Heroes! Death Watch!

The following post contains nothing but a bunch of vague Heroes spoilers compiled from various sources. There’s nothing terribly specific or insider-y about any of this information, but nonetheless, die-hard spoiler-phobes probably shouldn’t click through. Just enjoy this awesome cast photo Greg Grunberg posted on TwitPic. Aren't they adorable? Hard to think we might be saying goodbye to one of them soon.

Oops. That may have been a spoiler.

Careful readers may be able to detect a certain trend in the spoilers trickling out about the upcoming Heroes season finale:

From Entertainment Weekly: (In the finale) Sylar kills a regular Hero that's been on the show since Season 1. And it sticks.

From E! Online: One character is marked for death and we're going to see the beginning of his or her downward spiral starting with the next ep.(“Cold Snap”)

It seems pretty well indicated that one of the regulars is going to be offed in the finale. Figuring out who it’s going to be is a little trickier.

Here are the descriptions of upcoming episodes, provided by NBC Universal Media Village:

22: Turn and Face the Strange: RELATIONSHIPS ARE TESTED AS DANKO TAKES THE OPERATION TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL – EMMY AWARD-WINNER ZELJKO IVANEK GUEST STARS – As Danko (guest star Zeljko Ivanek) spearheads the government operation, someone close to him is put in the line of fire. HRG’s (Jack Coleman) life continues to spiral out of control and his marriage is dangerously close to the breaking point. Meanwhile, Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee) continue their road trip with a special delivery for Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg). Elsewhere, Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) unearths the demons of her past. Hayden Panettiere, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, Sendhil Ramamurthy and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Ashley Crow also guest stars.

23: 1961: THE HAUNTING SECRETS OF ANGELA PETRELLI’S PAST CAN’T STAY BURIED FOREVER – As Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), Claire (Hayden Panettiere), Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) and H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) help Angela (Cristine Rose) uncover her past, she reveals the dark secrets that have haunted her for years. Meanwhile, Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) learns of his father’s involvement in a long forgotten government operation. Diana Scarwid, Alexa Nikolas, Laura Marano, Ravi Kapoor, Casey Kringlen, H. Michael Croner and Edwin Hodge guest star.

24: I Am Sylar: SYLAR’S NEW ABILITY BEGINS TO TAKE ITS TOLL ON HIM – EMMY AWARD-WINNER ZELJKO IVANEK GUEST STARS – Sylar (Zachary Quinto) continues his unusual partnership and begins to have an unexpected identity crisis. Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee) take measures toward bringing down Building 26. Meanwhile, Matt’s (Greg Grunberg) new found fatherhood changes his priorities. Elsewhere, Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) sets a plan in motion to right the wrongs of his government operation. Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Noah Gray-Cabey, Lisa Lackey and Ellen Greene also guest star.

25: An Invisible Thread: AS “VOLUME 4: FUGITIVES” COMES TO A CLOSE, THE FIGHT TO STOP SYLAR HAS CONSEQUENCES THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING – EMMY AWARD-WINNER ZELJKO IVANEK AND MICHAEL DORN GUEST STAR – Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) faces off against Sylar (Zachary Quinto) to keep him from meeting the President (guest star Michael Dorn). Sylar has his own plans for his new partner. Meanwhile, Hiro (Masi Oka) learns that there are repercussions to regaining his ability. Elsewhere, Matt (Greg Grunberg) is forced to go to extraordinary lengths to protect his future with his family. Jack Coleman, James Kyson Lee, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia also star.

So, who’s likely to get axed? Here’s the rundown:

Tracy: It sure seems like we saw Tracy die in “Cold Snap.” Yeah, we didn’t. She’ll be back next season. Guaranteed. From TV Guide, via Watching Heroes:
Q: Does Ali Larter want out of her Heroes contract?
A: “Malarkey!” consulting producer Bryan Fuller tells me. “We’re invested in Ali and Ali’s invested in the show.” Fuller’s crafting a major storyline for her character, Tracy, next season to reward the actress for being such a good sport. Fuller says Ali didn’t complain once while being doused with ice-cold water for an upcoming scene that lasted four hours. But the show is feeling network pressure to “eliminate” one or two original cast members. Fuller says, “We need to show we mean business.”
And from a SciFi Wire interview with Fuller: “In the fourth year, Tracy will have a new perspective that may not be right, but it's more understandable than before.”
Prognosis: Totally safe

Claire: They’re not getting rid of Claire. They’re never getting rid of Claire. From Entertainment Weekly:
(Bryan) Fuller says the final moments of the season 3 finale will set the stage for what's to come in the fall. "Basically, the last act of episode 25, similar to what's been done in the past, opens up a new chapter of Heroes. It sets up arcs for a variety of characters." That's particularly true in the case of Claire, Fuller says. "We set all the pieces up in terms of Claire's attitude and what her trajectory is going to be in season 4. You will have a very strong idea by the end of this season's final episode where Claire is going and what's going to be happening with the Petrellis."
Prognosis: Very safe

Sylar: Since, as per the Entertainment Weekly spoiler, Sylar will be doing the killing, he’s probably not going to be doing the dying. Sylar is a popular character, and Zachary Quinto’s star is on the rise, thanks to the upcoming Star Trek reboot. He’s probably here for the duration.
Prognosis: Safe

Matt: With Daphne’s death in "Cold Snap," Matt could be considered to have begun a “downward spiral,” especially since he’ll seek vengeance against Danko in upcoming episodes. Still, according to E! Online, it looks like he’s safe: Greg Grunberg spilled some good scoop at the Heroes wrap party. Apparently, "Someone is dying at the end of the season, and it's going to be for real. They will not be coming back. And it's not me. That I will tell you."
Prognosis: Probably safe

Mohinder: If these spoilers had surfaced a few months ago, I’d be very worried about my lovely Mo: he took a bad hit last volume, thanks to an ill-received plotline that damaged his character. As a result, he’s been backburnered this volume: he’s been absent from as many episodes as he’s appeared in, and he’s mainly been around to provide moral support for Peter and Matt. However, there’s reason to believe the creative powers at Heroes are still invested in him: they’ve done some significant damage control this volume (Mohinder has been even-tempered and thoughtful, which is a delightful change of pace from his toolish behavior last volume). In a recent TV Guide interview (via Heroes Spoilers), Sendhil Ramamurthy makes some general comments about the direction Mohinder will be taking next season. Unless Sendhil is lying, or has been badly misled by producers, Mohinder and his phenomenal bone structure will survive. Whew.
Prognosis: Probably safe

Peter: In an interview with Heroes Magazine (via SciFi Scoop), Milo Ventimiglia baldly states, “(Series creator) Tim Kring said that Peter dies this year.” Yeah, I’m not buying it. First off, it’s difficult to believe that such a bombshell would be revealed in Heroes Fricking Magazine. Peter certainly didn’t begin any kind of downward spiral in “Cold Snap”-- indeed, he barely appears in that episode at all.

Then again, there’s this bit of news from the weekly “Behind the Eclipse” column at Comic Book Resources:
“Are Peter and Sylar ever going to do battle again? The rivalry between them has resulted in a few skirmishes, but never a real all out brawl. Are there any plans to have them duel again?”

Yes. But of course, you may have to wait until the last chapter of the volume. That being said, we don’t think you’ll like how this one turns out.
Prognosis: Possibly endangered, incredible though it may seem (I mean... it's Peter).

Nathan: This is sort of interesting: Heroes Spoilers has some cool behind-the-scenes footage of what appears to be Sylar shape-shifting into Nathan. This would dovetail with the alternate future shown in the first season episode “Five Years Gone,” in which Sylar has killed and replaced President Nathan. Not that Sylar needs to kill Nathan in order to impersonate him, but it definitely raises the possibility. On the other hand, Nathan’s not a great match for the other spoilers: he doesn’t even appear in “Cold Snap,” much less begin a downward spiral.
Prognosis: It seems unlikely, but he's possibly endangered.

Hiro: From a recent interview with Masi Oka in TV Guide “When Hiro gets his powers back, there's kind of a final mission. […] But it also forces him to make a choice, and he's going to have to make a sacrifice in a situation that could be life threatening.” That sounds a little ominous, but, like Peter and Claire, Hiro seems like one of the more essential, series-defining cast members. It’s hard to picture them getting rid of him. While Hiro appears in “Cold Snap,” he has a light-hearted and frivolous plotline. It’s pretty much the diametric opposite of a downward spiral.
Prognosis: Possibly endangered.

Ando: What kind of cold-hearted bastard would kill off Ando? Right, Sylar would, sure, but will he? There’s a new interview with James Kyson Lee at PopStar in which he speaks in general terms about the direction next season will take, but he doesn’t say anything specific about Ando. If they really are heading to the “Five Years Gone” future (Sylar impersonating Nathan, Matt protecting Matt, Jr.), it’s worth remembering that Ando was dead in that original timeline. Ando’s death would certainly qualify as the “sacrifice in a situation that could be life threatening” to which Masi Oka refers. Still, I don't know. It's Ando. Are they really going to kill Ando?

(Edited to add: James Kyson Lee just tweeted a link to a new interview, in which he makes some fairly specific comments about the direction Ando might take in Volume Five: "Next season I’d love to see him get involved with more action. We’re starting to see some of that in this volume, with me having that face off with those hunters." It's not definitive, but I'd move Ando a little further into safe territory.)
Prognosis: Possibly endangered.

Noah Bennet: The awesome Jack Coleman is far too discreet to let anything slip in his blog at Television Without Pity, and he hasn’t given any recent interviews, so it’s hard to come up with anything specific. Did Noah Bennet begin a downward spiral in “Cold Snap”? Eh, sure, if not shaving properly and forgetting to bring an umbrella qualifies. Certainly his personal life has been in a bit of a tailspin this volume. So he’s a contender. On the contrary side: this may be a matter of semantics, but does he really count as a “Hero”? I love the guy, but he’s non-powered, and, except where Claire is concerned, he consistently causes more harm than good (giving his wife brain-damage by erasing her memory against her will, shooting Ivan in the head, trying to kill little Molly, being involved with vivisections of super-powered people at Primatech, helping Danko round up and imprison super-powered people… the list goes on).
Prognosis: Endangered

Angela Petrelli: This is my pick. She definitely kicked off a downward spiral in “Cold Snap,” and she’s been receiving a suspicious amount of screentime and attention lately. They’re setting her up for some kind of redemption arc, and those end in death as often as not. Killing off Angela would fulfill NBC’s request to downsize the cast, and, as great as Cristine Rose has been in the role, losing Angela would probably not result in a loss of viewers. It's well within the realm of possibility.

(Updated to add: I've heard that on the commentary with Bryan Fuller and Masi Oka for "Cold Snap," Fuller makes a reference to Angela's plotline next season. I haven't independently confirmed this -- the commentary on the NBC site keeps freezing up and anyway, how many Juicy Fruit commercials can one person be reasonably expected to sit through? -- but nonetheless, I'm downgrading Angela from "Highly Endangered" to "Endangered." Bryan Fuller is a very chatty man. Notice how about 80% of these spoilers come directly from him.)
Prognosis: Endangered


Morgan Dodge said…
Why do you always leave Skulky out of these heated debates? What do you have against Skulky anyway?

Skulky: most safe except in where he's endangered.
Morgan Richter said…
Why do you always leave Skulky out of these heated debates?

I was proceeding on the assumption everyone would know Skulky The Turtle Wonder was safe, seeing as the show would fall to pieces if it got rid of its moral center. But you're right. Shouldn't have neglected him. My bad.
Morgan Dodge said…
I'm secretly hoping that Sylar has his sights on Mr. Muggles. I think that would make a fantastic addition to his already impressive arsenal of powers.

If not Mr. Muggles, then my vote is that Angela Patrelli is on the way out.

Fantastic listing, by the way. Thank you!
Morgan Richter said…
Heh. I think this post was largely for my own benefit. I was having trouble remembering what I'd read and where, and I wanted to get a handle on what was more or less verifiable (as is the case with all spoilers, any or all of the ones I've rounded up here could be false or misleading) and what was just crazy speculation and/or lies (that rumor that surfaced a while back about Hayden Panetierre trying to get Milo fired because they're no longer dating? Yeah, that one has been soundly debunked by multiple parties).

I lean strongly toward Angela, with an outside chance of Nathan. Of course, because I'm fatalistic by nature, I'm still putting Mohinder on the fence between safe and endangered until we're well clear of the season finale. After all, when it comes to cast-trimming, the show has a sorry habit of nixing the ethnic minority characters first: D.L., Isaac, Simone, and Alejandro were all killed off, whereas Monica, Micah, and Maya were all demoted from series-regular status.

Ingrid emailed me to say her speculation currently hovers at 75% Angela to 25% Mohinder. As she puts it, "Mind you, I don't want even 1% Mohinder, but I wouldn't be surprised if they underappreciate the beauty."
Lou said…
Hellooo Im back on the PotA ship! Yes Ive finally got around to watching the recent mostly Mo-less (BOO FRIKKIN HOO!) episodes.

Great speculation Morgan - have to say I usually avoid spoliers but this is all very intriguing. I agree Angela seems most likely.

I was sure Ali was out when I watched the latest ep, but I guess not from what you mention here. Apparently shattering into a million pieces isnt a sign of death in Heroes world. Hmmm. Maybe she'll be back as that other one of the triplets (Barbara?)

If Mo goes I will sulk like a toddler. I have no shame in admitting that. But I dont know if he would be as much of a target for Sylar as Angela? I think her precognition would be much more useful to him.
Morgan Richter said…
Lou! Great to have you back! You've been missed. The guys around here all tolerate my Mohinder obsession (Mobsession?) with good grace, but they don't exactly share it, if you know what I mean.

Apparently shattering into a million pieces isnt a sign of death in Heroes world.

Weirdly, no. Then again, if Peter can explode over New York, and if Nathan can get riddled with bullets, and if Noah can get shot in the eye, and if Sylar can get impaled by a samurai sword, then heck, what's shattering into a million pieces really going to do to Tracy?

If Mo goes I will sulk like a toddler.

Oh, yeah. Me too, my friend. Me too. I will not be amused. However, I think (hope) he's pretty safe. I shift my guesses daily as to who's doomed -- today, I'm leaning toward Nathan. I don't think it should be Nathan, but that's sort of where my thoughts are going. Some big redemptive death for being such an ass this volume or something. I don't know. I'm still hoping they fake us all out and just kill off Lyle. I could probably live with that.
Morgan Richter said…
By the way, I'm trying to keep the spoiler info current as news trickles in. I've already updated the sections for Ando and Angela. If anyone hears anything juicy, please let me know. In particular, if anyone has listened to the Fuller-Oka commentary on "Cold Snap" and can give me specifics on what (if anything) Fuller says about the plan for Angela next season, I'd be much obliged.
V2Blast said…
Based mostly on the "downward spiral" idea and recent developments, I'm leaning increasingly towards HRG/Noah Bennet (Jack Coleman), unfortunate as it may be. He's definitely in a downward spiral now, that's for sure.

Morgan Richter said…
I'm leaning increasingly towards HRG/Noah Bennet

He definitely seems to fit the "downward spiral" spoiler, and your point is well taken, but after last episode, I'm actually feeling like HRG is more secure than before. I think if The Powers That Be really wanted to put HRG in a tailspin, the guy he shot in the head would have turned out to be an innocent party, not Sylar in disguise. Just a gut feeling, I guess. I could be totally on the wrong track.

My top picks are currently Angela and Nathan, with Peter in third and HRG as a distant fourth. Right now, I'm not really putting anyone else under serious consideration. We'll see how it plays out.

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