What's the cure for what ails Smallville this season? Sex, that's what! Woo! Yeah. I hope it works. Sigh.
Angel is a puppet? Dude, I would pay good Pay-Per-View money to see Smallville starring a bunch of puppets. Seriously. Get on that, Crank Yankers dudes.
We open on a street-level, steam-through-the-street-grate-view of the Luthorcorp building. This must be a different view than the one we're used to, because I don't see a place right in front for Lex to park. We move forward and look up. Yes, the building is quite tall.
Inside, a class from Smallville High's advanced economics class is being greeted by the most magnificent bastard I've missed lately, Papa Luthor. The class is in an open area, and there are lots of windows. It's a pretty building on the inside. "Welcome to Luthorcorp!" says Papa Luthor, reaching his arms out. But the econ teacher doesn't hug him. There must be some mistake, because Clark is in an advanced economics class. Chloe -- wearing some sort of '70s blouse with red flowers against beige (and the lapels, my God, the lapels!) -- looks absolutely bored and eye-rolly while Clark, in a red flannel shirt, just looks out of place. A cute extra in the background tries not to look at the camera. Papa Luthor says they're all there to learn something about business. We cut back to Papa and an admiring older lady (teacher? Lackey?) standing next to him. Papa Luthor says that the most important factor in economic theory is the individual. And that individual is the president on the $1,000 bill. Tight shot on a tight hottie. Papa seems to think so, too. He singles her out: "Yes, you!" he says, pointing a gnarly finger at the comely blonde. Chloe rolls her eyes again and scratches her flippy hair. Papa Luthor talks about how rising above the rules and knowing when to break them requires absolute personal commitment. "I consider it a prerequisite for success." That and four hours of P.E. Blondie seems to be taking it all in with total devotion. It is the gospel to her. But not the bloody-Jesus kind of gospel. The lady behind Papa Luthor claps admiringly. The students follow mostly half-heartedly, except for the cute girl. "And I consider it despicable, immoral, and possibly illegal," Chloe snarks to Clark while everyone continues applauding. Papa Luthor busts her, wondering if she has a question. Chloe says nothing. Papa seeks other question-askers, but nobody takes the master's bait.
Papa Luthor hands the class back to "Mr. Simms." The teacher does not say, "They call me Mr. Simms," nor does he reveal a line of bars showing the status of his hunger, bladder, or social needs. Instead, he just asks the group to follow. Papa Luthor tells the teacher lady, "Mrs. Alice," goodbye, and then greets "Miss Sullivan" and "Mr. Kent." He says, "It's nice to see you both looking to the future." Chloe and Clark don't say a word to him. After Papa Luthor exits, Chloe asks if they should break for the fire escape. Clark would be all for it if the field trip didn't count toward their final grade. Grade-grubber! Everybody's waiting for them in the elevator, and nobody seems amused by their nonchalance. Chloe snarks, "Welcome to the Lionel Luthor exhibit; next floor, victims, sycophants, and hatchet men." Chloe is really proud of her vocabulary here. Mrs. Alice -- who clearly has the burning thigh sweats for Papa Luthor -- says she's going to split up their jaded little fan club. She leaves Clark out of the elevator. Chloe gives Clark a tiny wave. Also left behind (was she in the bathroom?) is the blonde cutie. (I'm not even that into blondes, so don't look at me like that. For the purposes of the first third of this episode, she's supposed to be hot. I'm just playing along.) Clark presses the elevator button, and the two of them share an awkward silence as they wait. "Elevators," Clark says for no good reason. "Too much demand, not enough supply." Economics humor! Not even Alan Greenspan would have ever used that as a pick-up line. CuteBlonde purses her lips and gives a little nod. The elevator finally arrives. More awkward looks. Clark pushes a button inside to get this thing called life moving.