Things get even grimmer for Noah and his band of Evos in “June 13th Part One.” That, of course, is the date of the ill-fated conference in Odessa when the word changed and Evos became the newest oppressed class in the wake of a terrorist act that killed many. Noah finally convinces Hiro to use his powers and take them back to the conference, trying to prevent the bombs from going off and find out what happened to Claire, Noah’s daughter.
The episode gets a bit confusing at times, at least for some of the people living through it, since Noah is there twice, in his present, and the Noah from now who came back with Hiro. Just writing about time travel can get confusing. It must be really odd to see yourself walking down a hallway.
Outside town, we get to see two of the characters from the original series. Mohinder and Angela meet up for a talk. Angela comes bearing dire warnings. Mohinder, despite knowing what her powers are, doesn’t listen to her, which seems willfully ignorant to me. Mohinder leaves, and Angela gets a disturbing phone call. Even she doesn’t see everything coming.
Elsewhere, Erica and her bodyguard Harris are at what looks like a house in the suburbs. Of course, it’s Erica, so nothing is what it seems. Her pet computer tech is there, working on a project, and down in the basement is Phoebe. Erica is pressuring Phoebe to push her powers to new limits to make Erica’s attack on the summit work better. While I hate what she’s doing, you have to give Erica credit for a well thought out plan.
We get to see more of Luke and Joanne’s tragic back story. Their son, Dennis, has an Evo power that is more curse than blessing– that or a really ugly disease. They are at the summit to try and find someone who can help him. Since Evo powers are wide-ranging and unpredictable, that’s not a far-fetched hope. Even back then, Luke seems a lot more pro-Evo while Joanne has her doubts.
A lot of tight timing comes together in this attack. We find out what happened to Hiro back then, and get to see the present Hiro clash with Harris and possibly save Mohinder. We also see Noah trying to learn what happened to Claire. I will say that her fate is not at all what I expected, and I’m not sure I get how it happened. Trying to avoid spoilers, I will say that unless something really weird happened, I would think Claire’s power should have prevented her apparent fate.
More of Erica’s scheme is revealed, and she really sounds like a prejudiced bigot as far as the Evos go. She’s done a great job of taking at least most of the Evos into account, and even talented normals like Noah. The mysterious Penny Man shows up, and takes some unexpected actions. He does have an odd power, but it’s sort of neat to watch him work.
There are some scenes that don’t really work smoothly, and it could be either from real world or in-story concerns. Hayden Panettiere didn’t come back for her role as Claire. The scenes of Noah grieving for her are filmed oddly. He never even lifts the blanket to see that it’s her, a weird lapse from a man as skilled in the arts of deception as he is. Whether this was just to avoid showing Claire’s face or part of some larger story twist isn’t clear. Either way, they handled it badly.
The episode has a lot of surprises near the end. We learn why Angela hasn’t been part of the new show until now, and a lot more about Malina and Tommy. It’s a clever plot twist that shows how powerful some Evos are and how difficult it is to plan for what they can do. The show ends on a cliffhanger involving both Noahs that could make things really awkward for part two.
What I liked: It was great to see Hiro in action again. His reaction to Noah’s secret room at PrimaTech was funny and perfectly in character. I enjoyed seeing Mohinder and Angela again, too. Erica makes a good villain and is certainly clever. The multiple Noahs were handled well.
What I didn’t: As I mentioned above, the Claire scenes didn’t work for me. Whatever they were trying to do, for whatever reason, they needed to make it clearer. Now if we could just find out what happened to Sylar and Peter Patrelli, as well as the much teased but so far not appearing Matt Parkman…
I’ll give this one a solid 3.5 out of 5. It was a solid episode with some interesting twists and turns. Part two of that fateful day is going to be messy.