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|First aired:||September 25, 2006|
|Written by:||Tim Kring|
|Directed by:||David Semel|
|Next episode:||Don't Look Back|
|Where does it come from—this quest, this need to solve life's mysteries when the simplest of questions can never be answered? Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we'd be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. But that's not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here.|
- As Mohinder Suresh seeks answers about his father's recent death, ordinary people around the world begin to exhibit extraordinary abilities.
- Claire Bennet, a high school cheerleader, learns she is indestructible.
- Peter Petrelli dreams he can fly, and as he tries to put this to the test, his brother Nathan reveals something he never suspected.
- Niki, a single mother, fears she's losing her mind.
- Isaac discovers his drug-induced paintings are coming true.
- Hiro learns he can travel through time and space.
Suddenly, Peter wakes up sitting in an apartment when a woman, Simone Deveaux, comes in and startles him. Peter tells Simone how he's having these strange dreams, but doesn't elaborate. Peter is a nurse watching over Simone's father, Charles Deveaux who's been comatose for a week. Simone expresses her thanks to Peter for his help. He claims it's his job, but Simone says he's like a son to him. Peter makes a remark about that making them "brother and sister" and how it would be awkward if he ever wanted to ask her out which ends up making them both feel awkward.
In Madras, India, a genetics professor named Mohinder Suresh discusses man and evolution. He tries to debunk the belief that man is the "pinnacle of evolution" and instead suggests that cockroaches, with their ability to live without their head for weeks, not eating for months, and being resistant to radiation, may in fact be more evolved than man. He points out that humans only use a small percentage of their total brain power and that using more could actually result in powers such as teleportation, tissue regeneration, and levitation. According to him the Human Genome Project has shown that we're already evolving at an accelerated rate. A solemn man appears at the door, and Mohinder dismisses his class. The man informs him that Mohinder's father, Chandra, was killed driving a taxi in New York City. Mohinder explains how his father was pursuing some radical evolutionary ideas and that his father believed someone was trying to steal his research. Mohinder believes that's the reason he was actually killed. Mohinder goes to Chandra's apartment in India to get his papers and research.
In Chandra's apartment, Mohinder finds a file named "Genesis" with a number of folders referring to different powers. He pulls out a cassette tape labeled "Teleportation". On the wall he finds a large world map with pins in different locations connected by strings. On the other side of the wall, a man answers a cell phone. The man tells the caller that all of Chandra's materials were left behind except for his laptop and asks for a team to collect all the info. The man senses someone else is in the apartment and hangs up, but Mohinder snaps a photo of the map, pulls the pin out of New York city, and leaves before the man can see him.
In Las Vegas, a woman, Niki Sanders, is lying on a bed performing a striptease in front of a camera which is connected to a laptop. She lets the viewer, huggerz69, know his time is up; after a rude exchange, she disconnects him. On her way out of the garage she passes a mirror and looks into it suspiciously. She enters the house and goes to wake up her son Micah, but he's already up and finishing rebuilding his computer motherboard. She tells Micah that he needs to get ready for school, but he's already ready and packed his own lunch. She claims she was working to pay the bills. The doorbell rings and she tells Micah to get his stuff and wait by the back door. She looks out the window and finds two thugs at her front door. Micah and Niki escape through the back and speed away as the thugs break down the door.
In Odessa, TX, a boy is filming an amateur video of a teenage girl climbing to the top of a large metal structure about 80 feet high. She climbs over the rail and lets herself fall to the ground screaming all the way down. The cameraman, a boy named Zach, runs to her and she gets up. Her shoulder is dislocated, but she pops it back in. She says her name is Claire Bennet and that this was her 6th attempt.
Peter gets out of a cab and enters his brother Nathan's campaign headquarters. Nathan is inside on the phone with Mr. Linderman, and Nathan says he'll call him back. Peter talks to his brother and tells him about the dreams he's having. His brother is very busy and tries to dismiss his dreams. Peter tells Nathan he believes he can fly. Nathan tries to get Peter to stop talking about it and doesn't want any mention of this to affect his margin in the polls. Nathan gets a call and finds that their mother has been arrested for shoplifting.
Zach and Claire are walking together. Claire expresses her depression which Zach can't understand. Claire doesn't want anyone to find out, but won't explain why she wanted the video taken of her. She's afraid she's not going to be able to live a normal life. Zach notices something sticking out of her side which turn out to be several ribs. She casually pushes them back inside her body and the wound heals instantly. Zach gives Claire the tape and Claire thanks him for helping her and offers to talk to him in front of people at school the next day.
In Tokyo, Japan, an office worker named Hiro Nakamura is staring at the clock on his desk. He stares at the clock several times, concentrating intently on it. Eventually, the second hand moves one second backwards. He jumps up and shouts "Yatta!" and runs past other cubicles to his friend Ando's desk claiming he was able to break the space/time continuum. Ando doesn't believe him and isn't impressed. Hiro tells him that must be why the train was 14 seconds late that morning, which Ando doesn't believe. Hiro goes on talking about his powers, but Ando just teases him. Ando turns back to his screen, where he's watching the video of Niki's striptease.
Niki talks to a private school principal, trying to convince him to let Micah stay in the school. The principal refuses to let him stay. Niki says that she gave a $25,000 donation to get him into the school on top of the tuition; however, the previous three tuition checks have bounced. She demands her money back, but the principal refuses. She grabs him by the tie, but he still claims he cannot return the money. As she and Micah are leaving the school she passes a fish tank and sees her reflection nodding at her. She tells the reflection to leave her alone.
Peter and Nathan meet their mom at the police station where they find out the prosecutors have dropped the charges and that it's no big deal. Nathan berates her for getting arrested when he's trying to get elected to Congress. He blames her behavior on her husband's death six months prior and tells her to get over it. Peter manages to convince Nathan to leave and then tends to his mother. His mother says Nathan is like his dad, unlike Peter.
Micah and Niki visit her friend Tina's house to lay low for a few hours. Micah asks her why she reacted to the fish tank like she did, but she doesn't answer. She tells her friend that she borrowed $30,000 from Mr. Linderman, but she's late repaying the loan. Niki explains how she thinks someone is following her, someone she can't see.
Claire and Zach approach a fiery train derailment. Claire asks Zach to turn on the camera and runs inside. She finds a man pinned and helps him out of the wreck. He's badly burned, but when firemen check Claire, she's not injured at all. Claire runs off before they can do anything.
Mohinder arrives at Chandra's apartment in New York City to find it in disarray. Mohinder rents his father's apartment and tells the super that he's got a job driving a taxi. In his apartment is another world map on the wall. Mohinder uses the pictures he took in India to reconstruct the layout of the pins and strings. On the floor he finds a cassette tape labeled "Sylar".
An artist named Isaac Mendez is destroying several of his paintings. Simone walks into his apartment, and stops him from destroying any more of his works. Isaac claims he doesn't remember painting several paintings and was high on heroin when he made them. He shows Simone a painting of a bus in Israel on fire which he painted three weeks ago. He picks up the morning's newspaper and shows her a picture of a bus on fire in Israel with the same bus number. He believes something's wrong with him and tells Simone to leave. Isaac sees the train wreck on the news and glances over at a painting he made of a train wreck, eerily depicting the same scene.
Back at Nathan's headquarters, Peter and Nathan discuss their mother's situation. Nathan offers Peter a job working for him as a volunteer coordinator. He claims it's to help Peter, but reveals that he's actually just thinking about how it makes him look good. Nathan says he's trying to do the right thing, but Peter leaves telling him he doesn't want his pity. Peter catches a cab which turns out to be driven by Mohinder. Peter looks up and sees the solar eclipse. Peter and Mohinder start talking about philosophy and being "special." Mohinder initially patronizes Peter, but upon seeing Peter is talking about something more substantial goes into more detail and talks about how some people are "special" and have within them what it takes to reach the next evolutionary rung.
Niki returns to her house to find it in disarray. Niki watches the eclipse, but soon notices the thugs are still in her house. As she tries to run away, one of them grabs her and takes her to the garage. She's told that she now owes Mr. Linderman $50,000 because she was late. The thugs coerce her into performing a strip tease for them. She refuses and they hit her and she blacks out.
Back in Japan, Hiro continues to try to convince Ando of his powers, but Ando remains skeptical. Hiro explains that as he develops he'll eventually learn to bend space as well as time and then be able to teleport himself anywhere on the planet. Ando teases him making comparisons to Star Trek.
Hiro and Ando drinks some beer at a bar where Hiro explains his theory of how time works to Ando. When Ando asks how Hiro knows this, he explains that it was in "X-Men #143, when Kitty Pryde time travels". Ando asks what use Hiro's powers are and suggests he teleport into the women's bathroom. Ando leaves to grab some more beer and Hiro looks at the women's room and starts concentrating.
Niki awakens to an answering machine message from Micah asking to be picked up. As she looks around the room she finds the thugs have been murdered. Noticing the video camera they had set up to record her, she grabs it. Upon looking in the mirror she sees her mirror image, covered in bloodstains even though she is not, motion for her to be silent.
Peter, still in Mohinder's cab, gets a call from Simone who asks him to meet her at her dad's place. He pays Mohinder and hops out of the cab. A man gets into the cab and asks to go to JFK airport. The man starts talking to Suresh and, noticing Mohinder's license, mentions that he knew a Professor Suresh teaching genetics in India and says he doesn't think he's teaching anymore. The man then states that Suresh is probably a very common name in India, "like Smith or Anderson". Mohinder gets spooked, stops the cab, and runs away. The man gets out of the car and he's the same man who was earlier searching Chandra's apartment in India.
Back at Claire's home her mother and brother are talking over dinner. Claire comes in reveals that she "walked through fire and didn't get burned." Her mom misunderstands and thinks she's being metaphorical.
Ando turns around to see Hiro being dragged out of the ladies room, and then out of the bar by two men who throw him onto the street. Hiro tells Ando that he was able to teleport into the ladies room, but Ando still doesn't believe him. Hiro complains that everyone else wants to be the same, but he wants to be different and "boldly go where no man has gone before." As Hiro walks away Ando sarcastically calls him "Super Hiro".
At Charles Deveaux's place Simone is searching the apartment for morphine and asks Peter to come with her because he is a nurse and can give out shots.
Claire is washing the dishes while her mom tries to talk to her. Claire takes off her ring, but it falls down the garbage disposal which is still running. She reaches in to grab the ring and mangles her right hand. Hiding it from her mom, she waits for it to regenerate. Her mom tells Claire she should know who she is and Claire finally asks her mom to tell her who her real parents are. Mr. Bennet arrives home and Claire hugs him. He is the man who was seen both in the back of Mohinder's cab as well as Chandra's apartment in India.
Hiro is standing on the train when he sees a tourist advertisement for New York City. Above him is a digital clock reading 11:43. He closes his eyes and concentrates and the clock begins to increment slowly at first and then too quickly to read, eventually stopping at 01:00. He opens his eyes and is still on the train, but then suddenly he's in Times Square in New York City. He looks around smiling, throws his arms up, and screams, "Yatta! Hello, New York!"
At Isaac's place, Peter and Simone find Isaac unconscious, having overdosed. As Simone calls 911, Peter notices some of Isaac's paintings, including one that appears to be of Peter flying. Isaac tells them, "We have to stop it." Peter and Simone notice a massive painting of an explosion over New York painted on the studio floor.
Nathan arrives in an alleyway, speaking to someone on his cell phone. A phone falls from high above and smashes on the ground: Peter is standing on the roof of a building, looking down at Nathan. Nathan tries to get Peter to come down, but Peter jumps. As Peter falls, Nathan flies up and catches him. Nathan loses his grip on Peter who falls.
|This quest, this need to solve life's mysteries—in the end, what does it matter when the human heart can only find meaning in the smallest of moments? They're here—among us. In the shadows, in the light, everywhere. Do they even know yet?|
"You're like a son to him."
"Well, that would make us like brother and sister. Might be a little awkward if I ever wanted to ask you out."
"Do not pull a Roger Clinton on me, man. I'm eight points down in the polls."
"I'm so depressed."
"What? What are you talking about? Why? I mean, besides the fact that this was so gross I almost fudged myself, this is the single coolest thing to happen in this town in like a hundred years."
"You, in the meantime, with all your selflessness. Sitting with dying people... what, are you going to retire on what you make?"
"Maybe I'll just shoplift my socks."
"Don't get smart!"
"When Nathan had his accident, I knew it... I'm saying before the call, like he was telling me 300 miles away, I woke up and I knew that he'd been hurt."
- - Peter
"There are twelve and a half million people in this city. Not one of them can bend space and time. Why do you want to be different?!"
"Why do you want to be the same?"
- While Genesis was the pilot episode that aired, an expanded and slightly different pilot titled In His Own Image was originally shown at ComicCon 2006. Some of the material was deemed to be too controversial and was either cut or modified to produce Genesis.
- The issue of X-Men Hiro references, #143, does not actually contain the story he cites. He was referring to Days of Future Past, which appears in issue #141 and #142. Hiro later corrects himself in one of his blog entries labeled "Kitty Pride", compounding the error by misspelling the character's name.
- Claire's encounter with the garbage disposal led Emerson, the unit's manufacturer, to file a product disparagement lawsuit. NBC's parent company General Electric is one of Emerson's chief competitors for garbage disposals. The writing around the plughole was removed from the DVD version.
- The reference Mr. Bennet made to the name "Suresh" being common like "Smith" or "Anderson" may have been a reference to the Matrix trilogy of movies, whose antagonist, Agent Smith, would frequently call the protagonist, Neo, by his given name of Mr. Anderson. Both characters were special and had abilities above and beyond those of normal people around them.
- When Hiro and Ando walk into the bar to have a drink, two guys are singing karaoke on the stage to the Backstreet Boy's "I Want It That Way". This is a reference to a popular YouTube video that features the Back Dorm Boys, two Asian men doing a spoof performance of the same song. The men in the bar in Heroes are dressed in the same orange basketball jerseys, and one has a white sweatband around his head.
- In the original script for Genesis, Hiro was to exclaim "Bonsai!" after discovering his powers. According to a statement by Masi Oka on The View, he approached Tim Kring and informed him that "bonsai actually means 'little tree'", and that he probably intended banzai. Because Masi felt that banzai had wartime/old-fashioned connotations, he asked if it would be okay to use the more modern exclamation "Yatta!" instead. Tim Kring gave Masi permission to change the line by replying along the lines of, "Dude, go to town."
- The scene with Claire and her mother at the dinner table, where Claire says, "I walked through fire and didn't get burned" was cut from the BBC2 showing.
- In a press conference, Tim Kring said that the character of Hiro did not exist in the original script for the pilot. Kring, looking at the other characters who reluctantly discovered their powers, decided he needed a character who enjoyed his abilities and embraced them enthusiastically.
- Mohinder's claim that humans only use a fraction of their brains is erroneous. It is later repeated by Sylar in The Second Coming.
- The graphic novel Monsters continues one of the storylines told in Genesis. Monsters tells what happened when Mohinder first came to New York City, and continues the idea that Mr. Bennet was spying on him.
- The graphic novel Elle's First Assignment, Part 1 shows that Elle is watching Claire and Zach when Claire kills herself in the seventh attempt and their conversation afterward.
- Although Max Amini, the actor playing a cabbie, does not appear in the episode, he is credited as co-starring. Only his voice is heard. He does, however, appear in the same scene shown in the unaired pilot.
- Until Volume Four, this was the only episode to take place entirely after the date on which it aired.
- For other uses of Genesis, see Genesis (disambig).
- For images from Genesis, see images from Genesis.
- For the transcript from Genesis, see the Genesis transcript.
- For storyboards from the scene in which Nathan flies to save Peter, see here.
- For an interview in which director of photography Nate Goodman discusses his work on Genesis, see here.