Seven Minutes to Midnight (Heroes)
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|"Seven Minutes to Midnight"|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Paul Edwards|
|Written by||Tim Kring|
|Original air date||November 13, 2006|
Mohinder returns to India to scatter his father's ashes. He debates whether to return to his job as a college professor. His former girlfriend Mira invites him to interview for a job at a company doing genetics research where she has just been made a department head. However, she says he must not mention his father's research into the evolution of superpowers or consider continuing it. Moving into his father's office, Mohinder sees a running program on the computer; after pressing delete, an "are you sure you want to quit" message appears on the screen and Mohinder hesitates to select yes. Mohinder talks with his mother about her decision to let his father go to the United States to look for Sylar. His mother tells him for the first time about his sister, Shanti, who died when she was five, two years after Mohinder was born. Shanti was "special", according to her mother, and their father loved her so much that he was afraid Mohinder would find his love for his son wanting in comparison. Mohinder also has a series of dreams, depicting a young Indian boy who guides him to various scenes showing his parents arguing and showing his father's murder in his taxi cab by a man whose face was obscured, but was wearing a watch with a broken face, showing seven minutes to twelve (or midnight). After another dream where the boy was trying to get into a locked drawer in Mohinder's desk, Mohinder realizes the key in his father's journal was to that drawer, and opens it, finding a file titled "SANJOG, Iyer", containing a photo of the boy.
Continuing their journey to New York, Hiro and Ando stop at a diner in Midland, Texas, and meet a waitress named Charlie, who recently developed a near perfect ability to quickly memorize any information. As Hiro talks to Charlie, the man in the baseball cap who earlier had attempted to kidnap Molly from FBI custody — Sylar — is watching them talk. As he does so, he uses telekinesis to draw a cup of coffee to his hand from across the table. He also is shown wearing the same watch as the murderer of Mohinder's father, which also is set to seven minutes to midnight. Charlie is later found murdered in the diner's storeroom, with her brain removed in the same manner as Sylar's victims. Hiro tells Ando that he can prevent Charlie's death by going back in time to the day before and preventing her from going to work; however, Hiro fails to return five seconds after his departure, as he promised Ando he would. A worried Ando paces next to a wall of pictures, which he does not notice. One of the pictures, which before had shown Charlie with a birthday cake in the diner, now shows Hiro as well, implying that he went further back in time than just the day before.
At the FBI office in Los Angeles, Matt Parkman and Agent Hanson are interrogating Ted Sprague, who becomes so agitated that he boils the glass of water in his hands using his power to emit radiation. During the interrogation, Sprague reveals that, like Matt, he saw the Haitian just before blacking out for two days, and when he awoke, he had two mysterious marks on his neck. However, before Matt can learn more, Homeland Security takes custody of Sprague, who tells Matt to find the Haitian. Matt has been suspended without pay for a month after having punched a superior officer who had an affair with Matt's wife. Matt's wife admits to her affair and asks Matt if their marriage is over. Matt says he doesn't know, but their conversation is cut off by a phone call from Audrey, who notifies Matt that Sprague has escaped from custody, leaving behind a burning car.
At the Odessa, Texas paper factory where Mr. Bennet works, Bennet tells Isaac, whom Eden has kidnapped from his apartment in New York, that he and his associates have worked for a number of years to find people with special powers and to assist them in learning to use them. Sometimes, he says, there are unintended consequences. Fourteen years ago, a woman with special powers died in his custody, leaving behind a toddler daughter. Mr. Bennet and his wife, who were having trouble conceiving a child, adopted the little girl. Mr. Bennet said Claire's appearance in his life was like a miracle.
However, Bennet knows that Sylar will kill Claire the next night, and he needs Isaac to help him prevent the incident by completing a painting of Claire being murdered at her homecoming game. Bennet has collected three previous paintings Isaac created that depict a terrified Claire close-up, running up the bleachers in a football stadium, and lying dead on the ground with the top of her skull removed. When Isaac says he is unable to paint without the use of heroin, and resists taking the drug, Mr. Bennet orders Eden to administer the drug. Back at the Bennet household that evening, Claire paints a banner for the homecoming celebration the next night, unaware of her father's concerns for her safety.
- At the beginning
- The Earth is large. Large enough that you think you can hide from anything: from fate, from God. If only you found a place far enough away. So you run... to the edge of the Earth, where all is safe again, quiet and warm. The solace of salt air. The peace of danger left behind. The luxury of grief... And maybe for a moment you believe you have escaped.
- At the end
- You can run far, you can take your small precautions, but have you really gotten away? Can you ever escape? Or is the truth that you do not have the strength or cunning to hide from destiny? But the world is not small, you are... and fate can find you anywhere.
The total viewership for this episode was 15.08 million. It earned an 8.8/13 share for the week.
- This is Zachary Quinto's first appearance as Sylar, who was played by stunt doubles in the earlier episodes. 
- The name of the episode, "Seven Minutes to Midnight", parallels the original setting of the Doomsday Clock and the setting at the time the episode first aired, on which midnight represents nuclear war.
- This episode only features five of the actual main cast.
- Watch "Seven Minutes to Midnight" at NBC.com
- Seven Minutes to Midnight at the Internet Movie Database