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For the article about the Kawatche Indian tribe, also known as "Skinwalkers," see Kawatche.

"Skinwalker" is the tenth episode in the second season of Smallville, and thirty-first episode overall. It aired on November 26, 2002.


While moto-crossing with Pete, Clark falls into a cave and discovers two hidden treasures - ancient Indian writings that hold the key to his identity, and a beautiful girl whom he believes to be (potentially) his soulmate. Desperate to preserve the writings, Clark pits father against son as he enlists Lex's help to stop Lionel's construction crew from demolishing the cave.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 2x10

LuthorCorp's latest project is a corporate plaza in Smallville offering high tech office space with a variety of amenities, including fiber optic internet, open office plans, and a rooftop heliport. Joseph Willowbrook shows up to object to the construction and the foreman, Dan Hammond, orders him off the property. Late that night, the foreman is filling the vehicles with gasoline when he hears a noise coming from the trees. He fetches and loads a flare gun just before a beautiful white wolf comes out of the darkness and leaps on him, knocking him to the ground. The vehicle is overflowing with gasoline when the foreman fires the flare up into the air. The wolf runs away as the flare falls back to the ground and ignites the gasoline, killing the foreman.

On octagonal shaped depression in the cave

Clark and Pete are riding motor bikes near the new construction site. They notice several sheriff's vehicles at the site. Clark explains that there was an explosion last night, and Pete predictably expresses contempt for LuthorCorp. As they race back to Miller's Bend, Clark crashes and falls a hundred feet into a hidden cave. Kyla Willowbrook hears the crash and comes rushing to his aid from another part of the cave. She is amazed to discover that Clark has no injuries. She explains that she is doing research on the caves with her grandfather, Joseph Willowbrook. Pete shows up just as Kyla notices a painting on the wall of the cave that tell the legend of Naman. Her grandfather has been looking for these paintings his whole life. She tells Clark that Naman will come in a rain of fire, have the strength of ten men and be able to start fires with his eyes. Kyla rushes off to tell her grandfather and Clark notices a depression in the cave wall the exact size and shape of the key.

The heart of the ship.

When Clark tells Jonathan about the cave, he is very skeptical. Clark pulls a silver rectangle about eight inches long and four inches wide from under a cloth. It is the ship's heart, which Jonathan pulled it out of the ship before it closed. The symbols on the heart are the same as the symbols in the cave and Clark wants to ask Joseph and Kyla to help him read them, so Clark invites them to dinner.

At dinner, Joseph tells the Kents more about the legend of Naman. He admits that he does not know how to read the symbols and is worried that LuthorCorp will destroy the caves before he learns how. Clark hopes Martha will speak to Lionel and she says that she will, but she also believes that the project is important because it will bring desperately-needed jobs to Smallville. From Clark's loft, Kyla points out a constellation of a wolf with only one eye. Legend has it that the wolf once had two eyes, but the other star is gone now. Lana arrives because Clark wants to ask her to get Henry Small involved in helping to protect the caves.

At the mansion, Sheriff Miller tells Lionel that Joseph Willowbrook has been involved in civil disobedience before, so they are investigating him in connection with the foreman's death. Lionel laments to Martha that he didn't do this project in Granville. Lionel asks Lex to be his partner in the office park, but Lex refuses.

A cave painting showing Naman's brother, Sageeth, turning against him.

At the Kawatche Caves, Kyla tells Clark that Naman will one day protect the whole world and that his brother Sageeth will turn against him. He notices another picture on the wall that Kyla interprets as the woman that Naman is destined to be with, and Clark notices that Kyla wears a bracelet fashioned very much like the picture. She tells him that it has been handed down through the women in her family for years. The bulldozers cause vibrations, which cause Kyla to fall from a height of about 10 feet.

Clark superspeeds down and catches her just as a large piece of the cave ceiling comes loose above them. He covers her and the rock breaks apart against his back. When she again sees that Clark is unharmed, she sarcastically asks if he can shoot fire out of his eyes. When he turns away and doesn't answer, she guesses that he is Naman. He admits that he doesn't know what he is, but he is pleased that she isn't freaked out. She admits that she knows what its like to be different. He tries to explain further, but she tells him it's unnecessary and that he'll have give in. They then share a passionate kiss.

Henry Small has started the protest against the development near the caves. He also tells Lana that the DNA tests are back, and they confirm that he is indeed her biological father. He wants to try to be a father to her if it's not too late.

Back at the construction site, Joseph Willowbrook is leading a protest when Martha Kent asks him to meet with Lionel. Joseph calls her a wolf in sheep's clothing. Henry Small arrives with a cease and desist order, and Joseph tells Martha that he will speak with Lionel in court. Then Sheriff Miller shows up to arrest Joseph for the murder of Dan Hammond. They found a towel in Mr. Willowbrook's trash with blood on it that matched the victim. Joseph accuses Lionel of framing him before he is led away.

Chloe arrives at the Talon to join the crusade to save the caves. She and Lana discuss Kyla and Whitney. Lana admits that they have been writing every week.

Clark asks Lex for bail money for Joseph while at the same time accusing LuthorCorp of framing him. Lex wonders if his newfound advocacy has more to do with Kyla than anything else and decides not to donate to Joseph's bail fund. To change his mind, Clark takes him to the caves. Lex is impressed, but when he sees the depression in the wall, he is convinced.

Kyla and Joseph thank Clark

At the Talon, Joseph and Kyla thank Clark for raising the money and getting Joseph out of jail so quickly. Martha arrives to express her regret that Joseph has gotten mixed up in the murder investigation. Joseph is adamant that he has been set up, and he is offended that Martha continues to defend LuthorCorp. At the Smallville Torch, Chloe tells Clark that the autopsy report revealed that the foreman was bitten by a wolf. Wolves have been extinct in Smallville for 90 years, but Joseph's tribe, the Kawatche, translates to "skinwalker", a reference to a Native American legend that humans can transform into animals. While sitting in her car in the parking lot of the LuthorCorp plant, Martha Kent is attacked by a wolf. She is frightened but not injured. Clark tells his dad that he has real feelings for Kyla, but he suspects she knows more about the foreman's death than she claims.

Lex tries to buy the caves from Lionel.

The next day, Lionel is upset with Lex for having bailed out Joseph Willowbrook. He complains that the project has become a public relations nightmare, and Lex offers to buy him out. Lex says he is interested in preserving the caves, but Lionel guesses that Lex knows something else about the land that makes it valuable. Kyla goes back to the Kent Farm to talk to Clark. He asks if her grandfather might be a skinwalker and Kyla is very upset by the accusation. She leaves crying that Lionel has corrupted everyone. At the Luthor mansion, the beautiful white wolf tries to attack Lionel, but Clark intervenes. When armed security arrives, the wolf jumps through a glass window. Clark chases after it and finds that it has been cut badly. Before his eyes, the wolf transforms into Kyla. Clark rushes to her and gathers her into his arms. She says she didn't want to hurt the foreman or Martha and dies in his arms.

The next day, at the construction site, Lionel and Martha arrive to find that work has been stopped again. Clark is somehow preventing the bulldozers from clearing the land. Lionel complains to Martha, but Martha agrees with her son. Joseph gives Clark Kyla's bracelet and tells him to give it to the one he is destined to be with. Lex arrives to tell Lionel that in light of the petition drive, the state of Kansas has decided to exercise the historic artifacts amendment and buy the project from Lionel. LexCorp has secured the contract for the preservation of the entire area.

Lana finds Clark in his loft to offer her condolences about Kyla. She also tells him that Whitney is missing in action.



Guest Starring


Featured Music

  • "Outtathaway" - The Vines
  • "Don't Know Why" - Norah Jones
  • "The Game of Love" - Santana featuring Michelle Branch
  • "Psycho Ballerina" - Jackpot


  • In Native American and Norse legend, a skin-walker is a person with the supernatural ability to turn into any animal he or she desires. In Navajo legend, skinwalkers most frequently transform into a coyote, wolf, owl, fox, or crow.
  • In this episode, Kyla Willowbrook is a Native American skinwalker with the ability to transform into a white wolf.


  • Antagonist: Kyla Willowbrook
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strengthsuper speed and Invulnerability
  • In the scene where Clark and Kyla go stargazing in his loft, she points out a star, which is now missing. This is a possible reference to Rao, as it was destroyed as part of Clark's origin story. It also suggests that it was less than 15 light years away, as otherwise it would still appear in the sky; however, Krypton is in another galaxy.
    • Of course, Kyla's information is based on a 400 year old legend. As noted in Talisman, the story has been passed down verbally only and there are many interpretations. So, information held by Kyla should be taken with a grain of salt.
  • Henry Small is confirmed to be Lana's biological father in this episode, not Lewis Lang as had previously been believed.
  • When Lex is talking to his father at the caves, Lex's sunglasses appear and disappear.
  • This is the first mid-season finale that does not feature Whitney Fordman.
  • When Lex tells Lionel that Lexcorp has secured the contract to manage the land around the caves, the head on shots of Lex show him wearing sunglasses (and since Lionel is blind at this point, they are both wearing dark glasses). But in the shots of Lionel's face from behind Lex's head, the left side of Lex's head is visible and he isn't wearing glasses at all. The shot changes twice making this mistake fairly obvious.
  • According to legend, the visitor from Krypton brought green rocks, that granted superhuman abilities. This would make the Kawatche tribe the earliest known case of Meteor Infection. It is unknown if this legend is true (see above note concerning Krypton's location). It is also unknown if Kyla inherited her powers from a meteor infected ancestor, or if Kyla was herself exposed to Kryptonite following the 1989 Meteor Shower.


  • This is the first time we see the heart of the ship (although it isn't revealed to be that until Rosetta) since the Pilot. And like the ship, the heart has also changed in appearance since it was last seen.
  • Joseph Willowbrook hands Clark Kyla's bracelet with the words, "For the true love in your life." Clark has never, on-screen, handed this bracelet to his true love, Lois Lane, as of Finale, Part 2.
  • Lana mentions not getting letters back from Whitney recently, foreshadowing the reveal of his death in Visage.


  • Joseph Willowbrook returns in Season Three to help Clark understand his connection to the Kawatche people in Talisman.
  • Clark learns the meaning of the symbols on the cave wall and the purpose of the ship's heart shortly afterward in Rosetta.
  • Kyla is mentioned by both Pete and Clark a few episodes later in Rush, when talking about the caves.
  • Henry Small was last seen in Lineage.



Kyla: You don't understand. My grandfather's been searching for this wall his whole life. It was prophesied that Naman would fall from the skies in a rain of fire. They say that Naman will have the strength of ten men and will be able to start fires with his eyes. It probably sounds silly.
Clark: Not to me.

Clark: Lex, have you ever wondered if you were destined to be with someone?
Lex: You're asking someone who's been fighting his destiny his entire life.

Chloe: What is it about Kyla that breaks through Clark's shining armor?

Chloe: Maybe we should just stop falling for guys who are trying to save the world.

Lionel: Lex, have I done something in the recent past to offend you?
Lex: There are so many ways I could answer that question, Dad.

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