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"Hereafter" is the twelfth episode in the third season of Smallville, and fifty-sixth episode overall. It aired on February 4, 2004.


Coach Altman is so distraught over his daughter's death that he tries to kill Lana, himself, and Megan Calder. Jordan Cross foresees their deaths and enlists the aide of Clark to thwart the plan. Meanwhile, Chloe and Lex investigate Adam Knight's mysterious background.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 3x12


Jordan's premonition of Lana's peaceful death.

On one of his first days of class at Smallville High School, Jordan Cross is running with the cross-country track team. Lana and Pete are also on the team. They end the run on the football field, where Jordan glances at a pretty cheerleader, Megan Calder, and Lana approaches Coach Altman. She tentatively asks the coach if there is anything she can do, but he seems extremely depressed and just replies that no one can do anything. Lana approaches Jordan and compliments him on his running skills. She impulsively grabs his hand and Jordan is suddenly shocked into a vision: He sees Lana as an old woman dying peacefully in her bed. She is wearing her neutralized kryptonite necklace, accompanied by an old man. Jordan is unnerved and leaves abruptly.

Coach Altman approaches him and puts a hand on his shoulder asking him when he's going to join the team. Jordan has another vision: Coach Altman is standing directly in front of an oncoming car being hit head on. Upset by now, Jordan runs away from the field.

In front of the school, Clark catches up with Jordan and introduces himself as his mentor to show him around school. Jordan doesn't shake his hand and covers by saying that he has been home schooled until now and is trying to get used to all the people. Clark waits for him to check in with his dad. Jordan's dad knows that he has had visions and says he thinks it's a mistake for Jordan to be in regular school but then Jordan sees Mr. Altman crossing into the street. He is horrified to see his vision begin to play out, but Clark notices Jordan's reaction. He sees the oncoming car and super speeds to push Mr. Altman out of the way. Mr. Altman dissolves into tears, saying he just wanted to be with his little girl. Clark and Jordan are both stunned.


Chloe and Pete listen to Clark's theory about Jordan Cross.

Lana and Megan arrive at the hospital to visit Coach Altman. Lana explains to Clark that she, Megan, and his daughter Julia were all best friends in junior high school when they cheered together. Julia was severely injured when a car hit her. She had no chance of recovery, but Mr. Altman hoped for a miracle and only took her off of life support last month. Lana leaves to visit with Mr. Altman. He is unconscious and Megan is crying at his bedside. She laments that she and Julia were fighting the night of the accident and she blames herself. Lana tries to comfort her, noting that she didn't go after her either. Lana leads Megan away and Coach Altman awakens as they leave.

Jordan is navigating the crowded halls of high school trying not to touch anyone when Clark grabs his shoulder. Instead of a horrifying image of death, he sees a fluttering red cape and a tranquil, endless expanse of space and stars; however he is still skittish and admits that he doesn't like being touched. The students file past him and every time someone runs into him, Jordan winces and touches his head. Clark recognizes the gesture and asks if Jordan knew what Coach Altman was going to do. Jordan just excuses himself and goes outside to get some air.


Jordan tells Clark about his visions.

Lana is closing up the Talon when she hears Adam shouting upstairs. She enters the apartment to see him thrashing violently in the throes of a nightmare. He kicks her in the stomach before he wakes up sweating and panting. Lana is concerned but Adam says he doesn't want to talk about it. Later, Lana meets with Lex who says neighbors reported Adam shouting. He also has a list of invoices for repairs to the apartment. Lana says she didn't tell him because she didn't want to jump to conclusions and Adam has been a big help at the coffee shop. Lex cautions that Lana doesn't know much about him.


Lex asks Adam about his mysterious background.

The next day at school, Clark is waiting for Pete and Chloe at the Torch office. They arrive eager to tell him something about Adam Knight but Clark declares himself an "Adam-free zone", saying he and Lana are friends again and he doesn't want to mess it up by coming between her and Adam. He redirects the conversation to Jordan Cross and says he thinks Jordan had a premonition of Coach Altman's actions. Pete has noticed Jordan's fear of human contact, but suggests that maybe he just has a heightened sense of intuition. Chloe, on the other hand, thinks the story is worth looking into. Clark is pleased that Chloe wants to investigate with him again.

That day at school, Chloe enters an empty classroom and sees Adam injecting something into his arm. When he leaves, she collects the syringe. She meets Clark at the Torch office and almost tells him what she saw, but stops herself. Clark shows her an article he found in the Smallville Ledger database: when Jordan was six, he foresaw a woman dying on a roller coaster. They learn that Jordan's mother died the day he was born, the day of the meteor shower. Their investigation is interrupted when they hear commotion on the schoolyard and arrive to see Jordan confronting Megan. They are both upset; Jordan is insisting that Megan allow him to walk her home, and Megan is screaming for him to leave her alone. Clark tries to calm Jordan down. Near tears, Jordan explains that Megan is going to die, but runs away without further details.

Clark follows Jordan and offers to help. He says he knows about the roller coaster and he believes in Jordan's visions. Jordan finally admits that when he touched Megan, he saw her dying in a fire. Clark suggests they try warning her again. As they walk to Megan's house together, Jordan describes his visions. He and his father have never been able to prevent one from coming true before Clark saved Coach Altman. He tells Clark that his vision of him was like he didn't have an ending. They arrive at Megan's house to find Sheriff Adams. She reports that Megan's car was discovered abandoned and questions Jordan about his fight with Megan that day. Jordan's dad comes to get him and tells him to wait in the car. Clark pleads with Mr. Cross to give Jordan another chance at school but Mr. Cross says that Jordan should be home so he can protect him, then they realize that Jordan has run off again.


Chloe tells Lana about what she saw Adam doing.

Chloe goes to the Talon to tell Lana about the syringe, first making sure Adam is not around. Adam is at the Mansion skillfully playing a difficult piece of music. Lex is impressed but Adam shrugs off his compliments. Lex asks him about his behavior and reveals that he has been investigating his past. Lex talked with his teachers who seemed to have rehearsed their answers and he promises to keep digging. Lana is doing some research at the Torch and asks Adam to meet her there. She tries to ask him about the needle, but he is defensive and avoids all of her questions. He stalks away and runs right into Jordan. Jordan is affected by what he saw and then Lana finds him. He admits that he's hiding from his father. Lana reaches out to comfort him and Jordan sees another vision: Lana is dying in a fire. She is surrounded by photos, flowers, toys, and a sign, which reads "Wandering Hills". She screams. Jordan seems surprised that the vision has changed. He tells Lana not to leave the school. Lana is confused, but as Jordan turns to go find Clark, a masked figure knocks Jordan to the floor, drugs Lana, and drags her away.


Coach Altman prepares to burn down the basement with Megan and Lana inside.

Chloe goes to talk to Adam but he is not in the apartment. She uses the opportunity to snoop around and finds a vial of clear liquid. Her investigation is interrupted by Lex. He asks her about her concerns and admits that Adam's piano skills made him curious. They discuss Adam's uncanny talents in a variety of subjects. Lex simply tells Chloe to lock up on her way out.

Clark has been looking for Jordan all night and Jonathan wants him to give it a rest. Clark feels guilty because he led Jordan into the middle of a crime investigation. Jonathan explains that he can relate to Jordan's dad wanting to shelter and hide his son from the world and tells Clark that Jordan will come home when he's ready. Clark agrees to stay home for dinner and is about to follow Jonathan in the house when Jordan appears. He tells Clark how he and Lana were attacked and about how his vision of Lana's death changed. He tries to recount all he can remember from the vision. Clark shows him a photograph of Julia Altman and Jordan confirms that he saw a photograph of her in the vision. He remembers a sign that indicates the neighborhood and as Clark sets out to rescue the girls, Jordan insists on coming along.


Clark talks to his mom about destiny.

Mr. Altman has both girls tied up in a basement, along with a collection of photographs and mementos of his daughter. He says that he heard Megan confessing in the hospital and now he blames them for Julia's death and intends to set the basement on fire to avenge his daughter. He starts the fire just as Clark and Jordan arrive. Clark instructs Jordan to stay in the car and goes to rescue the girls. He gets Lana loose as Altman tries to pull him away. Clark pushes him away as Jordan arrives and frees Megan. Altman attacks Jordan who is stunned by multiple touches. However, Jordan's vision corresponds with reality, indicating that he sees Altman's own death. After the girls are safe, Clark reenters the basement to rescue Jordan, who is unconscious. He carries him out just as the house blows up and administers CPR to revive him. When he comes to, Jordan is surprised that he does not receive a vision from Clark's touch.

Later, Lana visits Lex at the mansion and tells Lex about Adam's reaction to her questions. He tells Lana that Adam is part of a clinical trial testing a new drug, but Lana still is unsure. Lex advises her to trust her instincts. When she leaves, it is revealed that Lex is reading Adam's file in a computer database.


Clark calls for help after finding Jonathan collapsed.

The next day, Jordan tells Clark that right before he was going to die, he saw his mother and when he was revived, the visions were gone. He is upbeat about it and says that he was destined to meet Clark to get rid of them. Lana arrives shortly afterward with Jordan's homework and explains that she's going to help him catch up in exchange for track training. Clark exits and Jordan is suddenly withdrawn and quiet again. Lana asks him what's wrong and Jordan reluctantly says he saw something strange when he touched Adam. Lana mentions that Adam was seriously injured a while ago but Jordan cryptically says that he thinks Adam actually died.

That night at home, Clark is quiet and Martha asks what's on his mind. He says he wonders what the consequences of his altering destiny will be if he makes the wrong choice and people die. Martha assures him that he has to concentrate on the lives he saves. She gives him a plate of cookies to take to Jonathan in the barn. Clark arrives with the plate but is horrified to see that Jonathan has collapsed. Clark tries to help him up as Jonathan is muttering, "Not yet" and "I love you, son" just before he passes out. Clark calls for his mother.



Guest Starring[]




Featured Music[]

  • "100 Years" - Five for Fighting
  • "I Owe You" - Stegala Music
  • "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" - Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • "Two Steps Closer" - Static


  • Hereafter refers to a future time.
  • The title refers to Jordan Cross' ability to foresee the future and the various events that occur during those visions.


  • Antagonist: Joseph Altman
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, Longevity, Super-Breathing, Flight (Future).
  • Lionel Luthor does not appears in this episode.
    Jordan's Vision

    Jordan sees Clark's future without death.

  • Lex comments that Adam is playing a difficult piece of music. He is playing "Rhapsody on a Theme By Paganini, 18th Variation" by Rachmaninoff, a Russian composer (Note: as far as Rachmaninoff's pieces go, the 18th Variation is comparatively one of his simpler pieces). He also says that he never had the patience to play piano, but in fact, Lex is quite an accomplished piano player, as shown in Spell and Lucy. The piece serves as a prominent leitmotif in the 1980 film Somewhere in Time, which stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, and somewhat more famously in the 1993 film Groundhog Day, both of which concern temporal displacement.
  • A significant amount of time has passed since the previous episode, as the Talon apartment is now fully furnished.
  • This is one of the first episodes which strongly implies that Clark and the character of Superman is not merely a superhuman entity, but a supernatural one as well, as evidenced by his ability to literally change destiny. He saved Coach Altman and inadvertently put three other lives in danger, but his next intervention sets destiny back on track with Coach Altman dead and the other three safe and sound. This motif is continued subtly throughout the series, particularly in regards to comments relating to Clark's potential immortality and the transformation (even if it is arguably temporary) of Lionel Luthor into a better man after coming into contact with Clark's "soul" in Transference. (The concept of Superman being able to alter destiny is also addressed in the film Superman and the Elliot S! Maggin novel Last Son of Krypton).
  • This is the second time that Clear kryptonite appeared in the series in this episode, after Visage.
  • When Jordan Cross is heading down the stairs at Smallville High, he passes a Smallville Crows player named Brent, who is talking to a blond girl. It is unknown if the two are Brent and Holly from the Season One episode Leech.
  • According to Lana, Julia was in the hospital since junior high until last month, for years. However, the article Clark shows Jordan is an obituary dated the next week after the accident, and scheduling her funeral for the next day. Also, the obituary calls her father "Principal Altman", although it is possible he resigned from that post during these years.
  • Although at the end of this episode Clark ponders what it means for him to change destiny, there's another possible interpretation of this episode: that Jordan is the one changing destiny, not Clark. Each time Clark saves someone from their fate, Jordan and his visions are the catalyst. When Jordan sees Mr. Altman's suicide in a vision, he leaves school early, which causes Clark to look for him in the school parking lot. Jordan also runs toward Mr. Altman which draws Clark's attention in that direction, allowing Clark to save Mr. Altman. Later on Clark is only able to save Lana and Megan due to info Jordan gives him from his vision. In this interpretation even though Clark has super abilities, he is still bound by the law of cause and effect, so even he cannot change destiny. In this system, only someone who has exact knowledge of the future, like Jordan, would be able to change it. This interpretation harmonizes well with the rest of the series since Clark's struggle against his destiny and those of his loved ones is a re-occuring theme in Smallville.
    • It should also be noted that while Clark prevents Mr. Altman's original suicide, the episode's climax still has Mr. Altman die from another suicide. This line's up with Jor-El's warning in Reckoning, that "the tide of fate is impossible to stop. Even if you are able to alter one course of events the universe will find a balance". Furthermore, Clark preventing Mr. Altman's original suicide (thanks to Jordan's vision) came with a consequence of him almost burning Lana and Megan to death, in his new suicide.

In Other Media[]

  • When Jordan bumps into Clark, the viewer is treated to an image of the classic Superman "S" symbol on a red cape (the same scene that appears on "Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" opening), while the camera flies through space and stars.
  • Jordan has the power to see the future of people, specifically how they will die. Hereafter is also the name of an episode of Justice League, aired two months earlier, which is about Superman's supposed death when he is actually sent into the future.


  • Chloe says she is glad to play Woodward to Clark's Bernstein, a reference to the two Washington Post journalists whose tenacious investigation uncovered the Watergate scandal in 1972.
  • Jordan's name may refer to the River Jordan in Asia. The Israelites "crossed the river Jordan" to get to the Promised Land after escaping slavery from Egypt. Since then, it has been a symbol for souls crossing into paradise after death.
  • The plot of Jordan seeing the deaths of others and he and Clark stopping them is similar to the Final Destination movies, in which characters see premonitions of someone's imminent death and try to stop them. Ironically, the 3rd film (released in 2006, about two years after this episode) dealt with the characters dying in a roller coaster accident. Similar to the one Jordan tried to stop when he was a kid.


Clark: It's hard when you blame yourself for everything that happened.

Jordan: (to Clark) I had a vision of you too when you grabbed me in the hallway... You don't have an end like other people. It's like you live forever.

Clark: I'm just wondering if that's why I was really sent here: to change destiny. What if I make a wrong choice and I'm not there to make it right?
Martha: It's a huge responsibility. You have to concentrate on the good that you do. Think of all the people you've saved: your dad and me and Lex. He's turned out to be a really good friend. Sweetheart, you just have to do the best you can. You can't save everybody.

Clark: Hey, we were supposed to meet in the gymnasium. They said you bolted. Is everything okay?
Jordan: I'm still trying to get used to all these people. I was home schooled up until now.
Clark: Allow me to be your lifeline. All new students are assigned a mentor, most importantly because they come with map. Let me give you a lay of the land.

Clark: What have you guys heard about that new kid? Jordan Cross?
Pete: You mean Mr. "Pathologically Afraid of Human Contact"?
Clark: I guess he made quite a first impression. Look, this is gonna sound crazy, but I think he had a premonition about Mr. Altman.
Chloe: What made you take that leap?
Clark: Let's call it a gut feeling.
Pete: Well, maybe that's the same thing that Jordan had.
Clark: What do you mean?
Chloe: Some people believe that premonitions are just heightened intuition.
Pete: Yeah, maybe he overheard something or saw a look in Altman's eyes.
Chloe: Yeah, but still, given your track record with Wall of Weirdness, I think we should look into it.
Clark: (pleased) Thanks.
Chloe: No thanks required. It's kind of fun being Woodward to your Bernstein again.

Lex: (to Adam) The strange thing is they all said it, word for word, almost as if they were told what to say. (Adam doesn't respond, looking away.) Don't worry, Adam. I'll keep checking. We all have black marks somewhere in our past.

Clark: The visions?
Jordan: Maybe I was destined to lose them when I met you.
Chloe: Well, I'm just-- I'm having one of those "it sucks to be a reporter" days. I know you and Adam have been spending a lot of time together, but...

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