Monday, April 27, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Twelve: An Invisible Thread

We kick off with a particularly meandering Mohinderlogue about how there’s nearly seven billion people on this planet, and he’s going to tell us about each and every one of them. Mohinder, babe, I’m really sorry your role on the series has been reduced to this, but could you maybe start wrapping it up? It’s the season finale, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Bennet, Angela and Claire drive into Washington D.C. Angela has a prophetic dream about Nathan, right about the time Bennet realizes the roadblock they’re approaching is a trap. While Claire and Angela scurry to safety, Bennet lets himself get apprehended by Danko’s goons.

Sylar pins Danko to the wall and explains how he came back to life after getting stabbed in the head. You know that microscopic part of his brain that must be destroyed in order for him to die? He used his shape-shifting ability to move it to a different area of his brain. This was very forward-thinking of him. Considerably less forward-thinking is the way he then proceeds to spill the details of his diabolical plan to Danko: he’s going to absorb all of Nathan’s memories, shake President Worf’s hand, steal his DNA, and assume his identity. Instead of killing Danko outright, Sylar shifts into his form, then murders a whole bunch of agents and has Danko arrested for it. God, Sylar. Why do you have to make everything so complicated?

Claire and Angela arrive at the Capitol. Angela tells Claire to find Nathan, then takes off, explaining that, per her dream, she needs to find Matt to get him to save Nathan’s life. Sylar shifts into Nathan’s form again and greets Claire. Claire is suspicious, but Sylar does some fast talking and manages to flimflam her into believing he’s really Nathan. Sylar takes Claire with him to the hotel where President Worf is staying. Peter finds the real Nathan, and they head off after Sylar.

Danko is thrown into a cell with Bennet. Danko whines that he’s not as good at controlling super-powered people as Bennet, then Bennet makes Danko feel guilty for having messing things up so royally: “And then you got into bed with Sylar.” Sheesh, I wish. Now that would have really perked up this volume.

Hiro stops time and, with Ando’s help, invades Building 26. They burst into the human storage room and rescue Mohinder, who has one of those damn tubes stuffed up his nose. Third time this volume. I’m just saying. Worse, his curls are slicked back with too much gunk again. Since his hair was looking particularly lush and vibrant at the time of his capture, I can only conclude that Danko’s goons subsequently mucked up his locks as some cruel form of torture. When Hiro’s ear starts bleeding, Mohinder once again forgets he’s not really a medical doctor and gives him a spontaneous examination and diagnosis: Hiro’s body is rejecting his powers.

Danko and Bennet escape from their cell. Danko sneakily tries to stick Bennet with a hypo of drugs, but Hiro stop time again, saves Bennet, and sticks Danko. Hiro then collapses in pain. While Mohinder attends to Hiro, Bennet rushes off to stop Sylar. When Bennet calls Claire to make sure she’s all right, Sylar answers the phone.

Aw, jeez. Yuck. Sylar forces Claire to serve him wine, talks about how her whole family’s going to die (“What’s your brother’s name again? Larry?”), yammers on about how they’re both immortal, then lays the groundwork for seducing her. Yeah, Heroes, you know what? Let’s not do this. This is gross.

Nathan and Peter arrive at the hotel. Nathan has a big confessional scene where he demonstrates his flying ability to the President’s aide and admits he was wrong for wanting to imprison all super-powered people. Nathan and Peter bond, then they converge on Sylar’s hotel room. Claire gets to watch the epic battle between Sylar and the Petrelli boys by peeking through the closed door. The viewing audience is not so fortunate. Heroes, it’s the season finale. Maybe you should consider having some of the fight scenes happen onscreen? Claire bursts into the room and finds only Peter -- Sylar and Nathan went out the window.

Sylar and Nathan crash into another hotel room. Sylar slits Nathan’s throat and kills him.

Matt arrives in D.C. (sans baby, sans Janice) and is shanghaied by Angela, who tells him he has to save Nathan. Matt and Angela go to the hotel and find Nathan’s bloody corpse. Hysterics ensue.

Sylar makes a run on President Worf as he’s being smuggled out of the building by Secret Service. Sylar tries to shift into the President, but his powers malfunction -- it turns out Worf is actually Peter, who absorbed Sylar’s shape-shifting ability during their battle. Peter knocks out Sylar.

Bennet and Angela convince Matt to use his mental powers to convince Sylar he’s really Nathan. Matt thinks this idea is idiotic and doomed to failure, but he does it anyway.

And then there’s a closing Mohinderlogue. The full cast stands around while Sylar-as-Nathan burns the corpse of Martin, the original shape-shifter who died in Sylar’s form, whom everyone except for Matt, Angela, and Bennet believes is the real Sylar. Bennet and Sylar-as-Nathan exposit about how the President agreed to have Bennet head up a brand spanking new version of the Company.

Six weeks later, a former Building 26 agent gets murdered by Tracy, who is: a) naked, and b) alive. Meanwhile, Sylar-as-Nathan is already starting to get squirrelly: he sees a clock and determines it’s running a minute and a half fast…

Monday, April 20, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Eleven: I Am Sylar

Hiro and Ando urge Matt to help them overthrow Building 26, but Matt refuses. Instead, he drives to California and delivers Baby Matt to Janice. He starts laying the groundwork for getting back together with her. This seems a bit hasty, considering how two episodes ago he tried to, y’know, murder that innocent Eastern European prostitute to get vengeance for the death of his dream girl Daphne. Matt’s characterization has sort of been all over the place this volume. While Matt and Janice moon over each other, Danko’s goons converge on the house.

Hiro and Ando break into Isaac’s loft/Mohinder’s lab, where Hiro mocks Ando’s chosen superhero alias, Crimson Arc. They bicker and squabble for far too long, until Danko’s goons mercifully arrive to apprehend them. Hiro lets Ando get captured, then disguises himself as one of the goons. His deception is soon revealed, but Ando knocks the goons out with his red lightning powers, and they both escape. Ando is plenty upset with Hiro for using him as bait without his permission. They squabble some more. When Hiro tries to freeze time to enable them to break into Building 26, he ends up with a severe headache and nosebleed.

In Washington DC, an especially nervous and twitchy Sylar wakes up in the guise of one of Danko’s goons, Agent Taub. Since he went to sleep as himself, this freaks him out a little. Also unnerving: he’s got an extra tooth in his mouth, thanks to the constant reassembling of his DNA from all his shapeshifting. Sylar frets that he’s losing track of himself. Danko tries to get him to chill out a little and persuades him to reassume Agent Taub’s identity. Sylar does, but telekinetically carves “I AM SYLAR” into his own arm.

In Virginia, guest star Clint Howard gets a text message from Rebel/Micah warning him of danger. When Clint finds Sylar in his living room, he mistakes him for Rebel and demonstrates his ability to shatter objects at a distance.

When Danko and his men raid Clint’s house, they find Clint with his head chopped open and “I AM SYLAR” written on the wall in blood.

In search of some way to anchor himself to his true identity, Sylar sorts through police files about his mother’s murder. He sniffs his mom’s bloodstained clothes and plays with her snow globes, then shifts into her form and carries on an imaginary conversation with her about how his real dad kind of sucks and nobody loves him. Danko drops by and interrupts this lunacy with the news that he’s located Rebel.

Danko and his goons converge on Micah, but Sylar finds him first. Micah pumps Sylar’s ego by reassuring him he’s special, so Sylar decides not to kill him. Sylar disguises himself as Micah and draws the fire of Danko’s men to give him a chance to escape. Weirdly, Sylar then brings Micah back to his apartment. When Micah tries to draw comparisons between Sylar’s and Nikki’s identity issues, Sylar grimly tells him, “I am not your mother.” Thanks for clearing that up, Sylar. Micah puts the idea into Sylar’s head to impersonate Nathan Petrelli. Micah’s a cool little guy, but maybe that wasn’t his brightest move ever.

Sylar ransacks Nathan’s office, all the while imagining his mother haranguing him about someday becoming the President of the United States. Sylar swipes Nathan’s DNA from his toothbrush and shifts into Nathan.

In Coyote Sands, the assorted Bennets and Petrellis congregate at a café and watch Sylar-as-Nathan give a nationally-televised press conference about how the President keeps ignoring him. Nathan and Peter realize Sylar intends to take the place of the President. Nathan heads off to stop Sylar, with Peter following.

Nathan bursts into his office, finds Sylar-as-Nathan, and tells him, “Get the hell out of my body!” Some people live their whole lives without ever finding occasion to deliver that line. Sylar rambles on for a while about Nathan’s self-loathing issues. Hey, Sylar? Give the endless psychoanalysis a rest. Please. Before Sylar can kill Nathan, Danko arrives and knocks Nathan out.

Over a closing Mohinderlogue, Claire, Bennet and Angela get stopped by Danko’s goons at a roadblock. Back at Coyote Sands, Mohinder tries to view the film about his father by holding it up to the light of a lantern. Aw, Mohinder, that’s not how you do it! Agents sneak up and taser him. For those keeping score at home:

Number of episodes in this volume thus far: Eleven
Number of episodes in this volume featuring Mohinder: Seven.
Number of episodes in this volume in which Mohinder has been knocked unconscious: Five

Finally realizing his nutcase partner is a bit of a liability (should’ve been obvious, really), Danko stabs Sylar in the head. Sylar comes back to life, yanks the knife out of his brain, and tells him, “That hurt.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Ten: 1961

Hey! Hey! No fair! This episode opens with some Mohinder-heavy “Previously on Heroes…” footage that we’ve never seen! Okay, granted, “Mohinder argues with his landlord” might not be the most scintillating plotline Heroes has ever drummed up, and maybe it deserved to be excised, but we’ve had very little quality Mohinder exposure this volume. In any case, if the footage was necessary enough to the current episode to require summarizing, it should have been necessary enough to appear in an episode.

(Fair warning: I’m going to be talking about Mohinder an awful lot. That’s because thinking about Mohinder and his freakishly lovely bone structure always boosts my spirits, and after this sloppy, improbable, boring, dismal episode, my spirits are in desperate need of boosting. Heroes may sometimes suck eggs, but Mohinder is always beautiful.)

At Coyote Sands, Nathan, Peter, Claire, and Bennet dig up bunches of skeletons at Angela’s behest. Peter asks Angela why they’re doing this. Oh, Peter, now you’ve done it. Angela launches into a series of terrible flashbacks to 1961, in which Teen Angela and her slow-witted sister Alice arrive at a relocation camp for super-powered people run by Young Chandra Suresh and Young Dr. Zimmerman. Angela is at the camp because of her prophetic dreams, whereas Alice has the ability to control the weather. Despite the presence of armed guards, the camp seems cheerful and bucolic.

Here’s the deal: these flashback scenes are awful. They’re inane and pointless and dull, and they don’t make any sense in the context of the series as a whole (if Chandra Suresh really had worked extensively with super-powered individuals at the camp, he shouldn’t have been so pants-wettingly happy to find Sylar--and thus find validation for his widely lampooned theories about the existence of special abilities--back in season one). Therefore, I’m going to dispense with them as swiftly as possible: Angela has a dream warning her that Chandra Suresh will kill everyone at the camp, her sister and parents included. One night, after Angela sneaks off to the local malt shop for some squeaky-clean teenaged fun with fellow camp residents Teen Charles Deveaux, Teen Bob Bishop, and Teen Linderman, Alice spazzes out while Chandra is testing her abilities. This leads to a scuffle, which leads to a riot, which leads to the camp guards slaughtering everyone. Post-massacre, Angela and the boys grimly decide to band together and form the Company as a way to prevent any future catastrophes. The major accomplishment of these flashbacks is to confirm my suspicion from two episodes ago, back when Angela was sanctimoniously telling Peter she had to become evil in order to save the world, that the more we learn about Angela, the less interesting she becomes.

Back in the present, Angela tells Peter she’s been dreaming that Alice is still alive. She wants to find her body to confirm her death, thus all the extemporaneous exhuming. Peter asks why Angela never mentioned any of this before. Angela’s answer: “I’m allowed to protect you.” Has Angela always been this odious, or is this a recent development? Because I distinctly recall liking Angela a great deal these past couple of seasons, but now that seems like a foreign concept. Angela wants to return to the old Company methods for controlling people with super-powers (i.e. by killing them surreptitiously) instead of Danko’s methods (i.e. by killing them outright). Peter thinks this sounds pretty sucky, so he flounces off into the desert. Nathan follows him.

Claire and Angela chat. Angela tells Claire, “I wish I had half of your strength,” then goes on to praise Claire’s courage and self-confidence and spirit. Hey, you know what would be awesome? If we could see a little of Claire’s alleged strength and courage and self-confidence and spirit in action instead of just hearing bursts of clunky expository dialogue about it. That’d be great.

I’m in a foul mood. I apologize. This episode has made me a little crabby.

Anyway, while Angela is stroking her granddaughter’s ego, a wild storm strikes up. Angela claims she saw this happening in her dream and starts screaming for Alice. Angela and Claire get separated in the storm, and Angela vanishes.

Peter and Nathan hole up in a nearby café and squabble with each other. Peter brings up the grudge he’s held against Nathan stemming from the 1986 World Series. Nathan, who has been this volume’s main driving force of evil, who jump-started a course of chaos and destruction when he launched his cockamamie scheme to round up and imprison everyone with special abilities, who tricked and betrayed Peter and handed him over to Danko, delivers the single best line of the episode when he tells Peter, “We have got to find a way to forgive each other.” “We,” Nathan? “We”?

Bennet wanders out in the storm to find Claire. Mohinder appears out of nowhere, conks him over the head, drags him into a shed, and yells at him to stop following him around. Bennet is rather nonplussed by the delightful randomness of this turn of events. So am I. Mohinder fondles skulls and gets teary about the possibility that his father was performing inhumane experiments on the camp residents. You know what’s great about this episode? Mohinder’s hair. He’s backed off from the super-gelled look he was sporting earlier this season, and his curls are once again tumbling across his forehead in a most attractive manner. I approve.

Mohinder and Peter go in search of Angela. They have a rather nice scene where Mohinder, still feeling guilty about his crazy evil bug-man escapades last volume, berates himself for being weak and corruptible. Peter gives him various reassuring pats and tells him that everybody does evil things sometimes. So says the guy who robbed a bank and murdered his brother in an evil alternate future and tried to cut his mom’s head open. Really, I’m not sure why Mohinder’s the only one suffering from a guilt complex and self-esteem issues this volume.

Bennet and Nathan mope about how they’ve both really screwed things up, what with their lunatic imprison-everyone scheme. Bennet tells Nathan about Sylar’s cool new shape-shifting ability. Claire joins them and confesses that she can’t remember the last time she read a book. This is not surprising. She also says, “There was a time when I wanted to become a doctor.” This is somewhat more surprising.

Adult Alice, who is creepy and weird (though not notably creepier or weirder than Young Alice) spirits Angela away to an underground bunker and plays Roy Orbison records to torment her. There’s a ham-fisted attempt to explain Angela’s sock-shoplifting fixation from the pilot episode, then the sisters hug and cry a lot… man, it’s so awful, it defies description. Peter and Mohinder burst into the bunker to save Angela. Alice mistakes Mohinder for Chandra, because hey, apparently one Indian guy is pretty much the same as another, and zaps him with lightning bolts. Angela calms her down and cries some more, and Alice wanders off or disappears into the ether or dies or something.

Peter gives Mohinder a canister of film that might or might not reveal the truth about Chandra’s level of culpability in whatever went down at Coyote Sands. Everyone gets ready to leave, but Mohinder decides to stay behind, probably because he’s had his fill of the Petrellis. Mohinder, babe, I’m with you.

Angela, Peter, Nathan, Claire, and Bennet hang out at a diner. On the television, a press conference is given by… Nathan Petrelli. Bennet deduces that Sylar must be now impersonating Nathan.

Well. That was… Well. Maybe next episode will be better, huh?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Nine: Turn and Face the Strange

Bennet examines Fake Sylar’s corpse, which has a metal spike in the brain. He figures, correctly, that Sylar being dead is too good to be true. When Sandra, upset about Claire’s latest vanishing act, unexpectedly drops by Building 26, Bennet introduces her to Danko. Later, however, Danko encounters another Danko in the men’s room. The first Danko turns out to be Sylar, who’s been using his newfangled shape-shifting ability for mischief. Sylar-as-Danko cheerily tells Danko he’s going to destroy Bennet.

Angela calls Bennet to fill him in about her prophetic dream, which involves a mysterious incident that took place years ago at a place called Coyote Sands.

Bennet discovers that Fake Sylar has been scheduled for cremation. He tracks down the corpse, removes the spike from Fake Sylar’s skull, and orders Danko’s goons to run a DNA test. Bennet is acting completely buggy and mad and paranoid, but since he’s dealing with Sylar, it’s kind of understandable.

Sandra stops by Bennet’s apartment to serve him with divorce papers. They bicker, then Sandra tells him she doesn’t love him anymore and flounces out. But wait! Sandra is actually Sylar in disguise! Oh, how you disappoint me, Sylar. When you said you were going to destroy Bennet, I assumed you meant it in a “leaving a taxidermied Mr. Muggles on the kitchen table” sort of way, not an “adding more tension to Bennet’s already busted marriage” way. This is clearly not your best effort.

Bennet realizes Sandra’s signature on the divorce papers is a fake. Rookie mistake, Sylar. Bennet also discovers that the DNA from Fake Sylar’s corpse is a match for Martin, the shape-shifter. Bennet pulls a gun on Sandra and violently accuses her of being Sylar. Unfortunately, this time it’s the real Sandra. She verifies her identity by knowing the correct location of Mr. Muggles’ pills, then throws him out of her hotel room.

Bennet then impersonates Sylar impersonating Bennet (got it?) and tricks Danko into revealing his alliance with Sylar. Danko claims Sylar has taken the shape of one of his minions. Bennet shoots the minion in the head, then, when the corpse doesn’t come back to life, realizes it totally wasn’t Sylar.

Except it totally was Sylar! After Bennet runs off in a panic, Sylar comes back to life, vomiting up bullets.

Following Daphne’s death, Matt and Mohinder hole up in a cheap motel. Mohinder makes preparations to flee to India to get away from Danko. He tries to convince Matt to go with him, but Matt decides to seek retribution for Daphne instead. They part with a manly embrace.

Mohinder sneaks back into his apartment to get his stuff. To avoid detection by Danko’s goons, he adopts the guise of a Depression-era paperboy. Aw, Mohinder, never change. His apartment is bare; Mohinder’s landlord tells him Homeland Security hauled all his crap away, except for a bunch of old files Chandra Suresh was storing in the basement. So Mohinder sorts through all his dad’s old files. He also sticks a bunch of pins in a map. The deju vu is strong in this scene: all Mohinder needs to do is frown prettily at a computer monitor, and it’ll be just like being back in Season One. From Chandra’s files, Mo finds out about Operation Icarus, an abandoned government project in the 1960s which took place at Coyote Sands

Hiro and Ando road-trip their way cross-country to reunite Baby Matt with Matt. Zany misadventures and gratuitous product placement are involved. Baby Matt keeps throwing super-powered tantrums, which causes their car to repeatedly stall. Poor Ando is forced to make goofy faces to keep the little monster placated. Hiro calls Mohinder, who tells him where to find Matt.

Matt uses Jedi Mind-Tricks™ on Danko to get him to lead him to the person most important to him. This, naturally, happens to be an Eastern European prostitute named Alena. Danko has spun Alena an elaborate web of lives about how he’s a salesman named Jakob with a wife and kids in Chicago. Matt brings Alena to Danko’s apartment and forces him to tell her the truth about his dastardly deeds. Matt tries to kill Alena to get vengeance for Daphne (wrong, Matt, very wrong), but can’t bring himself to do it. Danko shoots Matt, but Hiro arrives, stops time, stops the bullet, and hauls Matt out of there.

Matt is initially cranky about being rescued, but then Ando presents him with his son, and Matt realizes that maybe he should maybe focus on being a good father instead of trying to kill Eastern European prostitutes. I think that’s a decision we can all get behind.

Peter, Angela, Nathan, Claire, and Bennet all converge on Coyote Sands. Angela hands them shovels. Under a closing Mohinderlogue about Icarus, they start digging. When Nathan unearths a human skull, Angela tells him there’s plenty more where that came from.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

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