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A Backstory With a View

Tess's limo. Tess is on the phone with a minion, upset because his "tomb raiders" have been digging around the desert for weeks without results. Minion's voice tells her they've been struggling with sandstorms and that whoever they're looking for is dead, or buried. Tess suggests the minion will end up the same way unless he gets the job done. Her door is opened for her and she steps out of the limo. They're parked in some industrial area with train tracks and buildings with smokestacks or steam vents. Waiting for her by one of these buildings is Zod. He's looking up at one of the Blur's gigantic S-shields that's been burned into the back of a billboard. It's probably twenty feet across. I hope someone invents kryptonite spray paint and sprays Clark with it. That'll teach him not to vandalize people's property. Tess saunters up to Zod in her awesome knee-high boots and silvery trench coat and greets him. He turns to look at her. "I received your message," he says, and tosses her the soldier's bloody dog tags she sent him last week. He thinks that Tess, unlike the Blur, has a "flair for the dramatic." I think he's being sarcastic, but Tess answers him as if he's not: "I think your deep-cover agent might have a different opinion." But Tess is glad his "untimely" death got Zod's attention. They stand side by side before the shield. "I won't be toyed with," she tells him. Zod, looking like he's suppressing the hot sting of rising bile, confides to Tess his theory about Jor-El being the Blur and taking their powers. Tess turns slightly so that Zod can't see the impish smile stealing across her lips. She finds this all so delicious. Zod strikes a bargain with her: "You help me find him, I'll give you what you've always wanted." He's very close to her now, and moving closer with each word he utters. He flatters her about how she opened the orb, the "bottled-up hopes and dreams of Kandor," and offers to let her work with them. He drops his voice to a hoarse whisper: "At my side, as equals... together... intimately." Pretty confident of your sexy charms, aren't you, Zoddy-Poo? Tess turns to look up at him with a smile. "I've already got a team on it," she says. She says she'll let him know when she finds Jor-El. Zod gives her an appreciative once-over as he watches her go. She's not bad for a human, eh?

Turkish "desert" under the glaring sun. Oliver is joking that if Clark had wanted to bury him for going in the date with Lois, he should have picked Nevada. Clark doesn't want to talk about it, but Oliver keeps going on about how they at least could have caught some shows or something, like Blue Man Group or Carrot Top. OK, Oliver being a murderer was one thing, but a Carrot Top fan? Beyond the pale! He and Clark walk and walk. Oliver is panting for breath when they finally come to a stop. He totally should have asked Clark to carry him. They've reached the coordinates that Chloe gave them but there doesn't seem to be anything there. Do you think it's important that Clark is wearing dark colors and Oliver is wearing white? Clark thinks they need to look deeper. (I just did!) He uses his X-ray vision and sees the defined edge of something just under the sand. Crouching down, he wipes away some sand and reveals a bubbly glass surface. He starts thinking out loud about how the marks are made by high temps when the Kandorians arrive on Earth. "Out here, the temperature would melt the sand into glass." Standing, he takes a deep breath and super-blows the sand away, revealing a huge, vitreous S-shield. Man, that must have sucked for a powerless Jor-El to show up in the middle of the desert, probably naked, surrounded by flaming hot molten glass. Oliver shields his face from the sand, and possibly from Clark's breath. "Who put your shield out in the middle of nowhere?" Oliver wonders. Clark finds a Kryptonian dog tag in the sand also bearing the symbol. Triumphant horn music plays. "Jor-El?" Clark muses. He realizes what this means: "My father! He's here on Earth." More specifically, as we see in a quick cutaway, he's in Smallville, Kansas, where a helpful local in an old red pickup is just letting him out at the Kent farm.

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