Daily Planet. A youngish guy with dark, curly hair is leaving the City Editor's office. Linda Lake is waiting in the hall for him with her article in hand and asks, "Ready to earn your stripes as city editor?" Except she says it so fast it sounded kind of like "Ratty onion strikes Hasidic editor" the first two times I listened. Maybe she was speaking slowly for Clark's benefit. Editor guy makes a snarky comment about Linda coming back to get her stiletto out of her assistant's back. Linda says the Daily Planet is "a poor man's wallpaper." Hey, some people just recycle more intensively than others. She wants to make the paper readable again. She holds up the article: "Clear your page one, run this." He declines to print her gossip. She reminds him that she was printing real news while he was still a cub reporter. "My blog had more hits than the Chicago mob." Editor guy turns away and tells her to get a new career, but then she mentions the article is about "the alien." This gets him to stop. Because he won't print regular old gossip, but he'll print alien gossip. It's good to have standards, I guess. I'm gonna have that second cider now.
Outside the farm house, things are crazy. News crews and fans mill around. Some people have signs that say "Clark save us!" and some have Obama-style "Hope" posters, except with Clark's portrait and the word "Believe" on them. Chloe arrives and tries to make her way through the crowd, but she's stopped by a flippy-haired woman with a camera crew and microphone. Flippy asks her what it's like to have an alien for a best friend. Chloe says she's just trying to get inside. Inside Clark? Oh, she means the house. That's where Clark is pacing, with the TV on the background, the room nearly entirely dark. He's on the phone with his mom: "What do you mean 'forced leave'? Can they even do that to a senator?" Apparently, yes. He thinks it'll all blow over after people adjust. They hang up. Chloe knocks on the door and he lets her in while keeping the crowd out. They each ask how the other is doing. Chloe announces that Lois was just given an editor's promotion: "Congratulations! You now have a penthouse office right next to Tess Mercer." So I guess Clark got a promotion, too? Or is he just going to be put there for decoration? Their attention turns to the TV, where a weeping woman is talking about how her husband was killed last week when a crane collapsed at his work site. "Where was Clark Kent then?" she asks. "Who says he gets to choose who lives and who dies?" I hope the little girl she's holding through all of this is old enough to know this is just acting. Clark is focused on the TV but Chloe reminds him they need to find Linda Lake. She's found out that Linda shared a cell block with her at Black Creek, and that's why she was "MIA." Clark wonders why she didn't just turn herself into water and escape. Chloe explains some gobbledygook about special electrical restraints keeping Linda in solid form. Now they just need to find her. And there she is on TV giving a press conference! She's back to slow-talking. She explains in sing-songy words like some kind of blond Bobby Jindal about how Clark's not a hero, or savior, or friend. "He is the first wave of an all-out alien invasion." She blames him for the meteor showers, power outages, and human carnage. She says the real hero was Lex Luthor for trying to stop him: "And Clark Kent killed him." Technically, that was Oliver, but I guess the public thinks Lex died months earlier. Sirens wail outside the farm house. The feeling from the crowd changes noticeably outside. Should have read your Julius Caesar, Clark. Chloe advises Clark to leave, but he wants to stay and talk to the authorities himself. He leads Chloe out the back way and promises to catch up with her later. He opens the door to face the glare of the cameras, alone.