Heroes: Season 1, Episode 23

Chapter Twenty-Three 'How to Stop an Exploding Man' (II) (21 May 2007)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 2,006 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 5 critic

Can Sylar be stopped? Will Linderman's vision live on with Nathan? What will it take for Peter to save the world, what sacrifices will be made? With all the horrible predictions unfolding before them the heroes face moments of pain and peril in Kirby Plaza.



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Title: Chapter Twenty-Three 'How to Stop an Exploding Man' (21 May 2007)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ando Masahashi (as James Kyson Lee)


In the season finale, Ando fears his friend is powerless to keep him alive, so he steals Hiro's sword and goes after Sylar, himself. Nathan comes between Peter and Claire. Jessica tries to find her son after Lindeman and DL get killed and finds Nikki occupying the same space as herself. Mohindar does everything in his power to keep Molly alive, even though Noah Bennett wants her dead, thinking she's a missing link. And it all sets the stage for the showdown between Sylar and Peter. Written by Moviedude1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

synchronicity | connections | See All (2) »


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller


TV-14 | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

21 May 2007 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shooting in a public plaza for the climax posed several problems. They were not allowed to begin filming until after 7pm. The two children involved were only allowed to stay on set till midnight. And while it appears that most of the cast finally assembles together for the first time in this scene, logistically most of them had to be filmed separately due to availability issues. Overall, the scene took five days to be filmed. See more »


The cut on Niki's mouth changes between before she hits the 'shape shifter' and afterwards. See more »


Sylar: Haven't I killed you before?
Peter Petrelli: Didn't take.
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »


Heroes Theme
Written by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman
Performed by Wendy Melvoin & Lisa Coleman
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User Reviews

Season 1: Entertaining live-action comic book for adults but nothing more than that
1 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When I heard about HBO's The Wire, it was many years after it had started and the people I was hearing good things about it from all who had seen it and had time to fall in love with it. I mention this because I am always a bit wary when a show comes out the opposite way - marketed with lots of hype and a campaign that suggests "hey, everyone is watching this – it is the next big thing", even before a single episode is shown. So it was with Heroes, which hit the US and the UK with lots of good things being said about it by the people who made it. Regardless I gave it a go.

What I found was a sort of X-Men comic book crossed with soap opera where there isn't a huge amount of characterisation or depth in the material but that it was pleasing easy to watch and had plenty to engage me as a viewer. On one level I do love shows such as HBO's The Wire, where there is so much depth and intelligence but on the flip side, after some very long days at work I do like to be able to sit back and enjoy some trashy television. And, despite the heavy voice-over and suggestions of complex and impacting characters and plotting, this is just what Heroes is – a comic book for adults. The delivery is aware of this and it does use devices to emulate that style to good effect. The many characters help fill the time by giving plenty to follow along with. It does sag badly here and there though and at times you do get impatient with it and want it to move on, but this is an increasingly common problem with some series required to fill 23 or so episodes that perhaps the material isn't able to do.

I had worried that this would be like Lost and just constantly keep any conclusion or significant answers just out of reach but Heroes did have the benefit that the conclusion that we were building up to was set in time and that even a show trying to be like Lost would struggle to stretch the time period of several weeks out over several seasons (in the way that Lost seems determined to just keep adding bigger questions to the pile in the attempt to keep the ratings high for as long as possible before eventually bowing out as they start to dip). Of course this device is not perfect and sometimes I did wonder why time was moving so slowly – with many episodes seeming to cover several days but yet the "bomb" remains the same amount of time away. However it is still a good device and the season did maintain a real sense of build as we went along, with some good episodes adding to the flow by spending 45 minutes of narrative six months in the past or five years in the future. After a short time though, the season did start dropping in things that made little sense to me but I suppose to some would have been "wow – there is a massive mystery I am now interested in" moments. Examples include Hiro's father being involved in the flashbacks of the organisation, Peter being visible to Deveaux and several other moments – many of which are not really explained but just sort of happen.

Did it deliver at the end? Well, for me the answer is "not really" as the solution is too easy and delivered in quite a flat way. It would have worked better had I cared more about the characters but mostly they are just comic book characters so I lacked a genuine emotional buy-in that might have made it work better. It also didn't help that the "volume II" teaser at the end was unimpressive and didn't really succeed in making me keen to come back for more.

The multiple characters do all help to create this sense of building towards something but I personally didn't find them engaging as anything other than characters coming to terms with and using their powers. I didn't really mind it but I do have to admit that the women characters do seem pitched to a male audience as they do include a stripper and a cheerleader and other various women who are very easy on the eye (my personal favourite being Missy Peregrym). Of the main cast, Oka is understandably everyone's favourite because as the show can be heavy and a bit self-important, Oka and Lee keep their thread light and fun with their performances. Ramamurthy does the opposite though and he is part of it being a bit heavy. Ventimiglia deals with it better and his character changes well across the season - Pasdar doesn't achieve this totally. Larter is pretty good, Roberts is only so-so but Gray-Cabey is a good little child actor and avoids being smug or precocious. Panettiere is OK but, being kind, the simple material suits her range. Coleman I enjoyed a great deal and he was well cast. Quinto was equally good. Others are all solid enough for what the material asked but I did tire of some of the "guest" spots from the likes of Roberts, McDowell, Takei and Roundtree but I suppose in a way it did help keep it fresh.

Overall then I found this to be a reasonably entertaining piece of trashy television. I had no characters that I identified with or cared deeply about, no interest in a bit conspiracy or the ethics of dealing with the heroes but I did have an interest in the overall of the flow. It sags at times and is far from being as good as it could have been but it is fun if you come to it as a sort of live-action comic book for adults and nothing more than that.

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