Season 3 Episode 4

I Am Become Death

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Oct 06, 2008 on NBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Peter travels to the future and adopts a dangerous ability in order to try to save the world. Meanwhile, Mohinder struggles with his continuing evolution from the formula, and Hiro and Ando re-unite with an old enemy.

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  • The Season continues at a speed faster than Daphne - better watch it, going at that speed it may crash...badly

    Although it felt like last episode was slowing down in story progression a little this just throws a whole lot at you and expects you to care. It's almost like during the long hiatus the producers decided to correct the pace of Season 2 but ended up overcompensating and going in the complete opposite direction. I like the everyone could have powers concept for the future but it was just pulled off badly.

    When we went to 4 years from now it was extremely bad and unfortunately nothing as future Peter said had changed. This seems a bit odd as surely Nathan telling everyone he could fly was the catalyst for people wanting the powers. Who tells everyone now and puts it on the market is the question. The new crack cocaine of the 2kteens.

    Back in present day we don't get a long drawn out plot with Tracey which would have been interesting. Like with Micah she simply gets the information she needs from the doctor and leaves. Very disappointing especially as she decides all she can now do is resign and try to commit suicide (and in the future wear Elton John sunglasses). Bah Humbug she needs to stay in Office (why resign, huh) and hopefully now she will, whether she marries Nathan or not. Speaking of Nathan I'm glad he is back where he should be, lets just have the situation play out. At times it literally feels like most of the Heroes are adding to the growing unemployment rate, especially during last season. Half the idea of the first season was that the characters lived their lives and had a role in society. Nathan with a foot in power being the driving force.

    As for Peter who now has the Hunger (Sylar's power) we finally have the writers setting up an Achilles heel for a character who has got too powerful. I didn't understand why he needs the power other than for the writers to do this in all honesty. It was contrived but slightly fun to see Sylar as the good father though. It also given the power makes sense for him not to pick Sylar's main power up straight away its just a shame it was so easily given to him. I mean Luke had to train to be a Jedi over a long time not just fix a watch to gain that power.

    The less said about Mohinder the better save for the fact that he got the formula wrong. I liked Mohinder originally and he still does the beautiful voiceover but he has lost his way as a character and probably can not now connect with his roots, which made him an interesting character in the first place. However one character I'm starting to like after not really caring for much in a Season and a half is Parkman, who in the future with Daphne works as a character and then in the present on a spirit journey works again. Seems like this character needs a family and purpose to work.

    Lastly is Hiro and Ando, not much just squabbling and trying to escape through a vent (The Haitian blocking his abilities). Its not till the final scene and that cliffhanger that we get any good material and I'll admit that was a good cliffhanger.moreless
  • Peter travels to the future with his future self and witnesses a dark future. Matt also has a vision about the future he needs to stop from happening. Tracy comes closer to the truth about her past and also to Nathan. Mohinder's darker side rises.moreless

    The fourth chapter may be one of the weakest of this volume. Peter travels four years into the future with his future self who is trying to prove to Peter that he needs to take measures for this dark future not to happen. In the future, future Peter is shot by future Claire. Peter teleports to Mohinder's future self who is now some sort of reptile-formed human due to the formula. Through him, he finds Sylar (who is now Gabriel Gray) in Costa Verde at the Bennets' old house who has a boy named Noah (?). There Peter asks Gabriel to teach him how to use Sylar's intuitive aptitude ability. Gabriel warns him that it may have dire consequences. Peter is eager and so Gabriel teaches him. The result is that future Claire along with the future selves of Daphne and Knox reach Gabriel's house and in a struggle Noah, Gabriel's boy, is killed and Gabriel uses old Ted's nuclear power which destroys the whole of Costa Verde. The only survivors are Peter, Claire and a nearly dead Daphne who dies in the hands of future Matt. Claire tortures Peter until future Nathan appears and stops her. A talk between the two brothers ends up with Peter killing Nathan due to his new ability's hunger (the same one Sylar has). In the end, Peter teleports back to the present and attacks Sylar in Level 5.

    Hiro and Ando are still locked up and after a fight between them they end up patching things up. The Haitian takes them to Angela who tells them they might be the only way of stopping this new villain that is gathering forces against them. Hiro agrees and heads with Ando to find the one person who might be able to help them. Adam Monroe who was buried by Hiro in the previous volume in chapter 11: Powerless. Matt goes on a trance and witnesses the same future Peter has witness when he went to the future. There he sees his future wife, Daphne and his family (Molly and his girl, Danniella). When he wakes up his realizes he has to help Daphne from not getting killed and Usutu tells him that he needs to find his spirit guide which turns out to be a turtle.

    Tracy is at Dr Zimmerman's who tells her that she along with her sisters Niki and Barbara (no, we haven't met Barbara yet) have been expiremented on when they were babies and that is how they got their powers. Dr Zimmerman reveals he has made a formula in the past and along with a certain Company (guess which company he is talking about) have made expirements to babies. When Tracy doesn't get any information about the Company and filled with guilts over the death of the reporter she killed in chapter 2: The Butterfly effect, she attempts to commit suicide but she is rescued by non-other than Nathan. Coming closer together our two Heroes reveal their powers to each other.

    Finally, Mohinder's power created by the injection of the formula has consequences. He has a rush on hsi shoulder and he becomes more angressive. He becomes hostile towards Maya as well. When a neighbour is causing domestic violence towards his wife, Mohinder interferes. As a result the neighbour man goes to Mohinder angry for his intervention and Mohinder attacks him and puts him into his house.

    Overall, an OK episode. As I mentioned, it is probably the weakest in this volume. Nevertheless, it still has its significance. Peter could now go villain because of Sylar's power, Matt met Daphne who he is supposed to fall in love with and marry to. I personally liked Claire as the badass girl. This is suited better for Hayden Penettiere. Enjoy!moreless
  • Heroes' fan base seems absolutely determined to drive the show to an early grave.

    Heroes' fan base seems absolutely determined to drive the show to an early grave. The forums are awash with folks proclaiming that they are fed up with the show, that they're abandoning it like a desperate housewife might flee a dried-up, middle-aged husband with no semblance of a sex drive. And not only that, but it's receiving a critical mauling too: major TV guides are declaring, in blusteringly dramatic fashion, that they're 'done' with the series, that it's all just 'too much'. Too much of what, exactly? Too much good? Too much intelligence? Too much plot for your one-track minds to cope with? Those are the only answers I can muster, especially in light of Monday night's episode which, in this humble viewer's opinion, was both a considerable improvement on 'One of Us, One of Them' and was rather close to the giddy heights reached by the grandiose season opener. As I've mentioned before, it seems the American public is just too damn difficult to please. One week, they bemoan a slow narrative pace. Next week, they bemoan a fast narrative pace. One week, they bemoan repetition of plot elements. Next week, they bemoan that there's 'too much different'. Tim Kring must be scratching his head in bemusement. What on Earth is it going to take to please these people? Not fine acting, exciting scripting and stupendous direction, apparently. 'I Am Become Death' has these in spades. Zachary Quinto, again, is brilliant, effortlessly shifting between future passive Sylar and the present malicious one, but let's give a hand to Milo Ventimiglia who, for once, doesn't utter a single cringe worthy line in the entire episode… AND manages to effectively be three different people utterly convincingly at the same time. The decision to give Peter Sylar's power is an excellent one, opening up a whole plethora of possibilities for his present day character that can only go a long way toward making him even more interesting. Couple that with Mohinder's violent transformation into something less than desirable (wow of wows at his black-cloaked future self), kick-ass future Claire's sinister streak and the dissent between Hiro and Ando and you have a world being turned slowly, but significantly, on its head. Our 'heroes' are very much in a state of flux, of potential transformation: one can see the beginnings of their respective paths towards a possible future turn to the dark side. And frankly, I like it. It makes for much more compulsive viewing AND three-dimensionalises the characters. The 'four years on' glimpses are all superbly done, as usual, and there are some wonderful contemporary sequences too: of particular note is Tracy Strauss who I continue to warm to with each episode (interesting pun that, I suppose), and also Nathan whose connection to Linderman is sufficiently beguiling to have me thoroughly intrigued. Let's not forget Matt too, who seems to be connected to our resident speedster and is now following turtles around, and, of course, the appearance of David Anders at episode's end which, while reinforcing the notion that everyone will always return in Heroes, is still more than welcome given how kick ass his character is. Thoroughly enjoyable stuff all round then; a fast-paced, action-packed (WOAH at the complete devastation of Costa Verde) jamboree of an episode that continues to turn things on their head and keeps the show intelligent and revitalised as a result. Not quite 'The Second Coming' or 'The Butterfly Effect' but pretty close.moreless
  • A trip to the future shows how weird things are going to get.

    Plenty of revelations, both good and bad, and Peter inadvertently causes a tragedy.

    Zimmerman says they're triplets, not twins! Tracy, Niki and 'Barbara'?! Their powers aren't natural, they're the result of DNA manipulation. That's not strange given the serum Mohinder made but Zimmerman says the Company ordered the tests then made them forget! I am not happy with this, this better be a once off otherwise it completely ruins the entire series' evolution storyline!!

    The future: This world is full of people with powers, flying is a very common power. This is before the future that Hiro saw but it's the build-up. Future Peter, convinced by Angela that he has made bad choices, must rely on his younger self to make better ones. After all, Peter saved the world once, he can do it again. Future Peter already knows that some people don't have natural powers and makes the worrying comment that 'Nathan, Claire and Suresh' aren't the people Peter thinks they are. He says Nathan doesn't have to die now but it's Claire and Suresh we have to worry about. FPeter says Peter should find Sylar! Then the shocker: Claire really is trying to kill Peter! I thought she was just upset! And she's working with the Haitian, Daphne and Knox.

    Here's the weird part. The scar: in season 1, it made sense for FPeter to have the scar, in the original history Sylar killed Claire and Peter never met her so couldn't heal. But why does this FPeter not have healing powers? He's our Peter, just four years ahead, so he should have that power but strangely doesn't. He is killed with two shots to the chest. Granted the Haitian is standing nearby but would that actually result in the gunshots being fatal? Wouldn't he just heal when the Haitian was gone? From this the only answer is that FPeter, for whatever reason, doesn't have healing powers! Yet he has all of his other powers, it's quite the little mystery. Is this an error on the writers' part or is there an explanation?

    Ando gets a well deserved rant at Hiro. Hiro does take him for granted and I have no doubt that Hiro could not have accomplished half of what he did without him.

    Linderman's still hanging around Nathan and no-one can see him but won't explain why, or what his agenda is. He used Nathan once, he's using Nathan again. Nathan is on the same road to power as before and we all know how that turned out: him dead and Sylar in the White House. At least this time, Nathan is going in with his eyes open and more importantly, doesn't trust Linderman.

    Peter goes to Mohinder's loft and finds it abandoned, but as if it were abandoned today in the present – Mohinder's tape recorder sits on the desk where he left it. Mohinder's transformed into some sort of half creature. Seems like Pete picked up a new power in the bank when he got his body back – pyrokinesis (blue). And we enter the Twilight Zone – Sylar is playing house, has a son and hugs Peter! Sylar doesn't notice the scar's gone but his little cousin Noah does. And Sylar drops the bombshell: brothers. Sylar's gone good guy! He has managed to control the hunger that comes with his ability and he elaborates on his actual power: to see how things work, to see the variables of a situation and everything that implies. Peter takes Sylar's power which can only lead to death and destruction, it made Sylar a serial killer and we know Peter's capacity for darkness.

    I was right, the blonde in the painting of Matt is Daphne. Married, baby and adopted Molly. Daphne and Matt talk about Peter as if he's a terrorist: 'All the pain and misery he's caused.' Is this the same Peter?! How can good people like Matt think Peter is the bad guy?!

    Claire blames both FPeter and Sylar, even willing to kill the innocent Peter. When little Noah dies, Gabriel goes nuclear. 200,000 people died in Costa Verde but Claire and Peter survived, so where's Gabriel? In our present, he's got Claire's powers but looks like when FPeter brought Peter forward, it's still the original timeline. And who walks in, Nathan! It really is him this time but Gabriel's warning comes true and Peter actually attacks Nathan!! Peter has returned to the present but it has made no difference, the next scene is the aftermath of Costa Verde so nothing has changed.

    Not surprisingly, Tracy hands Nathan her resignation. She can't do that, he needs her! He doesn't have anyone in the world except Peter now and I get a really trustworthy vibe from her. Linderman actually gives a piece of advice Nathan should follow: help Tracy. Tracy jumps off a bridge and Nathan flies to save her. She shows him her power and here we go again. Though I mightily approve of Tracy for Nathan. However, she's probably going to feel weird later, Niki slept with him too. Future: Nathan marries Tracy!! This is getting a bit incestuous – in the original history, Niki hooked up with Peter!

    Angela rebukes Hiro for letting the formula get stolen but Ando volunteers Hiro to fix it. And the first place we start: the last guy who tried to destroy the world, Adam.

    An action packed episode but must admit I don't like where this is going. Peter has always been the hero. If he goes dark, not sure the series can work without him as the light of good who guides everyone else. Hope the writers don't mess this up.moreless
  • Peter travels to the future while Usutu grants Matt the ability to dream it. Kensei returns.Meanwhile Tracy learns the truth, while Nathan is tormented by visions of Linderman and Mohinder starts to experience the formulas unpleasant side effects.moreless

    Wow, well what can I say? Tonight's instalment was certainly what you could call a filler episode. So much happening in such as short space of time is something that only 'Heroes' can do. So many questions are raised that, literally, by the end of it, you are begging for more (…well maybe it's just me, being one of those mad fans).

    There are so many different storylines that it is difficult to keep track of what is happening. I completely forgot to mention Linderman whom is back on the show....or is he? Linderman has become quite a bore to be perfectly honest, waxing poetic about flaming everything, becoming nothing more than an irritating mobster back from the dead. His presence in the show, however, is notably welcomed (or maybe it's just me again?) as the actor Malcolm McDowell who plays him is both wonderful and engaging. Meanwhile in Africa, (yeah, that's right!) Usutu fixes Matt some scrumptious looking food, with a hint of some super duper, magic, organic, future fibres thrown in to give it maximum flavour! Matt soon after dreams the future. What tends to happen a lot in 'Heroes' is this: someone has a really cool ability, which the creators of 'Heroes' then decides to give to every god dam member of the cast. Isaac's ability was great, (so was his artwork for that matter, provided for the show by the magnificent Tim Sale) and was a one off thing, but then Peter absorbed it, Matt seemingly has experienced something like it, Sylar took it (but then lost it) and Angela has a similar ability. Then there was healing, which Claire has. Peter absorbed it from Claire while Sylar took it from her and Kensei displayed the exact same ability. The abilities start to loose their originality and interest, and in the process, so to do the characters.

    Talking of Kensei, he returns at the end of the episode, but for how long?

    At the beginning of the episode we (and Tracy) finally learn the truth. I've been dying to find out who this mysterious Tracy Strauss was from the very beginning of series three…Tracy Strauss is one of three triplets, Nikki (sanders), Barbara and herself. Each were individually granted an ability (synthetic) via Dr. Zimmerman (hence the title Dr). When Tracy's and her twin's birth parents died she was separated from her sisters and given to adoptive parents. Quite simple really, if you think about it, but equally ridiculous. I can't believe that Nikki's ability was Synthetic, although having twin sisters kind of explains her split personality Jessica who as you remember looked exactly like her.

    Later in a dramatic scene, out of guilt over killing the skanky reporter, Tracy attempts suicide, but is saved when Nathan catches her in mid-fall, flying her off to safety. These flying effects are always appreciated in Heroes, but this one in particular strongly echoed the style of superman superbly (saving damsels in distress etc).

    A very funny scene follows near the end of the episode, Nathan and Tracy are sitting down dumfounded on a couch next to one another, speechless, (who wouldn't be?), until Tracy stumbles conversationally 'So…you can fly?'. In recent years, after watching so many films I finally came to realize that it's not necessarily what the actors say that makes a scene tick, but the way in which they say it, and in Ali's case, brilliantly, with a hint of disbelieving in her voice, yet in a relaxed tone.

    Moving on to the main and incredibly complicated yet genuinely thrilling main story arc of 'I am become Death', Peter is transported to the future by his future self, who takes him to a world where abilities are available to everyone. What follows is a terrific showdown at the Bennett's house in Costa Verde now inhabited by a reformed Sylar and his son Noah. This whole scene was superbly directed, leading up to a great climax that echoed season 1's exploding man story.

    Lastly there is Mohinder's story, which is actually getting rather interesting. I thought that the formula would just change Mohinder physically, not mentally; within the first few minutes of the episode he beats his neighbour up. Mohinder's storyline is actually beginning to look promising as we will hopefully see more of his, as well as the other hero's, evil side which the title of volume 3 'Villains' promises us.moreless
Mark Vanselow

Mark Vanselow


Guest Star

Sage Kirkpatrick

Sage Kirkpatrick

Neighbor's Wife

Guest Star

Adam Jamal Craig

Adam Jamal Craig


Guest Star

Jimmy Jean-Louis

Jimmy Jean-Louis

The Haitian

Recurring Role

Brea Grant

Brea Grant

Daphne Millbrook

Recurring Role

Ntare Mwine

Ntare Mwine


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • After Claire does the second incision on Peter's chest the camera pans up from the floor and focuses on the two Peters. In this shot it is clear that there are no cuts on Peter's chest. Since he is unable to heal with the Haitian nearby, and we see later that he still has the cuts, this is clearly a mistake.

    • At Dr. Zimmerman's house there is a picture of, from left to right, Dr. Zimmerman, Tracy Strauss as a teenager, a blond woman, and "The German" (one of the twelve fugitives that escape from Level Five, who had the ability to manipulate metal).

  • QUOTES (14)

    • (after Hiro and Ando have unearthed a coffin)
      Hiro: If I knew I had the key, I wouldn't have buried it so deep.

    • Future Mohinder: Do not repeat my mistakes.
      Peter: What happened to you?
      Future Mohinder: I wanted abilities. Impetuous. Selfish. I got the formula wrong. So wrong.

    • Peter: I went to the future. The world ended. I took your ability so I could understand how to stop it.
      Sylar: You took my ability? You have the hunger. You're like me.
      Peter: I will never let myself become you.
      Sylar: You already are... brother.

    • (Gabriel begins to glow)
      Gabriel: They killed him! Ahh!
      Peter: Gabriel!
      Gabriel: Save us! (he explodes)

    • Future Sylar: Peter, it's so good to see you. I haven't seen you in so long. (hugs Peter) If you told me you were coming, I would've made extra.

    • Hiro: Let me out! I must save the world! The future depends on it!

    • Peter: Where are we?
      Future Peter: When are we. This is the future I came back to stop.
      Peter: Why? It looks just like today.
      Future Peter: With one big difference.
      (people are seen flying)
      Peter: How is this possible?
      Future Peter: An injection. Abilities are available to anyone. For sale if you can afford it. For grabs if you're desperate enough. But all these people with abilities are gonna destroy the world.
      Peter: How could you know that?
      Future Peter: How would you? I painted it. Dreamed it. It's gonna happen. Here, look. (shows Peter newspaper) All the crime, murder. All abilities. People can't be trusted. We're weak, jealous, violent.
      Peter: There's always good people. Always.
      Future Peter: How could I be so naive?

    • Future Nathan: Stop. I'd like a moment with my brother alone.
      Future Claire: Is this the President speaking, or my father?
      Future Nathan: Both.

    • Peter: I don't know a thing about watches!
      Future Sylar: If you want to learn how to access my ability, fix... the watch. Listen to it. Like a symphony, every piece has its part, all coming together in perfect harmony. If you can understand the complexities of a watch, you can understand anything - everything. Cause, effect... action, reaction... how to change the future.

    • Future Claire: I killed my uncle once and now I have to kill him again, so let me be a human being for just one second.

    • Daphne: (to Parkman) I wasn't fast enough.

    • Linderman: The greater the fall, the grander the ascension. Isn't that what you've always wanted? Trust me. This is the path to salvation.
      Nathan: It's not my path. Not if you're leading the way.

    • Angela Petrelli: Your father loved you dearly, Hiro. He had faith you would grow up to be a great man. But he was mistaken, and his folly will be the downfall of us all.
      (Hiro hangs his head)
      Hiro: I am sorry.
      (Ando lifts Hiro's head back up by the scruff of his neck)
      Ando: No you're not!
      Hiro: I'm not?
      Ando: Don't apologize to her. This is Hiro Nakamura, he will not rest until that formula is safe!
      (Hiro puffs out his chest with pride)
      Hiro: What he said!

    • (last line)
      Adam Monroe: Hiro? You son of a bi-

  • NOTES (4)

    • David Anders is billed as Special Guest Star.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: October 23, 2008 on Channel 7/Prime
      New Zealand: November 26, 2008 on TV 3
      Latin America: December 5, 2008 on Universal Channel
      India: January 13, 2009 on Star World
      Belgium: March 19, 2009 on VT4
      Germany: September 23, 2009 on RTL II
      Finland: February 27, 2010 on Sub
      Czech Republic: June 25, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: July 13, 2012 on Markiza

    • Powers Developments:
      Peter Petrelli: Peter develops pyrokinesis, super speed, and accesses Sylar's intuitive aptitude.

    • This episode was formerly known as "The Year of Our Lord".


    • Future Peter: Because I've made terrible choices. Stepped on too many butterflies.

      This is a callback to a conversation the character had with Angela Petrelli in the second episode of Volume 3. This conversation and the title of that episode, The Butterfly Effect, were a reference to A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury. In the novel a time traveler kills a butterfly in the past; when he returns to the present, his world has become a nightmare of oppression.

    • Episode Title: I am become Death.

      This is part of the passage "If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds", from the Bhagavad Gita, famously recalled by Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan Project, in reference to the first test of the atomic bomb.