Perhaps I'm being narcissistic in believing it to be so, but my birthday was on the Sunday after this episode aired, and it was the first episode in a while I haven't completely hated. So if it was some sort of emergency relief stimulus birthday gift, thanks Smallville. This was better than cake and candles.
We open with a low-to-the-ground panning shot across the Former Lair of Lex. The fireplace is going and Tess Mercer is curled up with a book. The large, rich Corinthian leather book has a fancy Veritas logo on the front. She's completely entranced. It must be one of those escapist John Grisham stories where there's one good lawyer or juror or baseball player fighting against a rapidly corrupting legal/baseball system. It's called The Designated. Tess is looking at an illustration inside the book that looks like a comic book-style blast. We zoom in on it and special effects take over. We are suddenly in space as flaming bits of space debris (and an alien ship) are hurtling toward Earth. Is it any surprise that Clark entered the world flaming? Have I made that joke before? It never stops being true. We cut to shots of fiery meteorites sailing above the Kansas landscape. The Smallville water tower is hit. A downtown building is destroyed and a truck is crushed. A dude in a letterman jacket dodges. Cars explode. The Smallville High sign is taken apart by more falling space rock. We see another rock take out a big chunk of cornfield. A red truck drives past the Welcome to Smallville sign, which is then obliterated by another blast. Bo and MamaKent (flash to the past!) are driving in the truck and the green screen effect is... not so good now that we see it again. And why the Hell is Bo Duke grinning as the world around him is seemingly ending? Does he dig that sort of thing? [If Dukes of Hazzard is the historical document I believe it to be, then yes. Yes, he does. - Zach] He hits the brakes as his truck enters into a smoky zone, and we hear a crash.
We see Papa Luthor running into the corn field looking for Lex. We see that cool shot where the camera pulls back to reveal Papa Luthor standing in a sea of flattened cornstalks. He pulls aside some stalks to find his son and instead of the original actor from the pilot, we see Li'l Lex from more recent episodes. He's got a few patches of reddish hair clinging to his scalp, but is mostly shaky and bare-headed. Papa Luthor leans back, looking at his son with horror. He's horrified it's not the same boy actor he remembered.