Clark is hanging out in the barn with his dog Shelby (Shelby's back! Call off the rescue team!) when he hears a weird noise. He goes to investigate, and something knocks him on his ass. The next thing he knows, he's in a mental institution with his powers gone and everyone around him convinced that he's delusional about everything we've had to suffer through for the last six years or so. A kindly doctor tries to convince Clark that he's been delusional since his freshman year of high school, and that this whole superhero thing was a construct of his mind, made up using details from the facility (like a Dr. Milton Fine, a book called Fortress Of Solitude, an employee of the month named Oliver Queen -- that sort of thing). Clark is like, "Fuck that noise!," and escapes from the place. Interestingly, there's an actual persistent noise throughout, as if David Lynch were manning the sound controls. Clark finds out on the outside that his mom has married Papa Luthor (score!), and that Lana has been in love with him since they were little and isn't with Lex anymore. Chloe is a little nutty, and was institutionalized with him. Also, Lex lost his legs in that bridge accident and hates Clark. Things go awry when the dudes sent to round up Clark shoot Chloe and kill her. Clark is taken back to the institution, where a mysterious dude who claims to be from Mars tells him to resist the treatment and kill the doctor, who is actually a phantom. It turns out, says the Martian, that a Zoner has gotten into Clark's brain and if he doesn't fight back, he'll lose that tiny thing forever. Clark almost decides to give in and live a quiet, lame life with Lana, but at the last moment realizes Lana was imaginary and that the doctor really is a monster. Clark fights and finds himself back at the barn, no worse for wear and with his powers back. His new pal Martian Manhunter is there waiting, but doesn't stick around because he's too cool to be hanging out here. Clark tells Chloe, who just showed up, that this must mean he's still in love with Lana. Clark then sees Lana at the Talon, and tells her a tiny bit about his dream. Then Lex walks in and it's awk-ward! Really, Clark and Lana again? That's where you're taking the show, guys? I'd complain, but that part of my brain is closed for remodeling and I'm just gonna sit here, numb and smiling.
Well, they can't all be episodes about a collection of superheroes coming together to kick some ass in unison, can they?
It's dusk at the Kent Farm, and the cows are all watching Desperate Housewives. Clark, inside the barn, is mounting a wheel on a piece of farm equipment. The loud metallic squeak sends shivers up my spine. Clark turns the wheel and seems awfully pleased with the sound design. "There we go!" he says, stopping the wheel. He asks Shelby -- who is miraculously still alive and lying down nearby -- if they should call it a night. Shelby hasn't been seen in months, and Clark wants him to go back to sleep? Shelby raises his head. Clark tells Shelby that Shelby's friend Chloe is going to be there any minute. Clark turns off a light and thanks the dog for the help. Shelby's not thrilled, though. He barks. Loudly. And growls. Clark follows Shelby upstairs as the dog continues to bark. "What, boy, you see something I don't?" Clark asks. Shelby growls again. Something comes at Clark quickly in the dark. He falls over the rail and lands on the ground level of the barn, flat on his back. Dust flies.
Clark wakes up in a well-lit room. Somebody is calling his name. "Earth to superfreak?" someone says, as we're zoomed in on Clark's waking face. We cut to two goofy-looking dudes. An older gent stands between them, staring down at us as we see them from Clark's point of view. They giggle. The older gent -- who looks, from this angle, a bit like George Carlin in professor mode -- holds out his hands and asks the guys to sit down. Clark stands. We get a wide shot of what instantly looks like a mental ward, with everybody except the professor in white patient duds. A group of people sit in a circle of chairs around Clark. "Are you still with us, Clark?" the doctor asks. Clark looks around at what seem to be his fellow patients. One of them is wearing a bathrobe over his whites, and gives Clark an impatient look. Clark asks what's going on. Dr. British Accent says that Clark was telling them he was in the barn with his dog when he heard something: "And then you left us for a bit." Clark is confused, which is not surprising. He looks around, and the camera swivels toward the patients. The large, sunlit room is the same one Chloe visited to see her mom a while back. Clark asks how he got here. "So what attacked you?" asks a larger patient, a redheaded Harry Knowles-in-training. "Was it a KryptoFreak again?" Everybody cracks up. A Bill Gates-as-a-teen-looking patient says that it must have been a spirit from the Phantom Zone, needling, "Right, Kal-El?" Clark asks how the guy knows his name. "Because you never shut up about it!" snaps Li'l Bill Gates. "Oh great son of Jor-El!" Dr. Accent tells everyone to settle down. Clark holds out a hand and tells Dr. Accent to back off. Back off, man! Clark is gonna tell everybody they coveted his ice cream bar (which he's had since he was a child) and bust out with a toothbrush, yelling, "Don't make me use this!" Clark asks the doctor, "Who are you?" He says he's Dr. (British Accent) Hudson. Hey, are you related to Ernie? Because I loved him in Ghostbusters. Two orderlies wearing ice cream man outfits (complete with black bow ties) approach. They are burly. Clark says that he doesn't want to hurt anyone. Li'l Harry Knowles tells Clark to use his superspeed to run away, and laughs heartily at his own cruelty. Everybody laughs. Dr. Accent doesn't do much to stop them. This can't be healthy. Clark tries to karate-chop one of the orderlies on the chest, but it barely taps him. The guy grabs Clark's arm and twists. Clark's eyes go, "YEEEOW! You dick!," and he screams. The orderlies grab Clark and start taking him away. "Why are you doing this to me?" he asks. "What do you want? What's happening? LET ME GOOOO!" Clark continues asking why he's there, finally just screaming as they take him behind a secure door and drag him down the hall. "TAKE ME TO MY TRAILER!!! I was in The Fog, you asshooooles!"