Season 3 Episode 2

The Butterfly Effect

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Sep 22, 2008 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • The kind of tortoise that Matt encounters is a California Desert Tortoise. It would not be in Africa.

    • Goof: When Peter disappears after talking to Claire, the branches on the tree have moved.

    • Goof: After Ando asks Hiro who the strange men in the building are, the subtitles for Hiro read: "Private Detectives. Very discrete." "Discrete" means discontinuous or unrelated. "Discreet" means careful or prudent, and seems more likely to be used in describing the qualities of a private detective.

  • Quotes

    • Noah: You know, even before you were ever born, I've been finding these people and locking them away so they can't do any harm, and now a dozen of them have escaped. They're out there, and they will kill, and they will terrorize, and they will conspire, and they will cause unimaginable destruction to the world. They're villains, Claire. And right now, I'm one of the only people on the planet who knows enough about them to stop them. That's why I can't stay.
      Claire: Then let me come with you. I can be your partner.
      Noah: Claire.
      Claire: I can help. I helped save New York City! You were there. You saw it! I was willing to shoot Peter with your gun when you couldn't do it!
      Noah: That's exactly the type of situation I can't put you in again! I'm doing this so you don't have to.

    • (Noah shows Claire some files of the escapees; Knox's file is currently on the screen)
      Noah: (to Claire) Some people are just evil. His name is Knox. He can absorb a person's fear and turn it into his own strength. Incredible strength. (brings up Flint's file) This guy is a flamethrower. (brings up the German's file) We call this guy "The German." He can control magnetic energy. (brings up Jesse Murphy's file) And this guy, Jesse... you don't want to know.

    • Mohinder: It's different. Better. And if I can give powers to anyone, then it's only a matter of time until I find a way to reverse the effects and take the powers away. And this all came from you, Maya. From what's inside that...extraordinary body of yours. (They kiss and then Mohinder tears off Maya's shirt and pushes her onto the table)
      Maya: You ARE different.

    • Maya: (After Mohinder leaps onto the floor) How did you just do that?
      Mohinder: Remember that serum I made? Remember how I said it could give powers to anyone instantaneously?
      Maya: You didn't!
      Mohinder: I sure did.
      Maya: But you said it still needed to be perfected.
      Mohinder: I was wrong.

    • Sandra: I am so angry. To think that that monster was in this house. Maybe we should go to a motel.
      Claire: He's not coming back.
      Sandra: How do you know that?
      Claire: Because he got what he came for.

    • Angela: I had another dream. One I'd rather not repeat. And all because you're not where you're supposed to be. So go back where you came from, Peter.
      Future Peter: I'm sorry. I'm a little too busy saving the world right now.
      Angela: You never were as smart as you thought you were. I see a few more years on this planet hasn't changed that.
      Future Peter: There are things that I know. Things that you can't see, Mother. Even in your dreams. I've seen what you become. I've seen what you do. So don't think that I came back here for my health.
      Angela: You have no idea the fire that you're playing with. You don't screw with time. It's called the butterfly effect. Step on a butterfly today, three years from now a million people are wiped out.
      Future Peter: Let's just hope it's no one I know.
      Angela: Ah, but what if it is? What if it turns out to be someone you do know? Someone you care about?

    • Bob: I can't help but think about you as a child. When your mother died your need for approval, affection, was hard to bear.
      Elle: I will find him and I'll, I'll figure out where he will strike next…
      Bob: No, no, no, why should I keep putting you into a position where you're just going to be letting me or yourself down again. That's not fair to either of us, is it?

    • (in Japanese)
      Ando: A thief lives here?
      Hiro: So it would appear. (staring at Mona Lisa)

    • Peter: What were you doing?
      Claire: What does it look like? Trying to get hit by a train!

    • Claire: You can't save me all the time, Peter. What happened was my fault. I can't defend myself. Yeah, I can, I can heal, but what kind of lame power is that? I'm still just a victim.

    • Tracy: Do you think that you know me?
      Nathan: The word biblically comes to mind.

    • Nathan: Last time I was in a position of authority I nearly let Manhattan get wiped off the face of the map. I'm not really sure what that says about my basic nature.
      Peter: Well, you're different now. Everything's different.

    • Elle: I have worked for this company my entire life! What am I supposed to do now?
      Angela: I suppose you'll have to get yourself another life.

    • (in Japanese)
      Hiro: You understand your part of the plan, right?
      Ando: It sounds dangerous. Does Batman put Robin in danger when he sets a trap for Catwoman?
      Hiro: Sometimes. To teach him a lesson.
      Ando: Stop punishing me for something I haven't done yet.
      Hiro: Don't kill me and I won't punish you.

    • (in Japanese)
      Ando: I didn't see you do that.
      Hiro: I stop time and teleport. I do many things that you don't see.

    • Usutu: You come from America?
      Matt: Yes, how did you…
      Usutu: You know Britney Spears?

    • Matt: Your cell. I gotta use your cell, I've got to call home.
      Usutu: No service here. I should've gone with Sprint.

    • Mr. Bennet: I was so worried about you. Are you all right?
      Claire: No. But I'm better now. (hugs her father)

    • Claire: (speaking into the camera) It seemed to help last time I made a tape. But this time it's different, because I'm starting to wonder if I'm even human anymore. Because if you can't feel anything, do you still have a soul? Will I live forever? All of these questions, I just... I need to prove that I'm still alive. < em>(the train approaches) So I guess I should just start by saying that... my name is Claire Bennet, and this is attempt number seven.

    • Voice: That plant there...it will give you water.
      Matt Parkman: (Matt pulls the plant out by the roots and finds a few drops of water) Thank you turtle, you saved my life.
      African man: (Standing over Matt) Why are you talking to a turtle?

    • Journalist: I'm running this story with or without your comment.
      Tracy: You run this story and I will hunt your ass down and destroy you.

    • Claire: (After cutting herself with a piece of glass) I don't feel anything. It didn't hurt, there's no pain.
      Sandra: But that's your power, isn't it?
      Claire: No. I heal but I always feel everything. It hurts the same as it would for anyone else but…not this time. That pain, I'm always so grateful for. That's the only time I know I'm still human.

    • Angela: (talking to Sylar) My sons have been such a disappointment. But you, I can give you what all boys crave from their mothers. Inspiration and guidance. Comfort. Isn't that right, Gabriel?
      Sylar: My name is Sylar. And you are not my mother.
      Angela: But I am, dear. I am!

  • Notes

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: October 9, 2008 on Channel 7/Prime
      New Zealand: November 12, 2008 on TV 3
      Latin America: November 21, 2008 on Universal Channel
      Israel: Tuesday, December 30, 2008 on Yes Stars Action
      India: December 30, 2008 on Star World
      Belgium: March 12, 2009 on VT4
      Germany: September 9, 2009 on RTL II
      Finland: February 13, 2010 on Sub
      Czech Republic: June 11, 2010 on Prima COOL
      Slovakia: July 11, 2012 on Markiza

    • Powers Developments:
      Mohinder Suresh: Due to the injection of the formula he created, Mohinder has developed strength, agility, balance, athletic ability and increased senses. Also it made him more confident and aggressive. But it is making him mutate, as demonstrated by the lesions on his back.

      Tracy Strauss: Tracy has demonstrated the power of cryokinesis, the ability to freeze with the mind. Her ability seems to be limited to things she physically touches.

      Claire Bennet: Claire discovers that she can no longer feel physical pain.

    • This episode was formerly known as "Dreamtime".

  • Allusions

    • Mohinder Suresh's new found power is no doubt an homage to Jeff Goldblum's character in the 1986 Horror Movie, "The Fly".
      In that movie, Goldblum invents a teleportation machine, which by accident (and without his knowledge) merges his DNA with that of a fly.
      Goldblum's first apparent change is heightened senses and extraordinary health and physical agility and strength. The second change is his slow physical transformation to that of a human fly, which starts with lesions on his back, small prickly hair growing out of his body, and more.

    • The Butterfly Effect
      The title of this episode and Angela Petrelli's comments about the Butterfly Effect are a reference to Ray Bradbury's short story "A Sound Of Thunder". In Bradbury's story, a company offers safaris in time to allow people to hunt and kill extinct animals. The animals are carefully chosen as they would have died anyway shortly after the hunter kills them, so ensuring that the future will not be changed. As part of his celebration of a moderate candidate winning the recent presidential election, the protagonist wishes to kill a Tyrannosaurus Rex. On facing the animal he is too scared to do so and runs away. His guides kill the Tyrannosaur and shortly afterwards a branch falls from a tree and onto the carcase of the animal. When the three return to the present they find that everything is different. The moderate candidate did not win the election; instead it was a fascist candidate who is considered to be very bad for the future of the world. The protagonist realises that when he ran away from the Tyrannosaur he accidentally killed a butterfly that was not meant to have died. That one trivial change had altered the course of history.