May 21, 2007 06:00 AM

UPDATE: Doom was averted, but is that the last we’ll see of Nathan and Peter? Is Sylar really dead? And what’s in store for next season’s “volume two”? Tell us! EARLIER: Our critic’s fantasy finale…The central issue for tonight’s episode at 9 p.m. ET is phrased bluntly in its title: “How to Stop an Exploding Man.” Sylar and Peter, it seems highly likely, are going to confront each other in Manhattan, and each of their special detonative powers are going to get dangerously revved up. It’s a rumble with genetic mutants! West Side Story for X-Men! The question is whether they’ll explode together, taking a huge chunk of the city to heaven with them, or whether Peter will somehow absorb and negate Sylar’s power. What’s unlikely is that their power will be magically converted to good, and that Peter and Sylar’s mutual apocalypse will create an improved traffic grid for the city’s newly congested Meat Market. There are so many other factors and players involved it’s just about impossible to figure out or anticipate how the pieces will join: Where does Claire, the supercheerleader, come in? How will Hiro’s ability to manipulate time influence the result? I’m very curious to see how creator Tim Kring will leave things for next fall, when the show opens another “volume.” But I’m also confident that this episode will be wildly imaginative.

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