Tonight on Heroes, Charlie!!
Um…you have something in your eye.
We pick up where we left off, fourscore and two episodes ago, with Hiro back at the Burnt Toast Diner. He’s standing at the window in his hospital gown looking in for Charlie as an older waitress walks by and tells him he has a nice butt. This makes Hiro realize that maybe he should find some real clothes, so he looks all over town for a clothesline that has a shirt geeky enough for him. A Knight Rider shirt. Not the crappy remake from this decade, either. Is this three years ago or thirty? A kid in a cowboy getup stops him. Because they never miss an opportunity to relive the glory that was Season 1, Hiro tells the kid the whole Charlie story in old “boy meets girl boy loses girl boy goes back to the past to save her only to see her whacked by a supervillain” style. Complete with flashbacks. The kid is so sympathetic that he gives Hiro the clothes and his white hat to top off the ensemble, because the good guys wear white hats and the bad guys wear black. They’re back at the diner door when Sylar (who Hiro calls “the brain man”) walks in past them. Wearing a black hat.
Sans digital shadow over the face.
In case you still haven’t caught the Quantum Leap refs in this plotline, Hiro looks around him and says “Oh boy.”
Back in the present, Samuel’s time traveler Arnold is dying and Samuel looks pretty tore up about it. I kinda like how T-Sam started out tough and confident and has slowly come apart over 8 episodes. T-Sam gets out his Blackberry, which is to say his magic ink stick, to check his email from the future. Lydia is conveniently wearing a sleeveless top which leaves large parts of her back exposed. Good thinking. A picture of Charlie appears there. Sam figures out that Hiro is in love with this picture of a woman he’s never seen before, because he’s that guy in the genre story whose wild guesses are always right. Like Harry Potter. Lydia knows all about the people in the tattoos, like how they’re all three years in the past. Which leaves me at a loss as to why she needs tattoos in the first place. I mean, especially since she’s not going to be taking her top off every five minutes anymore. More tats appear after the Charlie one. HRG, and Sylar, and some chick I don’t think we’ve seen before. Although these are all actual photos turned into black and white drawings by someone with the power of Photoshop. Anyway. T-Sam needs old dying Arnold to do One Last Job, namely send him back in time and fetch Hiro.
Lydia’s back is like one of those Charles Schwab commercials, but hurts your eyes less.
Burnt Toast Diner
Hiro sits at a table hiding behind a newspaper, drinking a Pepsi Free and waiting for Biff to come over and knock on his head. The Homecoming is splashed across the front page of the paper for good measure. Biff, played by Sylar in tonight’s Back To The Future remake, is sitting across the diner hitting on Lorraine, I mean Charlie. She notices his watch and spews some trivia about how it’s based on a Russian design that some general brought back and yawn, now I remember why they killed off this character. It’s kind of a cute act the first couple of times, but since she can’t kill anyone with this power, what good does it do the show really? See also: Emma. Sylar, using the power he was born with for once, sees the problem in her brain, asks her about it and creeps her out. T-Sam pops in to chat with Hiro. Just when you thought they couldn’t wreck this cool Season 1 scene any further, the camera pans across the room and oh yeah, there’s HRG sitting and eating breakfast. Sigh. It looks like it’s time for another…
Comic Book Lecture
This week, boys and girls, I’m going to introduce a concept that Heroes writers can’t live without: the retcon. Retcon is short for “retroactive continuity”. Basically it’s when the writers change their minds and have to change the backstory to make it work. It happens all the time in serial fiction. Comic books are the worst offenders, because there’s just no way to keep all that history straight. Ever wonder why comic book characters don’t age? It’s the magic of retcon. You can go nuts with examples on Wikipedia, but Star Wars is full of them. Luke kissing his sister? Check. “I am your father?” Check. Episodes 1-3? Yup. And if you think retcons are just for geeks, I give you the “it was all a dream” season of Dallas.
Just a few examples from Heroes:
- Hiro at the carnival 14 years ago
- Arthur Petrelli’s not dead!
- Mohinder’s dad was involved with the Company (remember how in Season 1 HRG was trying to get Mohinder to help them because of what he knew about his dad’s work?)
- Can you say Shanti virus?
So now I guess we’re going to retcon back
Kotter Charlie. Which brings us to HRG in the BTD. Joined by a strange woman, the same one we just met a couple of minutes ago on Hiro’s back. Didn’t know HRG was there that fateful day Sylar showed up in a digitally-enhanced trucker hat, didja? Didn’t know he had this woman for a partner, huh? Surprise! I thought the Haitian was his partner. Or Eden, the girl from Season 1 that could talk people into anything. Or the one that changed shape, maybe. How many partners has he had? Anyway, she must be One Of Them, so I wonder what her power is.
I mean besides the power of having Tracy’s hair.
She knows the face HRG makes when he lies, so they must be very close. They meet up for breakfast twice a week even though the pancakes aren’t very good. Maybe they should try the waffles instead, I’ve heard Hiro loves them. Anyway. I no likey this woman. To confirm my worst fears, she pulls something from her purse.
“If you wish to forego the next two seasons, you may use this cheap motel key to screw up the space-time continuum. Love, Chris Harrison”
Before HRG can accept the overnight date, his phone rings. It’s Eden calling to say that she kidnapped Isaac and brought all his Season 1 paintings too. Saved by the bell. In the other corner, Hiro McFly and Doc Sam are hiding at their table and watching Sylar. Sam wants to protect McFly from shredding the fabric of spacetime while he’s trying to get his parents back together, I mean get back together with Charlie. Charlie’s in the back opening cans, and if you watched Season 1, you know what’s about to happen. Sylar draws his Finger Of Doom and gets ready to slice her head open. I kinda miss that move. It’s been awhile. Hiro stops time just in time. And I’ve typed that so many times I should really setup a hotkey.
It seems to be working so far this time, because Hiro’s got time-frozen Sylar wrapped in duct tape and stuffing him into the baggage compartment of a Greyhound going to Odessa. That way he’ll still go after Claire and the space-time continuum will be preserved. Airtight logic there, bud. They don’t usually play Sylar for laughs, which makes this kinda funny. Just in time Hiro realizes that if he saves Charlie from Sylar NOW, Season 1 Hiro would have no reason to go back in time 6 months and fall in love with her. Greato Scotto! He runs to the corkboard to check the picture of himself at Charlie’s birthday party. Now he’s not in it. Again.
Forget the waitress. Save the clock tower!
The only way Hiro can think of to get around this is to have a little chat with Season 1 Hiro. “Where’s your sword?” says Season 1 Hiro. LOL. I miss that sword. Season 1 Hiro expects Season 4 Hiro to tell him to save the cheerleader again, but Season 4 Hiro says to forget the cheerleader and save the waitress instead. Wait, what? Doesn’t he still need to save Claire? Oh yeah, he got to Homecoming too late to do anything about it, so no big. He launches into a Comic Book Lecture and I’m not really listening because my suspension of disbelief just snapped, and you could hear the twang in Midland, Texas. Oy. It must have worked, though, because Six Months Ago Hiro is now back in the pic.
While we’re taking a little trip through Nostalgia, Texas, let’s swing by…
Down in HRG’s secret company lair, we have Isaac and all his bloody paintings of Claire! And Eden! I’m pretty sure this scene is recycled from Season 1. Those were the days, huh? So this is their way of bringing back the old Season 1 magic, by literally bringing back season 1? How original. HRG gets teary-eyed talking about Claire. That’s new. No way Season 1 HRG gets that emotional. He storms around the break room all angry that he can’t seem to catch Sylar. The nameless partner comes in, coaches him up, says not to worry and they’ll catch him. They have 37 whole hours left until the big event. In case you have any good feelings whatsoever about this nameless woman, she decides now might be a good time to go for a kiss. HRG is like WTF? Maybe her power is bad timing. She apologizes and pretends to Haitian away the memory of the whole thing. Sorry, but that only works on Mrs. Bennet.
All this time-jumping has given Hiro a headache.
He’s not the only one.
T-Sam points out Ando waiting for Season 1 Hiro to get back from his first Save Charlie trip. No guys, please don’t mess with this scene. It was one of my favorites from Season 1. But nothing is sacred, so… Season 4 Hiro bops over to have a chat with Ando and make sure he stays put. Then it’s off to the back room to reunite with Charlie. She’s happy to see him again (I had to go look it up on HeroesWiki, but she last saw Season 1 Hiro after he popped back to the present while trying to kiss her). They immediately start making plans to run off together to Japan. No time like the present. Or the past. Or whenever the crap it is right now. She starts reciting factoids from a Japan tourbook, and can’t stop herself. She blames her brain aneurysm and says it’s rupturing and will be the death of her pretty soon. Hey, they have matching brain damage now. How cute! Hiro says to wait right there and runs off to the bus station to find Sylar. If I were Hiro, I’d stop time or teleport or something. Don’t those things kill you instantly? Who hasn’t heard the horror stories about someone who bumped their head, went to bed with a headache and woke up dead? Sylar is no longer in the baggage compartment. Oops.
No one throws me under the bus!
Hiro tells Sylar he has to fix Charlie, while trying to avoid having his head chopped open. This freezing time and running around bit is funny and all, but what happened to teleporting? Hiro offers to tell Sylar about the future in exchange for saving Charlie. Sylar sees come cheerleaders running off to Homecoming at the end of the alley, but the future is too tempting to pass up, so off they go to Burnt Toast to fix Charlie. I am losing all respect for Hiro. He’s an idiot. Go ahead and kill him off at the end of the month, see if I care. Future Hiro-the one with the sword, I mean-has got to be disappointed in how he turned out. Anyway, Sylar points his magic finger and heals her head instead of cutting it open.
Let’s give this hot mess of a plotline a rest for now, and continue along on our Season 1 Nostalgia tour! Claire has un-retired her cheerleader outfit.
Go ahead and stare, fanboys. She’s over 18 now.
Claire and the cheerleaders are at the bus station in Odessa, waiting for the bus that Sylar is supposed to be stashed on. The retcon is rearing its ugly head again, because somewhere in that episode Claire became homecoming queen, and shouldn’t she at least be wearing a tiara or something? HRG drops in on her and they slurp milkshakes and talk about Dad’s career. Didn’t they just have this conversation three years from now? HRG says what he really wanted to do with his life is teach Shakespeare to high-schoolers. Man, HRG is a total wuss this season. Claire leaves and HRG takes out his Overnight Date key. Don’t do it, Bennet! According to HeroesWiki, in a couple of hours you have to be home to ground Claire in her room. If anyone cares.
Speaking of screwed-up timelines, Sylar’s fixed Charlie’s brain and now he’s demanding knowledge of the future. Hey, why didn’t Hiro tell Sylar to fix him too, as part of the deal? Hiro tells Sylar he’s going to grab a lot of powers and then die alone. Oh that’s right, Hiro thinks Sylar died at the end of Season 1. Boy, Hiro has really been out of the loop for the last couple of seasons. He stops time again and takes Sylar back out to meet the cheerleaders so he can do the whole homecoming massacre thing.
She Who Shall Not Be Named is waiting for HRG in the ugliest Fantasy Suite you’ve ever seen. Seriously, they should totally go this route on the next season of The Bachelor.
Pearls before swine and all that.
HRG shows up and asks for a drink, but he can’t go through with it. She insists it’s love, not sex. Whatever. I don’t care one bit about this chick. You can’t make me. The woman, whose name turns out to be Lauren, says she “can bag and tag with the best of them,” and that will go down as one of the best double entendres in Heroes history, so this scene has one redeeming quality at least. HRG needs her friendship, or partnership or whatever, because in case you forgot, there’s a serial killer after his daughter and he needs to go track the guy down. Seriously? Terrible timing, Lauren.
When Hiro gets back from dropping off Sylar, Ando comes out to make sure everything’s all right. There sure is a lot of going in and out of the diner in this episode. Hiro tells him to go back in and keep waiting for Season 1 Hiro. Good idea. Season 1 Hiro is a big improvement over this loser. Season 4 Hiro has devolved into that guy who thinks some girl is a lot more important than stupid stuff like saving the world. I hate that guy. Charlie comes out to meet him, does her best aw-shucks thing, and feels like she’s cheating death. Hiro must not be one of the good guys if he’s going to let Sylar kill a few cheerleaders in order to save her. Hiro says he did it because he loves her, but Charlie says he’s being selfish and bails.
We’ll always have waffles.
HRG is pacing around the Primatech break room when Lauren comes in with an envelope for him. Seriously, woman, quit while you’re behind. Inside the envelope is the room key, and a note that explains she had the Haitian wipe her memory. If I was the Haitian, I’d be sick of cleaning up everyone’s messes. If I was HRG, I’d be mad that she didn’t get the Haitian to wipe his memory too. I bet he would love to forget that whole episode.
Hiro sits at the bar in the diner in full-on Boy Loses Girl mode. Apropos of nothing, HRG drops in. “Do I know you?” says HRG, probably because he remembers Hiro from when he was ten. Not yet, says Hiro. They have some special bonding time quoting Shakespeare in Japanese, before HRG leaves to make room for Charlie, who’s changed her mind. She wants her happy ending after all, and says she loves him. Go ahead and enjoy that happy ending. You have one minute.
Time’s up. Charlie walks outside, and Hiro follows after, but she’s not there. Instead, Samuel’s back. With this weird mix of triumph and remorse (acting props to Robert Knepper), Sam explains that Old Arnold’s last living act was to kidnap Charlie and take her back to carnival. I mean forward to the carnival. Ah, who knows anymore. Hiro is the only one who can take them both back to the present and Charlie. So poof, off they go back to the future and Charlie is nowhere in sight. The truth is Arnold hid Charlie “somewhere in time” and only Sam knows how to get her back. She’s probably partying with Caitlin in the Limbo of Silly Accents. Samuel is using her as a hostage so Hiro will help him fix a mistake he made eight weeks ago. So Samuel killed off one time traveler just to get his hands on another one? Smooth move, Ex-Lax. Hiro is hella pissed, but agrees to help out so he can get Charlie back. So off they go to eight weeks in the past, to find out that Samuel’s mistake was…
He killed Mohinder!
OK, it’s a good thing the episode is over now, cuz my brain hurts and I feel cheated. I hate retcons. Hate ‘em. Ciao for now.