Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heroes Volume Three, Chapter Three: One of Us, One of Them

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.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroes Volume Three, Chapter Two: The Butterfly Effect

Angela Petrelli has a creepy precognitive dream in which a band of villains, including Adam Monroe, Maury Parkman, Niki/Jessica/Tracy, and Sylar, slaughter Hiro, Matt, Peter and Claire. She visits Evil Alternate Future Peter, who has set himself up in a lair covered with infinite paths of string representing different timelines, much like Evil Alternate Future Hiro’s lair in the first-season episode “Five Years Gone”. Angela warns him her dream means he’s already messed up the future.

Maya goes to Mohinder’s lab. Hey, you know what would be awesome? If Mohinder’s plotline could be expanded to encompass more characters than just Maya, that’s what. She finds him shirtless and dangling from the rafters, the serum having given him the ability to crawl up walls. It’s also made him super-strong, super-speedy, super-agile, and super-horny. He smooches Maya, whips her shirt off, and rolls around on the lab table with her. Later, he wakes up, post-coital, and discovers he’s experiencing some bad side effects of the serum -- namely, sticky disks of crud forming on his back. I’m torn: on the one hand, I’m delighted Heroes has decided at long last to exploit Sendhil Ramamurthy’s phenomenal physique by having Mohinder shed his clothes. On the other hand, I’d just as soon not see him covered in sticky crap.

Matt wanders through the desert and passes out. Congratulations, Matt! You’re this season’s lucky recipient of the Ando Award for the Loneliest Subplot Ever. Matt revives and meets a man who, like the late Isaac Mendez, can paint the future. The man gives him water and tells him he’s in Africa. There then ensues a terrible, ghastly, soul-killing plug for Sprint that makes the outlandish Nissan product placement of seasons past look positively subtle and tasteful by comparison.

Hiro identifies the feisty blonde thief as one Daphne Millbrook. Hiro and Ando teleport to Daphne’s Paris apartment, where Hiro gives Ando the details of the death of Evil Alternate Future Hiro at the hands of Evil Alternate Future Ando. Aghast, Ando theorizes EAF Hiro was murdered by a robot instead. Aw, Ando, I’ve missed you. Hiro steals Daphne’s prized track medal and offers to swap it in exchange for the stolen half of the formula. Daphne gets away with both the medal and the formula, but Hiro places a tracking device in the medal, with the intention of trailing her to the other half of the formula.

Following Sylar’s attack, Claire loses the ability to feel pain, which makes her worry she’s losing her humanity. In an attempt to prove she’s still alive, Claire makes a tape of herself getting hit by a train. Yeah, I’m not sure how that works, either. Just prior to impact, Evil Alternate Future Peter, still in the guise of Present-Day Peter, flies in and saves her. He apologizes for not protecting her from Sylar, but refuses her request to help her become stronger so she can protect herself.

It’s revealed that Tracy is Governor Malden’s advisor. This naturally explains why she was wearing skimpy lingerie in her introductory scene last episode. Impressed by Nathan’s religious zeal, Malden wants to appoint him to a recently-vacated seat as the junior US senator from New York. He sends Tracy to recruit him. After some difficulty, Tracy convinces Nathan she’s not Niki, about whom she appears to know nothing, and fills him in on Governor Malden’s plans for him. Nathan accepts the offer on the condition Tracy join his staff.

A newspaper reporter harasses Tracy, threatening to run a story that she’s secretly a Las Vegas stripper. He has both the photos from Niki’s website and a copy of the Nathan/Niki sex tape from season one to back him up. Tracy tries to wrestle the tape from him and freezes him to death with her touch.

In the hospital, Linderman and Nathan play a game of chess. When the nurse comes in to tell Nathan to go to bed, it turns out no one apart from Nathan can see Linderman.

At the Primatech facility, Elle finds Bob dead, his head cut open. She heads down to Level Five, opens Noah Bennet’s cell, tosses him his gun, and tells him Sylar is in the building. Sylar arrives and telekinetically hurls her aside. When he starts to cut her head open, she generates an enormous explosion of blue lightning that knocks out Sylar, along with all the power in the facility. The prison cells open, and all the prisoners--including Present-Day Peter, stuck in Jesse’s body--make a break for it. Angela, who, with Bob’s death, is now in charge of the Company, captures Sylar and restrains him. She fires Elle for causing the escape of the inmates.

Noah Bennet visits Claire to warn her about the escaped villains. He’s off to chase them down, but he’s arranged to have Claire’s fire-starting birth mother Meredith stay with her to protect her.

EAF Peter goes to Level Five and finds Present-Day Peter, in the body of Jesse, has escaped and is on the run with the other escapees

In Primatech, Sylar is strapped down to a bed. Angela comes in, removes his restraints, and drops the bombshell that she’s his mother.

This can't possibly be a good thing.

Heroes Volume Three, Chapter One: The Second Coming

After a ten-month hiatus, Heroes is back in fine form with a double helping of zest, aplomb, and cheerful nitwittery. Let’s get to it: we open in Manhattan, four years in the future. Evil Alternate Future Peter (the one with the honking scar across his face) tells a gun-toting Evil Alternate Future Claire he’s going back in time to change the past and thus prevent a grim future. EAF Claire shoots him. EAF Peter stops time, steals EAF Claire’s gun, and teleports to present-day Odessa, Texas, where Nathan is in the middle of The Worst Speech in This or Any Other Universe from last season’s finale. EAF Peter shoots Nathan, thus bringing the speech to a merciful close.

In Costa Verde, Claire sees the news announcement about the attack on Nathan. She calls Peter, who is in the ambulance with a critically-wounded Nathan. Peter tells her to stay put. Nathan dies on the operating table but, in grand Heroes tradition, magically returns to life.

While investigating Nathan’s shooting, Matt runs into Evil Alternate Peter, who has been impersonating Present-Day Peter. To prevent him from ruining his plan to murder Nathan, EAF Peter teleports Matt to the middle of a desert, location unknown, then heads to the hospital to finish the job. Nathan, meanwhile, leaves his sickbed and wanders into a church, where he tells a handy news crew that, in light of his miraculous recovery, he’s decided he’s here to do God’s bidding. EAF Peter lurks in the shadows and prepares to shoot his brother, but hesitates when he hears him yammer on about God. (In lesser hands, I’d be dubious about this religious-zealot plotline, but Adrian Pasdar just might be wonky and cool enough to pull this off. We shall see.)

Back in the hospital, the presumed-dead Linderman appears to Nathan and claims to be the one who brought Nathan back to life. Malcolm McDowell, sir, it’s good to see you back on the show.

Tokyo: Hiro, with Ando at his side, has inherited Yamagato Industries from his father (didn’t Season One establish Hiro’s sister as Kaito’s heir?). Hiro watches a DVD Kaito made posthumously, in which he entrusts Hiro with one sacred duty: never, ever, ever open the safe in his office, as the contents have the potential to destroy the world.

So Hiro opens the safe.

Ando is appalled by this. He babbles on about dishonor and betrayal and how Kaito was like a father to Ando. Oooooooh, at some point this season, we’re totally going to find out that Hiro and Ando are brothers, aren’t we? The safe contains half of a chemical formula, which is snatched out of Hiro’s hands by a red blur. Hiro stops time and discovers the red blur is a feisty young blonde thing who can move at super-speed. She’s adorable, but her appearance does kind of beg this question: does Heroes really need any more cute, feisty young blonde things? The feisty blonde knocks Hiro out and escapes with the formula.

Hiro takes a quick jaunt into the future to see if, per Kaito’s warning, the world is really going to be destroyed, now that the formula has been stolen. He teleports into the middle of a mess of sirens and riots, where he spots Evil Alternate Future Hiro battling Evil Alternate Future Ando. EAF Ando shoots bolts of red electricity from his hands, kills EAF Hiro, and steals the formula, just before what looks like a gigantic electrical surge destroys Tokyo. Hiro zips back to present-day Tokyo and tells Ando they really, really need to recover the formula.

Brooklyn: Mohinder has just stuck young Molly on a plane to parts unknown to keep her safe from Sylar. Maya wants Mohinder’s help in getting rid of the Black Eye Goo of Death. Mohinder decides to return to India instead. Perturbed, Maya unleashes the Black Eye Goo of Death, but manages to reign it in before killing him. From this, Mohinder realizes the special abilities are caused by adrenaline yadda yadda neural pathways yadda glands yadda genomes, and he’s thusly inspired to stay in New York and continue his work. Using Maya’s adrenal glands, he whips up a serum that can give special abilities to anyone. It’s safe to conclude Heroes has not yet ponied up the cash to hire a science advisor. Maya urges him to destroy the serum. Perhaps to symbolize Mohinder’s flirtation with the dark side, he’s doing all kinds of unflattering things with hair gel. Go back to the fluffy, crazy curls, Mohinder! Wild, uncontrolled hair is your friend!

Sylar breaks into Claire’s house, indulges in some evil banter, and attacks her. Claire knocks him out with a cheerleading trophy, then grabs a butcher knife and runs for it. Welcome to Heroes, newly-competent Claire! Stick around, will you? Already you’ve been more useful and proactive and, dare I say it, likeable than in all of last season. Sylar takes a break from hunting Claire to snoop through her father’s files on the various super-powered people held by the Company. Claire sneaks up and stabs him. Sylar lops the top of her head off. Thanks to her regenerative ability, Claire remains awake while Sylar prods about in her brain and figures out the secret of her healing ability. He gives Claire the top of her skull back and tells her she can never die. Now that he’s gained her powers, neither can he.

Governor Malden (Bruce Boxleitner) watches news coverage of Nathan’s spiritual conversion with rapt interest. He’s joined by a lingerie-wearing blonde woman who answers to the name “Tracy Strauss”--yet who is the spitting image of Niki/Jessica.

Angela Petrelli confronts EAF Peter. Her special ability--the power of precognitive dreams--is revealed for the first time. She had a vision of the stolen chemical formula destroying the future. Angela tells EAF Peter he’s messed up the course of history by shooting Nathan.

On Level Five of the Primatech facility, Present-Day Peter is right where Evil Alternate Future Peter has hidden him: trapped in the body of Weevil from Veronica Mars, who, here, is playing a Company prisoner named Jesse.

Mohinder goes down to the docks with the intention of tossing his power-giving serum into the ocean, because apparently there are no waste baskets in his laboratory. Naturally, Mohinder decides to inject himself with the serum instead. I have this theory that, somewhere in the Heroes writers’ room, there’s an enormous jar filled with slips of paper, upon which are written a series of entirely random actions, i.e. “Shoots Noah Bennet” or “Returns to India” or “Discovers his own magical blood” or “Shacks up with Matt Parkman”. Whenever the writing staff needs to figure out Mohinder’s next course of action, they pull a slip out of the jar and run with whatever’s written on it. This time, they chose the “Gives himself superpowers” slip. When muggers attack Mohinder, the serum kicks in and gives him super-strength and super-agility. He beats the crap out of his attackers.

In an episode-concluding voiceover, Mohinder quotes from “The Second Coming” and takes us into the credits. Just as a side note, Mohinder’s voiceovers greatly improve when they’re scripted by Yeats instead of by the Heroes writers. But perhaps that went without saying.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Self-amusement as an art form:

A couple months back, I salvaged a basic coffee table my neighbors were throwing out. It was made of cheap, heavy pressboard covered in formica, with no interesting architectural details, but it was in decent shape. I already have a perfectly splendid coffee table, one which Boy-Morgan daringly rescued for me off of a construction site scrap heap during a recent visit and which I sanded and stained and varnished until it looked fresh and new.

Still, I thought there was probably something interesting which could be done with this other table.

Last night, I coated it in black acrylic paint. Then I decoupaged the top with a mixture of school glue, water, and twenty-one form rejection letters for Charlotte Dent that I've received from literary agents.

I coated the letters in varnish mixed with a drop of brown paint to bring the glaring whiteness down a notch. The effect isn't noticeable in these lousy photos (I'm still using the $20 Walgreens digital camera, and it's a good workhorse, especially outdoors, but indoor photos look pretty rough). Up close, it looks like they've been stained with coffee, or, in keeping with the struggling-author theme, with cheap whiskey and cigarettes and a thousand tears.

After the decoupage dried, I painted in a black border and coated it in varnish.

There's a possibility I spend too much time being self-amusing. I'm sure this also violates some rule of feng shui, as nothing says "bad energy" quite like keeping a whole bunch of form rejections always in sight.

Still, there was something heartening about getting some practical use out of those cursed letters. And it's a heck of a good conversation piece.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Chickenjoy and Yumburgers

I walked to Glendale today. Somewhere in Atwater Village, as I was hoofing it along Los Feliz Boulevard, this Heroes-decorated bus whizzed past me. Notice the prominent image of Maya, whose solo character poster is still nowhere to be found on bus shelters anywhere in Los Angeles. Damn it, I feel like she's taunting me. If she's emblazoned across the side of a bus, she's got to be on a bus poster somewhere in the city. Right?

Some have theorized that Maya's poster isn't at any of the bus stops because she's not an especially popular character. Working on that theory, based upon the general number of posters I've seen throughout L.A., the most popular character on Heroes is... Ando. I've seen more Ando posters than anyone else, though he's followed closely by Mohinder. Least popular posters, apart from Maya: Peter, Hiro, and Matt.

Yeah. That popularity theory kinda breaks down under scrutiny, doesn't it?

Kind of a sucky walk, actually. I had some jerk in a van following me from Griffith Park all the way to the outskirts of Glendale. He kept honking and heckling, then he'd circle the block so he'd be waiting at the intersection whenever I'd cross, then he'd double back to drive past me again. I finally got rid of him by making a big show of taking a photo of his license plate, then I ducked inside a mini-mart until he abandoned the game. Hey, drivers? Don't do this sort of crap.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with the fantastic Heather Stewart about obscure fast-food chains, and we both mentioned our mutual fascination with/confusion about Jollibee. Jollibee is a Philippines-based fast-food franchise; it has a restaurant in Los Angeles on Beverly between Vermont and New Hampshire, in a Central American neighborhood located in Koreatown (...I know. Just go with it). I walked by Jollibee this morning, en route to Glendale, and snapped a photo. I love the general lunacy of the Jollibee decor (doesn't "Jollibee" sound like it belongs in an L. Frank Baum book? Didn't Dorothy encounter the Jollibees in Oz along with the Whimsys and the Cuttenclips and the Fuddles?). The gleeful bee mascot (just look at him, peeking cheerily out of the window) and the signs advertising Crispy Chickenjoy and Juicy Yumburgers (Chickenjoy? Really?) never fail to brighten my day.

I've never eaten at Jollibee, but apparently their signature dish is... spaghetti. I mean, obviously.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Burbank Bounty: Matt Parkman

My suspicions yesterday were correct: Burbank is a hotbed of Heroes posters. I found this one of Matt on Alameda, just east of NBC.

Sure enough, in the blocks around NBC, Heroes has a stranglehold on the bus shelters, often with two back-to-back posters at a single bus stop.

I could have spared myself yesterday's walk, because I saw probably close to ten Sylars today, including this one back-to-back with Mohinder (to take this, I had to stand in the middle of Magnolia with traffic bearing down on me. Hence the half-assed framing).

I saw every single character poster in Burbank today, most multiple times.

Well, almost.

You know who I didn't see? Maya.

Does a Maya poster exist? I've been proceeding on faith that one does, just because it would be odd to give the other eleven regular third-season cast members their own individual posters and skip over poor Maya, but there's been no trace of her.

And this is especially vexing: some rat bastard (rat bastards, plural, most likely) has been stealing the Heroes posters from the bus shelters. You know that photo of that Mohinder poster in yesterday's blog post? He's gone--there's nothing but empty space where he used to be. The Claire on Wilshire and the Hiro on Wilshire have also been swiped. On Vermont and Hollywood Boulevard today I spotted maybe a dozen empty spaces where posters had been stolen. No way to be sure those were Heroes posters, but why do I think people aren't stealing the Beverly Hills Chihuahua posters?

Anyway, this was today's route: since I've done Wilshire to death, I took the bus down Wilshire to Vermont to save myself the walk (I spotted the missing posters from the bus). I walked up Vermont to Hollywood and then west on Hollywood Boulevard to Highland. Hopped the subway through the hills to North Hollywood. Headed west on Magnolia into Burbank. Walked all around Burbank, on Magnolia and Hollywood and Buena Vista and Olive and Alameda.

Burbank is lovely. I like Burbank. It's got plenty of cute bakeries and pretty little restaurants and a great public library, which are the sorts of things that make my soul happy. However, thanks to the way it's nestled in the pretty hills, Burbank also has INSANELY MONSTROUS SCORCHING HEAT in the summer months. Especially today. The heat kind of knocked me on my ass during my aimless wanderings. Unpleasant!

After exhausting Burbank, I headed east on Alameda into Glendale. The intention was to check out the poster situation in downtown Glendale, but I couldn't make it there--I took a shortcut that got me mired in a no-man's-land by the Metrolink tracks, and I was badly faltering in the INSANELY MONSTROUS SCORCHING HEAT, so I caught the first bus out of Glendale and back into Los Angeles. It dropped me off in Chinatown, where I found plenty of Heroes posters... but still no Maya. Wandered through the jewelry district and Pershing Square and Bunker Hill before giving it up and catching a bus home.

So I overdid it today. Feeling pretty crappy right now, actually. The total mileage is hard to figure, what with all the random dithering around, but the first leg of my journey (Vermont/Hollywood) was 5.42 miles, the second leg (North Hollywood/Burbank/Glendale) was 8.8. Add the downtown meaderings to that, and I walked over fifteen miles again today.

I'm done. By now, I've seen every poster multiple times... but no sign of Maya. Until I have proof a poster for Maya exists and I'm not just tilting at windmills, I'm going to stop actively searching for her. Over the past nine days, I've walked over a hundred miles. I've visited the following cities and neighborhoods in search of these damn posters: Los Angeles, West L.A., Westwood, Brentwood, Santa Monica, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Rancho Park, Palms, Culver City, Century City, Koreatown, Downtown, Hancock Park, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, Los Feliz, Little Armenia, Thai Town, Little Ethiopia, and Chinatown. I've cut a huge swath through the city.

Plans for tomorrow involve sitting in a cold, dark room and drinking endless glasses of iced tea.

Monday, September 1, 2008

At long last: Sylar

Epic Heroes Poster Quest Update: I found Sylar today, along Third just east of the Grove. Finally.

I have no excuse for not finding this one earlier. I spend a great deal of time at the Grove in any given week. I was there Tuesday night, in fact, following a fruitless day of poster-hunting, dining with a friend at the Whisper Lounge (we split the tuna tartare, a shrimp cocktail, and an awesome hummus platter. I like food) before watching Hamlet 2 (thumbs up: "Rock Me, Sexy Jesus" is worth the hype). We drove right past the poster. Would've been swell if I'd spotted Sylar then.

Yup, the photo's crap, isn't it? I took about eight pictures, and this was the best of a crummy lot. High noon on a cloud-free summer day in Los Angeles, with the midday sun reflecting off of glass... yeah, it's not good. Apologies. And yes, once again, you can see my phantom reflection in the photo.

(Still, it's all relative--if you think that phantom image is bad, check out this one of Mohinder I took in Koreatown last week, in which my reflection is almost more visible than the poster. I'm fighting an uphill battle here.)

Great merciful Zeus, this is getting hard. I struck out yesterday in my attempt to find one of these few remaining posters. Yesterday's route: east on Melrose from Highland. I went through Hollywood, past the Paramount lot and over to Western, where I headed north to Sunset. East on Sunset to Vine, south on Vine/Rossmore to Beverly, a quick layover on Larchmont to rehydrate at Jamba Juice, then I dropped down to Third and headed west toward home. Total mileage: 11.77. Spotted two Andos and two Angelas, but no Sylar, no Matt, no Maya. Failure!

Today: Started out west on Pico to La Cienega. I'm saddened to report that Mo' Better Meaty Meat Burgers on Pico and Fairfax is now a Walgreens. I never got around to eating at Mo' Better Meaty Meat Burgers, but I sure did like the name. I went south on La Cienega to Venice and headed west through Culver City. Culver City was a bust--I only found one miserable, paltry poster of Peter Petrelli (nearby Sony Pictures had an iron grip on the bus shelters: so many House Bunny posters!). I crossed through the neighborhoods of Palms and Rancho Park: north on Overland to Pico, west on Pico to Sawtelle, north to Olympic. Caught a bus on Olympic to Avenue of the Stars, then systematically walked through all the streets of Century City--Galaxy, Constellation, Century Park East, Century Park West--but only spotted one repeat Niki poster. Scooted over into adjoining Beverly Hills and walked along Santa Monica to Beverly Boulevard. Took Beverly east through West Hollywood (detoured at Bristol Farms for bread and Gatorade) to Fairfax, dropped down to Third at the Farmers Market, then walked past the Grove. And there was Sylar.

Mileage on foot today, not counting the stretch on the bus: 7.67 miles for the first leg of my journey, 8.15 miles for the remainder, for a total of 15.82 miles.

Getting a little tired of this, frankly.

Tomorrow I'm picking up a day pass for the bus and checking out some of the areas that are difficult to reach on foot. NBC is in Burbank, and I have a hunch that area might be fair teeming with Heroes posters (as Sam Gamgee might say, if he were so inclined as to go hunting for Heroes posters). Only Maya and Matt are left: if I can scratch them both off my list tomorrow and be done with this, I'll be ever so happy.