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Ali Larter as Tracy Strauss
|First appearance||"The Second Coming"|
|Last appearance||"Brave New World"|
|Portrayed by||Ali Larter|
Niki Sanders (sister)|
Barbara Zimmerman (sister)
Micah Sanders (nephew)
Tracy Strauss, portrayed by Ali Larter, is a fictional character on the NBC science fiction drama series Heroes. She has the ability to freeze anything that she touches. As the series progresses, her ability evolved to include water mimicry. Introduced in the third season, she is an adviser to the governor of New York who recruits Nathan Petrelli as a senator. She is the triplet sister of Niki Sanders and Barbara, all three having been genetically modified by Dr. Zimmerman and separated at birth. She is also a biological aunt of Micah Sanders. According to writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite, Niki was written out of the series and replaced with Tracy so that Larter could play a different role, as they realized that they could not go further with the character. The change also allowed them to tell an origin story, where the character discovers that she has powers.
In "The Butterfly Effect" Tracy has no knowledge of her origins and ability until Nathan mistakes her for Niki Sanders. A reporter shows her evidence of Niki's sexual endeavors and attempts to blackmail her. This instance causes a trigger in her powers to inadvertently freeze him, causing his frozen form to disintegrate into pieces, leaving her shocked and frightened as she flees the scene.
In "One of Us, One of Them" Tracy eventually visits Niki's funeral in New Orleans, and meets Niki's orphaned son, Micah Sanders, who helps her discover that she and Niki were born on the same day and delivered by the same doctor, Dr. Zimmerman, supposedly to different mothers. After visiting Dr. Zimmerman, who mistakely calls her "Barbara" he tells her that there is no way to remove her ability. In this episode she also accidentally freezes him and it is seen that she can unfreeze humans without killing them.
In "I Am Become Death" Tracy attempts suicide by jumping off a bridge due to the guilt of previously killing the reporter. However, under advice from Linderman, Nathan flies in and saves her. Later, she shows Nathan her powers by freezing his glass. The two then kiss.
In "Angels and Monsters" The two visit Angela Petrelli, where they learn more about the Company's experiments, and Mohinder Suresh, who captures them as part of his experimental research. Tracy tries to freeze Mohinder so that they can escape, however this does not work, although Tracy is still able to freeze and destroy her restraints causing Mohinder to flee carrying Maya Herrera.
In "It's Coming", Tracy accompanies Nathan to Pinehearst, and watches as he confronts his father. After Nathan then heads to Primatech, Tracy goes back into Pinehearst and tells Arthur that she thinks she can get Nathan to side with him. Nathan eventually comes around, and Tracy introduces him to the team of Marines they intend to use the formula on.
In "Dual", she saves Nathan's life by freezing Knox, who was about to kill him. With Peter and Flint destroying the lab and formula, she tells Nathan that they can get the formula and start over, but Nathan fires her. She tries to take the formula from the safe in Arthur's office, but Hiro and Daphne steal it from her. She is last seen picking up Mohinder, cured of his mutations by the completed formula, as he stumbles along the side of the road.
In the Heroes graphic novel "What We Have Wrought", during the car ride Tracy reveals that she salvaged a vial of the formula under her dress. She asks Mohinder if he can reproduce another batch of formula; he responds by running out of the car and crushing the vial. He walks off in the distance, leaving an angry and upset Tracy.
Two months later, in "A Clear and Present Danger", Tracy is back working for the government. However, she is soon captured by one of Nathan's team. Tracy, who is hooded, drugged, wearing gloves and in an orange jumpsuit is then loaded onto the plane with the other posthumans (She is the prisoner with hair slipping out of the hood). Whilst the flight is in progress, Claire frees her, and Peter absorbs her ability without knowing. He touches the wall of the aircraft, and it freezes, creating a large hole that causes the plane to go down.
In "Trust and Blood" after the crash, she is found by Peter, whom she offers to Nathan in exchange for her freedom. However, this is part of a ploy with her and Peter in order to get to Nathan. During the exchange, Tracy is shocked that Nathan appears to be serious with his offer, and almost goes through with giving him Peter. After Peter escapes by flying away, Nathan double-crosses her, and she is recaptured. Nathan then visits a hooded Tracy, who then tries to convince him to let her go before being rehooded.
In "Building 26", she is chained to a chair under large heaters to prevent her from using her abilities. When her old friend from the government comes to examine Nathan's plans and sees Tracy, she immediately goes off to stop his funding. The Hunter, however, secretly loosens Tracy's chains and leaves the door unlocked. Falling into his trap, Tracy escapes and takes a man hostage, eventually killing him when she realizes that she can't escape. Her friend, seeing this, promises all the funding that Nathan needs. Believing Nathan to be responsible for her allowed escape, Tracy tells him that she knows what he did.
In "Shades of Gray", Tracy gets a message from "Rebel" telling her help is on the way. Nathan, afraid of Tracy outing to Danko about his ability, reminds her that he is her only chance of help and survival. Trusting Nathan, she lies to Danko for him.
In the episode "Cold Snap", Tracy is freed from her prison by "Rebel", and is allowed by Danko and Bennet to escape (freeing Parkman, Mohinder and Daphne in the process), so that she can lead them to "Rebel"; Bennett warns her to go along with the scheme, and she'll be allowed to disappear into the country. She leads Danko's men to "Rebel", who is revealed to be her nephew, Micah Sanders; after Micah chastises her for betraying him, she regrets it and aids him in escaping. Tracy tells Micah to set off the sprinkler system, and as he flees she walks into the open, presenting herself to the troops, and releases a massive outburst of her ability, freezing everything and everyone in her surroundings, including herself. Afterward, her frozen form is shot by Danko, and she shatters. However, after the shattering of her body, her right eye can be seen blinking and a tear rolls across her icy "cheek" just before the camera moves on to the next scene.
As the fifth volume is introduced in the episode "An Invisible Thread", Tracy is revealed to have survived Danko's attack. She now possesses the ability to manipulate and even transform into water. This allows her to become virtually invincible. She is now hunting down and killing former agents of Building 26 by drowning them; at least four victims can be attributed to her.
In "Ice Queen, Part 1", it's revealed that Tracy convinced Micah to find the whereabouts of former Building 26's agents so she can make them pay for everything they have done to posthumans, especially her after remembering how she survived Danko's shot by melting to the sewers and emerging from dirty river water. Apparently her first victim would be Wade Winslow, whom she approaches with ice fists freezing his cigar while in the hot tub. In "Ice Queen, Part 2", Tracy feels remorse while remembering how she drowned and froze to death former HLS agents, revealing other victims, Bob Yuleberg and Dan Albertson. By the time she attacked agent Harper, the fourth victim, she had to constantly convince herself she is doing the right thing. Next target, Noah Bennet, whom she watches from afar as he struggles inside his car while it fills with water.
As seen in "Orientation", Tracy, in her water form, attempts to drown Noah Bennet in his car only he is saved by Emile Danko. The water quickly goes down the drain. She later intercepts Noah in a sushi bar in her human form, where she clearly states her need for revenge and her hatred towards Danko. Noah tries to convince her to join the New Company and states that he would arrange for her to have her life back, but she doesn't believe him and leaves. Later, at Danko's apartment, Tracy notices Danko doesn't remember her at all because the Haitian erased any trace of her from Danko's memory. After this, Tracy realizes it's not worth killing him now. Edgar enters the apartment and swiftly kills Danko after a brief discussion. When Tracy approaches, Edgar quickly turns on her. She is unharmed by Edgar's rapid knife attack as every part of her body that Edgar strikes momentarily turns into water instinctively. She then proceeds to freeze his arm but he runs away.
In "Jump, Push, Fall", Noah arrives at Danko's place where Tracy is watching his corpse. She immediately denies the fault for that crime. After inspecting the body, they find a key Danko kept inside his chest, which was the reason he was cut to death. After Noah is attacked by Edgar and sent to the hospital, he calls Tracy to visit him. She realizes what he really wants is her company as he is now on his own, so they share food Peter probably brought for Noah earlier from Boston.
In "Acceptance", Tracy attempts to resume her old life as a political liaison to Governor Robert Malden, though with less satisfaction then she originally anticipated. In conversations with Noah Bennet, he encourages her to try to start again, because this is what she had been fighting for. She tries this, to the best of her ability, but finds that in a moment of extreme stress (when the Governor sexually propositions her) her powers begin to manifest. Knowing that she cannot turn her back on the new part of her life by immersing herself in the old one, she again turns to Noah Bennet for advice. Drawing on his daughter's advice from her visit to his apartment, he consoles Tracy that she may need to use this experience or glimpse of her past before settling the terms of a new life.
In "Amanda's Journey, Part 2: Thank Goodness for Tracy Strauss", Tracy finds in a road a runaway Amanda, who is in the search for her mother, Lydia. She gives Amanda a ride so she can catch the bus she missed earlier. Later, Amanda uses her ability to stop two robbers in a car, but her power gets out of control and nearly kills them; in that moment Tracy returns and freezes the fire. Tracy agrees to teach her how to control her ability while she takes Amanda to her destiny, the "Sullivan Bros. Carnival".
In "Strange Attractors", Noah calls Tracy to Cainan, GA to act as Jeremy's aunt and get him out of the police station. There she talks to Jeremy about her ability and how it became dangerous while she was angry or frightened, leading her to kill, which also happened to him. After the sheriff found Jeremy's diary, he decides to keep him in jail because in it Jeremy refers himself as "The Bringer of Death", which leads Tracy to rely on a contact to achieve his release. At the street, she meets Samuel Sullivan, who introduces the carnival to Tracy; when the "Sullivan Bros. Carnival" appears all around her, Samuel shows her many carnies displaying powers and explains the freedom she will get if she joins them, and also ensures that Jeremy will be safe among them, but Tracy feels outraged about this and decides to leave. Samuel gives her a compass so she can find her way to the carnival again, and then Lydia returns her to the street. Tracy and Noah return to the police station to get Jeremy out, but the townspeople refuse to let Jeremy walk free after knowing he used to kill animals; one of them approaches too close and Jeremy kills him in fear. After seeing this, the policemen take Jeremy in custody again, away from Tracy and Noah. When they find him again, Jeremy is already dead in a street after being dragged by a truck. Both Tracy and Noah feel they let Jeremy down, then she tells him not to call her anymore, and watches her compass pointing a specific direction as she wants to be free to use her abilities.
In "Brother's Keeper", Tracy struggles to maintain control of her ability, which seems to be overpowering her. She uses her powers to force her way into Noah Bennet's apartment where she accidentally freezes his visiting daughter Claire. A hysterical Tracy tries to thaw her out in the hot tub only to have her frozen foot break off in her hands; Claire heals seconds later, surprising Tracy. In their ensuing conversation, Claire suggests that Tracy's loss of control over her ability stems from the fact that she is conflicted about leaving her old life behind to join the Carnival and start over. They talk about how Samuel Sullivan had visited them and offered to have them join the Carnival. Tracy is happy and relieved that she is able to confide in Claire because they both have an ability, and that night at the bar, Tracy meets with Samuel, where she reveals that she has decided to take Samuel up on his offer and join the Carnival.
In "Prodigals, Part 1: Immersed", Tracy is sent by Samuel to the southwestern coast of Africa, where she is out to meet a guy named Eli. Once in a cruise, Tracy accidentally reveals a thief who then takes out a gun; she recognizes this armed guy as Eli, but he gets angry and distrustful to hear she knows him, and many of his clones surrounds Tracy. Not knowing what she meant about the carnival, "they" shoot Tracy, but her abilities allowed her to survive and attack back. The original Eli is already in a boat escaping, and Tracy knows she must follow him to the open sea.
In "Prodigals, Part 2: Witch Hunt", Tracy is tracking down the root Eli at Cape Town and in the process ends up killing many of his clones. After understanding how Eli and clones move around Tracy goes to find a diamond mine where Eli surprises her. Instead of killing her when having a chance he decides to receive her and show her the place where his clones work.
In "Prodigals, Part 3: Parched", Tracy is seen fighting against a horde of clones while the root Eli stands quietly. After learning Samuel is the actual leader of the carnival, he agrees to return, as it was Joseph who exiled him but always was loyal to Samuel. Tracy, on the other hand, has second thoughts about Samuel's intentions, and decides not to return to the carnival.
In "Reaching Out, Part 1", Tracy has settled in Savannah, GA, where she created a shelter for posthumans kids along with some Eli's clones. Tracy tries to avoid another Jeremy situation by teaching the kids how to use their powers freely. Later she meets Angela Petrelli and convinces her to give money to the cause reminding her what happened to her sister Alice; then she receives the call from Lauren. Once back to the shelter, she finds out Eli-clone was recruiting a boy named Ricky to join the "Sullivan Bros. Carnival", so Tracy confronts Eli, while someone invisible approaches behind Tracy with a knife.
In "Reaching Out, Part 2", Ricky shoots his green energy towards the flying knife, revealing Becky to be the attacker; she then fades away again while Eli's clone tries to escape. Tracy follows him and easily takes the clones down, and then summons freezing air to stop the invisible Becky just in time to save Ricky from her attack. Later, Tracy asks Ricky to watch over everyone else as she must leave to help Noah. She then meets Lauren at the site where the carnival was.
In "Brave New World", Tracy turns into water to reach Noah and Claire 40 to 50 feet underground just in time when oxygen was running low. She then turns into a large mass of water to carry them to surface by "swimming through her". Once Noah and Claire reunite with Lauren at the surface, Tracy doesn't come out the pond she created. They then leave to New York City without Tracy.
In the future of "I Am Become Death", Tracy is married to Nathan Petrelli, who by that time is the President of the United States, making her the First Lady.
Powers and abilities
Tracy can freeze objects at will by reducing the temperature of matter. She is capable of freezing human beings, as well as inanimate objects. While she suffers no ill-effects from the cold, she can be frozen if she uses her powers to create a very cold temperature ice wave, as shown in the episode "Cold Snap". While she at first could only focus her ability through her hands, she is later able to expand her control. In "Amanda's Journey, Part 2: Thank Goodness for Tracy Strauss", Tracy is able to freeze fire that was threatening to blow up a car.
As of Volume Four, her ability has evolved to include water mimicry, allowing her to transform into water and manipulate herself while in that form, as seen in "An Invisible Thread". In "Orientation", she instinctively turns to water to avoid physical injury, and is shown to be able to use her freezing ability while still in her water form.
In the graphic novel "Prodigals, Part 3: Parched", Tracy assumes an alternate form that is a feminine humanoid form made of water and ice using her ability over water to propel herself into the sky, high enough to throw ice shards from above; she is also able to shoot ice shards in every direction to hit oncoming clones, and apparently is able to invoke water from depths of the earth to revitalize her once she starts feeling dry (she seems to let herself be absorbed by the earth as well).
Tracy is a politician who was an adviser to the New York's Governor Robert Malden and Nathan Petrelli. In "Cold Snap" it is revealed that she became a politician to "protect the civil liberties of the everyday American," but she claims she is not like that anymore. However, in "Acceptance", after returning to work with Governor Malden, she decides she wants to do exactly that now, having changed her ways.
Briefly, she worked as PR for Pinehearst Company since she joined Arthur Petrelli's plan.