Smallville – S2 Ep5 – Nocturne Review

Season 2 continues with this instalment of Smallville called Nocturne. While visiting her parents grave Lana finds a love letter addressed to her left by a young man Byron. We learn that Byron’s parents forbid him from leaving their house and he can only go out at night. At school the next day Lana shows Chloe, Pete and Clark the letter and they debate whether it was left by a secret admirer or a stalker as Clark thinks. Even Lex has the opportunity to chime in with his opinion, which is slightly more mature and he and Lana discuss their mutual love of poetry. Even this early on in the show we can see the writers slowly dropping in little hints about Lex and Lana’s growing connection, though not romantic at this point in time.

At the mansion the bickering between Lionel and Lex continues as Lex struggles to find his blind father an assistant. Little does Lionel know the right person for the job is right around the corner. While he is sitting out in the garden, Martha Kent appears to collect their produce cheque. She takes a seat next to Lionel, and possibly out of sympathy for his current condition, she starts reading the paper to him and the two exchange some light banter. Later at the farm Martha tells Jonathan that Lionel offered her a job. Jonathan reacts the way we expect, with apprehension about the motives behind Lionel’s offer. Lex also questions his fathers reasons and fears it is because he is also becoming intrigued by the mystery surrounding Clark, and that he only wants to hire Martha to find out more information.

We see just how trapped Byron is when his dad bolts the door to his room in the basement closed. He manages to sneak out anyway to see Lana again, who oddly has fallen asleep on her parents grave stone. She wakes up to see Byron but Clark has also followed her, when Byron panics and tries to run he trips and hits his head. Lana and Clark take him to the Talon to make sure he is ok and the three talk until early morning, Clark noticing the restrain marks around his wrists. When Byron realises the sun is about to rise he rushes home and Clark and Lana have an angry encounter with Byron’s dad while his mom rushes him back to the basement. Clark and Lana suspect he is being abused and call the town Sheriff but Byron’s parents claim he is dead. unfortunately this only makes Byron’s predicament worse.

Clark and Pete break into Byron’s house and try to help him, Clark frees him from his restraints but doesn’t understand the real reason why Byron can’t go out during the day. While trying to take him away from his house Byron is exposed to sunlight and turns into a werewolf looking monster with super strength. After knocking Pete and Clark across his yard Byron flees. It transpires he was experimented on due to a medical condition. Chloe, used in this episode only for her investigative skills, finds out about the drug that was used to treat him and the company behind the experiments… Luthorcorp of course.

Upset that Clark didn’t include her, Lana tries to find Byron by herself and gets injured in the process. Feeling like he will never be normal Byron goes after the man he thinks is responsible for his condition. In an obvious attempt to impress Martha, Lionel arranges for them to go to Metropolis in his helicopter, a trip which comes to an abrupt end when Byron attacks it. Clark arrives at the scene to stop Byron and manages to push him down a well, and when Byron is out of the sunlight he becomes human again.

The story is wrapped up neatly with Lionel agreeing to find a cure for Byron’s condition, mainly thanks to Martha’s influence on his character. Lana goes to Clark and tells him that she wanted to help Byron because he was open and honest with her about who he was and his feelings, something Clark is not ready to do himself. Overall a compelling episode going back to the ‘freak of the week’ formula and also setting up a new dynamic between the Luthor and Kent families.