OK, everyone, we’ve got a good episode coming up. I can feel it. Also, I saw someone tweet about it on Facebook before I had a chance to watch it on TiVO. Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from superpowers when it comes to writing recaps.
And the first scene of this episode which I just promised will be great is… Retchin. In the words of Charlie Brown, AAAAAUUUGH.
Strike one, right out of the gate. Uh-oh.
She and Dark Claire are doing whatever the opposite of bonding is over a Freshman 15 breakfast. Dark Claire, complete with black leather jacket, looks like she’s in a prize mood. “Wanna talk about it?” asks Retch. Claire doesn’t. After a couple more abortive attempts at friendship, and a not-so-smooth attempt by Retch to hold her hand, Claire says she’s late for a study group and ditches her number one fan. “Is this seat taken?” asks a familiar voice.
Line drive to right field. My hope is restored.
If you remember, we last left our three stooges Hiro, Ando and Mohinder (HAM, LOL) at HRG’s apartment, where they interrupted HRG’s play on Lauren. She’s gone and the place looks like a full-on bachelor pad again. Mohinder puts the finishing touches on his power compass. Wonder where he stashed it before Hiro hauled him off to the looney bin? It only works when someone with powers is holding it, which sounds like a pointless plot device if I ever heard one. Hiro or Ando will have to do the holding, because Mohinder is outie and heading back to India. His farewell speech sounds like he’s done for the season, if not the whole series. So long again, Mohinder, thanks for coming out of the bullpen. I have no idea where all the baseball metaphors are coming from tonight.
Ando asks Hiro if he’s feeling OK, which is kind of a stupid question to ask someone who’s had their brain tumored, scrambled and zapped. Killer name for a new Waffle House (or Burnt Toast Diner) entree, BTW. Hiro answers by passing out. He wakes up in… the Burnt Toast Diner. I think. It’s some sort of diner, anyway. It’s also a courtroom, and the prosecutor is none other than… our old pal Adam Monroe! LOVE this guy. HATED when Arthur offed him just like that. But it gets better. The judge is…
Set phasers on Schlock.
The case before the court today is… The World vs. Hiro. He’s accused of breaking the Hero Code and Using his Powers for Personal Gain. Which pretty well sums up my beef with Hiro this season. This trial gimmick is ripped off from at least three different Star Treks, but I like it anyway. The sentence, of course, is Death. Or you get sent back to medieval Japan permanently. Your choice.
Claire has decided to stop off at church on her way to class or study group or whatever it is. On second thought, I guess that’s part of her school, but it looks more like a church to me than the rest of the Arlington U set. Someone’s writing on the blackboard. She asks if she’s in the right place.
I’d say… definitely not.
Vanessa wakes up in Samuel’s trailer. He’s shaving with a big goofy postcoital sort of grin on his face, but I’m not fooled. I don’t think he got any last night. Vanessa can’t be that dumb. In fact, she’s kind of prickly this morning. She doesn’t want coffee, tea, or Samuel, she wants to go home. Now. Sure, no problem, says Sam. But first… remember that time I broke your record player? Now I have less game than a 50-year-old man who feels comfortable in muscle shirts and and crusty black nail polish, but I’m fairly certain that bringing up past mistakes does not woo most of the female population. He points out that he’s always tried to fix his screwups, and even if he doesn’t, well, golly, he had good intentions! Yep, Samuel is Mr. Good Intentions. And Vanessa obviously does not know what they say about good intentions, because she agrees to stick around for breakfast. Another foul-tip for Samuel, he’s fighting off the strikeout.
Hiro’s at the hospital being rushed back for surgery. Ando says the doctors in Japan said the tumor was inoperable, but this surgeon is saying they have no choice. That’s the American spirit for you right there. USA! USA! Luckily, Hiro will not be subjected to Lee Greenwood playing nonstop in the OR, because his brain is at the big Burnt Toast Diner in the sky, asking his dad if he can have Ando be his lawyer.
Great idea! He can entertain the jury by making faces at them.
Sylar’s Reunion Tour
Sylar’s not interested in fighting this time. Which makes one of them.
You killed my father. Prepare to die.
No, he’s not going to try and kill Claire, because he’s “off his game”. He’s come looking for a friend. Sure, he’s going about it all wrong, threatening to torture Retchin and rape Claire (thanks again, 9pm timeslot), but hey, they have a lot of stuff in common, like… um, they were both adopted, and Sylar killed both their real dads! So yeah. Besties.
Princeton Plainsboro Teaching Hospital
I don’t see Dr. House anywhere, but you can tell by the glass walls.
Ando looks on as his best friend’s head is sawed open. Inside that same head, Adam Monroe calls Ando and Hiro’s sister to the stand. He mentions the Slushy Incident of 1999 as evidence that Hiro mucked about with the space-time continuum for his own personal gain. Ando says Hiro did that for LUV, and for Ando and Kimiko, not for himself. (Also because Samuel manipulated him into it, but let’s not make it too easy.) Hiro says he only changes the past if no one gets hurt. Interesting point, says Adam, in an aha-I-gotcha-now sort of way, and calls his next witness.
DUN DUN DUN
Meanwhile, the real Sylar is still trying to think of ways he and Claire are alike. Maybe because they use their different-ness to put up walls and distance themselves from other people. Sylar kills everyone close to him. And Claire… well, he used his history power on some of the stuff in their room when he tied Retchin up, and he thinks there might be some sexual tension there. Just in case any of you forgot that one time they kissed back in sweeps month. He thinks Claire keeps Retch from getting too close because she’s afraid of getting hurt. Even though she can’t be hurt. Is it still called irony if they beat you over the head with it? Claire stabs Sylar in the eye with a pencil she happened to be palming. Just like Edgar a couple weeks ago.
On TV, always carry a sharp object up your sleeve in case someone ties you up.
Judge Sulu’s Court
It’s kind of weird to see Sylar in two totally different scenes back-to-back, but it’s totally worth it for the fun he has in this scene. Adam asks him how many people he’s killed. “Um, gee, I don’t know. Hundreds, I guess.” Jackie Whats-Her-Face (the cheerleader Sylar killed thinking she was Claire) drops in to prove the point, which is that Hiro could have stopped Sylar when he met him in the past. Instead he allowed Sylar to go on killing as long as he helped save Charlie.
There are at least two problems with this argument: 1) Samuel manipulated Hiro into that situation too and 2) like Hiro could have killed Sylar even if he’d wanted to. Can’t you just see that fistfight going down? But that’s lawyers for you. Sylar tries to name all the people he killed after Jackie and it is priceless.
“Some guy named Ted… um…”
… *more conversation *…
“Sprague! Ted Sprague!”
Love the gavel, sweetie.
Hiro’s response to all this awesome is that he was trying to save Charlie without messing up the space-time continuum. Adam wants to call Charlie to the stand, but he can’t, because she’s Lost In Time. Objection. All the rest of these people are dead and that didn’t stop them from showing up. Anyway. This trial thing is just full of win. I’ve waited three seasons for a scene like this.
Sam’s House Of Delusion
Mrs. Whats-Her-Name’s magic pancakes must have done the job on Vanessa, because she and T-Sam are sitting in a cafe somewhere sharing a milkshake. (In addition to being the best-tasting pancakes ever, they are magically less filling than regular pancakes.) Sam won’t shut up about what the two of them got up to back in the day, and it’s still creeping Vanessa out, but not nearly enough. He gets to talking about the dream house she wanted as a kid, and now she’s putty in his hands. Sam wraps her around his little finger and leads her out the door. Instead of doing the smart thing and taking Vanessa straight back to his trailer for some crazy carny lovin, he goes out to the valley where he put Ian the Formerly Homeless Dude to work growing stuff. There’s green grass and blue skies everywhere, and hey, wouldja look at that, there’s Vanessa’s dream house. I built it for you, he says, now we can run away here together.
Looks like that meltdown I mentioned last week will be early.
Vanessa finally sees Samuel for the wackjob he is, and says she’d rather live in the real world, thanks very much. His face gets all crumply like she just told him there’s no Santa Claus, and gets a little sympathy smooch out of her before he breaks away and walks off. Almost enough to make you feel sorry for the guy?
Not even close.
Claire does an OJ run across campus, back to her room to find Retchin all hogtied on the floor. She lets her loose and boom boom, out go the lights. No, that’s not a metaphor. I don’t think Arlington, VA gets a whole lot of tornadoes, but just in case, the dynamic duo take shelter in a closet while Claire brings Retch up to speed. Sylar just wanted help working out some issues, she says. “How’d that go?” asks Retchin. “Pencil in the eye.” Whoever the writer is this week can handle the dialogue forever as far as I’m concerned. Claire apologizes for being so huffy at breakfast, and all the other times she’s blown Retch off. She quotes what Sylar said about walls, and something else that barely makes sense, and then admits “I suck at metaphors.” LOL. Claire rambles about labels and superpowers and being normal and I need hot girl-girl action stat, they’re losing me. Retchin says maybe what Sylar needs is to get rid of all those powers and remember what it’s like to be just human again. Just as I’m thinking this seems like a pretty good idea, Sylar up and proves me wrong.
Cuz then he couldn’t pull off cool tricks like this.
That’s right, boys and girls, Sylar was disguised as Gretchen the whole time. “You never took her,” says Claire. “Told you I was having trouble being myself.” They are just knocking the lines out of the park tonight. So Claire takes off across campus to find Claire lying on a sofa in the student union just napping or something. Maybe Sylar slipped her a mickey? Anyway, Claire gushes over Gretchen and apologizes for everything she ever did. To make it up to her, she would like to hold hands. Um. If I were Gretchen I’d totally hold out for second base. Come to think of it, that scenario sounds a lot like the Copyhacker household around bedtime. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out who’s Gretchen and who’s Claire. TMI?
Moody Depressed Sylar says yes.
Back in Hiro’s head, Adam’s rested his case and so Judge Sulu asks Ando for his witnesses. Ando looks around, sees only unfriendly extras from the Burnt Toast Diner and so decides to call Hiro to the stand. “Haven’t you ever seen seen Law & Order?” says Hiro. “That always backfires.” Ando asks Hiro if he’s ever robbed any banks or shot a man in Reno just to watch him die, and since the answer is no, Hiro must be a good person. Brilliant reasoning, Ando. Five-year-old Copyhacker Junior has been using that logic to try and escape time-out for months. Hiro says he only started messing with time because of Samuel, and is now jumping around to right all the wrongs. “Objection, Your Honor!” says Adam. “He’s reciting the opening to Quantum Leap.”
DINGDINGDING!! Adam Monroe, you just won Season 4.
No kidding, that may be the most awesome Heroes line ever. But Hiro’s spoiling it by still talking. He’s been trying to make the world a better place, spreading friendship and love and other profound Beatlesque notions, so if good intentions are wrong, he doesn’t wanna be right. OK, then, GUILTY, says Papa Sulu. And outside Hiro’s head, out come the paddles.
After the necessary zaps and we’re-losing-hims, Hiro gets up and takes an out-of-body stroll. A door opens onto-what else-a tunnel. With a light at the end of it. And all the people from the trial waiting there. Hiro tells Papa he wants to change his plea to Guilty Of Being A Fool For Love, and go out a hero. Vaya con Dios, my son, says Pa Sulu. And now everyone else is gone, Hiro has his sword back, and Adam is waiting for a throwdown. Outside, the docs keep zapping. Big swordfight ensues. I have definitely missed that sword. Things have gone downhill for Hiro ever since he lost it. To prove my point, he runs Adam through. Obviously this is not the real Adam, because he’d just heal up, but this version of Adam stays dead. Waiting for Hiro is…
Hiro’s ready to go. This is it-the moment of truth. Does Kring have the stones to kill off another major character?
You’re not done yet, says Mom. Destiny is more powerful than science. She’s come to heal him and send him back. Yep, I figured. I like Hiro and all, when he’s not going nuts over a chick, but they chickened out by letting him live. So much for the brain tumor and the bucket list.
One guy who should be making his own bucket list is T-Sam, who’s hanging out in the cafe alone drinking the rest of that milkshake. He shows the crazy eyes to the waitress.
Meltdown in 5… 4… 3…
The fake Irish accent comes back strong as he rants about being tired of fitting in. He’s turning all red. I swear smoke is about to come out of his ears. T-Sam stalks back through the carnival with the ground shaking all around. Everyone runs out to look across the valley to watch the nearby town get swallowed up, in the most unfortunate case of bad timing ever seen on network television.
WAY too soon.
Closing montage: Claire and Retchin are lounging around the room giggling, NOT making out. Vanessa smells a flower ominously. Ando checks up on a recovering Hiro, whose head is all bandaged up. Wouldn’t it be cool if he was bald the rest of the season?
And the payoff: Janice Gosselin answers a knock on the door. “Have we met?”
Yes, and I’m still trying to forget that steamy night in Parkman Manor.
That’s all for tonight folks! What is it, three more episodes left? Things are looking better. Definite upward trend these last couple of weeks. Sit tight everyone!