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Episode:How to Stop an Exploding Man

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How to Stop an Exploding Man
Season: One
Episode number: 123
First aired: May 21, 2007
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: Allan Arkush
Previous episode: Landslide
Next episode: Four Months Later...
Heroes Interactive transcript
Where does it come from—this quest, this need to solve life's mysteries when the simplest of questions can never be answered? Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we'd be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. But that's not human nature. Not the human heart. That is not why we are here. Yet still we struggle to make a difference, to change the world, to dream of hope; never knowing for certain whom we will meet along the way. Who among the world of strangers will hold our hand, touch our hearts, and share the pain of trying.


Story Development

Maury Parkman · Parking garage · Explosion · Exploding Man · Kyoto, Japan · Takezo Kensei · Niki's victims


After killing Linderman, Niki asks D.L. why he didn't phase the bullet through himself and let it hit her. D.L. urges Niki to get Micah, but Niki tells D.L. that only he can get them out. Linderman's guards storm into the room to only find it empty.

With Matt on the floor, Molly recognizes Officer Parkman and asks if he's there to keep her safe. He realizes who she is, and reassures her that no one will hurt her, looking towards Mohinder and Mr. Bennet with their guns drawn.

Hiro rushes out of Jittetsu Arms and ponders Ando's fate. Kaito urges Hiro to forget his friend and remember his mission, but Hiro asks his father to not lose faith in him. Kaito asks him not forget his legacy and hands him the repaired sword. Hiro teleports away.

Sylar enters a trance and begins to see flashes of the future. He begins to paint a standoff between himself and Peter at Kirby Plaza. When realizing who he is facing off against, he angrily slashes a painting of Peter.

With a tape of his earlier speech playing, Nathan is visited by Angela in his office and is informed of Linderman's murder, but is assured that the plan will continue. Angela notes that the plan was not Linderman's alone, and Nathan responds that he is not necessary for the explosion to occur.

Niki and D.L. get to the 42nd floor, but D.L. urges her to go alone, saying that she has the strength and always did.

While Mohinder and Mr. Bennet drag Thompson's body, Bennet discusses how the Company used to stand for something, but is now corrupt. Molly cries out that she is not feeling well and Mohinder rushes over to help her. Bennet answers a call from Claire who informs him of Sylar's murder of Ted and that Sylar has stolen Ted's ability. Bennet asks to talk to Peter and tells him that Peter's the only one who can stop Sylar. When asked how they'll find him, Bennet tells Peter of a tracking system being fixed.

Peter runs to find Claire.

Peter pulls the rental car into a parking lot, where Nathan is waiting. Claire tells Peter that Nathan isn't trustworthy and isn't needed, but Peter tells her that he's afraid and needs his brother. He reads Claire's thoughts to reveal Claire's distrust for Peter now. Peter goes to Nathan and informs him about Sylar and that he needs his brother's help. Nathan says Claire doesn't need to be involved, but Peter tells him that she's the only one who can stop Sylar or himself. Unnoticed, Claire has left the car and run away. As Nathan talks, Peter reads Nathan's thoughts about the explosion and realizes that he cannot trust his brother, as Claire had urged. Realizing Claire is not now in the car, he runs to find her, turning invisible. He runs outside, but is overwhelmed by his glowing hands and passes out. Meanwhile, Claire has been found by Angela.

With Molly still weak, Bennet urges Mohinder to make Molly's ability work to find Sylar. Matt asks how she does it and if she can find anyone in the world. Molly tells him she cannot find one person, who is much worse than Sylar. She states that when she thinks about this individual, the person can see her. Bennet reminds Molly of the task at hand, and she locates him on Reed Street, prompting Bennet's realization that Sylar is at Isaac's loft. Bennet calls Claire, but Angela, who is watching Claire with Nathan, answers the phone. When Bennet asks where Claire is, Angela replies that she is with her family. After Bennet proclaims that he is her family, Angela reminds him that she was given to him for watching over, but he has done a poor job so far. When asked where they're taking her, Angela tells Bennet they're leaving to safety and that he should do the same soon. Bennet talks to Claire and tells her to leave with them, but then escape when safe. He asks where Peter is, but she does not know. Bennet tells Claire he has a plan and loves her. After the call, he tells Matt that their new priority is to find Peter so that he can stop Sylar. Matt tells Bennet that Peter is not needed and that he is going to stop Sylar now by himself, even if he may get killed.

Peter, unconscious in the street, awakes in a dream on the rooftop of the Deveaux building. He's surprised to see himself pushing out Charles Deveaux in a wheelchair with Angela in tow. After leaving the two friends, this other Peter meets Simone. When asked about their parents' connections, the other Peter notes that Angela is full of surprises. He goes on to tell Simone that he is not a hero, but that Charles is, explaining his thoughts on death, beauty and life. After seeing his other self and Simone leave, Peter overhears Charles talking to Angela about Linderman's plan and that he believes Peter is special. He believes that heart will save the world, not strength: Peter is the key, not Nathan. Angela disagrees, and that the bomb will occur and Nathan will lead the world after. Charles expresses his disagreement on the inevitability of the explosion and that he won't live to see the true outcome. Angela wishes him well and leaves her good friend. Charles then acknowledges Peter's presence in what seemed to Peter to be a dream.

Hiro teleports to save Ando.

Ando enters Isaac's loft with his sword in hand. While looking at a painting, he slips on blood on the floor. When he turns around, Sylar throws the sword behind him and chokes Ando. After seeing the 9th Wonders! comic on the floor, he pins Ando to the wall. Sylar reads through the comic and sees his death, thinking Hiro is a silly man and cannot kill him. Ando tells Sylar he cannot take his brain, but Sylar asks what he would want with Ando's brain. After asking Ando where Peter is, he begins to cut Ando at the throat when Hiro teleports in. He retrieves Ando's sword and confronts Sylar. Sylar reminds Hiro that in the time it takes Hiro to stop time, he will have already cut Ando's head off and asks Hiro what he will do next. Hiro then teleports across the room and grabs Ando, teleporting away.

Niki finds a door open, with what appears to be Jessica sitting on a couch. She shows Niki Micah passed out on the floor with blood on his face. She then kicks Niki in the face while she is bent over.

Matt enters Isaac's loft with his gun at the ready. While walking around, he notices various paintings, including the painting of Sylar in Kirby Plaza. He then rushes out of the loft.

Mohinder gathers Molly's supplies and tells Molly they're leaving after Matt called because "the boogeyman" is coming. Molly pauses and then tells him that Sylar is already there.

After discussing their plans to leave, Nathan and Angela are questioned by Claire about why they aren't trying to stop the explosion. Nathan notes that the future explosion is inevitable. When Claire tries to ask why they would let Peter die, Angela notes that he will survive because he has Claire's ability. When Claire asks Nathan why he would let Peter be responsible for so many deaths, Nathan asks for her trust and embraces her. Angela says they are offering her a chance at being with a family. Claire tells the two that she has a family and jumps out of the window. She crashes onto the street, regenerates, and walks away. Angela urges Nathan to not go after her.

Niki and Jessica continue to fight with each other, ending with Niki being knocked into a mirror, shattering it. Niki glances down at a shard of the mirror. The real Jessica, in the mirror, tells Niki that the woman fighting her is not Jessica, and pleads with Niki to stop the woman and find Micah. Niki then punches the other Jessica, sending her across the room. Candice's illusion fades away, with "Micah" disappearing. Niki then hears Micah's cries from a locked closet and she rips the door open. Micah asks if it's really her. Niki looks into the mirror and only sees herself and confirms that it is her.

Molly and Mohinder try to leave, and find D.L. injured on the floor. While Mohinder examines D.L., Molly tries to use the elevator, but it does not work. Mohinder notes it must have been disabled, and tells Molly to look in the stairwell for people coming.

Hiro leaves Ando.

At Yamagato Industries, Hiro and Ando teleport to the office. Hiro tells Ando that he must go on the journey alone. Ando tells him that he's not afraid, but Hiro tells him he learned bravery from Ando. Ando reminds him of the heroic stories Hiro has told him, and believes that people will one day speak of Hiro Nakamura in the same way. Hiro gives his sword to Ando. He tells Ando the sword does not make the man, but the journey, and that he is ready. After Ando tells him he looks "bad-ass", Hiro takes Ando's sword and teleports away.

Charles notes to Peter that invisibility would be a good ability to have. Peter asks how he's here, wondering if it's a dream, him time-traveling, or if Charles is doing it. Charles tells him that he's there because he needs to be: to learn that he will save the world. Charles notes that Peter has the ability to love unconditionally, reminding him of a previous conversation that love is all that matters. He yells aloud that he is tired, and Peter watches his other self come and wheel Charles away. Mr. Bennet wakes Peter up, noting the tracking system's success in finding Peter. Bennet tells Peter that Claire is with Peter's mother and leaving the city. He tells Peter that he's paying Peter back for saving Claire by helping him stop Sylar. Peter asks how he can be stopped in case he can't stop the radioactive ability, but Bennet tells him he'll shoot him himself. When Peter thanks Mr. Bennet, he replies, "Call me Noah."

Molly tells Mohinder that the guards are coming up the stairs. Just then, Micah and Niki emerge. Micah sees that his father is hurt and on the ground. Mohinder tells them that they have to go. Niki removes the door handle from the stairwell, while Micah summons the elevator. The group boards the elevator before the guards can arrive.

Bennet and Peter arrive at Kirby Plaza, where Sylar sneaks up on the two and telekinetically throws Bennet across the plaza, disabling him. Sylar asks if he's killed Peter before, but Peter quips that it didn't take. Sylar begins to choke Peter telekinetically when Matt arrives, firing mulitple shots at Sylar. Sylar catches the shots in midair and projects them back at Matt, injuring him. As Micah, Niki, D.L., Molly and Mohinder all exit the Kirby Plaza Building, Mohinder notices Matt is injured and goes to attend to him. Sylar tells Peter he will not let him ruin it for him by exploding and grabs a nearby parking meter, sending it across the plaza to his hand. After hitting Peter, Niki sees the ensuing conflict and steps in. She grabs the parking meter from Sylar and swings it into his stomach. Peter gets up, tells Niki to go to her family, then absorbs her enhanced strength and engages Sylar in hand-to-hand combat. Sylar begins to laugh as Peter's hands begin to glow. Peter yells in disbelief, but Sylar tells Peter that he is the villain and Sylar is in fact the hero. Suddenly, Hiro appears and stabs Sylar, proclaiming "Yatta!", and proving Sylar wrong that he's indeed the villain, not the hero he thought he was. Peter sees Hiro and asks him to kill him so he will not explode. Suddenly, Sylar telekinetically throws Hiro across the plaza. Hiro manages to teleport away before he hits the side of a building. Sylar smiles and lays his head down, with visions of all his victims flashing, ending with himself.

Peter explodes over New York City.

Peter continues to grow in intense light when Claire arrives. She takes the gun from her father and approaches Peter. Peter tells her she has to kill him, telling her she's the only one. She asks if there's any other way, but he tells her there is no other way. Suddenly, Nathan flies in, telling his daughter that there is another way. He says the future isn't written in stone and lowers the gun. Peter tells Nathan that he can't control his ability, but Nathan tells him he's not leaving and there's another way to end it. Peter tells Nathan he cannot let his brother die, but Nathan says he will not let others die. He tells Peter that Peter saved the cheerleader, so they can save the world. After expressing love for one another, Nathan carries Peter and flies high into the sky. As the others look to the heavens, a large explosion occurs, peacefully burning out.

As Matt is carted away by EMTs, Molly runs to him and asks him not to die because he is her hero. She is held by Mohinder as Matt is loaded into an ambulance.

Bennet asks Claire if she's ready to go home, but she recalls that their house is burned down. Bennet reminds her that home is wherever their family is. Claire jokingly asks if her father has a plan. Bennet nods.

A streak of blood from from where Sylar laid to an open manhole stretches across the plaza. A cockroach crawls on the manhole cover, ending Volume One.

We dream of hope, we dream of change, of fire, of love, of death. And then it happens; the dream becomes real, and the answer to this quest, this need to solve life's mysteries finally shows itself like the glowing light of the new dawn. So much struggle for meaning, for purpose. And in the end, we find it only in each other. Our shared experience of the fantastic and the mundane. The simple human need to find a kindred. To connect. And to know in our hearts... that we are not alone.

Volume Two begins in a field, where Hiro comes falling out of the sky. Hiro picks himself up and brushes off from his rough landing. Hearing the sound of horses, Hiro turns to meet a small outfit of ancient Japanese samurai preparing to shoot arrows. As he turns to flee from the band of samurai, he sees another samurai appear from over the hill. The lone samurai is flying a banner different to that of the other small unit of samurai: Hiro sees the lone figure on top of the hill flying the familiar symbol on his banner -- it is Takezo Kensei, and Hiro appears to be sandwiched between a battle about to take place between Kensei and the small band of samurai. Hiro utters an expletive as both sides draw swords, and location information comes onscreen: it is somewhere outside Kyoto, Japan, year 1671. Before the fight begins however, a giant shadow moves across the land, causing all those on the field to momentarily forget about the imminent conflict to look up at the sky: the sun has darkened from a familiar sight - a perfect solar eclipse.

Memorable Quotes

"You cannot take my brain!"

"Please. What would I want with your brain?"

- Ando, Sylar

"So you'll know I'll be back."

"But... your sword?"

"'It is not the sword. It is the man.' This man is ready."

- Hiro, Ando

"Call me Noah."

- Mr. Bennet

"Haven't I killed you before?"

"Didn't take."

- Sylar, Peter

"Turns out you're the villain, Peter. I'm the hero."

- Sylar

"Please tell me there's another way!"

"Do it. There's no other way."

"Yes there is, Claire. The future isn't written in stone."

- Claire, Peter, and Nathan

"You saved the cheerleader, so we could save the world."

- Nathan (to Peter)

Character Appearances


  • All main characters appear in this episode.
  • Mr. Bennet's first name is finally revealed as Noah.
  • According to the NASA Catalog of Solar Eclipses four Solar Eclipses occurred in 1671, all of them only partial. The 1671 Sep 03 Eclipse was observable from Japan and reached a magnitude of 0.331, far from being total as depicted at the end of this episode.
  • Hiro's "expletive" in Japanese is "大ピンチ" (dai pinchi), which translates as "big (or huge) pinch", an expression to express that he is in big trouble, and is not considered particularly rude. Interestingly enough, this same expression was translated as "I'm stuck" in "Six Months Ago."
  • After Niki knocked Candice out, Candice lost control of her power and the illusions of Jessica and Micah vanished, yet she returned to her usual appearance instead of reverting to her "huge form" of Betty.
  • When Matt tries to shoot Sylar, four distinct gunshots can be heard (although five bullets can be seen discharged from the gun). When the camera shifts, a total of five bullets can be seen in mid-air. When the camera shifts again (facing Sylar) only four bullets hover in mid-air.
  • Sylar asks Peter whether he'd already killed him, and Peter replies that it didn't take. In Homecoming, when questioned by Jackie about being grounded, Claire gives the same reply.
  • The climax of this episode has a lot in common with a crucial scene from the 1976 film Marathon Man. Both were filmed in the same location in Los Angeles (called "Kirby Plaza" in Heroes), although both scenes are supposed to take place in New York City. In both, a principal character who operates under an assumed name is stabbed. In Heroes, he is called Sylar; in Marathon Man he is Scylla. In both cases, the stabbing victim is left for dead, but manages to leave the scene.
  • When the camera moves over the open manhole displayed when Sylar's body disappears, Mohinder mentions the word "kindred". Kindred is the next episode in which we see Sylar.
  • The opening narration by Mohinder is a longer version of the opening narration from Genesis.

See Also

previous: Landslide How to Stop an Exploding Man next: Four Months Later...
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