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Episode:Seven Minutes to Midnight

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Seven Minutes to Midnight
Season: One
Episode number: 108
First aired: November 13, 2006
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: Paul Edwards
Previous episode: Nothing to Hide
Next episode: Homecoming
The earth is large -- large enough that you think you can hide from anything. From fate, from god -- if only you found a place far enough away. So you run. To the edge of the earth, where all is safe again -- quiet and warm. The solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief. And maybe for a moment you believe you have escaped.


  • When Mohinder returns to India for his father's funeral, he seems content to stay... until he begins to have unsettling dreams.
  • With Eden's help, Isaac seems to have kicked his heroin habit, but Mr. Bennet's needs jeopardize his efforts.
  • Hiro meets a remarkable waitress named Charlie, but because of Sylar, he's diverted yet again from his quest.
  • When Matt and Audrey question Ted, Matt begins to discover answers to his own memory lapse.

Story Development

Burnt Toast Diner · Charlie · The journal · Sylar's Watch · Primatech Paper Co. · The key · Sanjog Iyer · Sanjog's file · Exploding Man


Mohinder is in Kanyakumari, India spreading his father's ashes into the water. His mother tries to comfort him by telling him his father has moved onto the next life.

Isaac is lying in bed with Eden cleaning him up. Eden assures him that he'll have shaken his heroin addiction in no time, but Isaac expresses doubt that he'll still be able to paint the future. Eden tells him that she'll help him learn to paint without the drugs. She tells him that they're not going to allow the explosion he painted to happen. When Isaac comments on how sure she seems, Eden tells him that she went through the same thing herself.

At the Burnt Toast Diner in Midland, TX, Charlie brings Sheriff Davidson and a deputy, Lloyd, their breakfast. The Sheriff is trying to trying to figure out a cross-word puzzle clue concerning Ghandi's burial ground. Charlie replies "Kanyakumari". Surprised, the Sheriff asks her how she knew that. Lloyd quizzes her again with another esoteric question which she promptly answers and tells them if they really want to test her they should ask if she remembers their credit card numbers. At another table at the diner, Hiro and Ando discuss the menu. Hiro tells Ando they'll need their strength because they'll soon meet Peter Petrelli and save the cheerleader. Charlie comes to take their order and notices some Japanese writing on Hiro's jacket which she translates. Charlie explains that she received a Japanese phrase book for her birthday and started reading it last week. She speaks some Japanese phrases and Hiro applauds gleefully. She manages to tell them in Japanese that she plans to visit Tokyo when she takes her trip. Ando finds it remarkable that she learned to speak so well from a book in just one week. Charlie explains that recently she's begun remembering everything that she's exposed to. Charlie asks what they would like to eat and Hiro has her select something off the menu. Sylar is sitting at another table in the diner. At the other end of the table is a mug. Sylar opens his hand and the mug travels across the table and into his waiting hand. On his wrist is a broken analog wristwatch.

As the funeral concludes, Nirand comes up to Mohinder to confirm that he's not going back to New York. Mohinder tells him that there are no answers for him there. In the distance a woman named Mira glances at Mohinder. Nirand points out that Mira came to pay her respects to Chandra and that perhaps there's more waiting here for him than he previously thought. Nirand tells him that classes start soon and that he didn't cancel Mohinder's classes, so he can move into his father's old office at Chennai University. In Chandra's office Mohinder tries to open one of the desk drawers, but it is locked. He bumps the computer and it starts showing the algorithm. He goes to quit the program, but doesn't. Mira arrives at the door and Mohinder expresses surprise that she was at the ceremony. She admits that she said some terrible things to him about his father and his theories, but regrets it now that he's dead. Mira tells Mohinder that she's been promoted at her company and offers him a job as long as he promises not to continue any of his father's work. Mohinder tells her he will think about it.

Audrey yells at Matt for hitting his former partner because any trouble Matt gets in jeopardizes her investigation of Sylar. She asks Matt if he's suspended, and he tells her he'll work it out. When she asks Matt if his partner deserved it, he says yes. Audrey leads him to an interrogation room with Theodore Sprague where she tells Matt they've got one hour before Homeland Security takes him away as a suspected terrorist. Audrey complains about how only a few months ago her job made perfect sense, but now she's dealing with things she can't explain. She gives Matt a radiation detector badge and tells him that dark green is good and anything else is bad.

At the diner, Hiro is helping Charlie learn more Japanese and remarks on how quickly she's learning. Charlie explains that recently she's been remembering everything that she's read. She calls it a skill, and Hiro tells her that his skill is much more complicated. When she asks what his skill is, he coyly replies that he can teach Japanese to anyone. Charlie tells Hiro that he's sweet in Japanese and Hiro replies that that's not in the book. Charlie tells him it's true nonetheless. A bell rings and Charlie excuses herself to go take care of the order. She tells him in Japanese that she'll be right back. As she leaves, Sylar takes a drink from his mug.

Ted boils water.

Audrey gives Theodore a glass of water. Theodore complains that they won't let him go to his wife's funeral. Audrey tells him that they need him to answer a few more questions. She asks Ted how he's able to do what he does. Ted exclaims that nothing matters since he killed his wife. Matt glances at his radiation badge and notices it's turned red. Ted screams that he just wants to be left alone and doesn't know anything about any nuclear material. Matt tells him to relax, but Ted just gets angrier. He tells them out of frustration that if they want him to be the bad guy then he'll blow the place apart. He grabs the glass of water and it quickly begins boiling. Audrey threatens to shoot him and Ted tells her to just do it. Matt tries to calm Ted down by showing that he's not alone in having abnormal powers. He tells Ted they're just trying to understand what's going on and to relax. He manages to calm Ted down and tells him to take him back to when this all started. Matt hears Ted think that he blacked out and when he woke up things just started dying. Remembering his own experiences, Matt asks him how long he blacked out for and whether he was drinking. He asks if when he woke up he had bruises on his arms. Ted shows them the mark on his neck and Matt shows the same marks on his own neck.

In India, Mohinder removes the map from the wall. Glancing through his father's journal that he found in New York he comes across the key that was inside and tucks it away in the book. The computer screen still shows the algorithm and is prompting him whether to quit. Mohinder drifts off to sleep and begins having visions from the past. He sees himself arguing with his father prior to his departure for New York City. In his vision he is criticizing his father's trip to New York City and telling him that he's leaving everything behind and chasing theories that are pure fantasy. His father tells him he'll see who the fool will be. Mohinder's location suddenly changes and now he watches his father admit that his plan to go to New York City may be a bad idea after all. His mother tells Chandra that if he doesn't go then it will consume him. Chandra expresses concern that Mohinder will hate him for it. Chandra suggests that maybe he should stay for Mohinder's sake, but his mother convinces him not to. A soccer ball rolls up to Mohinder and he stops it. Picking it up, he looks around and sees a small Indian boy. Mohinder asks what the boy wants and he points to either the ball or to Mohinder. Mohinder returns the ball to him and he runs off. Mohinder wakes up in his office.

Ted explains that he was in Kansas a few months back having sold a dialysis machine to a university hospital. He went to the hotel bar where he saw a couple from Wyoming, a few professors, and a student from Haiti. The next thing he knew he woke up in his car two days later in Arizona with cuts and bruises on him. Matt asks Ted if he feels sick at all or gets headaches and Ted admits he has headaches. Audrey asks Ted if there are any more dead bodies that they need to know about and Matt defends him, telling Audrey that it's not his fault. Matt tells Ted that he, too, blacked out and lost two days, and now he can't stop hearing people's thoughts. Matt offers a description of the Haitian man Ted saw at the bar and they confirm that they both saw the same guy right before they blacked out. The FBI Agent Audrey had worked the Walker murder scene with comes in and several agents take Ted away. The agent tells Matt he shouldn't even be there since his badge was suspended. As he's being escorted out, Ted tells Matt to find the Haitian. Matt tries to convince Audrey to get Ted back, but she tells him she can't.

At the Primatech Paper Co., Mr. Bennet gets out of his car and goes inside. He swipes a card and enters a secure warehouse. Inside the warehouse is a small building where Eden is waiting for him. Mr. Bennet asks how Isaac's doing and she tells him the heroin is out of his system, but his mind still wants it. Eden takes Mr. Bennet in to meet Isaac. Mr. Bennet tells him that he's got the ability to paint the future and that it's a very important ability. Isaac tells him it feels like a curse, but Mr. Bennet tells him it's a blessing and not to let anyone tell him differently. Isaac tells him that he's not sure why they're helping him and Mr. Bennet tells him that he needs his help.

Charlie falls victim to Sylar.

At the diner Charlie checks in on Hiro and Ando to see how they're doing. Hiro gets up to go to the bathroom and Charlie goes in back to open a can of food. She hears some noises, but ignores them. As she finishes opening a large can there's a slicing sound and red blood pours down Charlie's expressionless face as she collapses. One of the other waitresses hears the noise and goes to check on her. When she screams, Sheriff Davidson comes over and they find her dead on the floor in a pool of blood. Sylar, who had been sitting at a table in the corner, is gone. Hiro returns from the bathroom smiling, oblivious to what just happened. Ando shows Hiro what happened.

Mohinder walks with his mother and tells her about the dream he had the previous night. He tells her in the dream she persuaded Chandra to go to New York. His mother tells him it was just a dream, but Mohinder tells her he needs to know if it was true. She admits that she persuaded him to go because she knew he wanted to. His mom reveals that Mohinder had a sister named Shanti that died at the age of five while Mohinder was only two years old. She tells him that they didn't tell him because Chandra found it too painful to talk about. From the day of her birth, Chandra was convinced that Shanti was "special".

Mr. Bennet talks to Isaac about his paintings and tells him that the cheerleader he painted several times is his daughter and that the dark figure in the paintings is Sylar. He tells Isaac that Sylar is going to kill Claire tomorrow night at her homecoming game. Isaac asks why and Mr. Bennet tells him that she's special like he is and that makes both of them a target. Mr. Bennet explains to Isaac that there are others like him and that Sylar is killing them one by one. Isaac asks why they can't stop Sylar and Mr. Bennet explains that they don't know where he is. Mr. Bennet asks for his help to paint the future. Isaac tells him he's been trying, but can't without the drugs. Mr. Bennet takes out a kit and offers him heroin. He promises Isaac that they'll help him learn to use his abilities without needing the heroin, but that there isn't time right now. Isaac turns down the drugs. Mr. Bennet reveals that for many years a number of people have been tracking and monitoring people with special powers and that sometimes things go smoothly, but other times they don't. He explains that fourteen years ago there was an incident that left behind a baby girl with no one to take care of her. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet were having trouble conceiving at the time so they took her in. He tells her this is his daughter he's talking about and begs him to help. Isaac tells him he wants to try one more time without the heroin.

Sylar's watch is cracked and broken.

At Mohinder's office he finds the same young Indian boy he dreamed about trying to force open a locked drawer in the desk. The boy runs off and Mohinder chases him. As Mohinder runs out the door he finds himself in New York City watching his father's murder. A man in the back seat of Chandra's cab breaks through the dividing glass and bashes Chandra's head against the window before breaking his neck. As he smashes Chandra's head into the window, the face of his watch cracks, freezing it at seven minutes to midnight—the same as the broken watch Sylar was wearing at the diner. Mohinder cries out and sees the young Indian boy again, however the cab is now gone. The boy points at Mohinder again. As Mohinder approaches the boy opens his hand revealing the key that Mohinder found inside his father's diary. He takes the key from the boy, then wakes up again back in his office. He pulls the key out of the diary and looks at it.

At the paper company Mr. Bennet walks into a hallway and finds Claire. Claire tells him that she has a paper emergency and needs paper large enough to make a large banner over the trophy case. As Claire and Mr. Bennet are walking down the hallway Eden comes out into the hallway and tells him that they have a little situation. Mr. Bennet tells Claire how to get to the sample room and to take anything she needs. Eden tells Mr. Bennet that Isaac's still not able to paint. Mr. Bennet says now they're going to do it his way. Eden complains that Isaac worked so hard to get clean and that he can't ask him to get high now. Mr. Bennet tells her that he's not going to ask him, she is. Eden gets mad claiming that she was told she'd never have to "do it" again. Mr. Bennet asks Eden if she even remembers what she was when he found her. He gives Eden a needle and tells her that she's the easy way and that they both know what the hard way is. Eden enters Isaac's room and appears to be trying to convince him to take the drugs, but Isaac resists. Eden whispers into his ear and Isaac takes the needle.

At the diner Charlie's body is wheeled out. The sheriff talks to Hiro and Ando asking them if she seemed scared or said anything suspicious. The sheriff tells them that her head was ripped open and tells them to stick around so he can take their statements. Hiro remarks that Charlie was killed the same way he saw Isaac killed in the future and that it can't be a coincidence. Becoming very serious, Hiro tells Ando that he can go back in time and try to help her. Hiro explains that he can't just sit back and do nothing again like he did when the poker players were killed. Ando tries to convince him not to go and points out that he doesn't have control over his powers yet. Hiro responds that if he's too scared to use his powers then he doesn't deserve them. He tells Ando to count to five and he'll return. Hiro concentrates and then suddenly vanishes. Ando counts to five, but Hiro doesn't return.

Isaac is forced to paint.

Janice Parkman looks through a photo album of herself and Matt as Matt gets home. Janice tells him that she got a call asking why he punched Tom McHenry. Matt admits that he did punch him and hears his wife thinking "He knows. Dammit, I knew it." Matt tells her that he got suspended for one month without pay. Janice tells Matt that something happened between her and Tom. When Matt asks if they slept together, she admits it, but tells him it's over. Matt gets a call from Audrey saying that Ted escaped. Behind Audrey, a car is on fire.

Mohinder uses the key to unlock the locked desk drawer, but finds nothing in it. Removing the drawer he finds a file hidden behind it labeled with the name "Sanjog Iyer". Inside are articles concerning sleep and learning including a picture of the young Indian boy he saw in his visions holding a soccer ball.

Back at the paper company, Isaac, his eyes once again milky white, is painting the Exploding Man while Eden looks on.

At Claire's house, Mr. Bennet watches Claire color her homecoming banner.

At the diner a picture on the bulletin board that once only showed Charlie at her birthday party now also shows Hiro, with a sheepish expression, standing by her.

You can run far. You can take your small precautions, but have you really gotten away? Can you ever escape? Or is the truth that you do not have the strength or cunning to hide from destiny? But the world is not small, you are. And fate can find you anywhere.

Memorable Quotes

"This is the sort of cutting-edge science we used to talk about late into the night."

"The world's worst pillow talk I'd say."

- Mira, Mohinder

"What's this?"

"Detects radiation levels. As long as that's dark green we're good."

"Oh, okay, but what's the bad color?"

"Not green."

- Matt, Audrey

"I'm sweet!"

- Hiro

Character Appearances


  • The episode's title refers to the time on Sylar's watch when Sylar kills Chandra Suresh. The time "seven minutes to midnight" is itself a reference to the original time on the Doomsday Clock of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
  • Seven minutes to midnight would be 11:53. Years later, a Heroes Reborn episode would be named 11:53 to Odessa.
  • The graphic novel Isaac's First Time extends a storyline from Seven Minutes to Midnight, as the comic continues the conversations held between Eden and Isaac.
  • The scene from this episode when Ted escapes the FBI caravan is also featured in the graphic novel How Do You Stop an Exploding Man?, Part 1.
  • The scene from this episode when Sylar watches Charlie talk to Hiro and Ando is also featured in the graphic novel Road Kill. It is seen again in Season 4, this time with Sylar's face clearly visible.
  • The season 4 episode Once Upon a Time in Texas takes place during this episode featuring a Hiro from the future who returns to the day of the episode to once more attempt to save Charlie. Though Hiro alters the timeline established by this episode, he manages to do so in such a way that it does not affect the events following this episode.
  • According to Samuel Sullivan in Once Upon a Time in Texas, the events in the Burnt Toast Diner during the episode are a "minefield" of destiny because so many people's paths crossed there. It makes altering the events of the episode, even just slightly, very dangerous due to the implications upon the future.


  • Peter, Nathan, Niki, Micah, D.L., and Simone do not appear in this episode. This episode features five main characters, the fewest until Company Man, which featured four main characters and three main cast members. The next time only five main characters will be featured comes much later in the season four episode Ink.
  • Kanyakumari is not actually Gandhi's "burial place". Gandhi was cremated and his ashes were immersed in major rivers around the world. However, there is a monument in Kanyakumari, the Gandhi Mandapam, on the site where his ashes were kept on public display.
  • During the scene in which Chandra Suresh's ashes are scattered in the water, all participants including Mohinder are wearing a type of Vaishnava Tilak which would indicate affiliation with the Sri Sampradaya.
  • The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic indicator on the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists magazine representing how close humanity is to destruction by nuclear war. The number of minutes to midnight is periodically updated based on the state of the world and prospects for nuclear war. The clock began in 1947 at "seven minutes to midnight" and was again at this setting during the period from 2002 to 2007 (when the series began and this episode aired) until Jan 15 when it was advanced by two minutes.
    • Sylar's watch is broken at 11.53, seven minutes to midnight.

See Also

previous: Nothing to Hide Seven Minutes to Midnight next: Homecoming
Season One
Volume One: Genesis

GenesisDon't Look BackOne Giant LeapCollisionHirosBetter HalvesNothing to HideSeven Minutes to MidnightHomecomingSix Months AgoFalloutGodsendThe FixDistractionsRun!UnexpectedCompany ManParasite.07%Five Years GoneThe Hard PartLandslideHow to Stop an Exploding Man

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