Episode:Orientation

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Orientation
Season: Four
Episode number: 401a
First aired: September 21, 2009
Orientation.jpg
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: David Straiton
Previous episode: An Invisible Thread
Next part: Jump, Push, Fall
Next episode: Ink
Heroes Interactive transcript
My brother Joseph and I have had two families. The first one... well let's just say it didn't work out too well. But over the years, we made ourselves a new one. And it was to this family, all of you, that his heart really belonged. You see, a family is something that Joseph and I needed. It offers protection from the outside world. A world that never understood or appreciated what makes us different. There are others like us out there, in the shadows, in the light. Each grasping for a meaning in a world that won't accept them for who they really are. They, like us are blessed, gifted with extraordinary abilities. And they like us struggle with finding their place in an ordinary world. Haunted by their past from those who would harm them and keep them from their destiny. Every one of them deserves a chance to be who they really are. But to what end? For what purpose? Here in this place, we offer salvation. We offer hope, we offer redemption. And one by one, they will come to our side, to our family. And they will find their way home. And all who have gathered, will be strong. And all who have gathered, will stand in unison. I say it's time we found our way back home again. Find your way home, brother.

Summary

  • Claire starts school and a new life.
  • Matt struggles with visions of his past.
  • Peter works hard in his old job.
  • A group of carnival workers bury the past.
  • Tracy seeks revenge.
  • "Nathan" discovers that something is amiss.


Story Development

Samuel Sullivan · Compass · Terrakinesis · Sullivan Bros. Carnival · Annie · Dial a Hero · Edgar · Lydia · Gretchen Berg · Joseph Sullivan's funeral

Synopsis

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Samuel Sullivan is presiding over a funeral and speaking to the other members of the carnival. He speaks of his brother Joseph and how they had two families, and the second one, the carnival, was the one that Joseph's heart belonged to. He speaks of how there are others like them out there, trying to deal with a world that won't accept them for who they are. Samuel insists that at the carnival, they offer salvation, hope, and redemption, and the others will come to their family, where they will stand in unison. He takes out a compass, opens it, and tosses it into the grave, telling his brother to find his way home. Samuel then gestures and closes the earth up with the power of his mind.

Claire Bennet moves into her dorm room at college on the first day of orientation and her new roommate Annie comes in. She explains that she managed to get into the school with a GED, much to Annie's surprise. Claire says that she tested well but admits she doesn't have a plan for graduate school. Annie shows her a map she's made of her anticipated career future and then suggest Claire put childish things aside and think things through. She offers to help Claire with her career trajectory, and Claire accepts.

Hiro and Ando begin a new business.

In Tokyo, Japan, Hiro and Ando have started a "Dial a Hero" office by renting space at Yamagato Industries but no one has called. Ando is skeptical that it's going to work but Hiro has bar graphs. Ando notices that he has an old photo of him, Hiro, and Hiro's sister Kimiko together at a carnival from 14 years ago. He admits he made no secret about the fact that he loves Hiro's sister, but figures she thinks he's an idiot. Kimiko comes in to berate them for spending ¥50 million on their start-up. She blames Ando for coming up with the stupid idea and refuses to spend any more money. As she leaves, Ando notes that she's hated him since the carnival when he spilled a Slushy on her. The phone rings and Hiro takes the call.

In New York City, Peter is on an ambulance call with his partner Hesam. They get a call for an accident 12 blocks away but are caught in traffic. Peter heads out on foot and uses his mimicked power from Mohinder to get to the crash scene in record time. A blonde pregnant woman is stuck in the car and Peter saves her.

Claire arrives at the auditorium for a placement test in linear algebra and Annie calls her over. She figures that if Claire passes, they'll be in class together. Professor Fenton gives them 45 minutes to solve the equation on the board. Claire has trouble with it but goes to work, and then notices a laser sighting dot on her jacket. DHS agents shoot at her with darts... and she wakes up from her dream. She gives up and leaves the auditorium.

Peter and Hesam go back to the hospital and Hesam is surprised that Peter isn't so happy at having saved three lives: Christy gave birth to twins, Haley and Katie. Pete admits that it was too close and he needs to be faster. He then immediately takes off to cover a co-worker's shift but Hesam tells him it's already covered and invites him out for a drink with the others. Pete turns him down and says he'll see him tomorrow.

A young girl calls in Hiro and Ando to save her cat, Muffin Man, which is stuck on a roof. They realize neither of their powers will help so Hiro has Ando climb up to get it, wishing him good luck. Ando gets up there and manages to get the cat from the girder. The cat scratches him and he falls, and Hiro stops time to stop his fall just before he hits the ground.

In Washington, D.C., Noah Bennet gets a call from Angela Petrelli in New York City. She warns him there have been a recent string of four drowning murders among Danko's team and Tracy Strauss is responsible. They figure she wants revenge and Angela tells him to stop dragging his feet and stop avoiding Nathan's calls. Noah reminds her that Nathan is actually the brainwashed and shape shifted Sylar but Angela insists everything is going as planned, and they had no other choice. Noah admits he initially agreed but he did it so Angela wouldn't lose her son but can't bring himself to even look at "Nathan." She tells him to get the company going but Noah admits he's not sure if he's up for the job because he's lost his family and Sandra has divorced him. He signs off and goes to the college to be with Claire.

Tracy drowns Noah in his car.

Noah gets into his car in the parking garage and tries to start the engine. Water sprays from the vents, filling the car and freezing up. Someone fires a gun, shattering the car window and letting the water drain out. It flows away and Noah looks up to see Emile Danko standing there. Danko wonders how Tracy survived when he shot and shattered here, but Noah warns that ice melts. Danko explains that he's there to team up with Noah and stop Tracy before she kills them both. He insists that he hasn't stopped hunting powered individuals and has heard that Noah is working with the Petrellis. Noah says he's getting out but Danko says people like him and Noah can't change. When Noah insists he's not getting out, Danko says he's on his own and leaves. Noah watches as the remaining water goes down a drain.

At the campus, Claire walks by some cheerleaders handing out signup sheets and meets Gretchen Berg, who says she tried out for cheerleading but it didn't work out. As they walk, they introduce each other and Gretchen says she came from Austin, TX, and recognizes Claire's name from the head-sawing murder in Odessa, TX on homecoming night at Union Wells. Claire asks her to keep the whole thing secret. She admits she changed her name for a while to avoid the publicity but decided she wanted to use her real name and hoped everyone would forget. Claire leaves to take care of something.

Hiro moves Ando so he'll land safely and starts time again. The girl thanks him and promises to tell everyone, but then notices that Hiro has frozen himself in time. The girl leaves and Ando tries to get through to his friend.

Angela is having lunch at Kojin Sushi when Sylar comes up to her, looking like himself acting like Nathan. She wakes up from her precognitive dream as her car arrives at the restaurant. Angela sits down and Nathan comes in and apologizes for being late. She worries that Noah is wavering and Nathan assures her that he'll take care of it. Nathan wonders if he likes sushi and Angela covers. He notes that he's felt recently like there's a lot of change going on with him and it seems like his previous life isn't his own. Angela dismisses it as self-reflection but Nathan wonders what kind of father, brother, and son he's been. She insists he's been fine but Nathan says he's been a jackass and plans to reconnect with everyone important in his life so he can be a "better me". He says he feels invincible but Angela says it's just a mid-life crisis and suggests he go out and buy a car and get a younger woman. Nathan concedes the point and wonders what he'd be without her.

In Los Angeles, CA, Matt gets a call from Angela. She tells him that they have a problem and Sylar is beginning to emerge. Matt warns that Sylar is Sylar but Angela tells him he needs to reinforce the Nathan persona and erase Sylar's memories again. Matt insists that he's stopped using his abilities because he's been seeing things ever since. Angela says there's no out for people like them but Matt tells her to fix her own problems and hangs up.

In his office, Nathan reaches for his coffee cup and it moves toward his hand seemingly on its own. Startled, Nathan backs away but then tries to repeat it without success. As he looks at his hands, they spark with electricity.

Claire finds Noah talking with Annie in her dorm room. Once she leaves, Noah suggests Claire take the algebra class next semester but she says that the important thing is that someone recognized her. She refuses to pretend to be anyone and insists she wants to be known as Claire Bennet, daughter of Noah Bennet. Claire admits she told Annie that Noah works for the government, and she likes telling the truth. She suggests telling the truth, or most of it, is her way of reinventing herself. However, Noah warns her to be careful.

At the Sullivan Brothers Carnival, Lydia goes to see Samuel. He places a needle on her back and the mineral-based tattoos come to life, forming an image of Danko. Lydia is able to name him using her power. Another carny, Edgar, arrives. Edgar wishes Samuel would send someone else and admits he hopes that redemption is possible. Samuel admits that at the funeral he left out the part about vengeance, but Edgar insists he only kills when he has to. Samuel warns that Danko and the others crossed the line, and he needs Edgar to get the compass and kill Danko just like Joseph would have wanted. When Edgar questions him, Samuel jams a tattoo needle into his hand and causes the ink to spread up through his body, choking him from within. It fades away and Samuel promises this will be the last time he asks Edgar to kill someone. Edgar stares at him for a moment and then leaves.

Tracy comes to see Noah at a restaurant and she explains that he's number five. They spar verbally and she admits that she hasn't decided about him yet. When Noah admits he's impressed at how she survived, Tracy explains that she felt herself shatter and melt, and reformed with just one thought: vengeance. Noah doesn't believe she's a killer but Tracy insists that's all she is now. He offers to help her get her life back and offers to make it so Danko isn't interested in her any more. When she wonders why he wants to do it, Noah says that he's looking for redemption and wants to help an evolved human for once. He asks if it's a deal and Tracy says it won't be that easy as she leaves.

Noah calls Danko and sets up a meeting. He says he wants to change Danko's mind but Danko refuses. Noah hands him a fake I.D. that will let him leave everything behind, but Danko refuses. Noah smiles as the Haitian comes in and grabs Danko's head.

Nathan calls Peter, who lets his answering machine pick up for the fourth time. Nathan says that something is happening to him and Peter is the only one who will understand. As Nathan hangs up, he considers the coffee cup again. In his apartment, Peter puts up a newspaper clipping of his most recent save on a board with many others.

Danko returns to his apartment to find Tracy waiting for him. He doesn't recognize her but thinks "they" sent her to get it back. Tracy realizes the Haitian made him forget and that it's not worth it to kill him. As Danko goes further into his apartment, Tracy hears him talking to someone, who says he's there to get it back. She goes into the next room just in time to see Edgar cut open Danko using superspeed. Edgar attacks her but his knife blades go right through her watery form. She grabs his hand and freezes it, disarming him, and Edgar flees at superspeed.

Claire goes to the dorm mixer and runs into Gretchen, who apologizes for bringing up the massacre. Claire explains that she only tried to take the things into her new life that she wanted but realized that it wasn't possible. Annie calls Claire over to play Guitar Hero III and she reluctantly goes over. Claire says she was going to play with Gretchen and insists neither one of them know what they're doing. They fumble through it together although Gretchen starts to improve.

Claire sees Annie's "suicide."

Ando wheels the still-frozen Hiro back to his office on a cart, avoiding Kimiko. Hiro final snaps out of his frozen state, his nose bleeding. Ando explains what happened and insists he sees a doctor, but Hiro says there's no point. He tells Ando that he's already seen a doctor for his nosebleeds and headaches, and the news isn't good. He's dying, possibly soon. Ando insists there's something they can do and suggests that Hiro go back in time and undo what happened. Hiro says that he can't time travel any more but Ando says he has to try harder. Hiro looks at the photo and remembers there was a fortune teller at the carnival who said he's become a powerful hero. He's tried to be that hero ever since. They figure that if Hiro never got that fortune, he wouldn't be dying. However, Hiro warns that he can't change the past because of his code. Ando argues but Hiro freezes up again. He snaps out of it and says he thought he was back at the carnival, and then disappears.

Hiro appears at the carnival in Japan 14 years ago.

In the present day, Samuel creates a new tattoo of Hiro on Lydia's back. She tells Samuel that Hiro was at the carnival 14 years ago. Samuel goes to see an old man, Arnold, who wonders if they're going to stop moving. He realizes that it's time and Samuel says he needs Arnold to send him back because he's found someone who can change the past.

Claire goes back to her room and discovers Annie isn't there. She looks out the window and sees Annie lying on the ground below, dead from the fall.

In Los Angeles, Matt tumbles over his son's toy.

In Washington, Nathan concentrates on the coffee cup but can't make it move. He goes to the mirror and stares at himself.

Matt discovers that his son is missing. He thinks he's hiding and looks around, and turns to find Sylar holding Matt Jr. Sylar tells Matt that he wants his body back.


For Part 2 of this episode, see Jump, Push, Fall.

Memorable Quotes

"I wanted to be Claire Bennet again. I thought people might forget."

"No, girl. Google's your enemy."

- Claire, Gretchen Berg


"It's midlife crisis, that's all this is. Here's my suggestion. You go out and you get yourself a big expensive sports car and a younger woman with questionable morals. That's what your father did, and it worked for him."

- Angela (to "Nathan")


"And here I was thinking that I'd be the one that got away."

""No. You're just number five."

"Five's my lucky number. Well, it used to be. Is it still lucky?"

"I haven't decided yet."

- Noah, Tracy

Character Appearances

Trivia

  • This is the first single episode that aired for two hours. Previously, two episodes aired back-to-back (The Second Coming and The Butterfly Effect), or have been named similarly (The Eclipse, Part 1 and The Eclipse, Part 2), but they were always considered separate episodes. Orientation and Jump, Push, Fall are considered two parts of the same episode.
  • This episode bills Robert Knepper as a guest star, although the press release stated that he was a new regular. This was probably due to the fact that the role was originally meant to be recurring only, but the actor and NBC have both confirmed multiple times that he is a regular cast member. The billing may have also been NBC's way of simply introducing Knepper.
  • Kimiko calls Hiro and Ando's business "Heroes For Hire" instead of Dial a Hero. "Heroes for Hire" is the name the company was originally called in early drafts of the script. "Heroes for Hire" is taken from Marvel Comics, where it is a pair of superheroes that charge for their services.
  • Kimiko says that Hiro and Ando have spent fifty million yen on Dial a Hero. 50 million yen is approximately 500,000 U.S. dollars.
  • Annie, Gretchen, and Claire appear to play Guitar Hero 5, though in the dialogue they mention it as Guitar Hero III, which was released on October 28, 2007.
  • Samuel Sullivan as a carnival owner who can manipulate tattoos and seduces others into joining him has several strong visual and narrative similarities to G.M. Dark, one of the owners of Cooger & Dark's Pandemonium Shadow Show from Ray Bradbury's novel Something Wicked This Way Comes.
  • Professor Fenton can be seen reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a novel published in April 2009. Since this episode takes place before Thanksgiving, this episode probably takes place between April and November 2009. However, this may just be a production error.
  • Nathan mistakenly calls yellowtail sashimi "sushi" in this episode.
  • In this episode, Samuel does the opening narration instead of Mohinder; this is the one of the few times the narration is spoken by a character other than the geneticist (other times being Linderman in .07%, Nathan in Angels and Monsters and An Invisible Thread, and Sylar in Dual).

See Also



previous: An Invisible Thread Orientation next: Jump, Push, Fall
Season Four
Volume Five: Redemption

Orientation / Jump, Push, FallInkAcceptanceHysterical BlindnessTabula RasaStrange AttractorsOnce Upon a Time in TexasShadowboxingBrother's KeeperThanksgivingThe Fifth StageUpon This RockLet It BleedClose to YouPass/FailThe Art of DeceptionThe WallBrave New World

See Also: Volume One EpisodesVolume Two EpisodesVolume Three EpisodesVolume Four EpisodesVolume Five EpisodesAll Episodes