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Heroes Commentary 4x09 - Shadowboxing

Several instances of utter awesome! Extreme sexiness! And introspection…



Ok, I have to comment on the most significant event to happen on this episode. No, it wasn’t Noah and Claire teaming up. No, it wasn’t Gretchen realizing that danger is bad (unlike every other character this show has ever had). It wasn’t Becky and Samuel’s revenge scheme, Emma regaining her confidence, Peter exhausting himself, Matt and Sylar screwing each other over, or even Nathan having a brotherly reunion.

We learned the Haitian has a name. It’s René. Just like that, the biggest mystery in the show’s history has been solved after four seasons. Yay!!!!!! (More on that later)

We open with Claire doing damage control on her suddenly-informed sorority sisters. She’s learned a lot from her dad, as she pulls the “drugged water” card so fast the air is practically scorching. Though, you know, she could have sold it a little better. Maybe done a little trembling, or sounded more scared, or anything but just stand their calmly and announce it in the same tone like “You know, I bet I left my phone in my room.”

Gretchen says, “I saw you two making out.” Subtle, Gretch, real subtle. However, despite that, Gretchen proceeds to have the most logical reaction any character has ever made to having their life threatened: she’s scared. Honestly, sincerely scared for her life and what it might mean to try to be Claire’s friend. Hey, you wanted to be with Supergirl, Gretch, this is what it’s like to be MJ to her Spidey. Put up or shut up.

Ya know Gretchen, I don’t think you’re going to find anything on Becky’s nefarious plans on her personal website. The really smart villains always put their plans on LiveJournal!

I really appreciate that Gretchen is appropriately terrified at having her life threatened, and the fact that someone invisible could kill her whenever she drops her guard. Claire’s baby powder trick, while practical, isn’t exactly a comfort. (What is up with Claire’s shirt though? I was really distracted by the fact her t-shirt had a strap across the chest. What’s up with that?) Oh hey, Claire tells her to lock the door! Holy crap, she hasn’t done that in the history of the show! I’m impressed that all my years of yelling at the TV and bitching on LJ have finally produced results.

Ok, so Noah and the Haitian were at Claire’s sorority house cleaning up the loose ends, and they’re not immediately swarmed? Those are both very hot older men! Even if the sisters look at Noah and see their dad, you totally know you would have tapped the Haitian at that age. He’s totally tappable. So why isn’t he being swarmed by all the girls? That accent alone… *swoons*

Hee! Claire has rules for Noah about what he can and can’t do to her life. That amuses me.

What’s mildly less amusing is Noah says that when Claire calls him, he drops everything. Does he do the same for Lyle? Just every now and then I’d like someone to acknowledge that Claire has a brother and Noah has a son. Because I’m expecting Lyle to turn up as either a criminal mastermind, hapless criminal lackey, or drug addict due to everyone ignoring him all the time.

Claire protests Noah’s plan, until she realizes that yes, her father is not an idiot, actually has good ideas, and does, upon most occasions, have her best interests at heart. Yes Claire, having the Haitian along is actually a fabulous idea. Do remember that the man has more than one power. And, oh so casually upon leaving, Claire mentions the Haitian’s name as being René.

Wazza-wha? Almost three and a half seasons of this man not having a name, including the episodes where he was in Haiti and calling him “The Haitian” was the most awkward thing ever, and only NOW do they reveal his name? The fudge? Not that I’m objecting, it’s just… So random. Anywho. René is a sexy name. I like it. It suits him.

Back at the dorm, Gretchen announces she can’t handle being Supergirl’s BFF because the fear and danger is scary as fuck. FINALLY! A reasoned and measured response to having one’s life be in danger. Gretchen is absolutely correct that no amount of reassurance of Mr. Bennet’s competence or the presence of René will be enough to assuage her fears. Because what if René has to sleep or something? He can’t hang around Gretchen for the rest of her life, and she knows that. Sorry that it hurts Claire, but I’m actually really glad Gretchen has survival instincts the rest of the cast lacks.

That Noah pulls out a Claude reference when he’s hunting Becky is freaking priceless. He needs to make more references like that. His casual assumption of knowledge about specials makes him extra sexy. Yes, I’m weird like that. Smart is one of my kinks.

Hmm, I totally understand Becky’s need for revenge. She saw her dad killed by a mysterious stranger at a young age and couldn’t do anything to help him. We don’t know if her dad ever hurt anyone, or why Bennet was sent to his house. Maybe her dad was just defending himself and things got out of hand. Maybe Bennet was sent to kill.

However, this insistence on her not just hurting Noah but Claire too reminds me of a quote. I don’t recall what movie or TV show or book I stole this from, but it went something like this. At a young age, a boy saw his father murdered by a warlord. When the boy grew up, he confronted the warlord and was about to strike him down in the name of his murdered father, and was nonplussed to realize the warlord did not remember killing him. The warlord said, “Boy, to you, the day I razed your village was the most important day in your life. To me, it was Thursday.” Becky, your situation, while tragic, is not unique. I wish you could have spent your life trying to be happy, as your father sacrificed himself so you could live and be free. Instead, you squandered his sacrifice on anger and revenge. Get help, Becky. And by help I don’t mean the Sullivan Brothers Carnival.

That Noah quickly brushes off being caught alone in Becky’s room makes me squee. Clever beast!

It tickles me to absolutely no end that Claire kept Samuel monologuing until Noah came back. This is a girl who knows how to use a villainous monologue against its owner. Heaven help Mohinder if he ever turns evil again.

While it’s all hunky-dory that Samuel made his own family of specials and whatnot, he does reveal something very telling about himself while talking to Claire. He says he manages to not deal with the real world because he has his family. Essentially, he’s a coward. He refuses to try to live in the real world, or deal with anyone who’s not of his own kind.

“What Would Bennet Do?” FOR THE LOVE OF PETE SOMEBODY MAKE A BRACELET OR T-SHIRT OF THIS, STAT!!!!! This is the most awesome statement, ever!

Even though Noah spends approximately a quarter of the episode pointing and lowering his gun and/or tazer at people, I don’t mind. He’s sexy with a gun. (Yes, I know, I’m repeating myself. I can’t help it!)

The way Claire and Noah were standing together when Noah confronted Samuel made me grin like a madman. It was all, “One of us, one of them. Bitch.” Father and daughter, together, they fight crime!

Becky and Samuel’s “escape” kind of torqued me off. First off, where was René? He left Claire’s dorm in the middle of the day, and Noah didn’t get Samuel to the car until nightfall. It doesn’t take that long to get someone to the airport and back!

The carnies’ carefully engineered little brouhaha, meant to drive a wedge between Claire and Noah… eh, I don’t think it was as great a plan as they thought it was. Yes, Noah shoved Claire to the ground. However, unlike poor Sandra, Claire had a much more immediate understanding of the violence. And she can’t feel pain.

Noah’s insistence to Claire that he wants her to have all the happiness in the world and her kind of rebuffing that made me so sad. Claire, I know you have many reasons to be cynical, but it’s ok to hope! It’s ok to want those things. Hope keeps you sane. And if your dad, the King of Morally Gray can want those things for you, you can dare to dream. You lost a friend, a stranger offered you a new home, but you can make more friends, and Samuel is pretty much nuts. Chillax Claire, you can do it!

Nathan wants his life back. And his face back. Unfortunately, he can’t get his clothes back, and is stuck in Sylar’s threads, which are about three sizes too big. Show, we’re back to “shapeshifting doesn’t change clothing” again? Consistency, please!

I love, beyond all reason and measure, that the first thing Nathan thinks to do when confronted with danger is to fly back to Peter. He flies! EEEEEE!

In other news, how long has Nathan been missing? Four days? More? Because people should have started looking for him before now. People who wonder why the Senator is missing work. Secret Service. Mama Petrelli. Just saying, Senator Petrelli’s disappearance should raise some red flags.

Simultaneously, shouldn’t the carnies keep much closer tabs on their Sylar? Because they’re trying to reawaken a serial killer and all… Shouldn’t Lydia have figured out he was missing this morning instead of whatever ungodly hour Samuel and Becky return? Sylar could have been anywhere doing anything after like 12-16 hours missing. Scary thought!

Samuel says he’s the patron saint of lost causes. St. Jude farts in your general direction, Sammy.

I love how Matt decides to immediately dismantle his own life by getting Sylar stopped at the airport. While it’s a good idea in theory to slow Sylar down, giving that man a gun scares me. Probably he didn’t get it back, but still.

(“Italian Eagle Scout.” Oh Sylar, you make me happy in all possible ways.)

In other news, Sylar can use Matt’s power against him, and Matt can use his power against Sylar, but Sylar can’t use Matt’s power against other people? Huh. Ok. That’s convenient. And a relief. A Sylar with telepathy is a terrifying thought.

It’s shallow of me, but God Sylar is hot in that suit when he tries to change the tire. Seriously, if he were a salesman, I’d have no defense against anything he’d try to sell me. “Snuggie? I’ll take it! I’ll take twelve!”

Hmm, it occurs to me that Matt should try to pick his battles better. He doesn’t have full control over Sylar’s body, so he can only do little things like make him not see things or trip him. He apparently can’t stop Sylar from beating in the brains of a Good Samaritan. It made me so sad when Matt basically had to kowtow.

Wait, Sylar decides the best way to drive from Los Angeles to New York is to go through Texas? I mean, yes, I know I-40 is the fastest way to get across the country from L.A., and that goes through the Texas Panhandle, but is the Burnt Toast Diner there? It just seems absolutely unnecessarily cutesy and self-referential just to have Sylar be all “Tahitian pancakes FTW,” and make yet another Charlie reference, complete with the new timeline knowledge. Is Heroes that bankrupt for sets?

Heh, Sylar isn’t just being an evil bastard by holding the world hostage, he’s being really truly cruel by looking at Matt and initially asking for a Diet Coke. Sy-Sy, that was just really over the top. Truly. You’re already hijacking Matt’s body, spending his money, ruining his reputation and life, and now you’re going to needle him about his weight too? That was a petty dig!

Not so petty a dig was Matt marshalling his power to stop Sylar once and for all once Sylar reveals his intentions for another murder spree. What Sylar will never understand is that not everyone is like him. To him, people are either like Gabriel, weak and needing to die, or like Sylar, a rival for power. The former are to be killed, the later are to be tricked, then killed. He didn’t stop to consider that not everyone considers sacrifice a non-viable option. It didn’t even cross his mind that Matt would be willing to die in order to take Sylar with him. I so wanted to hug Matt when I realized what he was doing. The expression on his face when he tells Sylar that yes, he’ll die with him, but he’s going to do it anyway, made me choke up. That was tragically beautiful.

(I’m not going to think too hard about the previews for next week. I’m just going to bask in the awesome plot development of Matt’s sacrifice for what it’s worth right now.)

Peter apparently can’t budget his resources very well with Jeremy’s ability. He’s never been very good at budgeting his resources, and he looks like he’s going to join the crowd of people on gurneys at any moment the entire time we see him this episode. Peter, sweetie, please learn some restraint. Everyone needs help. This has always been the case. Trying to save everyone has resulted in you blowing up and almost killing your brother, nearly releasing a deadly virus and having your future-self killing your brother, fighting Sylar and-. Dang, now I see where this is going. Poop.

(In shallow news, Peter’s ass continues to look extremely grabbable in those tight pants. Damn.)

Emma, Stealth Surgeon! Good for her she was given a patient she could easily stitch up! Also good was the completely random little girl found unconscious (with no visible trauma!) with yet another ailment that Emma could fix with Peter’s help. Yay for fate throwing her a few bones of self-confidence! In other news, WTF? What the heck was up with the little fairy princess just lying in a storage room? How the heck did she even get in there? I didn’t even see any dirt or blood from her potentially being in that train wreck, so… where did she come from?

These are question that must not be answered, because it leads only to more cute piano bonding time between Emma and Peter. And Emma revealing why she quit her residency, sad. So sad. But glad Peter realizes he can save someone without saving someone with his powers. Like Hiro. I’m detecting a theme here.

I’m very glad for Emma that she can take up her white coat again. Extremely glad for Peter that he can become less serial killer and take all those damn articles off his wall. If we get lucky, maybe he’ll add an end table or a picture to his apartment. Maybe he’ll even go nuts and buy some milk and apples for his fridge!

Fortunately, Extreme Makeover: Peter Edition is interrupted by special guest star Nathan! In too-big clothes! Who hugs his brother desperately, NUZZLES HIS NECK (trufax, look at them!), and wibbles that he’s in trouble. I also wibble, I’m not ashamed to say. Vulnerable!Nathan is love. Brotherly reunion is love. Squee!

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
ashedrake
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:16 am (UTC)
At a young age, a boy saw his father murdered by a warlord. When the boy grew up, he confronted the warlord and was about to strike him down in the name of his murdered father, and was nonplussed to realize the warlord did not remember killing him. The warlord said, “Boy, to you, the day I razed your village was the most important day in your life. To me, it was Thursday.” Princess Bride shout out? :D
jaune_chat
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Man, I don't know if it was Princess Bride, Conan, or some other film, but it's a god quote!
ashedrake
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Yes:D and Becky really does have an overdeveloped sense of vengeance.

and honestly, if you're invisible, know where Bennet lives and have access to a weapon or, y'know, a stair case, there are definitely easier ways of taking revenge than "let's kill of his daughter's room mates". Just sayin'.
jaune_chat
Nov. 12th, 2009 02:39 am (UTC)
Even if she was still trying to stick to Bennet's plan of isolating Claire, what better way to isolate her than taking care of Bennet quietly? Not as emotionally satisfying when he doesn't know why he died, but then he wouldn't be on guard against an invisible girl. Just saying...
emurphy42
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:31 pm (UTC)
Street Fighter.
emurphy42
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
oh yeah, a link would be helpful
jaune_chat
Nov. 12th, 2009 03:41 pm (UTC)
There we go! Street Fighter! Damn, that was an awesomely bad B movie. :-D Thanks so much for the link!

Edited at 2009-11-12 03:42 pm (UTC)
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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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