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Heroes Commentary 3x23 – 1961

Acting? Out the wazoo. The wazoo? Is now in the stratosphere.


I got a few things I need to get off my chest before I start with the actual snarky meta, so bear with me people.

There were several elements that, while they didn’t actually impact the plot of the episode, per se, I found distracting in terms of realism. I know it’s not a very proud time in American history, but legal racism was still very strong in 1961. Forced desegregation of schools didn’t happen until 1969 (the Brown vs. Board of Education was in 1955, but it took until 1969 for a court ruling to indicate language to make it happen “now and hereafter,” stopping people from stalling desegregation).

While younger children can have fewer prejudices than their parents, I still find it fairly inconceivable that Charles Deveaux would have been close friends with two white boys, or at least to the point where they would let him lead them in a semi-public setting.

In terms of propriety, I find it particularly mind-boggling that teenage boys would have been allowed to freely visit teenage girls in the camp, and double unbelievable that a young black man would have been allowed into the white girls’ dormitories. In the same vein, David Linderman touching Angela’s leg in public I think would also have been a no-no.

Still unbelievable, though less so, that Charles would have been allowed to sit with a white woman in the Coyote Sands Diner, and (though this pains me to say so) that he would have escaped touching Angela, let alone dancing with her, without violence or a call to the police if he hadn’t had his power.

Also questionable was the inclusion of Chaundra Suresh, for much of the same reasons.

This fourth volume of Heroes has been essentially about racism, people with power versus those without. There might have been the possibilities of some historical tie-ins, and it’s annoying to see the real-life struggle of racism barely touched on, considering the date of this flashback.

Sigh. Ok, that’s enough of a historical rant. Onto the Heroes!

Oh man, the previouslies contain a whole SCENE, with dialogue, that we’ve never seen before, the bit about Chaundra having nightmares when he started inquiring about Coyote Sands. Man, the actor playing the landlord is determined to get his money’s worth for his lines.

Nathan councils patience on Angela’s explanation for the whole “digging up the past” thing, but Peter won’t hear it. Particularly when Claire tries to bring him around to Nathan’s load of guilt. Peter claims that Nathan’s charmed her.

“Don’t worry, it happens to all of it.” Oh Peter, is Nathan just a slut, or did he forget flowers on your last date?

Young Angela really does have a great resemblance to Christine Rose. I approve.

Eh… “The soldiers are there for your protection.” Um, no. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that line uttered and had the situation turn out well. The Shaw sisters would have been well advised to run away and not look back.

Man, you can really see all of old Angela’s attributes and physical nuances in young Angela’s performance. The touching, the practicality, the extravagant promises of familial devotion that end up exploding in her face…

Initial premise of the Company – relatively decent; to make sure genocide doesn’t happen again. But absolute power corrupts absolutely. It’s interesting to hear Noah being included as Angela’s employee in this. I mean, I know he IS, but he doesn’t always seem that way. Angela mentioning fifty years of erased memories, manipulation, blackmail, lies, and murder suddenly causes me to see Noah as being stained with more than just his own share of blood.

Noah’s casual “Yeah,” to “We tried to fix it and we screwed it up” to Claire makes me giggle with approval. Nathan, take note, THIS is how you admit guilt. “Yeah.”

Peter is dressed all in black, yet he professes to be the only one in the room that’s not morally gray. I hate to burst your idealistic bubble, but do you have a better idea on how to fix this situation? Open and honest communication with the American public never really works well, just so you know.

Hee hee! Peter stomps out of the clubhouse because he doesn’t want any part of their stupid Company anyway! He flies off in a huff, and I giggled with glee when Nathan flew after him. Yeah, running away is still running away, no matter if it’s four miles an hour on foot or one hundred miles per hour in the air.

The interaction between the young Elder Heroes is particularly awesome, may I say. It makes me realize how much I miss Linderman. He was cool, even as a kid. Charles is even extra awesome. And the scenes between Angela and Alice? Fantabulous.

Oh man, the Petrelli brothers at the café. Peter’s expression when Nathan comes in: “One, I beat you here. Two, my hair gel is FABULOUS because my coif is neatly in place and you’re stuck with flight!hair.”

And, oh damn, this is the best verbal bitch-slapping I have ever heard Peter deliver to Nathan. Just delightfully catty and spot-on, including bringing up past examples, and Nathan really deserves to hear it. Especially when Nathan interjects that they need to forgive each other.

Wow Nate, you have balls of brass to say that to your brother. You don’t need to forgive Peter. Peter is the one that needs to forgive you. You’re the one that needs to grovel for his forgiveness. So… start kneeling Nate, you have a long way to go.

I know some people might be ranting a bit at the emoting (or rather, lack thereof) in several scenes during the storms, but I have some sympathy for the actors. It’s a little difficult to display a subtle range of emotions when you’re screaming over the wind and have grit being flung into your eyes. Sometimes it’s all you can do to squint and get your lines out with some kind of conviction. And well, the cast did better than plenty of other shows on TV.

Well, with Mohinder finally meeting up with people from the other end of the plot, all the information has finally been disseminated. All parts of the puzzle are in play. Fina-freaking-lly. Extra helpfully, he talked this over with Bennet, who has proven time and again to be the most knowledgeable, level-headed, forward-thinking planner of the entire cast. God help him if he had discussed this with Peter.

Hmm… while I’m glad Mohinder is sharing info, perhaps he shouldn’t have been showing Noah a file during a windstorm. Just saying.

Young Angela delivers her first warning to Dr. Suresh, thus beginning a fifty-year legacy of deafness. Then old Angela sacrifices herself to the storm goddess. Well hey, it worked in X-Men…

I loved, LOVED Nathan and Peter flying in together. SQUEE!

Noah justifies his own moral grayness while Mohinder gets righteous. Get off your high horse MoMo; I do seem to recall you turning yourself into a bug.

Hee! Peter suggests they split up to look for Angela. Noah INSTANTLY reminds everyone that would be a fucking stupid idea, particularly considering their precognitive dreamer just got swept off the map. Noah, Nathan, and Claire go off in one non-traditional family unit, while Peter and Mohinder reunite as the Angsting Twins. Little actual searching will get accomplished, but that’s ok. They’ll find Angela when the plot demands it.

(BTW, did anyone else ever ask Mohinder how/why he even showed up? No? Ok, moving on.)

Mohinder laments that he’s on the fast track to hell with all his good intentions. Peter just says basically that it’s all good, and everything will turn out all right because they started this together. That wouldn’t exactly give me a warm and fuzzy feeling of confidence if I were Mohinder, but Peter’s all, “We’ll always have New York!” and MoMo is distracted.

Mohinder claims even the Devil, er Nathan, can be redeemed. Peter muses this right into his pretty emo bangs.

You know, neither team searches very thoroughly. They enter a virtually empty building, and then never move or look under anything. I think they all have a –20 dialogue penalty to Search checks.

Wow, Claire delivers a pretty inadvertently stinging soliloquy to her two dads. She’s praised for her bravery and adult actions, but she says there was a time when she actually wanted a normal career, instead of being a Company agent. Noah and Nathan spend the next flashback digging the rusty knives out of their hearts.

Interesting how old Alice’s hair and eye color have faded over the years. Very Storm. Her mind has also faded, and since it’s probably due to a mental break… Now was not the best time for unvarnished truth, Angie.

(However, the explanation for why Angela steals socks was touching and awesome. In the extreme. Worth a three-season payoff.)

Man, old Coyote Sands had like the worst staff ever. Either that or the soldiers were given a shoot-to-kill order the instant people started using their powers against personnel. Suck. To the max.

Angie, little sis doesn’t trust you any more. Sorry. In good news, apparently Mohinder can survive a lightning strike. Therefore he’s available to angst over yet more answers that Peter finds for him. Have fun watching your Dharma Initiative training films MoMo!

Angela brings up the necessary evil, and Nathan forgives her. I think she’s starting to see him as her first casualty. If she hadn’t raised him like she did, he wouldn’t have gone to the same kinds of extremes she did and then fail in such a fashion. Both of them need a hug!

Noah and Claire start the long road back to movie nights, popcorn, and Claire getting a normal life back. Aww!

Peter calls this a family instead of a Company. Excellent, we’re starting the Heroes Mafia!

I have to tell you, I hate mistaken identity capers. I hate them with a blind passion, because usually they’re not very well done, and if they are, they’re only really good in very small doses. Last episode was enough to hold me for a long time. So when Sylar!Nathan showed up on TV, I will admit to an instance of, “THEY DID NOT JUST FUCKING GO THERE!” Also, when did Sylar touch Nathan? The show went to some lengths to imply Sylar had to touch someone to shapeshift into them, so if they’re breaking their own rules already, I’m going to be torqued.

On the other hand, Nathan, Peter, Claire, Noah, and Angela all saw it at the same time. They know to be on their guard. They know Sylar has that ability. They can hopefully come up with passwords and shit to establish their identities to each other. Because if the show overplays this wacky “Wait, but it’s really SYLAR!” card, I’m going to start fast-forwarding through scenes or watching them with my hands over my eyes.

On the third hand, I did love how Sylar!Nathan dialed the smarm up to eleven as he took questions from the reporters… Oh he’s having FUN with this!

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