Watchtower. Tess listens to the staticky, garbled sounds of the fight. Lois walks in through the doors and Tess mutes the sound. "They aren't back yet?" Lois asks, incredulous. It's not like they went to the corner store for gum, you know. Tess is strangely jittery as she tries to convince Lois she has the situation under control. That must be her way of telling Lois to skedaddle, because Lois argues back that she's not leaving until she knows Clark is safe. The computer pipes up with an announcement: "Crystal transmission interrupted." Tess is wearing thick-framed glasses; how did Lois even recognize her? Tess glances at her watch, fiddles with the computer. She can't get a signal. "Maybe the problem's on our end," Lois suggests. "No, either the signal's been blocked or the communicator's been destroyed," Tess says, not realizing how bad that sounds until the words are already out of her mouth. Lois tries to keep calm and optimistic, but Tess is less so. "Clark and Oliver are on their own now," she says.
Zone. A man and woman in black robes march a shackled Clark and Oliver into something that looks like a big, airy tent made of gauze and burlap and dirt floors. It's actually not bad. It's got sort of a post-apocalyptic chic to it, like if Mad Max had been set in a Pottery Barn photo shoot. Clark and Oliver are brought before a man sitting in a throne that seems to have been lashed together out of driftwood and sun-bleached bones. A hood obscures his face. Some really long albino snakes slither around this guy's arms. What did the poor snakes do to deserve being sent to the Phantom Zone? The mystery man stands up, pulls back his hood and smiles, because he's Zod and he's just a little bit creepy like that. "Kneel," he commands. ["Before Zod!" mouth thousands of geeks silently! - Z] Clark and Oliver gape for a bit and then their captors shove them to their knees. Commercials!
After the commercials, Oliver is taken away so Zod and Clark can have a private confab. "Where are you taking Oliver?" Clark asks. "You're worried for him; you should be," Zod says, then punches him in the gut. Clark falls to the ground. Zod has a new beard that's quite fetching. He's also dialed the ham back from a full Easter dinner to a rasher of bacon. He both empathizes with and mocks Clark's powerless concern for Oliver. Clark vows to defeat him, with or without the yellow sun. Zod isn't the least bit afraid. He saunters back to his bone throne and tells Clark what happened to him when he arrived. "I made a very special acquaintance -- someone you know -- and someone I'm very, very fond of," he says. "Who?" Clark asks. "Me," Zod answers. Clark thinks for a moment, then remembers the original Zod's phantom. Zod has both his original memories and the memories of clone Zod who spent last season chewing up the scenery. Zod unsheathes a big, rusty-looking sword and saunters back over to Clark. (He does a lot of sauntering; it's his default mode of transportation.) He gives Clark a little jab in the chest with the tip of his blade. He looks forward to making Clark kneel and serve. "You sent me to my death sentence," he says quietly. "You left me at the mercy of those Kandorians. This was my punishment." A glint of light catches Clark's eye and he sees the gate crystal hanging from a cord around Zod's neck. "Jor-El built this place for your kind," Clark says. Zod punches him right in his smart mouth. Clark crumples to the floor, bleeding. Zod turns the discussion to Slade and Clark using Jor-El's prison for his own purposes. "There's no trial, no jury... Just the rule of Kal-El." Word. Of course, Clark will never give a thought to what Zod's saying, but it's nice to hear someone calling him out on his judgmental self. Zod smiles, though, pointing out that Clark was his own undoing. Clark realizes Zod trapped him by sending Slade back. "You knew I'd come looking for answers," he says. He read ahead in the script. Otherwise, it would have been sort of a crap shoot.