'Hereos' First Season Ends With a Boom

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The cheerleader, New York and the world are safe — thanks to "Heroes." Every character still standing in NBC's "Heroes" universe played their role in stopping serial killer and superpower thief Sylar during the freshman series' gripping season ender.

Pint-sized human global positioning system Molly Walker (Adair Tishler) used her ability to track Sylar down. Mind reader Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) distracted him with a storm of bullets. Superpowered single mom Niki (Ali Larter) landed a crushing blow with a parking meter. And Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) slashed him with a sword (but not the same weapon he tracked down in previous episodes).

Of course, everyone should've been more worried about the superabsorbent Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), who was one flash away from turning into a mushroom cloud.

Leading up to the finale's big bang, which had been foreshadowed for months with psychic paintings and dream sequences, the biggest question became: Which man is going to explode and destroy most of New York? Evil foe Sylar or good guy Petrelli?

"Turns out you're the villain, Peter. I'm the hero," Sylar cooed before Peter started going nuclear. Uh oh.

Although Peter was willing to sacrifice himself, his brother flew in to help him out. Literally.

"You saved the cheerleader so we could save the world," flying congressman Nathan Petrelli told his blazing brother before sacrificing himself to hoist Peter up, up and away to safely explode somewhere among the stars.

Before the fireworks, Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose), Peter and Nathan's witchy mother, was revealed to be working with the clandestine organization that's been very familiar with the "Heroes" all along and very interested in seeing Manhattan go kaboom. In one scene, she offered her indestructible granddaughter Claire "a place to belong and a family."

But, in one of her most fantastic feats, cheerleader Claire coolly whispered "I already have a family" before lunging out of her biological father's office window and faceplanting into the sidewalk stories below.

Of course, Claire being Claire, she nonchalantly stood up and strolled away to assist in the final fight.

Teases of what's to come were slipped in throughout the episode. Sylar's true fate was questioned with a trail of blood leading to a nearby manhole. Molly foreshadowed a boogeyman "a lot worse" than Sylar. And, at the end of the episode, Hiro found himself transported all the way back to feudal Japan, staring at a samurai warrior toting around the omnipresent "Heroes" double-helix-esque symbol underneath a shadowy eclipse.

Are these "Heroes" older than the moon?