The Heroisms: The Prophecy Will Be Fulfilled.
This is the episode that apparently "defines their destiny", as that's what the previews have stated. Characters will meet, some not have already without even realizing each other's powers (ex: Hiro meeting Micah whilst saving DL from the exploding car), and further questions about the powers or identities of other heroes. So far, this episode is practically my favorite due to what was revealed, and the thickening plots for some characters that I overlooked otherwise.
Starting out, this is basically centering around Claire and the prophecy that Peter found out via future!Hiro of saving the cheerleader that he would save the world. Because it was Claire-centric I automatically knew it was to be a good episode, and though I have high expectations this episode never failed to keep me impressed. At Claire's high school we already see the changes between her and her cheerleader acquaintances. She is being ostracised by them because she's communing with Zach, who is part of the unpopular crowd. There's animosity between Claire and her former best friend Jackie, who is the complete stereotypical bitch of popularity, even moreso when it's announced that Claire won the crown for Homecoming Queen, which Zach campaigned for without Claire's knowledge and was voted for the obscene amounts of unpopulars at the school. Claire has found a new respect for Zach after his kindness, though is upset when her father disallows her from attending the Homecoming game (as he is saving her life from Sylar, unbeknownst to her). Despite her grounding, Zach saves her imprisonment by sneaking her out of her house and letting her attend something she highly deserves. Though an ugly fate awaits for a cheerleader at that school.
Meanwhile, Simone shows a distorted painting to Peter (destroyed by Nathan, in attempts to save his life as well) which originally showed an image of a young man lying dead underneath a homecoming sign and a clock. It's believed that the image was of Peter, but determined, Peter wants to fulfill his destiny no matter what the consequences may be. He tries to contact Hiro to help him with the prophecy, but gets Ando instead because Hiro has gone back in time to save Charlie. He does go to the cafe where Ando is, but doesn't wait for Hiro to return because time is running out. Ando tries to warn Peter that if the painting is true, he will indeed die. But Peter, still determined, leaves for the high school anyway.
This is where our two precious heroes meet --- incidentally, Claire and Peter bump into each other (literally) as Peter is looking at the newspaper clipping of Jackie accepting an award for being a town hero. They have a brief conversation, which is very sweet, but go about their ways for their own intentions. Claire, to get back to a semi-normal life and Peter, to save the world by saving a cheerleader. Jackie confronts Claire in the locker room, calling her a menace and so forth. But Claire uses her matured mentality against the bitchiness of her ex-friend by letting her know where she stands, including revealing that it was her heroic act of saving the man on the burning train that Jackie took the credit for. Jackie dismisses anything Claire is saying though when they're about to leave for the game, the lights abruptly go out in the locker room. Claire senses something's wrong and tries to convince Jackie, but due to bitchiness Jackie's sensibility has left her entirely (that's if we're assuming she had any to begin with). Unfortunate for her, Sylar appears and grabs Jackie and uses his telekinetic powers to slice her head open. Claire is knocked hard against the wall, but regenerates herself....right in front of Sylar. Letting her secret be revealed in front of the one person that would ultimately destroy her.
The last fifteen mintues really get intense, as Peter does save Claire from Sylar this time, does die but regenerates himself since he'd absorbed her power as she returns to him after Sylar mysteriously left. Mr. Bennet finds Claire before she reaches others at the game, and as grateful as he is that she's alive he fails to tell her that he'd sent the police to arrest Peter, even though he'd saved her life from Sylar.
Speaking of Sylar, he escapes through the wooded area I'm guessing around the school where Eden is waiting by leaning against the tree. But Eden reveals more about her character than we've seen in the last several episodes, as she and Hiatian guy capture him, just like Mr. Bennet had instructed them to. Whatever they have plans for Sylar, we'll find out in future episodes and whatever plan Mr. Bennet has for Claire we'll also figure out, and why she's the key to everything.
The Characters: Heroes Unite!
Finally, perhaps my favorite meeting of heroes, is Claire Bennet and Peter Petrelli. I loved how casual their brief meeting was in the hallway before all the action took place, just a normal conversation with hidden meanings underneath their words. Without even realizing that they both had the same intentions, for the most part anyway. Even after escaping Sylar, having Claire look at Peter as he starts regenerating himself after "dying", that look was incredible. It was like, she finally found someone just like her, who could do things she could do. Both of them had the same bewilderment expression, though nothing out of fear, except for Sylar that is.
Having Peter meet Ando was another great thing, even though I wished Hiro was there as well. But their conversation over the head-slicing-open situation brings more to light to what Peter needed to do, which gave him more determination of his mission. Ando's concern over Peter was nice, subtle but nice. Also, in the end with Hiro saying to Charlie that he came to "save her life" was so sweet --- and I can't wait until next week when he actually shows her his power and she starts gaining her own.
Mohinder meeting the Dream Kid in finding out his path on whether to continue his father's research in trying to understand and reach out to those that have these mysterious abilities was neat, if not a little too late for him to be convinced. But I can understand his mind torn between the logical and the impossible to comprehend, and in wanting to believe in his father's research and getting back to a normal life. Especially when he learns there might've been motive over his father's intense research because of his deceased sister. Right now it seems a little slow for his decision to have been made, but now he's finally placed himself on the right pathway which could lead to many different things when he confronts or warns others of their abilities, and the kind of danger they could be in.
Niki's alter ego, Jessica Sanders, taking over her identity was really interesting to see. Props to Ali Larter for having such acting range from being a concerned and confused single mother to a completely different, vengeful and merciless woman in a split second. Having Niki in the mirror? Another creepy aspect that I liked.
9th Wonders: Save The Cheerleader, Save The World.
There's been much speculation over what "save the cheerleader, save the world" actually means. It may be a simple catchphrase used for marketing of the series, and perhaps not the cleverest one they could've come up with, but I don't think this episode was meant for this prophecy to be taken place. Maybe it was meant for the characters, particularly Peter, to believe it was this one event that if he could save the cheerleader that the world would be saved from whomever. But how do we really know that it was this episode, the episode of homecoming, was what the prophecy meant? Claire is obviously the cheerleader in question, but it could have many different meanings behind it.
Many have mentioned because of her invulnerability there really isn't much to save her from, but this was proven false when the branch was lodged in her brain and she was literally dead until it was taken out. Plus, Sylar's signature is slicing the heads of his victims and taking their brains --- no brain, no powers, no life. Period. So Sylar is one of Claire's weakness that she cannot prevent. Another thing to mention, is that Mr. Bennet clearly knows more than he's letting on (which will possibility be revealed in the upcoming Monday's episode), and knows what Claire is capable of and wants to expand her abilities to his own personal gain. Claire being very loving of her father, we don't know if she'll allow herself to be taken advantage of for his own needs or join the other heroes in saving the world from whatever could destroy it. Perhaps "save the cheerleader" means not saving her from death, but saving her from damnation and possibily from the one person who could ever betray her. Or perhaps she is the key to saving the world, and something could happen and she needs to support of the other heroes so she could complete that mission of saving the entire human race. This is why I love this show; simplisitc as it is sometimes there's always speculations over what's to come.
As for Sylar, judging from the previews, if I have to guess he's probably a disgruntled postal worker who discovered his abilities and decided to take out everyone that could overpower him. Just a theory.
Overall: I loved this episode; as said I had high hopes and nothing was a letdown from those expectations. Claire is my hero, loved her before but this episode really extended that love to another level. Peter and Claire meeting was great, and him saving her was awesome (though still wondering why he didn't absorb Sylar's powers, or pehaps he can't just like how Matt can't hear the thoughts of the Hiatian guy...?) Love. Love. LOVE! Heroes is the best damn new series I have seen this 2006 television schedule. Seriously cannot wait unitl the next episode 1.10, "Six Months Ago", where we find out how they'd gotten their powers, why they were chosen, and what awaits in the future as their destiny grows closer to saving the world (and saving the cheerleader).