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Ash Tuesday

Just then, a man with a huge salt-and-pepper mustache and a John Mahoney voice introduces a new employee to the Kents. It's Ash Espado, looking like a squinty young David Duchovny. He and Clark shake hands and we see that Ash is wearing thin brown gloves, perhaps Thinsulates. Ash compliments the Kents for their organic produce and says he's in town making funeral preparations for his mother. MamaKent says she's sorry to hear that. (The mother part, not the part about the produce.) They get to their produce deliveries. First on their list is Mrs. Sykes. Clark complains about her dog Pepper. "Oh, Pepper's not so bad," MamaKent says, as they go inside. No joke: I used to have a dog named Pepper growing up. She was a black poodle. Seriously.

Inside. Pepper's barking up a storm. MamaKent makes an absurd fuss over the dog, introducing it to Ash Espado. Pepper, wearing a sad little red sweater, growls off-camera at Ash, then keeps barking. Clark goes off to get Pepper some grub.

Inside Mrs. Sykes's bedroom, MamaKent and Ash go in to deliver some food. Mrs. Sykes, in bed and watching a cooking show, asks if that's Clark because he looks different. Ash, who MamaKent introduces as their new driver, starts getting some stuff for Mrs. Sykes when she suddenly has a pain and moans. "It hurts," she says. Then she asks for her pills. Clark asks if there's anything they can do for her. "Wish there were," MamaKent says. Hey, I know! Death! Ash offers some beautiful irises to the woman he calls a "beautiful lady." See? I told you he was Latino. Look at him work it. He'll have her millions in just a few days. "Don't ever get old and sick, son," Mrs. Sykes says. Is it just me or is every elderly person on this show portrayed as sick and dying, out for revenge, or clairvoyant? Somebody needs to bring in Wilford Brimley as Lana's long-lost uncle. As Mrs. Sykes talks about how the world has no use for old people, Ash puts on a glove and touches her arm. Great. Now he's Jean Grey. He says he'll bring her more irises tomorrow. "I like roses," Mrs. Sykes says. "White ones." You'll take irises and you'll like them, or Ash'll give you the back of his gloved hand, you ungrateful hag! Oh, wait. Was I just projecting? Sorry. Ash agrees. "I like this one, Martha," Mrs. Sykes says. Go on, take him then. He only charges $500 an hour!

Lex at home. He passes by a piece of art that looks like a color chart you could set your TV to. Lex is stopped by an intruder playing pool in his parlor. It's Dominic the Annoying Lionel Luthor Henchman, or as he's better known in acting circles, "Jason Connery, Sean Connery's son." Dominic says Papa Luthor is disappointed with Lex. Lex says that's perennial and wants to know what Dominic wants. In his Scottish brogue, Connery pate, and purple tie, Dominic says that an internal audit has shown some irregularities in Lex's spending of company funds. He does this while shooting pool with Lex's stick. The nerve! Dominic says he's there to do a thorough investigation. Lex smiles and says this is punishment for his turning down his father's offer to join Luthorcorp in Metropolis. Last week, remember? Dominic says that Papa Luthor wants to know where Lex is spending his money, since it's not going to sports cars or parties. Lex asks if Dominic knows what his father got him for his tenth birthday. It was a copy of Will to Power. I have no idea what that book is, but I'll be sure to pick it up for my kids someday if it's that good a children's read. "Behold the superman. Man is something to be overcome," Lex quotes. It was a book made of cheese? Lex for once is tiresome as he recounts his upbringing after his mother died and how Nietzsche and others raised him. His sad growing-up stories are getting almost as tiresome as Lana's. Lex rambles about his dad's tests and how losing was for the weak. "I'll remember that if I'm ever interviewed by the Biography channel," Dominic zings. Wow. Nice one. Lex smiles. Lex asks Dominic to remember who he was raised by. "I'm still my father's son," Lex says. "Tread carefully."

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