The title of this episode is ‘Six Months Ago’, and so it should come as no surprise that most of the events this time around are flashbacks.
Having gone back in time to Charlie’s birthday some six months ago, Hiro tries to warn her about her impending demise, before realising that he jumped back a little too far. Although she doesn’t really take his warnings seriously, for the next few months Charlie and Hiro strike up a friendship, with him helping out at the café, bringing her gifts and even showing off his ability. Unfortunately, there is bad news, for Charlie has a blood clot that will one day move into her brain and kill her- no matter what happens, she is going to die young. With this out in the open, Charlie admits her feelings for Hiro, but as they move to kiss, he teleports back to Japan and finds himself unable to return to Texas no matter how hard he tries.
Still waiting at the café, Ando is relieved when Hiro finally returns, but his friend has bad news for him; he now realises that changing the past and saving Charlie’s life is impossible- all that remains is to move on.
Notes: I liked Charlie, so it was nice to see her again and give Hiro an unlikely shot at romance. Unfortunately, it was pretty obvious he wasn’t going to be able to save her.
Six months ago, Claire was invited to join the cheerleading team by her ‘friend’ Jackie, but when Claire expresses doubts about her desire to join, Jackie starts harassing her about how much she really wants it, ultimately ending with Claire being pushed into a glass cabinet. The shattered glass slices open Claire’s hand to such an extent that she has to go to hospital and have stitches put in.
Meanwhile, Bennet receives a call from Chandra Suresh telling him that his daughter may be a very special person, and indeed she is- for when she and her father next check her injury, it is fully healed.
Notes: I already knew all about this storyline from spoilers, but it’s interesting to see when and how the various powers manifest.
Nathan and Peter
Half a year ago, Peter had just graduated from nursing school, whilst his brother Nathan had been asked in his capacity as a lawyer to prosecute Linderman- despite the fact that their father was in Linderman’s pocket. Nathan decides to go ahead with the prosecution, but it all ends in tragedy when Linderman’s men ram a truck into his car whilst driving on the highway one night; Nathan himself unconsciously triggers his ability to fly and thus gets out of his convertible in time to avoid injury, but his wife is not so fortunate- this is the very accident that robbed her of the ability to walk. And when Nathan’s father dies of a heart attack shortly after, the prosecution of Linderman is abandoned.
Notes: It’s hard to know whether Nathan truly forgot about flying that night or is just playing dumb as usual, but it’s clear he must feel responsible for what happened to his wife.
In his quest to find people who validate his theory of evolution and special powers, Chandra contacts a watch maker named Gabriel Grey. Gabriel is both skilled and intuitive when it comes to figuring out timepieces, but sadly, despite participating in several tests, no obvious abilities manifest. In the end, Chandra is anxious to give up Gabriel and move on, but Gabriel himself cannot bear the idea- he desperately wants to be special.
Whilst Chandra decides to talk to Bennet about the possibility that his daughter may have special abilities, Gabriel makes plans of his own, using a note he stole from Chandra to track down one Brian Davis, a man who may be telekinetic. Brian duly pays Gabriel (who introduces himself until the alias Sylar, a make of watch) a visit and even demonstrates his skill, before asking if Gabriel will be able to help him return to normal. Shocked that someone exists who doesn’t want to be special, Gabriel kills Brian, and in doing so, somehow absorbs his powers. On his next visit to Chandra, he is able to demonstrate his new telekinetic abilities, earning apologies and praise from a man who has no idea what his test subject has done.
Notes: It’s good to get some back story on Sylar and start to see him as more than a generic villain, although present-Sylar seems a lot more brutal and thuggish. Since that first murder, he must have absorbed many abilities by killing people, and seems to be set up as a sort of “anti-Peter”.
Niki is attending an AA meeting when she spots an all-too-familiar face at the back of the room- her father Hal. After a long absence, Hal wants to be a part of his daughter’s life again, and whilst Niki isn’t too pleased about the idea, she and D.L. decide that at the very least, his extensive finances would be a big help.
Hal duly comes round to meet Niki and her family, even bringing an expensive notebook computer for Micah. Everything proceeds reasonably well, at least until Hal checks on Micah and discovers that he has already taken the computer apart. Angered, Hal leaves, cryptically fending off Niki’s questions about his long absence by claiming that she must not remember.
Later, Hal is paid a visit by his daughter- not Niki, but Jessica. Jessica was the name of Niki’s dead sister, and as she gets violent with Hal, she accuses him of physically abusing both her and Niki when they were young. With Hal duly intimidated, she warns him not to show up again.
Notes: I wonder if this was Jessica’s first emergence, but more importantly- is she actually the consciousness of Niki’s deceased sister, or is she a repressed part of Niki’s personality, sealed away when she blocked the memories of her father’s abuse?
Bennet and Eden
Having just stolen a car, Eden McCain faces arrest by a certain Matt Parkman- at least until she uses her vocal power of persuasion to make him leave her alone. Unfortunately for her, there is someone she cannot use her powers against- the Haitian- and so he is able to take her in to Bennet. Able to resist her attempts to make him let her go, Bennet forms an alliance with Eden, inviting her to work under him, with her first assignment being to take Claire’s name off Chandra’s list.