Welcome to Volume 5: Redemption.
We open with the much hyped new crew of circus folk, all dressed in black and looking somberly over an open grave. The eulogy serves as the Mohinder-esh voiceover over an opening montage o’ heroes. It starts with visions we’re familiar with: Peter taking a leap off the top of a large building, Claire falling to her not-death in the first season, Sylar enjoying his energy-powers, Nathan, Tracey, Parkman, and Hiro living their lives. We start to see some new things. Claire arriving at college, Noah spinning his wedding ring on a table, Parkman with an older baby-Parkman, Peter being a paramedic, and a few other quick shots. The voiceover is about finding a way in a world that doesn’t accept you, finding redemption. “I say it’s time to find our way back home again.” And with that, the eu-google-izer (Samuel) uses telekinesis to fill in the grave. Then they all march back towards the circus.
Claire carries a small box with a cheerleading trophy into her new dorm room. She’s sporting a MUCH BETTER hair do this year that’s not a wig, so I’m happy. She’s in Arlington, VA. It looks like her roommate has had time to fix up her room with a Target-inspired aesthetic of pink and brown polka dots. Claire’s side of the room looks comparatively Spartan. I hope she has more than that one tiny box to decorate with. The dorm room looks dingy enough to be real, but is about 2x the size of a real one. On television terms, it’s totally authentic. Annie, the new roommate, wanders in an introduces herself and quickly outs herself as a A-type overachiever. “Annie’s Trajectory” is a crazy poster board creation of Annie’s life plotted out to ensure she’s the youngest Governor in Massachusetts history. My husband is convinced she’s a hero in disguise and her super power is being obsessive compulsive and uppity. A tip for you, it’s not a good idea to insult a person who has access to everything you own by insisting they not let their “GED be a lifestyle choice.”
Tokyo, Japan. We’re introduced to cardboard cutouts of Hiro and Ando offering their services as “Dial-A-Hero”. Hiro sits intensely staring down two Mac laptops and a phone. They lament the failure that is Dial-A-Hero. Ando and Hiro reminisce over a photo Hiro had stashed in some papers. Ando reveals his undying crush on Hiro’s sister, Kimiko, and her undying hatred of him. Hiro’s sister storms in and gives them a tongue lashing for their irresponsible use of funds. She’s clearly still pissed that Hiro got the CEO job over her. Ah, the trials of being female. The Hero-Line finally rings and Hiro answers with, “Dial-A-Hero, how can we save you today?”
New York City. Peter Petrelli is stuck in traffic riding shot gun in an ambulance on its way to an emergency. He bails from the vehicle, finds an abandoned alley, and super-parkours his way to the accident scene. He rips the door off a car that’s been flipped on its side and gets to saving the dazed driver.
Back on campus, Claire heads into a lecture hall and is quickly summoned to sit next to Anal-Annie. They’re both testing for admission to an exclusive algebra class. The professor reveals the complicated algebra they have to complete, and starts reading “Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.” As Claire starts her exam, she has a vision of a military type shooting her with a tazer, makes a grunting noise, and then exists the hall with a flippant: “This class isn’t for me.” I’m REALLY confused, but I’ll let it slide because of her great new hair.
Peter and his EMT partner rib each other over Peter’s super-man life saving. The driver was pregnant and had twin girls, all because Peter saved her. Peter’s not thrilled though, he wants to be faster. EMT buddy tries to drag him out for drinks, but Peter seems obsessed with working every waking hour, saving as many lives as he can.
In Tokyo, a little girl is worried that Muffin Man is stuck. Muffin Man is a cat, Hiro and Ando’s first client. They argue about who’s power is more useful for saving the little kitty, and decide neither one is a good idea. “I’d burn the roof and kill the cat. Never mind freaking the little girl out.” Hiro decides they have to do this “old school” and excitedly volunteers Ando to climb up and save the cat. Ando shimmies up a pipe and reaches out for the kitty, snatching him up. The cat returns the favor by scratching Ando’s face. Ando falls off his perch, and Hiro freezes him just as he’s about to crash to the pavement. Hiro totally could’ve frozen time and retrieved a non-lethal frozen kitty, but this works too.
Washington, DC. Angela Petrelli (from NY) talks with Noah Bennet about Tracey Strauss, who’s been running down a list and murdering people one by one. They argue a bit about the ridiculous pretense they used to turn Sylar into Nathan. Noah is working on getting the company up and running, but he doesn’t think he’s up for it since his life is in shambles. Noah climbs into his car and sets his newspaper down. He notices a story about mysterious drowning victims just in time for his car to start filling with water and sealing in ice. Maybe he should’ve read that paper before he closed himself in a car-coffin of doom. Someone unseen shoots the window out, and Bennet and his horn rimmed glasses come tumbling out the window. The shooter is none other than Danko, who I’m surprised is still alive. Danko offers to team up with Noah to kill Tracey before she kills them. Noah declines (YAY!) and Danko threatens that he’ll be back for him eventually.
Claire faces down the gauntlet of clubs and sororities looking for fresh meat. She’s rescued by a fellow freshman, a pale girl with long dark hair. She seems immediately cool and I want to be friends with her, so good job casting department. They discuss Claire’s former life as a cheerleader and my new friend admits to trying out for cheerleading but not making the team because, “They said my cheers sounded like taunts.” I don’t know why, but that line made me bust right up. Gretchen Berg introduces herself to Claire. Gretchen has heard of Claire, via the murder story from Odessa. Claire asks for Gretchen’s discretion in sharing the story, and she agrees.
In Tokyo, Hiro flips Ando so he lands on his feet and unfreezes time. They hand over the kitty and the girl praises them. It looks like Hiro’s powers are still on the fritz, because he’s frozen himself now.
Angela Petrelli is joined at her meal by Nylar (Nathan-Sylar). Angela looks startled. The voice is Nathan’s, but the face is Sylar’s. Angela jerks awake in her car and enters the restaurant she just dreamt about. This time, Nylar looks like real-Nathan and repeats the same exchange. Angela is still visibly shaken. Nylar stares strangely at the sushi spread in front of him and can’t remember if he likes it or not. Nylar admits that he’s been taking stock of his life and feels like there’s a lot of change going on with him. Angela tries to play it off as a mid-life crisis. Nylar, because somebody had to say it, calls Nathan out as being a “jackass.” He wants to reconnect with everyone close to him and be a better father, brother, and son. The more they talk, the more it’s obvious that Sylar is peaking through the façade and Angela is not pleased.
Parkman is hanging out with adorable toddler-Parkman in their house in LA when he receives a call from Angela. She voices her concerns that Nylar needs “patching up” or “upgrading”. Nice. Parkman refuses. He’s convinced something of Sylar rubbed off on him when he dug into his head like that, and he’s not doing it ever again.
Nylar’s sitting introspectively in his office when he absent-mindedly uses telekinesis to pull his coffee cup into his hand. He jumps back, shocked. When he tries it again, it won’t work. Instead, he summons lightning between his hands. As my own toddler would say, “Uh! Oh!”
Claire comes back to her dorm room to find Anal-Annie chatting with Noah. Claire’s half of the room is still pretty depressing looking. She and Noah, though, ook as bright as Christmas at the sight of each other though. Since Clair is back to using her real name and real identity, Claire shares with her dad that her new life plan is telling the truth-ish. We’ll see how long until that gets her into trouble.
We’ve finally returned to the Circus, The Sullivan Brothers Carnival. A tall topless blonde wanders into the Samuel’s tent, who drops ink onto her back and asks her to “Show me where he is.” A vision of Danko appears on her back as a tatoo, and she gives his name. A dark looking man, Edgar, comes into the tent and is tasked with vengeance against Danko. Edgar refuses, and Samuel stabs him with the tattoo pen. The ink courses through his body and up to his neck to strangle him. Samuel releases his grip and promises he’ll never ask again after this one. Edgar leaves looking defeated.
Noah is seated at a café when he’s joined by Tracey. She hasn’t decided if he gets to live or not, but he was apparently #5 on her murderous list of revenge. Oh! That totally reminds me. I need to finish up my murderous list of revenge so I can get started on my Trajectory poster. Noah wonders how Tracey survived being blast into a thousand pieces. She felt herself shatter, melt, and reconstitute intent on revenge. Noah offers to help her get her life back and to get Danko off her path, a way to look for redemption for all those years of bagging-and-tagging. Tracey turns him down for now, but I have a feeling she’ll be back.
Noah meets Danko in a dimly lit warehouse. He’s trying to convince Danko to back off on Tracey, even though she didn’t take his deal. It seems Bennet is serious about this redemption stuff, which is good since that’s the chapter title. Danko is intent on killing, Tracey, “even if I have to suck her up in a wet vac to do it.” Noah offers Danko a real chance to start over with the blessing of the US Government. This episode is full of refused offers, and Danko follows in kind. The Haitian sneaks up behind him and palms his head like a basketball. That’s not racist. He’s Haitian; he plays soccer. Anyways, methinks Danko is vacationing whether he likes it or not.
Peter is returning from what I’m sure was a 92 hour shift to send a phone call from Nylar right to voicemail. Peter pins up his latest rescue onto a bulletin board of newspaper clippings. Well, aren’t we self-congratulatory?
Danko is surprised in his apartment by Tracey. He doesn’t recognize her, and Tracey realizes Bennet had his memory erased. Danko, cryptically, asks her if “he sent you to get it back.” Tracey is about to leave him untouched, but Danko wanders right into Edgar the carnie’s ambush. “You took something from us, now I’m gonna get it back.” Edgar is a speedster who slashes Danko to pieces with a large knife. Tracey wanders in, and is attacked in kind. She fights back and freezes his arm; Edgar jets off.
Claire heads down to the first party of the season. Anal Aniie is rocking Guitar Hero 3 all by her lonesome. Claire finds Gretchen and offers a watered down version of the true story of her life after Odessa. They bond over their mutual dislike of Anal-Annie and take a horrifically bad turn at Guitar Hero.
Ando wheels poor Hiro around strapped to a dolly. He’s smuggled him into the office, and is doing his best to hide him from his sister. Ando shakes Hiro, who finally snaps out of his frozen trance. Ando catches him up on the craziness and notices Hiro’s nose starting to bleed. Ando insists he see a doctor, but Hiro admits that he’s already seen one and the news isn’t good. Hiro is dying, maybe soon. Ando asks Hiro if there’s a point in time he can travel back to and undo whatever damage was done to make him sick. Hiro actually does know the point in time, when they were tweens sharing a night at the carnival. A fortune teller gave Hiro a fortune that he would be a powerful hero. If he never got that fortune, he never would’ve chased obsessively after that goal. Hiro is adamant that he will not change the past. Ando is desperate to save his friend. Mid-argument, Hiro freezes for a moment. Then, he disappears. He reappears back at the carnival, 14 years ago. He time traveled without even meaning to.
Back in the present day, Hiro’s face appears on tattoo lady, Lydia. She tells Samuel Hiro’s name, and that he was at the carnival 14 years ago. Samuel wanders over to an old man on oxygen, who worries that they’re going to stop moving “after all these years.” Samuel asks him to do something, one more time, to track Hiro down. They need his help to change the past. Samuel asks the man to summon him back 14 years ago.
Claire comes back to an empty room and complains that Anal-Annie left the windows open. I guess we won’t have to deal with Annie’s Analness anymore, since Claire discovers her bloody remains on the sidewalk beneath their room.
In Los Angeles, Parkman trips over toddler-Parkman’s toy in his dark house. In DC, Nylar concentrates on his coffee cup, trying to get it to move. Parkman looks for Matty, who’s missing from his crib. Nylar, who flashes as Sylar for a moment, looks in the mirror as we hear the ticking of Sylar. Parkman turns around to find Sylar holding a screaming toddler Parkman. Sylar proclaims, “Hi Daddy. I want my body back.”
Parkman demands Sylar put down Matty, who is finally quiet. Sylar claims to be part of Parkman now, inside his head. They hear Mrs. Parkman turn on a light, and Sylar yells “Catch” and tosses Matty in the air. As she enters the room, Parkman realizes he’s caught nothing but air, and looks down to see Matty sleeping peacefully in his bed.
In DC, Noah resets a screaming fire alarm after destroying dinner in the toaster oven. How do you ruin something in a toaster oven? It only stays hot for a set period of time. Sheesh. He opens the bare refrigerator and pulls out a carton of milk, which was his only choice other than a bottle of mustard. The bachelor life is not agreeing with him. He calls Sandra, but a man answers instead. He can’t bear to talk to her and hangs up. A call from Tracey follows, which is good because I’m sure he needed a distraction. Bennet enters Danko’s dark, creepy, and now bloody apartment and surveys the scene.
14 years ago, adult Hiro runs into tween Hiro as he desperately tries to time shift back to the present. Twiro asks him to take a picture, and he agrees. The photo he snaps is one we saw several times in this episode already, which is a little creepy. He witnesses himself heading to the fortune teller, but still refuses to change his future. Instead, he runs into Samuel who offers to be “great friends.”
A grisly chalk outline of her roommate on the sidewalk below, Claire is being interviewed by police officers. They show a suicide note, which they claim was on her pillow, but Claire knows was not. Claire insists this was not a suicide, but the officer seems unconvinced.
Ando is pacing in Hiro’s office when Kimiko wanders in. Ando tries to cover for Hiro’s absence, but she’s not buying it. Ando tries the truth: “He slipped out of space and time and now is most likely at a carnival fourteen years ago.” Shockingly, it works and she heads off exasperated.
Samuel admits to knowing Hiro’s gift, and having a gift of his own, which he displays with a spinning compass tattoo. Samuel tries to convince Hiro that he can make some changes to the past that won’t have a dramatically negative impact on the future. Hiro wonders if he could stop Ando from spilling his slushy on Kimiko, the point in time when she first started hating Ando. He holds true to his code to not change the past, but Samuel forcefully and creepily forces him backwards as he insists he can right the wrongs of the past by taking a chance. Samuel pushes Hiro in the path of the flying slushy, and he catches it on his shoulder. Then, he flashes back to the present and asks if anything has changed for Ando. If Hiro was thinking this through, which he rarely does, he’d realize that Ando would have no clue that anything had changed. And he doesn’t, but a cheery looking Kimiko wanders into the office. Ando refers to her as Kimmy, and they kiss. Hiro jumps excitedly.
Tracey catches Noah up on what happened to Danko. Noah notices the specific nature of the wounds, all to the stomach. Bennet puts a plastic baggie on his hand and digs into Danko’s body, pulling out a key. Ew.
Parkman suits up for work and gets all hyper possessive when he overhears the water guy, Roy, being overly-familiar with Janice and Matty. He quickly apologizes, but still seems stressed. He insists he has things under control, but clearly doesn’t.
Bennet surprises Peter in his apartment and asks to talk. Peter is also living bachelor-chic, since all his has to offer is water and mustard. Bennet surveys Peter’s wall-o-lifesaving and asks if he’s using his powers. Peter admits to using Mohinder’s super strength to try to make up for all the misdeeds of their past. Noah reveals Danko’s key to Peter, which belongs to a safe deposit box. Noah needs a partner who can hold his own against the speedster to protect him while they open the box.
Sandra visits Claire, who’s hair is EVEN CUTER, and checks on her after the roommate incident. Claire introduces Gretchen to Sandra, who joins them in her room. Gretchen, the new voice of reason on this show, wonders, “Who maps out their life for the next 50 years and then throws themselves out a window?” After Sandra leaves, Gretchen and Claire decide to prove Annie’s death was murder.
While they wait for the banker with the safe deposit box, Noah tries to give Peter life advice: “I’m alone, that’s no way to live.” When the banker drops off the box, they discover it contains a broken compass. The banker now contains significantly less blood, since the knife-wielding speedster has hacked him to pieces. Peter super-chucks him into a wall and grabs his power in the process. They have a crazy speedster knife fight and, surprisingly, Peter comes out on top. Apparently super speed power came with knife training. Edgar realizes he’s losing and darts out of the bank. Peter gets to work paramedicalling the dying banker.
At the hospital, after dropping off the banker, Peter discovers if he holds the compass it spins frantically, much like Samuel’s tattoo. Bennet wants Peter to keep working with him, but Peter doesn’t want to complicate his life and endanger more lives. Noah tells him goodbye and asks him to call his mother.
Gretchen shows up with an armful of books on forensics and joins Claire in the cafeteria. Gretchen wants to try the “Jump, Push, Fall” test with a dummy to see if they can tell if Annie was pushed out the window. Claire seems reluctant, but Gretchen is so excited it’s contagious.
Parkman is attending a user’s support group and trying to talk through his commitment to not using his “drug” (hero-powers), but Sylar interrupts him, trying his best to annoy him to death. Parkman starts having outbursts at Sylar, who’s invisible to everyone else, and freaks them all out.
Hiro giddily skips through his office with Ando, asking if he hears wedding bells soon. He admits to Ando that he’s the reason they fell in love. Ando says they fell in love when they had their first kiss that night at the carnival, which never would’ve happened if the slushie had fallen on her. Hiro realizes his new mission must be to go back to right the wrongs of his life. Ando seems concerns, since Hiro is dying, but Hiro thinks that’s all the more reason to hurry with his quest.
Parkman is interrogating a suspect when Sylar interrupts yet again. Sylar tries to provoke Parkman into reading the suspect’s mind to get the name he needs. Parkman freaks out and tries to argue with head-Sylar, and it gets too much for him when Sylar accuses Janice of cheating on him with the water guy. Parkman throws a chair at head-Sylar, and the terrified perp gives up the name they were looking for. Parkman’s boss doesn’t seem pleased.
Peter and his partner are eating in the ambulance waiting for their shift to start when a call comes in over the radio. Peter sprints off at super speed and finds Bennet bleeding on a sidewalk. He whispers to Peter, “He took the compass.”
Tracey comes to visit Bennet, who is looking much better, in the hospital. He gives her the details on the safe deposit box and the compass. He’s realized it’s too dangerous to do this alone, and needs to pair up with a hero to make this work. Tracey wonders if Edgar is just trying to get his life back, and wants to find a way to help other heroes. Bennet and Tracey appear to be bonding a bit, which they better not make romantic, because I miss Sandra.
Parkman comes home to find Roy the water guy there fixing their water tank. Parkman walks him out, slips him a twenty, and uses his mind powers to convince him to start a new route and never come to the house again. Sylar appears, ticking, and looking smugly at Parkman.
Claire, still awake well into the night, flips on her lamp and opens her window. She glances around for onlookers, and tosses herself onto Annie’s chalk outline. She lands nearly dead-center, proving the jump theory. It would apepar Annie may have killed herself after all. She pieces herself back together, and finds Gretchen watching the entire thing from a window above. I think that might be more truthfulness than she intended.
Edgar and Samuel discuss his run in with Peter. Samuel is going to use Hiro to “replace” the old man in their group. Samuel tattoos Lydia and sees Peter, Claire, and Sylar on her back. What’s next? “We gather the rest.”
Next Time on Heroes: Gretchen calls Claire out on what she saw. Bennet has to clean up Claire’s mess. Tracey returns to the Governor, in a towel. Someone shoots something or someone. Parkman crazies some more. Good times.