|First aired:||November 10, 2008|
|Written by:||Rob Fresco|
|Directed by:||Allan Arkush|
|Previous episode:||Eris Quod Sum|
|Next episode:||It's Coming|
|A child is born to innocence. A child is drawn towards good. Why then do so many among us go so horribly wrong? What makes some walk the path of darkness, while others choose the light? Is it will? Is it destiny? Can we ever hope to understand the force that shapes the soul? To fight evil, one must know evil. One must journey back through time and find that fork in the road, where heroes turn one way and villains turn another.|
- Hiro goes on a spirit walk to the past, seeking the origins of the villains:
- In the present day, Usutu's sanctuary falls under Pinehearst's shadow.
|Metal mimicry · Shattering · Danny Pine · Trevor Zeitlan · Lentil soup|
Eighteen months ago, Arthur is speaking at the Petrelli mansion and is giving thanks to his family members. Linderman comes over and congratulates Angela and Arthur. He then asks Nathan if the rumors are true; if his office is going to launch a full scale investigation on all things Linderman. Nathan replies that he should shave his wrists or the handcuffs will chafe. Linderman asks Arthur what he sees in Nathan. Arthur then looks into Nathan's mind with telepathy and replies "trouble". Linderman asks Arthur what he's going to do about it, and he responds saying that Shakespeare has taught that when the son challenges the father, only one is left standing. He says he'll kill Nathan if he has too. However, he says he owes Nathan one last conversation.
Six months after that event, Flint burns some popcorn packets in a convenience store while Meredith steals money from hostages on the floor. Flint notices one hostage still standing and orders him to get down. Meredith tries to tell him to stop, but Flint only further antagonizes the man. The man turns around, revealing himself to be Thompson, and tells Flint that he should have listened to his sister. Flint ignites his flames but Thompson sprays Flint with a fire extinguisher and threatens to tase Meredith. Flint, however, manages to escape.
In his workshop, Gabriel holds a noose in his hand. He stands on a chair and is about to hang himself while recalling meeting Brian Davis, killing him, and stealing his power. Gabriel slips the noose around his neck as the door opens and Elle steps in, calling for help. Gabriel kicks the chair away and almost dies, but Elle finds him and severs the noose with a bolt of electricity, saving Gabriel. Elle asks Gabriel if he's alright, and he replies, "Forgive me". He falls unconscious in Elle's arms. Later, Elle tells Gabriel that everything is going to be okay, but Gabriel disagrees, saying that he's done unforgivable things. Elle tries to get him to talk about what he did, but he says he can't. Gabriel says that he wanted something that someone had and took it at a terrible price. Elle reassures Gabriel that he's not a bad person and is just a man who deserves a second chance. Gabriel tells Elle that he doesn't even know her name, and she gives it to him. Gabriel says that she's like an angel, showing up out of nowhere. Elle smiles and corrects him, saying that she's just an angel with a broken watch.
Outside, Elle goes to a Primatech Paper van and meets with Noah. She asks why they can't just bag and tag Gabriel like the others. Noah says that the ability to transfer powers "from one vessel to another is very rare". He says that their orders are to observe Gabriel in his own environment. He suggests that Elle gets Gabriel to demonstrate his abilities by giving him pie.
In a company cell, Thompson talks about the crimes that Meredith has committed. He then says that the Company wants to train her to become an agent. Meredith initially refuses, but Thompson asks why she hates the company so much. Meredith only responds that she has her reasons. Thompson asks her to put her reasons aside and make a sensible decision or risk spending the rest of her life imprisoned. Meredith hesitates, asking Thompson to promise not to go after her brother. Thompson only gives her a choice between being an agent or a prisoner. Relenting, Meredith asks when she starts.
Angela visits Arthur in their garden. Peter is about to graduate from nursing school, and Angela wants to know why Arthur won't go to Peter's graduation party. Arthur scorns Peter's chosen occupation. Angela tells Arthur to be patient with Peter; that he will be a very powerful person when his ability manifests. As Angela leaves, Nathan approaches his father. Arthur suggests he hand off the Linderman case to another ADA so he doesn’t put undue pressure on the Petrelli family. Nathan refuses, assuring his father that nothing will go wrong, and warning that Linderman is toxic for the family. Arthur glares at Nathan as he leaves. Nathan asks what's wrong, but Arthur only remarks that he looks good in a suit.
Later that night, Nathan is driving with his wife Heidi as a van speeds up from behind and begins trying to run them off the road. Nathan struggles to maintain control of the car, but suddenly finds himself flying out of his car seat leaving Heidi in the car alone. Nathan is left suspended in the air, helpless, as his car, with Heidi in it, crashes into some barrels.
Later, Nathan is at the hospital receiving news from the doctor as Peter watches on. Angela and Arthur arrive, and Angela hugs her son. Nathan is outraged to see his father and insists that Linderman’s men ran his car off the road. Peter pulls Nathan away and tries to calm him down, saying that Heidi wants to see him. Nathan warns that he will hurt Linderman and will hurt Arthur if he allies with him. Nathan leaves his father, telling him that he needs to choose a side.
At the Petrelli mansion, Arthur is typing on his laptop as Angela enters. Angela delivers the news of Heidi's injuries. She tries to talk with Arthur about what Nathan said about Linderman. Arthur steadfastly maintains that he didn't order Linderman to kill Nathan.
In Austin, Texas, Thompson and Meredith go to a shantytown and approach Danny Pine, a Vietnam veteran. Meredith asks if she should use her power but Thompson tells her it’s a training mission and she should wait for his orders. Thompson approaches Pine and identifies himself as a representative from the V.A. Pine wonders what happened to his previous V.A. representative and Meredith hastily steps in. Pine doesn’t believe them, turns his hand into solid metal, and knocks Thompson down. Meredith superheats his hand and takes Thompson’s taser, then stuns Pine. Impressed, Thompson welcomes her to the Company.
In Queens, Noah is spying on Gabriel from his van. Gabriel is in his apartment, looking at a map of evolved humans as Elle, holding a pie, knocks on his door. She asks Gabriel if he likes pie. She notices the list and he casually dismisses it. Elle tries to get a look at it but Gabriel throws it in the garbage. Gabriel explains to Elle about his ability. He then demonstrates that telekinesis by moving some dishes and throwing a fork into the sink. He says that the people on the list could do things like that too. Elle tries to learn more, but Gabriel serves himself a piece of pie.
At Primatech, Thompson tells Meredith that she could become an agent in due time, as long as she proves her loyalty and can follow any orders without question. He tells her to put Pine in cell 9. Meredith obliges, but on the way, she sees her brother in a Company cell. She is confused, thinking that Flint got away, but he says that an "invisible man" tackled him in an alley and captured him. Flint says that the company's going to train him, just like they're doing to Meredith. Meredith is distressed, and Flint says that they'll be able to work together. Thompson comes and asks the two if there's a problem, and Meredith says no.
Noah watches as Elle and Gabriel have pie and he admits that his power is addictive. He admits that since meeting her he feels he can be normal, but Elle assures him he’s special the way he is. She meets with Noah outside and he sarcastically comments on her fake sympathy. He wants to kick the plan into high gear and make sure they can witness Gabriel killing someone. Elle thinks his suicide attempt was a wake-up call and Noah realizes she likes Gabriel, much to her embarrassment. Noah suggests they set Gabriel up with Trevor Zeitlan and see what happens. When Elle refuses, Noah suggests she go off on her own, and warns that if she doesn’t follow orders then she’ll be on her own.
At the Petrelli mansion, Linderman apologizes to Arthur, saying that he doesn't know how Nathan survived the crash. Linderman proposes to postpone their plans, but Arthur refuses. He offers to find a guy in Montreal to dispose of Nathan once and for all, but Angela overhears their conversation and is shocked. Angela runs away, grabs a kitchen knife, and threatens Arthur with it. Arthur uses telepathy and tries to command Angela to say that Nathan has to die. Angela is unrelenting at first, but is unable to resist Arthur's commands in the end.
In the present-day, Hiro sits up, still in a trance, and utters "Murder!" in Japanese. Ando tries to wake him up, but Usutu tells him not to. Ando says that they need to do something, and Usutu hands him some incense. Usutu says that something has disturbed Hiro's spirit walk and holds the fumes under Hiro's nose, causing him to fall back again.
Back in the past, at Primatech, Meredith comes to Flint's cell and knocks on his window, then opens his cell door. She offers him a way to escape with her, but Flint doesn't want to because the company's being nice to him. Meredith reminds him that their father always told him that God gave him an older sister in lieu of brains.
Later, on a freight train filled with volatile substances, and Meredith says they'll probably have to hide in Mexico. Meredith warns Flint that he can never trust the Company. Thompson emerges from hiding and tasers Meredith unconscious. Flint thinks she’s dead and retreats. Once Thompson has gone after her brother, Meredith wakes up and goes after both of them. She calls out to Flint and Thompson turns back and goes after her. Flint approaches Thompson who prepares to taser him. Meredith struggles with him and Flint jumps off of the train. Thompson asks why Meredith had to screw it up, saying they could have given him a purpose but now Flint is their sworn enemy. Meredith fires a blast at him and runs past, while the cargo ignites. She and Thompson both jump clear of the train just before its contents explode.
At the Petrelli mansion, Angela is chopping some vegetables as Linderman comes in and remarks that her food smells good. She asks what’s on his mind and Linderman says that he has a shred of morality and can’t stand by while Arthur damages her mind. He offers to heal the scars of all the thoughts and memories that Arthur has tampered with, and warns that Arthur plans to kill Nathan. Linderman places his hands on Angela's shoulders and says that he can heal the scars, and tells Angela that she needs to make a choice between obedience and the truth. After a few moments of thought she moves Linderman's hands to her head, and Linderman proceeds to heal her memory loss.
Thompson and a captured Meredith watch as firemen arrive to deal with the train wreck. Meredith explains that 14 years ago the Company caught up to her and killed her baby daughter Claire. Realizing who Meredith’s daughter is, he frees Meredith and tells her to go before he changes his mind. As Meredith leaves, Claire approaches the burning train wreck below and rescues a fireman.
At Gabriel's apartment, Elle cooks some ziti for dinner with Gabriel. As someone knocks on the door, Elle reveals that she invited another man to join them. Trevor Zeitlan enters and Elle says it’s good that Gabriel meet with others who have powers. Trevor demonstrates his ability to shatter objects by pointing at them and concentrating.
Arthur is enjoying Angela’s family soup recipe and wonders why she seems far away. She asks if he’d know her without his power. The Haitian enters the dining room, neutralizing Arthur’s telepathy as he squirms uncomfortably. She asks him if he can tell if she’s going to kiss him or kill him.
Trevor continues to demonstrate his ability as Elle expresses her admiration. An increasingly jealous Gabriel slams Trevor against a bookcase in anger. Elle shocks him to stop him from hurting Trevor. He throws Elle into the other room and orders her to get out. Gabriel holds Trevor against the wall and telekinetically slices open his head. Elle runs across the street to seek refuge in the van, as Sylar finishes taking Trevor's ability. Shocked at what he did, he runs out of the apartment, leaving a bloody handprint on the door.
Angela wonders when Arthur lost his soul and he refuses to apologize for his great plan. Arthur clutches at his stomach in pain and realizes that the soup is poisoned. He falls to the floor, dying. Angela tells the Haitian to incinerate Arthur’s body but their plans are stopped short when Nathan comes back home. He finds his father on the floor. Nathan assumes his father is having a heart attack and calls the EMTs.
Noah reports to his superiors saying they have wrapped up the mission and he has one more thing to deal with. Elle is still angry but Noah says they’ll be tracking him down one day. Elle feels Gabriel could have been saved but Noah insists that wasn’t the assignment and they follow orders. He sees a cab and leaves Elle, saying that his ride is here. He enters the cab after its previous occupant, Peter Petrelli, gets out. Mohinder is driving the cab and Noah tells him to proceed to JFK Airport.
Angela and Nathan wait at the hospital. Nathan wants to call Peter, but Angela insists that they wait until they have something to call him about. Finally, a doctor comes tells them Arthur is dead due to a heart attack. Angela asks for an immediate cremation and Livitz tells them to go home and get some rest so that they can deal with the paperwork in the morning. Livitz goes back into the Arthur's room. He tells Arthur, who is lying in a hospital bed, that it’s done. Arthur speaks to him telepathically, giving him instructions to find another body for the cremation. Livitz informs Arthur that the poison damaged his nervous system, and that the paralysis is permanent.
At the funeral, Nathan and Peter remember their family dog Izzie, and how it was the only thing that ever disobeyed Arthur. As they speak fondly of their father, Angela says that Arthur wasn't a god and they shouldn't idolize him: he was deeply flawed in ways they’ll never know.
In the present, Hiro wakes up and says they have to warn Angela and Nathan that Arthur is still alive. He also thinks they should contact Meredith to deal with her brother. Ando tells him to slow down and they hear a scream. Running out of the hut, they find Usutu's bloodied and decapitated corpse on the ground, with the head nearby. As he goes to examine it, Arthur appears behind him and remarks that Hiro's been dreaming about him. He grabs Hiro’s head as he screams in pain as Ando looks on in horror.
"Nathan--the finest assistant D.A. New York has ever known. Peter, whose compassionate heart is a gift to us all."
"Told you he couldn't say 'nurse' out loud."
"All right, get a room."
"After forty-one years of marriage, you take it where you can get it."
"I'd shave my wrists. Handcuffs chafe."
"For years, scientists were stumped by the mystery of whale migration. Such a big ocean; how do they find each other? Then one night in the frozen Pacific, some enterprising biologist recorded their song in the wild. They don't sing in captivity."
"They're trickin' you because you're dumb! You know what Daddy used to say; 'God gave you a big sister instead of a brain.'"
"Sometimes I worry you're outliving your usefulness."
- Kristen Bell is credited as a Special Guest Star for this episode.
- This episode contains a number of scenes from Genesis and Six Months Ago, and shows events surrounding those scenes.
- According to Greg Beeman's blog, this episode was supposed to feature a subplot involving a connection between Knox and Matt. Specifically, the story "told how Knox was part of a gang and was trying to get out of that life. Matt was a cop who had busted Knox once and was trying to help him stay on the straight and narrow. As things progressed Knox realized he had the power of incredible strength whenever people around him were afraid. This caused him to turn away from Matt's good guidance." Though the storyline was dropped due to time considerations, remnants of the story are referenced in Knox's assignment tracker profile. The filmed scenes were later released as the NBC Exclusive Hard Knox on NBC.com. The scenes were also included in the Season Three DVD.
- This is the first episode where the episode title replaces the title sequence.
- Flint mentions that he was tackled by an invisible man in an alley. This appears to be a direct reference to Claude Rains, an evolved human with the ability to turn invisible, but the reference is not confirmed one way or the other. Writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite explained that this line was a mistake made by a new writer since Claude had been off the Company's "radar" for quite some time by this point.
- There is a discontinuity witnessed at 20:48 in which Noah is shown opening the door of the Primatech van. He is then shown opening up the same door, yet again, at 21:06
- For other uses of villains, see villains (disambig).
- For images from Villains, see images from Villains.
- Watch the episode on Hulu.