As we inch toward the mid-season finale, this episode focused much of its attention on many of the characters dealing with their daddy issues. Some of the characters find a way to resolve their conflicts peacefully, others choose strength and violence and one even works out his papa problems by spending some quality time with his mom. Still with all this heartwarming going on, several people ended up dead and one hero found himself in a less than unsavory predicament. And let's not even get started on the first testing of the "new and improved" formula. Since the episode (and its title) was basically given over to the fathers on the show, let's break down the show's happenings similarly.
Once Claire discovers that Hiro has teleported her to the day that she is given to Noah, she immediately begins piecing together the puzzle, despite the language barrier between Hiro and her. When she overhears Hiro's mother and father discussing the catalyst, Claire decides that she can change the future by stopping Kaito from ever putting the "light" in baby Claire. To do so, she poses as a neighbor's niece and helps out Sandra, who is struggling with caring for a newborn. (Claire changed her own diaper!) But when Noah (minus his glasses!) returns home, he immediately suspects something is up, especially since his neighbors don't have a niece.
So, Claire is forced to come clean... sort of. She tells Noah she is trying to protect the baby, and proves it by describing how he feels about trying to love the baby without compromising his assignment. Claire tells him that they will share (at least) 16 years together, loving each other through the good times and the bad. When Kaito calls Noah to ask him to bring the baby back, Claire pleads with him not to do it for the sake of his "Claire bear," who is just fine the way she is. Convinced (or just pleased with the coining of his baby's nickname) he puts down the phone. Mission accomplished! Well at least until Claire returns to meet with Hiro, but we'll get to that a little further down.
Hiro's mission is to get close enough to his mother (who he hasn't seen since he was very young and who he has just discovered is a healer) for her to repair his lost memory. Luckily, Kaito mistakes the future version of his son as the newly hired chef, giving Hiro the opportunity he needs to talk to his dying mother. While it's true that Hiro worked out his issues with his dad (you know, the ones where Kaito thought Hiro was an irresponsible, good-for-nothing man-child), you could still feel the sting when he watched his father insist that young Hiro could not be the bearer of "the light." Even so, Hiro served his mother her lunch (waffles!) and when she felt something familiar about him, he confessed that he was from the future, giving his mom something she never could have had: the ability to see her son grow up.
He tells her about his memory loss, and she quickly restores it, giving us a touching moment when Hiro is now able to remember how much he misses his mother. Even so, he is able to tell her of his world-saving ways and that he and Kaito made up, with Kaito living to see Hiro become a great hero. He asks his mother to give him the catalyst, saying he is able to protect it. Believing him, she obliges, but soon after she gives him "the light," she dies. Hiro heads outside to meet Claire (now that he can communicate with her), but Arthur Petrelli pops up, sucking the catalyst out of Hiro, along with his powers. Arthur tosses Hiro over the side of the building, and teleports Claire back to Angela with a message: "It's over. I won." Arthur then teleports back to Pinehearst, leaving poor Hiro hanging helplessly from a flagpole.
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