Hey guys! Everyone recovered from the holidays? I must confess it’s taking me a little longer than usual to get moving again. Between football and my wedding anniversary this week, half my brain is still in vacation mode. So guess what? Until the rest of my brain gets back, you’ll have to make do with half a recap. Not to worry, Heroes is a doubleheader this week, so you’re still getting your money’s worth. If I’m doing the math right.
The first episode’s title is “Upon This Rock”. This comes from the Bible, of course. Everything is either from X-Men or the Bible. Jesus is saying about Peter “upon this rock I will build my church.” The rock is Peter, because Peter means rock, and jeez, am I Comic Book Lecturing already? We just got started! That said, the references are all mixed up here. Samuel is building a church, sort of, and he needs one specific person for his plan to work out… but that person is NOT Peter. You’d think Peter would figure in somewhere, but he doesn’t even show up until the last scene. There is an actual rock, which Samuel gets water out of-but that’s a reference to Moses, not Jesus or Peter. Does any of this matter? Probably not. The important thing is it makes Heroes look like the kind of brainy show that we all wish it was. But I’ve gotten way ahead of myself. Let’s begin at the beginning.
First up are a bunch of clips to get you back up to speed on the season so far. The most important thing is… the Mohologue is back! That’s right, that voice droning on about memories, or irony, or whatever this week’s topic is, belongs to our pal Mohinder. Welcome back, buddy. Hope you’re enjoying your brief trip out of Kring’s doghouse.
Love the boots.
Once Mohinder’s wrapped up, we catch up with Claire, picking up trash around the carnival and being stalked by Samuel’s new Number Two (and Three, and Four, and Five, etc.). Lydia, the official Carnyville Tour Guide, is showing her around while bringing pancakes to Samuel for breakfast. She asks Claire to take them instead, so maybe she can “score some points” with Samuel. I’ll wait while you try to get rid of that mental image. Sorry, writers. Unintended sexual reference FAIL.
Still stuck in your head, isn’t it? Moving on anyway.
When Claire sticks her head in the trailer door, HRG’s box of files is sitting in the middle of the room. Samuel covers it up, too late. “Your father and I have shared more history than you know,” he says. And what is Claire supposed to make of that, exactly? Samuel’s getting dressed up in his going-into-town costume again, because he’s going to fetch someone important to the cause. Someone who will lead them on to that great circus in the sky called freedom. Claire has a relevant quote about freedom, which I can’t remember. Samuel tops it: “I always thought freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose.” Claire gets this reference, which must make her the only person born in 1991 to know who Janis Joplin is. After they split up, Sam tells Eli not to let her leave. Which will probably involve more standing around and leering. What else are henchmen good at?
Whatever the guy with the dreads did to Hiro a few episodes ago, it’s reduced him to the essence of Hiro, which means roaming the streets of Tokyo looking all earnest and dropping random movie quotes. He’s babbling about somebody named Sancho Panza and throwing out geek-lit references from Star Wars to Batman to Highlander to Battlestar Galactica. He grabs a cleaver from a noodle stand and rescues a chick from a mugger (on a busy street? in broad daylight?)
Actually, I think he’s right behind you. Run!
No good deed goes unpunished, so naturally the cops arrest him and the other guy gets away.
Samuel walks out to the middle of the desert (so we aren’t in southern Ohio anymore?) as the song “Karn Evil 9″ plays. You know. “Welcome back my friends”? The song I mentioned months ago? Sam flashbacks to boyhood, in full Technicolor black and white. Young Samuel (who’s pretty well cast) is trying to move a rock with his mind as Young Joseph (even better cast) is teasing him about a girl named Vanessa. Fade back to the present. “Just you wait, brother,” says Samuel. Um, your brother? Is DEAD. Remember? You killed him. With a rock you moved with your mind. I know, deep for Heroes, huh?
Back inside the carnival, Claire eavesdrops on Lydia and her daughter arguing at the next table. Makes her feel right at home. Hey, anybody notice that all the carnival scenes are all shot with some trippy lens-flare effect? It’s like the carnival is in the Land of Oz or something. Anyway, Claire wants to know why Samuel is collecting people with powers. Lydia says he’s obsessed. Claire mentions the box full of Daddy’s files stashed in the trailer. In fact, now would be a great time to go snooping around in there. Except Eli (and Eli and Eli) have other ideas. “Aren’t you on beautification duty?” (Which I guess means trash pickup.) “Run along and beautify!” You know what, I kinda like this guy.
The cops have dropped Hiro off at Tamagotchi Industries, thanks to the business card they found on him. He’s been missing for six weeks, Ando says. And that card has been in his pocket the whole time? Has he washed those pants? Ewww.
Yep, looks like translated Japanese, all right.
Hiro’s babbling about sidekicks and swamp dragons and Ando chalks it up to the brain tumor. Gotta love brain tumors. What a great plot device. You can use them to explain anything. Hiro keeps calling Ando Sancho Panza, which doesn’t sound like much of a sci-fi geek name to me. I could go look it up. Nah, let’s wait and see if they explain it.
Emma (remember her?) is feeling down and in the mood for some cello, courtesy of the rejection letter she just got from Arlington U. Now would be a great time for a mysterious stranger to knock on her door and whisk her away to Utopia, and guess what happens?
Anyone else remember Barton Fink? Anyone?
Emma is awfully chatty for a single Manhattan woman who just had a strange dude show up at her door unannounced. Don’t you have to be buzzed up at most places? Just in case she’s hiding some pepper spray behind her back, Samuel says he sent her the cello. Which now has a conspicuous carnival compass logo on it. Never noticed that before, I bet. Me neither.
Hiro is still yapping about Dr. Watson and Sancho’s hailing frequencies. This would be funnier if it was in English. The subtitles kinda kill it. Ando thinks maybe “someone stirred up his fanboy brain” and the resulting geek soup only lets him communicate in these references. So pretty much just like my recaps.
“Elementary!” yells Hiro. He’s off to the Danger Room to prepare for his quest. Four and a half seasons in, and we finally get our first direct X-Men reference. What took so long? “Danger Room” is also what Hiro calls the place where he keeps all his comic books, so they head over there for more clues.
Back at Emma’s apartment, Samuel has gotten Emma to open her door by wooing her with some pseudo-signing. I bet that’s the deaf equivalent of yelling loudly at foreigners. Just wave your hands around wildly and they’ll understand you, right? Samuel has no problem understanding her real signing though. The guy must speak every language on earth. Samuel scores some points by saying he meant the cello for someone else, but he lost her. Now that he’s got her sympathy, what’s he really want? Help finding another super. Someone out of HRG’s files. In Central Park. Why am I talking in fragments? Forrest Gump T-Sam is contagious.
At the carnival, Claire is about tired of being stalked, first by Gretchen and then by Eli, so she gets the Elis to chase her into the mirror funhouse.
But which one is your other brother Darryl?
“Now you know what it feels like,” she says as Eli tries to find the real Claire. She conks him over the head with a stool (which, conveniently, does NOT seem to have a reflection) before he finds her. All the extra Elis disappear. So she heads over to Samuel’s trailer to poke around. Out of all the mysterious incriminating things that must be in there, she grabs… a map. Yawn. On her way back out the door, boring espionage completed, she runs into her old frenemy Doyle again. He’s back in enemy mode though, and he’s got her under control. Good. Mr. Nice Doyle was even creepier. New Old Doyle wants to know if she’s spying for HRG. Oh, that’s why he’s wigging out. Claire tells him Samuel’s collecting people and he must have an Evil Plan, she just doesn’t know what it is yet. Doyle is not buying it, because the carnival is his family now and no Barbie is going to ruin it for him. No way, nohow.
So Hiro’s found the place where he keeps his comics collection, and he’s looking at good old 9th Wonders while Ando attempts to Google some sense out of Hiro. Sancho Panza is Don Quixote’s sidekick, BTW-I figured that would come out sooner or later. Ando finally puts all the pieces together and figures out that they need to get to a mental hospital in Florida. Which, if you recall, is where Hiro stashed Mohinder back when he had most of his brain. Now that the band is back together, all they have to do is zip over to Florida and grab Mo. Easy as cake.
Sam and Emma have gone out to the park to play a little cello. Sam is still doing his Sam speech about Emma and her powers and emotions and music and whatnot. He tells her she can touch people with her music, that all she has to do is concentrate on the man in the file and play, and he’ll walk right up. Like the Pied Fiddler. Who knew she could do that? How many powers does Emma have exactly? She sees sounds. She fires wall-busting sonic blasts. She hypnotizes.
She’s a sonic Swiss Army knife.
Sure enough, while she’s playing one of her patented three-note melodies, the guy walks right up. When he touches a tree, its leaves turn green. How sweet. Forget Peter, you two belong together. On the moon of Pandora, living in trees and riding dragons.
They take this guy back to the hospital to get cleaned up. Samuel could use a doctor at the carnival, what with the death rate there lately. So of course he gives her a compass. I don’t know why he doesn’t just take her right now, but whatever. The new guy speaks up. She’s different like me, he says. No, says Samuel, you’re both special. They’re special all right.
A news story on TV catches Samuel’s eye. Nathan is officially dead in a small plane crash. Mama’s handiwork, no doubt.
Doyle insists that Samuel must be one of the good guys, because “I’m good now. This place is good for me. I haven’t done anything wrong since I got here.” You mean until now? He mentions Joseph, tells Claire she should go back and talk to Lydia, and lets her go. What, no hug this time? Claire goes straight to Lydia to find out what Samuel’s planning to do with that map. I mean besides you know, find his way around and stuff. Lydia admits she wanted Claire to go snooping in the trailer. Joseph was the real leader and Sam killed him. You have to find someone to stop him, she says. Lydia’s always trying to get someone else to stop Samuel. Cowgirl up and do something yourself, babe. Besides, Eli’s up from his nap, so Claire’s fun is over anyway.
Samuel’s back too, all the way from New York via the Floo network or however the hell these carnies get around. He’s playing good cop and pretending to yell at Eli-who Claire calls Copy Boy. Ha! And so he shall be known for the rest of the season, or at least until someone kills him off. Claire wants to know the truth about Joseph. What follows is not Samuel’s finest acting ever.
OMG I’ve just been picked for Extreme Makeover Home Edition!
Samuel admits he killed his brother during a lapse of control, but only because Joseph sold them out to Danko. He’s only lied and cheated and so on out of love for his “family”. Just like your own dad, he says. You farkin sneaky bastage. Point for T-Sam. Claire wants to know what he’s planning out in the desert. So he takes her. The former homeless guy, (his name is Ian, BTW) is out there. He says he needs water for what he’s doing, and Sam makes some flow out of a rock, just like Moses. All right then.
So Samuel’s building a golf course? I knew it!
So all those plants just… grew out of nothing? That Ian must be fertile! I know, I know, sorry. Anyway, remember those seeds Samuel planted a bunch of episodes back? I guess now we know why. Claire does a happy dance, but is not quite ready to move in and settle down. There are voicemails from HRG and Peter on her cell phone. They get service out there in the middle of the Ohio desert? With apologies to Luke Wilson, she must not be on AT&T.
Yeah, I know there’s a whole hour to go, but they write and shoot these things as separate episodes. This scene seems bolted on, though, like it might really belong in the next hour. But what do I know. We’re at Nathan’s funeral. Good thing they kept his body frozen. And here I thought they were saving it for Claire to show up and do some magic with her blood.
“I’m glad you’re safe” is all HRG says. She just escaped the clutches of his nemesis and that’s all he’s got? Is he pissed at her for ruining his date with Lauren? Claire has got no love for Daddy either. She’s keeping the compass, she says. I don’t get where the animosity is coming from here. Except that these two have to spend half of every season on the outs. I guess that’s it. Anyway, Peter gives the eulogy as I scan the crowd of extras for anyone who looks remotely like Nathan’s two boys and formerly wheelchair-bound wife. No joy. Couldn’t get them back for even one scene? Guess they vanished into Lyle Limbo, along with Molly and Micah. Peter, who’s holding up pretty well, talks about Nathan pitching him curve balls as a kid to prepare him for real life. Nathan’s getting the whole military funeral bit, complete with 21-gun salute and jets flying the Missing Man formation. They went all out for him. I bet Mama P’s been planning this awhile now, considering that Nathan’s already died at least once every season and she’s tried to kill him off herself at least once.
And that’s it for the first half of the second half-season premiere. It’s time for my anniversary trip and I have a plane to catch. Or a train, or a car. I’m not really sure, since Ms. Copyhacker has done a good job keeping this trip under wraps. That means next week you’ll get the second half of this episode AND next week’s episode. Two recaps in one week. Go nuts!