Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Five: Exposed

Aw, man. Is there anything lonelier than a Mohinder-free episode of Heroes?

In Costa Verde, Claire is still harboring cute water-breathing fugitive Alex. She buys him a train ticket to Albuquerque and cheerfully tells him he can start a new life there, away from all his friends and family. Alex seems pretty easygoing, but this fails to thrill him. When Sandra stumbles across the cute boy hiding in her daughter’s closet, Claire explains, “Dad was after him! I didn’t know what else to do!” Oh, Claire. I like your moxie, but when hiding fugitives from your father, maybe stashing them in your own house is not the swiftest move.

When agents stake out the Bennet house searching for Alex, Sandra decides to suddenly become awesome. She converts Lyle’s drivers license into a fake ID for Alex, chirping about how she used to do this as a teenager to go to Def Leppard concerts, then distracts the agents while Claire smuggles Alex off to the train station. En route, Claire and Alex engage in a bunch of sexy shenanigans like rolling around in the bushes together and hiding in a pool, where Alex (naturally) has to smooch Claire to share his oxygen with her. Not like she’s in danger of drowning, being immortal and all, but I can appreciate the flimsy excuse to get these two attractive kids to swap spit.

After successfully shipping Alex off to Albuquerque, Claire and Sandra fire up some celebratory microwave popcorn, only to find creepy puppetmaster Eric Doyle in their kitchen. Doyle is the proud recipient of a text message from the still-unidentified Rebel, which says Claire will save him.

Luke and Sylar continue on with their Road Trip of Monstrous Irritation. They stop at an abandoned hotdog stand, where, with the aid of a couple of Fleetwood Mac songs (no, really), Sylar unearths a repressed memory from 1980: his father murdered his mother with the same trademark forehead incision Sylar uses on most of his victims. Sylar goes berserk and gets scary with Luke and pins him to the wall. Instead of killing him, he send him home to his mother, then grimly heads off by himself on a quest to kill his father.

Back at Building 26, Danko tells Bennet and Nathan that Peter and Matt are now their top priority targets. He gives his goons permission to shoot to kill. Nathan demands Danko make an exception for Peter. Danko, for his part, is getting noticeably peevish about constantly having to make exceptions for Nathan’s felonious family members.

In Mohinder’s lab, Matt paints up a storm. It’s the same painting over and over, featuring Matt with explosives strapped to his chest. Matt and Peter receive a message from Rebel, who provides them with an address where Daphne is being held and warns them that agents are on their trail.

Peter and Matt head to DC to save Daphne. Peter swipes Matt’s power so they can tag-team each other with the mind control. They hilariously mind-whammy their way through Building 26, leaving a string of dazed and confused agents in their wake. When they hack into the computer system, they discover Daphne has already been moved to a different facility. Meanwhile, Rebel sends them the incriminating video of all the captured super-powered people being herded onto the plane. Matt and Peter decide to use the video as a bargaining chip to secure Daphne’s release.

Bennet, Nathan and Danko spot Peter and Matt on the security cameras. Bennet, who tends to know all sorts of things that the viewing audience doesn’t, explains that Matt’s nerves become super-sensitive whenever he’s using his powers. They incapacitate Matt with lights and loud noises and capture him, but Peter scampers away with the incriminating evidence.

Peter calls Nathan and tells him he’ll trade the evidence for Matt and Daphne. Hey, Peter, you know Nathan has Mohinder in custody too, right? You remember four episodes back how Mohinder totally saved your life when he kept you from flying out of that big hole you punched in the side of the plane? Have Matt and Daphne saved your life recently? No? Since you’re making deals, maybe you could ask Nathan to throw Mo into the bargain as well. Just a suggestion.

Bennet shows up to make the exchange, but telepathically tips Peter off that it’s a trap. Peter gets shot in the arm in the resulting melee and (somehow) topples off the side of a parking structure, but Nathan flies in and saves him. Thus far in the series, Peter has jumped, fallen, or been thrown from a truly absurd number of rooftops. I’m not complaining, just making an observation.

Nathan takes Peter to meet with Angela. Claiming he wants to fix the harm he’s done, Nathan tries to convince Peter to surrender the evidence and turn himself in. Peter’s not buying it. He gives Nathan a big hug, steals his flying ability, and zips off. It’s a very basic rule: Never hug a Petrelli. They’re sneaky! Angela, who has used her ability to glimpse the future, whispers something disturbing and inaudible to Nathan..

Peter releases the video of the military operation to the press. Meanwhile, Danko straps explosives to Matt’s chest, injects him with some kind of drug, and drops him off in front of the Capitol.

Comments

Ingrid Richter said…
Good review and a thoroughly watchable episode last night!

I noticed that Peter was able to absorb Matt's power though his clothes. Hmm.

Got a kick out of Sylar 'accidentally' flinging pieces of the hot dog restaurant at Luke. And that was even before he had a Fleetwood Mac song stuck in his head.
Jason Gilman said…
Not too bad of an episode this week. Looks like Sylar might actually have some motivation to retire the head slice maneuver, although I could see him using it on his Dad first.

Not trying to free Mohinder does seem like a pretty unfortunate oversight by the writers/Peter. If Peter didn't actually want to free Mohinder one throwaway line could have been enough to clear things up when Nathan asked if he wanted anything else. It's just sloppy for Mohinder to not even be mentioned.

Now that the Puppetmaster is in her house I think Claire's story just got a lot more interesting, although I actually liked aqua comic shop guy.

Matt's in quite the pickle now that Danko has started to show his true diabolical side. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
Morgan Richter said…
I noticed that Peter was able to absorb Matt's power though his clothes.

I noticed that too. I'm fanwanking it to assume Peter has to absorb powers through his hands, not any part of his body, and that last week when he flew off with Matt without accidentally absorbing Matt's power, he was really super-careful not to let his hands make contact with Matt. Sigh. It's not a very satisfying fanwank, though I do like the mental picture of Peter desperately trying to lift up Matt using only his elbows.

If Peter didn't actually want to free Mohinder one throwaway line could have been enough to clear things up when Nathan asked if he wanted anything else

Yeah. Or Peter could have asked that Nathan free Mohinder and Nathan could have flatly refused or claimed Mohinder was being held somewhere else. It would have been nice if it had been addressed somehow. Poor Mohinder's just not getting any love.

Seriously, though: Fleetwood Mac??? I wouldn't have pegged Sylar as a big Stevie Nicks fan.

A perfectly serviceable episode, though I think we could have at least had some more scenes of shackled Mohinder getting buckets of water dumped on him (perhaps Nathan could rig up a fire hose in his cell?). It takes so little to make me happy.
Patrick said…
Having been fairly critical of the show over the past few weeks I have to say that I really enjoyed this episode. Claire was - dare I say it - actually very good this week, strong and likeable.

I was amused that when Alex tried to put-down Claire telling her that she was only a high school girl, she didn't correct him instantly saying that she had finished high school actually, and was now enrolled at Costa Verde community college, thank you very much! Instead she had some lame line like,'I'm a high school girl who is going to save you', which made me wonder if she realised, given all that has happened, that she has finished high school. Or maybe American seventeen year old girls wouldn't be offended by being patronised in this way.

Also, I thought the nervous relationship between Claire and Alex was excellent - so sweet and innocent, and I'm sure every parent watching was hoping that their seventeen year old cheerleader daughter was equally inexperienced and inept and wouldn't know what to do with a stunningly handsome comic book guy hiding in her closet. Even if he did smell.

Finally, I think the writers are showing real genius when it comes to their handling of Kyle Bennet. No one in his family cares about him, and doesn't he know it! When Noah talks about the sacrifices he'll make for his family he clearly ranks them in this order:

1. Claire-Bear.
2. His wife.
3. Mr Muggles.
4. Meredith.
5. Peter.
6. Maybe Nathan, just because of Claire.
7. Maybe Angela, because she gave him a gold watch, which he liked in black-and-white but thought was tacky in color.
8. And that's it. He can't think of anyone else.

Watching Lyle playing his computer game, oblivious to what was going on, handing over his driving license without any complaint, was hilarious. The writers are clearly having fun playing up on the fact that he is the forgotten child. At least this week he almost got to go to the cinema.
Patrick said…
As for the problem of how Peter absorbs powers (which I raised when Peter flew off with Matt) I'm prepared to be generous here. At the start of the volume he absorbed powers accidentally by touching someone and couldn't control it. But now he can, so he only takes the power when he wants to.

Of course, if the writers forget this, and have him absorbing powers accidentally in future episodes, I will be very annoyed!
Morgan Richter said…
Claire and Alex were pretty adorable together. A nice change of pace from Claire and West in Volume Two, in which West, right from the start, was inappropriately bullying and condescending toward her, and Claire just kind of quietly accepted it.

This was a good episode for Claire. She's starting to show some nifty signs of personal growth, and seriously, it's about fricking time.

Like you, Patrick, I loved the bit with Lyle blithely handing over his drivers license to Sandra. They've really run wild with the idea of Lyle being an overlooked lump of a human being, completely devoid of personality or intellectual curiosity, which is really pretty hilarious.

At the start of the volume he absorbed powers accidentally by touching someone and couldn't control it. But now he can, so he only takes the power when he wants to.

Works for me. Barring any future evidence to the contrary, I'll just assume that's exactly how it works.
Morgan Dodge said…
Normally I mentally tune-out when Claire-bear is doing her schtick. But damn it if I didn't kinda like her. I think HRG moving out may have been the best thing ever for this show. Please don't give them any more scenes together. No, really, the writers need to have a big banner across their offices that says "HRG and Claire-bear do not mix well."
It's like pickles and ice cream. Sure you may love pickles, and sure ice cream is great. But putting the two together is ill-advised at best.

I'm also glad that they gave the throw away characters of the Bennett household a little more tooth this episode. Even if that tooth is freely relinquishing their ID without batting an eye. (Bad grades should be punished you know.)

So I did quite like this episode, Fleetwood Mac and all.

BUT, and there has to be a but, when did Peter become a hacker capable of locking government agents out of their own computers? When exactly did this happen? Cause I missed that part.

Go team Rebel!
Morgan Richter said…
the writers need to have a big banner across their offices that says "HRG and Claire-bear do not mix well."

Yup. They're loathesome together, delightful individually. Weird how that works.

when did Peter become a hacker capable of locking government agents out of their own computers?

I like to think that was all Rebel's doing, and that Peter either didn't realize he hadn't miraculously become a computer genius, or that he was perfectly happy to take full credit for Rebel's efforts. I think either possibility seems equally likely.

Nothing at all against Fleetwood Mac, but I'm sure they could have found some more Sylar-appropriate 1980s-ish tunes. Maybe a little Cheap Trick, say? ("Mommy's all right, daddy's all right, they just seem a little weeeeeeeird...")
Ingrid Richter said…
I'm going to vote for Erasure's "I Love to Hate You" as Sylar's memory-jogging song.

And somewhere in Albuquerque, there's a tall, dark and handsome 'Kyle Bennett' running around, guaranteeing that Mr. Bennett won't be able to find or care overly much about him.
Morgan Richter said…
If they were dead set on Fleetwood Mac being the perfect musical accompaniment to Sylar's childhood memories, I think they should have gone with Lindsay Buckingham's solo stuff -- Go Insane would have been marvelously appropriate ("Two kinds of trouble in this world/living, dying/I lost my powers in this world/and the rumors are flying").

Alternate music pick: The Clash, "Straight to Hell."

Poor Alex. Stranded in Albuquerque, far from anyone he knows, no money, equipped only with the driver's license of some other kid... Also, Lyle is probably what, sixteen, while a quick Google search confirms that the cutie who played Alex is 25, so... he's stuck in Albuquerque and he can't even legally drink or go to R-rated movies anymore. Let's hope Sandra thought to change Lyle's date of birth on that license while she was at it.
Morgan Richter said…
Ah, confirmation. Patrick, you were right. From this week's Behind the Eclipse Q&A with the Heroes writers:

“Guys, can you explain how when Peter swoops in to save Matt, the two of them don't fall to the ground to their deaths? Shouldn't Peter have lost his flying ability when he touched Matt?”

Peter’s gotten better at his “touch.” He can now pick and choose who he gets it from. It just took some time and effort to get it under control.


Works for me.

(Also in Behind the Eclipse: there's an upcoming flashback episode dealing with the Primatech founders in 1961: young Angela Petrelli, Linderman, et al. Which everyone seems really super jazzed about, but ye gads, that sounds boring as snot to me. What am I missing? Is this a good idea? Could this possibly be interesting or relevant to current plotlines in any way, or is this going to be another Indian wedding?)
Ingrid Richter said…
Why do I get this scary mental picture of chibi Heroes characters?

From Patrick: I'm sure every parent watching was hoping that their seventeen year old cheerleader daughter was equally inexperienced and inept.

Claire was awfully sweet and naive around Alex. Er, just like I was at 17.

From Morgan: He's stuck in Albuquerque and he can't even legally drink or go to R-rated movies anymore.

I actually chuckled thinking of Alex checking his ID later ("Aw, hell, no!")
Morgan Richter said…
Why do I get this scary mental picture of chibi Heroes characters?

A quick Google confirmed that there's no shortage of chibi Heroes out there in webland, but for sheer lunatic brilliance, it's hard to beat these Chibi Heroes Christmas Wreaths. Chibi-Matt is even holding Chibi-Skulky.

I love the internet.
Ingrid Richter said…
Aw, Chibi Matt even has a chibi turtle. My stomach is lurching a little, Morgan.
Ingrid Richter said…
(Er, apologies, Morgan. Forgot to read the rest of your post after the link. Bad me)
Morgan Richter said…
My stomach is lurching a little

The line between brilliant and barfy is often a fine one.

So here's my informal tally of the number of times Peter has fallen, jumped, or been thrown from a building:

*Jumped from the Deveaux building to see if he could fly. He couldn't.
*Shoved by Claude from the Deveaux building to see if he could fly. He still couldn't.
*Fell with Sylar from the roof of Claire's school. Got mangled.
*Got thrown by Sylar through a high window at Pinehearst.
*Inexplicably fell off the parking structure in this episode.

Once is understandable, Peter. Twice is carelessness. This, however, is a cry for help.
Dan said…
After a business (?!) trip interstate on Wednesday and even more important business related to the watching of Watchmen yesterday, I finally got a chance to watch this episode.

Not sure I have much more to add.

Patrick, your ranking of HRG's attachment to assorted members of his family was awesome. And I'm sure all new Aqua-Lyle will now surpass the original, non-special Lyle in HRG's heart.

Any particular reason why Claire-Bear (who, yeah, was unsickening this week) thought Albuquerque was the best place to go and hide? Is it just the furthest place to which she could afford a ticket? Or does she just like the word 'Albuquerque'?

If that's the last of Luke, I will be both ecstatic and furious (ecsturious!). Because what was the point of him? If they needed somebody for Sylar to talk to on his epic and time-wasting Quest For The Most Awesome Television Father Available™, then I know a certain talking turtle who would have filled the role perfectly and infinitely less annoyingly.

Peter probably just forgot Mohinder's name and was too embarrassed to say 'oh, and the Indian guy too'. Because, heck, it's Peter Petrelli.

I had never head of 'chibi' before. I need never hear of it again.
Morgan Richter said…
I'm sure all new Aqua-Lyle will now surpass the original, non-special Lyle in HRG's heart.

I can picture Sandra staring at Original Recipe Lyle as he sits like a lump in front of the television, sighing to herself and silently wishing he, too, was polite and bookishly cute and could breathe underwater.

Or does she just like the word 'Albuquerque'?

I dunno, but I sure have become a lot better at spelling "Albuquerque" in the past week. Boy-Morgan and I, who are still hung up on this Fleetwood Mac business, were emailing earlier about other possible song suggestions. He thought the Brady Bunch singing "It's a Sunshine Day" would be Sylar-appropriate, whereas I countered with the Partridge Family's "Come On, Get Happy," on the theory that during the Claire/Alex scenes, they could also play "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque," and then maybe "I'll Meet You Halfway" while Peter and Nathan are negotiating for Matt and Daphne's release.

Okay, it's a long way to go for a joke. But damn it, I think Heroes needs to spend more time being wildly self-amusing.

his epic and time-wasting Quest For The Most Awesome Television Father Available™

I'm guessing most people here already have been spoiled for who will be playing Sylar, Sr., but for those who haven't, I will only agree with Dan that, yes, it's indeed The Most Awesome Television Father Available™. Cooler than Tony Danza. More innately evil than Michael Gross!

Peter probably just forgot Mohinder's name and was too embarrassed to say 'oh, and the Indian guy too'.

He probably hung up the phone with Nathan (Nathan: "Just Parkman and Daphne? You suuuuuure that's it? No one else?") and slapped his forehead: "Right! Mohinder! That guy!"
Dan said…
... silently wishing he, too, was polite and bookishly cute and could breathe underwater.

She can, however, console herself with the knowledge that Original Recipe Lyle is extremely unlikely to suck face with Claire-Bear in or out of a pool. Because, ew!

More innately evil than Michael Gross!

I take great pride in the fact that I didn't need the link to know who Michael Gross was. Unless it links to the German swimmer of the same name.

And, hey, as far as I'm concerned, Sylar should always be soundtracked to either 'Walking On Sunshine' because that would buck my spirits enormously or '99 Luftballoons' because, heck, who doesn't love German pop music?

(And no, neither song has any plot relevance - but I'll trade catchiness for relevance any day)
Ingrid Richter said…
Dang! Now I have Patridge Family tunes stuck in my head. Perhaps Alex could move to Echo Valley (26809) and start a new life?

I'm going to vote for "Build Me Up, Buttercup" as my inappropriately perky Sylar song.
Morgan Richter said…
Family Ties buff that you are, Dan, I knew you'd be hip to the Michael Gross reference.

And no, neither song has any plot relevance

Au contraire! The lesser-known English language version of "99 Luftballoons" contains the line, "Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk." If that's not appropriate for Sylar, I don't know what is.

God, I love "99 Luftballoons." And now I'll be humming it all day.
Dan said…
God, I love "99 Luftballoons." And now I'll be humming it all day.

Then you'll be happy with the Watchmen soundtrack.

Everyone's a superhero, everyone's a Captain Kirk

Ooooh. True, true. Heck, Spock, Kirk... close enough, I say. Now, what's the definitive HRG 80s song?
'Sunglasses At Night'?
Ingrid Richter said…
I want to pick something fun and kicky for HRG ("Somebody's Watching Me"), but all I came up with was Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You." Blech.
Morgan Richter said…
Then you'll be happy with the Watchmen soundtrack.

Really? Cool! If you're just teasing, I shall never forgive you.

(Everything I Do) I Do It For You

Terrible, terrible song. But sadly appropriate for HRG.

I suppose "Big in Japan" is too obvious a pick for Hiro...
Dan said…
Given his all-new powers, Paramedic Peter Petrelli is surely the Samantha Fox classic 'Touch Me'.

Parkman can dance around to Kylie Minogue's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head'. Because that's disturbing.

And no, '99 Luftballoons' is part of the Watchmen soundtrack. I would not make jokes about such a thing.
Morgan Richter said…
I'm going to cast my vote for Hall & Oates' "Private Eyes (Are Watching You)" for HRG. Just because. Eyes, glasses. It's sort of a theme. Plus, he's sneaky.

Poor confused Mohinder: "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," but that's only because "I'm Too Sexy" didn't come out until the nineties.
Ingrid Richter said…
Oo! Can I throw in Julie Brown's 'Cause I'm a Blonde for Claire?

Although that's rather mean, since I actually liked Claire this episode...

Also, I just figured out that Echo Valley 2-6809 is a phone exchange, not an actual place :-(
Morgan Richter said…
Great sisterly minds think alike, Ingrid: I'd actually considered "'Cause I'm a Blonde," but then I decided on Culture Club: "Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me?"

Tracy: Foreigner's "Cold as Ice." Angela: Paula Abdul's "Cold-Hearted Snake." Nathan: Tears for Fears, "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

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