And out of scriptwriters.
Previously on Heroes: Peter hugs Caitlin and teleports into the Biohazardous Future, Niki partners with Mohinder for The Amazing Race, Claire and Emotard pull an awful prank that the cast of Jackass wouldn’t touch, Monica won a magical iPod that will help save New Orleans, Bennet murders his mentor and gets a hold of the Isaac paintings, Kensei plays a betrayed Samurai Spencer Pratt in The Feudal Hills, and the show’s writers forgot everything they learned in racial sensitivity training.
What do we want? More than four more episodes till the end of the season! When do we want it? Now!
I don’t mean to club a dead horse with a baby seal, but the writer’s strike on Heroes started earlier than other shows. I want to believe in the series despite its acute case of sophomore slump, so here’s some good news: This week’s title sequence is remarkable, with the graphics expanding to match the movement of Claire’s pillow, and the rest should restore some hope.
White Beard’s Camp
Apparently you can’t stop time with your nose stuck in a pot of opium fumes. Kensei has quickly regressed to his default asshole self, turning on Yaeko, her dad, and Hiro. Yaeko pleads with Kensei, but he is a stubborn pig (who has fortunately shaved his neckbeard). Also, his Japanese pronunciation is still atrocious.
Kensei displays his greed as he brags that he won half of the country in a rousing game of Monopoly with White Beard. Yaeko insists she loves Hiro, which is clearly the wrong answer, lady. You should pretend you love Kensei so that he lets your loved ones escape. You would’ve made a terrible Mata Hari.
Puff puff give, yo.
“I will change history!” yells Kensei. Sure. Whatever. The swordsmith regrets that he made the weapons, but has no idea that in the future, video games will be blamed as the root of violent behavior in children. Guns don’t kill people, video games kill people. White Beard will conquer Japan, he frets. And by White Beard, could that mean Linderman, collector of Kensei-era artifacts, or is that too obvious? Yaeko is determined to get them out of this, saying “They have always underestimated women. That is their folly,” she fumes, picking her lock with a giant toothpick. She picks it faster than McGuyver, demonstrating her character’s only useful skill for the first – and last – time.
Hiro is spaced out, and starts humming “Purple Haze.” Unfortunately, the drug doesn’t affect him the same way it does poets like Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who wrote “Kubla Khan” due to an opium-induced hallucination. Yaeko urges Hiro to use his powers, but he’s hazier than Cheech and Chong. She slaps him silly. Just as the negligent guard returns to check in on the prisoners, Hiro is able to contort his face into his classic constipated time-traveling expression. They disappear right as a lazy guard checks in on them.
I don’t know, I see unicorns and cupcakes.
Question: Can Hiro now teleport people he’s not touching directly? ‘Cause I have no idea if he rescued the swordsmith as well. The swordsmith doesn’t show up in the rest of the Hiroland scenes, and Yaeko doesn’t make a fuss about her father for the time ever in the history of her character…so I’m going to assume Tim Kring couldn’t pay the actor for a full day’s work.
On the hill above the camp, White Beard’s army is planning to march. Hiro plans to destroy the guns. He rationalizes that Kensei is being a tard on the outside but convinces himself Kensei is good deep down. Not knowing what else to do, Hiro sends Kensei an apologetic e-card:
He asks Yaeko to meet him under the cherry blossoms. Last time I checked, the cherry blossom season is ridiculously short – like a week. There’s no way the blossoms have been falling continuously for that long. Then again, they’ve violated laws of thermodynamics repeatedly on this show.
Hiro could just freeze time and take care of business instead of creeping around all furtively in the camp, but we can’t expect that kind of common sense from our heroes. In the weapons tent, Hiro sprinkles gunpowder all around in preparation for the pyrotechnics showdown. Of course, Kensei shows up in full samurai mask regalia and they try to hug it out. Unfortunately, Kensei can’t get over the betrayal (abandonment issues?) and a knife fight ensues, mirroring the Isaac Mendez painting of their battle. Predictably, a lantern falls onto the hay-strewn floor right next to the gunpowder and weapons. Whatever will happen next?
Hiro the Compassionate Softy offers Kensei a chance to save himself, extending his hand to his former BFF for quick teleporting. Kensei blathers on about being betrayed, and announces that God is dead. Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed today. If you cut off Kensei’s head, do you think it would crawl back to his body? Claire’s old toe just snapped off in the earlier episodes, becoming a chew toy for Mr. Muggles, as she grew a new one. Or does it just grow back? I assume a person with regenerative powers can’t will their million little body parts to find each other and fuse together. Hiro blinks himself away just as the entire camp goes kaboom. Mushaboom, mushaboom.
Looking at the scorched camp, Hiro expresses his guilt over letting Kensei die. Yaeko assures Hiro that he will always be the real Kensei to her. He wants to be with Yaeko. He should take her to the future. A feudal Japanese female is probably more advanced than the average American in 2007, from the looks of their inventions. As they say, today is yesterday in Japan.
“Kensei and the Dragon” is the last trial. The dragon who taught Kensei the way of the sword demanded his love in return. That’s not very dragon-like, that’s kind of human. Part dragon, part man….sounds an awful like:
Burninating the village! Burninating California!
Hiro knows he nearly destroyed time by staying when he should’ve left. He tells Yaeko that Kensei had to cut out his heart to save his love. Edgar Allan Poe would approve of this morbid thought, but then again, Poe was a necrophiliac with pickup lines like “Would you like to have sex? I’ll take complete silence as a yes.” Yaeko interprets the heart thing literally, confirming Hiro’s suspicion that the love of his life isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.
She suggests that perhaps he can be with his princess now, hinting that he should take her to the future with him. But nope. Hiro does the honorable thing, and peaces out with just a kiss. He could’ve at least stopped time so that they could get it on, but alas.
Ando appears to be working and not playing World of Warcraft when Kensei’s scorched samurai mask appears on his desk. It’s a bit silly that Yamagato Industries labels all their folders and office materials in English. No wonder Ando always looks so confused. He sees Super Hiro, who is FINALLY back in the present-day and it’s a touching reunion, though I expected them to hug. Apparently Hiro was less nearsighted in the past, because he immediately puts his glasses back on. Ando updates him on recent events, and Hiro pumps his arms triumphantly in his trademark “Yatta!” post after learning New York didn’t go kaboom. He chatters about how excited he is to share his adventure with Ando and his dad, but Ando gently breaks the dead-dad news to him. Awkward.
If you burn the paintings, they can’t come true!
Bennet, in the warehouse with the paintings, is excited to use his Sony Cybershot. The artwork is laid out on the floor. One depicts Peter staring into a room marked with a biohazard sticker, the rest you’ve already heard about – girl banging on window, Mohinder with a nose job, Kensei and Hiro dueling, Shanti Virus in a vial. Bennet gives Mohinder a call and tells him he’s discovered an Isaac painting that shows Mohinder brandishing a Company-issued gun. Mohinder’s like, I don’t have a gun, dude, and mentions he’s been partnered with Niki. You can sense Bennet’s paranoia/concern growing, but his lack of communication is affecting his relationship with Mohinder. He does, however, compliment the impending nose job. You can never be too handsome.
Mohinder expresses his displeasure for moral ambiguity. He’s worried The Company is watching his every move, yet he’s stupid enough to answer a phone call on their premises. Bennet’s reticence makes him feel expendable and not trusted, and you can see him inching over to The Dark Side. Or is it towards the light?
Nice suit, did you get that at Ann Taylor?
Meanwhile, The Company’s facility is being evacuated by Bob, with employees rushing down the hallways with stolen printers and computer monitors. Mohinder and Niki have a riveting discussion about ethics and morality, but he ends up calling her a guard dog. If The Company got rid of Jessica while treating Niki how can she still fight? Did they merge her two personalities? I need answers. Parkman and Nathan show up – the Nightmare Man is on the loose.
Bob mentions Papa Parkman’s car was found in a ditch. For an emergency situation, there’s an awful lot of time for dialogue, as Bob tells Parkman he couldn’t stop Mama Petrelli from attacking herself. Echoing Linderman rhetoric (“We all have our roles to play, we must focus on the task at hand”), Bob prepares to be Maury-bait, and to have Mohinder and Niki inject Papa Parkman with the anti-power virus. I can tell you right now that those two couldn’t shoot a fish in a barrel. Mohinder reviews the Hippocratic Oath in his head but can’t find any mentions of what to do in case of an apocalyptic virus outbreak.
Parkman and Molly
Parkman confides in a still-unconscious Molly, who for some reason has not been evacuated. I suppose if she’s already trapped in Papa Parkman land, he can’t do more damage. Parkman frets that he’s too stupid and too fat to stop his father, blaming himself for the abandonment. Newsflash, Parkman: Your dad is neither good nor genetically blessed, you were better off without him. He tells Molly he loves her and she seems to hear it, sparking some brain activity on the monitor. Love conquers comas.
Niki and Mohinder head to the lab to get the virus, talking about their decision-making process. Niki believes The Company could have injected her with the virus, but instead they helped her reign in her personalities. She states that it was the only way to keep Micah. Mohinder agonizes, unable to figure out what side to choose. As they round the corner, Niki gets trapped in Maury’s illusion. DL appears, convincing her to plunge the virus into Bob instead, calling her a killer and using Micah as the incentive. Lady, you could’ve kept your son, but you chose to dump him off at the relatives.
“Is DL gonna have to choke a bitch?”
In the lab, DL reappears and pleads with Niki. The illusion unfolds so that it appears Bob shoots DL to death, leaving him to die in Niki’s arms. Mohinder realizes she’s talking to herself and tries to reason with her. He definitely should’ve taken the gun offered to him by Bob. Niki is so past reality that she flings Mohinder against a wall (again), and it is awesome. Now, we just need him to taser her again to be even.
The video is even better.
As the DL-lusion persuades Niki to take The Company down, Nathan has a heart to heart with Bob. Bob explains that Adam was a founder of the company, a visionary who is now trying to kill all of them. (So why would Maury have the death-mark picture of Bob in his apartment?) The original heroes had different ideas of what to do with their powers, to help the greater good, to advance themselves. Hubris overtook some of them, and they talked about holocausts and disasters to save humanity. Turns out Linderman was one of Adam’s disciples, and they wanted to play God. I’m surprised it took this long for a religious allegory to pop up. The Company managed to lock up Adam but he escaped two weeks ago. Nathan also learns that Peter is still alive.
OMG, have you seen that “Shoes” video on YouTube?
Bob shows Nathan surveillance that Peter was in their facilities but says they lost him in Cork, Ireland. Nathan’s like “How the fuck do you lose someone? Don’t you have surveillance systems?” The chat is interrupted by Niki breaking down the door to Bob’s office. Let’s hope he has insurance on all his antiques. Instead of just flying Bob out of the building, they call for Parkman’s assistance. Nathan, use your fucking powers!
Matt exits Molly’s room only to walk into his childhood home. Another Maury illusion. Molly runs up to him and hugs him, telling him they’re both trapped. Ah, this is where Papa Parkman keeps her. In the nightmare, it’s always 1967, and the wallpaper is hella trippy.
Who knew Parkman’s mom and Micah’s nana had the same interior decorator?
Parkman screams “Dad” mentally and his powers kick in, transporting Papa Parkman into the room with them. Papa Parkman is super-surprised, as he was getting ready to do away with Bob via Niki. Turns out the nightmare is the night Papa Parkman left Matt and his mother and the table is still set for dinner with brisket and potatoes. Matt quickly deduces that the nightmare belongs to his father, and, by whatever laws govern his power, he should be able to exit. After an emotional exchange of words, Parkman is able to escape with Molly, trapping Papa Parkman. It will be brisket and potatoes forever, sucka!
“Your dad’s an asshole.”
Parkman wakes up from the illusion and finds that he’s been asleep in a chair. Molly slowly wakes up and utters her first words in ages: “I need a drink.” Papa Parkman is sprawled on the floor but appears to still be alive, just nightmare-comatose. Parkman is overjoyed to have his surrogate daughter back, telling her he loves her. Molly’s reply: “I heard,” not “I love you, too.” Hee.
Niki breaks through Bob’s door and they try to reason with her (bad idea). The action climaxes and Niki tries to get ahold of herself by plunging the syringe into her arm, injecting herself with the virus. Stupid Niki. Mohinder gives her a blood transfusion and she apologizes for giving him a new nose. Analyzing the results, Mohinder realizes that the strain is immune, and his blood is no longer a cure. Awkward. “I’m going to die,” Niki moans. What Mohinder should have done was first send her this e-card, and then tell her the bad news:
Mohinder fills Bob in on the resistant virus, and I don’t understand why Niki has not been immediately quarantined. Bob hands Mohinder a new assignment, which turns out to be Claire. The Company believes that Claire’s regenerative powers can save Niki, and in turn, the world, if they are isolated and used as an antidote/vaccine. I guess it’s time to steal the cheerleader and save the world. Bob mentions that it may be difficult to obtain Claire if Bennet’s in the way and slides a Company gun across the desk to Mohinder. He shows Mohinder the photos of Ivan’s murder, telling him that Bennet was responsible. You can see that Mohinder’s head is about to explode from all this moral ambiguity.
He can’t process all of this and tells Bob, word for word: “I have been working with Bennet to take down this company.” Bob’s face doesn’t react too much, but you can tell even he’s like “WTF, Mohinder?”
I’d love to have you over to my place for some high stakes poker.
Mohinder explains he doesn’t know what is right and what is wrong, and he’s tired of playing guessing games. Bob tries to make it clear for him: Steal the cheerleader, save the world.
Dear New York, T.S. Eliot called. He wants his wasteland back. Even the pigeons are gone. I guess they didn’t really need birth control after all. Caitlin and Peter realize that matinees of Avenue Q have been postponed indefinitely as a heavy-duty vehicle pulls up and they’re grabbed by contamination-suit clad workers. Bush would still be president according to this timeline, and FEMA would be holding some fake press conferences to an audience full of bodybags.
Peter and Caitlin take a cold shower together along with a bunch of government workers who scrub them down in the decontamination room. Sexy. Peter’s obliques are in prime condition for sweeps. Who can resist those delectable hip grooves? It’s like a 28 Weeks Later advertisement sponsored by Hot Bod spray. The producers must’ve called up Milo Ventimiglia and told him, “We need you to get back the 15% of viewers we lost.”
Later, Peter’s seated at a desk at the abandoned Registration and Classification offices. A man asks him to explain how he’s been walking around New York City and remained uninfected. His file contains a death certificate, and Peter’s expected to explain the discrepancy, but he only cares about Caitlin. The man informs Peter that Caitlin’s been deported to Ireland, but I don’t see any operating airports nearby. On March 20, 2007, the first case of the Shanti virus was reported. Peter learns that a pandemic’s wiped out most of the world’s population, leaving 7% to duke it out in quarantine. Bringing to life another one of Isaac’s paintings, Peter looks through a window into a warehouse full of bodybags.
Mama Petrelli has come to help her son, running to embrace Peter. He hastens to end the hug, since he has no idea who this crazy old lady is. Mama Petrelli tells him to focus and to stop thinking of Caitlin. She tells him about how he absorbs abilities of other people, reminding him he’s kind and selfless. Oh, and the whole moving objects, healing, painting the future, and traveling through time stuff. She mentions he’s the most powerful one of all of them, perhaps setting up an Adam/Peter face-off the way last season pitted Peter against Sylar.
Mama Petrelli tells him that Nathan is dead, but Peter doesn’t even remember he has a sibling. “My brother?” Angela tells him he must control history, but Peter gets all angsty and beats the desk. The virus will wipe them all out if he doesn’t sack up. Peter has some memory flashes of Mama Petrelli. She’s holding a birthday cake, and her face can actually express emotions. It’s frightening. “Mom!” he says, and Mama Petrelli embraces him. She smiles for a fraction of a second, but it looks like it’s causing her excruciating pain.
Post-reunion, Peter sees Caitlin in a herd of detainees. In the apocalyptic future, there will only be white hoodies and beige pants to wear, from the looks of things. The lovers clasp hands through a chain link fence, but an official pries Caitlin away. Maybe she’ll be transported in a crate back to Ireland. Peter has a mind fart and ends up accidentally teleporting back to the past, to the Canadian junk warehouse. Peter tries to summon his powers and re-reads the note from Adam. Coincidentally, one of the flags from White Beard’s camp is stored in the place.
Sensing someone else is there, Peter shoots out a lightning bolt. The hand he shoots heals rapidly. It’s Adam/Kensei, who steps out from the shadows and declares that he and Peter are going to change history. Or fight each other to the death in a cage match. Looks like Adam/Kensei has learned to dilute the impact of damage done to his body over hundreds of years. I’ll give Kensei/Adam credit for being able to hold a grudge for centuries.
Michaelangelo: The original Isaac Mendez.
Costa Verde, California, Casa de Cheerleader
Claire is awoken by annoying text messages from Emotard, which is marginally better than waking up next to his goober face. Who types “G morning?” Gratuitous plug for Sprint as she starts texting him back. His replies are appropriately stalkerish, but Claire can’t text for crap.
Claire goes down to the kitchen and discovers that Emotard has seduced Mama Bennet and made Eggo waffles. Brownoser. Worried that her dad will get home soon, Claire acts annoyed at Emotard’s surprise visit. Mr. Muggles pulls out all his trophies and puts on his championship video, pleased to have a new visitor.
Emotard is brimming with excitement. He shows Claire a newspaper article about Debbie being suspended, complete with a statement that she saw a flying man and girl dropped from 50 feet in the air. “We’re infamous,” he cackles. Someone’s desperate for popularity. Upon closer inspection of the article, I am amused by the prop people’s ability to bullshit nonsensical sentences:
“The outlined situation is currently under debate. Issues were selected and are being prioritized on the basis of common agreement. The widest possible latitude is being allowed, to more carefully assess all salient points.
Given questions regarding result determination, great care has been of paramount importance. All interested parties were in attendance and contributed to overall result. Theories have been advanced which suggest a combination of germinal premises, but upon more determined scrutiny, and concord was deemed possible with the sincere efforts of all involved.
Given the mercurial responses of some involved parties, a reexamination of motives and bias was suggested and roundly endorsed by the majority. Postponement of substantive debate may require implementation to encourage individual conference time and availability.”
In other words, bitch got her due.
It’s on the last page of the “local flavor” section of the newspaper but sounds more like a National Enquirer story. Claire freaks out because she feels she’s being manipulated by Emotard and setting the women’s movement back, then hides a picture of the family under the guise of a kiss.
Mr. Muggle curses his life as he watches Claire and West make out on the couch. While sharing earbuds and listening to Nada Surf’s new song “Weightless.” Props to the music editor for that, but propping a phone on your thigh while getting hot and heavy? Moodkiller.
Text “Cheer” to 6666 to make it stop.
Pulling his sweater away from his neck, she asks him if his bag and tag marks hurt. Emotard plays it cool, saying they’re his souvenir from his alien abduction. Claire’s about to drop the HRG bomb but paranoid West thinks she’s afraid they’re moving too fast. Man, my boyfriend hasn’t made waffles for my parents, and I’ve been with him for two years.
“We don’t have to go any further if you don’t want to,” he says. Claire chirps that she wants popsicles and changes the subject. Just as they’re deciding on flavors (blue counts as a flavor), Bennet enters the door. West craps his pants, accuses Claire of setting him up, and flies off before Bennet sees him. Paranoia, paranoia, everybody’s coming to get me!
Just as The Kiss between Hiro and Yaeko has fractured time and changed the course of history, this incident will also influence how events play out. Will The Omission make Emotard a killer? How do we know he’s not playing Claire, since he singled her out so easily on her first day at school?
Later that night, Papa Bennet marvels at how easy it is to upload photos onto his Dell as Mama Bennet sidles up for a kiss. She mentions Emotard stopping by, and Bennet freaks as he realizes that cheerleading = boyfriend. Even if she hadn’t met Emotard, boys would’ve salivated over Claire in a short flippy skirt.
Claire tries fruitlessly to get a hold of Emotard via text message. Pretty sure you can’t get cell phone reception mid-flight, and the kid’s probably overseas. Bennet flings the Debbie article down at his daughter, screaming, “I asked you to keep your nose clean!” Well, it’s still better than cocaine. The gloves are thrown, and Daddy and daughter accuse each other of deception and lies while Mama Bennet and Lyle watch. Bennet declares that they’re moving, it’s not safe – and Claire storms up to her room and slams the door, huffing that they’ll go without her. Finally, she’s acting like a normal teenager.
And don’t forget, NBC cares about the planet. Recycle, use energy efficient lightbulbs, and only talk on Sprint cell phones.
Next week: Veronica Mars (Elle) and her dad bicker as she treats Peter like a toy. Could Adam exploit their tense relationship/trust issues and seduce her to betray Bob and take down The Company? There’s a dark secret in the Petrelli family….maybe Mama Petrelli slept with Adam and produced Peter? She did canoodle with Kaito, and it’s not a stretch to say she could be the Heroes’ village bicycle. Maybe Peter is only Nathan’s half brother? Maybe Hiro is Peter’s half-brother? Is The Haitian a Petrelli?
The most intriguing aspect of this episode is the subject of moral ambiguity. Heroes doesn’t make it clear who the good and bad guys are, it portrays characters more realistically by making them complex and conflicted. Good and evil aren’t separate categories, divided by a fine line. Decisions are not easy, rendering actions morally gray. Situations force people to act against their impulses and morals. Bennet kills his mentor in order to protect his family. Kensei sells out to White Beard because he feels betrayed by his lover and best friend. Emotard and Claire are just retarded.
Now with the strike, the season finale may loom as early as December 3. Let’s hope that we don’t get the early alternate ending of the season finale.