Heroes Volume Three, Chapter Five: Angels and Monsters

Let’s start with Peter, who, back on Level Five, is still completely nuts from absorbing Sylar’s intuitive ability. He attacks Sylar and breaks his neck. When Angela tries to stop him, he accuses her of withholding secrets and tries to slice open her head. Sylar comes back to life and knocks him out. Bennet arrives and tells Sylar he has a lead on another of the Level Five escapees. They take off in hot pursuit.

Inside a building labeled “Pinehearst”, Linderman asks Daphne how she feels about recruiting super-powered individuals to form a New World Order. He gives her some files on her potential targets, who include Knox and Mohinder. Daphne agrees to help, though she dismisses them as “pretty nasty people”. Now you’ve done it, Mohinder: your icky genetic experiments have been off-putting enough to make adorable blonde girls lump you in the “pretty nasty people” category.

In Costa Verde, Sandra Bennet finally figures out: a) there’s no cheerleading retreat, and b) her daughter is a lying liar who lies. She suspects Claire, on her newfound vengeance kick, is going to try to take down the people in Bennet’s files. Meredith helps Sandra sort through the files and finds one on a man she knows named Eric Doyle. Dismissing Sandra’s offer to help, Meredith takes off on her own after Doyle. When next we see her, she’s having dinner under duress with Doyle, who evidently has some kind of mind-control powers.

Claire, off doing her crime-fighting thing, tracks down one of the Level Five escapees to an empty house in Los Angeles (we’re probably not supposed to recognize it as Evil Alternate Universe President Sylar’s mansion from Season One). The escapee is named Stephen, but because he’s played by Andre Royo, best known as the heartbreaking junkie/informant Bubbles from The Wire, he’s going to be Bubbles from here on out. Bubbles sincerely doesn’t want to hurt anyone -- he’s just trying to find his wife and children, who moved away during the two years he was imprisoned in Level Five. He demonstrates his ability for Claire: he can open up cool little vortexes that suck people away into oblivion. When Claire realizes he has no intention of causing her harm, she offers to help him locate his family.

Mohinder, still evolving into a twitchy, evil, man/bug hybrid, slinks around a park and attacks a drug dealer. When they were handing out plotlines this season, poor Mo drew the short straw. He drags the unconscious dealer back to his lab, leaving a messy trail of blood. When Maya arrives to cop a quick feel, she notices the blood and beats a hasty retreat. She later sneaks into the lab and discovers Mohinder’s missing wife-abusing neighbor swaddled inside a large cocoon stuck to the wall. When she tries to free the neighbor, Mohinder catches her and binds her up in another cocoon.

Claire helps Bubbles arrange to meet his wife and kids in Griffith Park. Bennet and Sylar storm in to recapture Bubbles, who opens up one of his vortexes. Claire screams and clutches desperately at the furniture to avoid getting sucked into oblivion. At the last possible second, Sylar grabs her hand and saves her life. Digression: you know the episode of Doctor Who where Rose gets sucked into the vortex between the two parallel universes, and the Doctor is helpless to save her, and it’s looking like it’s curtains for poor Rose, but then her father swoops in and transports her to the other universe, thus saving her life but forever separating her from the Doctor? Wow, that’s a great episode. I’ve seen it a handful of times, and every single time, I bawl and bawl and bawl. I bring this up because this scene is startlingly similar in almost every way, except for how the version in Doctor Who is wrenching and poignant and emotionally devastating, whereas this version made me snicker.

Anyhoo. Sylar saves Claire, the vortex closes, Bubbles escapes in the confusion, Claire yells at Bennet for working with Sylar, Sylar apologizes to Claire for cutting her head open and poking around in her brains, Bennet yells at Sylar to stay away from Claire, Claire makes Bennet promise not to hurt Bubbles. Claire, Bennet and Sylar track Bubbles to Griffith Park, where he’s sitting in a funk, his wife and kids having failed to show up. Over Claire’s vehement protests, Bennet pulls a gun on Bubbles and orders him to create a vortex to destroy Sylar. Fed up with the Bennets and their interfamilial squabbles, Bubbles sucks himself into a vortex instead.

After much duress, the exhumed Adam Monroe agrees to help Hiro and Ando track down the stolen formula. He takes them to a bar, which he claims is one of Daphne’s haunts. Adam makes a break for it, but Knox apprehends him. Daphne and Knox confront Ando and Hiro. Hiro claims he wants to work with them. Knox grabs a convenient sword (I can think of so many reasons why bars shouldn’t have big displays of lethal weapons on the walls) and orders him to kill Ando to prove his loyalty. Hiro stabs Ando, who collapses in a spreading pool of blood.

Post-coital, Nathan asks Tracy if she’s going to try to kill herself again. She confesses to accidentally killing the reporter with her freezing power. Nathan takes it in stride and talks her out of turning herself in to the police. He tells her his powers came from God; she tells him her powers came from a doctor in Reseda. This throws Nathan for a bit of a loop. Nathan, who knows how to show a girl a good time, stops by Level Five to introduce Tracy to his mother, who has put crazy Peter into a medically-induced coma. Angela reveals how synthetic abilities were given to baby Tracy as well as to baby Nathan, which pretty much sticks a fork in Nathan’s God theory. Nathan manages to summon up some shock and moral outrage about Angela’s role in these experiments. Honestly, after Angela tried to talk him into letting Peter blow up New York, you’d think nothing about his mother would faze him. Nathan and Tracy storm off, intending to ask Mohinder for help understanding Tracy’s abilities.

In her office, Angela hears Tracy scream. She runs out and finds Tracy, Nathan, and Peter dead in the hallway. This all turns out to be one of her precognitive dreams, but when she wakes from it, she finds she’s paralyzed at her desk.

Daphne returns to the Pinehearst facility and explains to Linderman that she’s recruited Knox, Hiro, and Adam. Linderman instructs her to go after Matt next, telling her he’ll be the most difficult one to bring in. Matt? Really? We’re talking about Matt Parkman, right? When Daphne leaves, we discover Linderman has been merely a psychic projection generated by Matt’s evil dad Maury. Oh. Maury’s back. Joy.

Inside Pinehearst, a comatose man on life support communicates telepathically with Maury. This man, who appears to be the mastermind behind Pinehearst, is Arthur Petrelli, Angela’s presumed-dead husband and father to Nathan and Peter. I’m sure NBC’s promo department knows what it’s doing, but this shocking last-minute revelation might have packed more punch if a commercial cheerfully hyping Arthur’s return hadn't been airing all week long.

A fine, perky, fast-moving episode, though just to summarize: Peter tries to kill his mother, Hiro (supposedly) murders Ando, and Mohinder turns into a crazy, evil bug-man. I know this is just Heroes’ fast and sloppy way of giving the nice characters some edge, but I would prefer not seeing all my sweet-natured bunny rabbits turning into homicidal twits. The show’s got plenty of those already.


Dan said…
Ah, but on the plus side, their number one homicidal twit is turning into a sweet-natured bunny rabbit. So that evens it out.

(Where I'm using 'evened it out' in a very approximate (ie inaccurate) sense.)

Also, was I the only one who, when Claire-Bear's mothers were squabbling and Birth Mother said 'I don't see the point in you coming along, Adoptive Mother. Can you do this?' and shot some flame from her hand, wanted Adoptive Mother to say 'No, but I have a cigarette lighter here somewhere'?

Sticking with Claire-Bear. If I had to hang out with her and HRG for more than a few seconds, I'd probably vortex myself into who knows where too.

Also, I can't believe Ando's dead!! That, to me, was the real twist of this episode. Wow! Hiro really, actually killed him. Poor Ando. Oh, Hiro, how you've changed... again.

Sigh. No. But I am curious as to how they get out of it. Maybe Hiro stopped time and replaced this Ando with future Ando as some impromptu first strike revenge scheme. That's certainly how I'd do things if I had control over all time and space.
Morgan Richter said…
I just assumed Hiro froze time, dreamed up some cockamamie scheme involving collapsible swords and fake blood, then unfroze time and implemented said scheme. Sure, it does leave a gaping plot hole as to how Ando would know enough to play along with this, but when have gaping plot holes ever slowed this show down? I don't know, Heroes, if you're going to make me think Hiro has suddenly turned into a ruthless killer, you're going to have to try harder than that.

I'm relatively certain Bubbles jumped into the vortex just to avoid listening to Claire-Bear and HRG squabble. If I had a cool vortex power, I would do the exact same thing. I did appreciate Sylar's "Hey, wait!" expression when he started to realize HRG was planning on killing him.

Dear Heroes:
Please give me back my sweet, pretty, non-icky Mohinder. I miss him.
Ingrid Richter said…
I have this theory that Mohinder just has a small, quarter-sized patch of dry skin on his back and is horribly overreacting...

Also, why did he fly all the way to LA to pick up drug dealers in "Central Park"?
Morgan Richter said…
Sheesh, you New York types. So critical! What, you mean "Central Park" didn't fool you? Yeah, Heroes sometimes does an okay job of making Los Angeles locations look appropriately New Yorkish... but "Central Park" was not one of those times.

Don't worry, Mohinder! I get dry, scaly skin in winter too! All you need to do is pick up a tube of hydrocortizone for $1.79 at your local CVS. That'll clear that bumpy crap right up. Sticking people in cocoons is a bit of an overreaction.
Ingrid said…
"My skin! My once-beautiful smooth skin!"
Morgan Richter said…
I bet when Evil Alternate Future Mohinder was scuttling about his lab and hiding in the shadows, he really just didn't want Peter to see the unsightly zit he'd developed on his forehead. I like that explanation better than having him looking unspeakably ugly.

Also: Maya, hon, I'm on your side, but when the crazy evil bug-man tells you to stop using your super-deadly power against him, you don't have to obey.

Also #2: All this is well and good, but I'm sure what we were all really wondering last episode was: Where's Matt? What's he up to? Because I think some quality screen time should have been devoted to watching him follow that turtle across the desert.
Dan said…
The turtle is obviously training Matt offscreen - the Charles Xavier to his... uh... I dunno, who is the lamest of the X-Men? Iceman?

And Mohinder should just speak to Claire-Bear and borrow some of her Neutrogena™ product range. Clear that skin right up.
Morgan Richter said…
Oh, Matt. I'm hoping the turtle trains him to embrace his inner evil. I'm still disheartened by the peek at his squeaky-clean Evil Alternate Future with Daphne and young Molly. Be evil, Matt! All the cool kids are doing it! Peter tried to slice open his mom's head, for crying out loud; the least you could do is start using your mind-control powers for personal gain.
Morgan Dodge said…
One more vote for the turtle to return please. Speaking or not, that there turtle is a pivotal character and I'm sick of them neglecting that fact. (Are ninja skills too much to hope for?)

Peter, like all good crack addicts, just wanted to steal his mom's... brains.
Morgan Richter said…
While I remain less convinced than either you or Dan of the madcap plot possibilities suggested by Matt's turtle, I would happily swap Claire-Bear, or indeed anyone with the last name Bennet, for the turtle. Dagnabbit, Claire, I've given you multiple chances to work your way ito my good graces, and you've let me down every single time. And whilst I think HRG is awesome when he's doing his shady Company Man thing (and I'm sort of digging his partnership with Sylar), he quickly becomes my least favorite character whenever he has scenes with Claire.

Also, how badass is Angela Petrelli? Her son tries to slice off the top of her head, and the next scene she's walking around with just a tiny forehead suture.
Dan said…
Angie P is awesome. Claire-Bear could learn a lot from her about how to 'man up' and take a good head-slicing. Uncle Peter, Uncle Sylar, it matters not. Just chill out and deal with it, girl. Heads are sliced open every day by people trying to read brains - there's no need to get in a funk about it.

Re: the turtle. I just can't wait to see where he fits in the family tree. I'm thinking he might be West's step-brother.
Morgan Richter said…
Seriously. So Sylar cut off the top of your head and poked around in your brains for a while. Granted, that's not going to go down as your best day ever, but you're just fine now, aren't you, Claire? When Sylar cut open Uncle Peter's head in Season One, you didn't see Peter skulking around feeling sorry for himself afterward, did you? Nope, he just pretended to be dead for a while, then healed himself up and got on with his life.

Maybe the turtle can hang out with Mohinder's lizard. If Mohinder hasn't eaten it, that is.

One thing I've forgotten to mention: doesn't it seem a wee bit anticlimactic, after several weeks of buildup involving Legendary Supervillain Malcolm McDowell, to suddenly reveal that Legendary Supervillain Malcolm McDowell is just a psychic construct created by Maury Parkman? I mean, who has more potential to inflict villainous terror: the guy from Caligula, or Matt's frumpy dad?
Ingrid said…
There are only two rules in life: never invite Caligula to your wedding and never let Alex and his droogs into your home...

But wait! If we go by reliable source Molly, isn't Maury supposed to be *MORE EVIL* than Sylar?
Morgan Richter said…
Yes, that's right. Per Molly, Maury is EVEN WORSE than Sylar. Then again, lately Sylar has been fetching coffee and making waffles and apologizing a lot, so maybe Molly knows what she's talking about.

There are some people out there who will insist McDowell's peak villainy came when he killed Kirk in a sub-park Trek film. Those people have never seen him fisting the groom on his wedding day in Caligula (Worst. Wedding. Ever). Betwixt that and his merry escapades in A Clockwork Orange, offing Shatner is small potatoes.

Not that Linderman ever whipped up much menace on Heroes, but the potential was sure there.
Morgan Dodge said…
Ya'll talk about the wedding in Caligula like it was the stuff of nightmares. I've been to a wedding or two in my day and at least that wedding wasn't boring. Granted, it may be easy for me to talk since it wasn't me getting violated by McDowell at my wedding. And I'm pretty sure I'll take Ingrid's advice and not invite the guy should I ever get married. But still, it wasn't a boring wedding.

I don't want to come across as anti-Shatner. I love his albums. But I'm going to have to say that maybe killing the cartoon that Kirk had become was doing the world a favor.
Morgan Richter said…
I know there are some even more disturbing scenes in Caligula, but it's the wedding that seared its way into my brain. I mean, he uses wedding-cake frosting as a lubricant. Some things just aren't right.

Boy-Morgan, I'm still in your debt for exposing me to Shatner's cover of "Common People". Whenever I'm having a bad day, I bop around my living room to it, and the world suddenly looks much brighter. I met Shatner when he made an appearance on Talk Soup, and he was a delightful man. Still, no, the death of Kirk didn't seem like much of a tragedy, everything considered.

Topic: how awesome does Quinto look as Spock?:
Dan said…
Quinto as Spock is totally awesome. Not awesome enough to get me watching the Star Trek movie. But, still, very cool.

I've just pulled out my Official Molly Rankings of Evil table to determine whether Lindeman is above or below Maury Parkman.

Here's what it says:


1. Mr Muggles
2. Lindeman
3. Tim Kring
4. Angela Petrelli
5. Maury Parkman
6. Original Sylar
7. HRG's former boss who he shot in the head and whose name now eludes me
8. Future Sylar
9. President Nathan
10. HRG from the first half-season


24. Current Sylar


78. HRG since the first half-season

Thanks Molly.

And I'm not even going to enter the wedding discussion because, frankly, I don't see what the problem is. Frosting as lubricant. Fisting the groom. Inviting Malcolm McDowell. All pretty standard celebratory behaviour down here. (And you thought we just got wasted on Fosters™)
Morgan Richter said…
I've always known Australia was a wretched hive of sexual deviancy and all-around bad behavior. Because, you see, I used to watch Farscape.

The Trek reboot may very well suck, but man, I'm all in favor of that cast. Not just Quinto as Spock, but Karl Urban as McCoy? John Cho as Sulu? Simon Freaking Pegg as Scotty? I haven't been this excited about a cast since I first heard about the upcoming live-action GI Joe movie (Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cobra Commander and Christopher Eccleston as Destro. I owe some casting director a muffin basket, because this is clearly going to be the Hamlet of GI Joe movies).

You mean Hiro doesn't make Molly's Official Ranking? Because he totally killed Ando, you know.
Dan said…
Heh. Not even Molly's going to fall for that.
Josh Jackson said…
Are you disappointed that Heroes has taken all the supervillain potential wind out of Sylar's sails? I watched the series early on and thought I was enjoying the formative years of the greatest villain since Magneto.

Well I got back into the show as time permitted (the military has a funny way of keeping you from the shows you love) just in time to see future Sylar as a repentant, doting father. :O Who then promptly goes suicide bomber. 8O

Now as I implied earlier, I'm still catching up on a huge swath of the series, and may yet find my answers somewhere on your website. Nice to "see" you again!


P.S. I'm moving back to Spokane in January
Morgan Richter said…
Josh! Great to hear from you. Glad you've joined in on the comments section lunacy here.

As to Sylar, I think it's a bit of a cheat that they're excusing his prior supervillainy as just a side effect of his power ("See? When Peter has Sylar's power, he becomes equally murderous! It's not Sylar's fault that he's evil!"). I also think Sylar's more fun when he's lopping open heads left and right. That said, I'm getting a bit of a kick out of the kinder, gentler, waffle-making Sylar. We'll see where it goes.

Ingrid and I were in Spokane in June. Odd place, Spokane.
Dan said…
I like the idea of Sylar having occasional bursts of coffee-fetchin' goodness. After all, even Magneto spent some time sucking up to those X-Men brats.

Having said that, I also get a kick out of the talking turtle, so take everything I say with a grain of whatsisname.
Josh Jackson said…
Well, I suppose no one can be 100% villain. Even Claire-bear doing her best Angie Dickinson (which was awkward) had a soft moment - er, second.

Spokane is odd indeed. I was there last month visiting my daughter. In all the places I've lived or visited, Spokane is still the best place for finding pretentious yuppie and blue-collar gritty literally side by side. Recruiting there should be interesting...
Morgan Richter said…
I'd grouse more about how totally ineffectual I find the new, evil, vendetta-driven Claire, but mostly I'm just terribly relieved the show has veered away from all cheerleading-related plotlines. I'm trying to reward the writers for good behavior, so I'll limit myself to pointing out that perhaps Evil Alternate Future Claire is a smidgen less intimidating than intended.

I don't think I appreciated Spokane's utter schizophrenia while growing up there. It wasn't until this summer, when Ingrid and I were staying at a hotel in the sketchy part of downtown, which was down the block from the posh part of downtown, that it started to really sink in that it's a very confused place. Nice parks, though.

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