Season 3 Episode 24

I Am Sylar

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 20, 2009 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
625 votes

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Episode Summary

Sylar, still engaged in an unlikely alliance, faces an identity crisis as his newest power begins to affect him in strange ways. Hiro and Ando try to bring down Building 26 as Matt grapples with fatherhood. Nathan begins to unfold a plan to to set things right.moreless

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  • Sylar goes Gollum; it seems he doesn't get a whole lot of sympathy for his identity crisis - other than from a very surprising source.

    This episode is Sylar's. The title, "I am Sylar", is most cleverly picked; these are the exact words he telekinetically carves into his forearm to remember who he really is.

    His power to turn into someone else is starting to bite him in the ass, making it very hard for his DNA and mind to come back to his own self. The most amusing - and disturbing - aspect of the episode is that he turns into his own mother... the one he killed with scissors on Season 1.

    At the same time, Micah is on the run, and the people at Building 26 finally catch up with him. If not for Sylar's sudden interest in Micah's plan, the other would have surely been caught. We shall wait and see what becomes of this.

    As it is, Micah introduces our favorite serial killer with a new idea to think about: he could save all of them (the specials). And what better way to do it than become the man he already chose on Season 1: Nathan Petrelli.

    In the meanwhile, Matt had become a full-time daddy, and although he probably owes Hiro and Ando for that, he is more determined to have his family back together than fighting for the big cause. By the time Matt gets to Janice and is about to take them to safety, though, he is reminded once again that he used to be a cop - and that he used to want to do the right thing no matter what...

    Hiro and Ando have their own superhero issues; Ando is a little sour about Hiro's plans to use him as bait and a possum, but in the end the two finally resolve their problems - only to find that Hiro isn't exactly in prime condition.

    Petrelli family, in the meanwhile, is trying to decide what to do about Sylar posing at Nathan.

    Nathan's comment to that is one of the best, after he flies to DC to face-off with the serial killer: "Get out of my body."

    Sylar is just about to get to his surgical main act before Danko bursts in, taking Nathan out. (No love between those two, it seems.) Sylar has his own plans now, though, and after Danko realizes that, he plunges a knife to the back of Sylar's head, assuming that would do the trick.

    Well, it doesn't. Tough. Perhaps Sylar picked more from Claire than he thought possible. He is truly special now...

    I am very hyped about the season finale next week. Peter took after Nathan, we know as much, and looking at the promos, there seems to be a lot coming our way!moreless
  • Or 'the one with the homage to Richey Edwards'.

    Or 'the one with the homage to Richey Edwards'. Did ya see that pain-inducing, self-mutilating episode title reveal? Bet that would've hurt more than '4REAL'. Anyway, 'I Am Sylar' is a vast improvement on '1961'. The episode shows considerable promise because it actually drives its myriad narratives forward in a variety of exciting ways. Hiro and Ando finally get to do something of consequence in their attempt to gain access to Building 26 and it's all mired in some wonderful, meaningful character development that's been a long time coming. Hiro's mysterious nosebleed is unexpected and shocking too, leaving the viewing genuinely intrigued to see what happens next. Sylar's story is also engaging. In fact, it's generally excellent. There's some superb dialogue, fantastic acting and really interesting beats in his confusion with the development of his shapeshifting ability and, like the Japanese boys' story, it's mostly unpredictable. The return of Gabriel's doting adoptive mother is a lovely touch and plays beautifully, demonstrating yet again why, when written right, the brain slicer is the best damn character in the show. And what's more, we get Micah in the mix too which is always a treat. Even the Petrellis get a fairly decent plot this week as Nathan confronts his doppelgänger and nearly snuffs it. All good, then? Well, almost. If only it weren't for Matt Parkman's uninteresting dalliance with his ex-wife which essentially runs around in circles and does nothing. He's gonna help take down Danko, he isn't, oh wait, he is. It smacks of filler and sadly, illustrates just how thin this whole 'fugitives' story really is. Thankfully, this doesn't detract too much from the quality of the hour, although the jury's out on the closing scene in which Sylar heals from the only thing that can kill him. This kind of thing never bodes well. Time will tell though and for now, I'll make do with this being the best damn episode of Heroes in ages.moreless
  • The stroy's great, Sylar's great, this show is f****** great!

    this week is as good as any other, i've given it a 9 because its great but not as good as heroes can be. Throughout the episode you constantly here how Sylar, who is currently strugling with his new shape shifting power, can become President by using Nathens apperance. This future has alredy been seen, when Hiro traveled to the future to discover New York blown to pieces. But anyway the comedy duo Hiro and Ando are up to their usual tricks with a few surpises along the way. Also in this episode we see a mercifull side to Sylar we havnt seen in a wile when he comes face to face with Rebel. How long can the Mercy last for? MUST SEE!!moreless
  • Disappointing given it's the second last episode. The redemption of the episode is some great Sylar scenes.

    Sylar's scenes are the best of the episode, the rest of which is unimpressive.

    Hiro and Ando had hoped that meeting his son would make Matt more willing to fight, but the opposite happens – he's afraid of getting killed and leaving his child without a father. I love Hiro and Ando but Hiro does everything like he's living a comic book and his latest idea is just one of those ideas: capture some agents and make them tell the location of their 'secret lair'. The encounter does have an interesting side-effect, something Hiro has never tried before – if he's touching someone, they don't freeze. I figured that out ages ago! Hiro's got a side that I don't like, he doesn't appreciate Ando, mistreats and condescends to him. Here he deliberately lets Ando get hurt just to accomplish his goal. Don't know why Ando puts up with it. How do the agents not notice that suddenly one of their own is Asian with glasses until they're back in the van?! Surely they know who they're hunting and didn't click that the disappearing guy was maybe Hiro, who can freeze time? It's unclear whether Ando actually killed them or just stunned them – I'm hoping the latter given how casual they were afterwards!

    Sylar's shapeshifting isn't working the way he thought it would, his body is changing by itself. Is this because the power is new and he hasn't mastered it yet or an actual problem with the ability? Sylar again shows that mysterious ability to appear and disappear, they've never explained where he got that and he's had it since we first saw him attack Claire. Sylar proves he is incapable of being ordinary or even trying to fit in, announcing to the world he is back. He really is cracking up, talking to his dead mother! The ability to shapechange has it's downside, especially when your body's got a mind of it's own: by being able to be anyone, it's hard to remember who you really are.

    Danko's knowledge of 'Rebel' is puzzling – I can understand how they found Micah, but how did Danko know about his machine ability? "No electricity means no machines." To know that, Danko would have to know who Rebel is and what his power is – how would he know that? Sylar's encounter with Micah is just as odd – Micah suddenly starts talking about how Sylar's 'lost' himself – how would he even know that?! Not to mention, way random when you're alone with a serial killer! And what's this "You can save us all." bit? Micah's Rebel storyline was somewhat useful before, I don't understand why they've bothered reintroducing it, it's pointless now as far as I can tell.

    For whatever reason, Sylar doesn't kill Micah and even helps him escape. He explains it as having too many powers already. This was something the writers dealt with efficiently with Peter by removing his ability, a character who can have unlimited powers is unstoppable and therefore boring. They dealt with Peter before that happened. I'm pleased to see the writers have finally realized the same problem they had with Peter they also have with Sylar, which is probably why they've introduced the 'flaw' in his latest power, to show a downside to having too many abilities.

    Danko might have had a fairly stable partnership with Sylar before but with Sylar's current instability, he's completely unpredictable which Danko is finding out. This is great because Sylar was getting a little boring for a while – playing by the rules, stable partnership with Danko, being a good boy. That's not the Sylar we know and love – he's supposed to be unpredictable, dangerous and psychotic and it's nice to have him back. I do love Sylar here – all angsty, mysterious and brooding. Take it a step further and Sylar is actually harboring Micah! Who witnesses Sylar having a schizophrenic conversation with his mother. He killed her because she rejected him but he brought her back because she's the only person who ever loved him.

    Matt's decision to take little Matt back to Janice is idiotic! They already tried to grab him from that very house last time and Matt takes him back there?! Rather have Janice meet them somewhere and go into hiding.

    It was Micah's idea that Sylar become Nathan! Rifles Nathan's office and finds enough DNA to shapeshift. I always love the feeling of family the Petrellis have and Nathan's office is the same as their homes – photos everywhere. Love Nathan's face when he watches Sylar on tv. All it will take is one shake of the hand and Sylar becomes president! I had forgotten about Sylar's ability to know the history of objects and it lets him into Nathan's head. Unfortunately, wasn't anything we didn't know. I did freak when Sylar started to cut his head though I'm not sure that getting tranq'd by Danko was any better, but at least he's alive.

    Some final unexpected events: Hiro suddenly can't freeze time, gets nosebleeds; Mohinder's been captured; Claire, Angela and Noah got caught at a roadblock; Danko stabs Sylar in the head with a knife which doesn't stop him… The entire episode was pretty mediocre then all the good stuff happens in the last two minutes!

    Heroes is suffering from a serious lack of imagination right now, they should have followed Supernatural's example and gotten new writers to bring in fresh ideas. I love the series, even when it's mediocre, and am thrilled it's renewed for another season, I'm loyal to the end, but it has gotten stale recently and needs fresh blood. It can be so much more! That's why episodes like this one are so disappointing.

    A disappointing episode though there was all the juicy Sylar stuff. I can only hope that the finale lives up to what it should be because as the second last episode this was mediocre.moreless
  • Sylar goes through an identity crisis, Matt reunites with his family and Hiro and Ando try to break in Building 26. Danko realizes how much a monster Sylar really is.

    This is a Sylar centric episode so Zachary Quinto gives it his best. The whole process that he goes through with his shapeshifting ability is amazing. Sylar's mother comes back when Sylar goes through a fight inside of him.

    Hiro's story is also quite interesting although a little bit old. The frienship between Hiro and Ando is having some tense but in the end it all works out. The important thing here is how Hiro becomes ill when he overuses his power something which will be the main point of Hiro's arc in Season 4. The same thing goes for Matt which he will be trying to protect his family in Season 4.

    The shocking finale of this episode is how Sylar can't die (well he can but all be explained in the final chapter of this volume). Also Sylar and Danko will be going head to head.moreless
Ellen Greene

Ellen Greene

Virginia Grey

Guest Star

Gabriel Olds

Gabriel Olds

Agent Taub

Guest Star

Clint Howard

Clint Howard

Tom Miller

Guest Star

Elizabeth Lackey

Elizabeth Lackey

Janice Parkman

Recurring Role

Noah Gray-Cabey

Noah Gray-Cabey

Micah Sanders

Recurring Role

Zeljko Ivanek

Zeljko Ivanek

Emile Danko/The Hunter

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Matt is talking to Janice on the phone, Baby Matt's cup keeps changing positions between camera angles

    • A line suspending one of the electric darts can be seen as Ando passes behind it, just after he realizes he isn't frozen in time by Hiro's power.

    • According to the writers the scene in which Danko shows Sylar the agent Taub was shot just for the "previously on Heroes" montage. It did not appear in any of the earlier episodes. The scene was created just to explain that Taub was really Sylar and had been for some time.

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Matt: I'm so sorry, Janice. I can't go with you.
      Janice: Why not?
      Matt: Because... this, this is perfect. This house, our boy, you. This is everything that I've been searching for. And maybe I didn't even realize it, but Hiro was right. I, I have to go back, I have to face them and I have to end this, or we can never have a life together.
      Janice: You want a life together?
      Matt: I don't know. Maybe. But I know I want a chance to get to know you again and I'm gonna fight to make that happen.

    • Hiro: Let's go, Batman!
      Ando: It's the Crimson Arc!

    • Mohinder: (closing narration) For every being cursed with self awareness, there remains the unanswerable question, "Who am I?" We struggle to find meaningful connections to one another. We are the caring friend, the loving father, the doting mother, the protected child. We fight and we love in the hope that somehow, together, we can understand our significance in the universe. But in the end, no one can share our burden. Each of us alone, must ask the question, "Who am I? What does it mean to be alive? And in the vast infinity of time, how do I matter?"

    • Sylar: You're Rebel? You're just a kid.
      Micah: I know who you are.
      Sylar: I sincerely doubt that.
      Micah: I know you have a problem. I think I can help.
      Sylar: And do tell me, what is my problem?
      Micah: You've forgotten who you really are.
      Sylar: You're gonna help me with that?
      Micah: Yeah, I can. You're one of us. People with powers. We're all connected. You don't have to be alone.
      Sylar: You're alone, Micah. Family's all gone. All you have left are these machines and your false hopes.
      Micah: We can help each other.
      Sylar: Too late. I joined the other side.
      Micah: They don't know you. They can't see how special you are. You can save us all.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This is the final appearance of Micah Sanders.

    • International Airdates:
      Belgium: May 28, 2009 on VT4
      Latin America: June 19, 2009 on Universal Channel
      Australia: July 2, 2009 on Channel Seven/7HD
      Germany: February 10, 2010 on RTL II
      Finland: July 17, 2010 on Sub
      Czech Republic: November 12, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: August 21, 2012 on Markiza