Back in August, CBR News was invited to the “Heroes” set in Los Angeles to take a sneak peek at the filming of the third season of the hit show, “Volume Three: Villains.” On the day of our visit, the cast and crew were busy working on scenes from the fourth episode of the season, “I Am Become Death,” which aired earlier this week on NBC. The title is surely a reference to Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, who said those words after he witnessed the first atomic explosion. "I am become death, the destroyer of worlds", a line from the Bhagavad-Gita.
During the visit we encountered Zachary Quinto, dressed in Khakis and a button-down shirt, with glasses in-tow and his hands covered in paint. “There’s a softer side to my character in this episode,” said Quinto of Sylar’s unusual outfit. “This is an alternative sort of reality, as our show does and has done in the past you catch glimpses of time that may or may not actually come to fruition but are possibilities. Episode nineteen of Season One was called ‘Five Years Gone,’ that whole episode was based on that premise. This episode does have elements of that and my character is involved in those elements,” explained the actor.
Quinto went onto reveal why his hands were covered in paint. “There is a little bit of painting that happens in this scene as well. Because I am put in a position to prove something to myself in this scene and I employ my old standby ‘paint the future’ power, in order to do that.”
Quinto reveled that in this possible future, Sylar lives a quite suburban life in the former Bennet’s home, raising his son. “What was the Bennet house is now inexplicably my house,” stated the actor. “And my son’s name is Noah. Isn’t that interesting? My son actually is a gifted child. He’s very subdued and cool both as an actor and a character.”
When asked who his child’s mother was, Quinto had only this to say: “She’s silver-tongued and alive.”
The set of Sylar’s future home looked for the most part as it did when the Bennets lived there. One major difference was the presence of child-drawn finger paintings that were displayed around the house, along with other child accessories like a crib and toys.
The scene being filmed took place in the Bennet’s old living room and featured the dark-haired, leather clad Future Claire (Hayden Panettiere) pointing a gun at Present-Peter. Producer Greg Beeman teased that Future-Claire had actually killed Future-Peter in a previous scene. Present-Peter returned to the Bennet house to find an unfamiliar Sylar with his son Noah. Future-Claire was not alone, having brought along her “associates” -- Speedster Daphne (Brea Grant) and the fear-thriving Knox, who held little Noah hostage. Present Peter tried to negotiate Noah’s release, while Sylar looked on stunned and confused. Future-Claire, who threatened Peter with, ‘I’ve already killed you once,’ took her shot, but Peter used what appeared to be Daphne’s power to elude the bullet and make a play to take out Future-Claire. Daphne then used her speed to take Present Peter out.
During a break, we spoke to actress Brea Grant about the scene. “This is a flash-forward,” she said. “Lines have been drawn and Claire’s obviously moved over to a different side. She’s on the same team as some other people who are questionable, like Knox. And at this point Claire’s a little --you know. So it’s a standoff. A classic western stand-off between good guys and bad guys or grey people and grey people.”
Grant was wearing a wedding ring in the scene, and mentioned that her character is not married in the present but is in the future. Fans may have noticed a resemblance between Daphne and the woman holding a baby with Parkman in the precognitive paintings drawn by Parkman’s native friend in last week’s episode.
Grant was also sporting a pin on her lapel that featured the familiar DNA helix symbol. When asked about the pin, she replied, “It’s the future company that I work for, [Pinehurst Labs.]”
Ventimiglia spoke with us about his character’s trip to the future. “I think it’s five to seven years [into the future] or something? I think far enough to where you can see leaps and bounds in technology but not far enough to where, you know, cars are flying,” he said. “But people are flying, more people are flying.
“Peter runs into Future-Sylar, who’s not the boogieman anymore. Peter’s been hanging out with Good-Future Sylar. Or he appears to be good. It’s confusing.”
CBR also took a tour of the top-secret Level Five set. The cells were marked with the names of their prisoners. Knox’s name, “The German,” and “Noah Bennet” were marked on some doors, but the most interesting was the door labeled “Peter’s Cell.” Although this did not make sense at the time, it is clear now that the cell actually belonged to Jesse, the inmate whose body Peter had been trapped in.
Finally, we were brought onto the set that was formally Bob’s office at the Company. His name had been crossed off the door and “Angela Petrelli” written in its place. This of course reflects events that happened in the first two episodes, including Sylar murdering Bob, and Angela’s hostile take-over of the company. It should be noted that we got a good look at the shelves behind Bob’s old desk, which were filled with files with the names of many known characters, including the names of the “Group of Twelve” first seen in the group photo in Season Two’s “The Kindness of Strangers.” Amongst the names on the wall were Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman, Victoria Pratt and Paula Gramble.
“Heroes Volume Three: Villains” airs Monday nights on NBC.