What a jumble of a mess. I'm trying to piece this together from memory for the recaplet and it's like reaching into my brain and pulling out a big ball of tangled Christmas lights. Christmas lights and angry bees, for some reason.
So… John Corben survived as a field reporter on the war front in Afghanistan, then shows up in Metropolis for all of two minutes before he's smashed into a hundred crunchy, bloody pieces by a speeding truck. (He wound up in the road after trying to chase down some character motivation that had slipped out of his wallet: a photo of his sister, who was killed by someone the Blur saved.) Instead of dying, he wakes up in a grungy, makeshift lab of some kind. He pulls off his bloody bandages to reveal new mechanical parts in his left arm and a glowing, kryptonite crablike device implanted in his chest where his heart used to be. We find out later from Tess and her minions that Zod and his soldiers were apparently responsible for the Corben-to-Metallo upgrade, because (she theorizes) they're looking for a way to get their powers back. John gets himself to the hospital, where Emil is working as an ER doctor. He escapes, violently, thanks to new Krypto-powers, leaving behind only his Daily Planet keychain.
Clark, when he learns from Emil about the kryptonite and keychain from Emil, puts on his Blur voice and calls Lois for help ferreting out the Daily Planet's cyborg employee. He tells her not to get into trouble, but, of course, she does. She ends up getting abducted by John after he overhears her on the phone with the Blur. John is now convinced that his destiny is to kill the Blur instead of just writing nasty articles about him. They throw down a little when Clark tracks him to his grody hideout, but John's kryptonite enhancement keeps Clark from putting up much of a fight. Then John decides to kill Lois so that the Blur will know what it's like to lose someone he loves. See? A jumble. Clark manages to slap a melted piece of lead to John's chest and then John accidentally rips out his own cyborg heart when he pries off the lead. (He's only mostly dead, because Tess later says she wants to revive him.) Lois, by the way, was conveniently unconscious during all of this. When she comes to, she sees the Blur's shadow across the room. She begs him to show her his face, but he reluctantly speeds away.
In other plot lines, Lois has still been blabbing to Chloe about what a great confidante she is for the Blur, despite the Blur asking her last week to keep her trap shut about that. This leads to tension between Chloe and Clark -- something about picking and choosing what parts of his humanity he's leaving behind and melodramatic crap like that. But she helps him find Lois and it seems like they work things out in the end. Lois is still having her futuristic visions of apocalyptic nookie. She also has her old job back at the paper, because Tess wants to keep an eye on her. Clark gets his job back, too, because he wants to keep an eye on< Lois. Tess and her minions are still looking for Zod and company; to that end, they've found giant Kryptonian-like symbols all over the world where the escaped Kandorians are looking for each other.
Oh, and one of those symbols is the Superman S. Most importantly, though, we finally have visual confirmation that Shelby is alive!
We open on the Kent farm at night. Crickets chirp. It's dark inside the house where many a yummy baked good was baked back when the show cared a little about the home life of these characters. Lois enters, calling out to see if Clark is there. She sighs when she realizes the place is empty. "Guess not," she says to no one in particular. Sad, dramatic music plays, sounding like it belongs in the background of an '80s TV movie about babies switched at birth or something. Lois runs her fingers over the dusty countertops, noting that Martha wouldn't approve. She wanders around the house some more and then Chewbacca starts whimpering plaintively off-screen. But wait! It's actually Shelby! Clark's golden retriever trots up to Lois, tail wagging. She greets him with a hug (not allergic anymore, I guess) and thinks that Clark has "ditched" Shelby, too. "Smallville isn't the same without Smallville, is it?" she asks. Smallville without Smallville is a lot like this mirthless Metropo-centric show we have now, actually. Lois notices Shelby's food and water dishes are full and wonders who's been feeding him if Clark is supposed to be away. I want to know who's been walking him and playing with him and giving him tummy rubs! Poor sad, lonely dog. Lois's phone rings.
John Corben is on the other end, greeting her with a cheesy, "Hey, beautiful." Lois asks if he's still at the office. He's walking down some grungy street in Metropolis. "Sitting at a desk just isn't the same without your pretty brown eyes glaring at me." God, I hate playful banter that just isn't. Besides which, what's the unemployed Lois doing at any desk at the paper at this point? John says that since Lois turned him down for dinner, he decided to search out some news. As he talks, there's a cop in the background trying to free a gang of hoodlums out of some iron fencing that's been wrapped around them. "Your favorite freak's been at it again," John says. That's super freak to you, bub. He's going to write a story about the Blur all by himself. Lois doesn't try to horn her way in. "I never thought you'd share the Blur," John says, surprised. Lois says there are plenty of headlines to go around, plus the Blur is out there catching the bad guys. John calls him a vigilante. Lois, back at the farm, draws the Superman symbol in some dust. She manages to refrain from scribbling "Lois + Blur = TRULUV 4EVAH!!!" underneath that. She's not pleased with John dogging her hero. Behind him, there's a burned S on the outside of a phone booth. Lois thinks the Blur is cleaning up the city, but John's worried about him screwing up: "How do you hold him accountable?" Lois thinks John is a cynic; he thinks Lois is suffering from "soft-hearted hero worship." "At least I have a heart," Lois foreshadows. John looks down at his notebook. He's holding a careworn picture of a pretty young brunette. John darkly says he's going to expose the Blur and hangs up. Lois looks at her phone like, "Whatever, crazy person."