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Episode:Don't Look Back

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Don't Look Back
Season: One
Episode number: 102
First aired: October 2, 2006
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: Allan Arkush
Previous episode: Genesis
Next episode: One Giant Leap
We all imagine ourselves the agents of our destiny, capable of determining our own fate. But have we truly any choice in when we rise or when we fall? Or does a force larger than ourselves bid us our direction? Is it evolution that takes us by the hand? Does science point our way? Or is it God who intervenes, keeping us safe?


  • Peter confronts Nathan about what happened in the alley.
  • Hiro explores New York and finds a comic book detailing his experiences, before making an awful discovery.
  • Niki and Micah are preparing to run when she discovers she's had unexpected assistance.
  • Mohinder meets a friend of his late father and begins uncovering clues.
  • Claire seeks to avoid attention for her heroics, and her lost video tape turns up in a most unexpected place.
  • Matt Parkman begins to hear thoughts, which quickly makes him both a hero and a suspect.

Story Development

Niki's tape · Jessica's Cadillac · Jessica's map · Peter's art · Brain removal · Matt Parkman · LAPD · Dyslexia · Sylar's victims · Telepathy · Sylar's message · The hunger · The algorithm · The Symbol · FBI · Marvel Comics · Guns · November 8th · New York Chronicle


In New York City, Peter Petrelli leaps off the top of a building, but instead of Peter flying as he's dreamed, it's his brother Nathan who flies up to his rescue. However, Peter's hand slips out of Nathan's, and he begins to fall. Suddenly, Peter wakes with a start in a hospital bed, with Nathan at his side. When Peter asks what happens, Nathan tells him that Peter had tried to commit suicide by jumping off the building and fell to a fire escape, where Nathan climbed up and rescued him.

In Odessa, TX, Claire Bennet asks her father about her birth parents. He tells her that's an adult decision and suggests she doesn't try to grow up too fast.

Mohinder Suresh comes into his father's apartment to find a strange man, dressed as an exterminator, messing with the phone lines. When Mohinder refuses to accept the man's story, a struggle ensues and the man pulls a gun. As he tries to leave, he collides with a woman in the hallway, dropping his gun in the process. The woman turns the gun on him and he runs off.

Hiro finds a comic book with his picture on the cover.

Hiro Nakamura is standing on the subway in Tokyo, Japan when he suddenly finds himself standing in the middle of Times Square. He walks down the street, greeting everyone in broken English, when he finds a comic book (Issue #14 of 9th Wonders!) at a newsstand. The cover illustration shows Hiro in the middle of Times Square, arms stretched wide, as he just was moments before. Eagerly flipping through the comic, Hiro begins to read but is interrupted by the newsagent who wants him to pay. He tosses the man a thousand-yen note and sprints off.

Stopping at a closed movie theatre entrance, Hiro reads excitedly a retelling of his first attempts at using his powers back in Tokyo, including a word-for-word scene of his exchange with his friend Ando about wanting to be special. Flipping to the back of the issue, he sees that it is written and illustrated by Isaac Mendez, and an address is listed.

Meanwhile, Isaac wakes up from his overdose, covered in sweat, with Simone tending to him. He tries to tell her about his latest vision of the future, the nuclear holocaust he's painted on the floor of his studio, but Simone is convinced it's all just a delusion brought on by the heroin.

At Union Wells High School, Zach runs up to Claire, who is busy talking to Brody Mitchum, the quarterback, and Jackie, a fellow cheerleader. He tries to get her attention, but she brushes him off. Principal Marks tells Claire and Jackie that the police want to talk to them about the rescue of the man from the train wreck the day before.

At her home in Las Vegas, NV, Niki Sanders wakes up to the sound of her son Micah leaving a message for her on the answering machine. The garage she uses as her webcam studio is covered in blood and the mutilated body parts of Linderman's thugs, one of whom has been torn in half while the other is impaled on a shard of mirror. Panicked, she grabs her video camera and turns to run, but catches sight of her reflection in the broken mirror. Her reflection, covered in blood stains even though Niki isn't, shushes her. Niki locks her garage and leaves, calling Micah from her cell phone and telling him she'll pick him up in five minutes. However, she can't avoid the temptation to watch the tape to see what happened to Linderman's thugs, so she pulls over to do so. The picture goes to static right at the point Niki began to stand up to the thugs, but the audio continues to play the sounds of the thugs screaming and being mutilated. Suddenly, Niki wakes up again to the sound of a phone ringing. The camera is back on the seat and her cell phone is in her hand, and she's wearing a different set of clothes. She gets out of the car and she's in a completely different location. When she answers the phone, Micah tells her four hours have passed.

Niki arrives at her friend Tina's to pick up Micah, and confesses to Tina that she found Linderman's thugs dead on the floor of her garage. She also tells Tina about the strange way her reflection has been acting, though she can't really explain it in any way that Tina can understand. Tina asks if it might have been D.L. who killed the thugs to protect Niki and Micah, but Niki says he wouldn't risk it with the police after him. Niki decides she has to run.

Back at Chandra's apartment, Mohinder and Eden, Chandra's neighbor who earlier rescued Mohinder from the phony exterminator, discuss Chandra's murder. Eden tells Mohinder that his father used to discuss his theories and the map with her. Mohinder tells her that he believes his father was murdered because of his research and asks her to help him recreate as much of it as she can remember.

In Odessa, Sheriff Davidson has lined up the Union Wells High cheerleading squad, hoping that Officer Ramsford, the firefighter who checked Claire for burns will be able to pick her out. He does so, but before Claire can give an answer about what happened, Jackie steps forward and takes the credit for the rescue. During the ensuing celebration, Claire asks the Sheriff about the injured train wreck victim and learns he's recovering.

Claire's neck is accidentally broken by Brody.

Out on the football field during practice, Zach finally tracks down Claire and tells her the tape is missing. Just then, she's knocked to the ground by Brody as she crosses the field. Only Zach sees that her neck is broken in the collision, but it heals before Brody comes to her aid.

Niki and Micah arrive home. She sends Micah into the house to pack as she enters the garage to clean up the mess, but finds everything cleared away (even her studio set-up). She finds a keychain with her name on it hanging from the ceiling. She catches her reflection in the mirror, who gestures across the street to a classic Cadillac convertible. Niki tries the keys in the ignition and finds they fit. Checking the glovebox, she finds the car was registered in her name several months ago. A heart-shaped note on the back of the registration tells her to check the trunk and follow the map. The bodies of Linderman's thugs are in there, wrapped in garbage bags, along with a map on which a route is marked.

Peter is sketching idly in his hospital bed. He draws two stick figures, one hovering above the ground while the other, wearing a tie, stands nearby. In the upper right corner of the sketch he's doodled the symbol. His mother comes into the room and asks him about what happened. She then reveals that his father was clinically depressed and committed suicide. She fears Peter's delusions of grandeur are signs that he's developing the same problem.

Hiro arrives at Isaac's studio and finds the door unlocked. He enters, and finds several paintings of the symbol and an unfinished page from 9th Wonders!. He notices a trail of blood on the floor and follows it to a gun, which he picks up, and finally to Isaac's body.

Hiro discovers Isaac's oddly mutilated corpse.

The top of Isaac's head has been sawed off and his brain removed. Just then, police storm into the studio with guns drawn, and Hiro faints.

In Los Angeles, CA, Matt Parkman is helping secure the crime scene of a double serial killing/abduction. He complains to his coworker that he'd rather be helping the investigation than running interference. A female agent enters the crime scene. Matt's coworker mentions that the detective exam test scores have been posted and consoles him about the results. Matt begins to hear a little girl's frightened voice. He follows it into the house, where a woman's body is pinned to the side of the staircase with a variety of sharp objects.

The agent he saw earlier is talking to another female agent, Audrey Hanson, who posits that the case is "Barstow all over again" and that Sylar is responsible, but the other agent brushes Sylar off as a myth. Audrey argues that the body of the missing girl's father, who is sitting at a table frozen solid with the top of his head sawed off and his brain missing (just like Isaac), fits Sylar's modus operandi. Meanwhile, Matt follows the voice to a small hidden room under the stairs where the missing girl is hiding.

In Chandra's apartment, Mohinder and Eden are still discussing Chandra's research when the phone rings. Eden notices that Chandra has messages, and then that his pet lizard (named Mohinder, like his son) is missing from his terrarium. They search for the lizard as Chandra's messages play: first, a campaign message from Nathan Petrelli, then a partially screened conversation between Chandra and Sylar. Sylar complains that he can't control "the hunger" and claims that Chandra "made (him) this way". Chandra says he did nothing to make Sylar a murderer, but Sylar insists that Chandra helped him discover his potential. Eden finds the lizard on the bookshelf. As she's returning him to his terrarium, she discovers a USB flash drive half-buried in the gravel. Mohinder plugs it into Chandra's laptop and an algorithm begins to scroll by, with the symbol tucked into the blank spaces between the identified base pairs. Mohinder believes the sequence shows that Chandra had found a way to locate evolved humans.

The ubiquitous symbol appears in a pool where Matt stands.

Back in LA, Matt is staring absentmindedly into the swimming pool, where a filtration system hose has also arranged itself to form the Symbol. Audrey and the other agent confront him about his discovery of the missing girl. Matt hears the other agent's thoughts as she decides he just lucked out. However, Audrey isn't as convinced. She asks if his anger at failing the detective exam would drive him to set himself up as a hero, and he tells her that Sylar is responsible, not him. Audrey tells him only six people even know Sylar's name and arrests him.

Niki drives the Cadillac out into the desert, following Jessica's map. She comes to a shovel stuck upright at the side of the road and gets out. Checking that Micah is sleeping soundly, she starts to dig, but uncovers the skull of a body already buried there.

Claire returns home to find her father working. He tells her he contacted the adoption agency and set things in motion for Claire to meet her birth parents. After she leaves, he return to his laptop... where he's watching the video Zach made of Claire testing her powers.

Nathan meets Peter on the roof of a building. Peter asks Nathan to tell him the truth about what happened in the alley. Nathan tells him they both flew, that Peter flew to safety after he slipped out of Nathan's grip. Peter gets upset, believing that is lying, and walks towards him, only to find himself hovering a few feet off the rooftop, recreating the scene he sketched earlier.

In Isaac's studio, two detectives question Hiro about Isaac's murder. Hiro tells the Japanese-speaking detective, Detective Furakowa that he teleported himself from Tokyo, "like Star Trek", and tells them that if he can call Ando, he'll be able to straighten everything out. Ando tells the Furakowa that Hiro has been missing for five weeks. Hiro insists it's only October 2nd, but the other detective shows him a newspaper dated November 8th, with the headline "Petrelli Wins in Landslide". Just then, Hiro hears an explosion and turns to see an atomic blast over Manhattan. He focuses hard and finds himself back on the subway in Tokyo.

For all his bluster, it is the sad providence of man that he cannot choose his triumph. He can only choose how he will stand when the call of destiny comes, hoping that he will have the courage to answer.

Memorable Quotes

"Here's my advice, if you'll indulge me: just keep things light and fun as long as you can, like cheerleading."

"Being a cheerleader is hard work—hard, treacherous work."

- Mr. Bennet, Claire

"It appears the cockroaches are the least of my problems."

"Yeah, no argument there."

- Mohinder, The exterminator

"He told me he was being watched. I thought he was just eccentric..."

"I like that you didn't use the word 'paranoid'."

- Eden, Mohinder

"Clairebear! How was school?"

"Very school-like. How was work?"

"Very work-like."

- Mr. Bennet, Claire

"Good luck on your campaign when I'm splattered all over the ground below."

- Peter, to Nathan

Character Appearances


  • The thousand yen note Hiro gives the newsie is worth about $8.50, more than enough to pay for the comic. In fact, as he runs off, Hiro yells to the man in Japanese to keep the change.
  • The address on the Cadillac's registration (37 Parker St) doesn't match the street number on Niki's curb (9734). Whether this is a continuity error or a clue is not yet apparent.
  • According to the registration, Niki's car is a '66 Caddy convertible with a V-8. The tail fins do not match the stock versions of either the DeVille or the Eldorado, the only two series offered in a convertible that year. In reality, the car is a 1959, not a 1966. Again, it's unclear whether this is an oversight or a clue.
  • The license number on Niki's car (329OCX) does not match the number printed on her registration (307RTH).
  • According to the back page of Hiro's copy of 9th Wonders!, Isaac Mendez lives at 215 Reed St. #7, New York, New York, 10010.
  • The NYPD detective in Isaac's apartment notes that Hiro is a member of the "Merry Marvel Marching Society", a Marvel Comics fan club that was disbanded in 1971. Given that Hiro's age is given as 24, he would have had to have joined eleven years before he was born. Of course, Hiro's a big enough comic fan that it's possible he made his own membership card.
  • At the end of Don't Look Back, Hiro returns from the future to the Tokyo subway car where he left at the end of Genesis. The filming of this scene involved blue-screening due to the transition between the explosion approaching the police station and Hiro standing in the subway. However, the shot of the subway used in the blue-screen background already includes Hiro with his arm raised, gripping a safety bar.
  • In the scene where Hiro is being interrogated by the police for allegedly killing Isaac, there is a typographical error in the subtitles. After "If you let me make a phone call" appears, watch out for "my English speaking friend will clear everthing up."
  • The dummy that was used for Isaac's dead corpse shares a striking resemblance with the corpse of the unnamed male in the photo Mr. Bennet showed Eden in Homecoming. It is highly probable that the two dummies are the same.
  • This is one of the only Heroes episodes to not feature the "To Be Continued..." or "Heroes Continues... NOW!" at the end of the episode.
  • Aired on October 2, 2006, Don't Look Back is the only Heroes episode to take place in the real-world present day.
  • The graphic novel The Crane continues one of the storylines told in Don't Look Back. The Crane tells what happened when Hiro returned to Tokyo from his first visit to New York City.
  • The graphic novel Elle's First Assignment, Part 2 continues a storyline in Don't Look Back because it shows how Mr. Bennet got the tape from Zach.

See Also

previous: Genesis Don't Look Back next: One Giant Leap
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