Lois decides maybe she needs to take a little break from Clark after he turns down a chance to work on a story with her that will earn them their jobs back at the Daily Planet. She's still pining for the Blur and her higher purpose, but Clark's got his hands full with that whole alien apocalypse mess. Before he can reconcile with Lois or chase after Kandorians, though, his long-absent mother Martha Kent returns from the U.S. Senate for a visit. She's all verklempt seeing the farm again, but she's brought her new boyfriend to cheer her up. It's none other than Perry White, played by Annette O'Toole's real-life hubby Michael McKean. Lois and Clark at first lie about being together and still working at the paper, but they come clean over an awkward family dinner. Lois and Perry also decide to work together on a story to expose the Red Queen, which Martha discovers for the first time when Perry accidentally drops his notes in front of her. Since the promos totally spoiled the reveal, it's no surprise at all when it turns out Martha is the Red Queen. She sets up a fake meeting with Perry and Lois to put them on a false trail.
Meanwhile, she's got Maxwell Lord working his mind mojo on a kidnapped Tess, trying to get her to reveal the location of the Book of Rao. She overcomes his mental influence and escapes, or so she thinks, but in facts ends up leading Martha right to the Book of Rao's hiding place. Martha comes away with the Book and a sassy pair of red stilettos. During a conversation with Chloe about using Watchtower to protect him, Clark puts 2 + 2 together and figures out his mommy dearest has actually been working behind the scenes as the Queen. He confronts his mother about it, and she confesses. She's been trying to protect him all along and gives him the powerful Book of Rao to help him defeat the Kandorians. The only problem is that if he uses it to exile them from Earth, he'll end up exiled himself. Oops.
In the week's subplot, Chloe uses a mostly defunct Watchtower to help Clark track down the Kandorians. When he gets impatient about the computers still being out of service, Chloe confesses that they're actually working fine. It's Chloe who's having a bit of a breakdown. Now that she has Ollie, she wants to start living a real life instead of playing "big brother/sister" to the heroes. Clark talks her into staying by pointing out he needs her and her work is important and that she's a hero, too. Plus, the show's been renewed for a 10th season, so she's sort of stuck.
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It's a lovely spring day at the Kent farm. It's the kind of day that makes young men want to go for a dip down at the ol' swimmin' hole, or laze about under the gently spreading branches of a favorite old tree. What's Clark doing? Why, he's inside the house, punching holes in the walls with his bare hands. He says to Chloe, via cell, that the Book of Rao isn't there. Couldn't he have used his super powers to check instead of going all Clark smash! on the place? Are his X-ray blinkers on the blink? Maybe the Kent farmhouse walls are covered in layer upon layer of lead paint. That would explain a lot, actually. He wants Chloe to check her video footage again. Chloe, back at the Watchtower, is surrounded by mostly defunct computer equipment. She tells him that Jor-El hid the Book of Rao in the north wall, but that's about all she can tell him. "Thanks to Tess's little break-in, Watchtower can barely run a game of Donkey Kong, let alone an image enhancement program." Clark gets ants in his pants about needing to find the Book before Zod does, if it's as powerful as it's rumored to be. Chloe wonders if the reason why they can't find the Kandorians is because they're off looking for it, too. Just then, Clark hears a noise coming from the pantry and hangs up with Chloe.
He storms in there and sees a young woman from behind as she reaches for some food item on a top shelf. He grabs her shoulder, shocked when it's Lois who turns to greet him. Who else would be rudely helping herself to your belongings? Noting his surprise, she teases: "If you can't recognize my butt in a pair of jeans, then what are you thinking about?" Surely if you'd been wearing a Playboy bunny costume or Scottish schoolgirl outfit, he would have known it was you. He apologizes for being so distracted. The silly music starts up as she begins to fret over their unemployment situation. "It's not a matter of life or death," he tells her. Au contraire, Clark! Her cell phone has been turned off! She can't get her clothes back from the dry cleaner! Did this woman have no savings at all? "To top it off," she says, "it's as if you're expecting me to single-handedly save our unemployed derrières!" Luckily, she's got a story for them that will get them back into the Planet. She leads him into the kitchen and shows off her research folder. He's all, "I'm too busy saving the world, so step off, woman!" Except, since he doesn't actually tell her the truth, she doesn't get why he's blowing her off. She takes his face in her hands. "I have been pounding back double-double espressos just trying to keep us on some kind of a masthead, and you've been doing... what, exactly?" Fending off alien invaders, dodging secret government agencies, trying to find a pair of underwear that doesn't bunch up at Mach 1. That sort of thing. "I just have some responsibilities I can't ignore," he says, heading for the door. She calls after him that she needs a higher purpose in life, which he doesn't seem to need. He tries to calm her down by telling her she's overreacting, which he should know by now has the exact opposite effect. When he asks her to give him a break, she suggests they take a break from their relationship. Clark is stunned, but the sound of a woman's laughter reaches him from the front hallway. He goes to the door and finds his mother walking into the house, all sunlit smiles and hugs for her baby boy. When she's surprised to find him there, he lies that he's working from home. Seeing Lois, Martha Kent invites her to dinner. Clark begs Lois with his eyes to accept, so she nods with a too-bright smile. "I've got plenty for the four of us," Martha says, by way of introducing the new man in her life. Clark goes, "Barroo?" A gentleman backs into the house, carting mounds of luggage in with him, grousing good-naturedly about Martha needing so many clothes. "With my help, you won't be wearing anything!" He says the last just as he turns around to find an audience gaping at him. Aw, it's Michael McKean! "You remember Perry White," Martha says. Lois, stepping forward, beams at him. "The Perry White?" Everyone smiles awkwardly as the comical music crescendos. Somebody save Perry from the hole he's hoping opens up in the floor beneath his feet!