Starry night. An icy meteor enters the frame from stage (er, space-stage) right, losing little chunks of itself as it goes. The meteor goes near the fiery, sweaty curve of the sun and disintegrates like so much of NBC's fall TV schedule. A flare bursts on the sun's surface, sending up a mass of flame the likes of which hasn't been seen since the last super-sized Will & Grace. (Hey, I've got Scrubs on the brain.) The screen flashes to white.
We're looking at flames on a TV set: it's a news report about solar flares. A graphic on the screen says that a comet hit the sun. Our own flaming supernova, Clark, is watching with keen interest. The news report says it's one of the most significant astrological events of the last century. More significant, even, than the size of Uranus. Clark's playing with a pen as he stares at the TV. In front of him, science publications including Scientific American are laid out on the coffee table. The TV report says that solar flares are causing power surges and satellite-communication disruptions. Just then, Bo and MamaKent walk in, carrying paper grocery sacks. Bo asks Clark to give them a hand. Clark takes a minute because he's just thoroughly engrossed, completely transfixed by the sun. It's as if he's got some strange connection to it. Perhaps Clark is related to the space equivalent of George Hamilton and derives all of his tanning powers from the center of the solar system. He finally gets up and tells the folks he got "sucked in" to the TV news on KPAZ. Bo asks what's the hubbub, bub. Clark explains what happened with the sun and the flares and the NASA and the HEY, LADY! MamaKent says he seems intrigued. Clark likes that it's a cosmic disaster that has nothing to do with him. Yay, disaster! Clark excuses himself to go meet Pete at the Talon. They're going to exchange notes. Clark's note for Pete says, "You should talk less. In general. I think you've overstepped your bounds a little on the show lately." MamaKent offers a ride, but Clark says he'll run. We pan back to the TV. The sun is still hot.
The same broadcast is playing in a seedy bar where somebody picks up a shot of liquor and holds it. Hey, it's the Wild Coyote! I love that place! All my seedy friends drink there. And I love the guy talking! It's Michael McKean, and he's asking the bar in general (the best place to ask philosophical questions) whether his fellow tavern patrons believe in a higher power in the universe. "Sure," the bulky bartender answers. The McKean POV camera shakes a little. McKean is drunk-ass. The bartender asks if he can switch the TV back to the game. McKean moves his face around drunkenly and chuckles. He says that's one small step for man, one giant leap for the Metropolis Sharks. McKean is kind of a dick here. And he's a little bloaty. McKean toasts Littleville, Kansas, and all the little "Kans-assians" in it. Hee. I love this man. He downs his shot as two not-at-all-tough-looking guys next to him at the bar look all offended. What are they gonna do, sic their lawyers on him? McKean asks for another shot. The two wussy guys close in. The bartender suggests that our drunk antihero has had enough. McKean bleats that there'll be trouble if the bartender tries to cut him off. There's trouble, but only for McKean. He gets thrown out of the bar into fiery, painful daylight. Hey, a sign says the rodeo finals are coming up! Sweet! I want and demand a Krypto-villain who also rides in the rodeo. McKean stumbles, and his nice brown bag gets thrown, too. He's told not to come back. "Small-town friendly my butt," he says. You know he really wanted to say "ass."