It's a blast to the past as we head back to six months ago and visit all the Heroes one by one to learn how they started on this crazy-ass ride. Eden and Matt meet during a traffic stop and Eden tells him to go eat a bunch of donuts. We discover that aside from having a murderous split personality, Niki's also an alcoholic. Claire fights with Jackie over a cheerleading uniform and cuts the shit out of her hand, only to have it completely heal in about a day. Nathan, apparently, used to be a fairly decent guy when he worked for the DA's office and was intent on prosecuting Linderman, even if it meant bringing down his own father. Papa Suresh seems to be randomly contacting names on his list; two of the people he contacts are Mr. Bennet and Sylar.
Sylar's real name is Gabriel Gray and he's actually kind of Clark Kent-ishly cute. He's also kind of bent because he's got all sorts of ego issues that Papa Suresh clearly enjoys feeding into. Eden gets captured by Mr. Bennet and the Mindblower and she's blocked from using her power of persuasion. This causes her to breathe heavily and wear a bad wig. Bennet enlists her to use her powers for good and tells her to get Claire's name off Suresh's list. Hiro goes to work at the diner, all the while trying to convince Charlie that A) he's from the future and B) she's in danger.
While driving home from Peter's nursing graduation party, Nathan and his wife are run down by some of Linderman's henchmen. As the thug's van bumps the back of their car, Nathan suddenly flings up into the air, leaving his wife to crash into a barrier all by her lonesome. Niki's alter ego seems to be based on her sister Jessica who died when she was eleven. Niki's father was apparently a mean drunk who beat her when she was a child, forcing her dead sister to rise up in order to protect her. Jessica shows up at her father's hotel and attacks him, accusing him of choking her to death all those years ago.
Peter agrees to give a deposition against his own father, but Papa Petrelli dies before he can do so. Charlie tells Hiro that she has a brain tumor and that she's going to die. Then she tells him she loves him and they start to kiss. But Hiro misses it because he jumps back to present-day Japan and can't seem to get back to his girl. Gabriel meets a man who has the power of telekinesis and he introduces himself as Sylar, taking his name off a watch face. Then he kills the man in order to suck the power out of his brain. Guess that answers the "Is he a bad guy or a good guy?" question, huh?
Previously on Heroes: Hiro spent most of the episode in the past, trying to save his girlfriend Charlie, so he was missing for most of it; Peter jumped on the world's fastest airplane to travel to Texas to save the cheerleader, only to come up against Sylar on the Greek High School Amphitheatre steps; Sylar killed Jackie the Cheertator because there can only be ONE cheertator around here and that's Claire, dammit!; Claire and Peter met cute, and Peter actually saved her, but he fell to his death beneath the homecoming banner; Claire actually saved Peter when he sucked some of her regenerative powers off of her, but then the cops showed up and arrested him for killing Jackie because, apparently, when you're covered in blood in Odessa, Texas, they don't take too kindly to it; and, finally, Eden and Mindblower intercepted Sylar's escape from the high school, and Eden used her powers of persuasion to snare him in her evil web. Or something.
"To everything there is a season," drones Moyawnder at the top of the episode. "Turn, turn, turn." I'm already bored with his voice-over and it's only six words into it. He says that everything has a purpose, and we get replays of portions of the last nine episodes. Moyawnder talks about everyone trying desperately to not get thrown off the planet. What in the hell is he talking about? "Like the first blush of winter that signals the great migration." What? What the fuck is that? Shut up, Moyawnder. I really hope the writers come up with something better for him to do in the future because these clanking voice-overs are killing my soul. ["Not to mention, Famke Janssen wrote the book on mutant-themed voice-overs in the X-Men movies. Recognize!" -- Joe R] Basically, Moyawnder's introducing this episode by saying that there might have been a warning of the arrival of the Heroes. And that's what this episode is all about, really: the origin of the Heroes. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, we only receive the vaguest notion of the origins of some of the Heroes instead of a line-by-line explanation, which is kind of what I wanted. But I'm highly anal-retentive.
"Was it a whisper in God's ear?" says Moyawnder. "Survive. Adapt. Escape." He wonders if we knew of the approaching danger, would we have done anything differently? What, like tell Tim Kring to knock it off with the portentously boring intro voice-overs? Because, yeah, I WOULD HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THAT. During Moyawnder's speech, we see most of last week's episode played, so, really, this is like one big "previously" segment with the added bonus of the world's most cryptic and annoying voice-over. Greaaaaat. We end the voice-over with Hiro declaring that he's going to go back in time to save Charlie and, once he's had his requisite time-shifting bowel movement, we're back in the past and it's six months ago.
Hiro's sitting at the same table and Charlie comes over to pour him a cup of coffee. He introduces himself and informs her that he's there to save her life. Charlie's like, uh huh. How 'bout I just pour you this coffee and I go over and enjoy my birthday candles with the rest of the non-crazy people in the place? For utterly no reason whatsoever (other than she's just one of those irrationally friendly people who takes in strays and calls the guy who eats paste and wanders the town square with his underwear on his head a "colorful character"), Charlie beckons Hiro to join her over at her candle-blowing ceremony, and they have their picture taken together. Hiro looks like he's passing a particularly difficult kidney stone in the resulting photo.