- This force, evolution, is not sentimental. Like the Earth itself, it knows only the hard facts of life’s struggle with death. All you can do is hope and trust that when you’ve served its needs faithfully, there may still remain some glimmer of the life you once knew.
The show begins with Niki Sanders in a desert located on the outskirts of Las Vegas late at night. As Micah lies fast asleep in the backseat of the convertible, Niki discovers a skeleton buried in the sand. On its finger is a skull ring, which she takes. She mutters that D.L. has actually done it. Niki opens the trunk so that she can bury the bodies of the thugs and recoils at the grisly sight.
The scene cuts to the trunk of Mr. Bennet's car, where an effigy of the school's rival mascot is stored. Claire helps her father carry the likeness and tells him that if the team wins, there will be a celebratory bonfire that night, which she needs to attend. The quarterback of the football team smiles at Claire, which she returns. Mr. Bennet teases his daughter about the moment. They run into Jackie, who Claire is less than thrilled to see. Jackie informs them that she plans to run for class president, with good deeds being the focus of her platform, having claimed credit in the previous episode for a rescue Claire performed in the first episode. Claire goes inside the high school but not before saying good-bye to her father, who tells her to be careful.
In Tokyo, at the office, Ando Masahashi downloads a video of Niki Sanders' striptease webcam performance to his iPod. Suddenly, Hiro Nakamura rushes toward his cubicle. Ando asks his friend where he has been for the past two days. Hiro responds that he has teleported himself into the future. Ando scoffs, and Hiro thrusts the 9th Wonders! comic book at him. Thinking that his friend is drunk on sake, Ando declares that Hiro made the comic book himself. Hiro implores Ando to read the book. Still doubting his friend, Ando is not even moved when Hiro informs him that the death of Isaac Mendez and the nuclear explosion will both transpire in the next five weeks and that they must both stop these events. "Definitely the sake," Ando responds, giving back the comic to Hiro. Hiro flips to a scene that captures the two friends at the present moment, in which Ando says, "Definitely the sake." Ando shrugs it off, telling Hiro that there is work to be done. Hiro tells Ando that he can prove all of this. At that moment, his watch beeps, and he frantically tells Ando to come with him because a girl's life depends on them.
In New York City, Peter Petrelli stands on what appears to be another rooftop. He spreads his arms, takes a deep breath, and jumps. He fails to fly and falls...into a pit of sand at a playground. Peter, it turns out, is jumping from the top of the monkey bars. A young boy wearing a red cape and blue shirt stares amusedly at Peter.
Nathan Petrelli, at his campaign headquarters, is approached by Peter. Peter tells his brother that he tried to fly and that he read that there is a gene out there with the potential for human flight, but Nathan doesn't wish to talk about it because he has other things on his mind. Peter thrusts the book at Nathan, entitled Activating Evolution. The book claims that an unmapped human gene could contain the potential for human flight. Peter tells him that he tried to track down the author, Chandra Suresh and that he stopped teaching six months ago. Nathan, however, does not care and tells Peter that he is more concerned with the reporter who wants to know why Peter jumped off the building. He tosses the book onto a desk.
In his late father's Brooklyn apartment, Mohinder Suresh sits at the desk, trying to decrypt a mysterious code on his computer. Suddenly, the door starts to unlock. Mohinder pulls out a gun, but it turns out to be Eden, who has come by to drop off some food. Mohinder tells Eden that the algorithm of the code is gibberish. Frustrated with his father and his lack of progress, Mohinder picks up the laptop and throws it across the room. Eden discovers a small notebook hidden in a compartment of the computer. They open the book and find the address of Sylar. A key is also taped to one of the book's pages.
At an FBI headquarters in Los Angeles, Matt Parkman sits in an interrogation room. Exasperated, he professes his innocence to Audrey, the agent who arrested him in the previous episode. He hesitates before telling her that he can hear voices. Believing that Matt is crazy, Audrey asks him to read her mind and is shocked when Matt tells her what she was thinking, that "nobody believes in [her]". To Matt's surprise, Audrey invites him to work with the FBI.
Zach confronts Claire in the hallway, asking why she is not looking for the missing videotape. Claire responds that she will tell people that the film was edited by Zach. When he tells Claire that she is not like anyone else, Claire admits that she just wants to be normal and tells Zach to try it.
In Isaac Mendez's loft, Simone Deveaux takes down a painting of the scene between Claire and Zach in the hall. Isaac comes in and asks Simone what she is doing. She tells him that she is selling the paintings so that Isaac can get straightened out and go to rehab. Isaac refuses, telling her that the paintings have come true and he must stop the explosion, which he has painted on the floor. He tells Simone that while he doesn't want to lose her, she should leave if she doesn't believe him and she does so. Isaac's phone rings and he cannot understand the other party. Assuming the other person has the wrong number, he tells the caller to stop phoning him and slams down the phone in anger.
In Tokyo, as he walks with Ando on the busy street, Hiro disconnects his cell phone, defeated (he was the 'other party' that Isaac slammed the phone on). He shows Ando a scene in the comic in which a girl is about to get hit by a truck. An entourage of schoolgirls passes by, and the two men desperately try to find the girl. Hiro finally spots the correct girl from the comic and shouts at Ando to stop the suddenly oncoming truck. However, Ando's very actions seem to make it worse, and the girl's eyes widen in horror as the truck is about to hit her. Hiro freezes time at that moment and carries the girl out of harm's way just as time unfreezes. He and Ando celebrate, dancing together in the street. Hiro asks Ando if he will come with him.
Morning has come and Niki finally finishes burying the last of the thugs in the blazing hot sun. She comes back to the car, where Micah has woken up. He asks her where they are going, and Niki replies that they are paying a trip to his grandmother's house.
Niki confronts her mother-in-law Paulette about calling Social Services to remove Micah from her care. Paulette tells Niki that Micah needs a firm hand and support that she could provide for him. Niki defends herself by throwing D.L.'s actions in Paulette's face. Paulette insists that D.L. is a good man, but Niki shows her the skull ring—a symbol of D.L.'s crew—and says that D.L.'s men have been killed. Paulette stands by her belief that D.L. is innocent, but mentions that he has escaped from prison. Niki tells Paulette that she wants her out of Micah's life and warns her, "You have no idea what I'm capable of," before leaving.
Eden and Mohinder visit the apartment at the address found in the secret notebook with Sylar's name on it. No one answers when they knock on the door. Mohinder tries the key, but to no avail. Eden tells him that they should leave, but Mohinder instead breaks into the apartment with a screwdriver. Inside, Eden notes that Sylar has no photographs in the apartment but plenty of books on philosophy, as well as a copy of Chandra Suresh's book. Mohinder takes pictures of the apartment, including a picture of his father's book on a bureau, books on the shelves, and a book in a glass case. He stumbles upon a secret room behind the glass case. Inside is a map similar to one at Mohinder's father's apartment, but with many more connections in addition to articles and photographs linked to several of them. Eden identifies Nathan Petrelli on one of the links. Mohinder finds another room in the secret area covered by vinyl tarps. Inside, the walls are covered in scrawls, possibly indicating that Sylar's mental state is unbalanced. Writings such as, "Forgive me. I have sinned," are written in blood. Mohinder wonders aloud whom his father had gotten involved with.
Audrey and Matt step out of a dimly lit elevator and head towards a safe-room where Molly — the little girl Matt found — is being kept. In the distance, gunshots are fired and Molly screams as a man—possibly Sylar—drags her from the room. Audrey and Matt charge after him. The man leaves Molly behind. They see that the safe-room guard has been slain and pegged to the wall. Audrey continues to follow the man while Matt stops to check on Molly. "How did he find me?" she thinks. Matt tells her that it doesn't matter and that she's safe, because he's there. Audrey corners the intruder near a cluster of pipes. She raises her gun at him and tells him to put his hands where she can see them. He slowly turns around, and with a glance, Audrey flies backwards and is pinned against a wall. He seems to somehow forcibly direct her gun—still in her hand—at her own head. She fights her trigger finger in futility. Suddenly, Matt darts out of the hall and fires on the man, dropping him to the ground. Whatever grip the man had on Audrey is released, and she falls to the ground, panting. Matt turns to check on Audrey, but behind him, the man rises from the ground abnormally, allowing the bullets to simply fall out of him, and vanishes upward in a blur.
High above the Pacific, Hiro and Ando discuss their destiny. Ando inquires that if Hiro is to call him from New York, shouldn't he be home to answer the phone? Hiro tells him that they were changing the future. Ando remarks that perhaps their destiny was to not fly coach as the woman between them struggles to get comfortable. Hiro holds up the comic book where a plane depicts the woman resting her head on Ando's shoulder as she falls asleep. Then, the woman shifts herself, and lays her head on Ando to the amusement of Hiro.
Simone runs into Peter in the lobby of her father's apartment building. He explains to her that he had just finished briefing his replacement, that he had quit working as a nurse because nursing was not something he is meant to do. Simone gets teary and asks if they will still see each other, to which Peter responds, "It's New York, people run into each other sooner or later." Simone replies that she hopes it's sooner.
At the celebratory bonfire after winning the game, Claire stands by herself near the fire while Jackie recounts the tale of her heroism to a crowd of cheerleaders. Brody, the quarterback, approaches Claire and compliments her effigy, which is burning on the fire. The only thing he would improve is putting firecrackers in the head. Brody tells Claire that she hasn't been herself recently, and that he hasn't heard her laugh in some time. Just then, the effigy's head bursts open in a roar of crackles. Claire turns and sees that firecrackers have gone off, and begins to laugh. She turns to ask Brody if he did that just for her, and he kisses her.
Waiting in their bedroom, Matt's wife Janice studies papers that are spread across the bed. Matt walks in and apologizes for missing their therapy session and mentions that he had an incredible day. Janice becomes frustrated and gathers her papers to put them away. They argue about the work that their marriage takes and Matt being inappreciative of Janice's promotion because he was never able to get what he wanted. Janice thinks to herself "Why don't you just leave?" Matt responds aloud, "Fine, I will," and walks out of the room.
Away from the bonfire, Claire and Brody have made their way to the bleachers with a few cups of beer. After a few minutes, Brody will not take Claire's "no" for an answer and tries to rape her. She screams and tries to fight him off. They roll off the bleachers and onto the ground. Their struggle continuing, Claire is thrown onto the ground, landing on a thick branch. The branch punctures the back of her skull, apparently killing her.
Back on the desert highway on the way home, Niki tells Micah that he has never been this quiet on the way home. She asks if he would like to go to the ice cream shop. Micah makes reference to his father's innocence. Niki tells him that D.L. will be caught soon, but Micah doesn't believe that is so. Niki asks if he knows where D.L. is hiding. Micah doesn't answer. A siren interrupts them. Niki pulls the car over. A police officer steps out of the squad car and approaches Niki, telling her that Mr. Linderman wants to see her. She and Micah get out of the car and follow the officer.
At Nathan's fundraiser, Peter encounters Simone. With confidence, now that he's not employed for her father, he feels comfortable telling her that he's been in love with her since the moment he saw her, which leaves her lost for words. Their conversation is interrupted when Nathan takes the stage to address the crowd. He begins breaking the ice by apologizing about the poor weather and promises that if he's elected, he'll try to do something about that. Continuing, Nathan talks about his father's depression and death. Then, he tells the crowd that Peter's attempt at flight in the first episode was a suicide attempt that he barely survived. Peter, enraged, storms from the room.
Hiro and Ando arrive in Los Angeles. Hiro insists on renting a car for the rest of the trip. Ando says that they have a connecting flight. Hiro asks the clerk about a Nissan Versa, and tells Ando that the comic book depicts them driving. Ando remarks about how long that will take. Luckily, the clerk has one Versa remaining, to which Hiro says "See, destiny." In the car, Ando questions their next destination. Hiro responds "Las Vegas" and holds up the last page of the comic book depicting them on a highway on-ramp to Las Vegas. Thinking about meeting Niki Sanders, Ando responds, "Yes, destiny," with a grin on his face.
A barkeeper asks Matt how he is doing. Matt, pondering the question, hears the bartender think, "It's a rhetorical question, say you're fine, and order a drink." Matt does just that. The thoughts of the bar patrons continue through his head until he encounters a mysterious man staring at him. When Matt attempted to read the thoughts of the man, he experienced total silence. Matt sips his drink and gets up to leave the man's sight. Unable to maintain his balance, he collapses unconscious onto the barroom floor.
Drenched from the rain, Mohinder and Eden storm into Sylar's apartment followed by two police officers. Mohinder is trying to convey his and Eden's findings to the cops. He continues his speech until he notices that all of the belongings have been removed from the apartment.
In the parking garage, Peter attacks Nathan. Nathan's guards try to restrain him, but Nathan tells them to let Peter go. Nathan tells Peter that he had to say those things before the press made up their own notions about him. Peter will have nothing of Nathan's story, and storms out into the rain. While trying to hail a cab, Simone walks up behind him and covers him with a red umbrella. She tells him that she knows he didn't try to kill himself, and they kiss in the rain.
In his studio, Isaac looks through a sketchbook at things he's drawn. Pictures of a woman—presumably Simone—and on the next page, a couple, standing under a red umbrella, kissing in the rain. Isaac seems distressed by the second image.
On a slab in the morgue, a latex-gloved hand pulls the remains of the branch from Claire's neck and leaves the room. Color returns to her eyes and face, and Claire coughs as she comes back to life. She looks around to see her ribs exposed, her chest cut open for autopsy.
- Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh
- Santiago Carbrera as Isaac Mendez
- Noah Gray-Cabey as Micah Sanders
- Milo Ventimiglia as Peter Petrelli
- Tawny Cypress as Simone Deveaux
- Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli
- Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennet
- Greg Grunberg as Matt Parkman
- Ali Larter as Nikki Sanders
- Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
- Adair Tishler as Molly Walker
- Nora Zehetner as Eden McCain
- Clea DuVall as Audrey Hanson
- Jack Coleman as Noah Bennet
- Danielle Savre as Jackie Wilcox
- Jimmy Jean-Louis as The Haitian
- James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi
- Matt Lanter as Brody
- Thomas Dekker as Zach
- Elizabeth Lackey as Janice Parkman
- Christine Rose as Angela Petrelli
- Eugene Byrd as Campaign Manager
- Rikki Lindhome as Car Rental Lady
- Tina Lifford as Paulette Hawkins
- Mark Nearing as State Trooper
- Rick Scarry as Bartender
- Matt Eyde as Uniformed Cop
- Ashlee Gillespie as Lori Trammel
- This episode marks the first appearance of The Haitian and of Gabriel "Sylar" Gray.
- When Ando is watching the video of Niki, you can see the URL www.lasvegasniki.com. If you visit it, it redirects you to www.9thwonders.com.
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