The best “Heroes” episodes span the course of the show and feature some of the most memorable scenes and storylines from the hit superhero drama. Running for four seasons, “Heroes” follows a group of people who find that they carry a genetic trait that imbues them with superhuman abilities. Among the characters are Sylar, a murdering sociopath with the ability to absorb and collect the powers of others, Peter Petrelli, an EMT with abilities similar to Sylar, his brother Nathan, a senator with the ability to fly, and Hiro Nakamura, a Japanese office worker with the ability to manipulate time.
One of the best “Heroes” episodes of the season, “Hiros” finds a future version of Hiro traveling to present day to warn Peter that he must stop Sylar, who has been murdering others for their abilities, as well as a catastrophic event that will destroy all of New York City. To do this, Peter must save Claire Bennett, a cheerleader with regenerative abilities whose power will make Syla unstoppable. Hiro ultimately delivers the series’ catchphrase to Peter in this episode: “save the cheerleader, save the world.”
“How to Stop an Exploding Man”
The first season finale, this episode is arguably one of the best “Heroes” episodes of the entire show. Confronting Sylar in an effort to stop him, Peter, unable to control his own powers, realizes that he is the event spoken of in “Hiros” as he begins to transform into a living nuclear bomb after previously absorbing the atomic abilities of a character named Ted Sprague. After Hiro appears and stabs Sylar through the heart, Sylar uses his telekinetic abilities to throw Hiro away from the others, causing Hiro to send himself into the past as a form of protection. Nathan, who has come to terms with his own powers over the course of the season, hugs his brother and lifts them both into the air, away from the city as Peter explodes in the final moments of the episode.
The best “Heroes” episode of season two, “Cautionary Tales” follows Hiro, in feudal Japan with his hero, a legendary samurai named Takezo Kensei, following the close of season one. Hiro subsequently learns that Kensei has regenerative abilities and thus, cannot die. Returning to the present, Hiro finds that his father, Kaito, has been murdered. He travels back in time to prevent his father’s death, only to be convinced by Kaito that his death is part of a greater plan. Hiro reluctantly allows his father to die, stopping time at the last moment to uncover Kaito’s killer: Takezo Kenei, now using the name Adam Monroe.
“I Am Become Death”
Without a doubt the best “Heroes” episode of season three, this episode explores the possible futures of the show’s characters. Peter, using Hiro’s time traveling abilities, travels four years into the future to seek the help of Sylar, whose abilities may help to prevent a chaotic future in which a serum can grant abilities to ordinary people. Expecting a fight, Peter arrives at Sylar’s home only to find a docile, friendly Sylar that has become a father. Peter aquires Sylars inherent ability-- the ability to understand how and why things work-- and with it received Sylar’s insatiable hunger for power, finally understanding how and why Sylar became the monster he knows him to be in the present.
“Once Upon a Time in Texas”
The best “Heroes” episode from season four, this episode finds Hiro attempting to realize his full potential by using his abilities to travel into the past and right his own wrongs. He teleports to a small café in Texas three years in the past in order to save a girl he met in the first season, Charlie Andrews, from being killed by Sylar. Hiro successfully saves Charlie from Sylar, only to see her die from an aneurism. He must then enlists the help of Sylar himself, imploring the killer to use his telekinetic abilities to remove a clot in Charlie’s brain. Reluctantly, Sylar agrees, only to be told by Hiro that, should he continue on his current path, he will die painfully and alone. This eventually leading to Sylar’s transformation into a hero at the close of the show.