Clark shows up for his first day of work wearing the shirt from Monty Python's "Lumberjack Sketch." Lois gives him an annoying, but necessary fashion makeover, but it doesn't last long because out on the street, a bus has just exploded. Clark helps the rescue effort and carries to safety one hot redhead who happens to have just taken over LuthorCorp in Lex's absence. It turns out she's also Clark's new boss at The Daily Planet and, after thanking him for saving her life and questioning him about Lex, concludes that he's lying and must be watched.
Meanwhile, Chloe was also near the bus explosion and helps a teenager named Bette with the help of a handsome paramedic named Davis. Chloe and Davis have some serious sexual tension going, even as they're helping the punky teen. Chloe and Davis try to get the homeless girl into a home that helps girls like her, but she resists because she's a loner and because she has a secret. Long story short, the girl wasn't at the explosion site by accident: there were no explosives and it turned out the girl has meteor powers and escaped recently from the LuthorCorp facility in Montana. After leading Clark and Chloe through a wild goose chase to find a teen boy Bette says caused the explosion, she blows up some barrels and kills the teenager. This being Clark, it takes him a while to figure out that Bette was responsible even though it happened right in front of him. Clark saves Chloe from the girl, who suddenly doesn't trust her new friend and wants to make her a fillet. The girl allows them to ship her off to Belle Reve, which doesn't sound like it'll be much better than Montana.
In other developments, Clark finds out that Chloe is engaged (and has to find out from Davis) and he wishes her the best, though he does say that they're "More than friends." (Followed right after, at least in the Closed Captioning, by, "We're family.") Lois teaches Clark some lessons in journalism, which, what the fuck?! Lois is suddenly Woodward and Bernstein? She's not even a Berenstain Bear! (Grumble.) Chloe decides to take over the Isis Foundation because she all of a sudden has no interest in journalism or returning to The Daily Planet. Is her name still Chloe, even? And that paramedic Davis has some weird stuff going on: Chloe tries to call him and we see him lying in an alley naked. He wakes up suddenly, screaming.
And lastly, it turns out that Tess was on the bus with Bette because she was chasing her down. As Bette sits in a cell waiting to be sent to Belle Reve, Tess sweet-talks the girl into joining a team of people with similar powers. Tess can be very persuasive.
Tinkly music plays as we fly over The Daily Planet, that once-great bastion of journalistic excellence. Now, they just hire any damn fool. Speaking of which, we cut to the staircase, where one Clark Kent, Unqualified Farmboy, is walking down hesitantly. He pauses after about three steps, taking in the hustle and bustle of extras making important decisions: hit the Craft Services table after this scene or try to slip my headshot into the director's pocket? Clark breathes a deep breath and takes comfort in the press pass he's holding. It's a pathetic little laminated affair with a sideways "PRESS" and the words, "CLARK KENT" and "REPORTER" below. The badge lies. The photo shows Clark wearing a blue T-shirt and sporting John Mayer's hair. Clark pins the press badge to the breast of his hideous, untucked, red-flannel shirt and thinks, "Well, at least I got that goin' for me." He's also carrying a big backpack instead of a nice messenger bag or portfolio. Clark must have biology class later on in the press room. Clark approaches Lois's desk and clears his throat. Lois gives him big points for punctuality, but asks about his "wardrobe malfunction." "Whu?" Clark says, cutely, looking down at himself, "This is a nice shirt." Aw. It's almost darling, the delusion. Clark buys those shirts in plastic-wrapped packs of three at Wal-Mart.
Lois scoffs and tells him that he doesn't want to meet Human Resources looking like "The Brawny Lumberjack." All together now: "He's a lumberjack, and he's okay! He farms all night, and he mopes all day! He fights K-freaks, he wears high heels, suspenders and a braaaaaa. He wish'd he'd been a girlie just like his Kent Mamaaaaaa!" Oh, I thought Clark was so rugged! Moving on... Lois tells Clark to hold on. She walks to one of her co-workers' desks and grabs some just-laundered dry cleaning from a coat rack. "Hey, personal space, Lane! Remember?" the guy says. She must be a nightmare to work with. She tells the poor guy that "GQ" needs some roadside assistance, and she's just borrowing his spare. Clark mopes that he doesn't want to wear a tie. She tells him to dress for success and that there's no time for the men's room. That's going to be a real shame for Clark's bladder. Lois pushes Clark into a nearby phone booth, which he complains is not exactly private. Lois says he's lucky she was there to save him, or he'd be forever known as "Farmboy" or "Flannel Man." Lois greets people walking by as she waits. Clark finally emerges from the booth. He's wearing a dark blue shirt that just happens to fit perfectly. He asks how he looks. Lois is at a loss for words, but tries to play it off. As she's helping adjust his collar, there's a sudden explosion. Plaster and dust fall from the ceiling as Lois is pushed into Clark's arms. The chatter in the newsroom amplifies. As Lois looks to see what's up, Clark whooshes out of the scene.