Spoiler Level: Really High
Well, speak of the devil! I'm guessing the nice folks at Smallville read my post two weeks ago asking about Perry White and decide to bring him back just to answer my question. How nice of them!
Seriously though, I do think the timing is great, and I hope this is leading to him becoming a regular cast member at the Daily Planet.
It was also nice to have Martha Kent back. I've always felt that she should have had a few more references here and there; having her go to Washington worked fine, but of course she would have stayed in touch, and we rarely (if ever) really saw that. Her acknowledging that she didn't want to come back because of all the memories of Jonathan works for me.
I figured out the big reveal that Martha was the Red Queen when Clark got zapped by Kryptonite. They had already stated that Tess was the Red Queen, yet they still didn't show her face for that scene. The only reason they would do that is if Tess wasn't the Red Queen, and that only left Chloe or Martha as suspects. Oh, I suppose it could have wound up being a Kandorian or Black Canary or someone, but Martha fit. And sadly it fits with the way she became so secretive when she got involved with Lionel Luthor.
And now we have the season finale preview, promising the war with Zod, Clark revealing himself to Lois, and the Superman symbol in actual red-and-yellow. I'm still not getting my hopes up. This has been possibly the best season yet, but I still don't trust them to not go back to status quo.