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"Ageless" is the twentieth episode in the fourth season of Smallville, and eighty-sixth episode overall. It aired on May 4, 2005.


Clark and Lana discover an abandoned baby and take him back to the Kent Farm. However, when the baby, Evan, ages from a newborn to a seven-year-old in less than a day, it becomes clear he is aging at a rapid rate and they turn to Lex for help. Meanwhile, Genevieve suspects Lex has the Chinese Kryptonian artifact and orders Lionel to either recover it, or risk putting Lex in danger of his life.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 4x20


Lana and Clark find a baby in Evan's Field.

A young man and a pregnant woman are in a car, trying to call 911. Suddenly, the woman screams and her abdomen begins to glow. The man drives the car off the road, then apologizes as he makes a hasty exit. The car explodes in a burst of light, startling Clark and Lana, who are driving by. They go to investigate and find a crater where the car was, along with a crying baby. Clark and Lana take the baby to the hospital, where Sheriff Adams questions them. Clark suspects that the baby might have arrived on Earth the same way he did, so when the Sheriff states that Child Services doesn't have room for the baby yet, Clark gets his parents to agree to bring the baby home.

Genevieve Teague visits Lionel Luthor, intending to collect on his debt he owes her for getting him out of prison. She wants the Crystal of Air, but Lionel maintains that neither he nor Lex have it and suggests that Jason does. Genevieve suggests something might come to harm Lex if Lionel doesn't produce the stone. Lionel asks Lex about the Stone and reveals that Genevieve had Bridgette Crosby killed.

At school the next day, Clark asks Chloe to track down the 911 call. Clark and Lana babysit the baby, who they have decided to name Evan, since they found him in Evan's Field. Clark is very good at taking care of the baby, but he then decides that he probably shouldn't get too attached just in case the father is still around. Lana reasons that the father abandoned the baby and he is an orphan, like them. Just then, the lights flicker and Evan ages from an infant to age seven instantly. Clark and his parents talk about what to do next while Lana watches Evan in the loft. Evan already knows how to talk and read, and appears to be brighter than most seven-year-olds. He tells Lana that he read the encyclopedia all the way to the letter "W" and says he wants to see a real windmill one day.


Evan ages instantly from a baby to a child.

They decide to take him to Lex's lab at LuthorCorp and after an evaluation, Lex's doctors determine that Evan is storing energy at a high rate and expels it in one large burst, causing him to grow alarmingly quickly. Lex suggests a bone marrow transplant might slow the energy storage, but he needs a match from a biological parent. On the examination table, Evan grows again, to about age 14, dispersing energy and wrecking the lab. He begs Clark and Lana to take him home. Lex starts to tell his team that they're going to take him to study, but Clark tells Lex is not going to study Evan because they're taking him home. Evan quickly realizes that he will not live very long if he continues to grow at such an accelerated pace and Clark and Lana unsuccessfully try to quell his fears.


Evan believes he will probably die soon.

Clark leaves Evan with Lana to try to track down his father. Chloe traced the 911 call to a Smallville High student, Karen Gallagher, who used to short out computer monitors. Apparently, she went to a party one week before and hooked up with a boy. Chloe uses an online invitation to track down Evan's father. Clark goes to the garage where the father, Tanner Sutherland, works as a mechanic. He confronts him and lectures him on responsibility. Tanner denies having a son and tells Clark about how Karen claimed the baby was his after a one-week pregnancy. He is also not interested in helping Evan.

Clark returns and admits to Evan that he found his father. Evan is devastated that his father doesn't want anything to do with him and runs away. Lex reveals that the next time Evan grows, he will release enough energy to kill everybody around him, including himself. Lex wants to confine Evan to minimize the damage he will cause. Evan goes to Tanner's garage and the two argue. In the scuffle, Tanner accidentally falls back onto a mechanic's tool and is killed and Evan runs away in horror.


Clark talks to his parents about how Evan changed his life.

Lex and Clark find Tanner's body and sadly realize that Evan has no donor now. Evan shows up back at the Kent Farm and confesses to Lana that he's done something awful. He is also starting to feel pain as his next energy release nears. He begs Lana to take him to see the windmill at Chandler's Field. Clark learns from Chloe that power losses are occurring in a string around Smallville. They trace them to the windmill, where Lana and Evan are standing high above the field. Clark urges Lana to climb down, as Evan doubles over in pain. Clark climbs up to be with Evan as he rapidly ages. Evan tells Clark that he is glad it was he and Lana that found him, with Clark replying that it was Evan who found them. Clark shields the blast with his body as Evan expels one more burst of energy, killing himself and destroying the windmill.


Lionel warns Genevieve against threatening Lex.

After Evan's death, Lana and Clark talk about how she felt like she had a purpose while caring for him. When Lana showed Evan's favourite book to Clark, he told her it was his favourite childhood book also and how he used to imagine himself as the rabbit in the story.

Lionel pays Genevieve a visit and pours her a glass of wine. When she starts choking and collapses, Lionel reveals that he has poisoned her wine and dangles the antidote in her face. He tells her that if she ever threatens him or his family again, there will be dire consequences. He also forces the location of the Crystal of Water out of her.

Clark's parents talk to him and he shares his fears that since he is not even human, he won't ever know what it's like to be a father. Martha and Jonathan point out that they are parents even though they couldn't have children and Clark looks thoughtful.

Clark goes to the Lex's Mansion to thank him for settling up thing with Child Services by claiming that Evan has died of pneumonia. Lex assures Clark that Evan's death will not have been in vain, as the research acquired from Evan's aging process could eventually advance studies on cancer and other diseases by hundreds of years. He tells Clark he'd be releasing the findings to help future generations. Clark wondered what kind of a man would Evan have been as a man and both started talking on how much of a capable parents would they be. After Clark's departure a man working for Lex asked him if he's seriously intending to release the findings acquired from Evan to the public. He replies with an "eventually" implying he would not be releasing the findings anytime soon, if at all.



Special Appearance by[]

Guest Starring[]




  • To be ageless means to not age or to last forever.
  • The title is a reverse statement on the true nature of Evan Gallagher, who is aging faster than normal.


  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super speed, heat vision and invulnerability .
  • This episode doesn't have any kind of main antagonist, although it does have plenty of antagonism. There's the life-or-death clash between Lionel Luthor and Genevieve Teague, but while that ties in to this season's overall story arc, it's completely unconnected to this episode's main story. There are hints of Lex's dark side emerging, but he doesn't appear to be directly responsible for Evan's condition and death. There's Tanner's refusal to accept his son and his own accidental death, but again, it isn't quite enough to qualify as an antagonist. The main conflict comes from Evan's condition and Clark's complete inability to stop it.
  • When Clark is covering Evan the blanket covering Clark resembles his cape when he becomes Superman.
  • Lana didn't know that Evan was going to die, then she probably didn't think anything when Clark covered Evan and then appeared okay, but she was almost able to see Clark running until the mill.
  • This is the only episode in which Genevieve Teague appears but Jason Teague does not.
  • Lois Lane's absence from the Kent Farm during this episode is not explained.
  • Next to the picture of Karen Gallagher, in the yearbook that Chloe shows Clark, is a student named Jacquie Gould. The woman in the photograph used for Jacquie Gould is actress Simone Bailly. Bailly had appeared in several Season One episodes as an unnamed Smallville High student, along with appearing in the opening scene Season Four episode Pariah (presumably as the same unnamed Smallville High student). Retroactively, that character can be considered Jacquie Gould.

In Other Media[]

  • This episode strangely mirrors an episode from the Batman-themed TV series Birds of Prey where the Huntress discovers a baby that rapidly ages every time he sleeps, who ultimately sacrifices himself to save the day and eventually dies in the same episode. Several producers from Smallville were producers for that show as well.
  • This episode has Clark seemingly becoming the temporary legal guardian of the metahuman Evan. This is similar to Action Comics #400 (May, 1971), where Superman becomes the legal guardian of a metahuman named Gregor Nagy. Both stories ends with the boy dying in Clark's arms (though, Gregor turns to dust, whereas Evan explodes).


  • Pascale Hutton also played Raya in Season Six episodes Zod and Fallout.
  • Jason Teague does not appear in this episode because Jensen Ackles was filming the pilot for his show Supernatural.
  • Karen Gallagher was said to have gotten pregnant while attending a party thrown by a Smallville High student named Cristina Verano. Cristina Verano was the name of a post-production coordinator on Smallville, who later became an associate producer on the show for Season Nine and Season Ten.
  • Discussing this episode on the Talk Ville podcast in 2024, Miles Millar washed his hands of it, describing it as having been the worst idea that he had ever heard. However, they ended up doing it anyway, as they were at the end of the season and running out of ideas (while also needing to write 22 episodes for the season), and were just trying to make it to the season finale (which they had a great idea for).[1]


  • Clark and Lana finding Evan in a field parallels Jonathan and Martha's experience when they found Clark in the Pilot, even down to the part where Lana slams on the brakes. In addition, Clark's response that Evan found him is identical to Martha and Jonathan's perception that they didn't find Clark: Clark found them.
  • Evan's ability of rapid cell growth is harnessed and perfected by Lex to create clones. The later results are Project Ares and Project Gemini, as seen in Prototype, Kara, Gemini, and Persona.
  • This episode marks the 23rd appearance of Clark's red jacket and blue shirt outfit, which he wears frequently throughout the series.
  • Genevieve Teague was last seen in Krypto.
  • Clark will later reference the events of this episode in Guardian.


  • At the end of the episode, Clark and Lex discuss being parents in the future. In season 10, Conner Kent is a clone made from half of Clark Kent's DNA and half of Lex Luthor's DNA.


Chloe: I found an arrowhead in Evan's Field once, but never a baby in a crater.

Chloe: (after Clark runs off) Go get 'em, Speedy.

Martha: You never know what the future will bring you.

Evan: (jumps into Clark's arms) Dad! Mom's taking me to see a real windmill! Wanna come?
Clark: Um, Evan. Listen. We're not your real parents.
Evan: Everyone's supposed to have a mother and father. They're supposed to love each other very much, just like you and Lana.
Clark and Lana: (exchanges awkward looks.)

Lana: That's really weird. But what's even weirder is the way Clark is with him.
Chloe: Let me guess. He's completely baby-phobic.
Lana: Actually, exactly the opposite. You should see the look in his eyes when he's holding that baby. It's like he's completely at ease. Not to mention he's a natural born baby-burper.
Clark: (comes in) I've got the spit up stains to to prove it. Sorry, I'm late. I was up all night with the crying machine.

Lana: Clark Kent, changing diapers like a pro.


  1. Talk Ville podcast: "Ageless" (May, 2024)

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