What a depressing episode. But in a good way, mostly, and not because the dialog made the pleasure center of my brain wither up and die. Things start off with Checkmate infiltrating Watchtower's firewalls, which trigger the new security systems Chloe installed. The only problem is that Chloe's still trapped inside and Tess Mercer is there with her, having tricked her way past security. For some damn reason, Chloe didn't design the system with an out, so the two of them are stuck there, commiserating about their love of Oliver, running out of oxygen and waiting for Checkmate to show up and kill them. And who should be heading up this particular operation but Agent Campbell, AKA nerdy little Stuart, AKA the peon minion that Tess shot through the eye a few months ago. Tess and Chloe manage to break out eventually, destroying Watchtower in the process, but they're still being tracked because of a device implanted in Tess's body. The only way to turn it off is to kill Tess, which Chloe does with her permission. She thinks about letting her stay dead but thinks twice and revives her. Checkmate loses track of them, much to Waller and Campbell's Chagrin.
Checkmate has bigger problems, though, like those pesky aliens. Clark enlists Oliver to find Zod. Oliver succeeds, and gets himself a fire-branded "Z" on his chest for his troubles. Meanwhile, Faora has become the de facto leader of the non-powered Kandorians. Zod left them behind because they betrayed him for a normal life on Earth. Faora still wants to stand up for Zod, because she still thinks he's a decent guy. Plus, it turns out she's carrying his spawn. With the help of some of Jor-El's writings, Clark convinces her that Zod went on to destroy Krypton and he's out to do the same to Earth. Before Faora and the others can really absorb much of this, Checkmate breaks things up. Clark stops them, but Zod absconds with Faora. He kills her for her betrayal, realizing too late that she was pregnant. He also destroys a bunch of Checkmate offices, the castle, and possibly Waller and Campbell, to boot. He then lies to his soldiers and says the humans killed Faora. Clark tries to convince them otherwise, but they decide to stick with Zod. Clark stares helplessly, earthbound, as the other, cooler aliens fly off without him.
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Previously on Smallville: Amanda "The Wall" Waller failed to recruit Clark and the Watchtower gang to fight with Checkmate in the upcoming war against the aliens; Tess sort of went on the run from Checkmate; Zod was impersonating the Blur and living the high life, having gotten super powers from a transfusion of Clark's blood; Jor-El left the Book of Rao on Earth and Zod wanted it; Clark and Faora argued about whether or not Zod was an asshole; Tess ratted out Clark and some Earth-loving Kandorian soldiers to Zod; Zod reacted by giving his loyal soldiers a taste of his blood and thus super powers; Clark decided he knew what he had to do... that week.
Currently on Smallville: It's night in Metropolis and -- holy crap, the moon isn't full for once! Chloe's walking toward her favorite news-and-coffee vendor when she gets an alert from her phone. She glances at it, but at the moment she's more concerned by the fact that the grandfatherly vendor is in the middle of closing up shop for the night. "Hey," she calls out in good cheer, "don't tell me you forgot about your favorite customer?" "I thought you forgot about me," he calls back, glancing at his watch. "You're late!" He looks like a Joe, doesn't he? Let's call him Grandpa Joe, even though we'll probably never see him again. Chloe orders her "usual," but Grandpa Joe, with a glance at the coffee urns, tells her, "All I got left is strong n' burnt." (You can actually hear the apostrophe in his dialog, because that's how cute he is.) Strong and burnt is OK with Chloe as long as it's hot, which is a good thing, considering what happens to her beau later in the episode. While Grandpa Joe pours her coffee, Chloe browses the day's newspapers. "Y'know, I been meanin' to ask," he starts, "what kind of a job has a pretty young lady working all night every night?" Chloe tells him she works for a non-profit that helps people, which is technically true. "Tryin' to save the world, huh?" Grandpa Joe asks. "All night, every night," Chloe says as she pays for her pudding-thick coffee. They give each other warm smiles. Chloe heads back to Watchtower, which is visible way off in the distance. Girl really likes to walk for her coffee.
The next thing we see, she's getting into the elevator at the base of Watchtower. As the doors close her in, she touches her thumb to a glowing panel near the buttons. She's scanned from head to toe by lasers. A computerized female voice asks for verification. "Chloe Sullivan, password 051409." "Vocal and bio-analysis confirmed," replies the system. Chloe is let out of the elevator at the top of the tower. "Welcome to Watchtower, Miss Sullivan," greets her polite computer. Chloe's ready to get down to the business of world-saving when she notices a warning on one of her monitors. One of the Kandorian files has been accessed. Chloe goes quickly but quietly to a drawer but finds only a gun-shaped indentation in the foam within. A gun cocks behind her. She turns to face Tess. "How did you find out my secret?" Chloe asks. Tess, not lowering the gun one bit, says, "Oliver's voice wavered when I told him Watchtower had been kidnapped." Tess takes a step closer. "And I've seen the way he looks at you. It's the little things a girl tends to notice." Chloe points out that Tess didn't notice the gun is unloaded. Shouldn't she have brought her own gun? Did she not see the "Bring Your Own Firearm" note on the invitation? Tess frowns down at the gun and Chloe takes the opportunity to whack her across the face with a piece of computer equipment. She knees Tess in the ribs and grabs her weapon arm. In the process, the gun fires. But... but... it wasn't loaded! Ooh, girl, you lied! "Safety compromised," says the computerized voice. "Initiating lockdown." Alarms start whoop-whoop-whooping like alarms do. Chloe's face goes, "AW CRAP!" Metal irises clench shut around the windows and doors. Tess aims the not-so-unloaded gun at Chloe again and demands to be let out. Well, maybe you shouldn't have broken in! Chloe types furiously at one of the computers, but the system isn't letting her in. "We're not going anywhere," Chloe says. "Watchtower is in control now." Somebody save them from incessantly terrible security!