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Season Two: Vortex - Heat - Duplicity - Red - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Prodigal - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

Nocturne

photo of angry Byron

First aired October 22, 2002

Official Description - Detailed Description - Notes

See also: Quotes - Music - Transcripts

The CW's Official Description:

Clark (Tom Welling) is concerned when he discovers someone has been leaving love notes for Lana (Kristin Kreuk) at her parents' grave and warns her to stay away from the mysterious poet. Fed up with Clark's over-protectiveness, Lana (Kristin Kreuk) 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.

Michael Rosenbaum, Sam Jones III, Allison Mack, John Glover, Annette O'Toole and John Schneider also star. Rick Wallace directed the episode written by Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders.

Detailed Description:

By Nadine

Freak of the Week: Lana Lang (Kristin Kreuk) rides her horse to her parents' grave, Lewis and Laura Lang. She finds a letter addressed to her on the grave. She looks around and hears some noise and calls out to see who's there. She turns the letter around, and she sees a seal with the letter "B" on it. Nearby, a boy is running trough the bushes, he seems to be running away from the light of the moon. He falls and, as he looks up, sees an older man with a dog, pointing a gun at him and shoots.
It turns out that the boy's name is Byron (Sean Faris) and his father Mr. Moore (Richard Moll) is getting Byron back to his room. He makes Byron repeat the rule "Byron stays in the cellar, because father knows what's best for Byron". Byron admits that he got out by prying open the lock. His father threatens him and tells him that if Byron does it again, there will be more than a tranquilizer in the gun. Mr. Moore then walks back up the stairs, and locks his son in. Lana shows Chloe Sullivan (Allison Mack) and Pete Ross (Sam Jones III) the letter from Byron, and Lana says she finds it very romantic. When Clark Kent (Tom Welling) joins them, Lana wants to keep it quiet, but Chloe encourages her, and Pete shows Clark the letter. Clark reads it and says "It's a little mushy", to which Lana replies, "I almost forgot, Clark Kent, the Man of Steel". Everyone's feeling the tension in that statement, and Lana, angry, walks off. Clark tries to justify his comment to Chloe and Pete, saying that he feels this could be from a stalker rather than an admirer, but Chloe and Pete both smile, because Clark is sounding extremely jealous.
As Byron sits alone in his cellar, in the dark, his father is standing right above him, and seems to be drilling a trap door closed. The drilling is really getting to Byron.
Lex Luthor (Michael Rosenbaum) is visiting The Talon. He sees the letter on the counter and smiles inquisitively. Lana tells him he might has well read it, everyone else has, and that it's either from a stalker or an admirer, depending on who's commenting. She admits that everyone's opinion is getting to her. Lex quotes John Donne's Holy Sonnet XIV, "Take me to you, imprison me, for I never shall be free, nor ever chaste, except you ravish me". Lana recognizes the author and is impressed by Lex's knowledge. Lex replies, "if I didn't know better, I'd say I just found your Achilles' Heel". He also says that anyone who doesn't appreciate poetry doesn't understand that it is all about seduction, at which point Clark walks in. Lana says, "It's nice some people appreciate artistic impression". Lex hands her the letter back and tells Clark "It kinda raises the bar for any other contender, doesn't it Clark?". He walks off. Clark tries to apologize to Lana, but she refuses to listen. He explains he was upset about the poem because she decided to show it to Pete and Chloe and not to him. She tells him that he can't expect her to share everything with him, if he can't be open with her. He just thinks it's weird that someone is sneaking around watching her, but she in return asks Clark if he's never watched someone from afar...
As Byron is writing another poem to Lana, his mother (Gwyneth Walsh) comes down to the cellar. He quickly hides the letter under a book. She brings him a book of poetry by Poe, she says she's not sure if it's any good. Byron says he's surprised, since Poe writes about pain and suffering and people being buried alive. His mother assures him that it is better this way, that he's put his father through enough, and that he should just stick to his books and everything will be fine. She leaves, and Byron takes the letter and escapes from his cellar though a hole in the wall hidden by bricks, a poster and his bed.
Lana has fallen asleep on her parents' grave. She wakes up and realizes it's late. Byron is standing there. He starts to run away when she sees him, but she calls him and tells him she got his other poem. He tells her that she inspires him and that his name is Byron like the poet, his great-uncle. She picks up his second poem that he dropped. She then gently goes to see his face by shining her light in his face, but he gets upset and pushes her away. Clark shows up out of nowhere and wants Byron to stay away from her. Byron is startled and trips and falls to the ground. Byron's head hits a tomb, and he starts bleeding. Lana and Clark run to him. He passes out.
They take him to The Talon, where, as he's applying ice to his head, he is also enjoying a piece of cake. Clark apologizes, but Byron understands and finds it chivalrous for Clark to be protecting his girlfriend. Lana lets him know that Clark is just an over-protective friend. Byron looks at her and says, "If I could write the beauty of your eyes, And number all your graces, The age to come would say 'This poet lies; Such heavenly touches ne'er touched earthly faces.'", from Shakespeare's Sonnet XVII. While Lana is very impressed, Clark is looking surprised that she would find this romantic, but tries to show interest by asking who wrote the poem. Lana wonders how he likes being home schooled. Clark notices lacerations on his wrist, and asks whether his parents are very strict. At that point, Byron realizes that it is nearly 6am, and runs out, not wanting his parents to find out that he has gone.
They drive him home, but his parents are there waiting for him. His mom shouts, "Byron, hurry", but his dad stops him with his shotgun pointed at Byron. Clark and Lana run up to the house, and, as Mrs. Moore rushes her son indoors, Mr. Moore threatens Clark and Lana not to come back near his house. Meanwhile the dog is barking and scaring them away.
Clark and Lana come home, and Martha (Annette O'Toole) and Jonathan Kent (John Schneider) are shocked when they think Clark and Lana have been out all night together. Clark explains that it's not what they think, that they met Byron and that they think Byron's parents are abusing him.
The Kents, Lana and Sheriff Ethan (Michael Kosterman) show up at the Moores' house. When the sheriff asks the Moores to speak to their son, they seem confused and hurt and say that he drowned eight years ago out on Greater Lake. Lana and Clark say that it's impossible, since they met Byron last night, and that Mr. Moore threatened them. Mr. Moore denies ever having seen Clark or Lana, and that it has taken them so long to get over their son's death, and they can't understand why people are showing up and pull such a prank. Sheriff Ethan apologizes and they leave. Clark and Lana stick to their story, and Jonathan tells Ethan that it would be a shame if there was a young man being hurt. Ethan agrees to get a warrant. Byron, in his cellar, has heard it all, and is upset, but can't do anything about it, since he is chained to the wall. Byron keeps tugging at the chain, but to no avail.
Chloe prints out Byron's official death certificate, signed by a Dr. Jenkins. But she also finds out that Dr. Jenkins had supervised a medical trial, eight years ago, on kids that had exhibited anti-social behavior. Byron was one of the participants.
Clark and Pete break into the Moores' house, and Clark uses his x-ray vision and finds the trap door in the ground. Clark breaks the lock open, and walks down to the cellar, where he finds Byron chained to the wall. He breaks Byron's lock. Byron wonders how he did that, and Clark tells him it was a rusty lock. He wants to get Byron out, but at first, Byron refuses, telling Clark he doesn't understand, and that last time he went out, he hurt his own father. Clark pushes him out of the house. As soon as the sunlight hits Byron, he falls to the ground and starts screaming, while he starts transforming himself. Clark goes to help him, but with one flick of his arm, Byron sends Clark flying across the yard. He throws Pete into a nearby car and Pete passes out. Byron then runs away.
The Kents come to visit Pete in the hospital, where he is lying with a broken arm. He says, "Being part of this family should come with a group health plan". He tells them when Byron came out it in the light it was like watching a Jekyll and Hyde transformation. Jonathan and Clark go back to the Moores', and while Mr. Moore is still at work, Mrs. Moore shows them the cellar. She explains that one of the side effects of the drug is that Byron can't go out in the sun. She explains that six other boys died, as Dr. Jenkins was working on them, trying to reverse the effects of the drug.
Lana gets upset with Clark for not having told her that he was going back to the Moores' house. She wonders if he doesn't trust her. The tension is high when Chloe arrives to show them what she's found. She realizes something's up, but shows them that the drug he was given targeted his adrenal system. It turns out that the drugs, manufactured by Metron Pharmaceuticals was owned by LuthorCorp, but was shut down before the research was even finished. Chloe wonders if Clark could ask Martha to find out, since she now works for Lionel, but Clark says he's gonna speak to Lex.
Lana goes to try and look for Byron. She finds him in the cemetery, looking at his own grave. She tells him she wants to help him, and that Clark has gone to speak to Lex, who's the son of the man who owns the pharmaceutical company. He gets angry and tells her there's no cure, and then tries to kiss her. She pushes him away, and he gets mad, saying that he's become someone no one can love, not even Lana. He pushes her to the ground. She passes out and he runs away.
Byron goes after Lionel Luthor (John Glover), who is just taking a chopper ride to Metropolis. Byron blames Lionel for his condition. Clark shows up. They fight. Their fight takes them to a dark area, where Byron gets back to normal and doesn't understand what happened.
Clark and Lana visit Byron in hospital. He apologizes to Lana for hurting her. He asks to see her painful wrist, and as he stands there, holding her hand and looking into her eyes, Clark discreetly walks away.

Character Development: Lionel is in the office firing yet another assistant, the four in a month. Lex tells his father he's trying his best to find someone to meet his requirements. There's a great dialogue between father and son, where Lionel's point is "I'm not criticizing, I'm critiquing, there's a difference". Lex still remains very defensive. Lionel then walks off and says, "Just get me an assistant that would fit my criteria.". Lex impatiently replies, "I don't think I would fit your criteria.", and Lionel snaps back, "Probably not, but nobody's perfect."
Martha sees Lionel in the garden of the mansion, as she is coming to pick up the monthly produce list from Lex. She sees Lionel struggling to read the paper with a reader. She sits next to him on the bench, and gently takes the paper away from him and reads him the article. It's an article about himself and his business actions. When she smiles and shows him that she knows exactly why he took those actions, Lionel is extremely impressed by her understanding of business. He wonders if her talents are not being wasted on organic produce. She manages a smile and says she'll take that as a compliment. He assures her that's how it was meant.
Martha tells Jonathan that Lionel offered her a job. He laughs at first, but is shocked when she didn't flat out refuse him. She explains to Jonathan that she is getting a little bored, that she could put her education to good use and that they could do with the money. Jonathan is dead set against it, he feels that Lionel has an ulterior motive behind everything he does, and that it would put the Kents' privacy in jeopardy.
Lex and Lionel discuss the fact that Lionel has hired Martha as his new assistant. Lex thinks that it is because Martha is a pillar in the community, and that she could help change Lionel's image of a ruthless tycoon. Lex warns his father to stay away from the Kents, but Lionel wonders what the Kents would say if they found out Lex was trying to meddle. Lionel says, "You think that if you're a very good boy, they will welcome you into their family?", to which Lex replies, "It would be a step up".
Lex later tells Clark that he's surprised to see Martha working for Lionel, since Lex has tried many times to help the Kents financially, and was always pushed away.
Lex goes to check on his father who has a broken arm and shoulder after the chopper incident. Martha walks in and tells Lionel that she's already wired the money. Lex is surprised that she is already dealing with money, and Martha tells him that she is convincing Lionel to fund the research on a cure for Byron's disease. She said it would cost more to advertise to restore confidence in LuthorCorp than it would to fund this research. It is obvious that Lionel is extremely fond of Martha. Lex smiles, and Lionel tells him, "Lex, I can't feel your smirk from here".
Lana comes to see Clark after all is over, and she finds that he has been reading poetry. He admits that it's not really working for him. She appreciates his honesty. He asks her if it didn't bother her that Byron was so different. She tells him that, "If you like someone, you accept every part of them, but you can't do that until they're willing to share every part with you".  He replies that he thinks people like Byron keep that part of themselves hidden away, so as not to scare people away, but Lana says that if you wanna get close to someone, you have to take that risk. "What if the risk is to big to take", he asks. "Then you might miss out on something pretty amazing", Lana replies.

All detailed descriptions © Copyright 2000-2008- All Rights Reserved

Notes:

Although Clark doesn't know it yet, he (presumably) gets his great strength and other powers from the same source as Byron -- Earth's yellow sun.

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 super-stregth.

Rating: 6.2/9

"Underneath it All" by No Doubt plays at Talon while Lana and Clark talk.

Byron comments that Lana inspired his poem writings. How can this be when he's been locked in his basement for eight years, hunted by his dad when he leaves? Alternately, if he's so good at getting out of the basement to spy on her, why does he managed to get captured twice in the course of this episode?

Since when is it okay for Byron to have a good side and a bad side, but when Clark does (as seen in "Red") he gets heavily criticized by Lana. (editor's note: Lana's issue with Clark seem to be the secretiveness of his "good" side rather than what he did when he was "bad". Plus Byron had a chemical excuse and Clark doesn't seem to have bothered to try to explain how the red rock altered his behavior.)

When Jonathan, Clark, Lana and the sheriff went to Byron's home, why didn't Clark scan the house with his X-ray vision? (some contributors thought that he might have a difficult time explaining how he found what he found, but Pete always seemed to buy those "hunch" hints last year in episodes like "X-Ray". Also, the whole house plus the ground around the basement would have to be lead to thwart Clark's x-ray vision!)

When Byron throws Pete into the car, the roof is dented, presumably by his head. Given the force with which he was thrown and the trajectory of the rest of his body, how is it even remotely possible he did not break his neck?

The helicopter should have pulled Byron off the ground, not the other way around. He got stronger, not heavier.

What prevents Byron from covering his whole body in a white material so sunlight doesn't hit his skin? White will reflect the light better than other colors. And also, the problem with sight if he is completely covered. Well, sunglasses would work, or something similar to that. He can have some light, as otherwise he wouldn't have been able to see in the basement.

When Clark looked out the window of Lex's estate and saw the helicopter, Lex was with him. Where did Lex go when Clark charged to the rescue right outside the very same window they had been looking out of? He did say that he was off because he had a plant to run, but does it fully explain where he went?

Mr. Moore apparently fires a shotgun at Byron, but says he used a tranquilizer in the gun. In a shotgun? Plus, Byron doesn't looked very just-waking-up-from-a-tranquilizer-ish.

Lana says she hasn't got any love letters since third grade. Including the ones Whitney sent her earlier this season...? Or did he really not send her anything resembling a love letter?

Lana says Byron's poem is "personal" when Lex picks it up. From the counter where she laid it. Where it's laying all nice and out in the open. Which she says other people have been giving her a hard time about.

Season One  - Season Three - Season Four - Season Five - Season Six  - Season Seven - Season Eight

Season Two: Vortex - Heat - Duplicity - Red - Redux - Lineage - Ryan - Dichotic - Skinwalkers - Visage - Insurgence - Suspect - Rush - Prodigal - Fever - Rosetta - Visitor - Precipice - Witness - Accelerate - Calling - Exodus

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