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We’re back again for another night of Heroes! When we left, Gretchen had just seen Claire do her signature dive out the window. Seriously, this girl has jumped out of a TON of windows. But let’s pick it right back up where we left off. Claire’s hiding out in her room when Gretchen bangs on the door. “Open up! We need to talk.” Claire stares at the door, which cross-fades into a shot of Parkman’s phone-Sprint logo prominently displayed, natch. Matt picks up his Sprintâ„¢ phone, his LAPDâ„¢ badge, and Cracker Jackâ„¢ sobriety chip that he got for going 30 days without a trip to KFCâ„¢. Imaginary Sylar and he pulls his Glockâ„¢. Yeah, this day’s starting off well. Meanwhile, Peter
Parker Petrelli is adding a big article to his wall of fame. Something about avoiding an MTAâ„¢ disaster. Which I guess would be a subway or bus accident.
Samuel is in his trailer mixing up a batch of his magic ink. Lydia, watching, starts to slide her dress off her shoulders. Not so fast babe, this stuff is for someone else. Lydia can barely contain her disappointment at staying fully clothed for a whole scene, but Sam says he found someone to fill his dead brother Joseph’s position as leader of the Others. He wipes off the guyliner and trades his middle-age-rock-dinosaur outfit for a suit.
Samuel hasn’t worn a suit since he was a kid, his parents used to make him dress up all the time and “then I discovered I could control the very earth under my feet.” O…K. So his power is he can control dirt. Do you promise not to quit reading if I throw in a comic book reference? There’s an X-Men character that does that. His name is Avalanche, and he’s a bad guy, and that’s all I know about him so don’t steal my bookbag and throw me in a trash can. But enough about junior high. Bad adolescent experiences aside, this could be important because a lot of the Heroes staff comes from comics, and they eat this stuff for breakfast. Lots of plot and character bits are ripped off from X-Men. None of which explains the magic ink, unless it’s made of dirt. Lydia ties his tie for him and makes sympathetic noises. “Joe was my compass,” Sam says. Bah. Enough with the compass already, we get it. Everyone is lost this season and trying to find their way. More important for Samuel, “we have a need, and I have a candidate.” He holds up the jar of ink he’s been mixing (on which is written the episode title) and sucks it all up into his fingers.
Someone’s knocking on Peter’s door. Nope, it’s not Samuel, but I bet that’s where this is going. It’s a process server, who hands Petey an envelope. And the only reason I know what those people are called is because I saw Pineapple Express this weekend. I laughed for two solid hours.
Next we go to a very generic apartment bedroom, where a fancy alarm clock is vibrating and blinking in pretty colors. The woman in the bed, who looks vaguely like Lydia, gets up and gets ready. She hugs her cat (all women who live alone have cats, you know), gets dressed and stuffs some iPodâ„¢ earbuds in her ears. She starts out the door, but the dripping faucet stops her and she looks in the sink, where water drops bouncing off a spoon are making flashes of light. NEW POWER ALERT!
Matt and his… counselor? are sitting in a beat-up van on a stakeout. Now I know they can’t just go out and hire a bunch of different guest stars, but isn’t that stretching reality just a bit? Parkman’s new partner is also the leader of his Narcotics Anonymous group? Not so anonymous, is it? Matt hands over his 30-day sobriety chip, because he fell off the wagon with Jason Castro the waterboy. The partner gets out of the van to take a call, and Sylar takes this opportunity to appear and make some killer jokes about Matt’s weight. Matt tells himself he’s just seeing a ghost, but Sylar insists he’s real and is going to harass Matt until he gets his old self back. The partner gets back in the van and tells Matt to pull himself together, cuz they just got their warrant to search the place. What follows is classic. Matt is doing the cop thing, smashing open doors and pointing his gun everywhere, and Sylar keeps popping up and distracting him from hunting for the bad guy. Finally Sylar tells him the crook’s in the closet. I bet he’s using Matt’s power for him, whatcha think?
Speaking of being in the closet, Claire’s still hiding out in her room.
There’s a knock at the door. It’s not Gretchen this time, it’s Daddy. “Your mother told me about your roommate committing suicide,” HRG says, which as awkward conversation starters go is right up there with “Gee, sorry your mom blew up, Ricky.” Claire is having fun experimenting and not going to class and stuff, but she misses her family, even Lyle. Who? YOU know. Lyle the sometimes-nonexistent little brother. Yeah, him. HRG offers to take her to lunch. Claire decides to go brush her teeth first, because that’s what you do before you eat, when a guy walks by wearing a towel. This does not distract Claire at all, but the next thing you know, Gretchen pops up in the mirror like Sylar. Hey, wonder if Gretchen is all in her head?
Gretchen accuses Claire of avoiding her. “So we’re not gonna talk about this?” The guy in the towel is probably hiding around the corner, hoping one of them will say how special and wonderful last night was. “What are you, a vampire, a government experiment?” NOT what he was hoping for, I bet. Gretchen follows Claire back to her room and introduces herself to HRG, who promptly invites her to lunch. This is not the Noah Bennet we know. He’s never cool with Claire having a significant other. Too many brains to wipe when something goes wrong.
The cops have tied up the bad guy from the closet and are searching the place for drugs. OK, time out. Would a cop who is believed to be a drug user be sent out on a drug bust? Really, Tim? Matt still refuses to read the perp’s mind. Why, I have no idea. I understand the reading-minds-as-cheating thing, but I don’t get the guilt over Sylar, and I definitely don’t know why he wouldn’t use it for good like to get secrets out of crooks. It has to beat waterboarding. Matt is stumped because there are no drugs anywhere, and Sylar notices something out of place. A stuffed pink rabbit by the sink. Hey, lots of grown men keep stuffed animals around. Especially ones that wear pink shirts and drink mochas. Just sayin. Sylar thinks there aren’t any drugs here, but “something worse”.
Peter is checking hospital records for the guy that’s suing him. The woman at the desk is the new crazy cat lady from earlier, still wearing those earbuds. He asks her to look up a name, but she taps a sign on the desk that says he has to submit requests in writing. She’s not talking or listening to him. I’m gonna say she’s hearing impaired. You can’t say deaf anymore, right? Peter notices those earbuds aren’t plugged into anything, refuses to take the hint and keeps trying to chat her up.
While getting Peter his info so he’ll leave her the crap alone, the new girl knocks her teacup off the desk and it makes a little flash. Peter sees the guy who’s suing him is in physical therapy right this minute and zips over there, where he finds-well, I’m sure you can guess.
Peter doesn’t remember Samuel from the bus crash, and of course he remembers every face. I’m pretty sure that’s part of his power. I’m also pretty sure that he has his original power back by now and he doesn’t need to touch someone to get their power anymore, because… well, hold that thought. Sam goes into a sob story about losing his brother Joseph, and having a “large family” to take care of, etc., and the “we’re the same, you and me” spiel. Meanwhile, the new girl (whose name is Emma) is being consoled by an older woman after her run-in with Peter. That older woman is Louise Fletcher, best known as Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. If you haven’t seen it, go add it to your Netflix right now and hit that Move To Top Button. Go on, I’ll wait.
You back? OK then. Nurse Ratched and Emma are taking in sign language. Surprised? Me neither. Emma says her ears may not work, but her eyes work just fine, and she saw a flash when she dropped that teacup. Nurse Ratched says it’s synesthesia. If you’ve never heard of synesthesia, go look it up cuz it’ll blow your mind. Go on, I’ll wait. Trivia: John Mayer has it, supposedly. So Emma is kind of like Daredevil in reverse.
And she hates seeing the look on people’s faces when they find out she can’t hear, so hence the earbuds.
INSENSITIVE AVERAGE STRAIGHT WHITE GUY STEREOTYPE RANT: Maybe it’s just because I saw this last season on House, but all blind people on TV are cute and cuddly while all deaf people have a giant chip on their shoulder. Is it just me? Either way, I give it three episodes before Peter hooks up with the new girl. It took Parkman longer than that to get his own formerly-handicapped-but-now-superpowered-hottie girlfriend, but he’s got a few pounds on Pete. Don’t worry though-like Daphne, she probably won’t die until the end of the season. Speaking of Peter, why do I think he’s got his old power back? Because if you look at the teacup incident again, it kinda looks like he saw the flash too. Which means he got her power, and he didn’t have to touch her to do it. Go watch it again. I’ll wait. Again.
HRG is chatting up his daughter and her impending girlfriend. Gretchen says her major is physiology and biomechanics, as if that’s an actual major, and she’s dropping hints about Claire’s power right and left. Claire should take some of those classes with her because “it’s awesome, and we could do it together, and you’re undeclared!” Yeah Claire, you’re undeclared. You can go play for the other team for awhile! Every hot girl does it at least once in college, right? Showtime would never lie to me. Gretchen’s comments would probably slip right by your average TV dad, but HRG is no dummy. Gretchen asks him what he does and he says he’s retired, but “I’m always finding new reasons to go back to work.” LOL. HRG is terrific. He doesn’t deserve this show sometimes. I would so love to see a smackdown between Noah Bennet and Benjamin Linus. I’d pick Ben in chess, but HRG in poker.
Sylar has finally gotten Matt’s number by playing on his lack of confidence. He says Matt wanted him in his head to help him be a real man and yada yada yada. Matt’s power can sure do a lot of strange and wacky things. Why he would want to suck anyone inside his head though, I don’t have a clue. Matt finds a ransom note in a drawer, complete with letters cut out of a magazine.
While Gretchen is in the bathroom spraying on some more patchouli, HRG tells Claire that he knows Gretchen knows. He threatens to get the Haitian to wipe her. Does he even have any control over the Haitian anymore? The company’s done, so why does Bennet assume the Haitian is just going to go along with flashy-thinging people HRG doesn’t like? Doesn’t matter, because Claire wants to someone to confide in and keep her warm on those cold college nights, and she’ll take care of her own messes, thanks very much. She counters by threatening to “banish” HRG from her life. Well played, Blondie, well played.
Matt beats the perp to a perpy pulp, but can’t get anything out of him, so he finally gives in and fishes in the guy’s head. I don’t know why Sylar wants him to use his power so badly, and I don’t know why Matt wouldn’t in this case. “Under the stairs” is in the crook’s head. Matt breaks in there and sees a little girl, not moving. He calls his partner/counselor/whatever in to check and… what body? I don’t see a body. There’s no dead girl, no stuffed bunny and no ransom note either. It’s been Sylar messing with Matt’s head the whole time. “I used your own power against you,” he says. Yep, I like this Sylar. A lot. I wonder though, is he split into Good Sylar (Fathan) and Bad Sylar (in Matt’s head)? Because that’s only been done a couple of thousand times before.
Peter tries to tell his partner that Samuel is scamming him. But Peter Partner is getting fed up with Peter running off to do all the saving, and word around the hospital is that Peter’s staging the accidents so he can be a hero, so he’s not exactly rooting for Pete in this fight. Being a legit hero is rough, I guess. Peter is probably considering getting amnesia and shipping out to Ireland to be a bad guy again, at least he got some nooky out of that. Meanwhile, Samuel is busy breaking into Peter’s place. He opens the lock, because there’s nothing he can’t do, and uses some of his magic ink to Photoshop himself into Peter’s newspaper photo of the bus crash. Seconds later, Peter gets home and checks the photo and sure enough, there’s Samuel. And just like that, the old Emo Peter we know and love is back! I can almost see the bangs growing.
Lydia gets another magic tat, this one on her arm for once, but it’s kind of blurry and I don’t know who it is. Lydia gets out her Sprint phone as Darth Ray walks in. OK, so his name is really Edgar. I guess we should call him that. “We’re not supposed to have phones,” says Darth Edgar, but Lydia doesn’t care because her sister is in trouble and needs their help. Am I the only one who finds the product placement on this show really distracting? Heeeeey wait a minute, something’s not right. This whole scene isn’t really a scene, it’s a plug for a new Heroes webisode (and Sprint) starring Lydia and Edgar. Nicely done, but probably too confusing for Joe Reality Viewer. If they’re going to do stunts like this, they should just get rid of the commercials altogether and do it with “limited commercial interruption brought to you by Nissan, and Sprint, and Apple” like 24 does sometimes. Half the viewers are probably watching on Hulu anyway.
Gretchen apologizes to Claire for being too pushy. “I push and push,” and that really is what she said. Get it? Yeah, I know, sorry, but The Office is back on and it’s just too easy sometimes. She says in junior high they called her “Retchin’ Gretchen” because she was bulimic. Twist that knife of guilt, sister. Someone’s been taking lessons in manipulation from Samuel, I bet. Claire just wants someone in her life she can trust. Ask me anything, she says.
Peter finds Samuel in a park somewhere, having literally looked all over town. He feels bad for doubting Samuel’s story and wants to make it up to him. What a sucker. Samuel lays it on pretty thick, all about how his boyhood home is just around the corner and he’s trying to get up the nerve to go visit, etc. Hey, how much you want to bet dead Joseph was an empath like Peter? Peter talks about having to help people with their grief while working as a hospice nurse. He became a paramedic because he wanted to save lives instead of watch them end. Sam offers to drop the lawsuit, and Peter tells him he should go see his childhood home. As Samuel leaves, Emma is sitting on a park bench nearby, watching a guy play the cello. She sees a red glow around the bow, and when the cellist gets up to go to the bathroom and leaves his cello behind (as if! Those things cost a fortune!), she plucks a string and sees more pretty lights. She sits down with the cello, knows exactly how to hold it and everything, and is making beautiful music.
Peter hears her music from the next bench over and goes to watch as Emma just looks around, stunned, and all the bystanders do a slow clap, including the guy whose instrument she mooched. I wonder why she isn’t seeing little flashes every time someone claps? Everything is silent whenever we are seeing through her eyes, which is a nice touch. At least the directing is good so far this season.
A couple of blocks away, Samuel looks through a gate at a big fancy house. There’s a party going on. A woman comes to the gate and he says he grew up here, his dad was the butler and his mom was the maid. The woman blows him off. Dirty rotten rich jerks. Die, Republican scum. I bet you hate immigrants and the environment too. Wait, did I just say that out loud? Oops.
Claire and Gretchen are hanging in the dorm wearing identical wife beaters. Claire says she can’t get drunk because her body just heals away the alcohol. Marvel Comics used that to excuse away Wolverine’s smoking. Anyway, there goes Gretchen’s Plan A to get into Claire’s pants, so she decides to try the direct approach.
“Can I… see it?”
“…If that’s not crossing a line?”
“…I’ve never done this before.”
Claire lets Gretchen cut her, which is just beyond kinky if you ask me. Right on cue, almost as if some government agency has bugged the dorm, Claire’s phone rings. Thanks for harshing the moment there, HRG. Claire launches into a little rehearsed speech about not wanting his protection anymore. HRG gives in and agrees to back off. Claire asks Gretchen to be her new roommate. And then the cameras leave to give them privacy on their Overnight Date. Gretchen is a little bit weird, and I’m not talking about the kinda hippie lesbo vibe, I’m talking about the obsessed-with-bodies-and-mutilation vibe.
Matt’s partner/counselor lays into him for beating up the crook. Matt admits he lost it, apologizes, turns over his 30-day sobriety chip, then mind-tricks the partner and convinces him that nothing happened. Sylar wins. Dark Parkman is back! Yowza!! Which reminds me, if you do the podcast thing, I highly recommend the 10th Wonder Podcast. I’ve been listening to it since the show started. I just wish they’d get their weekly podcast out before I got my recap out, so I could cheat off them.
Peter is called to another accident scene. It’s a big sinkhole, and I bet you know who did it and where. Yep, Samuel flattened his old house and killed a bunch of people at the party. So much for redemption. Peter’s arm hurts and he looks down at it. There’s a spinning compass tattoo on it like Samuel’s! Samuel watches from the shadows doing his best Monty Burns impression. To Be Continued.
So what happens next? Will Sylar get Parkman to lose a few pounds? Will we ever see Mohinder again? Why is Gretchen so creepy?