1.16 “Unexpected”

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Overview:

Peter learns to control his powers. Daddy Bennet starts firing tasers and Claude bails. Peter blames Isaac for messing everything up and Isaac accidentally puts a couple of bullets in Simone. In other news: Claire tells Daddy Bennet what a bad man he is, Mohinder and Sylar meet a mechanic with super-hearing, Hiro tells Ando to go back to Japan, and RadioTed and Matt team up to take down Daddy Bennet. I’d use words like ‘phenomenal’ and ‘jaw-dropping’, but it’s pretty much a given that this one’s a masterpiece.

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1.15 “Run!”

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Matt gets a security job. This leads to a shoot-out with Jessica and Matt pocketing $2m in diamonds. Claire wants to meet her bio-dad, but Meredith’s not so keen after blackmailing $100k out of him. Mohinder and Sylar track down a guy who liquefies solid objects. Sylar gets there first, scalps him and takes his place. And Ando helps a showgirl retrieve a bag. The Matt and Niki stories speed up, Mohinder becomes central to the plot, and Claire’s search for her bio-parents comes to a tragic resolution. The disappointment is Hiro’s thread, which comes to a total standstill.

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1.14 “Distractions”

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Overview:

Claude begins training Peter. This involves cynicism, theft and a thirty-storey fall off a rooftop. Isaac’s working for Daddy Bennet, who’s busy trying to stop Sylar from killing his family. Claire’s in no immediate danger, though, because she’s in Kermit meeting her firestarter bio-mom. Claire doesn’t know, but her bio-dad turns out to be Nathan. In other news: Papa Sulu lets Hiro return to his mission, and Jessica walks out of prison. Despite one or two flaws, this is an intensely dramatic and fast-paced hour, and as close to perfect as the show gets.

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1.13 “The Fix”

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Claude agrees to help stop Peter from exploding. This involves lots of effort from Peter, who’s not the first sponge. Claire phones her bio-mom, and she’s a firestarter. Micah robs an ATM to help D.L. pay the rent. This temporarily puts an end to D.L.’s whining. Matt gets suspended from the police force, fixes a leaky pipe, and learns that Janice is pregnant. He couldn’t be happier. Hiro’s dad comes to New York and turns out to be Mr. Sulu. And Sylar is alive and well, and still very cross with Daddy Bennet. It’s not the best episode for momentous plot twists, but it’s a solid set-up for upcoming episodes.

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1.12 “Godsend”

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Overview:

Peter’s having flashbacks from his nuclear nightmare. They now include Christopher Eccleston. Claire feels alone and decides to tell Zach the truth once again. Hiro finds his sword. It’s a replica, and Linderman has the real one. Simone makes herself useful by offering to help, and Nathan doesn’t want to see New York explode before he becomes a congressman. Meanwhile, Matt organizes a SWAT raid on Primatech, Daddy Bennet visits Mohinder, and Niki gets the death penalty. Some amazing acting and good character development, but it’s slower-paced than previous episodes and feels more like a set-up for the rest of the season.

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1.11 “Fallout”

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Overview:

Peter dreams about going nuclear. It might have something to do with him meeting lots of heroes, or the fact that Sylar’s now free from Daddy Bennet’s workshop and very, very cross. In other news: Eden’s dead, Niki wants to go to jail, Isaac’s painting Hiro with a dinosaur, Matt’s in Texas, and Claire finds out that her dad likes wiping people’s memories. And the Haitian speaks. The only thing missing is Mr. Muggles. This could have been a season finale. That the show can produce such an amazing episode halfway through its first season is a testament to its quality.

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1.10 “Six Months Ago”

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Six months ago: everything went horribly wrong. A watchmaker wanted to be “special” so badly that he started removing people’s brains. Linderman sent goons to kill Nathan, and Heidi ended up paralyzed. Niki got a visit from her father and a visit from her dead sister. Matt met Eden, went for donuts, then failed his detective exam because of dyslexia. And Hiro’s batteries ran out while Charlie got the Sylar scalp treatment a second time. An intensely captivating, well-performed and inventive episode, but filled with inconsistencies, and ignoring the characters it should have focused on the most.

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1.09 “Homecoming”

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Overview:

Claire becomes Homecoming Queen. She punches Jackie. Sylar works the scalp treatment on Jackie. Can’t anyone be nice to Jackie? Sylar and Peter jump around a bit, Peter borrows Claire’s insta-heal power, and Eden works the whammy on Sylar. Peter appropriately asks whether saving the cheerleader means they’ve now saved the world. The cops aren’t interested. Meanwhile, Mohinder goes hunting for Sanjog Iyer (who, predictably, he finds playing football), Ando lounges around at the diner all day, and Micah reveals that he knows about Jessica.

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1.08 “Seven Minutes To Midnight”

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Overview:

Mohinder resumes his university post in India, but falls asleep a lot and dreams of a boy with a football. Hiro meets a waitress who absorbs vast tracts of information. Sylar gives her the scalp treatment, so Hiro travels back in time to save her. He goes a little further back than intended. Isaac feels the Eden rehab love, but Daddy Bennet doesn’t care if Isaac’s rehabilitated. He just wants to save the cheerleader. Meanwhile, RadioTed and Matt compare notes about their experiences. Possibly the strongest episode so far, with a tight script, excellent performances, and development to several key story arcs.

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1.07 “Nothing To Hide”

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Overview:

D.L. takes a road trip with Micah. They encounter explosions. Niki’s now permanently Mirror-Niki/Jessica. Micah can repair broken technology with his mind, and knows about Niki’s alternate personality. Claire’s brother finds out she’s indestructible, and tests her ability with a staple gun (oh, brother). Nathan does an interview and screws up a lot, but Peter covers for him. Matt reappears and brings a radioactive guy to justice (sort of), then finds out that his wife is having an affair. The episode presents huge steps forward for Nathan, Micah and Matt, and some excellent sub-plots for Claire, Hiro and Peter.

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