The Talon. Clark and Perry walk in. Clark is frustrated that Perry only wanted to see two meteor craters. Doesn't Perry want to see the wonders of the town? The witty Talon marquee? The caves of rave? The various spots where freaks of the week have been impaled, crushed, or burnt to tiny potato chip-shaped crisps? Perry says he wants substance. And coffee, presumably. He wants texture and a human dimension. Maybe he needs to skip over to Six Feet Under or Joan of Arcadia. Lana -- wearing what looks like a toddler's print shirt -- asks Clark if everything's all right. Pete waited for Clark the night before, but he never showed. Pete waits for a lot of things on this show and never gets them: a storyline, lines, basic respect.
"Hiiiii! Perry White," Perry says, intruding his oily self into the conversation. He orders a triple cappuccino as Lana rolls her eyes toward Clark. He also orders a couple of glazed crullers and...an interview. He slaps down an old copy of Time magazine with Little Orphan Lana crying on the cover. Perry calls Lana the town's very own cover girl. Actually, the brand is Neutrogena. Lana looks at her own pouty child face on the magazine cover. "What're you doing?" Clark asks when Lana can't respond. Perry lowers his eyebrows and smiles a wolf's smile. "It's called getting the story," he says. Perry just needs a simple Q&A, and I can't really improve on this: "You know, how's Miss Meteor coping fifteen years after the big bang?" Fifteen years? That would make Lana about nineteen, wouldn't it? "Maybe this is a joke to you," Lana begins. It's not that it's a joke, it's that it lends itself to lots of jokes. "...But my parents died that day," Lana finishes. No! Whoh, wait, when did that happen? Did you guys hear about this? I am totally and suddenly sympathetic to Lana's plight in life. Perry says he's sorry, but that makes Lana newsworthy. Er, fifteen years ago. Clark's had enough. Lana's face sputters. Clark tries to get Perry to come with him, but our journalistic bastard insists that either Lana surrenders now, or she'll face a camera crew in the morning. Lana, of course, turns it on Clark and whines that she can't believe Clark is with "this guy." She says they should both leave. Clark tells Perry, after Lana stalks away (mercifully, we don't have to watch her crying through the Eternally Swinging Door), that he didn't know Lana was on Perry's agenda. Perry says he didn't know Clark knew her. Perry says he's sorry, but that she's a legitimate source. Clark disagrees. Perry says he needs more faces for his story, and pulls out a copy of The Torch. He says that the school newspaper has developed a reputation in the "bug-eyed monster circles." Clark acts like he has no idea what that means. "Because I did, like, three minutes of research before I came into town," Perry snarks. I know it's completely impossible, scientifically, but can Perry have my babies? Perry asks if the Torch's editor might know something about the meteor shower. "How would I know?" Clark asks. There's playing dumb and then there's playing fucking stupid. Clark, right now you're not just playing dumb. "Principal authorizes new gym mats," Perry reads off the front page of The Torch, "by Clark Kent." Perry says he was riveted.