Just when many of us thought that maybe this season was beyond hope, we get an episode that reminds us why we got hooked on this show in the first place. Action, romance, plot twists, family drama – this episode had it all, and all without the Wonder Twins of Death! Is it too much to hope that this could be the season turnaround? Of course, the downside is that there was so much plot that it’s hard to effectively recap, but that’s hardly a complaint worth noting.
First, Hiro finally returns to the present, having realized that his presence in the past is doing more harm than good. After a high-stakes swordfight with his hero and a heart-wrenching goodbye to his love, he returns triumphantly to Ando, only to find out that his father has been murdered. It seems that Hiro might become the samurai “future Hiro” from Season 1 after all. And all of the viewers who were wondering what the heck was the point of this entire subplot were in for an incredible shock when it was revealed that Adam, this season’s uber-villain, is actually Kensei!
Meanwhile, Peter has an upsetting adventure in 2008 New York. Apparently the virus that’s been striking down an occasional hero has mutated and spread into the general population, killing off almost everyone. Peter and Irish Chick are separated for decontamination (this conveniently allows Peter to spend more time with his shirt off), and then it’s Mama Petrelli to the rescue. She tries to coax some of Peter’s memories back, and tells him that only he can prevent this tragic future. Peter finds himself back in the present without Irish Chick, and just as he’s panicking, Adam/Kensei reveals himself.
Given what we’ve learned about Adam earlier in the episode, a partnership with Peter could prove disastrous. According to Bob, Adam brought the entire first generation of Heroes together and urged them to act “for the greater good,” perhaps even planting the apocalypse idea in Linderman’s head. But once the Elders realized how dangerous he was, they tried to contain him. Now he’s escaped and is using Parkman’s dad to seek revenge. Parkman manages to face his father and free Molly by tapping into another level of his powers, leading to a showdown that was a bit heavy on the psychobabble, in my personal opinion.
In response to the threat from Adam, Bob has approved a re-engineering of the virus, in hopes that it will counteract a hero’s powers, and then Mohinder’s antidote can be used to keep the virus from doing damage. Nikki gets to test this theory when she injects herself with the new version of the virus in order to get out of a nightmare she’s been trapped in. However, the mutation has caused the virus to resist the antidote, and just like that, the epidemic has started. Mohinder is scared and growing more distrustful of HRG every day, so he confesses their plot to Bob. Basically, the other heroes could clean up if they played poker with Mohinder on a regular basis, since he managed to keep a secret for all of about three seconds. It remains to be seen whether he can contain the virus, and whether the Company is actually good, or just a different type of evil from Adam.