Episode:Tabula Rasa

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Tabula Rasa
Season: Four
Episode number: 405
First aired: October 19, 2009
Tabula Rasa.jpg
Written by: Rob Fresco
Directed by: Jim Chory
Previous episode: Hysterical Blindness
Next episode: Strange Attractors
Heroes Interactive transcript
A broken vessel, an empty shell, what is a man without mind, without memory? A ghost? A body in search of a soul? With no compass to guide us, how can we know if our destiny is to seek the good, or obey the demons that whisper in our ears? The blank slate hungers to be written upon. The body thrives when the heart has a mission.

Summary


Story Development

Damian · Memory manipulation · Teddy · Jeremy Greer · Sylar's baptism · Cloaking

Synopsis

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Sylar is in his new trailer at the carnival, looking at himself in a mirror.

Nathan's office sits empty.

Peter sits at Hiro's bedside.

Emma considers the crack in her apartment wall that she created.

Noah sits in his apartment alone.

When Hiro wakes up, Peter tells him that he's talked to the doctors and confirmed that Hiro is dying. Hiro admits that it's true and he has a brain tumor. Peter explains that he has experience of helping people deal with approaching death, and suggests that this is why Hiro came to him. Hiro says that destiny has been sending him to different places and times to right wrongs, and thinks he's there to fix a problem win Peter's life. When Peter says he doesn't have any problems that need fixing, he suggests Hiro is there so Peter can fix him. Peter replicates Hiro's ability and prepares to leave.

Emma comes up to the room as Peter leaves. She asks if he sent the cello to her apartment, and says there seems to be something wrong with her ability. Peter says he wants to talk to her about it but he has to help Hiro first. He suggests that Emma talk to Hiro, who knows a lot about different abilities, and then teleports away.

A carny demonstrates his object hiding powers.

Lydia and Samuel watch Sylar and discuss the rumors that he was the most powerful of all the evolved humans. Now he appears to be beaten, and Lydia speculates that there are two sides at war within him. Samuel goes to the trailer where Sylar is sleeping and knocks to get his attention. He calls him by the name "Sylar" but Sylar doesn't recognize it, saying that the police called him Gabriel. Samuel suggests that a great damage was done to him, and that Sylar came to them for healing. He asks Sylar to walk with him and see if his memories will return, but first tells him to take a deep breath and see what name comes to mind. Sylar says "Call me Nathan."

As they walk through the carnival, Samuel says that he knows Sylar has great powers. Sylar remembers using his telekinesis and asks what's wrong with him. Samuel explains that everyone at the carnival has powers, and introduces him to Teddy, who can cause objects to appear and disappear. Then Samuel calls over Lydia and tells her to show Sylar around. When Sylar takes her hand, he draws back and says he remembers shaking a lot of hands, suggesting he may have been a politician or something.

Claire brings her laundry to Noah's apartment and asks how his job search is going. He admits it isn't going well. She suggests he might try volunteer work, but they're interrupted when Peter teleports into the bathroom. Claire asks how he got into the bathroom, and Peter replies that its been a long time since he teleported.

Samuel has Edgar deliver some admission tickets to Captain Lubbock at the Baltimore P.D. He says that Sylar's memories are returning but something is wrong, so he wants to jumpstart the "real" Sylar. Edgar realizes Samuel plans to use Lubbock to provoke Sylar into using his powers.

Peter explains that Hiro is dying and hopes that Noah can locate someone with a healing power. Claire suggests that they use her blood but Noah points out that a brain tumor is living flesh and her power would just accelerate the tumor's progress. Noah checks his Company records and finds information on Jeremy Greer, who had the power to heal. He's living in Cainan, Georgia. Peter touches Noah and they both teleport to Georgia.

Lydia explains to Sylar that Joseph created the carnival's tradition of morning chores to build a sense of community. They start working together and Lydia compliments Sylar on how handsome he is. Edgar notices them talking and comes over and warns Sylar that he has some fancy tricks of his own. He throws some knives at superspeed into Sylar's shovel handle. Sylar responds by telekinetically throwing the knives back into a post behind Edgar, and then telekinetically shoving him into a wheelbarrow of wet cement.

Samuel breaks them up and takes Sylar for a walk. When Sylar notices planes overhead, he says he has memories of being an Air Force pilot, and his face briefly flickers into Nathan's features. When Samuel realizes that Sylar's own memories still haven't returned, he calls over another carnival worker, Damian, and says he has the power to restore memories. He tells Damian to take Sylar to the Hall of Mirrors.

Emma goes in to see Hiro and asks how she can turn off her power. Hiro insists that the manifestation of a power is a wonderful thing and heroes have to answer the call. Emma says she's deaf and can't hear the call, and Hiro wonders if he's there to help her. He explains that her power is part of who she is and Emma turns and leaves.

In Cainan, Peter and Noah find Jeremy's house and discover that the plants in the yard are dying. Noah explains that Jeremy had a lot of questions and was coming into his ability. The Company wiped his memory and Noah went on to his next assignment. As they go up to the porch, they see a dead bird in a cage and smell an odor of death. Going inside, they find the corpses of Jeremy's parents, sitting in their chairs. Noah remembers the case of a Chinese woman who could heal but who could take the life force away. Jeremy fires at Noah and Peter from upstairs with a shotgun and they duck for cover.

Damian takes Sylar through the Hall of Mirrors into a central chamber. He touches Sylar's head and concentrates for a moment, and then leaves. Sylar looks into the mirrors and sees his mother talking to him. She smiles at him but then Sylar sees images of his killing her. He backs away, insisting that the images aren't him and begging them to stop.

Peter and Noah deal with Jeremy Greer.

Hiro comes to see Emma in her office. He explains that he is the master of time and space and notices that she's looking at a scan of her own brain on screen. She explains that she can see sounds as colors and Hiro tells her that she must not turn away from it. Emma tells him that she wants it to stop and walks out. Hiro notices a poster about a hospital talent show on her desk.

Peter suggests he go up after Jeremy. Noah tells him to go around back while he talks to the boy. Noah carefully comes up, insisting he won't hurt Jeremy, and asks him to talk. Jeremy tells him to stay away but Noah keeps coming. Noah asks what happens if he gets close and Jeremy admits that everything he touches ends up dead.

At the carnival, Samuel greets Lubbock and his family and explains he always tries to do something special for local law enforcement. Samuel mentions that he heard about the incident with Sylar on the news and Lubbock shows him a photo of Sylar and asks if he's seen him. Samuel says he hasn't and invites him to look around.

In the Hall of Mirrors, Sylar gazes in horror at images of all the people he's killed. Cowering in terror, he finally runs outside and throws up into a garbage can.

Noah continues to approach Jeremy and asks what happened to his parents. Jeremy explains that he was angry once and touched them, and they died. Noah tells him that he shouldn't have been left to suffer alone and it isn't fair, and he knows all about what Jeremy can do. Jeremy says that he used to heal but his power turned and now he can only kill. Noah tries to convince him that he can do both. Peter teleports in, sees Jeremy pointing the gun, and grabs the barrel. He stops time, but just too late to avoid being shot through the chest. He collapses and time starts flowing normally again as Noah catches him.

Noah tries to help Peter while Jeremy looks on in horror, and then tells Jeremy he has to heal Peter. Jeremy insists that Peter will die if he does, but Noah says that Peter will die anyway. He tells Jeremy to get control of his power and grabs him by the arms. Noah tells Jeremy that his power is understanding people like him and points out he's touching him now and tells him to focus and give life. Jeremy pictures Peter healing and then reaches out and touches him. Peter stabilizes and then wakes up, fully healed.

Hiro succeeds in his mission to teach Emma about her abilities.

Emma returns to her office and finds a new talent show poster taped to her monitor, advertising Hiro the Magnificent. She goes to the ward and finds Hiro performing magic tricks. When Emma comes in, he calls her over and then promises the audience he'll make her disappear. He covers her with a sheet and then freezes time for everyone else. Emma looks at the room and all the colors generated by the audience's applause, frozen as well. She's able to reach into the color waves and move them, and admits to Hiro that it's wonderful. Hiro explains that there are no bad powers, and once she understands that, she can use her power to do good things in the world. He has her hide behind a screen and then restores time and removes the sheet. Emma then steps out from behind the screen and is greeted by amazement and applause from the audience.

Samuel finds Sylar sitting outside. Sylar insists that he can't believe all the murders he committed and Samuel apologizes for his pain. Sylar insists that he's a monster but Samuel asks him to consider why Fate brought him there. He suggests that other people made Sylar into a monster, and now he must decide whether to wallow in self-pity or command fear and respect and defend the carnival against the outside world. Sylar wonders why Samuel would take him in but Samuel says that they're family, and family accepts and forgives. He then tells Sylar that Lubbock is there and that the carnival will suffer if the police captain learns that they're harboring a fugitive. Sylar wonders what Samuel wants done and Samuel says that's for him to decide. He directs Sylar back to the House of Mirrors, where Lubbock has gone.

Nurse Hammer puts Hiro back in bed as Emma looks on. Once the nurse has gone, Emma tells Hiro that he's sick and has to stop using his power. He explains that his power is keeping him alive. When he was stuck in his cubicle, that's when he was dying. Emma wonders how he can stay focused and Hiro explains that he had a friend, Charlie, who was dying but insisted on facing death with dignity. He realizes he doesn't have Charlie on his list of things to alter and makes a note on a piece of paper. Emma asks him to promise that he'll stay there until Peter returns.

Noah calls the police and Peter assures him that he's mimicked Jeremy's ability. Noah has arranged for a plane to fly Peter back to Washington, but intends to stay behind himself. Once Peter is gone, Noah talks to Jeremy and explains that he's made the parents' death look like carbon monoxide poisoning. He says that he'll stay until he knows that Jeremy is all right, and explains it used to be his job to watch over evolved humans, until he lost his way. As the police arrive, Noah admits that he let Jeremy down.

Sylar goes into the House of Mirrors as Damian looks on. Lubbock is in the central mirror chamber and draws a gun when he sees Sylar. Sylar tells him to leave while there's still time but Lubbock dares him to resist arrest. Sylar's hands spark and Lubbock shoots. Sylar telekinetically stops the bullet in mid-air and then fires lightning at Lubbock. The officer backs away in fear and demands to know what he is. Sylar considers for a moment and then starts to walk away. Edgar speeds into the room and kills Lubbock with his knives, and then tells Sylar to get a mop.

Emma goes back to the piano in the ward and starts to play a melancholy song, watching the colors she creates. Hiro hears the music in his room and gets up to investigate. Emma finishes and realizes that other staff are watching. After they leave, Emma points out he promised to stay in bed but he insists on joy and dignity in the face of bed. As he turns to go back to his room, he disappears, to Emma's astonishment.

That night, Sylar walks out onto the midway and the carnival members all stand around him. Samuel embraces Sylar and tells him that he's safe now. He then introduces Sylar into their family and baptizes him, saying he'll be welcome there the rest of his days. Once the ceremony is complete, everyone eats supper. Edgar sulks when he sees Lydia talking and flirting with Sylar, but Samuel tells him not to pout. When Edgar wonders what use Sylar is, Samuel says that they can remake Sylar in a way that will make him theirs forever. Samuel smiles over at Lydia, who then leads Sylar away to her trailer. Edgar angrily turns away.

Peter arrives at the hospital and Emma explains what happened. Peter finds Hiro's notepaper, which has the words "Save Charlie" written on it.

Hiro appears at the Burnt Toast Diner in Midland, Texas, three years ago. He looks in the window and sees Charlie, and says her name.

Memorable Quotes

"Take a deep breath. What's the first name that pops into your head?"

"Call me Nathan."

- Samuel, Sylar


"Manifesting a power is a wondrous time. A hero never refuses a call."

"I'm deaf, I can't hear the call."

- Hiro, Emma


"The Company wasn't what you'd call a support group."

- Noah (to Peter)


"Listen to me. My power is understanding people like you. That's what I do."

- Noah (to Jeremy)


"Tonight we welcome a new brother into our family. He will live and work among us. And will be welcome here all the rest of our days."

- Samuel (baptizing Sylar)


"What use is he to us like this? What use is a lion who can't kill?"

"Maybe it's better this way. We'll just make a better Sylar. And when we do, he'll be ours forever."

- Edgar, Samuel

Character Appearances

Trivia

  • The term "tabula rasa" is Latin for "blank slate". It generally refers to the idea that people are born without any knowledge or pre-conceived ideas.
  • The comic book Hiro was reading on the hospital bed is Berserker, a comic book series produced by Milo Ventimiglia.
  • Claire suggests that Noah try some volunteer work. This line was included by the writers on behalf of iParticipate, the Entertainment Industry Foundation's initiative to urge people to do more volunteer work. More than 90 shows on four different networks participated in the initiative during the week Tabula Rasa aired. Incidentally, Masi Oka was a spokesperson for the initiative and recorded public service announcements for iParticipate.

See Also



previous: Hysterical Blindness Tabula Rasa next: Strange Attractors
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