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"Nocturne" is the fifth episode in the second season of Smallville, and twenty-sixth episode overall. It aired on October 22, 2002.


Clark is concerned when he discovers someone has been leaving love notes for Lana at her parents' grave and warns her to stay away from the mysterious poet. Fed up with Clark's over-protectiveness, Lana follows the dark and handsome stranger to his home and discovers his parents keep him locked in chains. Unable to leave him like that, Clark and Lana break into the house to save the boy, but soon realize why he was locked up in the first place.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 2x05


Lana rides her horse to the cemetery.

Lana Lang rides her horse out to the cemetery to visit her parents' grave and finds an envelope on the headstone addressed to her. As she opens it, Byron Moore runs frantically through the woods. Byron falls on his back and his father, who appears to be out hunting him with a hound, shoots him with a tranquilizer and throws him back down in the cellar and threatens to kill him if he ever sneaks out again, and installs a stronger door on the cellar.

The next day at school, Lana shares the love letter with Chloe and Pete, but she seems less interested in sharing it with Clark. It seems like she is still mad at him for the way he acted under the influence of red kryptonite. Clark thinks the letter is from a stalker rather than an admirer.

At the Talon, Lana shows the letter to Lex. He likes the poem, and Clark comes in and tries to apologizes for criticizing it. He complains that Lana didn't want to share it with him. Lana says he can't expect her to share everything with him when he insists on remaining so secretive. He tries to warn her about her admirer, and she gives him a hard time about the way he's always spying on her with his telescope.


Lex appreciates Lana's love letter from Byron.

At the Luthor Mansion, Lionel Luthor is firing his fourth assistant in a month. It is Lex's job to hire them, and Lionel is unhappy with his choices. Lionel is reading the newspaper with a special mechanical device that reads typewritten pages. He become frustrated and throws the device across the yard, just as Martha Kent comes up the walk to collect the monthly check for organic produce. She greets Lionel, takes the paper from his hands, and continues reading for him. When she comments on the news story, Lionel compliments her on her understanding of the business world.


Martha impresses Lionel.

Byron is writing another letter to Lana when his mother comes down to the cellar to bring him a book. He complains to her about having to stay in the cellar, but she assures him that it is better this way. When she leaves, he moves a poster from the wall and removes several cinder blocks. He finds Lana at her parents' grave. She has fallen asleep waiting for him. When she wakes up, he runs away, but she calls out to him and stops him. When she shines her flashlight in his face, he raises his arm. Suddenly, Clark jumps out of the bushes, startling him. He falls back, hits his head on a stone, and faints.

Clark and Lana take Byron to the Talon and feed him chocolate cake. He quotes Shakespeare and explains that he has been home schooled. Clark notices scars on his wrists. When he hears the morning milk truck, he becomes very anxious to get home before his parents wake up. Clark and Lana drive him to his house but as he runs across the yard, his parents greet him on the porch. His father levels his rifle at him, so Clark and Lana jump out of the truck. Mrs. Moore pulls Byron into the house. Mr. Moore threatens Clark and Lana with the rifle, so they turn and go.

Martha tells Jonathan that Lionel offered her a job and she wants to take it, but Jonathan thinks it is a very bad idea. When Clark and Lana arrive, they tell them they are afraid the Moores are abusing Byron. They return to Byron's house with Sheriff Miller, but Mr. Moore claims that his son died eight years ago and he has never seen Clark or Lana and accuses them of playing a cruel joke. The sheriff leaves, but he promises Jonathan that he will get a warrant. Meanwhile, Byron is in the cellar, chained to the wall.

At the Torch, Chloe has found Byron's death certificate, signed by Dr. Emil Jenkins. Eight years ago, Dr. Jenkins supervised a medical trial over at Metron Pharmaceuticals in which Byron was a participant. All the children in the trial were being treated for antisocial behavior.

Lex is furious with Lionel for hiring Martha and warns him not to hurt the Kents and Lionel makes fun of him. Meanwhile, Clark and Pete arrive at Byron's house. They go through a boarded-up window and find the cellar door. Byron asks to be left alone, but Clark breaks his bonds and carries him outside. When he gets out into the sunlight he falls to the floor of the porch and growls. When he stands up, he throws Clark across the yard, and when he turns to Pete, his eyes are black. He throws Pete into a car and runs off. Clark takes Pete to the hospital where he is diagnosed and treated for a broken arm.

Clark and Jonathan return to Byron's house and speak with his mother. Byron's father is out looking for him. She explains that the change that came over him is a side effect from the drugs he was administered. Six other boys died while the doctors tried to reverse the effects, so they decided to bring him home and lock him in the cellar. Clark asks if he gets him of the sunlight, will he change back? She says yes, but that he is so strong now she doesn't know how anybody could do that. Lana is angry with Clark for going to Byron's house without her. Chloe arrives with information that the medication administered to Byron targeted his adrenal system. She also informs them that Lionel Luthor funded the research. Clark decides to ask Lex and Lana decides to join in the search for Byron. She finds him in the cemetery at his own grave. He insists that he is not going back down in the cellar. Lana tells him that the Luthors did this, and they might still be able to find a cure. He grabs her and Lana scratches him; he throws her against a stone. Lana falls unconscious and Byron runs off.


Clark pushes Byron into a dark well.

Lex promises Clark that he will look into Metron. Clark looks out the window and sees his mother getting into the helicopter with Lionel on her way to Metropolis when Byron arrives and prevents the helicopter from taking off. He pulls Martha and Lionel from the helicopter and might have done Lionel real injury, but Clark rushes down and pushes Byron down a well where it is dark, and Byron changes back to his true self.

Byron is taken to the hospital and is resting under special lights when Clark visits him and brings him a book of limericks. Lana visits as well. Her wrist is bandaged, but it will be all right. Byron apologizes for hurting her. She says she knows it wasn't really him. Clark leaves as they hold hands tenderly. Meanwhile, at the mansion, Lionel's arm is also in a sling. Martha informs him that the paperwork to fund research into Byron's condition is ready for him to sign. She has convinced him that funding this research will be less expensive than the advertising campaign that would be necessary to restore consumer confidence.



Guest Starring[]



  • Uncredited actor as Bob


Featured Music[]

  • "Don't Ask Me" - OK Go
  • "Underneath It All" - No Doubt
  • "Nocturne In C Minor" - Chopin
  • "Crazy Richie" - Cactus Grove
  • "Love Song" - Sheila Nicholls


  • A nocturne is "a piece appropriate to the night or evening" or "an instrumental composition of a dreamy or pensive character".
  • In this episode, Byron Moore is a romantic poet who is only normal at night or in the evening, when he is not exposed to sunlight.


  • Antagonist: Byron Moore
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision and Invulnerablility
  • Another one of Superman's nicknames is used to describe Clark when Lana calls him the "Man of Steel." Of course, here she was referring to his lack of sensitivity rather than his invulnerability.
  • Prometheus was also a poem written by the real world Byron.
  • Byron would have to anchor himself in some way to be able to hold the helicopter down in seemingly the same way an ant could hold a balloon from floating away if it were properly anchored. How he does so is unknown, as he never displays powers of adhesion, flight, or other enhanced personal locomotion (although given the circumstances of his upbringing, he would have had little chance to become aware of such abilities).
  • Richard Moll is no stranger to the DC universe as he voiced Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series. Joining John Glover and Michael Rosenbaum as the third alumnus from the DC Animated Universe to appear on the Smallville series.
  • This is the first episode to refer to Ethan Miller as the Sheriff. Previously, only the Smallville Ledger has referred to him as such.
  • This episode marks the second appearance of Clark's Red jacket/Blue shirt outfit.
  • Byron is turned into a monster with superhuman strength upon coming into contact with sunlight; this might be an allusion to the DC Comics character Rampage. Dr. Kitty Faulkner, who's transformed into by arbsorbing solar energy and upon doing so, becomes stronger, while also displaying rage and decreased inhibitions. And much like Byron in this episode, her skin becomes yellow.


  • Richard Moll and John Schneider previously worked together on The Dukes of Hazzard. Moll appeared on two episodes playing Milo Beaudry; a forceful love interest for Daisy.
  • For this episode, Entity FX ran into a snag when it came time to create the image of Bryon grabbing hold of a LuthorCorp helicopter. Mat Beck did not want to "cheat" the audience by using a cut technique to show Byron holding the helicopter; instead, Entity FX used CGI to create an entire helicopter. From there they decided they wanted the helicopter blades to cut-up the hedges. The special effects team tried to track Sean Faris' hands, as he was holding onto a crossbar that represented the helicopter's skid, to find a spot where they could make the helicopter roll toward the hedge. Unfortunately, Faris did not move in a manner that they could use, so the effects team created a pair of CGI hands on the skid, and performed the action they needed with the computer model.
  • To demonstrate Byron's strength, the stunt team did a fifty-five foot "chuck", where Bryon throws Clark across the front lawn. To accomplish the task they connected a wire to the stunt man's back, so when Bryon hits "Clark" they can use a crane and hydraulic system, positioned one hundred feet in the air, to pull the stunt man. Twenty-five feet into the pull the wire is released and the stunt man flies the rest of the distance to the landing pad. [citation needed]
  • The first Smallville episode penned by Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson. Peterson's previous (and first) writing assignment had been on the film But I'm a Cheerleader (1999). Both the movie and this episode deals with parents having tried to change something about their child.
    • Guest star Richard Moll portrayed Larry in But I'm a Cheerleader.


  • In season six, Phil Morris would be the fourth alumnus.
  • This is the first episode to be written by Kelly Souders & Brian Peterson. The two would continue through the end of the series, eventually becoming showrunners in Season 8.
  • Although Clark doesn't know it yet, he gets his great strength and other powers from the same source as Byron, the Earth's yellow sun.
  • Later, Clark holds a helicopter down on two separate occasions without being anchored to anything (Gone, Exposed). However, in his case it is explained by his unaided flight power.


  • Lionel compares Lex to Prometheus, a Greek mythological character who was immortal but wanted to live among mortals. Various inconsistencies are present in the episode regarding the myth - Prometheus wasn't Zeus' adopted son, rather a Titan who, if anything was Zeus' cousin. Also it was an eagle, not vultures that ate his liver.
    • He claims that it is impossible for deities to live among mortals, which is sometimes used as a reason by Lex Luthor that Superman would not live as the insignificant Clark Kent.



Clark: (reading a poem) It's a little mushy.
Lana: I almost forgot. Clark Kent, the man of steel.

Lionel: Forget the self-pity, Lex. I wasn't criticizing, I was critiquing. There's a difference. And if I recall, I didn't ask for help. You offered.
Lex: Well, I'm glad to see your condition hasn't softened your paternal side.

Lionel: Just get me an assistant who meets my criteria.

Clark: (uses his X-ray vision to look through the floor. He sees a trap door under a rug.) Looks like there's something under this rug. It's made of lead. That's why I couldn't see through it.
Pete: That's good to know. Maybe you ought to think about publishing an instruction manual.

Lex: I don't think I would fit your criteria.
Lionel: Probably not, but nobody's perfect.

Lex: To tell you the truth, Clark, I was a little surprised. Considering all my offers to ease your family's financial situation have been met with a resounding no, it stung a little to see her name on my father's payroll.
Clark: Well, to be honest, it wasn't exactly a unanimous decision at the Kent household.
Lex: My father's the poster boy for family strife. I'm sorry it's spreading.
Clark: Look at it this way, Lex. At least my father's not upset with you this time.

Clark: My family doesn't fly much.
Lex: Trust me. That's about to change.

Lana: If you really like someone, you accept every part of them, but you can't do that until they are willing to share every part with you.

Chloe: It looks like your tortured artist is an unfortunate member of the dead poet society. The Certificate of Death was signed by Dr. Emil Jenkins.
Lex: Seven hours on the clock and you're already laundering money for my father?
Martha: I'm convincing him to fund new research into Byron Moore's condition. You okay?
Lionel: Mmm.
Lex: I'm sure my father's informed you that LuthorCorp is not in the charity business.
Lionel: I did, I did.
Martha: Then I explained that he'll spend less helping this boy live a normal life than he would on advertising to restore consumer confidence in LuthorCorp. The papers will be here tomorrow for you to sign. I'll see you in the morning.

Clark: (takes paper from Chloe) It's gotta be fake.
Chloe: (sighs) Not that I don't trust your judgment, but could it be possible that goth-boy maybe is a--
Lana: I don't think a ghost could polish off three pieces of chocolate cake and two cappuccinos.
Chloe: I was just checking. I mean, this is Smallville.

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