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"Hourglass" is the sixth episode in the first season of Smallville, and sixth episode overall. It aired on November 20, 2001.


Clark Kent meets Cassandra Carver at the Smallville Retirement Center. She lost her vision during the meteor shower, and now she can see the future. When Harry Volk falls into a pond full of meteor rocks, he becomes young and sets off on a mission to kill the descendants of the jury who convicted him of murder 60 years ago, including Jonathan Kent. Cassandra is able to provide Clark with some insight into his future, but she dies when she sees a vision of Lex Luthor's future.


→ see also Category:Screencaps from episode 1x06

Cassandra Carver

Cassandra tells Pete his future.

Clark, Pete and Lana are volunteering at the Smallville Retirement Center to fulfill a required 30 hours of community service for school. Clark has been assigned to read to Cassandra Carver, a blind woman who believes she can see the future. Although blind, Cassandra is very perceptive, and can identify her surroundings quite accurately. Pete asks to have his fortune told. Cassandra seems to rebuff him, but drops her book so that he will pick it up and hand it to her. When he does, she touches his hand and tells him to check his pockets and he realizes that he has locked his keys in his car. He leaves Clark alone with Cassandra who reveals to Clark that someone close to him is going to die very soon. Later, Clark tells his parents about Cassandra's vision, but they are unconcerned. Lana visits Harry Bolston. He is listening to classical music. He confesses to being obsessed with the local history of Smallville after revealing that the Langs came to Smallville in 1938.


Young Harry at the Beanery

Harry uses a wheelchair and asks Lana to push him around the grounds and tell him what the Langs have been up to since 1938. She takes him to the koi pond, where Harry asks Lana to leave him on the bridge and go back to his room to fetch him a scarf. While she is gone, he tries to sneak a cigarette, but drops his lighter. He reaches over to retrieve it, but upsets his wheelchair, falls through a string of decorative lights and tumbles into the pond and sets off a brilliant display of sparks. Harry seems unable to move for several seconds until suddenly he is young again. He stands up and laughs manically. It is then revealed that the pond has been contaminated with meteor rocks. He then retrieves some old newspaper clippings and lists containing the name Zoe Garfield, a waitress at the Beanery.

At the Beanery, Zoe waits on Harry. Clark and Lana arrive with Chloe Sullivan. Lana laments the missing Harry Bolston. Her friends try to console her and offer theories regarding his disappearance. Harry, eavesdropping, wishes them luck finding him.

Clark goes the Luthor Mansion to deliver Lex's produce order. He tells Lex about Cassandra's prediction that someone close to him will die very soon. Lex pretends to be skeptical, but he asks Clark for her name before he leaves.

Back at the retirement center, Harry is playing the piano. Cassandra tries to trick him into taking her hand, but Harry refuses. Lana notices that someone has removed Harry's picture as a young man from the bulletin board. Clark is there to see Cassandra again. Lana tells Clark that she has just given a statement to the police. She learned that Harry Bolston's real name is Harry Volk. He was convicted of murder 60 years ago when he was 17. In the 1940s, he was studying to be a concert pianist and was up for a scholarship to the Metropolis Conservatory, but his teacher recommended someone else, so Harry murdered his teacher's son. Cassandra tells Clark that she began having visions at the same time she lost her sight- the day of the meteor shower. When Clark takes Cassandra's hand they both see a vision of him kneeling in the rain surrounded by tombstones bearing the names of all the people he loves: his parents and his school friends. The tombstones seem to go on forever. Clark runs off, terrified. He tells his parents about the vision and they try to comfort him, but Clark has interpreted it to mean that he will outlive everyone that he loves and is destined to be alone.


Cassandra receives a visit from Lex Luthor.

At Jim Gage's house, the power goes out. Just as he's about to call someone, he sees Harry at the front door dressed as an electrician. As Harry checks the circuit breakers, he asks Jim if he's any relation to Randolph Gage. Jim admits that Randolph, his father, died in 1993. Harry removes a length of piano wire from the bottom of his toolbox.

Back at the retirement center, Lex Luthor has arrived to talk to Cassandra Carver. Lex asks Cassandra if she can tell him anything about Clark. Lex admits that Clark is his friend, but he is also a mystery. Cassandra refuses to tell him anything about Clark, but she offers to tell him his future. Lex refuses.

Clark, Chloe and Pete meet in Clark's loft. Pete tells Clark that Jim Gage was found blindfolded and strangled with piano wire. Chloe says that was the same way Harry Volk killed the piano teacher's son in 1945. Clark thinks it might be a copycat, but Chloe has a photo of Harry Volk from the 1940s. It looks just like that guy they saw at the Beanery. Of course, Chloe is ready to assume that Harry has traveled through time. Clark suggests they search Harry's room for fan mail of a copycat.


Chloe, Clark and Pete investigate Harry.

Cassandra catches Clark on his way to Harry's room. Chloe and Pete go on ahead while Clark stops to talk with Cassandra. Cassandra admits that she knows that Clark is not like everybody else. She has seen him many times in the futures of many other people, saving them over and over again from pain, despair, fear and darkness. Clark takes Cassandra's hand again and sees a series of flashes of visions of people in trouble, but Cassandra can't tell him who they are.

Chloe and Pete find more newspaper clippings in Harry's room. When Clark sees a picture of Zoe Garfield, he recognizes her as one of the people he saw a glimpse of in his most recent vision of his future. He guesses that Harry might be after her and he rushes off to the Beanery.

It's closing time at the Beanery, but Harry doesn't want to leave. He offers to play the piano while Zoe cleans up the shop. Harry reveals that Zoe's grandmother Eve Garfield helped kill his future, and now he intends to kill Zoe's future. Harry tries to strangle Zoe just as Clark smashes in the door and saves her. Later, Martha reports that Zoe is fine and Harry is in the hospital for observation. When Clark admits that Cassandra might know his secret, his parents say they don't want him to see her anymore.


Clark and Lana visit the meteor-rock filled koi pond.

Lex summons Clark to the mansion, questioning him about the accident, but Clark says he doesn't remember anything about it.

A sheriff's deputy arrives at the hospital to pick up the unidentified "kid from the Beanery assault," but when they enter the room they find the aged Harry Bolston handcuffed to the bed. At the koi pond, Lana tells Clark that Harry told police that a kid who was obsessed with his case kidnapped him. When Clark begins to feel ill, he looks down into the pond and sees the meteor rocks. Clark tells Harry that he suspects the truth. Harry seems more interested in the fact that his name is Kent. He calls the nurse to ask Clark to leave. Later, Harry pushes himself out to the koi pond in his wheelchair and dives in.


Cassandra's image of Lex's future.

At the Torch, Chloe and Pete are studying news coverage of Volk's trial. Lana arrives to announce that Harry is gone. Chloe finds a list of jurors that worked on Harry's trial with Hiram Kent's name on it. Martha Kent answers her door to find the young Harry Volk impersonating a gas man. Martha doesn't smell gas and figures out that Harry is lying. She tries to call out and finds the phone is disconnected. She hits Harry over the head to get to her car and finds the tires have been slashed. Finally she hides in a grain silo. Harry finds her and attacks her with a knife. Martha pulls a lever and buries them both in grain. Clark and Jonathan arrive just in time to pull her out and resuscitate her.

Lex Luthor arrives at the retirement center to visit Cassandra Carver, saying he's ready to see his future. Cassandra takes Lex's hand and sees a vision of Lex in a brilliant white suit and one black glove in the oval office of the White House. Then he is in a field of sunflowers. When he bends down to smell one of the flowers it dies. Then all the flowers die. A field of dry human bones replaces the flowers. Lex seems pleased. Lex holds out his arms as it begins to rain red blood. When Lex asks what it is that Cassandra saw, Cassandra doesn't answer. Lex realizes that she is dead. He calls for help and leaves the room, visibly shaken. When Clark comes in and sees Cassandra dead, he realizes that the death she had predicted when they first met had been her own.



Guest Starring[]



Featured Music[]

Song Artist/Band Scene
"Piano Sonata No. 3 In B Minor" (Presto, Non Tanto) Frederic Chopin Played on Harry's record player.
"5/4" Gorillaz Played in the Beanery, when Lana muses to Chloe and Clark how she lost a whole old person.
"Piano Sonata No. 1 In C Minor" (Finale) Frederic Chopin Played by Harry on the piano in the nursing home to Cassandra.
"Time Served" Dispatch Played when Lex rages his car around a corner and Clarks tells him to be more careful.
"Crush" Kevin Clay Played when Clark, Chloe, Lana and Pete investigate Harry in the Torch office.


  • An hourglass is a device for the measurement of time, closely connected to the 'sands of time' image.
  • The episode centers about "time" and its impact on people: Harry Volk, a senior citizen, turned into a young man after falling into a kryptonite-infused pond. Cassandra Carver could see the future of anyone she touched.


  • Antagonist: Harry Volk.
  • According to the Season 1 companion book the Working title for this episode was "Cassandra".
  • Whitney Fordman does not appear in this episode. This is the first episode in which he does not appear.
  • Clark uses the following abilities in this episode: super strength, super speed, X-ray vision, Invulnerability, and Longevity .
  • This is the episode in the series to show a future version of Clark Kent or any character for that matter.
  • This is the first episode where somebody other than Clark Kent defeats the main villain. This time, it was Martha Kent.
  • Cassandra Carver is the first meteor-infected in the series that doesn't use her powers for evil purposes or against Clark.
  • The scene in which Lex Luthor is in the White House was filmed on the set of another Warner Brothers Television project The West Wing.
  • In this episode Jonathan tells Clark the only person in control of his destiny is him. Clark recites this quotation to the Jonathan Kent of Season Ten's "Kent".
  • It is implied that Pete drove to the Smallville Retirement centre when Cassandra says he lost his keys and will have to walk home, and later in the episode in the scene where Lex drives up to the Luthor mansion Clark is seen delivering Lex's produce in the Kent family's blue truck. Since both Pete and Clark are freshman in high school, they are probably only 14 or 15 years old and shouldn't have a license to drive (though Clark would be allowed to drive on the Kent family farm). Traffic enforcement seems a little lax in Smallville as we have seen a few other of Clark's classmates driving including Greg Arkin in his VW Bettle in Metamorphosis and Jodi Melville hitting a deer in her 4x4. However, in Kansas, teenagers can get their driver's licences at 14. They could have gotten there licences before the series started.

In Other Media[]

  • Lex in his future vision is wearing a black glove. In the comics, Lex lost his hand to radiation exposure from a kryptonite ring and wore a glove to cover up the prosthetic.
  • Also in Lex's future vision, Lex is the President of the United States, which happened at one point in the comics.


  • Harry is playing "Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor, op. 59" and "Piano Sonata No. 1 in C minor, op. 4" by Chopin.
  • George Murdock (Harry Volk) made a brief guest star appearance in the first episode of Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.
  • What Harry writes on the napkin in Greek says "Αποτελέσματα αναζήτησης (...) βρέθηκαν λέξεις" which actually means "Search results (...) words found".




  • In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam of Troy. She was given the gift of prophecy by the god Apollo in exchange for physical intimacy, but when she backed out of the deal last second, the angry god turned her gift into a curse by declaring that she would always be forced to tell the truth about what she sees, but no one would ever believe her. Now, a "cassandra" is a person whose doom and gloom prophecies are not believed.
  • The Greek Cassandra predicted the fall of Troy in the Trojan War, but of course no one believed her. She was the only person in Troy who did not rejoice when her countrymen rolled in the infamous "parting" gift from the Greeks—the Trojan horse. Cassandra Carver makes an ironic reference to this in the episode (see quotes below).
  • Harry's method of de-aging by falling in a kryptonite-infused pond could be an allusion to the mythologic Fountain of Youth or the Lazarus pit, the latter being another element in the DC universe.
  • When talking to Lana about how he would feel if he had a bad experience that people refused to forget, Clark says, "Like I wish I could go back in time and erase that moment forever." This exact thing happens in Superman: The Movie, when Superman turns back time in order to save Lois from certain death.
  • Lex's story of "a rich man who survived a hotel fire. He hung onto the ledge for an hour before the fire department rescued him" is reminiscent of Sumner Redstone's tale of surviving a hotel fire at the Copley Plaza hotel. Mr. Redstone regularly tells this story, and included it in his biography. However, Mr. Redstone did not acquire the hotel.



Pete: We could have served our community by life guarding a girls' swim class at the Y, instead of hanging out with the denture crowd. I mean, where's the attraction?
Lana: (walks in) Hi Clark, hi Pete.
Clark: Hi, Lana. I didn't know you worked here.
Pete: Yeah right.

Harry Volk: (talking about sandwiches) I haven't been able to eat one of these in years. I mean, not since the bypass.

Harry Volk: (after checking a lengthy menu of drinks offered at the Beanery) How much is coffee? From, you know, beans?

Lana: Do you know anyone else who has lost an entire old person in a wheelchair?
Chloe: Maybe a koi turned into a piranha and ate him.

Clark: You sound like my parents.
Lex: That's gotta be a first.

Cassandra: The other night you left in a hurry. Sit. (both of them sit down) I, uh (clearing her throat) I hoped you'd come back.
Clark: I'm sorry. You saw that... whatever it was.
Cassandra: I always see them. The question is: how did you?
Clark: I don't know. Wasn't I supposed to?
Cassandra: Nobody ever has.
Clark: Why me?
Cassandra: Because... we both know... you're not like other people.
Clark: Sure, I am.
Cassandra: No, Clark, I've seen you...before we ever met. More than once, I've touched people, and I've seen such pain and despair and -- but then you were there, and the pain was gone. I think that's your destiny, Clark -- to help people, to save them from fear and darkness.
Clark: How?
Cassandra: That's for you to figure out. You can fear the future, or you can embrace it. The choice is yours.

Clark: Is it so crazy? I get hit by a car and I'm fine. I walk through fire and I'm okay. What's next?

Clark: (To Martha) Come on, breathe!
Jonathan: Martha!
Martha: (coughing) You think I'd ever leave you two alone?

Zoe: Enjoy your coffee. They brought it in by burro this morning.

Lex: I come bearing gifts.
Cassandra: So did the Greeks.



Smallville "Hourglass" Trailer-0

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