Another fast-paced corker of an episode kicks off in the Level Five prison facility, where Angela Petrelli tells Sylar she’s going to take good care of him from now on. She strokes his face and nuzzles him in a most inappropriate manner, which might the creepiest thing she’s done to date, seeing as: a) he’s her son, and b) he’s Sylar. Angela releases Sylar’s restraints and sends in Bridget, a young woman with the ability to see the history of any object she touches, for the purpose of “feeding” him. Angela strolls out of the cell as Bridget screams in terror. Remember back in Season One when Angela’s villainy was confined to shoplifting socks and maybe implying to Peter that Nathan secretly didn’t love him? You’ve come a long way, baby.
Peter, trapped in Jesse’s body, goes along with the band of rape-happy, kill-happy, super-powered escaped criminals as they knock over a bank. For such a basically decent and guileless fellow, Peter sure involves himself in a surprising number of major felonies. A soulless, violent creep named Knox (played by Jamie Hector, best known as soulless, violent Marlo on The Wire) leads the escapees. Knox’s super-power is a bit esoteric: when he’s fueled by fear (in this case, from the terrified bank hostages), he can punch straight through people. I don’t want to know how he first discovered he could do this.
In Level Five, Bennet tells Angela he wants to hunt down the escapees. Since the Haitian is on another assignment, Angela gives Bennet a new partner: Sylar.
This will work out swimmingly.
In Costa Verde, Sandra Bennet serves waffles to Claire’s birth mother Meredith and puts up with far too much sullen backtalk from Claire, who wants to drop out of school and become a crimefighter. Sandra shoots down this idea, but Claire plays hooky so Meredith can teach her how to fight. Meredith locks Claire inside a metal trailer and uses her ability to start a fire and burn up all the oxygen. As Claire suffocates, Meredith interrogates her as to her motivations for wanting to fight evil. Claire confesses she wants to hurt Sylar for attacking her. Meredith urges Claire to just be a normal teenager.
Later, Sandra and Meredith get into a standard-issue birth mother-versus-adoptive mother squabble when Sandra confronts Meredith about helping Claire cut school. The Ghost of Tedious Cheerleading Plotlines Past rears its short-skirted and pony-tailed head when Claire scampers off to a cheerleader sleepover retreat. Luckily, it’s all a ruse: with Bennet’s top-secret Company files in tow, Claire skips town and heads off to hunt Sylar on her own.
On the trail of the stolen formula, Hiro and Ando track Daphne to a movie theater in Berlin. Hiro and Daphne lose their powers, thanks to the proximity of the Haitian, whom Hiro remembers, not fondly, from Season One’s Evil Alternate Future episode. Good catch, Heroes continuity elves! Perhaps to make up for the complete lack of Mohinder this episode, Sendhil Ramamurthy’s real-life wife, Polish-born knockout Olga Sosnovska, makes an appearance as the Haitian’s contact, who gives him the other half of the formula. When Hiro embarks on some overly-complicated plan to steal the formula, Ando knocks out the Haitian and swipes it first. Hiro, who still has lingering trust issues concerning Ando, demands to know what he’s doing. Ando: “I’m being awesome!” Heh, Ando, yes, you are. While Hiro and Ando bicker, Daphne zips in and steals the formula. The Haitian revives and collars Hiro and Ando before Hiro can stop her.
In search of answers regarding her doppelganger Niki, Tracy visits a funeral home in New Orleans and finds Niki’s corpse in a coffin. (Niki, it must be said, looks suspiciously dewy and untouched for someone who died a ghastly, fiery death in an explosion). Tracy encounters Micah, who, being a sharp little fellow, instantly realizes she’s not his mother. He uses his technology-manipulating powers to do the world’s greatest Google search and discovers both Niki and Tracy were born in the same hospital on the same day.
Tracy tracks down the obstetrician listed on her birth certificate, a Doctor Zimmerman in Reseda, who initially identifies her as “Barbara”. When Tracy explains who she is, the doctor enigmatically proclaims he created her.
Matt and his African buddy take a spirit walk through the desert. We’ve yet to learn his buddy’s name, but the closed captions call him “Usutu”, so that’s what I’m going with. On a show already featuring a character named “The Haitian”, I’ll be damned if I’m going to refer to him as “The African”. Usutu shows Matt a series of precognitive paintings he’s made on rocks, all of which depict key moments in Matt’s life. The paintings include an unrealized future vision of Matt looking ecstatically happy with a wife and a baby. (It’s impossible to tell from the painting, but Matt’s future wife looks something like Daphne, or it could be psychotic loose-cannon nymphet Elle. The idea of a future Matt/Elle romantic hookup both delights and frightens me). Usutu claims the future has now been altered, and this vision will no longer comes to pass. He paints a new image of Matt carrying a dead woman. Matt vows to stop this potential future from happening.
Sylar and Bennet, whose new partnership is equal doses awesome and cornball, with perhaps a bit more emphasis on the cornball side, arrive on the scene of the bank robbery. Chaos ensues: Knox figures out Peter is an imposter, Bennet faces off against Knox, Peter uses Jesse’s powers to do something cool with shockwaves, and Evil Alternate Future Peter arrives, freezes time, separates Peter from Jesse’s body, and teleports off with Peter. Sylar and Bennet apprehend the escapees, but Sylar locks Bennet outside the bank, then kills Jesse and takes his power. Knox escapes in the hubbub.
Mohinder gives one of his episode-closing monologues over a montage of scenes: Matt spaces out in the desert, Micah mourns for his dead mother, Nathan reads the Bible, and the Haitian locks Hiro and Ando up in Level Five. Sylar, too, is returned to his cell. The Haitian asks Bennet if he’s been replaced as his partner by Sylar. Bennet says it’s only temporary: as soon he finds Sylar’s weakness, he’s going to kill him.
You’re three for three thus far this season, Heroes. Keep it up.