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Yay, my first episode to recap is extremely Peter-light! Peter tells Hiro and Ando the "save the cheerleader" message, and about his encounter with FutureHiro. Hiro is excited to learn that he will one day have a sword. Peter and Isaac figure out that Isaac's paintings fit together like a comic book (you don't say!), but that a panel is missing; Simone has it. Back in Las Vegas, the High Roller takes Hiro and Ando to a backroom poker game, ordering them to cheat the other players. Ando sees that one of the players has a gun under the table pointed at him, and they take off to the john to freak out about it, but while they are in there, someone shows up (we'll come back to that), kills everyone outside to death, bro, and tip-taps out of there before Hiro and Ando can emerge. Hiro gets the guilts that he didn't save the people who apparently intended to kill him and his friend, but Ando tells him that when he gets better at bending time and space, he can come back for a do-over. D.L. tells Niki that although he planned the big heist for which he's been imprisoned, he got cold feet and bailed out; he doesn't know who framed him, except that it was a woman. Oh my God, you guys, who could it be?! Niki believes him, and they have a nice evening together, after which D.L. tells her her he heard her sneak out in the middle of the night. Oh my God, you guys, where could she have gone?! After a lovely breakfast at home -- at which D.L. tells Micah that no prison can hold him -- D.L. takes Niki with him to some hideout to investigate his enframening. It's the poker backroom, and it's littered with torn-apart bodies. Niki tells D.L. how much it resembles her own garage crime scene, tearfully confessing that she did it, but he doesn't believe her. Later, Niki and ikiN have a chat in which ikiN tells her what we've already figured out: ikiN pulled off the whole damn heist, and now wants Niki to get the money and take off with Micah before D.L. can put the pieces together and take Micah himself. Niki recovers the money from the attic, but when she's hopped back down with it into the bedroom, D.L. is totally there! ikiN takes over to smash him across the face with the briefcase full of cash, but when she turns her back on him, he disappears...into the wall! Superhero fight! It gets a bit less cool when Micah walks in on his superparents totally trying to kill each other, but the fight comes to a swift end when D.L. reaches through ikiN's skin to squeeze her guts, and then leaves her for dead. Mohinder leaves New York, but not before getting all smooched up by Pixie. Bennet sets up a meet-and-greet between Claire and her bio-parents. She tries to get them to admit that they have superpowers, but all she gets from them are family histories of regular, non-super diseases. However, Mrs. Bennet tells Claire, after they've left, that when she was a baby, the Bennets tried to track down Claire's bio-parents, without success, because they thought she might have some chromosomal damage; when Claire presses her for more information, Mrs. Bennet just says that Claire had a cough. While Bennet is fully spying on the conversation, he gets a call from...Pixie! Called it. She passes on her intel about the flying Petrelli, FutureHiro, and precognitive junkie Isaac, as well as the "save the cheerleader" message. Bennet tells Pixie to "bring in the precog" -- so just as Isaac is revealing his painting of gut-squozen Niki/ikiN, complete with a tattoo he had painted and then painted over (sloppy, Isaac. Reeeeeal sloppy), Pixie shows up at his door, claiming to be a big fan. Dun!
And now, Heroes continues. We pan up from Isaac's floorpocalypse and past a bunch of shit in his studio as Mohinder tries to be all ponderous and deep, taking way too damn long to get to his point -- that morality, for the supers, is sort of meaningless, and that the real choice is "survive or perish." Isaac and Peter are Sister Wendying it up in front of the painting of the decapitated cheerleader and generally just repeating the end of the last episode. Hiro and Ando ask what cheerleader they're supposed to save, but Peter tells them he and Isaac don't know. Isaac's all, "Tell him about the guy from the future!," and Peter crabs back, "He is the guy from the future!" Peter exposits to PresentHiro that he was visited by the Ghost of Hiro Future, who speaks unaccented English and carries a sword, and who told Peter to save the cheerleader. And I know this is all going to be explained once the timeline unkinks and everything, but Claire's whole job seems to be cheating death; can I please assume that she is capable of saving herself and that there may be a totally other cheerleader in jeopardy? Anyway, Ando repeats Peter's tale to Hiro, who looks impressed. Peter tells them to get to New York, and hangs up. Hiro, smugly: "I had a sword." That is a pretty cool prop, and you'll look pretty bad-ass as long as you just carry it and don't do anything with it that would give you away as a total poseur. I'm convinced that's what's happening with most of the douchebags I see downtown with yoga mats.
Back in the studio, Peter suggests arranging Isaac's paintings to try to glean some clue of who and where the depicted people are; he decides that the paintings fit together "like the panels of a comic book," and points out that there's a painting missing. Isaac says that he painted one that size "weeks ago," but that Simone took it to sell. Conveniently, he doesn't remember what he had painted (because: high), but in that case I don't know how he can remember that the painting exists, what size it is, and who has it. Of course, I don't know from junkie logic. As Peter picks up the phone to call Simone, Isaac needles him, "Tell him a guy from the future said you needed it. She should love that." "Needles him." HA!
In Odessa, Claire and Sandra are making an assload of cupcakes; Sandra has Mr. Muggles in one arm as she frosts cupcakes with the other, prattling on about some other dog hag who wants to breed Mr. Muggles with her poodle, resulting in a "pomepoo" or a "pooranian": "Mr. Muggles doesn't want anything to do with a breed that has 'poo' in its name." Mr. Muggles is like, "I don't care what the bitch is called -- Mr. Muggles got a nut to bust, yo!" With Sandra's back turned, Claire takes the muffin tin out of the oven with her bare hands; we get a shot of her burned, and then quickly healing, hands that lasts just long enough on screen for Calphalon to launch a lawsuit against NBC. Sandra, still frosting, tells Claire they may have left the cupcakes in too long: "Smells like something's burning!" Claire brightly tells her that they look fine. YEAH they do! Damn suggestive TV. But seriously, Claire? That's just gratuitous. The girl doesn't know how this power even works; what if she only gets a certain number of heals over the course of her life? Then let's say some girl stabs her in the gut in the bathroom at school (you guys, it happens all the time), and because she thought she'd show off for no one's benefit instead of grabbing a damn oven mitt, Claire's down an ovary. Claire and Sandra banter about some incident at the dog park, where Sandra "thought that big dog was going to chew [Claire's] hand off, which would have put an end to [her] cheerleading career." And, okay, see: again, is Claire accident-prone, or did she show up at the dog park with bologna on her palm just to fuck around? Anyway, Claire says that the canine attack "looked worse than it was," and that her cheerleading career is "scissor-kicking off the field as we speak," but that she's still helping with the bake sale anyway. I don't know if that was a throwaway line, or a set-up for some future moment where the other supers figure out that the endangered cheerleader is in Odessa and then get there and Claire is all, "What? I'm on yearbook now," so just in case it's the latter, now you know.