Heroes Volume Two, Chapter Four: The Kindness of Strangers

A strange yet satisfying episode of Heroes this week. No Peter, no Hiro, and you know what? Much as I love them both, I'm okay with that. And wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles – the Maya/Alejandro plotline gets interesting in a hurry when they, along with Derek, the American they picked up at the jail last episode, stop to help a man passed out in the middle of the road… who turns out to be Sylar. Is there nothing the addition of a brain-eating serial killer can't improve?

In Costa Verde, Mr. Bennet quietly freaks out about the painting of Claire embracing a stranger next to his bullet-riddled corpse. He gets all overprotective and paranoid and forbids Claire from dating. Claire ignores him and sneaks around with West. I shall write nothing further about this plotline until such time as odious, pompous West is unmasked as a villain. This will happen in due course, I'm pretty sure. The writers can't possibly intend for us to accept this overbearing, bullying twit as a legitimate good guy/romantic interest, right? They have more respect for their audience than that, I'm sure of it. Right, guys? Right?

Katrina-ravaged New Orleans: Micah stays with his great-aunt Nichelle Nichols and his cousin Monica. Not that this show needs any more major characters right now, but Monica's a cutie: upbeat, cheerful, and totally oblivious to the way her life kinda sucks. Monica, who works double shifts at a burger joint to make ends meet after her mother's hurricane-related death, has the ability to replicate any motion she sees (both examples shown in this episode – carving a rose out of a tomato and, somewhat more usefully, kicking the crap out of an armed robber – are based on actions she observes on television, so it's possible her powers are limited by that).

Nathan visits his two small sons, who convince him to shave off the muskrat glued to his chin. You may be forgiven for not remembering Nathan has sons, as they haven't been seen or mentioned in too many episodes to count. Normally I get cranky when children are used as rarely-seen props on television shows, but Nathan's exactly the sort of guy who would have a couple of well-groomed kid-props whom he trots out whenever it strikes his fancy, then otherwise ignores.

Angela Petrelli, hospitalized after the mysterious attack at the police station, confesses to the murder of Kaito Nakamura. When Matt, suspecting a lie, reads her thoughts, she mentally urges him to let the matter drop. Nathan, now clean-shaven and sporting a flattering new hairdo, consults with Matt about his mother's arrest. Nathan offers to show Matt the group photo from which the mutilated pictures received by Kaito Nakamura and Angela Petrelli prior to Kaito's death were taken. Nathan wins this episode's Big Pile of Awesomeness award for his fabulously nuanced reaction – stymied and uncomfortable, yet somehow easygoing and polite – when Matt, without provocation, starts unloading on Nathan about how his telepathy ruined his life and his wife got pregnant with another man's baby. Nathan shows Matt a photo of twelve people at a Petrelli family gathering: his late father, Angela, Linderman, Charles Deveaux, Kaito Nakamura, Mohinder's boss Bob from the Company, and a bunch of strangers. Matt identifies one of the strangers as his own long-missing father.

In Mexico, Maya babbles excitedly to Sylar about how she and Alejandro are headed for New York to meet Chandra Suresh so he can help them control their abilities. Sylar mentions that he's an old friend of Chandra's and he'd be delighted to accompany them, leaving out the part about how he broke Chandra's neck. At a rest stop, Sylar quietly murders dead-weight Derek and heads for the border with the oblivious twins in tow.

Matt discusses his absent father with Molly and Mohinder, who looks like India's Next Top Model in a cornflower-blue shirt. Hats off to the wardrobe department for their rigorous and ongoing attempts to discover exactly which color looks most flattering on Sendhil Ramamurthy. (Answer: All of them.) I know I tend to go on about Mohinder's beauty, but here's the thing: there are many beautiful people in the world, quite a few of whom have found employment on this show. And then there are those precious few whose beauty, if properly harnessed, could either bring peace and comfort to a weary world, or cause mass rioting and the downfall of civilizations. Such is Mohinder.

(The above paragraph may be summarized thusly: Mohinder looks good in cornflower.)

Matt wants Molly to use her people-finding ability to locate his father. Molly looks at the photo and shrieks in terror: Matt's father is the man who haunts her recurring nightmares – the man with the power to see her whenever she thinks about him. Despite Molly's protests, Matt decides to be a dick and asks her to find him anyway. Ever notice how the Dark Side™ is strong with Matt? He stole the diamonds last season, he used his telepathy to cheat on his detective's exam, and now he's jeopardizing a kid for his own purposes. Sure, he's still a few leaps away from becoming the Hiro-torturing, Bennet-murdering creep glimpsed in last season's Evil Alternate Future episode, but he's clearly on the path to evil.

Peeved at Matt's request, Mohinder calls Matt out on his abandonment issues. Matt foolishly questions Mohinder's expertise in the area of daddy issues, whereupon Mohinder points out that his own daddy issues were the bedrock of his character arc last season and, indeed, the launching point of the entire series. Nonetheless, above Mohinder's objections, Molly agrees to swallow her fears and locate Matt's dad. She uses her ability to track him down to an apartment in Philadelphia… and then falls into a coma.

Nice going, Matt.


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