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Heroes Commentary 4x13 and 4x14 - Upon This Rock and Let It Bleed

*Dramatic guitar sting* When we last left our intrepid Heroes, Nathan had died but good this time, Sylar gets himself alive, all the lies were about to come crashing down, and the plot is starting to show signs of coherance.

Mohinder yawns us into the second half of season 4. He must have plenty of time to think up new and interesting ways of talking about existential crises and deep thoughts in the asylum.

Lydia is a clever woman, sending Claire to Samuel’s trailer so she’d seen the Primatech box. Samuel is anon FAIL for not checking his six when he’s running a nefarious scheme that involves a lot of new people running around. Also could he any more ostentatious in hiding the box? It’s counterintuitive

Huh. In order to get Claire to appreciate life as a carnie and make her want to join them, Samuel puts her to work picking up trash and hauling boxes. You know, I realize those are practical tasks that the new guy would do, but maybe you’d want to spare your newest acquisition the unglamorous hard labor until you’ve gotten her well and truly hooked?

And yes, Samuel tells Claire she can stay or go as she pleases. Uh huh. In a place where everyone is loyal to Samuel, and where Claire has no allies. Yes, that totally sounds like Claire is free to go wherever she wants! (If I were her, I’d be a hell of a lot more scared about being surrounded by several dozen strangers with powers. Just saying.)

Samuel has a flashback. Never a good idea. They never seem to help anything on this show. Particularly when they involve family or old flames. This will only end in tears!

Samuel, if you’re going to have someone keep an eye on Claire, how about you teach Eli about appropriate countersurveillance? Because lurking EVERYWHERE Claire looks is not going to foster feelings of family and fellowship within her. Matter of fact, it’s going to make her paranoid, particularly if you chase her. Please see Exhibit A, Claire p0wning Eli in the House of Mirrors.

Oh heavens, Claire examines Samuel’s box of Primatech files! There are names, names of people she knows! And then there’s a picture of Samuel and his brother. And then, horrors, there’s a map of the valley. A map! Scandalous! Horrific! What terrible plot could Samuel be up to if he has a topographical map of the area near his carnival? What?!

Hence her explanation of Samuel’s perfidy to Doyle doesn’t exactly help her look very balanced. You sound paranoid, Claire-bear. On the other hand, Doyle doesn’t sound very balanced either. The cult leanings of the carnival make themselves frightfully clear in this episode, starting with Doyle claiming that the carnival made him a good person. Uh… yeah. This place might be a great gathering point for freaks, but y’all are scaring me right now. You’re suborning your will to Samuel, and I think you’re all going to pay for it.

Though I find it extremely interesting that Doyle sent Claire to Lydia after she mentions Joseph. Doyle knows there’s something rotten in the state of Denver!

Hmm, a question. Samuel’s trailer was about a dozen paces from the exit to the House of Mirrors. So, basically, Doyle was using his powers to threaten Claire out in the open when he yanked her out of there. WTH?

The Hiro and Ando show, xover_exchange edition. Ok, I know this stuff with Hiro being all aphasic and stuff is supposed to be cute, but honestly? I couldn’t watch it. I fast-forwarded through most of it. Because this is the second time directly (the first being with Arthur “the Season-Destroying Monster” Petrelli), and far more than the second time overall that Hiro has gotten too close to being effective, so somebody fucks with his head so he can’t attempt to fix the plot. It pisses me off to no end that the writers can’t seem to handle an effective and motivated time-space continuum master. So instead they just fuck him over every time he starts doing something right.

First season, he was learning to use them, then they went wonky on him so he had to go on a quest to find a sword, and finally his powers deposited him in ancient Japan. Second season he spent most of it building and destroying his own idol while his poor buddy Ando languished in uncertainty. And then Hiro couldn’t even save his own father.

Third season, Hiro manages to have lost all his motivation from the second season to right any wrongs, and so going on yet another stupid quest for the damned formula. Arthur Petrelli regresses him to a child when he tries to fix something, and then Hiro spends the rest of the season on babysitting duty.

Fourth season, Hiro is dying, goes on yet another quest to right wrongs, and somehow manages to lose all common sense, strategy, fear of stepping on butterflies, and possibly his morals. Then he gets his brain scrambled when he told the season’s Big Bad “no.”

STOP MESSING WITH HIRO! For the love of alligators, he’s been screwed over worse than Nathan and Sylar combined. Possibly worse than the rest of the cast combined. Why can no one let this man be effective? Samuel SHOULD fear Hiro, and rightly so. Why can’t anyone let Hiro have the occasional BAMF moment instead of having him play the comic relief card every single time?

As an aside, Ando, it took you four seasons to get used to being the sidekick? Cripes… If you two haven’t figured out your dynamic from like twenty years of friendship, then maybe you need to talk to a therapist or something. Yes, yes, I know that Hiro being sick changes the whole thing more than a little but… Grrr. Let Hiro be cool! It’s ok if he’s cool! I’m totally fine with him being cool!

Now it seems that Hiro and Ando are going to rescue Mohinder from the horrible situation Hiro placed him in. Um, that’s not so much a rescue as a rectification. You aren’t doing a noble or heroic deed, you’re just correcting a horrible wrong you did. (And would you two stop making Kimiko sad by having Hiro run around all over the world when he’s brain-damaged and dying? This poor woman has gone through a hell of a lot for your two sakes!)

Has Emma never hunted for a job before? A slim envelope is never a good sign. I’ve been looking for a job for over six months, and a letter is almost always a sign of rejection. If they want you, they’ll usually call you on the phone. And I sure as hell hope she sent out more than one application. You have to be aggressive when searching for a job in a crowded field!

Samuel arrives to tell her he sent her his dead/missing/lost girlfriend’s cello. That’s either very sentimental, or very creepy. Hmm, it’s Samuel, so I’m going to come down on the “creepy” side.

So, Emma’s a siren? Wait… what? We go from seeing sounds to being able to pour emotion into them? Sure, fine, whatever, I can dig it. The deaf girl makes the most beautiful sounds, like the blind oracle of Delphi could see visions of the future. It’s just awfully darn convenient that she believes Samuel, is able to quickly harness her skill, and then perfectly play a song to lure precisely the right person to them. I suppose technically all of Emma’s other episodes were her “learning to use her powers” episodes, but that was back when all it was was a pretty light show. I personally think it would be a stitch for her to accidentally call every florist in a ten-block radius for the first few times before she got her “call” right.

Aww, Ian is pretty sweet though. A nice lad with a nice power that just wants to do nice things. Samuel manages to lay another layer of ambiguity on his intentions by having him create an Eden for the carnies. His heartfelt confession to Claire about Joseph’s death and the possibility of a homeland for specials is wickedly clever. He manages to push every single one of Claire’s buttons about the government, family, belonging, and her daddy issues. Sigh. Samuel, if it weren’t for the fact that you’re playing people like a damn violin and ordered several people to die, I could almost like you for this move.

(Just as a point, everything Samuel does with his hands is sexy. Him signing with Emma was rather distracting, and opening up a spring for Ian made me happy in the pants parts. I… don’t know what that says about me. I think I have a hand kink.)

Sylar arrives to put a cramp in Samuel’s style and threaten to kill everyone. He says everyone has plans for him. That’s unfortunately true. His mom, his dad, Elle, Noah, Arthur, Angela, Chandra, Mohinder, Peter, Danko, everyone. Actually, it’s pretty damn sad when I think about it. Cripes, this man would be a psychiatrist’s full-time job.

But Sylar can’t kill Samuel. Another sigh. Some little fangirl part of me is squeeing that Nathan’s memories are still rattling around in Sylar’s very pretty head and forcing him not to kill. Samuel has no such compunctions, and delivers the most gruesome death I think we’ve seen on this show to date. I’m a gore junkie so… wow.

Lydia is irked there’s an ex-corpse in her trailer. Irked like “someone left my lights on,” not “OMG ded bodie!!!!!!” Damn, this place must be a stitch on Halloween.

Also loved Lydia complaining about being thrown at Sylar as a psychic prostitute. Because right after Samuel says pretty much that’s all she’s good for, she waits until he walks away and then smiles in satisfaction. Yeah, thanks for confirming Lydia’s good opinion of you, and for pretty much letting her have carte blanche to do what she wills with Sylar. And hey, guess what? He ends up not staying like Samuel wants. Sucker!

What follows with Lydia and Sylar is the most awesome thing to happen to Sylar ever. Obviously, aside from the fact that he’s shirtless and Lydia comments on his lovely soft skin and they snog for five or ten minutes. Don’t get me wrong, that was nice, but the awesome part is when Lydia lays it all on the line for Sylar, showing us once and for all what his problem in. “You’re impotent.” A few thousand (or hundred… or dozen… or just us few over here in the corner…) fangirls just punched the air and squeed.

Lydia’s playing a strange game, but I shall love her forever for saying something that ballsy to Sylar’s face. He really did need a wake-up call. Knowing that you’re going to die alone, with no family to cry over you and mourn your loss (like Peter!) has got to be rough, particularly because he was probably a witness to what Peter said to Nathan at the end.

Sylar gets close enough to take Lydia’s power by empathy? Holy crap, the writers remembered he could do that! And, you know, Sylar is a tad killing-impaired right now and the show just wanted an excuse to swivel a camera around Zachary Quinto’s naked torso while ink swirls and Sylar tries to find a new directions in his life. … Um… yeah. ‘Scuse me while I mop up the drool, I’ll be back to you in a bit.

Damn. Angela decided to officially kill her son in a plane crash. That’s… I don’t know if that’s appropriate or stone cold. But that must have been fucking hell for Peter to help Noah do that. I sure hope Peter volunteered instead of his Mom asking him to do that.

The funeral… that was beautiful. It was as much a funeral for the fans as it was for the characters, and I know I wasn’t the only one getting choked up at the flag, the missing man formation of planes, or Peter’s entire speech. Thank you, Kring, for giving us a nearly-perfect funeral for our Nathan.

Nearly-perfect, of course, because Nathan’s sons were criminally glossed over. Don’t get me wrong, Peter taking lead at the funeral I rather expected, but Simon and Monty… Cripes, could you just have had them finishing their words to their dad right before Peter came up to do his speech or something? Acknowledging that Nathan has children other than his illegitimate daughter might have been… oh what’s the word? Classy. That’s what it would have been, classy.

Ouch, Claire takes the opportunity of Nathan’s funeral and pre-wake to unload a double-barrel load of hatred on her father. Damn I wish we could have seen the initial scene between Peter and Claire when they explained exactly what had happened to Nathan. Because while the angsty aftermath was very well acted on both Hayden and Milo’s parts, I think I could have used a little screaming catharsis. Or maybe that’s just me.

Damn, Peter has to endure a high society wake. That sucks hardcore, and not in the fun way. Him talking with Angela, I could see the cauldron of rage and helplessness and failure under that brittle façade. Not. Healthy.

The scene with Claire and Peter in the kitchen, Claire having a moment of stunning normalcy with being able to feel pain, and then remembering stories about Nathan, fabulous. Stunning scene, so very real, and so very sad that Peter couldn’t say a thing, a damn thing about his brother. *huggles them both*

Heh, Noah tries to be clever with Edgar. While I appreciate the use of the tazer and the privacy of the freezer (and the inclusion of Lauren, because I think she’s ended up in the “cool” camp), much of the rest I did not approve of. I can only explain Noah’s out-of-character behavior by the fact that his daughter hates him right now, he just had to bury his boss’s son, and he was still pissed off at being cut up. Because using truth serum on a guy and then beating the shit out of him is counterproductive overkill.

(‘Course, it does make me grin that we actually didn’t see Noah Bennet hit Edgar. Because the idea of Jack Coleman beating up Ray Park is friggin’ hilarious.)

Lauren’s too little, too late suggestion of using sweet words on Edgar is apt, but still not effective. I also resent the notion that all Englishmen like tea. My husband is English and he can’t stand the stuff. He’s a café latte man.

While Noah does make a valiant effort to establish empathy with Edgar when he asks about his background, he makes the critical mistake of trying to marginalize Edgar’s carney family when he knows damn well it’s a cult mentality. You just don’t argue with a cult mentality, it’s an exercise in futility. Edgar already did you several huge favors, Noah, by not killing you dead a hundred times over, for letting himself get beat up, and for opening up the problems of his very secretive clan to you. Countering that tentative trust with a promise to dismantle Edgar’s world as he knows it was a damnfool move.

Oh Peter, darling. Your hero complex just went off the damn charts. Knocking out the armed police officer so you could go in there to try to save the day? Cripes, you’re so damn lucky that A: Claire came along to help and B: Crazy office worker shot you in the shoulder instead of the heart or head. Some people just lose themselves in a bottle when a loved one dies, Peter tries to get his ass killed. Would someone give this man a coping mechanism? Please? He needs a hobby, a safe hobby. Or a pet. A friendly dog. A loving cat. Some kind of stabilizing outside influence that’s not knee-deep in the situation. Claire tried her best, bless her, but she’s got a whole set of related Nathan issues to deal with too.

So Peter tries to deal with them by regaining flight so he can say good-bye. *starts to bawl* Best use of West, ever. And so lovely to see Peter in the sky again!

Hella freaking creepy to see Sylar in the sky, pulling a West on Claire as he watches her in her room. Damn, does no one in this campus look out their windows? Ever?
Tags: commentary, heroes_meta

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