Daily Planet. Lois is trying to reach Clark by cell phone, promising to "fire back" against whatever trash people are spreading about him. The City Editor drops the latest paper on her desk and says, "You sit across from the guy, Lane. How slow are you?" She looks at the headline: "Clark Kent: Murderer". The legal budget must be huge if they're not worried about libel suits at all. Hilariously, next to the pictures of Clark and Lex, there's an article about how the bus system won't be expanded this year. Lois charges off, pissed about either Clark being accused of murder or the prospect of not being able to find a good seat on the bus. She runs into the elevator and sees Linda there, on her phone. Lois accuses Linda of not printing the facts and promises that Tess will run a rebuttal. Linda makes a big show of having to call "Katie" back because her connection just took on a "terrible, whining sound." "Katie Couric," Linda name-drops for Lois' benefit. Lois says to her, "You see a parade and you just have to rain on it, don't you?" Oh, no. Don't get started on the rain again. She also says that Clark could have been the hero people needed. Linda: "Funny thing about people -- the only thing they love more than building up heroes is tearing them down." Lois goes storming into Tess Mercer's office, but she's greeted by the DDS guys. They want to speak with her, but Lois refuses without her lawyer. They level taser guns at her and she turns on her heel. Clark whooshes in to snatch her away and superzip her back to the farm.
Lois says he shouldn't be there with everyone looking for him, but he says in a few moments everything will be over. He explains: "I have a ring that allows me to go to any moment in time." She accepts this wordlessly. Clark plans to go back to before Linda wrote the article because the world isn't ready to accept him. Lois wants him to stay and fight back, give people a chance to see the real him. She tells him some people spend their lives trying to stand out, to be called special. She says, "When you first told me who you were, my thought was, 'Anyone but Clark.'" He tells her she doesn't have to explain, that he gets it, but she goes on: "How can someone with X-ray vision be so blind?" Normally, I think Erica Durance's acting is fairly wooden, but she's doing a decent job here with what she's been given. Lois says this was different from her other experiences with heroes. How? Why? Because the script says so. Clark promises, "This time, it will be different." No one's going to remember who he is. Lois realizes he's not going to tell her his secret the next time around. Sad string music plays. He apologizes for about the hundredth time this episode. She replies, with what seems like some badly timed passive-aggressiveness, "It's OK. Why should I think I'm special?" But he says it's because she's special that he won't tell her. At first this didn't make sense to me, but I've thought this over and I've had my Kahlua now and this is the conclusion I've come to: She's "special" because she's never been suspicious or curious about him. Lana pressed him for years to tell her his secret. Lex knew instinctively he was unusual. Chloe did, too. Even random one-shot characters are curious about him. Why? Because they all have more than two brain cells to rub together, whereas this "slow", seemingly "high" Lois is completely clueless. She can remember weirdness after the fact, as she did in the office reveal scene, but it doesn't register as weird as it's happening. It would almost be endearing if she weren't so annoying. After this bad experience of outing himself as an alien, Clark can seem human to this one person. In a way, he really does suffer from Peter Pan Syndrome, because he still wants to hang on to the same false idea of normalcy that he's had since childhood. Lois unwittingly helps him with that and it helps the show keep him in development limbo. Or else "you're special" is just a quick way for Clark to get through the scene. Either way. Back to the action: Clark goes to get the Legion ring from the toolbox, but finds a big hunk of Kryptonite instead. He falls and the glowing rock comes down with him. Lois rushes over to him, but Linda is there to whack her with a plank of wood. How the hell did she get there so fast? Is water that fast? Linda lords the ring over a sweaty and helpless Clark: "Looking for this?" Well, duh. Commercials.