Season 1 Episode 23

How to Stop an Exploding Man

Aired Monday 9:00 PM May 21, 2007 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
2,549 votes

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Episode Summary

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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  • Just one question...

    This is the second time I have watched this series, the first being a few years ago, but there is one thing I am not sure about... Peter can fly so why did Nathan have to die?? My understanding is l that Peter can now use the other powers at will so Nathan would not have to be with him in order for him to fly and explode away from the city... But it was a good episode and a great seriesmoreless
  • 9/11: A Day that will Live in Infamy

    Heroes debuted in 2006, several years after 9/11, "a day that will live in infamy."

    The NY bomb plot in Heroes obviously alludes to the 9/11 Incident, a false flag operation planned and executed by the real world counterparts of "The Company."

    Google: "AE911Truth Experts Speak Out" for an excellent YouTube expose of the operation.

    Claire: So he'll live, and kill millions of people. How can you let him be responsible for something like that? How can you live with yourself if he is?

    Nathan: Claire, I know that it's hard for you to trust me right now. But this is all going to make sense very soon. I promise.

    Right. The same "sense" that Operation Northwoods made.

    Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Ronald Reagan and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal writes:

    Sometimes governments are willing to kill large numbers of their own citizens in order to advance an agenda. For example, Operation Northwoods was a plan for false flag terrorist events drafted by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and signed by General Lyman Lemnitzer. It called for the CIA and other "black op" elements to shoot down Americans in the streets of Miami and Washington, D.C., to hijack or shoot down airliners, to attack and sink boats carrying Cuban refugees to the US, and to fabricate evidence that implicated Castro. The agenda of the Joint Chiefs and the CIA was to stir up American fear and hatred of Castro in order to support regime change in Cuba.

    Before the reader cries "conspiracy theory," be apprised that the secret Operation Northwoods was made public on November 18, 1997, by the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. When the plan was presented to President Kennedy in 1962, he rejected it and removed Lemnitzer as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    When I tell even highly educated people about Operation Northwoods, they react with disbelief which goes to show that even US government-acknowledged conspiracies remain protected by disbelief a half century after they were hatched and 14 years after being revealed by the government.

    -- Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury under Ronald Reagan, former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal

    Heroes as a TV show had story structure problems. It lost its way after the first season.

    But I'm giving this particular story arc high marks for reminding us that the American government is guilty of the premeditated mass murder of 3000 American citizens on American soil within our living memories.

    The idea that "our government" would do this to us is not "unthinkable."moreless
  • How to stop an exploding man? No, more like how to ruin an amazing show. How can a series that is so well crafted and so well written be left at the mercy of a completely pathetic resolution?moreless

    A season finale is the absolute pinnacle of the year. Taking everything we knew or thought we knew, along with all those unanswered questions into one last drmatic climax that leaves you breathless and wanting for more.

    Heroes has been the most outstanding TV programme this year. Good writing, mixed with superbly crafted characters and a subtle blend of humour have made each and every episode stand out from the rest of the pointless trash on TV right now. That is, until the finale. Or should I say the final ten minutes of the finale.

    As expected, everything and everyone comes together. Then it all just falls apart. If, whilst watching some time back when Peter had his first dream about exploding, you thought a certain hero would come in and stop it in a very specific way, you were right. Unfortunately rather than challenging us, it ends with the obvious. I wanted something clever, hell that's what we've been used to all the way throughout the season, so why change now?

    Let's just hope (which I'm sure they will), that the writing picks the pace back up at the beginning of season 2. They've got a lot to do though after that excuse of a 'cliff-hanger'. Do they not want us to keep watching?moreless
  • this was a good ep

    in this ep of the show heroes its the season one final and slyer has excepts his desteny and this is it heroes must work togeather to stop the man from exploding in new york and things are heating up nikki and her boyfriend help out in new york and hiro slows down time and takes down slery not kill him though and the man that is about to explode they fly him up in the ski to get rid of him and you think he is gone but not really it was crazy ep i thought and it was very exciting i thoughtmoreless
  • The finale of the first volume is at hand. Sylar accepts his fate, Claire doesn't want to escape her destiny and the rest of our Heroes face their own, as one of our Heroes must make the ultimate sacrifice to save the world.moreless

    The finale of the first volume. All the stories are summed up and reach a conclusion as a new volume unfolds before our eyes. First things first.

    Sylar draws the painting that shows him and Peter at Kirby Plaza facing each other. After Ando's visit, who tries to stop him, Hiro arrives and saves Ando just in time. After that, Sylar leaves for Kirby Plaza.

    Meanwhile, Hiro accepts his own fate and after he saves Ando he teleports him back in Tokyo (at Yamagato Industries) after he realizes that he must end his mission alone. He admits that Ando's courageous act to go after Sylar gave him strength to face his destiny and kill Sylar (he does in fact stab him and after he is sent at nearby building by Sylar; fortunately he manages to teleport before he is hurt).

    Niki and DL escape after DL killed Linderman and Niki runs to save Micah as well. There Niki faces Jessica (or so she thinks) when she realizes that she has the strength (and she always did) to defeat anyone. The Jessica she was fighting turns out to be Candice's illusion. When she saves Micah, she notices that Jessica is gone as well.

    Mohinder with Molly try to escape Sylar. There they find Niki, DL and Micah and together they head to Kirby Plaza. Peter tries to leave New York with Claire and turns to his brother for help. Realizing that he can't help him he runs away. Claire stays with Angela and Nathan (after a phone call by her father to do so) but she escapes later when she realizes that Nathan doesn't want to save the world. Peter faints when he tries to control once more his exploding power. In a dream or time travel (we don't know, we assume it's a dream) Peter witnesses a conversation between his mother and Charles Deveaux where we see that both of them knew about the bomb already. Angela's plan was that Nathan would be the one the people would turn to after the explosion of New York but Charles believes that Peter is going to be the one to save the world by stopping the bomb (I really enjoyed the whole the world is going to be destroyed there's nothing we can do idea of Angela on the one hand and Charles more optimistic plan). Waking up he finds Noah Bennet (yes we find out his name which it was supposed to be something to look forward to; personally I didn't realize I haven't heard his first name until this scene). Together they head to Kirby Plaza with a promise by Noah to kill Peter if things got out of hand. In the end, we see a stabbed (by Hiro) Sylar, a shot Matt (with the bullets of his own gun as Sylar sent them back at him), a wounded Noah, a sad Claire, a reunited family (Niki, Micah and DL), a Hiro who has teleported away and the Petrelli brothers flying in the air stopping the explosion from destroying New York City. All of this lead to a Sylar escaping (yes Sylar is still alive), Matt is led to the hospital (alive as well), Claire and Noah talk about returning home, Hiro is stuck in the past (Japan 1671 actually) and us not knowing what happened to the Petrelli brothers (we know that Peter is alive thanks to a certain cheerleader but we don't know about Nathan). Most of these and more questions being asked at the beginning of volume 2 will be answered in chapter 8 of volume 2 entitled: Four months ago. For now just enjoy the quick preview of the next volume entitled Generations.

    Key facts: Charles Deveaux does have an ability which it is revealed in volume 4. This is the last appearance of Tawny Cypress (aka Simone). Also Jessica is gone for good and Hiro is not the innocent man we enjoyed this volume. He becomes a little bit darker and more mature in the next volumes, a transformation which happens to Claire also but at the end of the next volume.moreless
James Kyson

James Kyson

Ando Masahashi

Recurring Role

Missy Peregrym

Missy Peregrym

Candice Wilmer

Recurring Role

Zachary Quinto

Zachary Quinto

Gabriel Gray/Sylar

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (21)

    • 1. You would think since some of the Heroes know just how powerful and evil Sylar is, after stabbing him someone would have shot him or decapitated him as well.

      2. With all the people (medical and police personnel included) walking around how can Sylar go unnoticed and slip into the manhole?

    • Goof: If Peter can permanently absorb other people's powers once he's been around them, then why doesn't he fly off by himself once he starts to go radioactive, why does Nathan have to take him?

      Explanation: Apparently Peter can only use 1 borrowed ability/power at a time. Since he was using Ted Sprague's radioactive ability he probably couldn't use Nathan's power of flight.

    • When Claire is asking Peter if there is another way to stop him, and Peter responds with a no, Nathan flies in and says "Yes there is, Claire." How would he know what they were talking about? Nathan doesn't have super-hearing.

    • Goof: Claire freaks out about shooting Peter. She should know (as she has experienced it herself in an earlier episode) that a bullet in the chest will stop him and get him knocked out but not killed. Wait a few minutes and the bullet comes out through the mouth.

      Note: Peter had specifically told Claire to shoot him in the back of the head, from which he couldn't regenerate.

    • Hiro doesn't swear at the end of the episode. He says "Dai pinch" which means "big bad situation".

    • Goof: When Peter is saying for Claire to shoot him, he should be turning around. The idea was to shoot him in the back of the head in the same spot as where the glass was in him.

    • The cockroach seen at the end of the episode is not native to New York or the U.S. for that matter. It appears to be a Madagascar hissing cockroach which is only usually seen in the U.S. as pets.

    • Jessica (in the broken glass) told Nikki that the one that was beating her up wasn't Jessica, and it turned up to be Candice. However, Niki should've realiced on her own, since she and Jessica (really Candice) were wearing different clothes.

    • Goof: As of the episode ".07%, Mohinder left Peter at the Petrelli Mansion, who was dead at the time after being impaled with glass by Sylar. Mohinder leaves the mansion before Peter regenerates and doesn't know that he's alive. Mohinder is not surprised to see Peter alive in Kirby Plaza. Although Mr. Bennet, Matt, or even Molly could have told the doctor about him, that would have been made a plot point, seeing as Peter's death was motivation for Mohinder to call The Company in the first place.

    • At the end of the episode, following the trail of Sylar's blood to an opened manhole, we see a cockroach crawling on the rim of the cover. This is a hint back to Mohinder's comments in the first episode about evolution, God, and cockroaches.

    • Hiro's last scene, when he's looking up to the sky, is very similar to the one in the first episode, during the "exercise-hour" in his work as the eclipse goes on.

    • Mohinder's opening narration is nearly the same he says in the very beginning of the first chapter: "Genesis".

    • In the scene where Parkman, Bennet and Mohinder are waiting for Molly to wake up, we first see her lying sideways in the bed. In the next scene she is sitting up sleeping. Clearly an editing mistake.

    • When Sylar picks up the 9th Wonder comic book that Ando dropped, you can see that these are indeed events that happened, but each page is a different event and there is no connection between the panels.

    • Goof: When Hiro teleports Ando out of the Issac's loft he does so with Ando's sword in his hand. When he reappears with Ando at Yamagato Industries in Japan, Hiro has his own sword as well as Ando's.

      This is not a goof. Hiro had his sword on his back the whole time. He had it there since Kaito gave it back to him earlier prior to him teleporting to Isaac's loft.

      This IS a goof. If you look at Hiro when he teleports into the loft, there is no sign of his own sword. He is not holding it and it is not on his back. When he teleports back to Japan, it is suddenly on his back.

    • If Sylar could react quickly enough to stop bullets he should have been able to stop Hiro who had to take several steps towards him before stabbing him.

      Explanation: Hiro had attempted, and failed, on two occasions to kill Sylar in the same manner. Sylar's confidence in Hiro's failure led to the latter's success.

    • Peter and Nathan would have been fine if the Haitian was present at Kirby Plaza, as he has the ability to block powers, so Peter never would have exploded, and Nathan would not have had to die in order to save everybody.

      Response: This was mentioned before, but the Haitian only blocks mental powers like Matt's telepathy and Sylar's telekinesis.

      Not true. The Haitian can black ALL powers as evidenced in the later episode Four Months Ago.... When the Haitian is ridding Peter of his memories Peter tries to use his powers on the Haitian but can't. Also, in Five Years Gone when Future Hiro, Future Peter and Ando are infiltrating the base, Future Hiro makes it quite clear that the Haitian disrupts their powers and Future Matt and his team know that so they are waiting for them beside the elevator.

    • In previous episodes Candice gives some hints that what we see is not her true appearance. It is also hinted that she is probably over-weight, nevertheless when she is knocked-out by Niki, the illusions she was creating disappear, but she reverts to the "Candice" we aways have seen.

      Possible Explanation: Candice's form as an attractive brunette could have been used so continuously that it became permanent, even when Candice isn't conscious, unless she desires to appear otherwise.

    • During the Peter and Sylar confrontation at the Kirby Plaza, their shadows and light angles differ in separate view angles.

    • It's weird that Nathan had to hold Peter and fly away for him to explode. The first ability Peter found out he had was to fly. He could do that alone. Nathan didn't have to die.

      Explanation: It has been noted that Peter seems to be unable to wield two powers at once. Since he was using all his strength and concentration to keep from exploding he was unable to fly away.

    • Goof: In the end of the episode, when Hiro teleports next to Sylar, he's holding his sword by it's blade, with it pointed to his back. When the angle changes, in the very next scene, the blade is pointing to Sylar.

  • QUOTES (38)

    • Ando: You look badass.
      Hiro: Really?

    • Charles: In the end, all that really matters is love.

    • Claire: Nathan doesn't care about you. He doesn't care about anyone. He doesn't care about me and I'm his own daughter. We do not need him!
      Peter: Yes, we do!
      Claire: Why?
      Peter: Because I'm afraid! Okay? And I need my brother to help us.

    • Matt: We know where Sylar is, we can go after him.
      Bennet: No, not without Petrelli. He's the only one who can stop him.
      Matt: I've come three thousand miles; I left my pregnant wife at home. He's a bad guy, I'm a cop, I'm going after him.

    • Peter: (in flashback) This may sound strange but, your father's last few weeks, his death, it can be beautiful if you let it be.
      Simone: Sure, piece of cake.
      Peter: I'm not saying it's not tragic for you, I'm just saying…y'know, death is the one thing that connects us all. It reminds us that what's really important is who we've touched, and y'know, how much we've given. It makes us realize that we have to be good to one another. See your father, he's the real hero. Not me.

    • Charles: I think that Linderman is betting on the wrong brother.
      Angela: Are we talking about the same Peter here?
      Charles: I look in Peter's eyes, I see compassion, empathy, but most of all I see hope. This world won't be saved on strength, what it really needs is heart, and that means Peter.
      Angela: Charles, don't get me wrong, I love Peter, but that poor kid can barely get out of his own way. He's ruled by insecurities. He's weak. No, trust me, this bomb is going to go off and Nathan's the one the world's going to turn to.
      Charles: I don't believe this tragedy's inevitable.
      Angela: Well then, one of us is going to be right, and one of us won't.

    • Angela: There are things you simply aren't mature enough to understand yet.
      Claire: Yeah, like how you can let your own son die like this. Your own brother!
      Nathan: He's not gonna die.
      Angela: Thanks to you, Peter has the ability to survive.
      Claire: So he lives, and kills millions of people. How can you let him be responsible for something like that? And how can you live with yourself if he is?

    • Charles: You came here because you needed to. You needed to hear the truth before you could save the world.
      Peter: I save the world?
      Charles: You've had the power all along, Peter. You've just needed to learn how to use it.
      Peter: Why me?
      Charles: Because there has to be one that's good, there always has. And your heart has the ability to love unconditionally. Like I told you, in the end all that really matters is love.

    • Claire: (about the bomb) This is insane! Nothing is inevitable! The future is not written in stone!

    • Charles Deveaux: Invisibility. Always thought that that would be a good one to have.

    • (While being embraced by Nathan.)
      Claire: I already have a family. (Claire then runs to the window and jumps out. Nathan and Angela Petrelli watch Claire get up and start to walk away)
      Angela: I know what you're thinking. Just let her go.

    • Charles Deveaux: I know you're there Peter. (Charles continues to sip his drink.)

    • (Mohinder discussing Molly with HRG.)
      Mohinder: And you don't understand how important she is to me. Those are my anti-bodies in her.

    • Nathan: After the explosion the city is going to need me. The world is going to need me.

    • Matt: (to Molly) So you can find anyone in the world you just need to think about them?
      Molly: Almost anyone.
      Matt: Almost?
      Molly: There is only one that I can't.
      Matt: Who is that? Is it someone bad Molly, like the boogeyman?
      Molly: No. He is a lot worse.
      Matt: Why don't you wanna find it?
      Molly: Because when I think about him (whispering) he can see me.

    • Hiro: (After teleporting to Kirby Plaza) Sylar!!!
      Sylar: (Before Hiro puts his blade through his stomach) You!!

    • (Micah and Molly are at the broken elevator)
      Molly: It won't work!
      Micah: Yes, it will!
      (Micah places his hand on the elevator panel; Mohinder and Niki lift D.L. onto his feet; the elevator dings as Micah smiles at an amazed Molly)

    • Nathan: I challenge everyone here tonight to inspire by example. To fight the battle, no matter the cost. The world is sick, spinning out of control. But we can heal it.

    • Peter: I took his power, Nathan. I can't control it. I can't do anything.
      Nathan: I'm not leaving you, Peter. There's another way to end this, and you know it.
      Peter: I can't let you die.
      Nathan: And I can't let everyone else. (looks at Claire) You saved the cheerleader, so we could save the world.
      Peter: I love you, Nathan.
      Nathan: I love you, too. (looks up into the sky) You ready?
      (Peter nods)

    • Sylar (to Peter): What took you so long?

    • (All in Japanese)
      Hiro: It is not the sword. It is the man.
      (Hiro picks up Ando's sword and turns away in dramatic fashion.)
      Hiro: This man is ready.
      Ando: Hiro,
      (Hiro turns facing his companion.)
      Ando: You look bad ass.

    • Bennet: (to Claire) Let's go home.
      Claire: Home where? Our house burned down.
      Bennet: Home is anywhere our family is.
      Claire: You've got a plan, don't you, Dad?

    • Sylar: Turns out you're the villain, Peter. I'm the hero.

    • Molly: Please don't die, Officer Parkman. You're my hero.

    • Sylar: Haven't I killed you before?
      Peter: Didn't take.

    • (arriving at Yamagato Industries)
      Ando: Hiro! You did it! You were faster than Sylar!
      Hiro: Now I'll go back.
      Ando: We can go back together. Surprise him!
      Hiro: No, Ando. This part of my journey...I must finish alone.
      Ando: But...I am not afraid.
      Hiro: I know. You have shown me what bravery is.
      Ando: Your whole life you talked about your favorite stories...Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman, Kensei... All the heroes you wanted to be. One day, people will tell the story of...Hiro Nakamura.
      (Hiro gives Ando his Kensei sword)
      Hiro: So you'll know I'll be back.
      Ando: But...your sword?
      Hiro: "It is not the sword. It is the man." This man is ready.

    • Claire: The future is not written in stone.

    • Mohinder: Molly, we need to go now.
      Molly: Where are we going?
      Mohinder: Officer Parkman called. He believes that Sylar- he believes the boogeyman is on his way.
      Molly: No. He's not on his way. He's already here.

    • Sylar: A comic book that predicts the future. What will they think of next? You're kidding. This is how Isaac thought I'd die? Stabbed by a silly little man!
      Ando: Hiro is not silly.
      Sylar: You should've seen the look on his face when he tried to kill me.
      Ando: You cannot take my brain.
      Sylar: Please. What would I want with your brain? Where is Peter Petrelli?
      Ando: I don't know.
      (Sylar starts hurting Ando, then Hiro teleports in behind Sylar)
      Sylar: Where is he?
      Hiro: Let him go.
      Sylar: I don't think I'm going to.
      Ando: Hiro.
      Hiro: (Japanese) It's okay. I'm here to save you.
      Sylar: All you have to do is stop time before I cut off his head. Do you think you can do your little trick before I do mine?
      Ando: (Japanese) Don't worry about me! Just stab him!

    • Bennet: Linderman's guards will be all over us if they find Thompson's body.
      Mohinder: Maybe you should've thought of that before you shot him.
      Bennet: It was self-defense.
      Mohinder: And Molly Walker? What's your excuse for nearly shooting her?
      Bennet: She's dangerous. You're gonna need to start trusting me, Dr. Suresh.
      Mohinder: Yes, because that's worked out really well for me before.
      Bennet: Look...the organization that I used to work for once stood for something. Now, it's been corrupted.
      Mohinder: Used to work for?
      Bennet: The only thing that's important to me now is protecting my family.
      Mohinder: I will never let Molly be used to hurt anyone. She can do good in this world.
      Bennet: I don't think you understand the true nature of this organization.

    • Hiro: Ando must have thought I would give up. He took a sword and went after Sylar! Alone! He'll die!
      Mr. Nakamura: Yes. Probably. But that's not your concern right now. You must remember your mission. The world is at stake.
      Hiro: No, I must go after him. I will not abandon my friend!
      Mr. Nakamura: Then you have already lost.
      Hiro: Father. My whole life you have looked at me with disappointment. I do not wish to lose you now. But I cannot let my friend die. Not when I have the power to stop it.
      Mr. Nakamura: Don't forget your legacy...the wind at the back of history.

    • Mohinder: (opening narration) Where does it come from? This quest? This need to solve life's mysteries when the simplest of questions can never be answered. Why are we here? What is the soul? Why do we dream? Perhaps we'd be better off not looking at all. Not delving, not yearning. But that's not human nature, not the human heart. That is not why we are here. Yet still we struggle to make a difference, to change the world, to dream of hope. Never knowing for certain who we will meet along the way. Who among the world of strangers will hold our hand. Touch our hearts. And share the pain of trying.

    • (Claire, sobbing, raises the gun and aims it at Peter, who is going critical)
      Peter: (glowing dangerously) Do it. (tense pause) DO IT! You're the only one, Claire!
      Claire: (sobbing) Tell me there's another way! Please!
      Peter: Shoot me! There is no other way!

    • Mohinder: So much struggle for meaning, for purpose and in the end we find it only in each other. How we share experience of the fantastic and the mundane. The simple human need to find a kindred, to connect and to know in our hearts ... that we are not alone.

    • Mohinder: We dream of hope, we dream of change, fire, of love, of death ... then it happens, the dream becomes real, and the answer to this quest is need to solve life's
      mysteries finally shows itself, like the glowing light of the new dawn ...

    • Ando: (to Hiro) Your whole life you talked about your favorite stories...Star Wars, Star Trek, Superman, Kensei... All the heroes you wanted to be. One day people will tell the story of... Hiro Nakamura.

    • Peter: Thank you, Mr. Bennet.
      Mr. Bennet: Call me Noah.

    • Hiro:(upon seeing the approaching Japanese warriors) #*@&$*

  • NOTES (4)

    • The Symbol:
      There were no new appearances of the symbol in this episode.

    • New Heroes:
      There were no new heroes introduced in this episode.

    • International Air Dates:
      South Africa: November 7, 2007 on SABC 3
      Italy: November 14, 2007 on Italia 1
      Sweden: January 2, 2008 on TV4
      Norway: February 11, 2008 on NRK1
      Germany: March 5, 2008 on RTL2
      Finland: March 19, 2008 on MTV3
      Lithuania: April 23, 2008 on TV3
      Czech Republic: June 5, 2008 on Prima
      Slovakia: September 15, 2008 on Markiza

    • Power Developments:
      Niki Sanders: As evidenced in her fight to save Micah, Niki can now control her superstrength without Jessica taking over.

      Peter Petrelli: After Niki comes near him, Peter absorbs her superstrength and uses it to battle Sylar. If Peter returns in the Second Season, he could have Sylar's additional powers of liquifying metal and enhanced hearing. If is unknown if he was in close enough proximity to D.L., Micah and Molly to absorb their abilities. Whether or not Peter has the capacity to use more than one ability at a time (e.g. turning invisible and beating Sylar using Niki's superstrength) has yet to be seen. It is also unclear as to whether or not Peter can absorb the person's actual ability (e.g. Sylar's ability to incorporate others' powers into himself by opening up their heads and performing some kind of act) or if he can also absorb stolen abilities (e.g. ability to liquify metal or super-hearing).

      Charles Deveaux: Not clear what his power is at this point, but he was able to meet with Peter when he returned to an earlier point in time and nobody else could notice Peter (including himself).


    • "How to Stop an Exploding Man"

      The episode title alludes to a scene from Chapter 11: Fallout. When Isaac tells Hiro that he recently painted an exploding man, Hiro replies: "How do you stop an exploding man?"