The cutest couple ever to grace television, Charlie and Hiro, are back on NBC's Heroes tonight as Hiro goes back in time three years to try and save his first love, Charlie (guest star Jayma Mays). They're so cute we could call them Charo (Charlie/Hiro), but that just be wrong!
"Hiro has a second chance to save his true love," said actor Masi Oka, who plays the forever optimistic Hiro. "'Once Upon a Time in Texas' is such a wonderful episode. It's a homage to season one's episode eight. We actually wish we had like maybe two or even three more, or even one more minute of air time, because there were things we had to cut, which were kind of dear to us."
In the season-one episodes 'Seven Minutes to Midnight' and 'Six Months Ago,' Hiro and Ando stopped at the Burnt Toast Diner in Texas and met a young woman named Charlene "Charlie" Andrews, who had the ability to remember ... well, everything. Sylar (Zachary Quinto) made quick work of her, so Hiro went back in time to save her. Hiro accidentally ended up going back six months in time, and decided to stick around to save her. Just as the two fell in love, unfortunately, Hiro accidentally ended up back in the present in Japan and couldn't return to save her.
Oka says that the show always want to return to the storyline. "We actually talked about, even in season one, that Charlie actually comes back as her evil twin. We always wanted to bring Charlie back, 'cause Jayma is a fantastic actress and it's such a great character that everybody loved. But we couldn't find a great way of doing that," he said. But this season, "it worked well with the storyline. At first it was going to be a whole Hiro episode, and it was going be like a Time Traveler's Wife, and then the concept got changed here and there, and it ended up with what we're doing."
So far this season, Hiro's power over space and time has given him a brain tumor that's killing him. That little fact, along with a literal push from new villain Samuel (Robert Knepper), has made him realize that he can go back into the past and fix things and work on his bucket list. On the top of his to-do list is "Save Charlie."
"Hiro goes back in time, and what's great is you see the Burnt Toast Diner. You see Sylar back in the heyday. You get to see a younger Hiro," said Oka. "Samuel's actually in this episode as well, three years back in Texas. What is Samuel doing in the Burnt Toast Diner? It's all a mystery, and we find out it's part of a bigger scheme that Samuel has, and that all this time Hiro's kind of just dancing on the palm of Samuel's hand."
According to Oka, we'll discover why Samuel has been messing with Hiro and the other heroes in this episode. "The last five minutes will be a shocker," he said.
It's an episode that will have a big impact on Hiro, Oka said. "Hiro finally gets his long-awaited kiss. His dream upon the thousand cranes, the origami in his left hand, came true," he said. "He gets a little control back over his powers, but at a certain expense. We'll see how the Hiro/Charlie storyline ends up playing out and how Samuel deals with this all."
While it'd be nice to think Charlie and Hiro might have a future, Mays is pretty busy these days with her Fox series Glee. And if you remember back to season one, Charlie knew she was going to die because of a blood clot in her brain. So TV's cutest couple even have that in common. Gotta love it.
And speaking of Hiro's brain tumor, Oka said that it's possible his character could die from it, if not this episode then perhaps later this season. "We don't want to treat it lightly. We're asking the audience to take on the emotional journey with Hiro, what he perceives as his death. ... However they resolve it, whether through his death or any other consequences, there has to be weight and a serious consequence to that. ... It's Heroes. You never know what's going to happen."
"Once Upon a Time in Texas" airs tonight on NBC at 8 p.m. ET/PT.