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Good acting in the face of bad plotting. And HRG still rocks my world.

The Shapeshifter Saga. Oh dear. While the idea that you don’t know who to trust is interesting, this could get very old, very fast. I think it’s used to fairly good effect in this episode, but if we keep having to go, “Wait, but is it SYLAR?” all the time, then we’re going to have problems. Every seemingly out-of-character comment is going to be microscopically scrutinized, every time one character touches another will be monitored, and not for the sexy purposes they usually are. It could get tedious.

Sylar wants to destroy Bennet first. Well, that’s at least a solid goal. And, for once, he actually follows through in a fairly coherent fashion and gets precisely the result he wants. While it’s not the result I want, at least I have some modicum of respect for the murderous bastard that he was able to STICK TO A PLAN for once. Even though he’s acting like a spoiled brat.

Danko decides to make Bennet’s life just that more difficult by letting Sandra, who showed up at the super-secret government building that she shouldn’t know the location of, talk to him at work. Yeah… just keep screwing about with HRG. Please. When he gets his ass out of the sling Sylar’s going to put him in, your life isn’t going to be worth beans. This man was willing to kill a nine-year-old girl, worked at a Copy King, let himself be imprisoned, slit Sylar’s throat, and was willing to work under both Nathan Petrelli and YOU, so don’t think there’s anything HRG won’t do to nail you to the wall once the opportunity arises. Go on. Put the screws to him. I dare you. The Threefold Rule of the Wrath of HRG will descend upon you!

Sylar gets to have a lot of fun wearing different people’s clothes this episode. I have to say, it’s damn weird seeing him in Danko’s turtleneck and jacket. But since I’m thinking the clothes don’t shift with his body, wouldn’t turning back into himself practically strangle him, considering Danko is like five times smaller than him? Same thing with Sandra… but wouldn’t he have to wear a bra? The mechanics of this new ability make my brain hurt, and not only in a cross-dressing way.

Sylar posing as Sandra was just cold, let me say. That was carefully calculated to hurt as much as possible, and to keep hurting long after Sylar was gone. While the result is squirm-inducing, I cannot argue with the fact that it’s effective. Watching Noah go A-1 ballistic on the real Sandra was like watching a car wreck, because you knew nothing good was going to come of it. Though I do wish Bennet would have called Lyle sooner, because I doubt Sylar would have been able to do anything effective to shut him up. Because, you know, Lyle exists outside of time and space, only popping in when someone remembers…

Sigh, why would Angela call Bennet? Why take the risk of calling a man in government service? They’re going to be checking his phone records, and numbers from random calls aren’t going to help his credibility. Then again, neither is the utter paranoia Bennet gets to exhibit this episode.

The agents seriously have to think Bennet is nuts when he goes all, “Shoot the corpse in the head! It’s just like a zombie movie.” Then again, I don’t think the agents have seen many zombie movies. Or superhero films. Or any sci-fi film, because knowing those tropes would have kept more of them alive in the past couple of weeks…

Loved, LOVED Bennet pulling the Sylar impression on Danko. Though Bennet’s actions of trying to smoke out Sylar were questionable, and he did disregard a precognitive’s (Angela’s) advice to get out while he still could, this particular move was kinda awesome. Not quite as awesome was him taking Danko’s first confession at face value. I would have automatically assumed that Danko was lying.

This costs big, because now HRG has got to be doubting his sanity when “Sylar” didn’t get up after being shot. Then again, HRG also doesn’t seem to get too hung up on murder, so I think the uncertainty is going to be more worrying than another notch on his gun belt. On the plus side, at least this got Noah and Claire to reunite, so yay!

The Hiro and Ando Show – Bending Time and Space Without Powers! Ah yes, I love how those two Japanese citizens, in the country without paperwork, with frozen assets, and Hiro’s name on a government watchlist, were able to obtain a new car. And then drive it from California to Ohio within like… three hours. And then the rest of the way to D.C. in two. Ok. Fine. Whatever.

What’s not even vaguely plausible is that Matt Jr. hasn’t had a tantrum until Ohio. I’m not around a lot of babies, but the few I have been don’t stay quiet for more than a few hours at a time when they’re awake, and then only if you’ve sacrificed a goat to the gods and given the kid a pacifier. The fact that Our Intrepid Babysitters haven’t had to deal with him crying for absolutely no reason before is just… ARGH!

The interlude with the truck driver is mildly amusing, but ultimately pointless. One, Hiro and Ando should have figured out the “Go/No Go” aspect of Matt Jr.’s powers a lot sooner. Two, the entirety of Hiro and Ando’s scenes this episode were wacky comedy relief. Jeeminy Christmas. This is a show chock full of possibilities and meaning and character development and the writers STILL have Hiro and Ando on babysitting duty.

One or two honest character development scenes every four episodes is not helping these guys out of their “Wacky Comedic Interlude” roles. Right now they are the court jesters of Heroes. I understand the need to have some lightness to break up the very serious intensity of the rest of this episode, but I think one can have something with the joy of dealing with the child without having essentially slapstick comedy. Sigh. Maybe I just derive my humor from Television Without Pity and the Heroes Meta so much that I just don’t want or need it from the show. You can be serious, it’s ok, I’ll be funny for you!

(Also, I might have liked if they had used a pay phone or something to tell Janice that, “Oh yeah, your baby’s fine!” Just, you know, as a courtesy thing.)

Wow, Matt is seriously pushing the darkside envelope this episode. And his abilities are getting stronger. He can reach out to Danko’s mind, in a crowd, from across the street, and implant just a suggestion without having to confront him directly like he did when he broke into the building last week. Hmm… Ok, I’ll go with “strong emotions push his abilities to new heights” for $400, Alex.

Danko… Danko, Danko, Danko. I mean no disrespect for Elena, who obviously has tried to make the best she can out of a fairly bad situation in her life, but damn, Danko is seeing a Russian ex-call girl. And he’s in love with her and has convinced her of his own affection, and has built himself a false life for her. What a sad, sordid little life he leads.

I like the parallels with both Bennet and Danko losing the objects of their affection through the manipulations of people they’ve harmed, but I almost wish Matt could have twisted the knife a little more. Forcing Danko to tell the truth was a nice touch and the final push for Elena, but then giving up and selecting suicide-by-cop over living and fighting another day was just a very sad moment.

Matt, there is more to live for! You lost Daphne, and I’m sorry about that, but there’s still Mohinder, Peter, and everyone else on the side of right that needs your help. You used to be a police officer! Remember that man, we’re counting on you!

At least Hiro remembers that as he saves Matt, and if Hiro’s “true warrior” monologue gets a little repetitive, at least the man’s consistent in his convictions. I did rather love Matt’s face lighting up at the sight of his kid. Poor Matt hasn’t had much to smile about in the past few weeks; the man needs a break. So… Hiro and Ando stick him with a baby! Yay?

(BTW, how did Mohinder think he was going to get the money or passport to travel to India when he’s a wanted fugitive with frozen accounts?)

Anyways, then we have the mystery of Coyote Sands. Another Mystery! How exciting and unexpected! Also a mystery as well as unexpected was why Mohinder’s landlord would have, just now, told him about the shit Chandra kept in storage. Not, you know, when Mohinder first showed up in New York three years ago. Also a mystery is why he would have kept that stuff when government agents were clearing out an apartment for him. Or that the government agents wouldn’t have checked the storage area themselves. Whatevs.

For no particular reason, watching Mohinder casually use his super-strength to break out the lock filled me with inexpressible glee. I love seeing powers used in casual, everyday ways. It’s not always about throwing the bad guy across the room; sometimes it’s just about getting the damn mayonnaise jar open.

At least Mohinder gets the opportunity to make another map. I mean, those worked so well in S1, it couldn’t hurt to have another… that apparently shows a bunch of people got their powers from Coyote Sands? Sure, yeah, we’ll go with that.

The Petrellis, together again! Nathan is still rockin’ the flight!hair and aviator glasses, but Peter doesn’t want any of his bad touches. Instead he and Claire touch a little, for no reason, while Nathan glares. Angela breaks out the shovels, because it’s time to work off some of that sexual tension!

Sigh, again. Angela, if you happen to out-and-out know there are bodies buried at this place, don’t make your sons and granddaughter slave all day in the hot sun. I know seeing the bodies makes for more emotional TV, but did you really need to exhaust everyone by making them dig up several dozen cubic feet of dirt? Just say, “This was a bad, bad place, and there are several dozen bodies of people that were shot in the head buried over there,” and move on. We have more Mysteries to solve, Scooby Gang!

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