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A little bit of awesome with a lot of “bwah?” and a high dose of Ambien.

 

 

Tracy, dearheart, you get the thankless task of informing us of the two month gap in time between “Duel” and this episode, which undoubtedly the show will ruthlessly exploit for poorly-retconned backstory and improbable character development later in the season.

 

Also, Tracy gets the equally thankless task of behaving like a victim in a horror film. Honeybear, when political!Nathan is talking on the TV, and there’s a window mysteriously open, run. Run like hell and never look back. Political!Nathan was a self-centered a-hole in the first part of S1, and he has had a horrible personality regression to that time, so he’s quite capable of anything at this point.

 

Fan service in this scene provided by Ali Larder taking her clothes off and Adrian Pasdar in a suit speaking words. Of the two, I find the latter more provocative. Seriously, a be-suited Adrian Pasdar can read the phone book and I will listen with rabid intensity.

 

The commandos have the most awkward guns I’ve ever seen. Seriously. They’re like giraffes with triggers. I dub them giraffe guns! And they shoot the biggest, most awkward darts I’ve ever seen. Clearly the commandos are compensating for something with these seven-foot long guns and foot-long ammo. The boys must have felt inadequate next to Nathan.

 

Tracy, if the commandos’ armor repels your power, touch them in the face! They weren’t wearing full-on helmets. Just freeze their faces off! Face! Off!

 

My first reaction when we see Paramedic Peter (With super CPR action! Comes with replaceable Emo Bangs and First Aid Kit accessories!) was “Finally!” It’s about damn time someone on the writing staff remembered that Peter has medical training. However, Peter still hasn’t managed to dial down his hero complex to something healthy. 

 

Peter, if you’re so upset about not having super strength anymore, then just go find someone that does! Doesn’t Matt have a copy of Mohinder’s List tucked away in the bedside drawer with the condoms? Pull yourself up by your bangs and go get some shit done! Oh wait, this is Peter. Never mind. Every time Peter tries to get shit done things get worse. 

 

The Hiro and Ando show is back! Hiro squanders money! Has horrible taste in Spandex! And punctures a hole in Ando’s cool new jacket! Ando’s all, “Buddy, really, you know I have no fighting skills, no investigatory skills, and my powers only work on other supers. It’s nice you’re keeping yourself busy but-. Ow! Fucking hell man! Keeping tabs on me like I’m a purebred Pomeranian? Hiro, if you haven’t noticed, my name isn’t Mr. Muggles! Screw this; I’m off to a strip club to wash the humiliation from my brain. I’ll be back when you’ve managed to progress to the emotional maturity of a twelve-year-old. Don’t think I don’t appreciate the motorcycle but… damn Hiro, my arm really smarts!”

 

 Claire honey, the overly made-up look just doesn’t work for you. Please stop trying to dress yourself up like Businesswoman Barbie; you look ridiculous. And BTW, Ma Petrelli has the most awesome connections in the world if she can get you into any Ivy League college with a GED.

 

Why is Claire declaring Sylar to be the root of all evil? Sylar is a scary son-of-a-bitch, but considering all the crap that was going on with the Company, Pinehurst, and now your bio-dad, don’t you think you need to broaden your worldview a little? Not everything revolves around you or Sylar! You’re obsessed darling, get the net!

 

Oooo, Claire makes unfounded assumptions based on overheard phone conversations that contain less than half of the necessary information! Because going off in a huff after one of your family members annoys your worldview is how Claire fills her days.

 

I’d berate Angela for talking about secret government plans on a house line while standing in the living room, but right now I’m hoping for this all to be some plot of Ma Petrelli’s. Please, please, please tell me she wasn’t that dumb. I’m hoping her calm reaction to Claire’s flouncing off in a tizzy was just a carefully laid plan to mess with Nathan’s plans. Because even Angela has to admit Nathan is acting like a total douche right now.

 

Matt and Daphne have their Incredibles’ talk. “Let’s just be normal!” But dude, Matt, do you really want Daphne to have to cycle all the way across the city to deliver packages? In New York City’s traffic? It’s hella safer to speedster around, and you know it. Dork.

 

Anyways, I am suddenly not getting the Matt/Daphne ‘ship. It was all for it in Volume Three, but with these conversations they’re having right now, I’m getting a total “older brother/younger sister” vibe off of their relationship. And honestly that’s kinda creepy.

 

And what the hell is up with Matt wanting to be normal? Seriously, what the hell? If you don’t want to use your powers to get rich quick, than at least don’t pretend that you don’t have them. Ignoring something doesn’t make it or the people that think it’s dangerous go away. Staying in an apartment that all your enemies and morally gray allies know about is just one example. 

 

Luckily, Usutu shows up to tell Matt to get paranormal. Unluckily, Matt suddenly gets Isaac’s power. Show, don’t get me wrong, precognition is a cool power. But, for the love of little noodles, stop trying to hammer it back into the plot when you’ve had it forcibly removed no less than three times. Isaac got Sylared, Sylar and Peter lost their powers, and Usutu got murdered. If you keep trying to kill/disable everyone that has that power because you can’t deal with it properly, then don’t give it to a primary cast member! 

 

Particularly one that only figures out his precognitive drawings after they happen. Claire-Bear, your method of warning is complete crap. “Matt! Sorry, I totally could have called and told you to hide because you’re in danger. But I thought instead I’d come over in person to deliver vague warnings when we could have been leaving several minutes before you became a pincushion.”

 

Nathan holds high political office and is plotting with his mom. Peter thinks the most correct course of action is to talk to her. Pete, when has talking ever solved anything on this show? I mean, really, the most awesome thing that ever happened on this show was the showdown on Kirby Plaza. How much talking was there in that scene? Only what was necessary. Otherwise everyone just kept their traps shut and kicked some ass. Besides, conversations with your family members haven’t gone swimmingly as of the last… year or so, have they genius?

 

Peter pops into Mohinder’s cab and the following conversation ensues:

M: “Petey! Hey, no hard feelings for trying to use you as a test subject in an attempt to regain my pretty, right?”

P: “Hey Mo. Nope, no hard feelings, as long as you don’t mind that I destroyed your life’s work and more or less left you to die in the wreck of your lab. I was really too busy angsting with my brother to make sure you got to safety before Pinehurst exploded. By the way, your complexion has really cleared up.”

M: “Thanks! So we’re just going to forget all the hard feelings that should have ensued from the events of last volume entirely?”

P: “Pretty much. Hey, let’s reenact the dialogue from the pilot with wink-wink, nudge-nudge commentary and pretend we’re the best of pals!”

M: “Let’s!”

 

May I ask what’s up with the sedateness of everyone in this episode? Well, not everyone. Peter in particular. His reactions to his brother’s potential plot are fairly tame (other than one good dose of Petrelli Righteousness™ that, as usual, is said right before he’s captured), especially considering what happened only a couple of months ago. I felt like not only had he been given high dozes of Prozac and Ambien, but maybe a few amnesia pills as well. Stupid pills and amnesia pills. And shared them around with some of the cast at the last Craft Services meal. 

 

The Nathan/Peter scenes, even if Nathan is being a slimeball and Peter is being a self-righteous moron, were kinda smokin’ hot. “Dinner, just dinner.” And hate!sex! “I’ll text you the time and place.” And what to wear. “Selfish, arrogant, obsessive.” “Those are your better qualities Nathan.” Whoa, hot damn! The fanfic writes itself people, the fanfic writes itself. Adrian and Milo love us.

 

A one-point lesson, Peter, when someone tries to solicit a hug from you, kick them in the crotch. I don’t care if it’s your brother, your mother, or your resurrected father, nut-shot then immediately. Then you may continue your conversation from a position of superior power.

 

Why the fudge does Mohinder have his powers again? I thought that serum-bath in “Duel” just fixed his pretty face. Because, ya know, he didn’t actually get injected with it… oh never mind. Mohinder’s a tool. He’s all, “special people are scary now, and need to be locked up because I was living proof that I’m an irresponsible, jealous, horny mad scientist, and thusly all specials can be judged by my mistakes.”

 

Oh dear, I think HRG is missing hunting down specials for a living. Because he got a little too much fun out of the “capture Mohinder” scene. I don’t think he can pull the “I’m working for the government to protect my family” card anymore, because that card is tattered and torn. He’s gone from “morally gray” to “morally black hole.” However, he did get to taze Mohinder in the nuts, and that was pretty awesome. Yes, I’m petty and easily amused, what of it?

 

When talking to his Not!Dad, Sylar gets kinda sorta a whole lot of sexist. “The decisions only a man can make.” Really? Sylar, sweetie, I know you’re smarting a tad from killing Elle, but do you really need that much masculine identity confirmation? Just go to a strip club and pay someone to tell you you’re a stud. Expensive, but less messy and easier on the threads.

 

Theory of the week: Sylar is the Anti-Christ. He was given away by his real parents and then kills his mom. “It’s all for you Damien!”

 

And while I appreciate that Sylar is no longer frothing at the mouth or killing everyone that just gets in his way, he was getting dangerously close this episode to crossing over from “so quiet he’s scary” to “someone cut the muscle control to Zach’s face.” But at least he has his kick-ass theme music to help him ratchet up the menace.

 

Finding out that Sylar’s apparent real dad is a taxidermist? Pure fucking gold. However, completely shitty fight choreography during the ambush scene. Lots of Shaky-Cam™ action and really horrible blocking. I could damn near see the wires on those commandos. 

 

However, I did see where the greater part of the effects budget went this season. Namely, that plane. I’m still not getting why Claire wasn’t on the “no-capture” list for the commandos. Hauling her along to the hanger, in full captive gear, is not a good way to treat a senator’s illegitimate daughter. Particularly when you need her to shut her trap about various illegal black ops missions. Sorry Scary Commando Guy, Senator Petrelli says you’re an idiot. 

 

Claire actually tries to do something useful this episode, and it really worked great, considering the success of her other plans. A plane crash, piffle, that’s nothing. I mean, the guards were half asleep, and your dad was at the wheel… Little awkward there. “There’s gonna be some knock-down, drag-out screaming matches when we land this plane young lady!”

 

Also, loved the fact that Claire uncovered Hiro first, then quickly throws him back in the pond because he’s too small (and too normal to do her any good). Ah, she’s been taking lessons in snobbery from Angela. Or she just needs to touch Peter. Sigh, don’t we all.

 

In a final attempt to capture some good old-fashioned TV wonder, Heroes tries to get Lost in the jungle. Well… nothing brings people together like a crisis. But may I just say that with the previews that they were hyping for the last few weeks, we pretty much already knew that most of the Heroes would be Gitmoed onto the Black Ops plane. You could have done most of this episode as a montage. 

 

(BTW, didja notice that when Ando was trying to locate where Hiro had been taken, the GPS marker popped up somewhere in northern Africa? Seriously, go look on your TiVOs. So they had one team capture Hiro and then fly him from Japan to Libya or Algeria (that’s where it looks to be on the map) and then have other people capture the American specials and then fly THEM to Africa, and then put them all in a plane together and go… where? Why move everyone two or three times? Doesn’t that increase the risks of escape? Why Africa? WHY AFRICA?!) 

 

If this were done as a montage, then you’d have had more room for better cliffhangers than Flying Peter and Super Strong Mohinder about to be sucked out of an airplane. There’s just a skosh less suspense when the main characters have powers like that. You have to write around it peoples! 

 

If Peter’s powers work differently now, if he can only hold one at a time or for a short while or has to touch someone or anything different than the last three seasons, you have to let us know that so we can be properly horrified at the idea of him being sucked out of a plane. Otherwise we’re like, “Meh, he’ll be fine. What’s the big deal?” I mean, there was some hints that Peter’s powers aren’t as cool as they once were, but it’s still kinda vague. Kinda vague doesn’t work for determining the suspenseful fate of one of the primary characters. Just saying.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
brighteyed_jill
Feb. 6th, 2009 01:53 pm (UTC)
You make me laugh, dear. As usual.

Doesn’t Matt have a copy of Mohinder’s List tucked away in the bedside drawer with the condoms? Pull yourself up by your bangs and go get some shit done!

The return of the emo bangs! They make Peter look so much more woobie. And we know what happens to woobies in my fanfic.

Peter in particular. His reactions to his brother’s potential plot are fairly tame (other than once good dose of Petrelli Righteousness™ that, as usual, is said right before he’s captured), especially considering what happened only a couple of months ago.

Yes! That's something that was sort of bothering me that I couldn't put my finger on! This episode seemed slow-moving for some reason, and maybe part of it was the lack of passion. I understand, as the writers have said before, that you can't go great guns all the time, because there needs to be some ebb and flow, but... the characters still do care what happens to them. They don't need to scream and cry, just to, y'know, show a mild interest.

When talking to his Not!Dad, Sylar gets kinda sorta a whole lot of sexist. “The decisions only a man can make.” Really? Sylar, sweetie, I know you’re smarting a tad from killing Elle, but do you really need that much masculine identity confirmation? Just go to a strip club and pay someone to tell you you’re a stud. Expensive, but less messy and easier on the threads.

I hope he meant a man as opposed to a boy, not as opposed to a woman. Because not only would I frown at Kring, but I don't see Sylar as that disrespectful to women in general. None of his motivation for havoc has had anything to do with gender, aside from mommy issues, which are arguably more about parent-stuff than gender-stuff.

And while I appreciate that Sylar is no longer frothing at the mouth or killing everyone that just gets in his way, he was getting dangerously close this episode to crossing over from “so quiet he’s scary” to “someone cut the muscle control to Zach’s face.”

Heh. But I love Zach, and everything he does, so maybe I didn't notice this slipping over to the botox side of the equation.

If this were done as a montage, then you’d have had more room for better cliffhangers than Flying Peter and Super Strong Mohinder about to be sucked out of an airplane. There’s just a skosh less suspense when the main characters have powers like that. You have to write around it peoples!

Hello?! Narrative structure 101, writers. *le sigh*

In conclusion, you make me smile, dar-link. Your interpretation of the Mohinder & Peter cab conversation is spot on. Go about your business.
jaune_chat
Feb. 6th, 2009 02:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, about the sedate acting - We don't need constant melodrama, but a strong hint of underlying tension as opposed to the very relaxed poses some people (Peter) were taking might have highlighed some stress without going overboard. Because otherwise Peter was just casually telling Nathan to kiss his ass, and while that in and of itself isn't a bad thing, in the context of the conversation and supposed backstory, it was awfully tame. A slightly harder delivery on that line would have nailed it. Emphasis on slightly.

Re: Sylar and sexism - I was hoping he meant adulthood/childhood, but the phrasing made it seem... I dunno. If he was blaming Not!Dad for not having a father figure, that whole line of accusation fits perfectly, but it just came off as chauvinistic.

Hey, I figure if I can make myself laugh when writing this up, then I can make other people laugh. Glad it amused you Jilly!
tiptoe39
Feb. 9th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
I'm friending you because you were so freakin' funny on heroes_meta. Hello!!!
jaune_chat
Feb. 9th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
I'm so terribly glad I amused you! :-)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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