Daily Planet. Clark and Lois get into an elevator together and stand around like fifth graders at their first boy-girl dance, only more awkward. After long silences punctuated with monosyllabic greetings, Clark finally works up enough interest and/or courage to ask if they're still on for later that night. "Definitely," Lois says. More silence. Clark notices the box in Lois's purse and asks her about it. "It's a surprise," she says. More silence. "It's gonna be a long day," Clark says. "Yep." Silence. "How about a sneak preview?" he asks. They start kissing. How far down is the basement? They got in the elevator on the first floor! When the doors open, they hastily part ways. Lois notices the office looks busier than usual. Clark thinks it's the new editor. Lois gripes about Tess's hiring policies (no joke) and soon notices that their nameplates have been arranged on a single desk. Naturally, the new editor has heard Lois's complaint, since he's standing right behind her. Blu Mankuma introduces himself as Franklin Stern. Clark tries to make things better for Lois: "It's just since Tess has been gone, we've been through a lot of editors." In two weeks? That seems like more HR paperwork than it's worth. Stern informs them that the board is searching for a new Editor-in-Chief,and he aims to get the job. To that end, he's been going through the personnel files, looking for "red flags." He scolds Lois and Clark for their "interoffice relationship," which they both deny. Stern doesn't believe them for a second. He turns them on to a new story about Raymond Sacks, whose life sentence was just reversed. He holds up the nameplates. "Only one of these stays on the desk at the end of the day." Clark and Lois look mildly scared. "May the best reporter win," Stern says. "Best" being relative, of course. Lois looks like she wants to lay into Stern, but Clark holds her back. Lois sighs. The commercials come to save us from this oh-so-thrilling escapade.
LuthorCorp. Chloe's in Oliver's office. Sadly, Oliver isn't there with her, because the episode didn't have time for anything interesting this week. She takes a flash drive from his desk and plugs it into his computer. She downloads something from the Swiss National Bank. She's doing this in full view of the glass doors, so either whoever blocked this scene didn't care or Chloe's not doing anything she has to hide from anyone. In the hallway outside, someone walks up to the doors and swings them open. It's Tess in a pair of sunglasses that must be passing for her stealthy disguise. Chloe stands there like she's waiting for the gunfight at the OK Corral to start. "Oliver gave you the keys to his office," Tess teases. "He must trust you with just about all of his secrets." Chloe ignores that and wonders why Tess isn't "underground" like she's supposed to be. They snark a little back and forth before Tess says, "I may be MIA out there, but in here I'm still CEO." That's just... dumb. Checkmate must be ridiculously ineffectual if they can't find Tess in her own office. I mean, we've already established many times over that the security is crap. Sigh. Chloe and Tess give each other flirty, dirty smiles for a while. "Where is Oliver?" Tess asks. Chloe, still smiling, says coyly, "Out of town." Tess asks about how the two of them got together, and the answer from Chloe is something about having "mutual friends." This somehow segues into a conversation with Tess about having the Kandorians as friends. Clark wants to be friends with them, too, but not Chloe and Oliver. Why is that? Well, they have brains, for starters. "Clark optimistically thinks Zod will be happy wearing an apron and slinging coffees," Chloe says. "We don't." Tess latches onto one of those words: "'We'? As in you and Green Arrow?" Chloe, on her way out the door, stops in her tracks. "I get what you see in heroes," Tess says to Chloe's back. "But what do they see in you?" Instead of answering, Chloe points out that Zod hasn't exactly been paying much attention to Tess lately, according to her surveillance. I think the "so there, bitch!" is implied, but Chloe just adds, "Be careful, Ms. Mercer. At this rate, you're going to run out of people to betray." Chloe walks out, leaving Tess looking stricken, yet remarkably well-styled.