Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Nine: Turn and Face the Strange

Bennet examines Fake Sylar’s corpse, which has a metal spike in the brain. He figures, correctly, that Sylar being dead is too good to be true. When Sandra, upset about Claire’s latest vanishing act, unexpectedly drops by Building 26, Bennet introduces her to Danko. Later, however, Danko encounters another Danko in the men’s room. The first Danko turns out to be Sylar, who’s been using his newfangled shape-shifting ability for mischief. Sylar-as-Danko cheerily tells Danko he’s going to destroy Bennet.

Angela calls Bennet to fill him in about her prophetic dream, which involves a mysterious incident that took place years ago at a place called Coyote Sands.

Bennet discovers that Fake Sylar has been scheduled for cremation. He tracks down the corpse, removes the spike from Fake Sylar’s skull, and orders Danko’s goons to run a DNA test. Bennet is acting completely buggy and mad and paranoid, but since he’s dealing with Sylar, it’s kind of understandable.

Sandra stops by Bennet’s apartment to serve him with divorce papers. They bicker, then Sandra tells him she doesn’t love him anymore and flounces out. But wait! Sandra is actually Sylar in disguise! Oh, how you disappoint me, Sylar. When you said you were going to destroy Bennet, I assumed you meant it in a “leaving a taxidermied Mr. Muggles on the kitchen table” sort of way, not an “adding more tension to Bennet’s already busted marriage” way. This is clearly not your best effort.

Bennet realizes Sandra’s signature on the divorce papers is a fake. Rookie mistake, Sylar. Bennet also discovers that the DNA from Fake Sylar’s corpse is a match for Martin, the shape-shifter. Bennet pulls a gun on Sandra and violently accuses her of being Sylar. Unfortunately, this time it’s the real Sandra. She verifies her identity by knowing the correct location of Mr. Muggles’ pills, then throws him out of her hotel room.

Bennet then impersonates Sylar impersonating Bennet (got it?) and tricks Danko into revealing his alliance with Sylar. Danko claims Sylar has taken the shape of one of his minions. Bennet shoots the minion in the head, then, when the corpse doesn’t come back to life, realizes it totally wasn’t Sylar.

Except it totally was Sylar! After Bennet runs off in a panic, Sylar comes back to life, vomiting up bullets.

Following Daphne’s death, Matt and Mohinder hole up in a cheap motel. Mohinder makes preparations to flee to India to get away from Danko. He tries to convince Matt to go with him, but Matt decides to seek retribution for Daphne instead. They part with a manly embrace.

Mohinder sneaks back into his apartment to get his stuff. To avoid detection by Danko’s goons, he adopts the guise of a Depression-era paperboy. Aw, Mohinder, never change. His apartment is bare; Mohinder’s landlord tells him Homeland Security hauled all his crap away, except for a bunch of old files Chandra Suresh was storing in the basement. So Mohinder sorts through all his dad’s old files. He also sticks a bunch of pins in a map. The deju vu is strong in this scene: all Mohinder needs to do is frown prettily at a computer monitor, and it’ll be just like being back in Season One. From Chandra’s files, Mo finds out about Operation Icarus, an abandoned government project in the 1960s which took place at Coyote Sands

Hiro and Ando road-trip their way cross-country to reunite Baby Matt with Matt. Zany misadventures and gratuitous product placement are involved. Baby Matt keeps throwing super-powered tantrums, which causes their car to repeatedly stall. Poor Ando is forced to make goofy faces to keep the little monster placated. Hiro calls Mohinder, who tells him where to find Matt.

Matt uses Jedi Mind-Tricks™ on Danko to get him to lead him to the person most important to him. This, naturally, happens to be an Eastern European prostitute named Alena. Danko has spun Alena an elaborate web of lives about how he’s a salesman named Jakob with a wife and kids in Chicago. Matt brings Alena to Danko’s apartment and forces him to tell her the truth about his dastardly deeds. Matt tries to kill Alena to get vengeance for Daphne (wrong, Matt, very wrong), but can’t bring himself to do it. Danko shoots Matt, but Hiro arrives, stops time, stops the bullet, and hauls Matt out of there.

Matt is initially cranky about being rescued, but then Ando presents him with his son, and Matt realizes that maybe he should maybe focus on being a good father instead of trying to kill Eastern European prostitutes. I think that’s a decision we can all get behind.

Peter, Angela, Nathan, Claire, and Bennet all converge on Coyote Sands. Angela hands them shovels. Under a closing Mohinderlogue about Icarus, they start digging. When Nathan unearths a human skull, Angela tells him there’s plenty more where that came from.

Comments

Patrick said…
Excellent recap! Very entertaining account of Sylar's decision to destroy Noah by playing pranks on him. Also agree with you about Matt's disturbing idea that he could get his revenge by murdering an innocent East European prostitute (an idea he had twice).

A few things. Have you noticed that whenever Sylar shapeshifts back to his original form he is always wearing the clothes from the previous form? Which means the clothes don't change, only his features. Which means that whenever he wants to impersonate someone he has to go out and buy exact copies of the clothes they are wearing - Danko's leather jacket, Mrs Bennet's white coat and so on. Does that mean he had to go shopping in the women's section to pick the right outfit? I would personally love to see that scene. He seems to be a quick shopper in fairness to him.

I also loved Noah checking his wife's handwriting on the computer. Because after 20 years of marriage he can't really be sure if it's neat and tidy or big and scrawly.

Matt's double 'I have a son' reminded me instantly of Kevin Costner in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'. 'I have a brother?' Pause. 'I have a brother'. Matt you will be a great father. Apart from always being only one step away from being a serial killer. I've always thought Matt would end up evil ever since the five years in the future episode. Angela also warned him about it when he forced himself into her mind. But they always bring him back to being nice and cuddly Matt. Are we comfortable with the idea of Matt genuinely thinking that the murder of innocent girlfriends is justified if it will hurt the man who killed our's?

I think the scriptwriters have given up trying to introduce things naturally. The challenge was how to get Mohinder up to speed on the new Coyote Sands storyline without just clunking a box of material in his lap. The solution was to have the landlord just clunkily mention that Mohinder's father had left a load of boxes in storage. What's in the boxes? Only all the information about a storyline that's happening just right now!

There better be a purpose to Angela getting everyone to dig up the corpses. They better serve a purpose. Otherwise Angela could just have said: 'There are as load of skeletons under the ground here. Lots of people died'. Because everyone would have believed her.
Lou said…
Excellent recap Morgan. I really enjoyed this ep. And not just because of the return of Mo's interesting fashion sense. The only man who thinks a cap at a jaunty angle is a disguise. Aww bless him.

I must say Im loving Sylar's shapeshifting shenanigans too. Is it wrong to laugh at the idea of a stuffed Mr Muggles? As long as Skulky remains unstuffed I think we're all safe. I just hope Homeland Security know how to look after a turtle and his buddy Lizard-Mo.

The Nissan money better be good. I will only forgive the distractingly obvious product placement if they use the proceeds to buy Mo a range of interesting headwear for rest of the season.
Ingrid Richter said…
Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Nine: Men Behaving Badly.

First we get Mr. Bennett manhandling Sandra, then we get Matt trying to kill an innocent woman. I don't think the men really shone this episode.

On the other hand, Angela took her entire family out to the desert to dig up skeletons while she stood by, refusing to help. So maybe the women aren't behaving all that well either.

Still, I liked this episode. Good review, Morgan, and good plot progress. In fact, there's even boxes of plot kicking around in Mohinder's basement (thanks, Patrick!)

Poor Ando - you just know if he ever gets an action figure, it's going to be stuck permanently in goofy-face.

P.S. Oh no, Lou! Homeland Security now has Skulky the Turtle Wonder!?!
Morgan Richter said…
(For whatever reason, NBC didn't release advance publicity photos from the episode. Instead, they released twice as many stills for next week's episode. Thus for the moment, until NBC gets with the program, my recap is sadly unadorned with pretty pictures. It just looks so naked.)

Apart from always being only one step away from being a serial killer.

Matt is a heartbeat away from evil. Which, as you point out, is wholly consistent with his character--from his little moral lapses in season one(stealing the diamonds, using his powers to manipulate Janice's affections) to his bigger transgressions in season two (using his powers to bully Angela and manipulate Molly), to his downright nastiness this volume, he definitely seems to be progressing to the flat-out evil we see in the "Five Years Gone" universe. It may be the best and most consistent bit of character development on the whole series.

The only man who thinks a cap at a jaunty angle is a disguise. Aww bless him.

My heart was full to bursting with delight at the sight of Mo sneaking into his apartment with that ridiculous cap. Next time, try the Groucho nose and glasses, Mohinder. That'll work a treat.

Sylar is having far too much fun with his new ability. And the writers seem to be having fun with it as well -- I got a kick out of seeing Bennet pretending to be Sylar pretending to be Bennet.
Ingrid Richter said…
Hooray! New picture added! Aw, thanks, Morgan...

Does anyone else still chuckle when Nathan zooms off in the air? So stern, and yet so silly...
Morgan Richter said…
Hooray! New picture added!

Shhh. Don't tell anyone, but the photo is actually from next week's episode (tip-off: Bennet is shoveling right along with Nathan and Peter, even though he arrived post-shoveling). So that photo is purely a stopgap measure until I find something better.

(This is just embarassing: I did a Google Image search for "Mohinder paperboy cap" in search of screencaps. Of the first twenty results, eight were for... this site.)

Anyway. A mostly delightful episode. I'm looking forward to Sylar's further attempts to destroy HRG's life, perhaps by impersonating a meter maid and giving him a parking ticket, or by taking the place of a Starbucks barrista and using skim milk instead of the full-fat stuff in his morning latte. His evil knows no bounds! I'm also eager to see how Mohinder will go about getting all his worldly possessions back from Homeland Security: a turtle, a lizard, a stack of festively-patterned shirts, various helix-shaped paperweights, and a map with pins in it.
Ingrid Richter said…
Mohinder does love that map, doesn't he? Not sure exactly what he was plotting with yarn and thumbtacks, but it looked important.

If I were Sylar, I'd start switching Mr. Bennett over to decaf coffee and taking his clothes in about half an inch. Diabolical!

You mean to tell me that they're still digging up graves next episode? Hmm, I don't want to say "filler", but....
Morgan Richter said…
Not sure exactly what he was plotting with yarn and thumbtacks

Bus routes? Until Heroes, I had no idea how important yarn and thumbtacks were to geneticists.

You mean to tell me that they're still digging up graves next episode?

If the dozen or so promo photos NBC released are any indication, they're doing nothing but digging up graves next episode. One of the photos (technically I suppose this counts as a spoiler, but it's a lame, weenie spoiler) features Bennet and a skull-toting Mohinder engaging in an impromptu recreation of the "Alas, poor Yorick" scene from Hamlet. At least that's my best guess as to what's going on.
Patrick said…
On some of the sports blogs in the UK there is always a race to see who will post a response first. They normally just say 'First!' and the next people then go 'Second!' 'Third!' sometimes all the way down to twenty. It is fairly pathetic and infuriates the other readers, and I hate it. But yesterday I really did have to control myself to stop writing 'First!'

I thought I had a serious point about the episode but I seem to have got distracted. I like the way 'Mohinder paperboy cap' Google searches point to this site, and presumably also 'Mohinder yarn thumbtacks'. we should try and increase the number of random but relevant Mohinder things that link to this site.
Ingrid Richter said…
Tenth post! Yes!

I thought you had some excellent ideas, Patrick, and I was deeply jealous of your first post. Not only that, Lou quickly snagged up the second post. I need to wake up earlier on Tuesday to beat both of you.

Maybe "Mohinder's box-o-plot" will start showing up on the search engines?
Morgan Richter said…
Eleventh!

Just to be really obnoxious, I should snag the coveted First! spot immediately after I post my recap.

I thought you had some excellent ideas, Patrick, and I was deeply jealous of your first post

Patrick always brings the brainy analysis (Jason does too, but he's been MIA for a couple of episodes). It's awesome. It makes my blog seem much more thoughtful and introspective, instead of just a bunch of one-liners strung together.

we should try and increase the number of random but relevant Mohinder things that link to this site.

My number one search term is currently "Hot Mohinder Turtle Action," but that's only because Boy-Morgan has far too much time on his hands (search terms also directly due to Boy-Morgan interference: "Morgan Richter has nice legs," "Morgan Richter is hot," and, somewhat more esoterically, "Morgan Richter exists"). I used to get a bunch of searches for "what Mohinder's hair smells like," but those seem to have died off. Sad, really. I guess there's only so long you can go about wondering about Mohinder's hair before your attention drifts to other things.
levitatethis said…
I'm kind of surprised how much I'm enjoying Volume 4. It's an improvement from Volume 3 and the episodes with Fuller back at the healm seem a lot tighter and fun to watch. It's been awhile since I've been invested in these characters.

I personally think Mohinder's newsboy cap should join his bag of accessories along with his striped scarf, needle and drugged chai. Throw in a map with some push pins and a paisley shirt and we're good to go. I like that in a way he's back to following Chandra's path and figuring things out. Volume 4 Mohinder is more in line with the character I loved so much in Season 1/2. I prefer to ignore Volume 3 as a whole.

Sylar with his shapeshifting is too much fun. I like seeing him mess people about because he wants to...and taking pleasure in it! I guess all that hunger business (I don't want to do it, I can't control it! Wah wah wah) is out with the bath water (thank god).

What I liked most was that characters weren't dumbed down (too much) to move things along. Bennet suspected something was up when Sandra asked for the divorce and figured out it was Sylar, but he still ultimately got out thought by Sylar and Danko.
Morgan Richter said…
Good to hear from you, levitatethis!

Volume 4 Mohinder is more in line with the character I loved so much in Season 1/2.

He hasn't had much to do, but he's been pretty bang-on this volume: sweet, reasonable, sympathetic. I'm just going to go ahead and assume all his weird-ass behavior in V3 was due to physiological changes from the mangled formula. I don't think that's really the explanation, but it makes me feel better about it.

Sylar with his shapeshifting is too much fun.

Best Sylar development in ages. He's at his best when he's having fun being crazy and evil, and this gives him the perfect opportunity to express his frisky side. And you're right, it was nice how everyone brought their A-game: I loved Bennet's bit of manipulation to expose Danko's partnership with Sylar, and I loved how it blew up in his face when Danko and Sylar outfoxed him.
Lou said…
"Hot Mohinder Turtle Action" Hmm. Where is boy-Morgan to explain himself? He seems mysteriously quiet this week...

And I still ponder what Mo's hair smells like even if the fickle public no longer care to search. Tsk.

I would be tempted to see how many random Mo searches I can do that lead me here, but I worry what that says about me. And what I do with my time.
Lou said…
Oh and I almost forgot - another Hamlet-Mo pic for y'all to enjoy
Jason Gilman said…
Funny thing about my being MIA: I was almost first post last episode (and distinctly remember beomg excited about it), but my middle child woke up way too early and I didn't have time to complete my post before I took him back to bed. He's kind of like Matt Jr. I guess- when he's crying in the early morning hours I lose the ability to post.
Morgan Richter said…
And I still ponder what Mo's hair smells like even if the fickle public no longer care to search.

It's been months since I've speculated on the smell of Mohinder's hair, so today I'm going to go with... elderflower and satsuma.

another Hamlet-Mo pic for y'all to enjoy

I love it when Mo channels his inner Hamlet.

(Yeah, they're really going to be doing nothing but digging next episode, huh? At this point, I think I've seen about forty publicity stills of them all digging up a storm.)

He's kind of like Matt Jr. I guess- when he's crying in the early morning hours I lose the ability to post.

Ha! Funny how that happens. I imagine you're pretty good at making baby-calming goofy faces...
Morgan Richter said…
(Also: Sadly, Dan will not be joining our discussion this week, as he and his wife are currently scampering around the beaches of Vanuatu. Actually, I have no idea what they're doing in Vanuatu, but I'm hoping it involves beach-scampering and drinking festive cocktails out of coconut shells. He'll rejoin us next episode.)
Ingrid Richter said…
Have you guys seen this io9 article yet? Apparently, Heroes is the #1 most pirated television show. Interesting.
Morgan Richter said…
Apparently, Heroes is the #1 most pirated television show.

I've heard it's huge on iTunes and time-shifted viewing (DVR/TiVo, On Demand), too. And it's still an international phenomenon. It's just the domestic broadcast ratings that are down, and heck, NBC's ratings are down across the board. It's hard to really tell how much interest has decreased.

Jumping way back upthread to Patrick's first comment:

But they always bring him back to being nice and cuddly Matt. Are we comfortable with the idea of Matt genuinely thinking that the murder of innocent girlfriends is justified if it will hurt the man who killed our's?

Yeah, I think after this season, the nice and cuddly side of Matt pretty much has to disappear. Once you've tried to murder someone's girlfriend for the sake of revenge, that's pretty much it: even if you don't pull the trigger, you've been deposited firmly on the "evil" side of the line. I'm interested to see where they take Matt from here. If they just show him trying to be a good father to his son and maybe getting back together with Janice without ever addressing his prostitute-threatening ways, I won't feel great about it.

Then again, first season in "Company Man", Matt and Ted took the entire Bennet family hostage (Sandra and stupid Lyle included) and violently threatened them, and the show seemed to regard Matt's participation as justified based on what HRG had put him through, so... I don't know. Seems like the moral compass might be misaligned.
Dan said…
21st!!

"You can't divorce me. What about Claire-Bear and Kyle?"
"Lyle!"
"Hmmm?"

Oh, Stupid Lyle. How we love your worthless existence and incompetent (yet timely) ignorance of Mr Muggles' medicine

Catch y'all tomorrow for the Dig Dug episode.

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