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Season: Three
Episode number: 313
First aired: December 15, 2008
Written by: Jeph Loeb
Directed by: Greg Beeman
Previous episode: Our Father
Next episode: A Clear and Present Danger
Heroes Interactive transcript
On the sixth day, God created Man in his own image. Now it’s up to us to figure it all out. Right... wrong... good... evil. In each of us is the capacity to decide what drives our actions. So what is it, then, that makes some choose selflessness, the need to devote themselves to something greater, while others know only self-interest, isolating themselves in a world of their own making? Some seek love, even if unrequited, while others are driven by fear and betrayal. There are those who see their choices as dark proof of God’s absence while others follow a path of noble destiny. But in the end, good, evil, right or wrong... what we choose is never what we really need, for that is the ultimate cosmic joke: the real gift that God has left behind.


Story Development

Ability supercharging · Ability replication



At Pinehearst, Peter looks up from his dead father as Nathan enters. Nathan says, "You finally did it", but Peter explains that Sylar was responsible. Peter says it had to end that way and the formula needs to be destroyed, but Nathan says it’s too late and the Marines have already received the formula. Nathan says the plan to give people abilities now belongs to them and warns Peter not to get in the way. Nathan wonders how long it’ll be before Peter shoots him, and he plans to finish what Arthur started. Nathan reaches for the gun and warns Peter he’s going to have to choose a side. Peter apologizes and starts to hand him the gun, but then knocks him unconscious.

At Primatech, Noah, Angela, Claire and Meredith arm themselves and go out into the hallway, only to find dead security guards. Sylar is in the surveillance room and puts the building into emergency shutdown. He tells them over the loudspeakers that he killed Arthur. He says they see him as a monster, but notes they did that to him. He says that, one by one, he’s going to prove to them that they’re all monsters, just like him.

Noah figures out where Sylar must be broadcasting from and starts leading the others there. Sylar taunts them over the loudspeaker while Claire explains how to stop someone who can regenerate. Sylar talks to Claire, saying they can’t be damaged except by a broken heart. The group splits up and Claire and Angela enter the study. Claire figures Sylar is looking at them on the security cameras and calls him a "sick bastard". Noah and Meredith barge into the surveillance room to find a security guard with his throat cut. Sylar informs them they’re not hunting him: he's hunting them.

Hiro remains clinging to a flagpole, thanks to Arthur.

On the Deveaux rooftop 16 years ago, Hiro is hanging from the flagpole and talking to a pigeon. In the present, Ando, Daphne, and Matt go to Mohinder’s laboratory in search of Mohinder. Daphne figures he’s at Pinehearst and takes off for there, using her ability.

At Pinehearst, Mohinder reveals the infection has spread to his lungs and he needs to inject the formula to cure himself. He prepares to do so, but Peter arrives and tells Mohinder they have to destroy the formula. Mohinder says that he needs the formula to save himself. Suddenly, the formula disappears from Mohinder’s hand as Daphne runs through at super speed and steals it. Mohinder asks Peter where it is and knocks him to the floor. Flint and Knox arrive and Flint threatens Mohinder for his earlier attack, while Knox figures that Peter is on their side and wants to destroy the place as well. Flint explains that if the formula gives powers to others, they won't be so special. Mohinder tries to appeal to Peter, saying Nathan plans to do good with the formula, but Peter informs him Nathan isn't in charge.

Scott wakes up Nathan and tells him he was the only Marine injected with the formula and that he was sent by Tracy to check on him. Knox appears and breaks Scott's neck. Knox tells Nathan he's working with Peter, who is one of the good guys now, and they're going to wait until the formula's destroyed.

Daphne returns to Mohinder's New York laboratory with the formula. Ando insists it is his destiny to gain the power to travel through time and save Hiro. Matt points out Ando could get any number of powers but Daphne points out she wanted to run and gained the ability to run. Matt, worried about what people thought about him, had gained telepathy. Ando injects himself and then passes out.

Sixteen years in the past, Hiro manages to shimmy along the flagpole to the ledge and climb back to the rooftop. He goes downstairs and finds young Hiro holding the healed dove and mourning the death of his mother. Young Hiro wonders why Hiro is sad, and Hiro says that his father gave him a simple task which he failed to complete. Hiro asks young Hiro for his help finding a piece of paper with numbers and figures: Kaito's complete formula. Young Hiro is hesitant, but Hiro asks what his mother would say. He promises young Hiro he can save tomorrow and young Hiro agrees.

Claire tries to call out but the phone lines are dead. Angela tells her that she’s giving Sylar the attention he’s been starved for. The phone rings and Sylar tells her that Claire can walk out with Noah and Meredith if Claire shoots Angela dead. When Claire refuses, Sylar suggests she give him Noah instead and tells her to talk to Noah about who turned him into a monster. Claire says if he hurts her father, she’ll hunt him down and kill him. Sylar says, "You've gone from cheerleader to stone-cold killer. Who's the monster now?". She cocks the shotgun, glances at Angela, then shoots the phone. "You are", Claire says.

Noah releases Eric Doyle, Danny Pine, and Echo DeMille from Level 5. Noah explains that Sylar is in the building, and he'll let the person who kills Sylar walk free, but Sylar will kill them if they try to escape. As they leave, Meredith warns Noah that they don't stand a chance, and Noah explains that they're bait.

Ando's ability manifests.

Peter demolishes the laboratory, despite Mohinder's warning that the formula is highly combustible. He tells Peter his accomplices are thieves and murderers. Flint slams him into a wall, stunning him, and helps Peter wreck the lab. Peter examines him and says Flint didn't have to hurt Mohinder, but Flint says now they can destroy the lab twice as fast.

Matt wakes Ando. Ando tries to activate the time-travel ability, but cannot. Daphne suggests that he squint like Hiro. Nothing happens. Frustrated, Ando slams his hand down on a table - and his hand briefly glows with red sparks.

Meredith makes her way through the hallways and finds Danny Pine’s severed, partially metallic arm. A vial of adrenaline rolls down the hallway from a storage closet. Sylar appears behind Meredith and says "adrenaline can kick-start a dead heart". He telekinetically knocks Meredith's gun from her, but Eric Doyle appears and takes control of his limbs. Doyle says Meredith is his to love or kill. Sylar asks, "Do you really think that you can control me?" and, despite not having control of his body, is able to escape Doyle's control. Doyle collapses to the ground, bleeding from the nose. Meredith grabs her gun but Sylar injects a syringe of adrenaline into her chest. She collapses; Sylar says he has one more thing to do.

On Level 5, Noah finds Echo DeMille, dead, his throat slit. Meredith is in a cell, unable to control her pyrokinesis. Noah goes in and puts down his gun; Meredith warns Noah to stay back. Sylar takes all but one bullet out of the gun and closes the cell door. Noah points the gun at Sylar, but Sylar says the glass is bulletproof. He tells Noah he's going to need the one remaining bullet to kill Meredith, and asks him what he'll tell Claire when Meredith is dead with a bullet between her eyes. He says that Noah helped make him into what he is and now he’s returning the favor.

Knox is watching Nathan, who warns him that he's backing the wrong horse and all Peter does is disappoint the people who believe in him. Knox can sense his fear; Nathan says he isn't afraid of anyone and clubs Knox with a glass decoration. After a brief struggle, Knox gets the upper hand and is about to punch Nathan, but Tracy arrives and freezes Knox solid, causing his body to shatter.

Ando tries to control his ability. When Matt touches him, his telepathic powers suddenly become magnified, allowing him hear the thoughts of everyone in the city. Daphne touches Ando and suddenly accelerates incredibly fast. She finds herself on the balcony several seconds in the past. Matt turns and sees Daphne, and asks where she went. Daphne explains what happened and deduce that she traveled back in time.

Meredith tries weakening the glass so that she and Noah can escape.

Sylar transmits an image of Noah and Meredith to Claire in the study. Angela warns that Sylar wants them to go down there but Claire doesn't care. They make their way down the hallway but Sylar abducts Angela and then ambushes Claire. He asks why Claire continues to protect Noah after all the lies and neglect. He drops her and she runs away to the cell. Noah tells her the keypad code only to discover Sylar has ripped it out. Noah tells Meredith to concentrate her heat in her hands and press them to the glass. He ducks for cover as Meredith puts her hands against the glass. Noah tells them to stand back and shoots the glass. It cracks, but doesn't break. Claire then leaps at the window, shattering it. She pulls a piece of glass out of her left shoulder and asks Meredith to come with them. Meredith asks for a minute alone and tells them to go after Sylar. Claire says she'll come back for her and goes with Noah.

Tracy tells Nathan that the situation is still deniable and he can't be associated with the disaster. She says if they can find the formula, they can start over. He's reluctant to run away but she says he hired her because she's a realist. He tells her she’s fired and leaves.

Matt explains that Ando has become an ability supercharger and can make Daphne fast enough to travel through time. Daphne suggests Ando keep super-charging her and she departs with him into the past.

Hiro and Young Hiro get into Kaito's safe and takes out the piece of paper with the complete formula. Kaito finds them and asks what they're doing. Hiro tries to claim they were playing and Kaito sends Young Hiro outside. He then draws a sword, accuses Hiro of being a thief, and asks who he is. Hiro tries to defend himself with a bread stick without any success. Kaito gives him one last chance to explain and Hiro says if the formula is destroyed now, it can never be used. Kaito refuses to believe him and Hiro rips the paper in half. Kaito swings at him, but Daphne whisks Hiro away at superspeed. Kaito considers the two separate halves of the formula and holds them up to each other.

Daphne returns Ando and Hiro to the present. Ando explains he now has powers and Hiro says that he was just about to destroy the formula. Daphne knows where it is and Hiro asks her to make up for her past and take him to it. Matt tells them to go and she leaves with Hiro.

Tracy has frozen open Arthur's safe and has the formula. Daphne and Hiro arrive and Hiro says it is his duty to destroy the formula. Tracy isn't impressed and tries to walk by them. Hiro apologizes and then punches her in the face. He takes the formula and Daphne takes him out.

Flint ignites Pinehearst into flames.

Flint and Peter tip over the main tank of formula, which spills over Mohinder and wakes him up. His mutated skin fades away while Flint prepares to blow the place up. Peter wants to get the people out, including Nathan, but Flint says he doesn’t care. Nathan hits him over the head, stunning him, and then punches Peter and knocks his legs out from under him with a piece of pipe. Flint wakes up and ignites the puddles of formula, setting the lab on fire. Peter grabs a dose of the formula and injects himself, then flies out with Nathan into the sky just as the laboratory explodes.

Sylar confronts Angela in the study and she says that she was right about him, that he's a hero for killing Arthur and saving the world. He disagrees but she says she dreamed about it and there's no one left to take advantage of him. Sylar says she’s there to take advantage of him, and asks if she's his mother. He says he can tell if she’s lying and she admits she's not his mother. He admits that for one moment he wishes she were, and asks why she did it. She says her sons have been a disappointment and she wanted to give her love to him, but he can tell she's lying. She explains she needed him to work for the Company and saw him as a killer and a monster that could be manipulated. She admits she's a monster too. He telekinetically starts choking her, and asks her if there is no good in the world. He demands that she tell him something that makes him believe that not everyone is a monster like him, and Angela says she knows who his real parents are. She warns that if he kills her, he'll never find out, but he chokes her and demands answers. Claire comes up behind him and stabs him in the brain with a piece of glass. An alarm goes off and Noah arrives and says they need to leave now. Claire tells her father to get Angela out and goes to see Meredith. Meredith is blazing out of control and tells her to go, and Noah arrives to tell her she has to leave. They run out of the hallway as flames sweep through the building.

Peter drops Nathan to the ground, and Nathan asks why Peter saved him. Peter insists he loves him and Nathan says it isn't what he would have done. Nathan flies away, saying nothing.

Mohinder is hobbling down the highway from being beaten up by Flint earlier. A car pulls over to pick him up. He sees himself reflected in a car window, restored to normal. Tracy is driving the car. He hops inside with her and the two drive off.

Hiro and Daphne return to Mohinder’s New York laboratory and Hiro tears up the formula. Matt and Daphne embrace, and Hiro and Ando bow to each other. Matt looks up and sees a vision of Usutu looking on.

Claire, Noah, and Angela watch Primatech burn. Claire looks into the flames, ending Volume Three.

There is good and there is evil... right and wrong... heroes and villains. And if we’re blessed with wisdom, then there are glimpses between the cracks of each where light streams through. We wait in silence for these times when sense can be made... when meaningless existence comes into focus, and our purpose presents itself. And if we have the strength to be honest, then what we find there staring back at us is our own reflection, bearing witness to the duality of life. That each of us is capable of both the dark and the light... of good and evil... of either, of all. And destiny, while marching ever in our direction, can be rerouted by the choices we make. By the love we hold onto and the promises we keep.

Volume Four begins three weeks later. Nathan meets with someone in a limousine in Washington, DC, saying that their only option is to get the U.S. government involved. While the other man is going through files of Tracy, Micah, Mohinder, Matt, and Hiro, Nathan says that there are many others with powers. Stating that the evidence the man needs is there, Nathan reveals his plan: to put all powered individuals in a facility where they won't be a danger to anyone. The man agrees to get him whatever he needs, and Nathan leaves the limousine, saying, "Thank you, Mr. President."

Memorable Quotes

"Sooner or later, you're gonna have to choose a side."

- Nathan (to Peter)

"You hurt him and I swear I'll hunt you down and kill you."

"From cheerleader to stone-cold killer. Who's the monster now?"

"You are."

- Claire, Sylar

"That's the thing about the truth, Claire: stings like a bitch."

- Sylar (to Claire)

"How do you know so much about Einstein, Einstein?"

"I actually paid attention in high school... mostly."

- Daphne, Matt

"Sorry, I've got plans for this little piece of paper, Pikachu."

"Pikachu?! Excuse me."

- Tracy, Hiro

"You... are not... my mother, are you? And I can tell if you're lying."

"No, I'm not."

"For a brief moment, I wish you were."

- Sylar, Angela

"You saw me as a hero?"

"No. As a killer; a monster. You were flawed, weak, malleable. Someone I could manipulate because that's what I do. Because you're right. I'm a monster, too."

"Is there any good in this world? Tell me something; anything. Just make me believe that you're not the same as me!"

- Sylar, Angela

"I think our only real option at this point is to get the United States government involved."

"And you're saying all of these people have abilities?"

"Them, and more. A lot more. The important thing to remember is how dangerous these people can become if left unchecked. I had a solution. It proved unsuccessful. It's all there. All the evidence you need."

"What exactly is it that you're asking to do?"

"I want to round them up and put them in a facility where they won't be a danger to anyone."

"Alright, Senator. Let's get you whatever you need."

"Thank you, Mr. President."

- Nathan, The President

Character Appearances


  • The episode title was originally reported as War. It was changed to Duality, and later to Duel, and finally to Dual. At the time of airing, there was still confusion as to the name of the episode, with several print magazines and online sources reporting the name in various ways. Even NBC listed alternate spellings for the episode on the same page.
  • Sylar does the opening narration for this episode, instead of Mohinder. This marks the first time that Sylar has said the opening narration. Mohinder still does the closing narration.


  • In one of the Pinehearst scenes, Flint is seen with at least one cut on his face that may resemble The Symbol.
  • David Lawrence revealed that many scenes that took place at Primatech Research were deleted, including a scene in which Eric Doyle made Sylar dance.
  • According to Greg Beeman's blog, this episode was filmed in October 2008, before the U.S. Presidential election. Beeman said that Tim Kring "really wanted to cast an African American in the role of the President, even though, at that time it was quite uncertain how the election would turn out."

See Also

previous: Our Father Dual next: A Clear and Present Danger
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