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How Could You Be So Heartless?

Lois runs for the phone booth, chanting, "Please call, please call." The phone rings. Lois answers and says the man from the hospital is John Corben. Clark, standing on a rooftop somewhere, says he asked her not to-- She cuts him off and says he should be careful, because John has a "super-sized grudge" against him. The phone booth starts to glow green and the tell-tale heart starts beating. Clark wants Lois to promise him she's on her way home and not back to the office. Her muffled cries answer him. He listens to her struggling for about five seconds, asking, "Lois? Lois? Lois!" instead of immediately zipping down there. He does eventually get to the phone booth, though, and finds it empty. There's a handprint in green goo on the phone. He stands around looking perturbed.

Gigantic Watchtower pad. Chloe is at one of her fifty thousand computer screens when Clark whooshes in. "Lois has been kidnapped. I need your help," he says. Chloe says, "Tell me this isn't because you let her chase down the sinister cyborg all by herself." Clark protests that he told her not to! Chloe's like, "What did you think was going to happen?" I don't think Clark thinks, Chloe. She tells Clark that Lois is referring to herself as the Blur's sidekick now. Clark realizes he shouldn't have called her, but he's got to save her now. Chloe says Emil told her about the kryptonite heart; Clark won't be able to get near him. (There's a picture of Henry/Jimmy on Chloe's desk, by the way. I wonder if Aaron Ashmore gets paid for that? He should.) Clark shows her the "EMP grenade" that Emil gave him. It looks like the Tin Man's wiener. It's supposed to emit an electromagnetic pulse that stops any electronic device within 50 yards. Chloe wonders if it will work against meteor rock. I would think not, since it's not an electronic device. Clark says it's a chance he's willing to take. He gives Chloe John's name and she gets to work looking him up. "I wish you'd come to me in the first place," she says. "Lois doesn't have any experience dealing with these things." Clark admits it's because things have been easy with Lois lately. "Talking to her just felt right." Yeah, it's not as much fun talking to your grieving widow best friend, I guess. Chloe looks hurt, but keeps working. She pulls up some video mail Corben recorded while in Afghanistan. He thanks his "sis" for the DVDs and notes she sent in his care package. He's in a tent and there's gunfire in the background. He keeps recording and tells his sister to keep practicing her foosball so they can play when he gets home. He closes by telling her to be careful in the city, because "it's not like home," and he loves her. Clark and Chloe watch sadly. Chloe punches in some more information and finds out that his sister Rebecca was murdered in her apartment three months earlier while John was overseas. She also sees that he bought the building just a few weeks ago and thinks he may have taken Lois there. She tells Clark to be careful as he zips away.

So it turns out the place with the furnace and the chain fence of obsession is in the basement of this building. Lois is trying to joke her way out of the situation by saying, "H.R. frowns on this sort of thing." In this economy? It's cheaper than paying a severance package. John quietly says that he heard Lois talking to the Blur. "Just tell me who he is and I'll let you go." He sort of sounds like he means it, but Lois doesn't have the information he wants. She looks at the pulsing green glow under his coat and wonders what happened to him. He takes off his jacket and shows her. She takes one look and decides she wants him to put it back on. I don't know, it's still a pretty nice looking upper body even with the gross crabby Jell-O machine. John keeps asking, very quietly and desperately, for the Blur's identity. Lois backs up and picks up a heavy wrench. Now John shouts at her: "Who is he!" She whacks him with the wrench but it does no damage. John backhands her and she goes flying into some pipes. She falls to the ground, unconscious.

Clark whooshes in to the basement. (I wonder if he was standing just outside the whole time, waiting for Lois to get knocked out before going in?) "Get away from her!" he shouts. He advances on John, but stops short when he gets near the kryptonite. He takes a few steps back. "It's you, the Blur," John says. Clark says he doesn't want to hurt him, but John says he already has: "My sister is dead because of you." Clark looks confused, so John explains about how a prison bus crashed and Clark saved all the men inside from certain death. "In the confusion, a cold-blooded killer escaped." Clark realizes the escaped con murdered John's sister. John struggles to get out the words: "What gives you... the right... to interfere with our lives and to change our fates!" It's such a meaty and profound question on a show about a hero with godlike powers, but it's sort of wasted like a throw-away. I wish John had stayed around a while as a regular human reporter to challenge Clark/the Blur. But he probably would have ended up in a crap love triangle with jealousy as a motive, so I guess it's better things wound up this way. Clark says he's sorry for John's tragic loss. To his credit, he really does look kind of torn up about it. His voice even cracks a little. He says John needs to get control of himself, because the meteor rock is affecting him. John thinks it's easy for the Blur to have control, watching from the shadows. "You stand apart from the world, but the rest of us live in it. Even when it breaks your heart." Behind his back, Clark activates the EMP grenade. John advances on him and Clark crumples to his knees, weak from the kryptonite. He throws the grenade.

John watches it curiously. Gooey-looking lightning seeps out of it. This cocoon of energy very, very slowly starts to fill the room. John watches it with a frown instead of bolting. The pulse shatters a lightbulb in slo-mo. Then another lightbulb. And eventually another. John raises his arms as the light envelops him. His krypto-implant shorts out and he falls backward with a groan of pain. His eyes are open and glassy. He looks dead. Clark spares him a glance then makes his way over to the still-unconscious Lois. He brushes aside her hair a little and says her name. The sound of a heartbeat and a sinister green glow fill the room. Clark starts twitching and groaning. John, who is not dead after all, grabs Clark and throws him across the room. John says, "Now I'm going to show you what it's like to lose somebody you love." Yes, show, we get it. Clark-n-Lois 4-EVA! Just let it happen without characters announcing it, OK? It would be less forced that way. John turns toward Lois. "Lead," Clark's inner thoughts say out loud for us. He picks up a metal panel with the words "METROPOLIS LEAD CO" stamped on it. Sounds like where Wile E. Coyote would buy his metal goods if ACME was back-ordered. Clark blasts the panel with his heat vision until it glows red-hot. John just... watches this going on. The racing music makes it sound like this is an awesome fight scene, but the ponderously slow action disagrees. Clark slaps the molten plate onto John's chest as he superzips by. There's an audible sizzle of flesh. Hope he didn't need what was left of his nipples. John knocks on the metal and taunts Clark: "A little meteor rock got you down? Who knew the mighty Goliath could be taken down by a simple stone?" Well, anyone who's read the Old Testament, for starters. John peels the metal plate off his chest, and Clark's all "NO!", but John realizes too late that he's also peeled out his artificial heart. John stares down at the gaping, mechanical wound for a few moments before collapsing to the ground. He crawls forward on his hands and knees, then stills.

Clark goes back to Lois. He pets her hair some more and tells her she's safe now. She starts to wake up, but by the time her eyes open, he's across the room. She looks over to where he's standing silhouetted against the furnace fire. "It's you," she sighs. "

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