Heroes Volume Two, Chapter Six: The Line

Claire tries out for the cheerleading squad. She doesn’t make it, even though she’s, like, so much better than the other girls, just because the mean head cheerleader is totally jealous of her. After a careful examination of Claire’s high school scenes in both this current season and the last, I’ve decided the Heroes writers were raised by wolves and thus have been forced to piece together their collective knowledge of American high schools solely from repeated viewings of She’s All That, Bring It On, and Never Been Kissed. There are many things Heroes does well. A realistic portrayal of high school life is not one of those things.

Mohinder and Monica are at the Company’s facility in upstate New York. More than his genetics know-how, or even his super-special virus-curing magic blood, this is why Mohinder is so valuable to the Company: he’s so gentle and pretty and non-threatening he can sweet-talk cute girls into accompanying him across state lines for the purposes of conducting unspecified medical experiments on them. Bob takes Mohinder aside and orders him to inject Monica with a modified version of the virus that killed his sister: it’s non-lethal, probably, but it will take away her powers.

As is his wont, Mohinder freaks out at this. He calls Bennet, who is still in Ukraine with the Haitian. Bennet is not the man to turn to for moral guidance: he scoffs at the concept of "principles", orders Mohinder to go through with it, tells him not to let him down, and hangs up.

Bennet and the Haitian visit Ivan, Bennet’s old Company mentor, who is played by Peter Parker’s landlord in Spider-Man. Bennet orders Ivan to disclose the location of Isaac Mendez’s final series of eight precognitive paintings, or else the Haitian will use his brain-wiping powers to… remove all of Ivan’s happy memories. Eh. That’s kind of a lame threat, Bennet. You can do better than that.

West and Claire commiserate about how it’s so totally unfair Claire didn’t make the cheerleading squad. They scheme to play a vicious prank on the evil head cheerleader. I’ve changed my mind about West -- he’s a perfect match for Claire, who, here, is every bit as much of a jackass as he is.

Mexico: Maya, Alejandro, and Sylar approach the border. Sylar starts putting the moves on Maya. A flirtatious Sylar is a terrifying thing to behold. Maya thinks Sylar is an angel sent to help them. Alejandro wants to ditch Sylar at the soonest possible opportunity. Alejandro is the smart twin.

So, Ando: Still in Tokyo. Still reading teensy little scrolls. Still thinking fondly of the days when he was an integral part of this series.

Feudal Japan: Hiro’s plotline hasn’t yet become exciting and compelling, but it’s showing small indications of maybe becoming exciting and compelling at some point in the not-too-distant future, which is surely a step in the right direction. Hiro, Yaeko and Kensei make plans to rescue Yaeko’s swordsmith father, captured by bandits way back in episode one.

Ukraine: Ivan won’t surrender the location of the paintings, even as the Haitian wipes away his happy memories. Ivan suggests Bennet rejoin the Company, as it’s the only guaranteed way to keep Claire and his family safe.

Mohinder refuses to inject Monica with the virus. This is not a surprise. He throws a highly ineffectual hissy fit. This, sadly, is also not a surprise. He stamps his pretty foot, tosses his pretty hair, flares his pretty nostrils, hurls a chair into the case containing the virus samples, and tells Bob he’s quitting. Bob manages to keep from giggling in the face of Mohinder’s fury.

Mexico: Sylar and the twins cross into the U.S. through a gap in the border fence. Minutemen ambush them. Sylar tells Maya to use the Black Eye Goo of Death on them. Above Alejandro’s protests, she slaughters their attackers.

West and Claire play a ghastly prank on the mean cheerleader. I have too much contempt for their actions to go into detail, but suffice it to say it’s stupid and dangerous -- both to Claire, who has been expressly warned of the dangers of revealing her powers in public, and to the cheerleader, who doesn’t deserve to be traumatized just for being a bitch. She gets kicked off the squad, Claire replaces her, and everyone’s happy, except for the viewers, who are left dearly hoping Claire gets her comeuppance for this bit of jackassery in a future episode.

Hiro and Kensei rescue Yaeko’s father, who has been forced by the bandits to manufacture guns. So guns have been introduced to feudal Japan far ahead of schedule; Hiro knows this means the timeline is still screwed up. When bandits open fire on them, Hiro teleports himself and Yaeko to safety, thus revealing the nature of his powers to her. Yaeko, rather belatedly, realizes Hiro is responsible for Kensei’s heroic deeds. She confesses her love for him. Hiro frets briefly about the irreparable harm he’s about to do to the space-time continuum, then throws caution to the wind and kisses her. Kensei observes them secretly. Enraged, he allies himself with the bandits, knocks out Hiro, and kidnaps Yaeko and her father.

In present-day Tokyo, Ando reads the final words of the final scroll from Hiro: "It was the kiss that fractured time."

Bob finds Mohinder sitting glumly by Molly’s bedside, having finally realized quitting in a fiery huff doesn’t do his still-comatose ward a lick of good. That’s Mohinder: world-class beauty, world-class scientific brain, and the common sense of a chipmunk. Bob apologizes nicely for trying to force him to compromise his integrity, explaining that he’s been under a lot of pressure to find some way to neutralize special abilities, as the Company is facing a new deadly threat in the form of a man named Adam Monroe. Bob promises to protect Mohinder from any further uncomfortable situations, then pats him on the head and gives him a cookie.

Sylar and Alejandro scuffle. Knowing Alejandro doesn’t understand English, Sylar reveals his plans for the twins: after he gets his powers back, he’s going to kill them both and take their abilities.

Ivan finally tells Bennet the location of the paintings. Bennet shoots Ivan in the head.

Bob escorts Monica safely back to her home in New Orleans. Meanwhile, Mohinder meets his new partner: it’s Niki, though it’s probably actually her super-strong, super-crazy, murder-happy alternate personality Jessica. This is the first time Niki and Mohinder have had a significant scene together, complete with meaningful eye contact and all kinds of crackling tension. Either these two gorgeous kids are going to wind up having crazy animal sex, which will delight half the viewing audience, or Jessica is going to beat him into a pulp, which will delight the other half.

Bennet and the Haitian find the eight paintings. We only get glimpses of them, but, in addition to the one depicting Kaito Nakamura’s murder, there’s one showing the after-effects of Claire’s stupid prank, one of Niki banging her fists angrily against a wall, one of a hand holding a vial, one of Peter standing in front of a biohazard symbol, and one of Kensei and Hiro dueling. Number seven in the series shows Mohinder with a bandaged nose, holding a smoking gun and crying; number eight is the one we've already seen of Bennet lying dead. I’m guessing there’s a certain cause/effect between those last two.

Caitlin and Peter go to the building in Montreal depicted in Peter’s own precognitive painting. Peter finds a mysterious note addressed to him, signed by "Adam", telling him: a) the Company is behind it, and b) the world is in danger. While he puzzles over this, the ability he absorbed from Hiro kicks in automatically, and he and Caitlin teleport to…

…Times Square, New York. It’s deserted and creepy. Peter finds an evacuation notice, dated June 14, 2008.



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