I remember sitting next to my sister and watching as Peter Petrelli let go of his brother Nathan's hand, à la Titanic, letting him disappear for good as Evanescence's "My Immortal" played in the background. I was highly emotional because it was Evanescence, but also because I could never imagine letting my sister go like that, even if she might have been half-Sylar and half-herself. The Petrelli brotherhood was always one of the most important elements of Heroes and a redeeming part of the show. Of course Nathan Petrelli, played by Adrian Pasdar, was always the less likable of the two brothers. But he balanced out Peter and did some really redeeming things in the series — like flying his radioactive brother into the sky to detonate. So when I learned actor Milo Ventimiglia was not returning to play Peter, I had to wonder if Nathan will appear on Heroes Reborn.
You might think this is a weird question considering Nathan died in Season 4, but the magical part of Pasdar's character was that even though he seemed to die in every season, Heroes always found a way to bring him back. So isn't it possible for the writers of Heroes Reborn to revive the character, literally? Unfortunately, creator Tim Kring told Entertainment Weekly that the announced cast returns are set, and that list does not include Nathan.
A part of me still has hope that a part of the Petrelli Posse could potentially return. And in honor of that hope, I've compiled a list of all of Nathan's past comebacks. Who knows — maybe it will inspire the writers to create another one.
When Nathan Survived Peter's Radioactive Explosion
Throughout Season 1, you really, really disliked Nathan. He lied to his brother about having superpowers, and tended to be a jerk to everyone around him. But, by the end of the season you were actually rooting for him. Luckily for New York City (and the world), Nathan realized that "The future isn't written in stone," which I think was a secret hint by Heroes that the Petrelli brothers would be back. So when Nathan flew Peter into the air, I was pretty convinced it wasn't the end of the Petrelli brothers.
And I was right— Season 2 revealed that Nathan survived the explosion, but he became an alcoholic as he tried to cope with the loss and guilt of losing Peter. We later learned that Peter was alive in Ireland, but he didn't remember anything about himself. The duo were reunited later in the season.
And Then An Assassination
Nathan prepares to tell the world about superheroes in the Season 2 finale of Heroes. But right before he can tell the world about his superhuman abilities, he is shot by an anonymous person. When Peter holds Nathan's limp body in his arms, I actually believed that it was the end. When Season 3 revealed that Peter from the future was the killer, I was distraught. Their relationship had come so far from Season 1. What was going on? My only comfort was learning that Nathan managed to survive the assassination attempt, though the Petrelli relationship suffered for most of Season 3.
Followed By Sylar
Well, this one is slightly debatable. Nathan is technically dead, but he lives on through Sylar. Matt transfers Nathan's memories and conscience to Sylar, essentially recreating Nathan in his mind. It let him and Peter end their relationship on a good note.
And Finally, Falling Off A Roof... I Hope
OK, so maybe this is wishful thinking, but can I at least say that Nathan survived in our hearts? Or maybe I'm just really hopeful for a plot twist that will revive the Petrelli Posse in Heroes Reborn. But if Nathan's final, final words to Peter were "I love you," I guess I can be OK with that.