Headscratchers / Heroes Sylar

Headscratchers entries for Heroes related to Sylar. For other entries, see Heroes.

Here be spoilers, read at your own risk.

If the cockroaches represent Sylar...
What was that one doing in Matt's cell at Primatech in the first season? It wasn't the cell Sylar occupied before.
  • The cockroach represents the pinnacle of evolution; Mohinder describes them as such in a class lecture at the beginning of the series.
    • Presumably, it's an allusion to them being nature's great survivors... and let's face it, the further the show progresses the more it seems like Sylar should be teaching the 'roaches.

What really, REALLY bugs me is that someone (in the Company?) insists on keeping Sylar alive.
If the ones keeping him alive are indeed the Company, then what we should fear about them is not their vast resources and near-omnipresence but their sheer idiocy. Wouldn't three dead Company employees (Eden, that one doctor and Isaac) and the deaths of a handful of powered individuals between his escape from initial custody and his apparent death at Kirby Plaza be enough to let them know that this guy is too dangerous to leave alive? Considering that this organization treats its own harshly for lesser transgressions (Claude, and possibly Noah had he not escaped), all this crap is unthinkable.
  • Given that the (presumable Company-involved) killer of Kaito Nakamura didn't fit the "Nightmare Man" profile, but did have an MO very similar to some of the things Sylar did before becoming depowered, I think there might be a reason for that we haven't seen yet. If there isn't, then that's stupid.
    • But Sylar typically didn't kill non-powered people unless they an immediate hindrance to him. If Kaito indeed had some unspecified power, he would have had his head cut open, NOT get pushed off of a building. It also doesn't help much that Sylar was both out of the country AND incapacitated at the time of the murder. Unless this happens to be "X from the future (X = Peter/Hiro/Sylar) but that seems too much like a theory posted on the NBC forums, in other words, stupid. Remember that the NBC forumites are the same numbskulls that gave initials to an organization without them (the Company, or in their parlance, OWI) and thought that "Uluru" from Isaac's comic series would end up a major villain.
  • During the first season, the Company kept him alive because they wanted to make sure New York was destroyed. One of the elders in the Company must have prophetic powers like Isaac. Second season, I'm not sure why they decided they still want him alive, unless the writers are recapitulating the first season.
    • It was the pensioners' JLA (Linderman, Mama Petrelli etc) who wanted New York destroyed, not The Company. The Company's stated aim is to avoid things like that by controlling the superpowered population. They obviously also want to exploit superpowers, and Sylar's ability to adopt the powers of others would be a jolly useful one.
      • The company was completely controlled by Linderman. Thompson, who works for the Company, explicitly stated they wanted to blow up New York. Much of the Company's "Save the world" diatribe is BS designed to hide the atrocities they commit to achieve their goals.
      • But Bob is in the old JLA and the Company, so there's some kind of connection there.
      • True, but that doesn't neccessarily mean that the aims of the JLA (or should that be JSA?) are the same as the aims of the company. He could have defected, like Hiro's dad. Actually, I just remembered that Hiro's dad was connected to The Company too, in that he gave Claire to Bennett. Oh well, we'll see!
      • Yup, confirmed in a recent episode that Linderman, Adam Munroe and Matt's dad were plotting to destroy New York, while Bob, Hiro's dad and The Company were trying to stop him. Peter's mum obviously flitted between the two.
      • No, it was not. It was shown that Kaito was trying to stop them but it was clearly shown that the Company was working with Linderman. Candice and Thompson, both Company employees, were explicitly shown to be aware of Linderman's plans and perfeclty happy with them. Bob was most likely in on it to, but avoided mentioning that around Nikki and Nathan so as not to implicate himself.
      • The Twelve founded the Company. This was made clear in 1x20, ".07%", in the scene in the diner where Matt reveals the connection in the Burnt Toast diner to HRG, in 1x21, "The Hard Part," when Nathan and Thompson discuss the plan to blow up New York, and in 2x10, "Truth and Consequences," when flashbacks to Adam, Kaito and Victoria Pratt show that they were all heavily involved in it at that time. Kaito eventually left The Company, as far as we know, and Bob rebooted it after Linderman died and he took over, but they were very much in on the plan to destroy New York.
  • It may also have something to do with the fact that Sylar is so powerful that he's a walking, talking One Ring to Rule them All: while he's running around killing people, it's easy for everyone to agree that his continued existance is a Very Bad Thing. But once the company gets their hands on him, the shear amount of power Sylar represents is too tempting, and they end up keeping him around in the hopes that they'll figure out what makes him tick.
  • As I write this, Season 3 has just begun and we now know exactly why the Company wanted Sylar alive. Well played!
    • Or rather, why a certain individual (Angela Petrelli) with a lot of political pull wants to keep Sylar alive.

Does anyone find it the least bit odd that Sylar never seemed the least bit interested in attaining Hiro's power?
Let's run down the list:
  • Five Years Gone: After capturing Present Hiro, all that Sylar cared about was interrogating him about any possible terrorist plot. Later, after Matt kills Future Hiro, Sylar doesn't even think to take his brain (though you can say you can't really turn your back on the only mutant who can surpass your power)
    • At that point, Sylar had just about everything he wanted. He even said to Claire that, besides her regeneration, he didn't need any more power, he just wanted to get rid of the competition. If he got Hiro's power and started messing around with history, he might accidentally make things worse for him. Not to mention that in order to get Hiro's power, he'd have to move him away from the Haitian, which would be a huge risk.
  • The Hard Part: After Hiro "chokes" and restarts time, Sylar goads Hiro into killing him then breaks his sword. No "death finger."
    • Sylar had just killed his mom by accident which could explain this as a case of Heroic B.S.O.D.. Except of the villainous kind. Of course, he didn't really seem to be in character at all in that episode...
      • He was completely in character... being Gabriel Gray.
  • Finale: Sylar would rather slowly decapitate "unspecial" Ando than kill Hiro and take HIS power. Then there's the whole getting skewered by Hiro, WHO HAD TO RUN UP TO HIM TO KILL HIM.
    • I took that to be more of a Mexican Standoff type deal, with Sylar threatening to kill Ando before Hiro could save him. Which also goes to show that Sylar didn't understand Hiro's power very well at that point. "Can you do your little trick before— ah crap, where'd they go?" I won't try to justify the skewering tho— that was just dumb. IMHO.
      • He was probably in shock seeing the scene from the 9th Wonders comic he'd previously found on Ando play out before his eyes, and realized "Oh crap, this is it, I'm about to die, aren't I?" or he just thought "What? That Japanese guy again?" Or he simply didn't believe Hiro would actually stab him, seeing how Hiro had previously chickened out from killing Sylar.
  • Frankly, I don't think it's a big deal if Sylar got regeneration. If he had Hiro's power, he could shape history as he sees fit, which I think is perfectly within his character.

Why did Hiro stab Sylar with a katana?
Katanas are slashing weapons — they don't even have terribly sharp points. Given that his father had spent an entire afternoon teaching him how to use one, you'd think he would have known better. Also, what is with the japanese characters all using swords? Does being Asian mean you aren't allowed to own a gun?
  • Everyone knows Katanas Are Just Better.
    • Plus it's a fact that guns are much harder to obtain in Japan, where there are far more stringent laws regulating their use. So a character like Hiro who is your text book salaryman wouldn't have much experience using one.
    • Sylar was still a telekinetic at that point. He and Peter have both demonstrated the ability to telekinetically stop objects flying at them from impacting. I imagine this includes bullets.
      • In fact, Sylar had demonstrated the ability to stop bullets in midair and send them flying back at the shooter (Matt Parkman) in that scene.
      • Peter and Sylar have also been able to telekinetically manipulate objects held by other people - Sylar with Clea Duvall's gun - and more relevantly, Peter stopping Claude's metal pole being swung at him.
      • Sylar could easily have ripped the blade from Hiro's hands or slammed Hiro into the next wall with telekinesis, but I got the impression he was 1) surprised to see that Japanese guy again, and 2) perhaps he had previously seen this exact scene of his own death with Isaac's power, and now was shocked to find it coming true. Sometimes people do just freeze in the face of danger. - As for Hiro stabbing Sylar... he stabbed him because Isaac's comic said he would, and Hiro slavishly followed that comic... and Isaac had drawn the scene that way because he had previously seen Hiro stab Sylar in his visions, so, um.... I'm getting a headache. Let's just say if Hiro had cut off Sylar's head, our favorite psychopath wouldn't have survived the season. And Hiro is smaller than Sylar; try cutting off someone's head in one sweep to the neck when he is standing and taller than you, and might dodge. It's easier to just stab him through the chest, I guess. Hiro missed the heart, too, otherwise Sylar would have been unconscious within seconds and stone-dead shortly after.
      • An excellent example of a "Timey-wimey ball".
      • No one seems to remember that Sylar had just taken three super-powered hits to the face. His reaction speed seriously wouldn't be the same after being beaten that badly.
      • In an interview, Zach Quinto said that at that point, Sylar didn't think that Hiro was really going to do it, as by this time, Hiro had failed to work up the nerve to kill him on two occasions.

When exactly did Sylar get his freezing powers?
  • He had them at the start of the series, so they must have been the result of one of the original murders he was being tracked by the FBI for.
    • It would still be cool (ba-dum chh) to see how he got them, though.
      • Word of God says he got them from Molly's father, and after killing him tested them out on him.
      • It's the murder that Officer Parkman is guarding in the Pilot episode.

So future Sylar, disguised as Nathan, is giving a speech about how the "mutants" should die, right?
Around this point he receives word that the protagonists are up to some shenanigans, and, in front of the crowd of people attending his anti mutant rally, FLIES THE !!!! OUT OF THERE!
  • But WITH an awesome "Ahh, fuck this, I can't be arsed any more" expression on his face. He was too powerful at that point for anyone much to threaten him and bored with the charade of being president. Besides, if Candace's power works retroactively over broadcasts and even on video tape, it couldn't be that hard for him to re-brainwash everyone if he was so minded.
  • As far as he knew, Hiro's escape was a death sentence. He just figured it was more important to prevent that than to keep hold of a position that, as the above troper speculates, he may have been bored of.
  • He probably realized that if Hiro succeeded then everything he fought for will be gone - with the past changed, the timeline in which he lived would be erased (well maybe, we don't know what rules does time travel follow in Heroes verse but it's a reasonable assumption). Afterwards if he felt like being the president again he could all too easily kill the new one and assume his position with Candice's power.

Noah says he's keeping Sylar around till he figures out his weakness, then plans to kill him.
He says this next to the Haitian, who shuts down powers. Need I say more?
  • Maybe the Haitian's not on board with that. Given some of his past actions, I could see him being reluctant to kill. (I doubt he realized Bennett was going to shoot the guy in Russia.) We also saw in Season 1 that for him, Angela Petrelli's orders supercede Bennett's.
  • Shouldn't they already know? Incapacitate him, then shove a knife up into his brain. Or shoot him in the head at close range with a shotgun or something. And then, if anything is left, cut off his head, dismember his body, and destroy them and scatter whatever is left as far and wide as possible.
  • There's the little problem that Noah's boss would probably, you know, kill him for doing that. Noah not only needs to figure out how to kill Sylar, but also how to do so in a way that allows him to walk away without negative consequences.

Sylar now has Claire's power, which presumably means his blood can heal people even from the dead.
If not, they can always politely ask Claire for her blood (or not—see "Cautionary Tales"). So why have him permanently murder Company agents for their abilities and reinforce the idea that he is nothing but a killer?
  • Because the show suffers from a major case of Misapplied Phlebotinum. Also, they probably don't want to make death any cheaper than it already is.
    • This troper always figured that the healing power could heal any wound that didn't incapacitate the brain. And since Sylar often removes the brain (never showed if Bridget's brain was removed) then it probably wouldn't have worked anyway. Still doesn't excuse them for Bianca's death though.

If Sylar was so hungry for a new power, couldn't he have just gone over to the German's corpse and taken his brain?
It's not like the German was using it anymore, and it probably wouldn't have alienated him from his new boss and partner as much.
  • For that matter, why does Sylar return to the Company HQ after taking Jessie's brain, instead of making a run for it? It's pretty clear they're going to lock him up again after such a major step out of line.
  • Brains decompose quickly, so that's why Sylar didn't take the German's power (yet somebody else whose name is their nationality). And Sylar isn't locked up for good, that's pretty much his quarters until he gets reformed. Note that Noah still knows that Sylar is still his partner, not the Haitian.

Sylar claims that Claire cannot die, not just that she's hard to kill, she literally cannot die.
Due to his power of understanding, we are presumably supposed to take this as correct. But then in that case, how did he kill her in the original timeline? Future Hiro seemed convinced that she was dead, hence "Save the cheerleader, save the world".
  • Sylar may be exagerating. Just because he knows something doesn't mean he'll tell the whole truth to anyone who asks. He may even be, for some reason, trying to lull her into a false sense of security. We've seen in the past that something sticking into the brain will stop people with that power from regenerating, and we were told that a bullet in the brain would lay Adam low. In addition, he seems to have done some lasting damage to Claire, as she can no longer feel pain. It doesn't seem like too much of a stretch that in the S1!Future storyline, Sylar was rushed and, while he managed to get her power, he messed up her brain enough to kill her.
    • In Season One didn't he completely remove the brain of his victims? I believe when Hiro accidently teleported into the FYG universe the first time one of the cops asked him what he did with Isaac's brain, implying that it was nowhere to be found. If Sylar did remove the brains of his victims at that point one would think that this would actually kill Claire.
    • Not to mention, Future Hiro still thought she was dead even in the altered timeline (although that could be a result of a Ripple Effect-Proof Memory), so it's possible that she survived even in the unaltered timeline but Hiro assumed her death after discovering that Sylar had acquired her ability.
  • A lot of the powers seem to take some time to develop fully. Peter originally wasn't able to copy a power unless he was close to a person with a superpower. Matt was only able to read minds before developing mind-control powers. Hiro's ability to teleport reliably was originally very limited. Who is to say that Claire's ability to heal quickly didn't need some time to become full-fledged invulnerability?
  • The truth is, that Sylar had no idea how wrong he was. As far as he could tell, there was no way she could die. He had no idea about the Haitian or the Eclipse, both of which completely nullified Claire's ability. And he did not know that a bullet straight to the head would kill him, provided it blasted his brains out altogether. Or if he was impaled in the skull and left to burn.

This has been half-mentioned above but... Sylar just looks at brains and gets the power? Really? That's how he does it?
I understand that's less Squick-y, and makes sense with his "See How Things Work" power, but after all the hints otherwise it feels like a cop out. It's also a massive dose of Nightmare Retardent - I can't get the image of Sylar sitting down with reading glasses on, studying a chaps brain saying "My my, that is most fascinating."
  • Personally, I think it's creepier - actually eating them would be a bit too over-the-top, and Sylar is incredibly creepy because he's so... understated, I guess. Anyway, it makes more sense with how his power works. I never could buy into the "Sylar gets powers by eating brains" thing, because if that's how his power worked, how did he use it before? Did he swallow people's watches to figure out what was wrong with them and then puke them back up to work on them?
    • Oh well wonderful. Now I can't get that image out of my head. "You're watch is fine sir, but you might want to wipe it down first. Good thing it's water resistant..." >;~) . But you are right - it makes a lot more sense, and eating brains is only creepy if done off camera I suppose. It does leave the question what he does with all the victims brains though, since everyone but Claire was found with an empty head. But I'll manage.
      • I'd say he was taking mementos of his kills or something - which isn't uncommon with serial killers - but then, I guess the powers would probably serve that purpose for him. Maybe he generally takes the brains so that he can examine them at his leisure, later? Some of his attacks took place in a very narrow time frame. For instance, I don't imagine that he would have had enough time to examine Charlie's brain at the crime scene. When he attacked Claire, she was alone in the house - and considering how obsessed with that particular power Sylar is, I don't doubt he planned that attack carefully, so he knew he'd have time to steal her power without anyone else walking in on them.
      • Wow, that is actually a really good, logical answer, and makes so much sense this issue no longer bugs me. Your obvious knowledge on Brain-steal-ology is a credit to Tropers all...you sick, sick person >;~P
  • I find it weird that everyone just believes Sylar. He lies effortlessly and he has a twisted sense of humour. It would be totally in character for him to act all shocked with the one person whose brain he doesn't have to eat.
    • Why would he not need to eat Claire's brain, if he needs to eat everyone else's?
      • You're right — I should have said the one person whose brain he wasn't going to eat. Other people are already dead by the time he gains their powers, but Claire was his first victim who could survive the process; I think he decided not to kill her for that reason.

Huh? So Sylar's "hunger" isn't a hunger for powers, but rather just a random compulsion to cut open people's heads? How is that suppose to make sense?
Although I do give the writers major points in that they seem to have realized the ability to "understand how things work" is good for more than stealing peoples' brains, and could actually be used to, ya know, understand the show's plot and solve it.
  • Yeah, but we're kinda screwed anyway, if Sylar won't figure out the plot... I mean, Peter wants to try, but the guy's practically got the Idiot Ball glued to his face...
  • I just suffered a massive case of fridge logic after this episode. So intuitive aptitude = homicidal mania? So how come Gabriel wasn't violent as a child? I think the writers want to Retcon the source of Sylar's evil but I think what was already in place was fine as it is. The implications of this new episode just make my brain hurt, and no one is trying to cut my head open, either.
    • I guess that, since he only ever tried to understand watches, he mostly channeled it into a desire to open up and look inside watches. It's only when he starts trying to understand people that he acquires a desire to open them up.
  • It's a compulsion to acquire more knowledge and to understand how complex things work. And if we're talking about complexity then you'd be hard pressed to find anything more complex than the human brain. So if watches are a sandwich then a human brain must be the equivalent of candy to a starving man as far as "the Hunger" goes.
    • If he wanted to understand human brains in general he could start off with a book on neurology, or go to some sort of medical lab that had a preserved brain, killing someone and cutting their head open is a bit extreme. It was only after his meeting with Chandra that he realised there were "special" brains out there that he couldn't understand in any other way.
      • He didn't go after the German and in the graphic novel he was unable to get a power out of a dead Company Agent. I think it's safe to assume that he cannot use his power on a dead brain. Books wouldn't help much either as our understanding of brains is still mediocre. Anyway I think that before he met Chandra he was settled in insignificant watchmaker routine and he was probably ignoring any urges he might have felt. He only gave in when he was bitter about being rejected by Chandra.
  • Schlitzruessler: It's a double-Retcon, and it bugs the hell out of me. The only time we ever heard a mentioning of a "hunger" in connection with Sylar was way back at the start of Season 1, when Mohinder heard Sylar's message on Chandra's answering machine, talking about how he could not control the hunger and how Chandra had made him what he was (and that wasn't even Quinto's voice). If you watch the original unaired pilot and deleted scenes and commentary on the DVDs, they make it pretty clear that they rewrote the character concept of Sylar completely after they'd cast Zachary Quinto in the role. Remember, it took half a season for Sylar to finally make an appearance in the flesh, because when they started shooting the series they hadn't even cast an actor for that role yet. Originally his name was supposed to be Gabriel Sylar, and he was supposed to be an older, scary, religious fanatic type who killed superpowered people for... whatever reasons. Because he thought God or the Devil made him to, or something. Small traces of that made it into the finished series in the form of that telephone message, and the room that Mohinder found at Sylar's flat, the room full of phrases like "Forgive me" and "I have sinned" scrawled on the walls in blood. The commentary reveals they shot that room as part of a reveal of Sylar's house, full of crosses and religious paraphrenalia; after they rewrote it they got rid of the rest and reshot the scenes at Sylar's home; now instead of bibles Mohinder found books about neurosurgery and philosophy. But they kept the shot of Mohinder standing in front of the walls scrawled in blood, because it just looked so cool. Instead, I got the impression the writers dropped all the "religious belief" angle into Sylar's mousy adoptive? mother, who would talk about how Gabriel was no longer her son, how he was "damned" after she'd seen his powers. Sylar himself seemed pretty much agnostic in Season 1, when he talked to Chandra and later Mohinder, he mostly talked about philosophy and metaphysics and evolution, not about being chosen by God. Instead the writers gave him that "evolutionary imperative" motivation for killing, "taking what others don't deserve". (Notice he didn't express shock at the idea of him accidentally exploding and killing thousands in N.Y. City because it was a sin to kill, but because he couldn't figure out why he'd kill so many "innocents" when killing them served no purpose for him.) As Sylar got this pseudo-sciency evolutionary imperative idea from Chandra Suresh's book, in a way Chandra is indeed responsible for making Sylar what he is. Chandra was the guy who pushed Gabriel to manifest some flashy power, not noticing that Gabriel was alreasy manifesting his Intuitive Adaption power (taking one look at Chandra's wristwatch from across the room and diagnosing it, for example). Gabriel's hidden personal issues came to the forefront and ran amok. He reinvented himself as Sylar the badass psychopath, but certain asocial personality traits had been in Gabriel from the start. T Here was every indication he could stop killing if he wanted, he simply didn't want to.
    • Now along comes along Season 3, and the writers are retconning the retcon. Let's recap: Suddenly Sylar's not hunting and killing powered people because he choses to do so, but because using his inate power turns him into a kind of vampire addicted to brains? And this compulsion is not even linked to Sylar's screwed-up inferiority/superiority complex, but linked solely to Sylar's superpower of intuitive aptitude, so that when Peter acquires that he also gain "the hunger"?? That's reminiscent of the writers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer suddenly claiming that magic is like an addictive drug, and if you work too much magic you get black eyes and a terminal case of flaying people alive in anger, but it's OK since you were not responsible for your actions. Sorry, what? I'm pretty sure the writers of Heroes only introduced this stupid idea so that Sylar could be redeemed (because saying "I don't want to be a killer anymore, I regret what I did and will work to make amends" apparently never suffices in American TV, see Spike on Buffy) and to inject some fake drama into Peter's decision to take on Sylar's ability. Oooh, will Peter be able to control the urges? But that means, instead of the character of Sylar being a psychologically screwed-up psycho watchmaker with an interesting ability who lives out his own dark phantasies of being "special" and powerful, we now have the story of Gabriel Gray having fallen victim to a dark insanity inherent in his ability itself. They transfered the evil from Sylar's personality to his ability.
      • Sure, saying "I don't want to be a killer anymore, I regret what I did and will work to make amends" suffices just fine on American TV. But then you damn well go to jail for the rest of your life — which makes it hard to remain part of the series. (They had to break Faith out to keep using her.) That's why writers have find some way to absolve the character of blame, or else resort to Redemption Equals Death. When they don't do either of these, the character escapes the consequences of his actions, and some viewers (I'm one of them) can't get behind the Heel–Face Turn. It's not as big a deal with lesser crimes, but murder is one of those lines you just do not cross.
      • Not always. To continue with the Buffy analogies, Angel never turned himself in for any of his crimes he committed as Angelus, nor did Spike (though the things he did after no longer being evil, like looking after Dawn and dying to save the world (ok, so he didn't stay dead) or going out and saving lives (on Angel) do make up for it), and Faith never turned herself in again after busting out (though she did save the world, which really should get her sentence eliminated). Basically, if you are a formerly evil character on TV, just help save the world.

Sylar defenestrating Peter and then "saving" him...
Exactly how is this a good idea? You'd think that he would want to get Arthur Petrelli's favor by tossing the naughty Petrelli brother out of the window. But Arthur didn't want Peter dead in the first place (he even told Flint to bring him back alive). Furthermore, fake-killing Peter didn't work out so well since Arthur actually SAW him escape. Now, it's possible that * Arthur* was the one who slowed Pete's fall, but if he wanted him returned in the first place, why let him get thrown out the window? * sigh*
  • And what? You think Peter could have made it out of Pinehearst with anything other than a window? The exits were most likely being guarded by numerous supers. Peter has a history of Badass Normal during homecoming, but he couldn't escape this on his own.

Sylar's story in the flashback episode "Villains" doesn't really sync with the timeline established in Season 1
By the time "Villains" takes place, Gabriel Gray has already killed Brian Davis, evolved his new "Sylar" look, given his creepy speech to Chandra Suresh, broken up with Chandra Suresh over Sylar's killing of people on Suresh's list, hunted down and murdered at least 4 other people (mentioned by the FBI guys in the second episode), and finally murdered Chandra Suresh.

But the episode "Villains" seems to treat it like Sylar just killed Brian Davis yesterday, and is now attempting suicide out of guilt. He's even still dressing like Gabriel Gray. This doesn't sync with the Season 1 timeline, where his Sylar persona should have already been long established by this point.
  • I suppose after killing Suresh and several others, Sylar could have had a bout of guilt, gone back to his watch shop, and re-established his Gabriel Gray identity in order to kill himself. But the episode doesn't really treat it this way, acting like he's just fresh off of killing Brian Davis.
  • The only way I can think of for this timeline to make sense is for most of Sylar's story in "Villains" to take place after Brain Davis' death, with only the final scene with HRG, Elle, and Mohinder taking place during the Season 1 pilot. Thus, Gabe fully turns into "Sylar" after killing the goth dude, and goes out to kill Chandra and at least four others. Of course, this means that HRG and Elle hung around New York for 6 months waiting for Mohinder to show up, and Elle is still moaning over the incident like it happened yesterday. Which still makes more sense.
  • He has to have killed at least Chandra Suresh, in addition to Brian Davis, because otherwise Mohinder apparently came to America to collect the remains of a man who was not dead. Mohinder's dumb, but not quite that dumb ... okay, Mohinder is that dumb, but the person who called him to report Chandra's death probably wasn't. Personally, I'm choosing to go with the 'brief relapse after multiple murders in rapid succession', with him focusing on Brian's murder in his own mind because it was his first. Of course, now I'm wondering why, when he killed that goth guy, the writers chose to show him collecting a power we've never seen him use before rather than finally explaining where he got his ice powers...
    • Word of God states that the flashbacks featuring Noah and Elle trying to learn how Sylar's power works occurred after Brian Davis died but BEFORE he'd killed anyone else. However the final scene of that story arc, with Noah getting into Mohinder's cab, was meant to occur sometime later. To their credit, the writers admitted that it really wasn't made clear in the episode itself. Originally the scene was meant to have Noah and Elle at the scene of one of Sylar's murders, talking about what they'd done in driving him to become a monster but they changed their minds and so we were left with a scene that made it seem as if only a few hours had passed, when in fact weeks if not months had gone by.
    • Word of God states that his ice powers came from Molly's dad; apparently Sylar killed him, took his power, and then tested it out on his corpse. And, um, used telekinesis to keep him posed mid-cereal-bite, I guess.
      • Well, okay. That begs the question of why he decided to pose and freeze corpses rather than look for Molly, but whatever. He's crazy, he doesn't have to make sense all the time.
      • Remember, it's the powers and "being special" that he's initially addicted to; the craving to kill only emerges if he tries to stop. So why shouldn't he play around with a new toy before picking up a new one? Far as he knew, Molly wasn't going anywhere.
  • There's also the little problem of how Bennet sees exactly how Sylar is stealing powers in this episode... and yet it is a complete mystery to him and The Company doctors once they captured Sylar for the first time in Season One how he did what he did.
    • Well, they may have known that he opened up the skull, looked at the brain, and then he had the power... but that doesn't clear up anything about how that process actually works on a genetic or neurological level. Seeing Sylar take a power didn't tell them anything they could exploit, in other words.

Why did Sylar kill Elle?
  • I ask despite the fact she's Kristen Bell, who's all kinds of yummy. Why would Sylar want to de-skullify her? His curse is wanting to "find out how things work", and he'd already done that with Elle's ability. Her brain would hold no secrets to him now.
    • In the following episode, you'll notice he DIDN'T open her head up, showing us that, yeah, he didn't need to steal her power. As for the original question, the answer is because Sylar is a bad guy. Yup. That's it. An entire season worth of fanwanking over Sylar's morality that was already addressed in the S1 episode where he paints a nuclear explosion using his mother's blood.
    • Well, on the one hand I feel silly for not just waiting for the next episode to answer my own question. On the other hand I wouldn't have gotten a grin-inducing explanation of Sylar's personality from yourself if I'd done that, so balance is maintained >;~).
      • I forgot to mention that in a little twist of poetic justice, Sylar cremates her with the electricity power and a conveniently misplaced canister of lighter fluid.
    • Actually, you can see pretty clearly the telltale red line across her forehead. My guess is, out of a twisted kind of respect, he put her skullcap back on before burning her. My take on the whole deal was that though he could access the power, he hadn't actually "figured out how it worked" the way he did with all the others. Every other power we've seen him use, there was a short learning curve if there was any at all. After he copied Elle's electricity, he was shown to visibly struggle with it. To skip the learning curve, it seems he has to do the brain thing.
    • What bugs me is... why are they killing all the villains I like?! First Adam, now Elle! Still, if Elle's death was what it took to finally get Sylar to stop whining and do some quality evil again, then I'm willing to make that sacrifice. Even though Kristin Bell is so cute...
      • Seriously. I'm especially disappointed that Doyle's gone. In fact, this season was basically Kill 'em All as far as bad guys, especially Level 5 escapees, goes. Interestingly, all at the hands of other villains.
      • Don't quote me on this, but David H. Lawrence will return for volume 4. If that's true, I seriously don't know how they'll pull that off. He'll probably live long enough to end up as Sylar food.
      • Oh, awesome. I can see it happening, though; his "death" was certainly the most ambiguous one of the lot. If he recovered from Sylar mentally overpowering him, or whatever that was, before the whole place exploded, he could be fine. Hell, he might have even had a chance to save Meredith along the way...unfortunately for her, if true.

Why didn't Sylar use Jesse's power on Eric Doyle in Dual?"
He never freaking uses any of his powers! It wasn't so bad in the first season, except with Zane's melting power, which was never really Sylar's style anyway. Most of his powers at that time, like enhanced memory and hearing, were more passive. But now he has more flashy powers in his new set, like Jesse's voice and Bob's alchemy, and he never uses any of them. He used Bob's power once, Jesse's power once in an online graphic novel, and he still hasn't used Bridget Bailey's power that he got ten episodes ago! ...Right, I'm getting a little off-track here. The point I'm trying to make is: Doyle's making it so Sylar can't use his hands, but Sylar can still talk. Why not just blast Doyle with his sonic voice, instead of just using some vague technique to give Doyle a nosebleed and knock him out? He didn't seem very interested in Doyle's power anyway, so it couldn't have been to keep the brain intact.
  • Sylar likes to fuck with his victims.
  • My take on it was that using Sylar using a sonic yell would have been too simple a way to bring him down. Sylar using Heroic Villainous Willpower to break Doyle's mind was, in this troper's humble opinion, totally awesome.
    • That looked like Maury Parkman's thing he was doing there; did he ever got a shot at his brain? It strikes me that when Sylar's killing someone, he's got such a choice of weapons, it's entirely in-character for him to use whatever will look the awesomest. In any case, Meredith would also have been killed by the sonic yell, and Sylar needed her alive.
      • You know...Arthur killed Maury, so it's probable that Pinehearst held onto the body, in which case Sylar might have gotten a chance to poke around in his brain. But I think they would have shown that if it happened—gotta admit, Maury's ability beats the pants off of clairsentience, and that would have been a great "one-upping Angela" scene. Although given how effectively Arthur wielded telepathy in the flashbacks, it doesn't seem like he'd have been keen on letting Sylar get his hands on that one. Also, I'm not sure Sylar can take a power from someone who wasn't just killed (though the only concrete evidence I can think of for this is ancillary materials).
      • My take on it is that Sylar, like he had done in the past with Mohinder's IV Drip, used minor telekinesis to slightly move about, sever or break tiny objects such as a man's brain stem.
  • Of course, there's another option here: potentially, Sylar didn't actually have Jesse's power anymore. Word of God has stated that the Shanti virus in season 2 wiped him to an all-but-blank slate, and all he had left was his core power and telekinesis. Then, season 3 had the Eclipse, which could theoretically have wiped him again. Why he didn't end up losing regeneration as well, we may never know.
  • Well, Sylar may be incredibly powerful, but he's not completely unbeatable, and he likes to screw with people. He was trying to keep stealthy through much of the episode. A sonic scream would have given everyone in the building a clear indication as to where he was. In addition, he seems to simply enjoy using telekinesis too much to bother using anything else. Also, telekinesis is so versatile that he probably doesn't worry about the rest of the powers.

Why does Candice save Sylar again?
We established in Season 1 that Candice is a morally-ambigious manipulative bitch, but she's never shown to be stupid or naive. Yet despite this she not only rescues a homocidal maniac who kills people with abilites like hers, but she also takes absolutly no precautions to stop him from killing her. Hell, of all the heroes, she'd probably have the easiest job keeping him under control. Just make Sylar think she's 10 feet away from where she really is, so when he does try to kill her, she's safe.
  • Because she he was being ordered by The Company to do so.
    • We saw Candice talking on the phone to someone reporting on Sylar's recovery just before he woke up. They never did confirm who but it's a safe bet that it was Angela. Bob and his wing of The Company certainly seemed to be ignorant that Sylar was still alive, judging by Elle's reaction to seeing him alive and Bob's response to the news. The safe bet is that Candice was reporting directly to Angela, who was certainly interested in keeping Sylar alive as a potential weapon.
    • It's the same reason why - after Sylar's failed attempt to kill Claire - Bennet was given orders to study Sylar rather than killing him outright, despite the obvious dangers/difficulties in keeping him confined. Of course at that point, the orders were probably being given by Linderman, who knew he needed Sylar as part of his plan to blow up New York.

Who is the mother of Sylar's kid in the future and why is he at the Bennett house?
Really, now, who is it? At first I thought Claire, which would make sense because the kid is named Noah and they're at her family's house. But she seems to hate Sylar and still be afraid of him and has no indication that she cares for his or little Noah's well being. So then I thought Elle, and that he's at Bennett's house and the kid is named after Noah because eventually they were able to let by-gones by-gones and become good friends as well as partners, but that got thrown out, too. What gives?

Basically, it all comes down to Peter changing the time-line after his future self took him (Present Peter) to the future. Bust this...
  • Present Peter takes Future Sylar's power, kills Future Nathan and goes back to the present, where he confronts Present Sylar. At this point, Present Sylar still thinks Peter is his brother and tells him that their (Peter's) mother is in trouble. Peter goes to Pinehearst, where he confronts Arthur and is depowered. Sylar goes to save Peter and winds up joining forces with Arthur, but still saves Peter's life by using his telekinesis to lower Peter to the ground safely, in front of Elle and Claire.
  • In the future, Claire wound up working for Pinehearst as an enforcer. Presumably her seeing Peter at this point, spinning a tale of Arthur doing bad things changes the future so that Claire never joins the Pinehearst team. Elle, of course, goes into Pinehearst either way... which leads to her and Sylar hooking up.
  • Since, in this alternate future where Claire joined Pinehearst willingly, there was never any need for Arthur to send his team out to get Claire, the chain of events where Sylar and Elle went after Bennet and Claire never happened...which means that the chain of events leading to Sylar killing Elle never happened, presumably leading to him and Elle having a kid and the happy, empathic Future Sylar we saw.
    • Makes sense. Although if it weren't for Future!Peter's interference, would Hiro have still received the catalyst?
      • Probably not. The version of Claire that started working for Pinehearst would have no reason to help Hiro stop the Cataylst from getting into Arthur's hands. But it doesn't matter either way. In this scenario, Arthur would have had the means to track Hiro down and take the cataylst if Hiro did somehow get the Cataylst. And if Claire joined Pinehearst, as in the alternate future, Arthur could have easily taken the Cataylst from her then.
  • As for why Sylar's son in the future was named Noah, tracking back along the changes that Peter's interference with the timeline caused, we see that there is no good reason for Noah not to make the jump from The Company to Pinehearst along with Sylar and Claire.
  • Noah's only motivation for going back to The Company in the first place in Season 3 was a sense of responsibility to use his knowledge and skills to recapture the Level 5 Fugitives before they became a problem. Given that the daughter he was trying to protect was there, the serial-killer he wanted to keep an eye on was there and Noah's general annoyance with Angela, it's not too far fetched to suggest that he'd sign on with Pinehearst as well.
  • This might have lead to him continuing to partner with Sylar and - given that Sylar DID save Claire's life and would have been trying to empathize with people at that point - eventually trying to mentor Sylar in the field, even if he didn't fully trust him. And if he died in the line of duty, this kinder, gentler future Sylar would feel compeled to honor the man by naming a son after him.
    • Or he might've named his son Noah in a calculated attempt to make HRG feel sentimental about the boy, same as Noah wound up feeling about Claire. We don't know if Future Sylar had reformed entirely before his child was born, or if having a child to care about was what motivated him to become genuinely kinder and gentler.
  • As for why Claire would still hate Sylar... she did say that Sylar took the house from her, just like everything else. Did all of her family die somehow, including Noah? Was Sylar directly responsible for it or did he fail to save Noah and the rest of Claire's family from something while Claire was busy elsewhere? Ultimately, it doesn't matter. The fact that Claire holds a grudge is enough.
  • This troper always had the WMG that little Noah's parents were big Noah's parents; in a universe full of flying men, Baby Touch and Gos, Unkillable Cheerleaders and and a freaking Time-Traveler, someone with an offensive Age-Regression power could easily exist and regress Noah into a child...
  • Sandra.
    • Ew.

Sylar lost his powers to the Shanti virus?
  • If this is true, as other entries above claim, that's really stupid. His telekinesis was the first power he copied; if he lost his other powers to the virus, he shouldn't have that one either!
    • Word of God is that he kept the telekinesis because of the tremendous guilt he felt from taking it, and since his power also apparently includes empathy, this meant he held onto it. Plausibility of this explanation aside, it was at least set up in the first season that his telekinesis is more, I guess, incorporated into him than the other powers since the Company mentions that they actually found the genetic markers for that power in him but no other.

And, while we're at it... Exactly how does Sylar get all the way from California to DC in what has to be at most less than a day while dragging an unconscious Doyle around?

Sylar leaves his father's cabin, goes all the way to California to abduct Doyle, then makes it to D.C. on the opposite end of the country to drop him off at Danko's house, in a space of time that can't possibly be more than a day (based on what's happening to all the other characters in the meantime). How did he manage to pull that one off?
  • See the above note on how the span of time between the end of Shades of Gray and the start of Cold Snap actually suggests multiple days passed between the two episodes.
  • See also the above note on how the events in the episodes don't necessarily happen at the exact same time and how - in Sylar's case - it would be very easy for his story to be separated from the main plot.
  • We don't know precisely where Samson Gray's cabin is - only that Sylar reached it after driving west from Baltimore for several days. Given the timeline between those episodes, it's not impossible that Sylar wound up in California and he either used his laptop to track down a sighting of a nearby powered person or just went back to Costa Verde hoping to get revenge on Noah and then just stumbled across Doyle after meeting with Claire.
  • For that matter, we don't know that Doyle was going to stay in California after he left his meeting with Claire. He could have gone to Washington D.C. and been caught by Sylar there.
    • In fact, given that REBEL's efforts seem to be relocating people across the country when they go into hiding and that common sense dictates that a man starting a new identity get as far away from where he once lived as possible, it seems very odd that Doyle would stay in California in the first place. We don't know that his new identity was based in D.C. but it's not impossible.
  • It should also be noted that we have NO idea what powers Sylar is in possession of at this point. Other than the obvious ones he's shown, i mean. He has some power (either super speed or telepathy), that allowed him to appear in the backseat of Doyle's car and then be on the roof of the adjascent building, without making a sound, and doing it in less than 3 seconds. Heroes hasn't shown us all of Sylar's victims, just the ones of "importance." But whatever power he used to make that move, is one we haven't seen him get his hands on... but it sure wasn't one we KNOW he has.
    • Sylar having picked up some form of teleportation somewhere would explain a lot of things.
    • Supposedly, the female federal agent in Costa Verde that Doyle menaced had the power of teleportation (its in the webisodes). Sylar had a stolen laptop which he was presumably using to keep tabs on the government's movements. It's possible that the agent, Doyle, and Sylar all ran into each other at one point, which would explain how Sylar found Doyle and acquired that power.
      • Ahh, nevermind, Sylar having teleportation has been jossed.

Why did Bennet decide to show everybody it was Sylar with a lethal shot?
Think about it. If he shot the guy dead, there were really only two options - either it really is Sylar, and then he starts playing possum afterwards; or, Danko messing with him, and it's actually not Sylar, and he thus ends up shooting a star agent dead. On the other hand, let's say that Bennet shot the guy in a place that's non-lethal, but visible (maybe blow off a finger?). If it is Sylar, then there's no way he can keep that finger from regrowing in front of everybody. If it's not Sylar, then the guy's injured and cranky, but alive. Seriously, is there any reason besides Plot-Induced Stupidity and emotional tension?
  • The only thing keeping Sylar from tearing every one in the room apart is fear of blowing his cover. As far as Noah knows, if he doesn't kill him with the first shot, they're all dead. And he would have killed Sylar with that shot, if the other agent hadn't clubbed his arm.
    • Ah, an excellent point! Thank you.
    • In addition to the excellent point above, the emotional tension reason is very valid in this instance. The reason Bennet is so dangerous is that he's always rational and in control, and Sylar had intentionally spent the episode driving him to the point where he lost the ability to think clearly.

How does Sylar keep un-dying?
Now that he regenerates, I can buy it, but how did he undie back in season one, before he had had any contact with Claire? Apparently death is very cheap.
  • Well, he did have an unknown number of superpowers before then. Presumably one of them was the ability to fake death (as he did when he was being held by Primatech), and maybe another one was enhanced durability of some kind (even though Word of God apparently says much of his hardiness is actually the use of his telekinesis to protect him). And apparently it took eight surgeries for him to recover after getting katana'd by Hiro.

This is a really old problem, but in the first season Sylar was extremely upset when Mohinder took the list of powered people from him. Shouldn't he have been able to remember the names of everyone on it due to having Charlie's eidetic memory power?
  • I think Hiro's intervention stopped that from happening. Charlie died naturally and Ando has inexplicable Ripple Effect-Proof Memory.
    • What gave you the idea Hiro had Charlie die of natural causes? Hiro didn't change anything, except to make Charlie happy, he did nothing to stop Sylar from getting her at all. We found out she would've died naturally had Sylar not gotten to her, but it doesn't change the fact that Sylar killed her. Because You Can't Fight Fate.
      • In fact, The Heroes novel Saving Charlie outright says that all Hiro did was give Charlie a good life for the six months leading up to her eventual death at Sylar's hands. At least they both lost their virginity to one another in one romantic evening before Charlie went to work, knowing she was going to die and playing dumb about knowing who Hiro was when his past self showed up with Ando.
  • According to someone further up this page, the online comics depict Sylar as driving to Zane Taylor's in an 18-wheeler he learned to operate by using Charlie's power after speed-reading through an owner's manual.
    • And in the same comic, we find out the reason Sylar was going after Zane Taylor was because he was the last name and address Sylar had on the list he took from Mohinder's dad.
  • Had Sylar had the chance to look through the entire list yet? However good his memory, he could only remember things he'd known in the first place. Thus, if he lost the List before he got the chance to memorise it, he'd be ticked.
    • Indeed, he traveled with Mohinder to meet with Dale because he DIDN'T have access to the list then and Mohinder just happened to stumble across him after he killed Zane Taylor.
      • Since Mohinder, for once, showed some intelligence in figuring out who Sylar was before they returned to Mohinder's lab in New York where his list was, he was able to sedate Sylar before he got a look at it. And Peter's timely arrival drove Sylar off before he could get a look at it once he turned the tables on Mohinder.

The warrant for Gabriel Grey's arrest.

Remember how Danko helped Sylar to fake his death? Even had a body to offer everyone, thanks to the shapeshifter Sylar killed. Given how careful he was about plans within plans throughout the season until that point, I can't believe that Danko would forget to close the files on wanted murderer Gabriel Grey.

Even if they had Sylar's fingerprints on file (maybe Noah gave them to the government along with the rest of his files) or the detective played by Ernie Hudson had some other means of being able to easily identify Sylar/Gabriel against a list of nationally wanted criminals, why would Gabriel Grey still be on the wanted list? Everyone else except Noah, Matt and Angela think he's dead.

Wouldn't they have had him declared legally so after the whole Nathan/Sylar switch, if Danko hadn't already done so? Or are we supposed to believe that Noah never thought to tie together The Company records for the Sylar and the NYPD records for Gabriel Grey after he started working for Homeland Security or whoever was running Nathan's team from Chapter Four? Just in case - you know - they needed officials in NYC to be aware of the dangerous killer in their midst?

Sylar cementing his status as a Munchkin by performing Psychic Surgery on Charlie.
I know he's a GMPC and is Crazy Awesome, but come on! Even with Claire in Volume Three he had to cut her head open to be able to see her brain to do what he does. And now - back when he was relatively green - he was able to identity AND cure inoperable conditions with his intuition/telekinesis? Whatever.
  • He had to take the head off Claire and the other people he got powers from because the thing they had that made them "special" was unique to them. The part of the brain he was focusing on was normal to humans, which means he already knows all about out it works and what to do with it. It is apparently easier to diagnose a normal brain than it is to study the special portion of a special brain.

The Carnie Plan To Recruit Sylar Into Their Family...
  • We're a group full of super-powered carnival folk. You know who we should recruit into our family? A crazed serial killer who lives to cut open the heads of people like us and take their superpowers!
    • The carnies seem big on family/symbolism etc, not so much on common sense. Not an excuse really, more of an explanation. It's a fair bet what will happen (at least partly) when he gets his memory back.
    • This is a total WMG, but I'm wondering if the Haitian might be affiliated with the Carnival, and that they're counting on him to counteract any one person throwing their power around too much.
    • I always looked at it like this: The carnies know enough about Sylar to know he's a psycho murderer. And he has powers, and he's powerful enough to never be caught by authorities. But i don't believe they know WHO Sylar has killed, and HOW he got his abilities. If they did, then the Idiot Ball is well placed in their hands, and they all deserve to die the gruesome death awaiting them towards the end of the season. A lot of stupidity there, but it's mitigated only if i keep that in my mind foremost.
    • This troper can't help but agree. When Sylar was invited to the carnival all I could think of was that the they would soon become an all-you-can-eat-buffet.
      • Hilariously, Sylar did in fact turn on the carnival and even called them a "feast." The above troper wins an internet.

Hold on a moment...
If Gabriel got adopted when he was a kid, wouldn't he have remembered? He protested his Parental Abandonment and witnessed his mother's death right afterwards...how could he forget something like THAT?
  • Easy: he repressed the memory.

Sylar's "I moved my weakpoint trick"
This doesn't hold up for a few reasons. Even if he moved the "Kill-U-Dead-4-Good" switch, Claire's Waking Up At The Mortuary scene suggests that as long as something that killed you remains lodged in a place where it would keep killing you, you stay dead until it's removed, and a knife stuck in the brainpan qualifies. Moreover, his shapeshifting ability has basically been Animorphs-style—he's only been able to turn into what he's "acquired"—so how could he just move a part of his brain around with it? There's also the fact that if he moves part of his brain, that might give him some problems. Basically, it's an Ass Pull that flies in the face of a bunch of stuff, and totally destroys one hell of a Crowning Moment of Awesome from Danko.
  • Doesn't seem hard to explain away. Maybe he used his "understand how things work" power to figure out how to safely shift his internal anatomy. As for Danko, thank god his CMOA was destroyed. Teaming up with Sylar is stupid, and flatscans foolish enough to do so should have it bite them in the ass.
  • On a somewhat related note: HUNDRED BUCKS says Sylar put his weak point in his wrist, right under his watch. Besides him being just arrogant enough to do it, it provides for poetics when someone eventually thinks to nail him there (which, lets face it, is likely to take a damn long time considering the characters). Of course, if you want a more practical reason, it is the only part of his body that has any real kind of shielding capacity, being effectively a hunk of metal and all.
Did the writers just forget about Sylar's ability to detect lies?
OK, so I understand that Sylar's body and mind were separated for a while at the beginning of Volume 5, but his body still held on to his old abilities. When Samuel took Sylar to the carnival for the first time, he was telling him an enormous amount of lies, yet Sylar's bullshit radar never goes off. And it doesn't go off for the entirety of Volume 5. Someone HAD to have lied to him at least once during Volume 5.

Two Problems w/Sylar Plans
First problem: In "Five Years Gone," Sylar is using the Master of Illusion ability that he stole from Candice to masquerade as President Nathan Petrelli. However, in the Heroes 'verse, illusion is a Psychic Power that involves planting false sensory information in a victim's brain. So, while the ability should be able to fool people just fine, it shouldn't be able to fool cameras. Anyone who snaps a shot or makes a tape of "President Petrelli" should be able to see the truth as soon he checks his film, as should anyone watching on a live feed. The masquerade, therefore, should be broken as soon as he makes an address, gives a press conference, or even steps outside of the White House for any reason at all.

Second problem: In "An Invisible Thread," Sylar decides to use his shiny new Voluntary Shapeshifting power to kill and impersonate the President. This is actually a pretty clever plan. However, at the climax of the episode, when he steps into the presidential limo disguised as the Chief of Staff, he immediately attempts to assume the President's form. This seems to me to be a pretty epically bad idea considering that (a) arriving at the White House with two Presidents (alive or dead) in the backseat of the limo would more or less ruin the plan and (b) at this point, Sylar does not have any powers (e.g., Master of Illusion, Jedi Mind Trick, or Invisibility) that would allow him to smuggle the body out of the backseat of the limo without the 200 or so Secret Service agents and cops in the presidential motorcade noticing.

How did Sylar get from New York to California in what could only be a few hours?