Conner sets Lois down on that same street corner where everything in the city seems to happen. He apologizes for being too fast, but Lois is just glad to be alive. She wants to call Clark to warn him about Lionel. Conner volunteers to protect her. Who needs that big moper, anyway? Lois starts to complain about the cold, and Conner zips away and back again with a fur-lined coat. She gives him a quizzical look, but puts on the coat. Conner whooshes away and returns with a diamond necklace from the shop across the street. The shop's alarm sounds. Lois realizes something is wrong: "I get it now -- your neon is flashing red-hot and I didn't see the sign." Uh... what? An angry guy in a suit comes running out of the shop, sees Lois with the necklace and calls her a thief. He sics a cop on her. At this point, Conner zooms up in a sporty blue car, pushes open the passenger door and waggles his eyebrows at her. "Get in," he says. "I'll save you." Lois, faced with two undesirable options, tosses the necklace to the cop with an apology and gets into the car. Conner drives pretty well for a guy who's been living in a lab his whole life.
LuthorCorp. Lionel is on the phone with someone. "His first crush," he says with a lascivious laugh. "It's good to know the Luthor libido is still intact." Shudder. He laughs some more and adds, "Great men, great passion!" He tells whoever is on the other end to let Conner "have his fun," as long as Lois doesn't lead him to Clark. He exposits that the ring has a tracking device. He hangs up when Clark walks into the office. He's seething. He's been searching every LuthorCorp facility and came up with the ring box. Why an empty box would mean anything is a mystery. He tosses it at Lionel, who doesn't bother denying its significance. "Well, it doesn't compare to the value of rubies, but personally, I prefer the red of kryptonite." Clark flares his nostrils dramatically, accuses Lionel of using the red-K on Conner, then grabs him by the lapels. Clark gives him a shake. "You're trying to turn him into something he's not!" Lionel paws uselessly at Clark's hands and protests that he was just trying to find out what his son is really made of. Lionel educates any new viewers who might have accidentally wandered into the show: "Red kryptonite, if worn, brings out the primal, uncensored core of self." Lionel says Clark is afraid of it because he doesn't want to know what might be inside him. Clark releases him with a little shove. "I won't let you hurt him like you did Lex," Clark says, his voice suddenly deeper than it usually is. "He was my closest friend, and Lionel Luthor's influence destroyed him." "You destroyed Lex with your secrets and lies," Lionel retorts. If you thought Secrets and Lies died when Lana left, well, you were wrong. They were just lying dormant, waiting for someone to chew away enough scenery to let them claw their way back onto the screen. Lionel snits that Conner overheard Clark talking to Tess about keeping the truth from him and that's why he ran away. Clark looks devastated. Why are so many scenes shot from two feet under Tom Welling's chin? Is the cameraman a hobbit? You can see all the way up his nasal passages. Clark tries to bring the blame back around to the red kryptonite. "The longer he's exposed to it, the more unstable he becomes. He's a danger to himself and to everyone around him!" Lionel disagrees and mentions that Conner has taken Lois, which he really should have kept quiet about, because now Clark will know to rescue her. Silly villains and their wordy gloating.