Perry invites Clark to have a drink with him. Clark eyes Perry's glass with consternation. "Club soda," Perry says. "Since that little wakeup call of yours years ago, I've been a teetotaler, and an utter bore." Clark smiles and takes note of Perry's satchel, overflowing with newspaper clippings. "Still chasing down stories, I see." Perry waves it off as a freelance project, but then adds he's working on it with Lois. "I hope I'm not overstepping," he says. Clark's butt clenches so fast you can hear a tiny thunderclap. Nonetheless, he manages a tense smile. "There was this one story she wanted my help on, but it looks like she's traded up for... a more experienced partner." Perry chortles. "I'll let you in a little secret: experience is overrated." They sit down and Perry tells Clark about his early reporting life, chasing down stories, living on the road, and losing wives because of it. He finally realized the important thing was to have someone to share your life. Clark puts on his "thoughtful" face, which is a lot like his "drifting off" face. He's brought back into focus when Perry tells him he's going to ask Martha to marry him. Clark moves his eyes around. "I'd like your blessing," Perry says. Clark thinks about it for a second, then leans forward and says, as kindly as possible, "I don't want to get in the middle of anything, but I don't think she's going to give you the answer you're looking for." Perry looks like he wants to cry.
Later, Lois and Clark are setting the dinner table. Clark is trying to talk Lois into sticking together, but Lois says she has a lot she needs to figure out. "I can't keep lying to everyone about us," she says. Martha walks in to hear the tail end of that. Clark, seeing her, says too cheerfully, "Mom! Everything smells great!" Lois plasters on a fake smile and turns to look at Martha. Martha, letting them continue blowing their collective noses into their tissue of lies, starts to ask for help with something. She forgets what she meant to say, though, because at that moment, Perry is backing into the kitchen with a armful of firewood. The way the dwindling sunlight frames him and lights his hair makes him look for a moment like Jonathan Kent. To top it off, he's wearing a familiar-looking barn coat. Martha smiles, lost in a memory, until Perry steps out of the light and into reality. "Who's up for a crackling fire?" he asks. Martha tries to keep smiling, but dissolves into tears and leaves the room. "What did I do?" Perry asks. "That was my dad's jacket," Clark says. Perry silently curses himself. Did he find it in the woodshed or something and just decide to put it on? For all he knew, it could have been full of ticks or chiggers or sad memories of a dead husband!