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.
Torch office. The Wall of Weird. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, I know. Chloe didn't really take down the Wall last week, it was part of a dream. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, you can stop emailing me now. Please forgive me. As penance, I forced myself to watch Lana/Clark kissing scenes from episodes past until my hands turned into twisted claws and my heart shrank three sizes. I'm a shadow of a man now. ["'Now'? (Just kidding.)" -- Wing Chun] Clark, standing by the wall with his new friend, tells Perry they should go. "I thought our stuff was off the wall," Perry says in wonder. No, it's on the wall. On this wall. Wall, wall, wall. I'm sick of hearing about the Wall of Weird, you hear me!? (Deep breaths.) Perry says it's incredible. "It's also all true," Chloe says, appearing suddenly in a bright red top and a belt the size of an actual belt sander. Clark tells her that "Mr. White" is interested in the meteor shower and wanted a look at her stuff. Chloe is cool with that. Perry says that he's already borrowed two or three of Chloe's ideas for his show. He asks if she makes it all up herself, or if she brings in other writers. Chloe does a little eye-roll take. "Excuse me?" she asks. It's completely out of the realm of possibility to Chloe that an outsider might think her creepy stories of firestarters and monster fat suckers might not be accepted as truth. Perry presents his card and says it's not every day he meets another "junk journalist with a penchant for the bizarre." I love this character. Can we keep him? Please, please, can we? Huh? Please? Chloe looks at the card, but her thumb is covering the first name. "'X Styles'?" she asks. Perry sort of chuckles and nods. Chloe says she has a penchant for the truth, which Perry's "freaks and shrieks" show gave up around Episode Two. Ah yes, "Episode II: The Fandom Menace," in which hardcore fans of Star Wars were revealed to have had actual sex with actual humans. Nobody bought it for a second. "That's it, we're done," Clark says as he leads Perry away. Perry is giggling. Clark is completely ineffectual in these last two scenes. You'd think he'd let out a little of that red Kryptonite anger. I think Clark has a little crush on Perry, too. Chloe moves her thumb and reveals, "Perry White, journalist." She tells Perry to wait, and asks if he's The Perry White. Perry's smile fades. He licks his lips and says he's going to go back to the hotel; he advises the "young lovers" to patch things up. He makes a quick, dodgy exit. Chloe asks Clark is he has any idea who that was. Clark barely knows whether he's wearing shoes right now.
Lair of Lex. Lex is leaning back in a chair with his eyes closed, listening to the sounds of the ocean, probably played on one of those super-expensive little Bose systems. As an audio wave crashes, a hand reaches for Lex, and Lex grabs the hand. It's Lana, and she's feeling saaaaad. Awwww. Poor widdle Wana. It makes me want to cwyyyy. All right, sorry, that's annoying. But not as annoying as Pinky Whinesalot over here. Lex looks surprised to see Lana, which is understandable given that she didn't knock or announce herself or have security call ahead. Lana deserves any red marks on her wrist she gets. Lana says she's interrupting. Lex gets up to turn off the ocean and says that while he hated the sound on the island, now it's the only thing that relaxes him. Oh, it's not a Bose system. But it is a pretty CD player. Lana says that Lex must think about what happened every day. It would be funny if Lex made up a dramatic story about how a coconut fell from a tree and crushed two small sand crabs whom he'd begun to think of as adoptive parents. Instead, Lex changes the subject: he guesses that's not why Lana came over. Because she's selfish and wouldn't care about anything in Lex's life anyway. He's way ahead of the rest of the characters in figuring that out. Lana -- who is still wearing a Partridge Family shirt -- tells Lex about a tabloid journalist and his interview request. "A succinct 'no comment' didn't dissuade him?" Lex asks. I love how he talks. Very Lexy. Lana says no; he threatened to come back with a camera crew. Lana says she's spent the last fourteen years trying to put that day behind her. By mentioning it every day to get sympathy. It's her way of dealing with it. "And in an instant, he brought it all back," she says. Lex blinks. Lana says she was hoping Lex could do something. Lex turns away and walks behind his desk. He says he's surprised she didn't go to Clark. "Clark's with him," Lana says. "With him?" Lex thinks, "Noooooooo! That bitch!" Lex asks if Lana wants him to run Perry out of town. Lex is totally going to get a homo posse together. Lana just says she wants Perry to stop. Lex says he must have been very persistent. He asks the dude's name. "Perry White," Lana says. Lex says he'll make sure Perry never bothers her again. No "thank you" from Lana. Lex allows himself a tiny half-smile.