So, the big climax of this season hinges on the same climax as Watchmen, the explosion of a major city caused or at least not stopped by a supposed hero amongst a group of heroes, uniting the world in fear and that hero becoming the leader of the country (or trying to).
Tonight's episode was straight out of X-Men's Days of Future Past with a dash of Back to the Future's Evil 1985 (Timeline 5 - Biff's Casino) and Star Trek's Mirror Universe thrown in for good measure (that's how it felt to me with Peter's scar and Mohinder's facial hair) (and now that I think of it, the grandaddy of all parallel universe stories may have provided some inspiration as well).
Mr. Bennett (called Mister Sinister by cerulgalactus) is now a Harriet Tubman character along with Hana Gitelman (who's seen briefly in the show, but is a MAJOR character of the online graphic novels). Thanks to Nath/lar's machinations, a "Mutant Registration Act" style law has gone into effect outlawing people with powers (funny that happens in BOTH "Days of Future Past" and "Watchmen", but whatever...it also happens in "Powers" and The Incredibles)
Claire is in hiding at that SAME diner where Charlie died (is there some kind of thing in this particular fictional universe about particular places (like superhero leylines?)...I guess she's hiding in plain sight (considering she's also using her adoptive mother's first name as her own), but it's a place that Sylar, Hiro, Ando and so many others have been to already (or at least have in "our" timeline). Of course, with time travel what it is...in this timeline was Hiro ever even there? I just wish we could have had a better look at the bulletin board at the back of the place to see if the picture of Hiro and Charlie on her birthday was still there...Of course, the question is did Sylar attack Claire and eat her brains in this world (acquiring her power) and she STILL regenerated or is this still the same world we know (since we know it was Peter who blew up and subsequently regenerated with Claire's abilities) wherein Sylar killed the wrong girl? I would say it must be the latter since Sylar says he's been waiting a long time to kill Claire (and we have to assume that when he kills her at the Petrelli home he finishes her off for good). I'm beginning to think that there's no way to stop the explosion without killing Peter, too.
D.L., along with Micah, Jessica, Candace, Nathan and Ando are all known to be dead. It's presumed the bomb killed Micah and Ando, but that Sylar killed D.L., Nathan and Candace since we see him using their abilities. Part of the solution has to be stopping him from killing these three in the same way they stopped him from killing Claire (figuring out which hero is best suited for the job and jumping through time to make sure it happens by warning them). It is Candace's abilities (part Princess Projectra, part Mystique) that allow him to masquerade as Nathan (Nathan being dead also helps in that regard, but isn't necessary). D.L's powers would be another way for him to survive Hiro's sword if he simply goes all Kitty Pryde when the sword goes through him.
Matt's easily swayed to go to the bad side, but being a cop, that's not hard to imagine. They are far more concerned with following the orders of their superiors than doing what is morally right more often than not. However, I have another theory about his ruthlessness which I'll get to later.
We see nothing new from Peter with the exception that he's now sporting a few new powers: Sylar's telekinesis (or is it Niki's super strength that allows him to toss those guards?) and he's as adept at time travel/teleportation/time stopping as Future Hiro. This helps us with Future Hiro possibly off the table (though there are always possibilities of other Future Hiros from other timelines bouncing back and forth. "Our" Hiro and Future Hiro aren't necessarily one and the same. There could also be infinite Peter's bouncing around the multiverse).
I have a feeling Micah's mission is going to somehow involve Hana (there was no mention of what Linderman wanted from him...unless it's to meet up with the mysterious Molly seen in the trailer for next week instead - EDIT: I'd forgotten until reading on Wikipedia...Molly was the little girl who earlier this year managed to survive an attack by Sylar whom Matt and Audrey found. She may be the Harry Potter to Sylar's Voldemort!). What I'm thinking is that since he's a technopath and he can communicate with machines and she can read all electronic transmissions (and duplicate them if necessary)...wouldn't they be able to send a missile to detonate Peter before he could detonate the city?
As far as Jessica/Niki...I think that the fact that Peter and Niki say that Jessica is dead means that my theory about Jessica is right. Niki doesn't have a dual personality. Jessica is a different person entirely. She is Niki's twin sister who was seemingly killed by their incestuous/abusive father...and she leaped into her sister when her physical body was killed (similar to the way Jericho survived by possessing his father). I wouldn't be surprised, though, to discover that Jessica IS alive in the alternate future (I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of that alternate timeline in much the same way we've seen the "Future Past" versions of the characters again (like Rachel Summers/Phoenix) and the "Mirror Mirror" characters became semi-regular guest stars on Deep Space Nine when the actors had such a good time playing the alternate versions of their characters. I'm sure we'll see scar-faced Peter again and probably Hiro, too, since he's a fan favorite. I actually think she's hiding inside one of the other "heroes" (I'd even venture a guess at Matt...the loyalty he shows to Nath/lar makes sense to me). Jessica was the only of the two personalities to know about Niki's powers and be able to access them, so it would make sense that she would also be able to use Matt's powers after spending time in his head...
We don't see Ted, Claude or Isaac (though we see plenty of Isaac's paintings...though some may have been done by Peter or Sylar, who both may have improved over time). Once Sylar got Isaac's power to see the future, wouldn't it make sense for him to paint a few red herrings once he became more adept (and with Charlie's abilities and a stack of books about art/painting he could easily improve). I konw that the first painting that Sylar did was initially thought to show that he didn't have the same talent that Isaac had, but I think it was a clue to the inner workings of Sylar's mind, since it actually depicted Sylar as Nathan (in a hideous self-image/Dorian Gray sort of way). I still think that part of the solution will be for Ted to somehow absorb the energy of Peter's explosion (or vice versa)...perhaps Peter/Ted become this universe's Firestorm at the time of the explosion? Of course, Linderman may be using Peter/Ted as a red herring just like Ozymandia used Doctor Manhattan to cover up his own involvement in setting off a nuclear strike via missiles (again, Micah/Hana would be involved in this without knowing what they are doing when they start playing an innocent game of "Falken's Maze" with Joshua).
There were no mentions of Nathan/Peter's mother (powers unknown), Linderman himself (healer), Hiro's dad (c'mon, you know he's got to have some kind of powers), Claire's mother (pyrotech), or the little Dream Warrior kid (the Indian kid from Mohinder's dreams).
Of course, the simplest way to stop Peter/Ted/Sylar from exploding would be to somehow get them stuck with the Haitian since he could negate their powers. The question is whether in Peter/Sylar's case their multiple powers cause the Haitian difficulties and he can only turn off a few at a time.
I've also had another question about both of them...has anyone seen either of them using multiple powers at once or are they (Peter/Sylar) more like Ultra Boy who can only use a single power at a time?