Hey! Hey! No fair! This episode opens with some Mohinder-heavy “Previously on Heroes…” footage that we’ve never seen! Okay, granted, “Mohinder argues with his landlord” might not be the most scintillating plotline Heroes has ever drummed up, and maybe it deserved to be excised, but we’ve had very little quality Mohinder exposure this volume. In any case, if the footage was necessary enough to the current episode to require summarizing, it should have been necessary enough to appear in an episode.
(Fair warning: I’m going to be talking about Mohinder an awful lot. That’s because thinking about Mohinder and his freakishly lovely bone structure always boosts my spirits, and after this sloppy, improbable, boring, dismal episode, my spirits are in desperate need of boosting. Heroes may sometimes suck eggs, but Mohinder is always beautiful.)
At Coyote Sands, Nathan, Peter, Claire, and Bennet dig up bunches of skeletons at Angela’s behest. Peter asks Angela why they’re doing this. Oh, Peter, now you’ve done it. Angela launches into a series of terrible flashbacks to 1961, in which Teen Angela and her slow-witted sister Alice arrive at a relocation camp for super-powered people run by Young Chandra Suresh and Young Dr. Zimmerman. Angela is at the camp because of her prophetic dreams, whereas Alice has the ability to control the weather. Despite the presence of armed guards, the camp seems cheerful and bucolic.
Here’s the deal: these flashback scenes are awful. They’re inane and pointless and dull, and they don’t make any sense in the context of the series as a whole (if Chandra Suresh really had worked extensively with super-powered individuals at the camp, he shouldn’t have been so pants-wettingly happy to find Sylar--and thus find validation for his widely lampooned theories about the existence of special abilities--back in season one). Therefore, I’m going to dispense with them as swiftly as possible: Angela has a dream warning her that Chandra Suresh will kill everyone at the camp, her sister and parents included. One night, after Angela sneaks off to the local malt shop for some squeaky-clean teenaged fun with fellow camp residents Teen Charles Deveaux, Teen Bob Bishop, and Teen Linderman, Alice spazzes out while Chandra is testing her abilities. This leads to a scuffle, which leads to a riot, which leads to the camp guards slaughtering everyone. Post-massacre, Angela and the boys grimly decide to band together and form the Company as a way to prevent any future catastrophes. The major accomplishment of these flashbacks is to confirm my suspicion from two episodes ago, back when Angela was sanctimoniously telling Peter she had to become evil in order to save the world, that the more we learn about Angela, the less interesting she becomes.
Back in the present, Angela tells Peter she’s been dreaming that Alice is still alive. She wants to find her body to confirm her death, thus all the extemporaneous exhuming. Peter asks why Angela never mentioned any of this before. Angela’s answer: “I’m allowed to protect you.” Has Angela always been this odious, or is this a recent development? Because I distinctly recall liking Angela a great deal these past couple of seasons, but now that seems like a foreign concept. Angela wants to return to the old Company methods for controlling people with super-powers (i.e. by killing them surreptitiously) instead of Danko’s methods (i.e. by killing them outright). Peter thinks this sounds pretty sucky, so he flounces off into the desert. Nathan follows him.
Claire and Angela chat. Angela tells Claire, “I wish I had half of your strength,” then goes on to praise Claire’s courage and self-confidence and spirit. Hey, you know what would be awesome? If we could see a little of Claire’s alleged strength and courage and self-confidence and spirit in action instead of just hearing bursts of clunky expository dialogue about it. That’d be great.
I’m in a foul mood. I apologize. This episode has made me a little crabby.
Anyway, while Angela is stroking her granddaughter’s ego, a wild storm strikes up. Angela claims she saw this happening in her dream and starts screaming for Alice. Angela and Claire get separated in the storm, and Angela vanishes.
Peter and Nathan hole up in a nearby café and squabble with each other. Peter brings up the grudge he’s held against Nathan stemming from the 1986 World Series. Nathan, who has been this volume’s main driving force of evil, who jump-started a course of chaos and destruction when he launched his cockamamie scheme to round up and imprison everyone with special abilities, who tricked and betrayed Peter and handed him over to Danko, delivers the single best line of the episode when he tells Peter, “We have got to find a way to forgive each other.” “We,” Nathan? “We”?
Bennet wanders out in the storm to find Claire. Mohinder appears out of nowhere, conks him over the head, drags him into a shed, and yells at him to stop following him around. Bennet is rather nonplussed by the delightful randomness of this turn of events. So am I. Mohinder fondles skulls and gets teary about the possibility that his father was performing inhumane experiments on the camp residents. You know what’s great about this episode? Mohinder’s hair. He’s backed off from the super-gelled look he was sporting earlier this season, and his curls are once again tumbling across his forehead in a most attractive manner. I approve.
Mohinder and Peter go in search of Angela. They have a rather nice scene where Mohinder, still feeling guilty about his crazy evil bug-man escapades last volume, berates himself for being weak and corruptible. Peter gives him various reassuring pats and tells him that everybody does evil things sometimes. So says the guy who robbed a bank and murdered his brother in an evil alternate future and tried to cut his mom’s head open. Really, I’m not sure why Mohinder’s the only one suffering from a guilt complex and self-esteem issues this volume.
Bennet and Nathan mope about how they’ve both really screwed things up, what with their lunatic imprison-everyone scheme. Bennet tells Nathan about Sylar’s cool new shape-shifting ability. Claire joins them and confesses that she can’t remember the last time she read a book. This is not surprising. She also says, “There was a time when I wanted to become a doctor.” This is somewhat more surprising.
Adult Alice, who is creepy and weird (though not notably creepier or weirder than Young Alice) spirits Angela away to an underground bunker and plays Roy Orbison records to torment her. There’s a ham-fisted attempt to explain Angela’s sock-shoplifting fixation from the pilot episode, then the sisters hug and cry a lot… man, it’s so awful, it defies description. Peter and Mohinder burst into the bunker to save Angela. Alice mistakes Mohinder for Chandra, because hey, apparently one Indian guy is pretty much the same as another, and zaps him with lightning bolts. Angela calms her down and cries some more, and Alice wanders off or disappears into the ether or dies or something.
Peter gives Mohinder a canister of film that might or might not reveal the truth about Chandra’s level of culpability in whatever went down at Coyote Sands. Everyone gets ready to leave, but Mohinder decides to stay behind, probably because he’s had his fill of the Petrellis. Mohinder, babe, I’m with you.
Angela, Peter, Nathan, Claire, and Bennet hang out at a diner. On the television, a press conference is given by… Nathan Petrelli. Bennet deduces that Sylar must be now impersonating Nathan.
Well. That was… Well. Maybe next episode will be better, huh?