Heroes: The Kindness of Strangers
by Varun Lella, posted Oct 16th 2007 1:02AM
(S02E04) "Oh Golly" - Sylar, grade A meanie.
I really want to thank all you guys who sent in such positive feedback on the new format for Heroes reviewcaps. JJ is going to follow a similar structure, as he displayed last week, so we can have some consistency from week to week, episode to episode.
The above quote was one of the single most hilarious moments ever on Heroes, which is usually suffering from too much drama... or more accurately melodrama.
This week saw the introduction of Micah's extended family, the return of a clean-shaved Nathan Petrelli and the answer to who is Molly's monster, so lets get it started.
Parkman and Family
Continuing from last week, on My Two Dads, Molly continues to have nightmares, which seem to cause to a rift between Mohinder and Matt. Maybe I just really want something off the wall to happen, but is it just me or is there some sexual tension between the two? Look, long nights at the district, tough days at the science lab, these things can cause some repressed feelings to slip to the surface. I know that it would never happen, but it is still funny to hypothesize here.
Parkman's story line crossed with the Petrelli's for most of the episode. He is investigating the murder of Kaito Nakamura and won't let go of the fact that Angela is trying to cover up for a crime that she did not commit. Stubborn as always (which is personally starting to get on my nerves), Parkman gets Nathan to help him track down a mysterious group photo. This is the same photo that was used in Kaito and Angela's death sentence, which includes Linderman, Peterelli's father, Charles Deveaux (the guy Peter used to take care of), Bob from The Company, and most surprisingly of all, Matt Parkman's father.
This twist is a really good one and it was something I didn't see coming. I kind of guessed that either Bob or HRG would be in the photo, but Parkman's father? No freakin' way. But the twist didn't stop there, that is to say that things got a bit twistier. When Parkman showed Molly the photo, presumably so he could warn him about the recent string of deaths, she had a little freakout and insisted that Parkman's pop was the Boogeyman from her nightmares. That jolly man with the double chin? Really, Molly? But who am I to judge what scares little girls.
After some extreme coercing and yelling, Molly agrees to look for good 'ole dad. However, just on the brink of discovering his location she has a minor meltdown and falls into a shock. It was very creepy to see Molly's eyes glazed over while her screaming voice echoed in Parkman's brain. I understand that Parkman really wants to find some answers, but I don't think it was awfully nice of him to push Molly like that. Also, who was the person that signed off the living arrangement for Molly to stay with an erratic police officer and a research geneticist? I am really hoping that there is a comedic episode of Heroes that forces Parkman and Suresh to go under Child Protective Services evaluation. Maybe they will have to pretend to be in a domestic partnership even though they are both completely heterosexual and burly firemen ... Oh that was I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. And I thought I was being original.
I wonder how long Molly will stay in the coma. Maybe she is now a prisoner trapped in her own brain.
Peterelli Family (sans Peter)
So Nathan's story is pretty much mashed up with Parkman's minus a few really haunting and important scenes. The thought flashed to my head that Nathan looks an awful lot like Daniel Day Lewis with that mountain man beard on. Or maybe like a hotter Robin Williams?
Nathan ends up stalking his children at their school. We end up picking up a few tidbits of information from this touching scene:
- His children haven't seen him since he started growing the beard
- He is not allowed to be around them for some reason
- They like him and want him to come home
- Children are absolutely adorable
The last scene that we see with Nathan, after he has cut off his beard, is short, but rather evocative. After showing Parkman the group photo, Petrelli does some pondering and looks in the mirror again to see a burnt monster. I haven't decided whether this is a burnt Peter or a burnt Nathan, because if you look closely he seems to resemble Nathan, but has Peter's haircut. The Heroes wiki says Peter, which to me makes sense, but several of my watching companions think it may be a vision of himself.
Matriarch Petrelli is making things difficult for everyone by insisting she committed the murder of Hiro's dad. She chastises Nathan for seeking redemption, but isn't she making herself into a martyr by sacrificing herself? That sounds a little hypocritical to me. She should stop being so soap opera-ish and just tell her son all the crimes and secret organizations she keeps alluding to. I understand that it makes for good television, but why does it have to be so frustrating? If I could reach into the television, I would just to shake Angela until she gave up some answers.
Maya, Alejandro, Derek and Sylar
We start the episode with M, A, and D driving away from La Policia in Claire's stolen Rogue, which apparently Derek "picked up" sometime before heading into Mexico. They run across a weary Sylar, who managed to escape the giant jungle he was being held in. I was a little surprised by this, since, by the look of the jungle, I thought Sylar was in a rainforest or on an island, not in the desert-y plains of Northern Mexico. If you noticed the wilted trees in the background, you may think that Sylar was able to activate his radioactive ability, which would explain his exhaustion.
Maya blabs her mouth a little bit and Sylar eventually figures out that they are going to New York to see Mohinder's dad (who Sylar killed) and that he will help them. Oh, and Derek is dead. I mean he kind of had it coming, but I would have rather not have him disposed by Sylar.
Zachary Quinto has really mastered his portrayal of Sylar, or Gabriel Gray as he starts calling himself again in this episode. Sylar is full of these vicious smiles and malicious actions, but can drop it at any time to come off as sweet and sincere and innocent. His feigned naivite is so convincing, I almost believed Sylar when he said that he never meant to harm people.
I wonder how long he is planning on keeping them alive. With the ticking noise back in his head, it is implied that his powers may be returning. I really hope that Maya and Alejandro (who seems to know that something is fishy) make it out of this alive, because having Sylar with the ability to choke the life out of the enemies around him is too scary to imagine.
Micah and the Dawson clan
Micah continues his stay down in Nawlins with Nana Dawson (Nichelle Nichols) and his cousins Monica and Damon. Nichols (who still looks like Star Trek's Uhura) did not do much in the episode, but boy were her kinfolk active.
Micah was his usual quiet, shy self and finally decided to use his powers for the greater good: Jimmy-rigging free Pay-per-view wrestling specials. Besides an ultra-tear-jerker scene where Micah attempts to use his technopathy to "fix" Monica's dreams, Micah was actually a minor character in his own story line.
The real star of the episode was Monica, Micha's young, ambitious cousin that serves as the family's breadwinner by working a long job at a local fast food restaurant. When she was first talking about acing the exam, I thought she might have had some sort of intelligence-based power, but that wasn't so. Apparently, as we see when she kicks a burglar's butt, Monica has photographic reflexes, the ability to copy and repeat movement just by witnessing it. I am really excited about this story, because Monica has the same ability as Echo, one of my favorite Marvel superheroes.
Beyond adding a new super to the notch, Monica brings with her a lot of emotional baggage and a pretty deep story line. I think the show tried to hit home the Hurricane Katrina aftermath scenario a little too hard, but it is still an interesting character background (even if it is a little stale by now). My real interest is whether or not she can continue to mimic movements repeatedly, or if it is a one shot thing. Maybe she could watch the Matrix in fast forward and exclaim just like Keanu, "Woah. I know Kung Fu."
When you think about it Monica has the most potential (besides Peter) to become a straight-up superhero. Hiro, Nikki, Claire and the others have emotional or situational baggage that prevents them from donning a costume and Monica is young, has a good heart, and genuinely want to improve the life around her. Maybe she will become a vigilante as a way to better the community that she worried about neglecting.
Sometimes it is easy to save the least for last. To be honest, all-around, not much happened this episode, and Noah and Claire were no exception to the rule. They are playing this little game, very similar to the beginning of last season, that is full of lies and deceit. And I don't like it. It is very strange how they both think they know what's best, but neither works to create trusting, honest relationships (which I am pretty sure Dr. Phil would say is necessary).
Claire ran around with West again and they went on an adorable date, kissing over the famous Hollywood sign. Many of my watching companions love West and think he is smart and cute ... yes, these are girls. However, I am not sold on the guy. His trick into getting Claire to go on a date with him seemed persistent to the point of being abusive. I will admit that his line after catching Claire was pretty smooth, but it seemed like he has thought out way too much about how he is going to woo her. I might be jealous that he gets to spend time with Hayden Panettierre, but don't come crying to me when it turns out that he is a secret agent for The Company.
Claire ends up lying to her father and using cheerleading as a cover up for spending time with West. This probably means that she will have to join the cheer squad again and the Captain will get decapitated by Sylar again. A cycle like that could probably last us a couple of seasons.
The Haitian makes a quick appearance at the end of the episode and it seems like HRG and his sidekick are up to their old games. A secret trip to the Ukraine? Yes, please. I am tired of the domestic life, I am ready to see HRG back in action and creepy as ever.
This episode was pretty boring and uneventful. Minus the big twist with Parkman's dad being the man in Molly's nightmares, I didn't feel like the story progressed much. I guess Nathan shaved his beard, which should be enough of an accomplishment for one episode, but somehow I felt a little bit short changed at the end of the episode. However, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Monica and the merger of the Sylar storyline into Maya and Alejandro's.
The episode most likely felt stagnant not because of what they put in it, but rather what they left out: Peter and Hiro. This is the first episode of Heroes this season that we don't get to see the two biggest protagonists and their absence is greatly felt. Since their plots are either geographically or temporally removed from the others, it is easy to use them when necessary and set them on their own trajectory. I really hope that the writers don't plan on leaving their stories out too many times during the season, because I don't know what I would do without my favorite heroes.
Because Peter and Hiro's storylines are the most interesting, in my opinion (and that is why you read my right? for my opinions?), I would rather have their plots switch off from episode to episode (maybe covering more depth) than have to forgo their presence in an episode ever again. But that might be a little bit selfish of me. Plus next week Kristen Bell starts her story arc, which from the previews seems to revolve around Peter, so I doubt we will be seeing less of the younger Petrelli. Hopefully that doesn't come at the expense of missing out on some Hiro heroics.