After all of the excitement we had last week on Heroes, I knew it would be fun to be able to step back, take a few deep breaths and relax during this week’s episode. That’s not to say that this week’s episode was boring, because it was still packed with a lot of great information, but it dead allow us to soak in everything that has happened so far this year. It also served to answer a number of questions that we’ve been cooking up since the show started, and in true Heroes fashion, managed to come up with even more parts of the mystery for us to dive into.As many of you may have noticed, there was no narrator this week! YES! I am VERY excited. I knew that if I wrote my letter to Santa Claus, that I would get what I wished. It looks like I have been a really good boy this year, and I sure hope it means that I’ll be getting the top two things that I wished for as well. Death to the Heroes narrator was actually third on the list right after “marriage, ten kids, and happily ever after with Tyra Banks” and “bring back Jell-O pudding pops AND those Bill Cosby commercials”. And yes, I mean the real pudding pops and not the cheap third-party sell out your brand name knockoffs we currently live with. The narrator may come back next week, but until then I will congratulate all of us who hated the narrator and wanted to see him go.
With the absence of the narrator, Mohinder was free to talk as much as he wanted to, and so he dropped a little bit more knowledge on us:
To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose. The earth spins at a thousand miles and hour as we desperately try to keep from being thrown off, like the first blush of winter that signals a great migration. Is there any warning of their arrival? A sign? A single event that sent that change in motion? Was it a whisper in god's ear? Survive. Adapt. Escape. And if we could mark that single moment in time, that first hint of the prophecy of approaching danger, would we have done anything differently. Could it have been stopped? Or was the die long ago cast. and if we could go back, alter it's course, stop it from happening, could we?
Did you get all of that? At this point in time, Mohinder’s words to live by are almost comical. Even Oprah would say this guy talks too much.
Anyway, we had a little bit of a review of things that had happened up until this point, and then we started getting into a few of the newer. OK, so technically, nothing was “new” because the episode was entitled “Six Months Ago”, but I think you get what we mean.
First, we got a look at Hiro. He jumped back in time in order to save the waitress Charlie’s life, but he is new at this Hero business and is still working the kinks out when it comes to telling people about stuff that is going to be happening in the future. Charlie is just about to celebrate her birthday when Hiro pops in and says “My name is Hiro Nakamura. I am here to save your life!”. Charlie doesn’t know what to say, looks at him, and then goes back to blowing out her candles. I know Hiro becomes a bad ass at some point, but we still love him when he was simple and sweet, even if he wasn’t very smooth.
We then went out to Los Angeles where we got a little preview of what was happening in Matt Parkman’s life at the time. Well, he was still a beat cop, and we got to watch as he pulled over some spoiled punk driving a Lamborghini. By the looks of it, it is a Gallardo, but it’s not the model of car that is important, but rather the driver. Yes, it’s none other than our dear Eden. She has longer hair, and she is quite the bitch. She not only stole the car but also was riding with a friend of hers named Wild Turkey. No she isn’t on her way to a Thanksgiving feast. Wild Turkey is bourbon, but why would she drive around drunk in a stolen car? Is she just waiting for somebody to catch her?
Eden’s little spree was not a cry for help. She did it mainly because she could get away with it. Matt is trying to get her to hand over her license and registration, but she is able to convince him that he should just go away and eat a box of donuts. At first, she thinks that she has gotten away with another little crime, but as soon as Matt Parkman is gone, she sees The Eraser, aka the Creepy Black Guy who always appears to come around at the most inopportune times.
If you were like me, you probably wanted this episode to be entitled “Twelve Months Ago”, because that would have given us some answers about The Eraser. Let’s face it, he is one of the more interesting characters around and yet we know NOTHING about him. And while we’re at it, why not have an episode entitled “Twelve years ago” so we can figure out more about HRG and his little club of people that have been looking out for Heroes for so long? I guess they are saving that for the time they have to go up against 24.
We did get a little preview to what was happening with Claire six months ago. Six months ago, she wasn’t a cheerleader, but her friend Jackie (yes, Jackie, the one who would take credit for Claire’s good deeds and hated Claire for what she did to the quarterback and who eventually got Sylar-ized) came in to let her know that another girl left the squad and since Claire was first alternate, that meant Claire was on the team.
Ironically, this was also how my favorite blonde cheerleader superhero, Buffy Summers, mad the cheerleading squad. True the girl who she replaced had spontaneously combusted into flames, but it was similar. And note to NBC, SMG was 20 years old at the time, two years older than me, and those outfits didn’t show as much boob, so I didn’t have to go to confession (also – I’m not Catholic) after watching that episode.
Where was I? Oh yes! Claire. She wants to be on the squad, but she doesn’t really want to beg for it. When Jackie says that she’ll just give it to another girl, they have a little bit of a girl fight. Two cheerleaders fighting over clothes in one of the girl’s bedroom? That sounds like a Jackie Treehorn special, yet I can’t enjoy it because again, the underage thing. I could come up with many more creative endings for this fight, but what the producers decided was that Claire put her hand through the glass of one of her cabinets and she got a pretty nasty cut. And it definitely wasn’t healing on it’s own.
Ironically, as Claire was leaving for the hospital, Mr. Bennett got a call from none other than Chandra Suresh. That’s right. Mohinder’s father. The one with all these crazy hero ideas in the first place. He wants to talk to Mr. Bennett about Claire. Oooh, very interesting indeed.
The introductions don’t stop there, however, as we next meet Niki Sanders. Surprise, surprise! She’s an alcoholic, but she seems to be doing pretty well. She has been sober for a year, and although she is working sixty hours a week, she obviously doesn’t have to get naked to do it. As she is finishing up, she notices some old guy in the back. It happens to be her dad, played by Graham Beckel, best known for playing Dick Stensland, the alcoholic partner to Russell Crowe in one of my all-time favorite movies, L.A. Confidential. I only mention that because whenever Graham is on screen, he always plays a guy who is super creepy.
We don’t hear much about Niki’s father other than he has been absent and wants to get back into her life. For some reason, Niki doesn’t want anything to do with him, although it doesn’t take a genius to come to the conclusion she was abused in some manner or another. He wants to be a part of her life, but she doesn’t know if she is ready. Counting the clichés in the last five minutes alone, I think I got up to a thousand or so.
There was no back story for Isaac, but I think it is implied that he was doing lots of drugs and having sex with Simone as he was learning to become Mr. Leonardo DaClairvoyant. If there weren’t so many bad side effects to heroin, I would say he had a pretty good life. No Isaac meant there were only a few more familiar faces to learn about: Peter and Nathan.
Six months ago, Peter was celebrating his graduation for nursing school. His brother Nathan was at the party with his wife, Heidi, who was not bound to a wheelchair, but that wasn’t the big news to me. Even the fact that Mr. Petrelli, Nathan and Peter’s father was still alive didn’t really seem out of the ordinary. No, what really threw me for a loop was how ethical Nathan used to be.
The Nathan we know now is bitter, jaded, and has given up almost every shred of ethics you can imagine. The Nathan was an aspiring Assistant District Attorney that was thinking about prosecuting Lindermann (their father’s biggest client and later his biggest campaign contributor). I guess I judged him a little too soon. Maybe he is a good guy deep down there somewhere.
Even if you have been skimming my recap, you know that I left out a pretty big piece, but I wanted to wait to talk about it. When Chandra talked to Mr. Bennett, it was only one of many heroes that he was trying to get in touch with. The first person he actually made contact with was somebody named Gabriel Gray.
So who is this Gabriel Gray? Well, almost immediately, I knew it just had to be Sylar. The previews said that we would meet Sylar, and this guy looked like he could have the face that we briefly saw last week. He was also the only major new character we met this week other than Chandra. Lastly, Gabriel Gray is a watchmaker, and with all the attention they paid to the broken watch on Sylar’s wrist, it was just a little too obvious that Gabriel was Sylar.
Chandra started talking with Gabriel about evolution and he was very excited at the prospect of being special. He always dreamed about growing up to be more than a watchmaker, which what his father did. He said he always wanted a new name and a new life, and started to get really excited at what his abilities may be. And then something happened along the way
Chandra was doing a lot of tests, but no abilities were showing up. He decided that maybe he was wrong about Gabriel, but Gabriel wouldn’t take “your just average” for an answer. He got really upset and started to throw a fit. Chandra asked him to leave, but Gabriel took something before he left. It was the name of one Brian Davis, a person said to have telekinetic abilities. Brian is in New York, and it looks like Gabriel wants to find him. And as he is leaving the apartment building, none other than HRG himself is just about to enter.
The six degrees factor of this show is just increasing by the minute, isn’t it? And it just gets even crazier after that. We are back to Matt Parkman and he is sitting in his cruiser, still chowing on that box of donuts. His partner sees him and asks him what he is doing just standing around because he has the detective’s test in a few hours. Matt says everything is fine, but it looks like he might have fucked up his exam because of Eden!
And from there, the pieces start falling together rapidly. Nathan was driving home with his wife. I know the accident is supposed to happen soon, but he doesn’t look drunk, and he’s not even distracted by his wife’s attempts at road head, mainly because she isn’t making an attempt. What is kind of distracting is the huge car on their tail. It appears that it wants to runt hem off the road, and even though he is in a Jaguar, it doesn’t look like it can go very fast.
I think we could all see what happens next. Nathan crashes the car and his wife is injured while he is at the wheel, making him feel even guiltier. Right? No, that’s wrong. The real reason that Nathan lost control of the car was because he suddenly was flying over the car instead of driving it. In a time of stress, his ability kicked in, and he could do nothing but watch as his wife crashed on the off-ramp.
Obviously, this is what made Nathan so jaded, but while he was experiencing it, his brother was dreaming it. Peter gets the call to go to the hospital and his brother is kind of freaked out that Peter knows more details of the crash than he should know. And I hate to be an asshole myself, but none of this would have happened if Nathan were WEARING A SEAT BELT. Seriously. You can’t fly out of your seat if you are strapped in. Also, his wife didn’t have a seatbelt either. It’s bad enough, but they were in a convertible! Anytime I am in a vehicle without a roof, I tend to take extra precautions, like, you know, wearing a seat belt.
Back in Vegas, Niki was visiting the grave of her sister, Jessica Sanders. Time for more clichés! She is sitting there with a bottle of booze when DL shows up. DL seems like a good husband and he actually asks her if she was thinking about having a drink. WTF? Your wife is an alcoholic. She is mourning her sister. OF COURSE SHE WAS THINKING ABOUT TAKING A DRINK! She didn’t bring the whisky there because she wanted to play Boggle! Niki tells DL about her father and he comforts her, saying more cliché things like “when you’re ready” and “it’s important not to forget” (actually, she may have said it, but it doesn’t really matter) and similar things.
Niki decides that she is going to try and re-connect with her father and he is doing a pretty good job at things. It always helps when he starts things off by bribing his grandson with a brand new $2000 laptop. Things were actually going great for a while, mainly because Niki’s father is loaded and she and DL really could use some help getting Micah into private school.
Things are always going to be awkward when you haven’t talked to your father in years, but Niki’s dad seemed to really be stressed. He goes to check in on Micah and is really pissed that Micah already has the thing in about one hundred pieces. We know that Micah is smart and is doing it just for fun and will put it back together later, but his grandfather doesn’t know that and yells at him, or to use a very grandfatherly term, gets cross with him. DL doesn’t appreciate it, and defends his son, and suddenly Niki’s dad says that he can’t stick around, but leaves her with a check instead.
As Niki’s dad leaves, we see her look into the mirror and it appears as if Jessica has decided to show up for the first time. And you know when Jessica decides to show up, there is going to be trouble, but before we get into that, why not get a little update on Hiro? It took him a little while to realize that he teleported six months into the past instead of only one day, and he sort of freaked out. He decided to give Ando a call, but when he called his Tokyo office, he was on the other line! There is not enough time to talk about time paradoxes, but rest assured this is one of them. Hiro, a big fan of all things science fiction, decides that he cannot risk talking to himself for fear that he’ll cause a rip in the fabric of space-time, and hangs up. Obviously, he is going to have to do this one on his own.
The first step in his self-help process is to get a job at the diner where Charlie works so he can become friends with her and get her to trust him. Charlie and Hiro become fast friends and we find out that it was Hiro that gave her the Japanese phrase book that she would later use to learn Japanese and speak to Hiro and Ando when they were in the diner six months later. But if it was Hiro who gave her the phrase book, why did she not remember Hiro in the future? And if she had to be killed for Hiro to go back in time and give her the phrase book, how did any of this happen in the first place? Again, it’s a time travel paradox.
Hiro tries to tell Charlie that her memory is not something that just happened, but is a super power, and he continually tries to think of different ways to prove that he has a super power so Charlie will believe that she has a super power, but most of the ways he tries don’t really convince her. She sort of realizes that something is going on when he has her close her eyes and in the next moment there are a thousand cranes hanging in the diner, but even that doesn’t have her totally convinced. Hiro is having trouble convincing her that her life is in danger, but he is doing a good job of building a relationship. Charlie won’t leave Texas to because somebody is out to get her, but she will leave Texas if it means she gets to spend time in Tokyo with Hiro.
As I noted earlier, Mr. Bennet paid a visit to Chandra Suresh just as Gabriel was leaving. When he gets there, he starts asking a number of questions of the doctor. Dr. Suresh explains and then shows him some of his work, including the map with the locations of many of the people Chandra thought were special. It’s still difficult to say whether HRG knew Claire was special before Chandra called him, but as soon as he sees that Dr. Suresh has his list, and his list includes a picture of Claire, he knows he has to do something.
It wasn’t obvious to me at the time, but then I remembered that he just met Eden. When he first took her into custody, he gave her a lecture about her life, how he was following her, and how she has done a number of bad things because there was nobody in the world that could say no to her. Well, there is a person that can say no to her, and that man is The Eraser. HRG says that he will let Eden go, but she could be dad in a week, or he can help her put her life back on track. He has a job for her. Find this professor with a list of names and make sure his daughter’s name is off that list. Ahhh. THAT explains why HRG flew to India as well! If Claire’s name was on Chandra’s map in Chennai, he had to make sure her file didn’t exist there either. If only they told us that before, we wouldn’t think he was so creepy!
So while we don’t have the whole story about HRG, I think we can safely put him in the good guys group. Here is a guy that brings his daughter a teddy bear from every new place he has to go when he is away on business. That’s just too cute, and also explains why he calls her Claire-Bear. And even if you argue that may just be superficial, you know that he is a good parent whenever she asks for advice. When Claire asks if she is a terrible person because she wants to cheerlead, HRG tells her that it is her actions that make her good or bad. If more parents were like HRG, we wouldn’t need super heroes to save us from the end of the world.
We also got a little bit more information on what happened with Niki when she went to visit her father at his hotel room. But when her father answered the door, we soon learned that it wasn’t Niki at the door at all, but Jessica. How do I know this? Well, for starters, the first thing she did when she saw her father was threaten to kick his ass, but a lot of it is justified. Niki doesn’t remember what happened with Jessica or even much of her child hood. She repressed those memories, but whatever part of Jessica that stayed with her surely remembers. Their father beat them, but Jessica was the one who took all the hits. She wanted to protect her sister, and she was doing the same thing now. I can’t say for sure that their father was responsible for Jessica’s death, but we know that she isn’t going to let him buy his love from Niki now. After roughing him up a bit, she stuffs his check back into his mouth and then leaves.
OK, so when all of this stuff started happening to Nathan, he was sort of wavering about what he should do. He was still unsure if he wanted to prosecute Lindermann, but he was sure that it was one of Lindermann’s goons that tried to run him off the road, and he decided he was going to get even by going ahead with the prosecution. He was even preparing Peter to give a deposition against their father about his ties to Lindermann But then he never got a chance. The morning of the deposition, Nathan visits Peter to tell him that their father died of a heart attack. We know from earlier episodes that it wasn’t a heart attack, but rather a suicide. This could have gone one of two ways. Perhaps their father learned of the investigation and took his own life, or maybe Lindermann found out and decided to show Nathan he wouldn’t stop at anything to get what he wanted, even killing one of his best clients. Either way, I can see how all of this could have made Nathan into the cold bastard that he is now. I still don’t think he should have cheated on his wife, but I kind of understand.
That might have been a sad moment, but nothing really prepared me for what was happening next. Hiro and Charlie were on their way to a samurai film festival. We had been wondering why Charlie died even when she wasn’t there to be killed by Sylar, and now we have an idea. Charlie was telling Hiro all of the stuff you expect from people who have spent a lot of time together. You know “you make me happy”, “I never let people get close” and then she said something you don’t hear that often “there is a blood clot in my brain and I am dying”. Hiro was prepared to save her from Sylar, but he didn’t know how to save her from this medical situation and he is devastated. Charlie continues, saying that she had given up on life until he came and gave her so much joy.
And then comes the big moment. Charlie tells Hiro that she loves him, and he doesn’t know what to say, but I am sure this is about to lead to their first kiss. Unfortunately, Hiro is concentrating on the moment so hard he accidentally teleports himself back to present day Japan! And for some reason he can’t get back to Texas. This nearly broke my heart. Charlie just told Hiro, he have her the will to live, and then he disappeared. He just dropped out of her life, but had no way to go back and tell her because she is already gone. Hiro gets back to Midland, heartbroken, sees the shrine to Charlie and nearly breaks down again. He realizes the power is bigger than him and just because he can go back in time doesn’t mean he can change the past. Why was I so choked up at this point? Why am I admitting it in print?
The best thing to get rid of those misty eyes is some good old-fashioned violence. And luckily, Gabriel was there to provide it for us. Gabriel contacted Brian Davis, perhaps the most stereotypical looking geek ever, straight from central casting. I mean, he didn’t have a World of Warcraft shirt on, but everything else just screamed “I would forfeit sex with Scarlett Johansson for a guest role on the original Star Trek”. Brian admits that he has a power, but he is afraid of what it might do. He wants Gabriel, who introduced himself as Gabriel Sylar and therefore confirming our theory, to make it all go away, and Gabriel is happy to help him out. Sylar says that Brian is broken, that it’s in his brain, and that he can fix it, so he starts by knocking Brian out. They didn’t show us what comes next, but something tells me that Brian isn’t going to be happy with the next steps, although I am sure Hannibal Lecter would.
Gabriel goes back to Dr. Suresh, and he now has telekinetic ability. We are not sure how he got it, or how he knew he should even attempt to get it from Brian, but he does have it, and we know that there are a lot of people out there who he really wants to fix.
I thought this was a pretty good episode. There was a lot of stuff to take in, but I think it satisfied a need we all had. My only problem is that the story of how they got there is so interesting, I desperately want to have more episodes just like this. But the stuff in the present day is so exciting, how can I say no? This is going to keep me up for weeks, I’m sure.
What did you think of the episode?