Daily Planet. Lois Lane walks into the office, talking a mile a minute. She's telling an unseen Clark about her crappy morning and being late for their breakfast and her broken-down taxi. To top it off, a bus drove through a puddle and splashed her with mud. By the time she got to her interview, she was interviewing the cleaning crew about how to get the stains out of her clothes. This whole time, she's been talking to some guy's back who doesn't even really look like Clark from behind except in the most basic "tall guy with dark hair" sort of way. She pours two cups of coffee. "Clark," she says to the guy's back. He turns around to face her. He looks vaguely like old-timey comics Clark Kent, with neat, oiled hair and black-rimmed glasses. He thanks her for the coffee and leaves. What in the hell was the point of that? To show Lois has all the observational skills of a block of cheese? She scoffs, thinking of the real Clark. "What could be more important than a breakfast date with the great Lois Lane?" There's not enough room in this recap for me to list all the things. Just then, a black-and-white checkered box is dropped onto her desk. She eagerly opens it to find all the JSA's criminal records and a note that reads, "The truth will set you free." Tess Mercer comes up behind her and snarks about Lois's dirty attire. "Mud-wrestling again, Lois?" You wish. Lois stuffs the files back into the box and turns to face her boss. Lois asks what Tess is doing there. Well, the writers finally remembered she exists, for starters. Tess sees the box and says the package is for her; the mail room must have just sent it to Lois by mistake. Lois points out that the package was addressed to her, not Tess. "Guess I haven't had any problems," Lois says. "No, but you will," Tess promises. Lois stares after her blankly.
Hospital again. Little boy Icicle shows up to carry on a one-sided conversation with his comatose father. "What they did to you was an injustice," he says. "They took away the only family I ever had. I've only just begun to take away theirs." A tear forms in his eye, turning to ice as it drops from his cheek.
Back at the Museum of Justice, Carter's lecturing the whippersnappers. "Back in my day, we trudged through five miles of snow just to put on our tights! You young punks, changing in phone booths! What are ya? A bunch of layabouts, is what ya are! Now scram while Grandpa finishes his oatmeal!" Actually, what he says is, "The JSA was cleaning up the streets before you were in diapers." He says they tried to stay out of the public eye, but a government task force somehow "got wind" of their activities. Maybe they walked by your big, honking superhero museum. [Yeah, seriously, because that organization hasn't found Clark yet, and he has a severe problem with staying out of the public eye. - Z] The government wanted the heroes to work for them, unmasked. They refused, and the task force went after them, arrested them, had them institutionalized. "They forced us out of the skies and off the streets," Carter says. Through all of this, Clark listens with the very slightest concerned expression. I've seen people more upset about losing a sock at the laundry. Dr. Fate adds that they were torn from the families they were trying to protect. Oliver wonders why they didn't fight back. "We did, for as long as we could," Carter says. He sighs. "I wasn't the leader everybody thought I was. I made too many mistakes." Clark nods slightly and wonders about his socks. Finally, he remembers he's a superhero himself with something to contribute to the conversation. "I've made mistakes, but I haven't quit," he says. Boy, you quit at some point almost every season. Carter scoffs that Clark hasn't even started yet. Clark thinks Carter's making everything too personal, but Carter thinks that's their strength. Courtney tries to play peacemaker, reminding Carter they have more important things to do. Seriously, there's way too much jawing going on. Get fighting or something! She says if they don't team up to stop Icicle, he'll go after the remaining members of the JSA. "It's obvious you still care about this team," Clark says. "If you didn't, you wouldn't have kept watch over [the museum]." Carter thinks about it, then proposes a temporary alliance. "Do you have any idea where we could find Icicle?" Clark asks. "I've got one or two," Chloe says, walking into the room for the first time. Do these people never lock the door? Carter snarks that Chloe must be their secretary, but John Jones says she's their eyes and ears. True enough, she's hunted down security footage of Icicle visiting his father in the hospital. "And if he's anything like his father, he's going to need to replenish his abilities with some liquid nitrogen." Thank God, a plan at last! If Chloe hadn't invited herself over, they'd be arguing in gruff whispers for the rest of the movie. All Chloe needs is a computer to look up the nearest nitrogen depot. The JSA lead her to a corner of the room where the finest technology of the early 1980s sits gathering dust. The computer has a rotary phone and 5.25" floppies. Chloe stares at it curiously. Wait till you see the printer; it's made of a bird who pecks images into stone tablets!