Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B | Grade It Now!
A Backstory With a View

Kent barn. Clark finds Chloe lying unconscious on the sofa with a nice pillow under her head. It was considerate of Jor-El to make her comfy before he went to fight those minions. I hope that nerve pinch thing is one of the things the Fortress AI teaches Clark. Just think of how much easier it would be on the show's budget if Clark didn't have to throw people into walls all the time! Panicked, Clark shakes Chloe by the shoulders, calling her name. After a few shakes, she comes to, all bleary-eyed, and assures him she's fine. "Who did this to you?" he asks. She slowly sits up, still disoriented, and tells him it was Jor-El. Clark is hurt that his father came all the way to the farm but didn't stay to see him. Chloe frowns, concentrating, and says, "Before he knocked me out, it seemed he had some unfinished business, with someone else." Clark doesn't understand, because it's not like Jor-El knows anyone else in Smallville. Chloe tries to get him to focus on what's important, like the fact that he's not the only Kryptonian who came to Earth: "So did Zod." Clark looks mildly worried about this prospect.

Luthor mansion. Tess walks into the all-purpose office and finds Zod sitting by the lit fireplace. She complains about her "crack security" letting him in. You know, when you hire these "security" people, maybe you should make sure they understand you don't mean crack cocaine. Zod, getting up from the fire, says with faux amiability that they're partners, so why wouldn't they have let him in? Then he cuts the crap: "I just came to get a progress report on our friend Jor-El." "Let's just say the noose is getting tighter," Tess says, sounding just a little nervous. She goes to her desk and gives Zod the Turkish surveillance photos that show Jor-El's silhouette in the S-shield. She looks from the photos to Zod's face, trying to gauge his reaction. "This calls for a celebration," Zod says. Zod goes to pour two glasses of wine, saying, "This is my favorite discovery on your little planet." Then he quotes Shakespeare to her: "The wine-cup is the little silver well where truth, if truth there be, doth dwell." Tess smiles, impressed that he's done his reading. Zod cozies up to her, saying he finds Shakespeare amusing, but: "I find the pleasure I get from wine much more satisfying." He puts just that extra bit of emphasis on "pleasure" and "satisfying." He circles around her, slowly, until he's breathing down the nape of her neck. He talks about every sip of wine revealing some truth to him. (I bet he totally practiced this speech in the mirror before he went over there.) Tess turns to face him; they stand chest to chest. "Every time we're together, I discover something new," he says. "I can't wait to see what my next sip will reveal." Hubba. But Tess is less swayed than I am, telling him that the truth is that she's not interested. She wants to keep things strictly professional. "The lady doth protest too much," Zod whispers, still all up in her personal space. She flirtatiously tells him she won't be revealing anything tonight. She takes one step back from him, glancing up at him from under her hair. Zod reaches around her to grab his coat, taking the opportunity to brush close against her again as he does so. He starts to leave the office, then stops in the doorway to drop a bomb: while they were drinking, he had his people grab Jor-El from the wine cellar. Tess, looking gut-punched, throws her wine glass at him. It shatters on the floor. Zod chuckles. I'm here going, "Well, that was disappointingly dumb of Tess, after she was so kickass last week!" But then as soon as Zod has left the room, Tess's expression of fury slowly gives way to a small, pleased smile. So, it was all a part of her plan. Sorry I doubted you, Tess! Don't kill me!

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