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July 28, 2014

Heroes: The Kindness of Strangers

by Varun Lella, posted Oct 16th 2007 1:02AM
HEROES
(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
Okay, so that last one wasn't really new information, but the rest of it gives us a little more context to the current disheveled state of Nathan Petrelli.

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.

The Bennets
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.

Other Thoughts
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.

Who did you miss more?
Hiro551 (45.8%)
Peter652 (54.2%)

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I'm glad to read that I'm not the only one who'd notice the 'sexual tension' between Matt and Mohinder XD
West, i just can't believe him yet, i dunno, there are too many stories..
and yes, I miss Peter and Hiro.

October 23 2007 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kip

@Ryan

"I agree with Hiro in that I don't care for his love affair in Japan, but I AM loving his interaction with Takezo Kensei. If they can just bring BOTH of them into the future, it'd be great."

Maybe Kensei is already in the future.. I think there is a lot more to him. Maybe he is the original hero, the first person who had the mutation, and all the current heroes are his descendants. Of course, the fact that they make up so many ethnic groups would be a problem for this theory, but over 400 years it's possible to explain. And since he can regenerate, it would be quite difficult for him to die, so maybe he's still alive (and responsible for the recent killings even??).

Just some of my theories..

October 17 2007 at 8:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

I also thought that Parkman's dad being the "scary guy" was the most contrived part of the episode and also saw it coming when Matt asked Molly to find his dad. Still, I was thinking to myself that the writers are deliberately laying down "easy" connected situations like that so as to hit us with more complicated ones later in the season.

I am a bit disappointed that his dad wasn't portrayed by William Shatner though, considering Hereoes seems to be the place where old Trek actors (George Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Dominic Boren) seem to be heading out to pasture.

I think there's more to the Sylar/Peter thing. Is it possible that 'Gabriel' really wants to help, and the ticking indicates a dual personality in conflict with itself? Similar to how Peter almost enjoyed hurting Boren's character in the previous episode?

I also think that West already knows who Claire's father is. Doesn't he seem too friendly and over-eager?

October 17 2007 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tony


@Harry,

You are so right! I have to agree that the last scene with Matt & Molly does make Matt to be a lazy cop. if not
that, then some lazy writers.

@ All Commentators,

This just in, “CLAIRE IS A TEENAGER”.

So as such she is subject to teenage angst. I'm not sure why all the hating on West. What with the writers of these posts? It's like you know something that you are dying to tell us about this Kid. I don’t know he seem alright to me. If Claire's dad was the guy that West remembered then why tell Claire? Obliviously he's not the one.

As to too many Goodies, not enough Baddies, I don't see it. I'm apparently the only one not happy to see Sylar’s Character back. I’ve had enough of the roach. I like the actor that plays Sylar but the character is so one dimensional and so overreaching to me. I mean we have a mysterious Bogey man, another Mysterious Killer of First Generations, a Virus, a guy named Bob, and little girl. I’m just kidding about the last one. Some of you guys could lay off the criticism when it comes to the kids on this show. Wonder twins could go good or evil on this show.

That’s one thing I do like about this 1st season and the one thing that hasn’t been utilized as much as it was last season. All the characters have a chance be Black, white or Grey.

Bennet goal of keep is Family safe is still the same as last season the only thing new with him is this whack plot to take down the company. I know all this is filler for the midseason cliffhanger and then finale of 2nd season.

If they have another Peter and the Box type storyline I may have to start watching that two and third show or whatever.

October 16 2007 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrea

@BigTed: I think you've selected the Kristen Bell character's TVS nickname. "Heroica Mars" .

Bennett storyline: Boring.

Sylar and the Mexican twins: Don't care. I changed the channels/walked out of the room when they were on last night.

Monica: Very cool. I look forward to learning more about that family.

Matt having Molly locate his father down to the apartment number: NOT cool.

I squealed when the preview for next week showed Kristen Bell.

October 16 2007 at 6:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liza

your comment about my two dads was funny, when i first read it. not this time. and saying that there was sexual tensions? ugh. you are turning me off too early in the review, the rest has been tainted!
anyway, i really miss Peter and Hiro, they are my favorites and i HATE SYLAR! i really like Monica's powers. when she made the rose out of the tomato. and kicked the thief's butt. that was cool. i still don't get Micah's powers, i understand the tv part, but why did he put his hand on Monica's back like that? maybe i missed something?

October 16 2007 at 6:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Aberdeen

"maybe like a hotter Robin Williams?"

You mean Robbie Williams, right? Please?

I don't care for West, either, and for a smart girl, Claire seems pretty dumb when it comes to manipulative people. You'd think she would have learned after the whole thing with her dad.

I'd like another straight up hero, too, and I'd be more than happy for Monica to fit the bill. Or Micah, for that matter. I was disappointed in Parkman...but love the fact that he and Mohinder are living together. I think that's just hilarious.

Sylar is pure. evil. Which I'm quite enjoying. Quinto is going to make a fantastic Spock.

October 16 2007 at 5:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

Season 8 = Season 3 (duh me)

October 16 2007 at 5:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason

Ryan,

I appreciate your response, and yes we are both entitled to our opinions. I guess if I could cut any character slack, it would in fact be Sylar because when I did see him in the road my first thought was "Who put him there?".

So I guess I can't give him too much crap, but still the rest of this show just feels a little less then blah. I understand that last season Claire was a popular character, but she was in the thick of things at the time. Currently we are devoting 15ish minutes to this love story that is coming off real bad.

The reason I am frustrated with HRG not showing the painting is because if he's worried about something bad happening to him, and his daughter being involved, just show her the stupid thing so she can go "Oh gee, maybe I shouldn't be hanging out with this guy".

Also, concerning Claire, hasn't she already been told everything he did when he was with the company? Why is this coming off as such a shock and leading to hate? She knows he had to do some terrible things but he's not doing it anymore and he's trying to lay low so bad things don't happen to him and the family.

I think my frustration comes mainly from the first 8 episodes of LOST season 3. If you're a LOST fan you know that they really biffed the start of season 8 but then ended with some incredible episodes, that's why I have faith that Heroes will turn it around but man if these opening episodes aren't a lot worst then the opening episodes of LOST 3. (Sorry to keep bringing it up but I figured since the brains of Heroes/Lost are buds, they wouldn't follow the same steps Lost did).

October 16 2007 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jukin

This show is boring the life out of me!! I'll give it a few more episodes but it has to pick up or I'm done with it. The thing that really bugged me last night was the lazy writing. Last week they went to great lengths to show Sylar in the middle of nowhere only to have him pop up in an inhabited area and found by Maya and Alejandro.... WTF? They've dragged out the Mexican Wonder Twins thing for far too long. It was boring before but now it's gotten to the point of being irritating. Obviously their parents are dead - they must have died the immediately after they were born and Maya crie for the first time. This power not only sucks if you have it, it sucks if you have to watch someone else who has it. We've had a month of these two trying to get to America - get on with it already! They run from the cops, the cops chase them, they get away, they get in trouble, Maya gets goofy and kills everyone, Alejandro comforts her, they ruin some more..... OK WE GET IT!! Four weeks of this crap? Really get on with it already!! Adding Sylar just made them that much more unbearable! How did he get there? Why is Maya such an idiot that she tells him everything after knowing him for a few minutes? It's gotten unwatchable.

And the Claire - West thing is just a half step behind in being unwatchable. West is obviously working for the company or looking to extract revenge on HRG guy. My guess is its a revenge killing. He's manipulated events to meet Claire, has done everything he can to get close to her and gone as far as looking in her windows (multiple times) but he doesn't know the guy who grabbed him is her father? Yeah right!!

The writing has gotten lazy and predictable and is generating boring episodes. I'll refrain from adding to the growing list of complaints about Parkman and the "My Two Dads" thing. I'll also let Micah's obnoxious kid cousin off the hook this week (but someone seriously has to lay an ass whooping on that little punk with the smart mouth!!!)

Basically this show is getting lazy and the writing has really dropped off from last year when 1 episode was enough to gt you hooked. So far I'm trying hard to like it but am having to fight the urge to turn the channel.

October 16 2007 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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