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Episode:Once Upon a Time in Texas

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Once Upon a Time in Texas
Season: Four
Episode number: 407
First aired: November 2, 2009
Written by: Aron Eli Coleite
Aury Wallington
Directed by: Nate Goodman
Previous episode: Strange Attractors
Next episode: Shadowboxing
Heroes Interactive transcript


Story Development

Lauren Gilmore · Petey


Hiro accidentally time travels to October 2006 with his hospital clothes on, where he finds himself in front of the Burnt Toast Diner. Lynette is pouring out the garbage and Hiro sees Charlie through the windows of the diner. Hiro recognizes a garden next to the diner, full of clothes hung up for drying. While he is changing his clothes, a young boy points toy guns at Hiro and says "hands up", telling him that he can't get away with stealing his dad's clothes. Hiro apologizes and says that it's a matter of life and death and that destiny has sent him there to save the life of the woman he loves. The boy claims that there is no such thing as love. Hiro then tells him the story of his relationship with Charlie. He tells him about how they met and how he traveled back in time to save her and he failed, and whatever he did at the end the brain man killed her. Hiro then tells the boy not to worry because this time he will stop the brain man and that he's the good guy. The boy gives Hiro a white cowboy hat, saying that the good guys wear white hats, while the bad ones wear a black one. Then, Sylar comes to the entrance of the diner where they are standing. Hiro immediately moves the boy behind his back and stands still. Sylar enters in and the boy comments that he was wearing a black hat. Sylar places an order with Charlie.

In the present, Samuel enters Lydia's trailer. Lydia asks about Arnold and Samuel says that he's on the verge of dying. Samuel comments that the family is shrinking and that the graveyard is growing. He says that they need Hiro Nakamura. She reminds him that he said Hiro is on a path, but Samuel finds that path too long. He says that they need Hiro now to fix the past but doesn't know how to convince him. Lydia says that with desperate times comes desperate measures. She then goes and opens her back for manifesting her power. The image of Charlie appears on her back and Samuel understands that Hiro is in love. Lydia points out that she is three years' dead, but Samuel sees it as an opportunity. She suddenly says that there's a lot more. Samuel touch his stick to her back and the images of Noah attached to Claire and of Sylar attached to Charlie appear. Lydia asks Samuel how he will get back there. He says he'll ask his dying friend to help. When Lydia objects, he uses her words against her; "desperate times, desperate measures".

In the past in Midland, Texas, Charlie is serving coffee to Sylar, while Hiro is watching her from behind a newspaper. Charlie recognizes Sylar's watch and says it's a Sylar field edition. She then goes into detail about how the watch was brought from Russia. Sylar asks her if she's a collector and she denies it, saying that she read about it in a magazine a week ago. She then goes on telling him that she lately remembers everything. Sylar asks her questions to test her ability and she correctly answers all of them. He then asks her if she thinks that the blood clot in her brain caused this to happen. He explains that he has an ability too and that he can see how things work and repair them if necessary, while Hiro listens in. Sylar then orders pancakes. Samuel suddenly appears behind Hiro, telling him it's a smart move to hide behind a newspaper. He then takes Hiro outside, telling him that they need to talk.

Noah meets with Lauren at the Burnt Toast Diner.

At the same time, Noah is in the diner, talking on the phone with Sandra. He tells her that he obviously wants to be at school, for Claire's Homecoming. However, he can't control his job. While he closes the phone, Lauren enters the diner. The woman apologizes to Noah for being late because of the traffic. She then asks Noah if everything is okay and he confirms it. But she tells him that it's not okay, because he's making a "face", the same face he makes every time he lies to Sandra. He then expresses his wish about telling Sandra the truth. He wishes that Sandra knew that he's missing Claire's Homecoming because he's trying to stop a deranged serial killer. He is trying to save her daughter's life and he can't even tell her that. Lauren comments about how lying sucks and that she lies to her family too. She elaborates, saying that she missed her nephew's Bar Mitzvah because she was busy bagging and tagging a guy who can shoot fire out of his nose. However, she had to lie to her mother that she had PMS instead. Noah admits that it's nice to relax with a friend he can talk to. She asks if what they're doing is two friends talking, and says it's flirting but he doesn't recognize it because it's been so long. Lauren points out they have been having breakfast out of town for months but the pancakes aren't that good. She observes that Noah is such a cowboy that he would never admit it so she's taking the initiative. Lauren offers him her motel room key but realizes Noah isn't interested. Noah gets a call about the Sylar paintings. Lauren says she'll meet him at the office and he leaves. As they go, Sylar telekinetically pulls his coffee cup to him.

Samuel watches Sylar from hiding and asks Hiro why he's there. Hiro says he's there to save Charlie and Samuel says he's there to protect Hiro and make sure he understands the magnitude of his choice. He explains that everyone is on a specific path and he's making a sacrifice to make sure Hiro is successful. Samuel warns that it's a mine field of destiny and wonders if Charlie is worth it, and Hiro says it is. He turns to discover that Charlie isn't there.

Charlie is in the storage room and thinks she hears someone. She's unaware that Sylar is hiding behind her. He prepares to telekinetically slice open her skull, but Hiro arrives and freezes time. He wheels Sylar outside and puts him into the baggage compartment of a bus going to Odessa, insisting that he'll continue on his destiny while he and Charlie are together. He closes the compartment door, goes back inside, checks his appearances, and then starts to contemplate the consequences. He realizes that if saves Charlie, he won't fall in love and history will "go kablooey". He goes out to the bulletin board and finds the birthday photo of Charlie. Hiro isn't in it. He vows that he will be, and then goes into the bathroom and unfreezes time for his past self. His younger self believes he's the future Hiro that Peter saw on the subway and wonders where his sword is, but Hiro says he left his sword in the future. Hiro then explains that the cheerleader will be fine and his past self must save Charlie, his true love. Hiro tells his past self to go back six months to preserve the space-time continuum. If he doesn't they'll never fall in love with Charlie. Past Hiro disappears and Hiro says he's a moron, and then checks the photo. He's now in the picture with Charlie.

Eden McCain opens the door for Noah to visit Isaac Mendez and he asks him about the paintings, and explains that Isaac isn't the only one with special abilities. Noah needs his help to save the cheerleader that Isaac has been painting, and desperately explains that the cheerleader is his daughter. Noah goes out and Lauren admits she was eavesdropping. She says she had no idea and promises that they'll handle it together. Lauren then leans forward and kisses him, and then apologizes for being such an ass. She assures him they have 37 hours until Homecoming and they'll nail Sylar, and then pretend she never kissed him. Noah says that he doesn't want to forget what she did.

Hiro makes a deal with Sylar to save Charlie's life.

Hiro comes out of the bathroom and Samuel asks if everything is all right. He notes that Hiro looks satisfied and Hiro explains that he kept destiny from blowing up. However, Samuel wonders if Hiro has everything straight. Hiro notices that Ando is sitting alone and runs over to explain that past-Hiro is six months in the past and Ando must wait for him. Ando agrees and Hiro goes to see Charlie. They embrace and he assures her that everything is fine from now on. He says they should go somewhere, anywhere, and asks her to pick a place. Charlie realizes that he's serious and says she wants to go to Otsu, Japan, to see where Takezo Kensei was born. However, she starts uncontrollably reciting information. Hiro snaps her out of it and she doesn't remember what she was saying. She starts to collapse and then explains that the aneurysm is rupturing and she's dying. Hiro assures her that she isn't yet.

Hiro drives to the bus' next stop in Odessa and opens the baggage compartment. Sylar comes up behind him and telekinetically slams him into the side of the bus. He demands to know who Hiro is, and Hiro asks him to fix Charlie. Sylar prepares to kill him but Hiro freezes time, gets to the side, and warns Sylar that he can't kill him. They face off in an alley and Hiro says he has something Sylar wants. When Sylar tries to kill him again, Hiro freezes time and gets behind him, and then unfreezes time again. Sylar figures Hiro will get tired eventually and tries to kill him again. Hiro freezes time, moves, unfreezes time, and warns that if Sylar kills him, he won't discover what Hiro knows about Sylar's own future. Sylar says he's on the way to meet the cheerleader, and he'll become invincible. Hiro warns him not to be so sure, and Sylar realizes that Hiro is dying of a tumor. He considers Hiro's offer as cheerleaders run by in the distance.

Hiro takes Sylar to see Charlie, and explains to Lynette that Sylar is a doctor and can help. Once they're alone, Sylar says he can remove it. Charlie says that she's okay if it's her time, but Hiro insists that they're meant to be together no matter what it takes. Hiro holds her and talks about a poet named Ryokan, and recites a haiku the man wrote. Sylar begins to fix the aneurysm and Charlie's eye bleeds briefly. She realizes that Sylar did it and embrace Hiro.

Sylar cures Charlie's blood clot.

The Wildcat cheerleaders are at the bus station to greet the rival team. Claire notices Noah across the street and runs to talk to him. She wonders why he's there and he says he's there to hear her cheer. She offers to hang with him if he wants and Noah says he'd love to. They grab shakes and coffee and she asks if he likes his work selling paper. Noah admits that he does, and Claire says that she can't imagine him wanting to sell paper. He tells her that he wanted to teach Shakespeare in high school and Claire accuses him of being a drama geek. She says he should teach once she graduates and should do what makes him happy, but Noah says that he is happy. Jackie calls Claire over and Noah kisses his daughter goodbye, saying he'll see her later. He then considers Lauren's hotel key.

Sylar eats some pancakes and reminds Hiro of their deal. Hiro tells him that he'll die alone after killing many people and becoming the strongest of them. However, it won't make any difference because they'll all gather to stop him. He then stops time and transports Sylar back into the alley in Odessa via motor scooter, gets away, and unfreezes Sylar. Sylar hears the cheerleaders in the distance and goes to find Claire.

Lauren is having a drink in her hotel room when Noah comes in and asks for one of what she's having. He tells her that he can't do this and it's not smart for either of them because they're partners. Lauren tells him not to blame it on the job and points out that it's more than just casual sex. Noah admits that he cares about her and Lauren says that they've been lying, and asks if he wants to be himself with her and have some happiness. Noah explains that he loves his family and no matter how complicated as it is to lie, he still loves them. He says Lauren is a great agent and he needs her help with Sylar and Claire, and she assures him she'll be there for him, now and always. They go back to work.

Hiro watches Charlie from outside and Ando comes out to ask if everything is okay. Hiro says that it is and tells Ando to go back inside and wait. Charlie comes out and Hiro realizes something is wrong. She says she has a knot in her gut and says Hiro put it there because he cheated. She wonders how Hiro could let Sylar go on to kill so many people. He insists it's their happy-ever-after, but she wonders why she has to live when so many others die every day. Hiro says it's because he loves her, but Charlie says he's selfish and walks away.

Noah is in the cafeteria at the Company building when Lauren comes in and gives him an envelope she says she found on his desk. Inside it is a note and the motel keys. He asks her if they're pretending it never happened and she has no idea what he's talking about. Noah reads the note, which is from Lauren and says that she is having the Haitian wipe her memory because it's better and more professional if they have a non-romantic relationship, and she doesn't remember what happened. She asks if everything is okay and he says it was his mistake and everything is fine.

Samuel stands over Mohinder's body eight weeks ago.

Hiro goes back into the diner and orders root beer, and admits that it's over. Noah is sitting at the bar next to him and wonders if he knows him. Hiro says he doesn't. Noah asks if he's okay and Hiro admits that he ruined his chance at finding true love. Noah says love is a messy business and wishes him well, and then leaves. Charlie comes in and apologizes for acting so terribly toward him. Hiro says that he understands but insists the world is a better place with her in it. She thanks him for saving his life and then gives him a piece of folding paper. She explains she was trying to make a thousand origami cranes, and she wants their happy ending. Charlie says she loves him and they kiss. Hiro says "Happily. Ever. After" and Charlie says they should go. Hiro walks outside while trying to fold the crane, but he realizes that she's disappeared. Samuel is standing there and admits he's done something very bad. He's taken Charlie to the carnival in the present, and tells Hiro he's going to have to dig deep and take control if he wants to see Charlie again. Hiro grabs him and teleports them to the carnival. Samuel congratulates him for regaining control and then points out all the other carnival members surrounding them. Hiro asks them where Charlie is but no one answers. He runs to a trailer and finds Arnold, dead. Samuel explains that Arnold's body couldn't take the strain, and he had a tumor like Hiro's. He asked Arnold to trap Charlie somewhere in time, and the effort killed the old man. Hiro accuses him of being a murderer, and Samuel agrees. However, he refuses to tell Hiro where Charlie is, noting that then there wouldn't be anything to keep Hiro there. He needed Hiro to fix his past, and admits that if anyone at the carnival found out about his transgressions, all of his good work would be undone. Samuel tosses Hiro Charlie's name tag and says Hiro can only save her if he does exactly what Samuel says. Samuel says that he's made a mistake about eight weeks ago.

Eight weeks ago, in a motel room, Samuel apologizes to Mohinder as he stands over his body.

Memorable Quotes

"Good guys wear white hats. Bad guys wear black hats."
"You mind?"
"He was wearing a black hat!"

-Petey gives Hiro a gift before meeting Sylar.

"My family is shrinking and our graveyard is getting bigger."

- Samuel

"I mean, I wish I could tell my mom that I missed my nephew's bar mitzvah because I was busy bagging a guy who can shoot fire out of his nose, but I can't."

"So what'd you tell her?"


"I don't think that would work for me."

- Lauren, Noah

"I'm here to save Charlie."
"And why would you be doing something like that?"
"You told me I could right the wrongs of my life by stepping on the right butterflies. This is the biggest. It's Mothra."
"I'm here Hiro to make sure you understand the magnitude of your endeavor. To protect you. This isn't a simple spilled slushy. Look. You were on a specific path, everyone was. Sylar and Peter and Claire. I'm making a tremendous sacrifice to make sure you succeed Hiro. This place is a minefield. One mistake and its kablooey history! Awful lot of trouble for one girl. Pretty as Suzie Flapjacks is, is she absolutely worth it?"

-Hiro and Samuel discuss Hiro's mission and the implications of it.

"You will go on your path, and Peter Petrelli will stop you and save the cheerleader just like he is supposed to. The future will be back on track and Charlie and I will live happily ever after! The end!"

-Hiro tells a frozen Sylar how things will now go.

"You.. You're me!"
"Yes. I am Future Hiro."
"Like... Peter Petrelli saw on the subway train! Where's your sword?"
"Uh... I... left it at home. I have come to tell you about our destiny..."
"Save the cheerleader, Save the world!"
"Actually, the cheerleader's going to be fine. You must save the waitress."
"What waitress? Charlie?"
"Yes. She is dead. The Brain Man killed her."
"Let me see!"
"No! You can't go out there. It's too horrible. You need to go quickly. Six months into the past and save her."
"I'm confused."
"Hiro, Charlie is our true love. The MJ to our Spidey."
"The Marle to my Crono!"
"Yes, yes, yes. But you must go back six months to preserve the space-time continuum. If not, we will never fall in love with Charlie."
"And then we will never save her?"
"Exactly! The fate of the world depends on it. Moron."

-Hiro tricks his past self into time traveling.


-Hiro after seeing himself once more in the picture of Charlie's birthday party.

"I am Future Hiro."
"Where's your sword"
"Who cares about the sword! Forget the sword!"

-Hiro gets annoyed when Ando questions him about his future self's sword.

"I mean, do you like it? Do you love it, selling paper?"

"Yeah, I like it a lot."

"I just.. I'm sorry, I can't imagine you being in high school, and saying, "When I grow up, I want to sell paper.""

- Claire, Noah

"You. Who are you? I was just in the diner and then... What do you want?"
"You said you could fix things. I need you to fix Charlie. You told her that you understand how to fix things that are broken. She's dying."
"Your dying first."
"You can't kill me Brain Man. I have something you want."
"Yeah, your power! How are you able to do that?"
"I'm the Master of Time and Space, but right now, I'm freezing time."
"Well that must get tiring. I can do this all day. Can you?"
"If you kill me, you will never learn what I know about the future. Your future. Your life and death."
"Now I know your lying. I'm on my way to meet a very special cheerleader. Then I'll be invincible, immortal."
"Are you sure about that? I will tell you everything I know if you help me save Charlie."
"Your dying too aren't you? A tumor huh? Well."

-Hiro makes a deal with Sylar.

"Sorry to interrupt this little Hallmark moment but we had a deal."
"Yes, I will tell you how you die. You die alone. I'm sorry."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that you will collect a lot of powers. You will kill many people. You will become strong. The strongest of them all. But in the end, it won't make any difference. We all gather to stop you. You're alone. No one will mourn your death. No one will shed a tear. No one. I wish I could change fate, but you must go on your path."

-Hiro keeps up his end of the deal and tells Sylar his future.

"It's over."
"Excuse me, do I know you?"
"Nope. Not yet."
"I'm sorry... are you okay?"
"I think I may have ruined my chance at finding true love."
"The course of true love never did run smooth. It's a messy business, friend. Good luck."

-Hiro and Noah bond over their relationship troubles.

"Happily. Ever. After."

-Hiro after Charlie kisses him.

"I've got my own butterflies that need crushing."

- Samuel (to Hiro)

Character Appearances


  • This is the first episode where Robert Knepper is credited with the main cast, even though the press release from the start of the season mentioned him as so.
  • When the two Hiros talk, future Hiro compares Charlie to Mary Jane Watson while past Hiro references Marle and Crono from the Super Nintendo RPG Chrono Trigger. In the console RPG, Crono dies but is saved due to the use of time travel. In Hiro's blog, Hiro described the formerly dead Charlie as his "Gwen Stacy", Spider-Man's girlfriend who was killed by his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin.
  • While in the past, Hiro says, "Oh, boy" and "Great Scott" as exclamations, made popular by time travelers in the television show Quantum Leap and movie Back to the Future, respectively.
  • Sendhil Ramamurthy is credited for playing a corpse.
  • Santiago Cabrera is credited for the stock footage that appears from Seven Minutes to Midnight, however, Nora Zehetner is not. This is also the first time a former regular has not been credited as a "Special Guest Star". This later occurred for David Anders in Pass/Fail, so it is possible that the tradition was dropped for Season Four.
  • Noah's professed love for poetry is a reference to Sandra saying in Genesis that she wanted to marry a poet.
  • Aury Wallington, who wrote Saving Charlie, was one of the writers of this episode.
  • When Hiro and Sylar stand face to face, the music plays harmonica like in Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • Lauren Gilmore gives Noah a key to room 108 at the Midland Motel. In an email, writer Aury Wallington said that 108 was a reference to Heroes episode 108 in which Sylar originally kills Charlie.
  • Some scenes from Seven Minutes to Midnight are seen once again but from a different perspective such as Sylar using telekinesis to pull his coffee cup to him and Sylar's attack on Charlie.
  • As later shown, though Hiro didn't drastically alter time by saving Charlie, his deal with Sylar will have an impact on Sylar through the rest of the season.
  • When Hiro sends his past self six months into the past, Past Hiro teleports away easily. However, at that point he could not do so without intense concentration until he got the Kensei sword.

See Also

previous: Strange Attractors Once Upon a Time in Texas next: Shadowboxing
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 EpisodesHeroes Reborn EpisodesAll Episodes