlton's notes...
samples, everything were destroyed?
He even offered to pay the charges
the kids put on the credit card.
Well, Luthor deserves a lot of credit.
With the kids de-Einsteined...
and Dr. Carlton turning himself
into a vegetable...
I think the phrase that Luthor used
was "overcome with remorse. "
No more Smart Stuff.
Sorry to give up foster parenthood?
She was a handful, though.
She told me that she and Inez
had a long talk with their mother.
They're thinking of arranging a visit.
And that is the end of that.
I don't know, Lois.
Something tells me we haven't seen
the last of the Smart Kids.
What makes you say that?
I've seen that pig before.