Written by: Aron Eli Coleite
Directed by: Allan Arkush
Starring: Zachary Quinto, Erick Avari, David Berman, Graham Beckel
The One Where: We flash back and meet Sylar…
Hiro discovers that he has transported himself six months into the past in a bid to save Charlie from Sylar. He ends up working at the Burnt Toast café in Texas and a relationship develops between the two – she tells him that she’s slowly dying of a clot on her brain, but that he’s given her fresh will to live…
Elsewhere in the past, Chandra Suresh begins running tests on Gabriel Grey, a clearly unbalanced watchmaker with the power to see how things need fixing. When Suresh stops his study Gabriel becomes angry and tracks down another of the test subjects, Brian Davis. He takes a new name – Sylar! – from a timepiece and kills the man, absorbing his telekinetic power. In LA, Matt crosses paths with Eden, who has the power to issue telepathic commands. She’s interrogated by Bennet, who recruits her to remove Claire’s name from Suresh’s catalogue of parahumans (Claire has just discovered her invulnerability after accidentally smashing her hand through a glass window).
Niki is reunited with her estranged father, Hal, who we discover was abusive toward Jessica, her twin sister (and now Niki’s mirror-dwelling alter ego). Jessica later attacks Hal, saying she blames him for her death.
Nathan and Peter plan to bring down the mob boss Lindeman, which will also incriminate their own father. Lindeman’s goons arrange a car accident that cripples Nathan’s wife (Nathan escapes by flying). Peter still plans to serve the deposition, but news comes through that their father has died of a heart attack.
Hiro offers Charlie a ticket to Japan, but too soon he’s returned to the present. He tells Ando that he’s realised he’s powerless to change the past.
Remember Secret Origins, the DC Comics title that would flash back and recap the creation myths of their superpowered pantheon? This episode plays like the television equivalent, as we hop back in time to witness the first glimmerings of parahuman abilities in our key players. More than anything, it’s Sylar’s story. Zachary Quinto doesn’t quite possess the flesh-crawling sense of evil we might have hoped for (it’d be hard for any actor to compete with Sylar’s portrayal as a faceless bogeyman in the previous episodes) but does a decent job as the unhinged watchmaker with the twisted evolutionary agenda. When he describes his family as “not bad people, just insignificant” you defintely wonder what’s stashed beneath his floorboards.
It’s also Hiro and Charlie’s story, and their timewarped romance is well handled, with Hiro’s power presented in a genuinely magical way (love all that origami).
Hiro: “If I teleport again I could end up anywhere. Lunch for a T-Rex! I’m stuck!”