S01E04 - A Caged Bird
The episode begins with a cold open, showing logistics director Norton Trask (Jamie Kavanaugh) in his high-rise New York City apartment. Trask is cooking dinner at night, listening to classical music. There is a television on in the background showing news of violent anti-government protests, and Trask mutes his music to listen. He looks troubled, then hears a knock at his door.
When Trask answers the door, Magnes is on the other side holding a box of Pizza. Magnes says his delivery is ready, and Trask says he didn't order any pizza and starts to shut his door. Magnes stops it with his foot, insists he has the right address, and when Trask steps into the hallway to talk with him he is struck with the butt of a gun in the side of the head by Teo. Trask lands on the floor, unconscious.
New York City. Late Summer, 2008.
Trask wakes up chained and gagged in a basement. Teo is keeping an eye on him, sitting across from him with a gun. Trask tries to say something and Teo just keeps saying, "What?" at him with increasing volume. Magnes comes downstairs into the basement and tells Teo that he's needed upstairs. They switch places, and Magnes asks Trask if he needs anything. Trask offers a muffled response back, to which Magnes says, "Oh, right."
Upstairs, Cameron, Helena, Eve, Delilah, and Teo discuss how best to handle Trask. Cameron suggests Delilah handles the interrogation and alludes to her ability being just what they need. Helena asks what Delilah's ability is and Cameron says to watch and see. Delilah is reluctant, but Eve convinces her it's the safest option.
The group goes downstairs. Cameron and Teo further restrain Trask, who struggles against them. Delilah comes close and takes off her gloves and apologizes before grabbing either side of Trask's face. Delilah's eyes go cloudy and black but something seems wrong. She backs away from Trask and says she doesn't "feel anything." Eve starts laughing so hard she falls over, and an angry Cameron asks her what's so funny. Eve says to take Trask's gag off.
Cameron does, reluctantly, and Trask says that whatever they were trying to do wouldn't work. He's "like them" but his ability is different, he's a negator, and he's immune to the powers of others. Cameron is infuriated and slams Trask against the wall, but Teo pulls him off. They go back upstairs, leaving Magnes behind to guard Trask.
Upstairs, Cameron throws himself into a frenzy. He has an argument about torturing Trask, with Eve and Helena on his side, but Teo and Delilah are adamantly against it. Helena insists it's the only way, and tries to weigh the danger of Sylar being alive against making a tough choice.
Downstairs, Magnes asks Trask why he'd work for the government if all they want to do is her people like them. Trask says it isn't that black and white, but he doesn't expect Magnes to understand. Trask asks if Magnes is a member of PARIAH, and Magnes is shocked that Trask knows the name. Trask reads Magnes' surprise as confirmation, but says he doesn't disagree with what they're doing. Trask says that there's more people with power in the government than the government realizes. When Magnes asks what he means by that, Trask says it would be safer if Magnes let him go.
Cameron and Teo come from upstairs, and Cameron goes after Trask. He grabs the chains around Trasks' wrists and starts heating them up with a touch, revealing his ability of pyrokinesis. Trask starts to scream and Magnes tries to pull Cameron off of Trask, but is hit in the face by Cameron's elbow. Teo steps in and shoves Cameron off and the two get into a fistfight. Cameron ignites his hand into flames and almost burns Teo's face before stopping himself.
Trask asks them what he could possibly know that is worth going through all this trouble. Cameron says that the government is hiding the Midtown Man, that he's alive. Trask says that's impossible. Helena, who had been listening to the argument upstairs comes down and says its true and shows Trask the video they obtained. Trask is horrified and says that the Midtown Man died. But he can't argue with what he's seeing on the video.
Trask says he recognizes the facility they're holding him but tells them they'll never be able to get in. It's a secure facility located in the heart of the financial district and heavily secured. Teo pleads with Trask and asks him to tell them where it is and that they'll worry about how to get inside. Trask looks like he won't until Magnes asks Trask if he knows anyone who died in November 8th, 2006. Trask says he was living in California, and that he didn't. Magnes tells Trask how his parents died in the Midtown explosion and that it's the responsibility of everyone with abilities to ensure that doesn't happen again.
Trask reconsiders and tells them the site of the detention center. He then asks for them to let him go, but Cameron says he'd sooner put a bullet in Trask's head and goes upstairs. Teo reassures Trask he won't let that happen and hurries upstairs. Magnes thanks Trask, and says that Cameron isn't always like that. Trask warns Magnes that sometimes, people are exactly what they seem like on the outside.
Magnes disagrees, and heads upstairs, shutting the door to the basement.
In a windowless concrete cell, we see the first full look at the Midtown Man, Paul E. Sylar (Jeremiah McComb). Sylar is kept in a medicated coma by machines in his cell. The door opens and a man in a suit wearing wire-rimmed glasses walks in, Agent Norman Benner (George Whitman). Agent Benner stands over Sylar and says it will be a "long time" before he ever sees the waking world again. Benner then narrows his eyes and says, "but one of these days, you won't be anyone's problem anymore."
Benner checks the machines and leaves the cell. We see a reflection of Sylar's face in the glass, and when the door shuts his eyes move behind his eyelids.