S02E04 - THE GIRL WHO TALKS TO BIRDS
In the cold open we see a teenager with glasses and dark hair standing in a work shed with tools hanging on the walls in the middle of the night. He picks up a hammer from the workbench when he hears someone yelling at him from outside. A woman starts to scream from far away, shouting for someone to "get back in the house." The teen hides the hammer behind his back when a middle-aged man bursts into the shed, pulling off his belt. He whips the teen across the face with the belt, knocking him to the ground and berating him. A woman crosses the back yard in a nightgown, shouting for "Martin" to stop.
Martin continues to whip the boy with the belt and he turns back to bark at the woman, shouting "Virginia! This boy is not right with the lord! I will beat the fear of God into him!" When he turns back to the teen to whip him with the belt again, the young man grabs the belt and stares up with a challenge through his crooked glasses. Martin demands his son to let go of the belt, and his son says no. Virginia keeps shouting for them to stop, but they do not listen. Martin leans in to smack his son, but his son comes up from the floor with the hammer and hits his father in the face, knocking him out.
Virginia screams and runs back into the house, but the teen does not stop. He kneels over his father and begins pummeling his skull with the hammer. We see a close up of the teen's face as bone, brain, and blood sprays on his face. Virginia keeps shouting, "Paul! Paul stop! Stop!" Paul only does after too long a time.
Paul then looks up toward the camera, and licks a piece of his father's brain off of his lip.
We cut to the intro, then to an aerial shot of New York City.
Twelve Years Later. Fall, 2008.
Paul Sylar stands on a Staten Island beach looking across the water to Manhattan. Jenny is with him, bundled up against a chill in the air. Jenny asks Sylar if he has any family in the city, and Sylar laughs and says no, that all his family are dead. Jenny asks him what happened to them, and Sylar looks at her and says that they weren't right with God, but he supposes that was "their problem, not his."
Jenny sidles up to Sylar and he puts an arm around her. She retrieves the list, revealing that they've crossed off five names and five abilities (lasers, water breathing, superhuman durability, flight, and enhanced hearing.) Sylar asks why Jenny didn't put any of her friends on the list, and Jenny says she doesn't have any. Sylar asks Jenny if her sister is like her, special. Jenny says her sister is normal in that regard, but weird in every other. Sylar seems disappointed. He tells Jenny to put the other member of PARIAH on their list, if she loves him. Jenny looks conflicted and asks Sylar if he loves her, and he does not respond.
At the Crimson Securities warehouse, Richard Cardinal is looking at the ashen corpse on the tarp. He sarcastically asks Norman if he intends to keep more corpses in the warehouse and if he should invest in a morgue. Norman is not amused. Cardinal asks if the Company will come looking for this body, to which Norman does not think so. But he finds that the body was being dumped somewhere near a dumpster intentional, like whoever did it wanted it to be found. Richard says it's like a calling card, this answer makes Norman visibly uncomfortable.
Helena comes in and asks if Wireless has figured out who "Skeletor" is yet, which elicits a laugh from Richard. Norman explains that Wireless identified the agent, but that there's no resources to identify cause of death. Helena looks at the body and looks up at Norman and says she "thinks becoming a skeleton might have done it." Richard laughs again and excuses himself, saying it looks like they "have things under control."
Teo and Magnes arrive together and Helena is glad to see them both. Teo tells her to "maybe hold the excitement" and shows Helena and Norman a copy of the day's paper. The headline reads EVOLVED SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE. Teo flips to the article and describes authorities finding an apartment building where all of the residents had died and been reduced to "ashen skeletons." Teo points down to the Company agent body and says "Skeletor just got some friends."
Norman looks troubled and explains how bad this would be for the general populace's acceptance of people with powers. He says he has to talk to Wireless to see what they can find out. Magnes, in the meanwhile, says he has an idea. He explains how his teacher Elisabeth used to be a detective but she was fired because her captain had a grudge against the Evolved. Teo vouches for her, saying she covered for he and Magnes when the cops came.
Norman says Elisabeth sounds like a good prospect and says that Teo and Magnes should continue to work her and see how helpful she is willing to be. Helena says she's going to scope out the crime scene and see what she can pick up, and Norman tells her to bring Gillian with her so she can get out of the Warehouse for a bit.
On Staten Island in a run-down motel, Jenny has written a list of the people in PARIAH she knew and their abilities. Cameron, Eve, Magnes, Helena. Sylar comes in and asks her if she's finished the list and she hides it against her palm. At the same time, Sylar looks past her and notices a crow perched on the window outside, watching them. He approaches the window and the bird makes prolonged eye contact, then flies away.
Jenny asks if Sylar is okay, and he says he isn't. He tells her that people are talking about a serial killer who reduces his victims to ashes. Sylar says he wants to find out who that is, because that is the power he wants. Jenny seems relieved and says she can look into it for him. Sylar looks out the window again, and spots the crow further away from the motel, down on the beach. They share a wordless, prolonged look.
At Red Hook High School, Magnes and Teo find Elisabeth after class and ask her if she has time to talk in private. Elisabeth reluctantly agrees and they go into her office. After a cut, Elisabeth, Magnes, and Teo are in Elisabeth's office after they have told her about the skeleton. She asks Teo and Magnes about the body they found and why they didn't bring it to the police. Magnes says it's complicated, but asks her to trust him. She asks if she can see it, and he says not right now. They'd have to move it. Teo chimes in, asking if Elisabeth could reach out to her police contacts and see if anyone has heard anything. She says she can't and that neither should Teo or Magnes.
Magnes says that he doesn't trust normal cops to handle this case and not drag all the Evolved people in the city through the mud. Elisabeth wonders if PARIAH already did that. Both Teo and Magnes look frustrated and tell Elisabeth to nevermind. Elisabeth asks them to wait, and says she'll ask around, but before she delivers any information she wants to know what Teo and Magnes are into. Magnes reluctantly agrees for them both.
On Staten Island, Sylar has gone out to the beach. He is searching for the crow, but doesn't find it. Instead, he hears a woman's voice behind him call him out by name. Sylar turns to see Eileen Ruskin sitting on a retention wall on the foggy beach. She rests her chin on her hand and Sylar grows tense and still. He asks her how she knows who he is, and she says a little bird told her. Sylar immediately understands what this means and is not amused.
Sylar inspects her and sees what Eileen's ability is. He tells her that he can feel that she has an empathy with birds, that she can speak with them, and see through their eyes. Eileen says Sylar is the "real deal" and slides off the retention wall to approach him. Sylar asks why she isn't afraid, and Eileen says that the worst he can do is kill her, and death isn't so bad a thing. Everyone does it. Sylar smiles and asks her why she followed him here, and she explains she's been watching him for weeks, ever since he escaped captivity.
When Sylar gestures for Eileen to walk with him, she follows at his side along the beach. Sylar says she must have seen some terrible things, to which Eileen replies that there is nothing terrible about power. Only power that is squandered. Sylar asks her what she knows about power, and she says she works for a man with a great deal of it, one who wants to change the world. Those words, sounding so similar to Jenny, gives Sylar pause. He looks past Eileen and sees Jenny further down the beach where they had started their walk.
Sylar asks Eileen who she works for, "the government?" Eileen laughs and says she doesn't, and that her master would see the government and everything it represents destroyed. Sylar isn't sure what to think, and Eileen reaches out and touches his arm, making him tense. She says his "puppy" is waiting for him and continues walking down the beach without him. Sylar looks up to Jenny, then back to Eileen, and walks back to where Jenny is waiting.
At the Crimson Securities warehouse, Wireless calls Norman into her sanctum and says she was able to pull some images from the security cameras of the tenement building where the most recent murders took place. She shows images of Kazimir Volken to Norman , who does not recognize him. Wireless says he was the last person to come or go before the deaths. Norman asks if she's compared his face with government databases, and she says she's doing that right now, but the query could take days.
In her home at night, Elisabeth is on the phone talking to her old NYPD contacts. She asks about the serial killings and finds out the newspapers have run with the name Reaper. Elisabeth rolls her eyes and asks if they have any suspects. Her friends tell her that the investigation was taken over by "some federal agency" and they were cut out. She asks if they know who and her contacts say no, but they assume the FBI. Elisabeth asks if they've been sharing any information, and her contact says no. She thanks her friend and ends the call, looks troubled.
At the abandoned Motel on Staten Island Jenny confronts Sylar about the woman he was speaking with earlier. Sylar doesn't lie and tells Jenny she's an Evolved who is working for someone interested in toppling the government. Sylar is intrigued, but isn't sure he trusts them. Desperate for Sylar's approval, Jenny says she's finished her list and hands it to him. Sylar incinerates it with a flicker of laser-light and says her ideas are boring now. Sylar is interested in the girl who talks to birds and wants to see what she has to offer.
Jenny asks if Sylar is going to kill her. He says it would be a waste of time, he isn't interested in her ability. Sylar gets up and says he's leaving, but he'll be back in the morning. Jenny asks if she can go with him, but Sylar doesn't answer and leaves.
Jenny is alone, tears well up in her eyes, and she turns over the side of the bed and vomits.