We open on Metropolis, a flyover at night. The anonymous buildings glitter as we pass them by. We cut to Chloe on the balcony of what looks like the remodeled Ace of Clubs. She looks forlorn, which is understandable. She's wearing a sleeveless green dress, which I'm guessing makes for a pretty cold night up there. Chloe plays with her wedding ring. Her sad mood is broken when someone puts a birthday present in front of her. It has an orange bow and a small card taped to it says, "From Clark." "Clark, you shouldn't have," Chloe says, smiling, but turns to find Oliver standing there instead. Most ladies would happily take that trade-in. Oliver says Clark's sorry he couldn't make it. He and Bart (speed demon Impulse) are off fighting crime. [In Keystone City, no less! - Zach] Chloe, her hair sexily tousled, is aware of the trouble going on, but doesn't elaborate. Chloe is only a bit disappointed. Oliver tells her to see what she got. She opens the gift box, which in the TV convention is not taped up at all and slides open easily. Wrapped inside the box's orange tissue paper is something that brings back memories for Chloe. "I haven't seen this in ages," she says. It's a book, Tales of the Weird & Unexplained, which she lost when she moved to Smallville. Aw, Clark remembered. She smiles wistfully. Oliver asks if she's all right. She lies and says she is. She says birthdays just make her reflective. Oliver suggests they get Chloe out of her own head and into the party.
The two of them step back inside the main club. Chloe suddenly goes wildly off script, it seems. "See? Case in point. That was supposed to be my life," she says, pointing to Lois. Lois, wearing a typically va-va-voom bustified outfit, is laughing with some partygoers over near the bar. She's waving her arms around, telling some outrageous story we're blessed not to hear. The camera stays on Lois for just a beat too long as Chloe asks Oliver what happened. She says she was on the fast track to becoming an intrepid reporter and now she's a shrink to meteor-infected kids who'll probably turn out to be killers while Clark and Lois walk the beat with matching press passes. Chloe amazingly gets all that out in a single sentence. Not to be bitter, but Chloe adds that she was able to hold on to "happily ever after" for 2.3 seconds before her marriage imploded. Uh... happy birthday? Want a drink? Chloe gives Oliver big, glaring eyes. Oliver chooses the interesting route of making an opera reference. He asks if this is the part where Chloe belts out the soprano's aria and shoves a dagger in her corset. Oh, Oliver. Why? Chloe, who has nothing to apologize for, apologizes for the operetta. "I would love to know how she does it!" Chloe says. All right, that's it. I'm out. I quit. What the Hell is this bullshit? Chloe wants to know how Lois is a great reporter? Okay, maybe I don't quit, but Chloe should. Fuck whatever set of circumstances got us to this point, because it's a messed-up world when Chloe has to be jealous of Lois's bullshit reporting skills. And apparently we are living in that world. It is a cold, dead world.