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Episode:A Clear and Present Danger

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A Clear and Present Danger
Season: Three
Episode number: 314
First aired: February 2, 2009
A Clear and Present Danger.jpg
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: Greg Yaitanes
Previous episode: Dual
Next episode: Trust and Blood
Heroes Interactive transcript


Story Development

Capturing of evolved humans · Emile Danko · Samson Gray



Tracy speaks on the phone with the governor in her apartment. He tells her to switch on the TV, which is featuring an interview with Nathan Petrelli, the now chairman of Homeland Security. Tracy assures the governor she doesn't know anything about what he's doing, and she hasn't spoken to Nathan in two months. On TV, Nathan talks about protecting the American people from a serious threat. As Tracy dresses, she notices the bathroom window is open. After closing and locking it, she turns to see a man in a commando outfit. She grabs his arm and tries to freeze him but can't since he is insulated. She tries to run into the living room where she finds other armed men. She refuses to beg and demands to know what they want, one of them shoots her with a taser dart, and has the other men cover her hands. The leader calls to tell Petrelli they have the first one.

Hiro takes Ando to a fire station and explains that it's now their lair. He presents Ando with a new spandex costume and explains that superheroes must hide their identity. Ando figures that Hiro wants to live through him, and his power is worthless. Hiro disagrees and says it's his destiny to be a superhero. Ando disagrees and Hiro reveals the Ando-cycle, complete with a communications link to their "lair". Hiro can track his location with a GPS implant, and injects Ando with the implant. He explains he has a GPS as well, and the system is keyed to the password of someone he cares about. Ando insists he has had enough and rides away on the Ando-cycle.

Peter is working as a paramedic and dealing with a car accident victim. He's unable to save the victim and his partner Hesam finally pulls him off when Peter refuses to give up. Peter insists he could have saved him, had he been stronger.

Claire is going over college brochures when Angela comes in and says that an elite education is vital. Claire isn't so sure but Angela insists she try to have a normal life. Claire worries about Sylar but Angela insists that he is dead. Her granddaughter doesn't believe her, saying that her father keeps going on trips and she'll find Sylar if no one else believes her.

Sylar confronts his "father."

In Baltimore, Sylar goes to a watch shop and picks up a watch. The owner, Martin Gray, comes in and points a shotgun at him thinking he's a thief. Sylar asks where he lived 27 years ago and if he walked out on his family. Sylar says he is Martin's son and has some questions for him.

Daphne superspeeds back into her apartment where Matt is eating. She says she's been working but he's unhappy that she's been using her powers when he's refused to. He wants to live a normal life but she insists it's boring. However, as he talks, a vision of Usutu appears to him. Daphne, who can't see it, says she'll go along with his plans.

As Claire is leaving, she overhears Angela talking to someone. As she listens in and hears that it is Nathan talking to Angela, who admits she can't control Claire. Nathan warns that they have to keep Claire away from Matt and Peter because they're going to take them down. Claire sees that Angela has seen her and walks out, and Angela warns Nathan they have a bigger problem.

Martin explains that he's a different person now and that it was a mistake to have a child with Sylar's mother. Sylar, using his ability, knows that he is not the son of a watchmaker and a woman who collected snow globes and demands answers, and Martin explains that a man who needed money gave Sylar to him. His wife couldn't have children and Martin thought it was the perfect answer. Martin explains the man was his brother and gives Sylar an address, before telling him to leave. Sylar knows he speaks the truth and considers using his power to get more information but decides not to and leaves.

Peter watches as the dead man is taken away. His partner asks if Peter plans to visit his brother, who is in town for the day. He admits that Nathan scares him because he's talking about putting away people who are "different," and figures Peter wouldn't understand. Peter says he doubts it, then takes a call from Claire. She warns him about Nathan's plan to round up people and that Matt is their next target. Peter goes to talk to Angela while Claire goes to warn Matt. Peter gets in a cab and finds that Mohinder is the driver. They speak in a friendly manner, Peter asks Mohinder if he ever had the feeling like he was meant to do something extraordinary and they share a laugh. Mohinder notes that they're all keeping a low profile, except for Nathan. He says that the possibility of uncontrolled powers is a major risk and he's willing to let the government take control. They get to their destination and Mohinder lets him out.

Mohinder doesn't go quietly.

Once Peter is gone, a man gets in the cab behind him. It's the leader of the commando team, and he points a gun at Mohinder, telling him to drive. They go to a parking lot where men in black commando suits are waiting with guns. The man tells Mohinder to get in their van. As Mohinder gets out, he rips off the car door, knocks out the leader, and uses the door as a shield. He runs away and Noah arrives in a SUV and rescues him. As they escape, Noah asks him who he's been in contact with. They get to the exit only to discover that the hunter and his men have cut them off. Noah apologizes and then tasers Mohinder, who staggers out of the car and collapses.

Peter arrives at Angela's home and finds Nathan waiting for him. Nathan informs his brother that their mother isn't there and apologizes for not having seen him in a while. He says it's all his own plan, not his father's plan and he's taking a cautious approach because he was shot the last time he tried to go public. Peter accuses him of being a hypocrite and Nathan says he'd like his input. Peter isn't interested but Nathan asks for a chance to talk over dinner. Peter gives in and leaves, but as he goes Nathan asks him what he can do. Peter points out that the last thing Nathan saw him do was fly, and then leaves.

At his apartment, Matt notices that his turtle has gotten out of his tank. Usutu appears to him and says he has a message for him, and explains that he's an illusion. Usutu says that Matt is on a journey to become a prophet and the world needs him to tell them the future. He says that Matt will learn how to paint the future. Matt sits down with paper and pencil; his eyes turn white almost immediately and he starts to sketch.

Hiro tracks Ando and calls him, trying to apologize. Ando say that he's fighting crime but Hiro pinpoints his location on the computer and discovers he's at a strip club. Ando has no interest in helping people, but he hears the sounds of an attack at Hiro's end. He gets on his motorcycle and heads back to the lair, as men in black take an unconscious Hiro out.

Matt and Claire look at some sketches.

Matt finishes a picture of himself and Claire examining a picture as someone knocks on his door. He draws a gun and finds Claire. She asks if anyone has come to get him and Matt shows her the drawings. There are several other drawings and he says he doesn't understand. He finds another picture of himself with a dart in his neck, just as someone shoots a dart through the window into his neck. The men in black arrive and hold Claire at gunpoint as Matt goes down.

Peter arrives at his apartment and finds Nathan waiting for him. Nathan apologizes for disowning him and says what he's doing is important for the country and the world. He says Peter can't live his life normally because he's not normal, and says he can make special arrangements. Peter wonders what he wants and Nathan says he wants to know that Peter is with him. Peter refuses and says that he'll fight him if necessary. Nathan smiles and asks for a hug, and Noah tasers Peter from behind.

Sylar goes to the home of Samson Gray, taxidermist. The door is open and he walks inside. Sylar finds a picture of himself as a child on the mantelpiece as well as a snow globe. He also notices a smoking cigarette in an ash tray. More men in black emerge, shoot him with tranquilizer darts, and try to immobilize him. Sylar uses his telekinesis to send them back and his electrical powers to stun them. He pulls one of the men to him and demands answers, then starts to slice the man's head open until he talks. The man, Simmons, gives his name but nothing else and Sylar continues to torture him for information.

Back at the lair, Ando tries to come up with Hiro's password, guessing "Kaito" and "Kensei", before finally entering his own name, successfully gaining access. Hiro's location is displayed at an airfield.

At an airplane hangar, Nathan reviews the prisoners, all hooded with blacked out goggles and earmuffs, in orange jumpsuits, and confined to negate their powers. The Hunter arrives and reports that Sylar escaped. He also shows Claire to Nathan; Claire is hooded and is being kept semi-conscious. Nathan asks for a moment alone with her and he tells her to go home and forget what she's seen. She refuses but he puts her in a car and has her driven away.

As the prisoners are being loaded onto a cargo plane, Claire recovers and knocks out the driver by kicking his head into the window of the car. She sees the plane departing and runs to it, then climbs into a landing wheel bay. As the plane lifts off, Nathan looks on and then walks away.

Peter unwittingly causes the airplane to go down.

Aboard the plane, Claire emerges into the cargo hold and unhoods one prisoner: Hiro, drugged and unconscious. She finds Peter and Mohinder and removes the drug feeds from both of them. Peter manages to touch Mohinder and take his power, using it to break his shackles. As Claire frees Tracy, Peter attacks the guards. Claire grabs a taser and goes to the cockpit, stunning one guard and threatening the pilot. She discovers, to her surprise, that Noah is in the co-pilot's seat.

Peter tries to free Tracy as another guard attacks him. He gains Tracy's power and inadvertently touches the side of the plane. It freezes and shatters, and the guards and at least one prisoner are swept out. As the plane starts to go down, the netting Peter is holding onto comes unfastened and he starts to get swept out as well. Mohinder grabs him but starts to lose his grip…

Memorable Quotes

"You want me to beg!? Well, screw you! I don't beg for anyone!"

- Tracy

"I hate you..."

"I know."

- Claire, Nathan

"What can you do these days, Peter?"

"What was the last thing you saw me do?"

- Nathan, Peter

"Now, if you don't mind, I need to get some sleep."

- Tracy (to Governor)

"We have a few problems."

"Let me guess...Sylar."

- Danko, Nathan

Character Appearances


  • The phrase "clear and present danger" refers to language used by the Supreme Court in its ruling on Schenck vs. the United States. Under this ruling, the government could restrict someone's right to free speech if, by their actions, they presented a "clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent." Subsequent Supreme Court cases have changed the standards for judging whether restricting free speech is acceptable.
  • This episode featured a number of moments that reflected similar scenes in the pilot episode:
    • Peter and Mohinder talk about evolved humans in his cab.
    • After Peter gets out of Mohinder's cab, Danko gets in, much as Noah did.
    • Both episodes end with Peter holding onto someone for his dear life. In the case of Genesis, it was Nathan whom he held onto.
    • Tracy tells Danko's men to screw themselves, just as her triplet sister Niki told Linderman's thugs in Genesis.
  • The song playing in Martin Gray's shop is "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" by The Inkspots, on his door was a small boy, perhaps alluding to the Vault-Tec Bobbleheads from Fallout 3. "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire" is the theme for Fallout 3.
  • In the last scene when the plane is going down, we can see a masked fugitive who falls off of the plane, yet we can't see who she is. It was later revealed that this is Sparrow Redhouse.
  • According to Greg Beeman's blog, A Clear and Present Danger had 1,058 shots that had to be color timed. Scott Ostrowsky, the color timer, said that an average episode from Season One would have about 900 shots. An average episode from Tim Kring's Crossing Jordan would have about 700 shots.
  • In Greg Beeman's blog, he stated that in one of the shots where the hooded prisoners are being led out of the hanger to the plane, fireworks can be seen. This is due to the location where the scene was shot and the celebration of Halloween. The scene was shot on the night of Halloween.
  • In this episode, Peter wishes that he was stronger and faster so he can save more lives in his job as a paramedic. Ironically, in the episodes Orientation and Jump, Push, Fall, he uses enhanced strength and super speed as his powers.
  • As revealed in the graphic novels, Monica and Nana Dawson, along with Flint Gordon, were among the hooded characters on the plane, though which of them was which is unknown as they were hooded at the time. Though it's likely the Dawsons were the two prisoners directly in front of Sparrow (and by extension, directly behind Tracy), due to them both being captured at the same time and that the two were the only subsequent prisoners sitting next to each other who were left hooded.
  • The prisoners wear blacked-out goggles and earmuffs while they're hooded. Presumably, this is to meant to be a reference towards the infamous treatment of Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
  • The hooded people that were seen being lined up after Claire was sent home were a hooded Hiro, Tracy, and Sparrow, as they are on the the same row and because we can see Tracy's gloves when we first see them.
    • It is also possible that when a hooded Claire was being brought to Nathan, this same row was also seen in the background as the hooded prisoner in the front doesn't have their head tilted unlike the one Nathan had inspected earlier and had their head straight much like the other times they were seen. This same row may have also been the same row shown after the short scene of the hooded prisoner having the strap on their ability negation system readied (who may have been Tracy due to the hair slipping out of their hood) as the second prisoner in the row is much shorter than the person in the front, much like Hiro.
  • Tracy is the only hooded individual who has her hair slipping out of her hood. This can be noticed when she is in the foreground while Claire is taken to her car, you can see her hair slipping out of the back. This can also be seen when during the sequence where the hooded characters are being readied for the plane, when the camera pans up from Tracy's gloves, we see that her hair is slipping out the side of the hood. It is also possible that the hooded prisoner who had their strap for the ability negation system being readied by a guard was also Tracy, as their hair is also slipping out of their hood.
    • In behind-the-scenes footage of the episode, one extra (playing the hooded prisoner seated next to Sparrow) has her pigtails slipping out of her hood though in the actual episode, they can't be seen.
  • Hiro and Tracy (who were hooded) were earlier seen in the foreground when Claire was carried by Nathan to her transport car as Tracy is positioned right behind him and we see her gloves.
  • There are 12 hooded prisoners on the plane. Out of them, there have only been 2 whose identity is unknown and whose face we never see.
  • In what seems to be a continuity error, before Claire unhoods Hiro for the first time on the plane, he already doesn't have the earmuffs and goggles on his face.
  • Footage of the scene where Claire is taken to her transport car is used in the episode Exposed, when Peter finds Flight 195's security footage. There are some notable differences aside from the filter used in the footage. For one, the footage seems to use an alternate take which replaces the limo with a black van. And while Hiro is shown, Tracy isn't seen in the footage due to the episode cutting off that part of the footage.
  • In a very easy-to-miss moment, when the ramp of the plane is opening, there are shown to be 3 rows of prisoners instead of 2 (this could however be the hooded prisoners who weren't lined up yet getting tied to their row).
    • In a few more easy-to-miss moments, once Peter breaks free of his shackles, two prisoners (one of which being the female fugitive due to being in the same row as Peter) in the furthest back are already shown unhooded despite not being shown as such earlier (though the female fugitive did get unhooded). This happens again once Peter attacks the guard. And while Claire unhoods Hiro, a male fugitive is shown to be unhooded. Said male fugitive is also still unhooded when the plane is crashing.
  • Oddly enough, the female fugitive is the only background character in the episode to get a (admittedly short) scene where she's shown being unhooded. Though other background characters were shown unhooded on the plane too, those could be construed as continuity errors.
  • It is possible that the hooded prisoner on the left shown when the plane's ramp is opening is a hooded Matt (which means the prisoner behind him is the female fugitive). Not only is Matt directly in the front of his row, Sparrow is also shown to be in a different row than Matt and is directly seated behind both Hiro and Tracy who are both at the front of their row (said row was also shown being on the right side of the plane before it opens its ramp once Claire is sent back). Furthermore, in the security footage, while Sparrow is in the back row, she's shorter than the prisoner in front of her while the prisoner in the back of the other row is much taller than the prisoner in front of them.
    • It is also possible that the first hooded prisoner we see may have also been Matt as during Nathan's inspection, when the camera focuses on the second hooded prisoner's ability negation system, look closely at the hands of the prisoner behind them and you can see they aren't wearing any gloves unlike Tracy who is the third hooded prisoner in her row. Which would mean said second hooded prisoner was the female fugitive and the fourth hooded prisoner in the row would be Mohinder. And during the scenes where the prisoners are being readied for the plane, the prisoner who has their head tilted to their right may have also been Matt as their head stays in the same position every time they are shown ever since Nathan first inspected them.
  • Claire is the first hooded captive to have her hood be removed from her face, while Matt is the final hooded character in the episode to be unhooded (interestingly, he may have also been the first hooded prisoner we see).
  • As Rebellion, Part 1 showed, on the transport list of Flight 195, Claire may have been intended to be one of the hooded prisoners from the start before being let go. However, no empty seats were shown inside the plane.
  • It is possible the hooded prisoners shown after the shot of Hiro, Tracy and Sparrow's row may have been Peter and the person sitting next to him inside Flight 195. For one thing, each row only has 6 prisoners and Hiro, Tracy and Sparrow's row is already full, while the earlier row that was shown being inspected by Nathan earlier has only been shown to have 4 prisoners (the same row has also been shown later to still have only 4 prisoners though it's also possible they didn't show the full row) and said two prisoners are the only ones not seen attached to a row yet (and during the shot that focuses on them both, one of them has just recently been let out of the van they were in). Also in the shot before that, there is a hooded prisoner being shown alongside Hiro, Tracy and Sparrow's row. However, they are clearly not in the same row as Hiro, Tracy and Sparrow's row have already been lined up.
  • The hooded prisoners first seen inside the plane are, from the first row shown, Peter (his head is in the same pose when he gets unhooded), Mohinder and the female fugitive, while the second row has both Tracy and Sparrow.
  • Interestingly, Hiro only wakes up from his drugged state once Claire unhoods him again while Tracy immediately woke up (oddly enough, she's the only hooded prisoner gasping for breath, which may have been a side effect of being hooded and drugged for a whole day until night) once undrugged. Yet the others had more time to recover from their earlier state despite Tracy being the first to be captured.
  • In the storyboards for Flight 195's crash, none of the hooded prisoners are wearing goggles or earmuffs. The goggles and earmuffs must've been a detail added when filming for the episode began.
  • Although Sparrow's reveal only came after the episode was released, judging by behind the scenes images of the row Tracy and Hiro were in, the character appears to have been portrayed by a male extra in the episode.

See Also

previous: Dual A Clear and Present Danger next: Trust and Blood
Season Three
Volume Three: Villains

The Second ComingThe Butterfly EffectOne of Us, One of ThemI Am Become DeathAngels and MonstersDying of the LightEris Quod SumVillainsIt's ComingThe Eclipse, Part 1The Eclipse, Part 2Our FatherDual

Volume Four: Fugitives

A Clear and Present DangerTrust and BloodBuilding 26Cold WarsExposedShades of GrayCold SnapInto AsylumTurn and Face the Strange1961I Am SylarAn Invisible Thread

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