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Heroes Commentary 4x07 - Strange Attractors

This episode scared me. And not because of the “Saw” references.



The episode stars off with a half-naked Sylar having sex in front of a fire. Fan service provided by ZQ’s chest hair, because that alone was worth the price of admission. Oh Janice, you lucky, lucky woman! Oh Matt, you poor, unfortunate sap!

Sylar makes eating fruit pornographic. Seriously. It’s kind of delightfully distracting.

Sylar also likes making the Parkmans scream. I sense fanfic in my future… Er-hem, anyways, maybe Matt should consider some pointers, because the last time Janice had “amazing” was when Matt used his powers to anticipate her needs. Dude, Sylar clearly doesn’t have the compunctions you do. So either ASK YOUR WIFE what she wants, or get used to being the chump.

Backtracking for a second, Matt, you know Sylar can make you see things that aren’t there and can use your powers against you. Why in the name of all that is sweet and holy did you come home? Don’t you love your wife and son? If you loved them, then you should have gotten far away from them. Matt, why are you being so damn stubborn and making crappy decisions?! You’re being EGREGIOUSLY incompetent.

Heh, when Matt was confessing his crime to Janice, I have to love Sylar’s reaction to being called a criminal. “You’re quick to label-.” Sylar, darling, you lie to yourself as badly as Matt does. However, Matt goes into full-on crazy mode when trying to get Janice to leave. Matt, sweetie, she’s going to come back with the men from the mental institution. Seriously.

Matt calls Mohinder, and doesn’t know where he is either, just like the rest of the cast. No one does, don’t feel so alone. And Sylar imitating Mohinder’s accent? Pure gold. Hee!

Ok, wait, hang on, Matt suddenly sees alcohol hurting Sylar. You mean to tell me that in the six or seven weeks since the S3 finale Matt never had a beer? Not ever? Matt’s never been a drunk, but he’s obviously a man who occasionally has a beer with dinner or when watching TV. And he hasn’t had a damn drop of alcohol since Sylar surfaced? Bullshit. That’d drive anyone to drink!

Also bullshit is that Matt thinks that alcohol, which is associated with the loss of control and judgment functions of the brain, would get rid of Sylar. What the hell were you doing to do Matt, become a full-time alcoholic to keep the killer down? Damn it Matt, don’t be that fucking dumb! Why does Matt have to be written so foolish sometimes?! He can’t be that stupid, he was shooting to be a detective! Why is he DOING shit like this?

Not terribly surprised when Sylar takes over when Matt passes out. However, who’s the dude with Janice? Because that’s not Matt’s partner from the first few episodes, right? Anyway, why would Sylar give Janice and the other cop a full-on view of Matt talking to himself and acting as crazy as possible? Because they ARE going to stick him in a straitjacket in a room with white walls in very short order if he keeps this crap up.

Claire and Gretchen’s “relationship conversation.” Ok, while I appreciated Claire’s ambiguity and uncertainty about her sexuality, so much of the rest of it rang false. I kept waiting the entire time to hear an apology from Gretchen for her creepy stalkerish behavior. Ignoring everything Becky did, Gretchen still did some weirdly intense research on Claire, borrowed Claire’s clothes without permission, forced herself into Claire’s life with the subtlety of an atom bomb, tried to be controlling about her activities with the sorority, talked so much about Claire instead of herself she practically tattooed “stalker” on her forehead, and asked to see Claire hurt herself so she could observe her powers. West may have been a controlling jerk-off in basically asking Claire to prove her mettle by jumping off the Hollywood sign, but he never wanted to see her get hurt. Gretchen… you’re giving off major creepy vibes.

So how is Gretchen Claire’s best friend? Just keeping a secret about Claire’s power doesn’t automatically make her a friend. Being a stalker doesn’t make her a friend. Has Gretchen talked at all about herself other than what we saw this episode (and the fact people called her names in high school)? Because friendship is supposed to be a two-way street. This doesn’t seem like a friendship yet. Right now it’s like a tentative acquaintanceship with a shitload of issues between them that they need to clear up before even thinking about moving onto the “friends” phase. Romantic ambiguity doesn’t make BFFs, show! (The "strange attractors" really doesn't excuse a thing. At all.)

Ok, I’ve never been in a sorority or known anyone who was. However, the sorority people are allowed to go, masked, into peoples’ rooms and snatch them in the middle of the night? Have the pledges signed some kind of waiver for this, or is the university aware of it? Because some very bad people could take advantage of such a ripe situation to hurt people. (Also, Claire, LOCK YOUR FUCKING DOOR!! Your life has been a series of disasters and people breaking into your house. If you’d lock your damn door once in a while, people would probably stop assaulting you! Though Claire kicking peoples’ asses was great. Noah would be proud of you!)

The sisters are going to transport their pledges in the trunk of a car? While cute for an intense and awkward “romantic” conversation, Christ on crutches that’s dangerous. The girls obviously can’t wear seatbelts, might get burned from the muffler, could breathe in a dangerous amount of fumes, or could get hypothermia. And God forbid that car getting rear-ended or in some other kind of accident. This sorority sucks.

Heh at Claire knowing when the sorority was founded. Yeah girls, if you want to get in, learn about the organization! I know this is the worst possible example of a sorority, but I’m guessing some are good places, and it’s obvious Sandra had a good time when she was in college. There must have been some great mother-daughter bonding time looking at the old sorority pictures.

Oh, and wow, continuing with the “Saw” theme, the pledges (only four this year out of the two dozen we saw a few episodes ago?) are made to run around an abandoned slaughterhouse. Where are all these abandoned slaughterhouses? Because movie villains seem to be able to use them quite a lot. And again, I hope the pledges signed something, because that’s a stupidly dangerous place to be. Slick concrete floors and stairs, cold, dirty, possibly infectious, with abandoned knives, hooks, and other industrial equipment lying around. This isn’t funny, not for a gag, not for a hazing, not for anything. I worked in a heavy industrial environment for close to three years, and that shit can kill or maim you in an eyeblink. This sorority sucks hairy donkey balls.

Becky, you amoral heartless bitch. Don’t fuck with Claire Bennet, because she will hand your ass to you on a platter even while IMPALED ON A WALL! Yeah! You go girl!

(The ride back home to Arlington is going to be awkward. Seriously.)

I think I loved the Noah-Jeremy-Tracy-Sheriff’s department story most of all. Because it was real. Despite the powers behind it all, it was a case of everyone had reasonable reasons for what they were doing, everyone believed they were right, and I could see almost everyone’s point of view.

Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing Noah Bennet to be able to dazzle his way through most bureaucratic nonsense, but Sheriff Hard-Ass did have a point. Jeremy was accused of killing his parents. Jeremy already has a rap sheet. Jeremy is known to have killed animals and has a notebook full of death-related poetry and drawings. Yes, this is circumstantial evidence, but they’re also not good signs, at all. These are reasons to hold him while further evidence is gathered, which sucks, but there it is.

Noah calls for back up… and it’s Tracy! Um, why was the Haitian conveniently absent? Because being able to blank out a few memories might have really fucking helped in this situation. Le sigh. Also Noah doesn’t have a back-up plan. That frightens me. I wish Noah had run. Taken Jeremy, gone with Peter, and called the police from the road. Because facing the music is going to go so horribly wrong…

While making Tracy into Jeremy’s aunt is fairly clever, did Noah have a fake ID machine hidden in his tie or something? How did he manage to get a hold of a good fake ID in such a small town? He sure as hell couldn’t have made it in advance!

Jeremy’s complete disillusionment with “Mr. Bennet,” is sort of telling. That kid hates himself like whoa. Tracy sharing her “death moment” was so sad. She was trying so hard there that I could almost feel her straining to make that connection. I love how that makes her start busting out all those favors people owe her to get something important done.

Samuel, what the hell kind of power did you use now? Do you have a teleporter standing by to whisk Tracy away to the carnival? An invisible teleporter? Because I’m getting kind of sick of your wacky interventions.

Hee! I loved Tracy calling Samuel on the bullshit of joining up with him. “Yes, I’ll have a ‘home when I can belong.’ I’ll also be living in a trailer, roaming from place to place in all weather, in semi-squalid conditions. I’ve killed for my apple martinis and overpaid lobbyists before, Samuel. Don’t touch my shinies!” Really. There are certain realities to your lifestyle, Sammy. Consider them carefully before offering it to the Material Girl of the Heroes cast.

(The firebreathing family was kind of cute though. Aww!)

Hmm, Samuel might be crazy, but he also has a point. In a carnival, people could live openly with their powers and be happily accepted. Like that one episode of Angel where the half-demon kids said they could only walk the streets openly on Halloween.

Aw, Nathan recognizes Tracy and their bonding over post suicide attempt rescue sex! Samuel exasperatedly tries to explain things to him like he’s three years old. Get over yourself Sammy! You got Nathan in Sylar’s body, stop treating him like an infant! You might even like the Nathan version better than Sylar. Because, you know, Nathan’s not a mass murderer. Just saying. Try something new, Samuel, you just might enjoy it.

Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck, when they took Jeremy out of the sheriff’s office, I knew nothing good was going to come of it. Noah, why didn’t you take him out the back door? It’s a small town, everyone knows him, no one likes him, and the kid is danger personified. Bad, bad, bad! I think Jeremy wanted to basically commit suicide by cop, which is why he didn’t heal the man he touched.

I got a horribly sick feeling in my stomach when I realized what the redneck and the deputy were going to do to Jeremy. No. Just no. Please, dear God, no. I don’t know if everyone remembers this, but there was an actual incident of a black man being dragged to death in a racially-motivated killing in the American south in 1998 (and there have been other similar incidents in recent years). It was shocking enough when Supernatural referenced that incident last season (in “Yellow Fever”), but this was even worse, in some ways, because Jeremy didn’t even fight. He wanted to die, and these fearful, cruel men did it in the most heartless way possible.

I want to believe in a better humanity than this.

*Deep breath*

Ok, I’m back. Noah and Tracy’s good-bye was so sad. I could see Tracy crumbling, and her considering Samuel’s offer showed how much she’s changed. Noah realizing that he can’t even do an imitation of what he used to, can’t make people disappear, was such a shock to the system. He can’t be anything of what he was. These people need homes and support, not to be invisible and forgotten. Noah got involved, but not enough, and it burned him. Don’t give up Noah!

Samuel is a bad enemy to have. Really. Judge, jury, and executioner, and how the hell do you run from a building collapsing all around you? He’s a scary, scary man!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ashedrake
Oct. 28th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
Jeremy's story line made me cry so hard... It was... He was just standing there! Seventeen years old and given so much up that he won't even fight being dragged behind a car until he dies....
*heartbroken*
And I'm still disturbed by how much he looked like Luke's little brother (and someone give that actor a medal because he was good. I kept praying that Luke had found a place to stay safe, because this was a little too close for comfort.

Also, I'm with Samuel on this one.
jaune_chat
Oct. 28th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
I was watching the scene where the dude was wrapping the chain around Jeremy's feet and going, "No, no, no, no way, no, please God, no..." over and over again. That just hit me on several visceral levels of moral squickitude.
godiloveslash
Oct. 31st, 2009 12:45 am (UTC)
I was doing the "Oh My god NO," at the screen too during Jeremy's death scene. I have little stomach for intolerance and I actually cheered Samuel on when he sank the police station.
jaune_chat
Oct. 31st, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
Emotionally, having Samuel bust out some earthy revenge was very satisfying.
godiloveslash
Oct. 31st, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Very much so...say what you will about his plans but Samuel knows what it's like to be different and knows how to deal with it.
ilikethequiet
Nov. 11th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
Here cuz I'm compiling the meta for this episode. Weren't you just waiting for Noah to hug Tracy at the end? *heartbroken*
jaune_chat
Nov. 11th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
Even just a platonic hug of comfort would have gone a long way for both of them. They needed a tiny instant of something not going wrong, both of them.
ilikethequiet
Nov. 11th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I need to write that fic I think, OMG! Huggies! *hughughug*
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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