S02E02 - FIREBREATHER
In the cold open we see a classroom at Red Hook High School. Students are taking a test and it pans over to Magnes, scribbling a drawing of a man in a mask with a cape flying over a city in the margins. Someone walks up close to Magnes and when he looks up he sees a blonde woman with her arms crossed looming over him. This is Elisabeth Harrison (Kayleigh Smith), Magnes' history teacher. Elisabeth looks down at Magnes' test and picks it up, looking back and forth between the test and him. She tells Magnes he got every answer right, but she doesn't think the superhero is relevant to his answers. Magnes, sheepishly, takes his test back and apologizes. Elisabeth smiles and tells him a healthy imagination is fine, just to not let it run away with his future.
The bell rings and Magnes hands the test back. He asks Elisabeth not to grade him on his artistic merit. She says she'll try, with a smile. As Magnes leaves the classroom, Elisabeth sees two NYPD detectives waiting outside of the classroom, watching her.
We cut to the title sequence, then to an aerial shot of New York City.
Magnes is sitting in the warehouse on a ratty old couch tuning a guitar. Gillian comes in and sits down next to him and watches, but eventually Magnes stops and can tell she wants to talk. Gillian thanks Magnes for sticking up for her the other night and says she's amazed that a group like this exists that she's never heard of before. Magnes admits he probably shouldn't have told Gillian as much about PARIAH as he did over the years, then apologizes that he wasn't able to save Jenny.
Gillian and Magnes talk about their family a little, with Gillian explaining how she and Jenny raised each other after their parents passed away when they were 18. She says they drifted apart over the years and never knew what her sister was into. Magnes says he really liked Jenny, but didn't know her too well. Magnes asks Gillian about what happened on the roof, he says that Helena told him that she touched Gillian and suddenly felt stronger. Gillian confesses she took a blood test and knows she has an ability, but doesn't know what it is or how it works.
Magnes holds out his hand and asks her to show him. Gillian starts to reach out for Magnes' hand when Norman comes in and says they have a lead on Frank Gordon. Gillian withdraws her hand and Magnes says he'll be right there.
At the meeting table, Wireless explains that public works and NYPD reported a string of small fires over the last night in a trail across Manhattan. Park benches burned, melted trash cans, cars with blackened handprints on them. At some of the scenes blood was found, and Wirless thinks it might be Frank, injured from his fall. Helena says he just disappeared when he fell off the roof, and Wireless isn't sure how he did that.
Teo proposes looking for hospitals or veterinary clinics that might have been broken into. He assumes if Frank is injured he might be looking to treat himself. Wireless agrees and says she'll look into it, but recommends the Ferrymen split up and search the area where Frank was seen for any clues. Magnes asks what's going to happen with Gillian and Wireless says that until they're sure Frank isn't going to come back for her she can stay with them. Norman comments that he needs to find out what her ability is and Magnes asks how he might do that. Norman vaguely implies that he has his ways.
Helena seems eager to wrap this up and says she'll go look around with Teo. Magnes looks disappointed and Norman says he can search from the air by himself better. Frustrated, Magnes leaves.
In downtown Brooklyn, Elisabeth Harrison is heading to her condo when she's approached by the two detectives from before. She stops and looks put off, but greets them by their first names. One of the detectives holds up a blurry photograph of someone flying and asks Elisabeth if she recognizes who is in that photo. She says no, and tells the detectives that she already told them everything that she knows, and that she doesn't think any of her students are Evolved. They ask if she knows if any of them have taken blood tests, and Elisabeth reminds them it isn't mandatory. The detectives relent and Elisabeth excuses herself into her apartment.
Inside Elisabeth's apartment we are shown a bookshelf with a medal for decorated service, a photo of her in an NYPD uniform, and a framed newspaper article about a "Hero Cop" who stopped a bank robbery but was injured in the line of duty. Elisabeth puts away her groceries, then goes over to her kitchen table and looks at a newspaper with a headline that reads "IS PARIAH GONE?" With a subheader of, "Is the Evolved Threat Diminishing? Or Just Getting Started?" Elisabeth throws the newspaper in the trash.
In rural New Jersey, a car is broken down on the side of the road. Jenny Childs leans against the side of the car, trying to get cell signal and failing. Sylar is hunched over, under the hood, checking the steaming engine. He says he doesn't know anything about cars and can't fix it, but he thinks it overheated. Jenny apologizes and says they should get a new one. Sylar says their next "road stop" is only a few miles up the road, they can walk and "wrap things up."
Jenny looks past Sylar and notices a large crow perched on a mailbox, watching them. She wordlessly indicates it with a motion of her chin and Sylar turns to look at it. The bird stays stationary, then tilts its head to the side as if inspecting them. Sylar says "shoo" and makes a finger-gun motion and shoots a laser at the mailbox post that blasts with a shower of sparks. The crow flies away. Sylar looks at Jenny, the two shrug, and Jenny says she'll go get her bag.
Back in New York, Helena and Teo cross Manhattan in search of Frank Gordon. Helena asks Teo if Magnes has been acting weird lately and Teo jokes, "weird weird or Magnes weird?" Helena laughs and says the former. Teo says that Magnes is under a lot of stress, but he's probably fine. Teo is worried that Cameron's death hit him hard, he says Cameron looked out for Magnes and that Magnes might be feeling isolated, especially since Delilah up and disappeared after everything that went down with Trask. Helena says they should do something nice for him and asks when his birthday is. Teo confesses he doesn't know.
Across town, Magnes is sitting on the rooftop of Red Hook High School by himself near sunset listening to his headphones. "Run" by Snow Patrol plays over the scene. Magnes has his backpack with him and pulls out a sketch book with drawings for a "superhero" suit drawn by Ben. Magnes looks emotional, continuing to rifle through his backpack, finding old photos of Cameron, Magnes, and Teo at a bonfire. Magnes starts crying and hides his face against the back of his knees.
"Run" continues to play as we see a farmhouse in New Jersey. Sylar is walking out of the house with blood on his hands and running down his mouth. Jenny is skipping to a car in the driverway and Sylar turns around, making another finger-gun motion to fire a laser blast through the front door of the house. It starts a fire that quickly consumes the old farmhouse and burns out the windows. Jenny puts the top down on the car they steal and drives away with Sylar, waving one hand in the air as she does.
"Run" continues to play as we cut to a hospital emergency room, we see the emergency room doors open and a nurse stand up from her seat at reception, lit by an orange glow. She turns and starts to run and it cuts to show Frank Gordon staggering in to the hospital, engulfed in flames that roll off of his head and arms. He calls for someone to help, but everyone runs. Frank gets furious and erupts in a column of fire, setting off sprinklers that sizzle and pop over him.
"Run" continues to play as we cut to Wireless' eyes snapping open. She turns to her computer and sees an alert for a fire at a hospital in Midtown. We cut to Teo and Helena who receive a text message at the same time and run down the street. We cut back to Magnes who receives the same Message, wiping tears from his eyes before he takes off into the sky. When he does, he creates a downdraft that sends Ben's drawings scattering. We cut to Elisabeth in her classroom after school, grading papers. She catches sight of paper falling outside of her window and stands up, walking to the window. One of Ben's drawings of the super hero suit lands in the window. Then she sees someone flying away from the school and disappearing into the sky as the song "Run" ends.
At the hospital, Frank Gordon is standing under sprinklers with steam coming off of him. Police cars are surrounding the hospital and people are fleeing outside as the sun is setting. Teo pulls up in his truck and Helena jumps out of the back, rushing past people and trying to find a way inside. They're stopped by the police, but this time Magnes doesn't stop to pick them up. He flies overhead and lands on the hospital roof. Teo spots him and curses, taking Helena by the hand and running in another direction.
Inside the hospital, the emergency room is blackened and smoldering from the heat Frank is throwing off. His eyes are glowing white and rippling heat lifts off of his body, his clothes are burned. Magnes comes in from another hallway and Frank tells him to back off or he'll incinerate him. Magnes tells Frank he's just a kid, he isn't a threat. Frank asks him why he hasn't run, the hospital could catch fire any minute. Magnes says he knows what Frank is going through, he used to have a friend with that ability who had a hard time controlling it, but he learned how to.
Frank shouts back at Magnes that he could control it, but something changed and he doesn't know what's happening. Magnes asks him if he's afraid and Frank shouts no, then quietly corrects himself and says he is. Magnes says he's afraid all the time too, and floats up into the air. He says he has to sleep with weights on, or he'll fly up into the sky while he's sleeping, and he's afraid one day he'll just fall while he's asleep and die. Frank doesn't know what to say, and Magnes tries to tell Frank that he should turn himself in, but Frank flies into a fit of rage.
Frank says he didn't kill his ex-wife or her new husband, he says he was framed. Magnes asks by who and Frank says he doesn't know, but that he didn't do it. Magnes says there's always a way to find out the truth, he tells Frank he works with people who solve problems, and that if he could just stop and think maybe they could work together. Outside, Teo and Helena find an exit the police haven't covered yet and sneak inside. Back in the emergency room lobby, Magnes tells Frank that maybe he's on fire because he's afraid, that if he takes a minute and thinks, maybe he'll have everything under control again.
But Frank can't keep his fear under control. When Helena and Teo come bursting in, Frank is engulfed in flames and tries to kill them all with a blast of fire. Teo tackles Magnes out of the way of the blast and Helena just barely dives for cover. Frank says it was a trick, that Magnes tried to trick him, and he says he'll burn the whole city to the ground. Magnes struggles out of Teo's arms and stands up just in time to see a SWAT team breach the emergency room. Frank turns on them and the police kill Frank in a hail of gunfire.
Teo shouts to scatter and Magnes flies out a window with Teo. Helena creates a downdraft inside the building and blows the police outside, then hurries out the window after Magnes and Teo. Magnes says he can't carry them both and Helena says she'll be fine, it's better if they split up anyway. Teo and Magnes fly away and Helena runs off down the street.
At night, we see Magnes and Teo inside the gym at Red Hook High School, the moon is visible through a large, open window above them. Magnes is crying and Teo is holding him. They are both soaking wet from the sprinklers at the hospital. The door to the gym opens and two NYPD officers bust inside, shining flashlights on Magnes and Teo. The officers tell them to get down on the ground, but they are interrupted by the emergence of Elisabeth Harrison.
Elisabeth demands to know why the police are threatening "her students" and the police, recognizing Elisabeth as a former detective, ask her what they're doing at the school after dark. Elisabeth says she caught them swimming in the pool after hours and are debating whether to call their parents. The police ask if she's sure they were here, and Elisabeth looks back at them and says that she is completely certain. The officers say they trust Elisabeth's word and apologize for the confusion, but warn her that there might be dangerous Evolved in the area.
After the police leave, Elisabeth turns to Magnes and Teo and tells them they should probably get going, "before she calls their parents." Teo laughs and says he's twenty-three, and Magnes apologizes for Teo and says they'll go find his car. Elisabeth looks at the open window, then those two and just smiles and turns around to leave. A gust of wind blows at her back and when she turns around, Magnes and Teo are gone.
We see the sun rising over a New Jersey highway and the camera follows Jenny and Sylar in the convertible as they drive under a sign that says, "New York City, 10 miles."
Their car is followed by a crow in flight.