Monday, February 23, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Four: Cold Wars

We open with Matt, Mohinder and Peter hanging out at a cheap motel. Hey, already this episode is head and shoulders above last week’s installment! They squabble about whether to go through with kidnapping and interrogating Bennet. Matt is all gung-ho for the idea, whereas Mohinder has moral reservations. For his part, Peter is willing to side with whoever argues the loudest. This happens to be Matt, so they proceed with the plan. They slip Bennet a mickey, drag him back to their room, and tie him to a chair.

Matt uses his mental powers to invade Bennet’s mind and sift through his memories. He first views a memory from five weeks ago: Angela Petrelli tells Bennet she’s dissolving Primatech. She gives him severance pay and a nice watch and sends him on his way.

Bad Cop Matt argues with Good Cop Mohinder over the ethics of putting Bennet through dangerous mental torment to get the information they need. While this is going on, Peter watches Pay-Per-View or checks his e-mail or paints his toenails or whatever, then finally makes a stab at relevancy by sort of ineffectually siding with Matt. Matt once again enters Bennet’s thoughts.

Four weeks ago: Nathan stops by Bennet’s house and spills the beans about his “rounding up undesirables” plan. First stage: incarcerate all individuals with special abilities. Second stage: put together a crackerjack team of world-class scientists to find some way to permanently remove the abilities. Third stage: when no world-class scientists volunteer for the task, get Mohinder to do it. Bennet shows Nathan his top-secret storage locker filled with, as Nathan puts it, “weapons and stuff.” This is why Nathan is a United States Senator. He’s got a way with words.

When Matt’s mental invasion starts to cause harm to Bennet, Mohinder tries to put a stop to it. Matt theorizes that Mohinder is siding with Bennet because he’s feeling guilty from all the nonsensical chaos he caused last volume, back when he was a crazy bug-man. Matt and Mohinder yell REALLY LOUDLY at each other, which is an awesome thing to do when you’re fugitives from the law holed up in a tiny motel room. Hey, guys, no worries about attracting unwanted attention. It’s not like you’re currently in possession of a bound-and-drugged kidnapping victim or anything.

Matt sends Peter off to loot Bennet’s storage locker. Back at Building 26, Danko, who is concerned that Bennet hasn’t checked in on schedule, spots Peter on the security camera and orders his goons to ambush him. Peter chucks a grenade at them and flies away.

Back at the hotel, Matt and Mohinder fret that Peter is taking too long. Bennet tells them it means Peter’s been captured or killed. Mohinder thinks they should take the opportunity to release Bennet and escape, but Matt overrules him and proceeds with the interrogation. Matt, by the way, is a total and complete dickwad this episode. I must say, I like it.

Matt invades Bennet’s memories of three weeks ago: Nathan introduces Bennet to Danko, who sneers at Primatech’s lousy track record and tells Bennet he thinks the “one of us, one of them” approach -- i.e. always partnering a normal human with someone with special abilities -- is totally lame and gimmicky. He’s not wrong. Let’s face it, Primatech was pretty much a clown college. Then again, post-plane crash, Danko only manages to recapture Tracy, so I’m not sure he really has cause to scoff at Bennet’s lack of tracking skills.

Matt also uncovers a memory of Bennet secretly meeting with Mohinder and tipping him off to Nathan’s plan. Cheerfully forgetting that Mohinder shot him in the eyeball the last time they teamed up, Bennet asks for his help: “I need you, Mohinder. I need your brain. I need your strength.”

This is hands-down the most hilarious thing Bennet has ever said.

Matt demands an explanation from Mohinder, who insists he turned down Bennet’s request and assumed it was just another of his lies. Enraged, Matt throws Mohinder into a mirror, so Mohinder uses his super-strength to beat the custard out of him. While these two nitwits duke it out, Bennet unties himself and waltzes out of there, only to be recaptured by Peter. Matt gets bitchy with Mohinder some more and calls him a coward, then continues his interrogation of Bennet.

Matt uncovers a memory from a week ago: Bennet drops by Danko’s apartment, bearing booze and overtures of friendship. From this, Matt figures out Danko’s home address and sends Peter to kill him.

Peter points a gun at Danko, but Nathan arrives before he pulls the trigger. Danko tries to goad Peter into killing him and thus proving him right about how all people with abilities are dangerous lunatics, while Nathan tries to convince Peter to turn himself in. Peter, always the free-wheeling loose cannon, shoots Danko in the arm and flies off.

As Danko’s goons storm the motel, Bennet tells Matt that Daphne is still alive. Mohinder, still smarting from being labeled a coward, offers to hold off the goons by himself while Matt investigates this further. Matt examines Bennet’s memories and confirms that, yep, Daphne is being held in Building 26.

Mohinder bravely and idiotically takes on dozens of Danko’s heavily-armed goons. They taser the bejesus out of him and haul him off. The goons capture Matt as well, but Peter swoops in, drops a grenade, grabs Matt, and flies off.

Mohinder wakes to find himself shackled to a chair in a cell in Building 26, where Nathan tosses a bucket of water on him. So now we have Mohinder, soaking wet, chained up, hair flopping into his eyes, writhing around in righteous indignation… Yeah, this is a really good episode. Nathan wants Mohinder to come up with some way to eliminate special abilities. Mohinder initially refuses, but Nathan tells him Danko’s goons will kill Daphne if he doesn’t cooperate. Oh, hell, Nathan, this is Mohinder you’re talking to. Thus far in the series, Mohinder has willingly performed vital scientific research for Evil Thompson, Evil Bob, and Evil Arthur Petrelli. Odds are pretty good he’s not going to draw the line at helping you.

Danko chats with freed hostage Bennet. He uses a bunch of hyper-macho metaphors about how it’s time to take the gloves off, all of which would pack more of a punch if Bennet didn’t dwarf him by about two feet. Seriously, next to Bennet, Danko looks puny and underfed. Bennet assures him he’s going to toe the line from now on, then saunters off to meet with Angela. He tells her things are proceeding according to plan.

Matt holes up with Peter in what looks like an awful lot like Mohinder’s laboratory. Have you no shame, Matt? You’ve already taken over his apartment. Stealing his lab on top of that is just plain rude. Matt develops the Isaac Mendez Milky-Eyes™ and paints a prophetic image on the floor of Washington D.C. consumed by flames.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Heroes, Volume Four, Chapter Three: Building 26

Sylar and Luke, who is reaching bold new levels of irksome, continue on their road trip to find Sylar’s dad. When the damn kid keeps lying about their destination, Sylar, who is all too clearly thinking about how this isn’t nearly as awesome as that time he drove cross-country with Mohinder, starts losing it a little and threatens to slice open Luke’s head. For the life of me, I can’t tell whether I’d support this. On the one hand, murdering a stupid teen is a horrendous thing to do, even by Sylar’s bottom-barrel standards of moral behavior. On the other hand, Luke is working my every last nerve.

Sylar and his little buddy stop at a diner. When Luke uses his heat wave powers for no good reason, Sylar informs him that part of being an effective super-villain is always knowing your motivation. Serial killers: they’re just like actors! Nathan’s goons, who have located Sylar using surveillance cameras and super-sophisticated face-recognition software, storm the diner. Luke creates a distraction to save his new best friend, and a huge shootout ensues. Sylar escapes in a barrage of gunfire, but Luke gets tasered by the goons. Sylar returns and massacres the goons to rescue his stupid protégé.

Hiro and Ando go to New Delhi and find the location depicted in Matt’s prophetic drawing, which turns out to be the site of a big wedding. Hiro decides he needs to stop the wedding and rescue the bride. Wow, Hiro gets so much more out of those drawings than I do. Before Hiro can intervene, Ando approaches the bride, Annapura, and demonstrates his ability for her. The bride interprets this as a heavenly sign to call off the wedding. Hiro gets bitchy and resentful toward Ando. His reasoning goes thusly: By depriving Hiro of his chance to stop the wedding and fulfill the prophetic sketch, Ando has ruined Hiro’s opportunity to get his powers back. He got all that out of Matt’s little sketch? Really? Is it me, or are Hiro’s leaps in logic sort of dizzying?

Annapura’s jilted fiancé kidnaps Ando to intimidate Annapura into going through with the wedding. Hiro stops the ceremony and punches out the groom, thus fulfilling the prophetic sketch. The groom releases Ando, who apologizes for infringing upon Hiro’s destiny. Hiro goes on his “I don’t need powers to be a hero” kick again and forgives Ando. They receive a fax from the mysterious Rebel, which reads, “Save Matt Parkman.”

Washington, DC: From his top-secret headquarters in the mysterious Building 26, Nathan fields a visit from Homeland Security agent Abby Collins, who is concerned about his request for additional funding for his “round up all super-powered people and imprison them indefinitely” scheme. Nathan tries to explain his plan, but Abby thinks he’s full of it. Fair enough. Upon learning that a super-powered individual is in custody in the building, Abby asks to see proof of the existence of special abilities.

The prisoner is Tracy, who’s being kept shackled to a chair and bombarded with heat waves. Wait, so Tracy’s the only prisoner Nathan and Danko managed to recapture after the plane crash? I mean, there were SWAT teams, and attack dogs, and helicopters, and flood lights… Granted, Nathan has been a teensy bit flaky and incompetent lately, but I’m starting to think Danko’s abilities as a super-elite hunter and tracker have been greatly exaggerated. Abby, who knows Tracy from her days as a lobbyist, is horrified and threatens to shut down the entire program.

Tracy, meanwhile, breaks her chains and escapes from her cell. When goons surround her, she takes some poor random guy hostage, then freezes him solid and shatters him into pieces. This does absolutely nothing to further her attempt to escape and, indeed, kind of helps along Nathan’s argument about people with special abilities being too dangerous to exist in polite society. So that went well. Tracy is taken back into custody, and a shocked Abby agrees to give Nathan all necessary funding. Later, Tracy tells Nathan her chains were already broken and her cell door was left unlocked. She accuses Nathan of orchestrating her escape attempt just to squeeze money out of Abby. Yes, Tracy, Nathan’s a scumbag. We all got that memo. Doesn’t mean you had to murder that random dude. For his part, Nathan realizes Danko was actually the one who released Tracy.

Costa Verde: Over breakfast, an oblivious Sandra Bennet grills Claire about her recent--and wholly made-up--East Coast college tour (Noah Bennet, perhaps realizing the Ivy League is pretty much a pipe dream for Claire, even with a truckload of Petrelli money at her back, takes the liberty of enrolling her in the local community college instead). Claire gets an urgent text message from Rebel asking her to warn someone named Alex of imminent danger.

Claire visits comic-geek Alex and delivers the message. It should be noted that Alex is sort of adorable and earnest, and doesn’t deserve to get bogged down in a plotline involving sullen, petulant Claire. When Bennet comes searching for Alex, Claire and Alex flee. Claire gives Alex the lowdown on Nathan’s goons and his plans to incarcerate all people with special abilities. In turn, Alex tells her he has the power to breathe underwater.

(At some point in all this, Bennet and Claire have a spat about all the lies and sneaking around, but I’m just too tired to mention it in detail. How’s this: from here on out, if Bennet and Claire don’t get into at least one tedious domestic squabble in the course of an episode, I’ll make a note of it. Otherwise, just assume at least one such argument takes place.)

Claire tells Sandra that Bennet is still up to his old tricks: once again, he’s working for shady organizations and abducting innocent people. Sandra gets seriously peeved at this and kicks him out of the house. Oh, hallelujah. It’s about fricking time. Sandra, I just wish you’d done that two seasons ago when you discovered your husband had given you brain damage rather than tell you the truth about his line of work. I’m downright fond of Bennet as a character, but he’s an appalling excuse for a husband. Claire, meanwhile, is keeping fugitive Alex hidden in her closet. Good for you, Claire. He’s cute.

A forlorn Bennet drinks and mopes in a hotel bar. His vision blurs, and he collapses to the floor. Matt, Mohinder and Peter pop up out of nowhere and drag him off.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Watching the Watchmen

While I was out walking yesterday, I spotted a bus shelter poster featuring Ozymandias from Watchmen. This immediately triggered the OCD section of my brain that compels me to hunt down bus posters. Remember last summer's epic Heroes poster quest, in which I covered over a hundred miles of Los Angeles streets on foot in search of all of those blasted posters? I didn't want to do that again. I can't stress enough how much I didn't want to do that.

And yet, upon spotting Ozymandias, I knew I would. Because if there was an Ozymandias poster, it meant there was a Doctor Manhattan poster, and a Rorschach poster, and a Nite Owl II poster, and it meant I needed to find them all. Because that's just how my obsessive little brain works.

So I set out today with a camera. And I got lucky right off the bat. Some kind soul had plastered every single Watchmen poster on a construction site at La Cienega and Whitworth. Yahtzee! These are slightly different from the bus shelter version -- smaller, and missing the Watchmen text along the side -- but it's close enough. Quest over.

Posters of Silk Spectre II, Doctor Manhattan, Rorschach, Ozymandias, The Comedian, and Nite Owl II are all in one big, glorious glut after the jump.

Note: My photography skills have not improved, nor have I upgraded my camera.

Also note: There's all kinds of Watchmen-themed madness, both new and archival, going on over at Dan Liebke's Astonishing Tales. It's a must-visit for anyone who's waiting in breathless anticipation for March 6th, or for anyone who just wants to get a handle on what all this Watchmen hoopla is all about.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Two: Trust & Blood

So the plane crashes, but we don’t get to see the part where all our heroes somehow manage to avoid being crushed or charred in the wreckage. Instead, we catch up to them with their madcap escape already in progress. Armed goons with search lights and helicopters pursue Hiro, Matt, and Mohinder. Matt develops the Isaac Mendez Milky-Eyes™ again, and a vision of Usutu guides him to a trailer, from which he steals art supplies. While Matt makes some prophetic sketches, Hiro and Mohinder swipe clothes from the clothesline and change out of their orange prison jumpsuits (Mohinder dons an awful black-and-red striped shirt, which, honestly, is no sillier than some of the stuff he wears voluntarily). Mohinder tries to convince Hiro to turn himself in, theorizing that the authorities will go easy on him once they discover he no longer has his powers, but Hiro isn’t falling for that crap. Matt sketches a bunch of random pictures, including one of Daphne getting shot.

Daphne finds Ando in Tokyo and tells him she’s worried because Matt didn’t come home last night. It’s not clear why Tokyo was tops on her list of places to look for him, but whatever. Ando fills her in on Hiro’s capture, mentioning he’s tracked him via GPS to Arkansas. Daphne and Ando zip off in search of Hiro and Matt.

At the crash site, Nathan argues with the scary balding guy (aka Danko, aka the Hunter) over the extreme and deadly tactics used to hunt the escaped prisoners (Danko is pro-, whilst Nathan is anti-). The plane wreckage is bombed to remove all traces of the crash; this seems a tad unnecessary, especially since much of the remainder of the episode takes place around the still-identifiable wreckage of the plane, but I’m sure Nathan’s goons know what they’re doing.

Bennet apprehends Peter and Claire, but has a pang of conscience and lets Peter escape. Bennet and Claire have one of those father-daughter squabbles I enjoy so much (“I don’t even know who you are anymore!” “I’m just trying to protect you, Claire-Bear!” Repeat ad nauseum). While Bennet and Nathan have a powwow about how Danko is totally nuts and super-violent, Daphne zips in and speeds off with Claire.

Matt, Mohinder, Ando, Daphne, Claire, and Hiro all congregate around the plane wreckage, heedless of the dozens of heavily-armed goons sweeping the immediate area for them. The goons attack and riddle Daphne and Claire with bullets. Chaos ensues; heroes scatter. Claire comes back to life and gets captured, but Daphne, apparently, is a goner. (Or not: there’s a framing device running throughout the episode featuring Nathan, forty-three hours after the crash, relating these events over the phone to someone who ultimately turns out to be Angela. So it’s fully possible Daphne is still alive and Nathan either is unaware of this or isn’t telling his mother the whole story.)

Danko takes Claire into custody and informs her that the plane crash was entirely her fault. Fair enough, though I’d go ahead and save a little of the blame for the kid who caused the big old hole in the side. Danko wants to shoot Claire in the head, but both Nathan and Bennet object. Strenuously. Bennet sends Claire back to Costa Verde.

In Newark, Mary Campbell and her no-good teenaged son Luke, who are neighbors to Sylar’s still-unseen taxidermist father, arrive home and find Sylar camped out in their living room, happily interrogating one of the agents who’d tried to capture him last episode. The agent hasn’t surrendered any information about Sylar’s father, so Sylar decides to torture the Campbells to get him to talk. As a bonus, Sylar throws in some free half-baked psychoanalysis of their family dynamic: Luke is a child of a single mom and an absent father, so Sylar, sensing a kindred spirit, concludes he’s a mom-loathing psychotic killer-in-training. The sad part is, he’s not far off. Luke reveals his own cool ability: heat rays!

This is relevant to Sylar’s interests.

When the tortured agent frees himself, Luke kills him to protect Sylar. Bad judgment call, kid. Really, really bad. Sylar takes off, but Luke decides he has a new best friend and tags along after him. Sylar thinks this is a crappy idea at first (as he tells the kid, “I let you live, which is kind of a big deal for me”), but relents when he finds Luke knows the current location of Sylar’s father. They steal Luke’s mother’s station wagon and hit the road. Is this plotline awesome or disturbing? Both? I can’t decide.

Peter teams up with fellow escapee Tracy, who is being sort of a wet dishrag, and tells her that, for plot simplification purposes, he can only hang onto a single ability at a time now. Tracy and Peter try to lure Nathan into an ambush: Tracy calls Nathan and offers to give him Peter in exchange for her freedom. When Nathan arrives, however, he successfully sweet-talks Tracy into betraying Peter. Peter ends up taking Nathan hostage; Bennet passes up a perfect opportunity to shoot Peter and instead lets Peter absorb Nathan’s power and fly away. Nathan takes Tracy into custody.

Matt, Mohinder, Hiro, Peter, and Ando meet up outside a church. Hey, it was really super-awesome of those masked goons to let everyone hang onto their cell phones after being arrested, because it’s made all these post-escape hookups go so much smoother. They look over Matt’s prophetic drawings. Hiro sees one of himself in New Delhi and concludes he’s supposed to find a sword and regain his powers. Sometimes Hiro’s leaps in logic are sorta hard to follow. Matt decides he wants to wreak terrible vengeance and retribution for Daphne’s death, while Mohinder, still strangely calm and reasonable, tries to steer him more in the user-friendly direction of “justice” instead. Peter yammers on about taking the fight to the enemy, and everyone starts to look noble and grimly determined. God help us all.

Claire returns to her home in Costa Verde, where a cheerily oblivious Sandra thinks she’s been off visiting colleges. Claire gets a text message from someone named “Rebel,” which reads, “There is still hope. You can fight back.”

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Battlestar Galactica: Blood on the Scales

A singularly joyless episode warrants a singularly joyless recap. Let’s just get this over with. Adama and Tigh are captured by the mutineers, including Captain Kelly, whom we haven’t seen since his arrest for sabotage last season. Gaeta orders Hot Dog and Narcho to shoot down the Raptor on which Roslin and Baltar are escaping, but Hot Dog hesitates. The Raptor safely reaches the Cylon basestar, where Roslin talks the Cylons -- the Sixes, Twos, and Eights, plus Tory -- out of jumping away from the Galactica. The basestar hides itself among the ships in the fleet.

Gaeta and Zarek want Adama court-martialed, with a reluctant Romo Lampkin heading up his defense. Zarek, meanwhile, secretly murders the entire Quorum, which appalls Gaeta.

Starbuck and Apollo skulk around the Galactica, hurling grenades and shooting people. They spring Helo, Athena, Hera, Tigh, Caprica, and Anders from the brig, but Anders is shot in the neck in the process. Much chaos ensues. Starbuck remains behind with her injured husband while Apollo and the rest try to rescue Adama.

Off in his own isolated subplot, Tyrol becomes all awesome and Die Hard by crawling through an endless numbers of tunnels and vents throughout the Galactica. Eventually, he’s caught climbing into the munitions locker by Kelly. Kelly reminisces about old times and how Cally was a total slut, then lets Tyrol escape.

Gaeta orders Narcho to prepare a firing squad and take Adama down to the launch tube. According to writer Jane Espenson on the webisode commentary, the original plan was to reveal Narcho instead of Hoshi as Gaeta’s lover, which, just based on their interaction this episode, would have actually made more sense; the Gaeta/Hoshi romance in the webisodes seemed a little -- what’s the word? -- random. Also, Narcho is much hotter than Hoshi, so there’s that. By the way, Battlestar Galactica, don’t think it’s passed unnoticed that this is the second time you’ve revealed a gay character to be crazy and evil (hi, Admiral Cain!). It’s the sort of thing you really can get away with only once over the course of a series, if that.

Meanwhile, back on the basestar, Baltar snogs a random brunette Six and feels guilty for deserting his cult (his “fan club,” as he calls them without discernable irony. I heart Baltar. Even in the pit of despair, he brings the funny).

Kelly, who is with the firing squad, breaks down into tears and joins up with Apollo and the gang, who overthrow the mutineers in the launch tube and rescue Adama.

Gaeta orders the fleet to jump away from the Cylon basestar, but Tyrol mucks around in the bowels of the ship and disables the FTL drive. Stranded, Gaeta finally comes to his senses and stands down, just as Adama storms the CIC. Gaeta and Zarek are taken into custody.

In the brig, Gaeta shares a cigarette with Baltar and rambles insanely about how he originally wanted to be an architect and design buildings shaped like food. When Baltar tries to offer some comfort, Gaeta cuts him off and tells him he’s okay with the way things turned out.

Zarek and Gaeta are taken in front of a firing squad. As Adama gives the command to fire, Gaeta looks at the stump of his amputated leg and realizes that, for the first time, it’s stopped hurting.

There's still, what, six episodes left until the end of the series, but I'm out of it. Not to get all melodramatic or anything, but the season thus far has been nasty and spiteful, and I'm simply not enjoying it. I despise the characters, with the possible exception of cheery scuzzball Baltar, and, with Gaeta's death, I have zero emotional investment remaining in anyone. Watching this season has been a bit of an ordeal, and life is short.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Heroes Volume Four, Chapter One: A Clear & Present Danger

So it’s been a couple of months since the destruction of Primatech and Pinehearst. Tracy chats on the phone with the governor while watching a televised interview with Senator Nathan Petrelli, who is now heading a Homeland Security subcommittee on Rounding Up Undesirables. Because it’s been months since we’ve seen Ali Larter in her underthings, this all happens while Tracy changes her clothes. As Nathan blathers on about God and country, a scary balding guy and his team of masked goons burst in on Tracy and taser her unconscious.

Claire is staying in New York with Angela and Nathan at the Petrelli mansion. Angela seems to think her granddaughter (who now has her GED, which means we can finally say farewell to all those half-assed and derivative high school plotlines) has a shot at attending an elite university. This is rather optimistic of Angela. Claire listens in on a phone call between Angela and Nathan about how they’re sending goons after Peter and Matt.

Peter, meanwhile, is working as an especially earnest and self-recriminating paramedic. When Claire calls to warn him that Angela and Nathan are planning something, he kind of wanders away from a current medical emergency and hails a taxi, which is driven by Manhattan’s most beautiful cabbie. Mohinder and Peter rehash their meet-cute from the pilot episode, which would be sort of obnoxious if they weren’t both totally adorable about it. They discuss Nathan’s plans to protect the general public from people with special abilities; Peter is vehemently opposed to this, while Mohinder mildly argues that their powers are too dangerous to leave unchecked. He’s actually being sensible and introspective, which: a) is very unMohinderlike, and b) probably won’t last much past this episode.

After Peter leaves, the scary balding guy gets in the cab, pulls a gun on Mohinder, and forces him to drive to a parking structure, where a number of masked goons are waiting to restrain him. Mohinder rips off the door of his cab and uses it to whack the bald guy, which neatly answers the question of whether he retained his powers after losing his scales during his dip in the power-granting Kool-Aid. Bennet arrives and rescues Mohinder, then cheerfully tasers him and hands him over to the goons. Mo seems shocked and outraged at being betrayed by the guy he once shot in the eyeball. Karma, Mohinder. It’ll bite you in the fanny every time.

In Tokyo, still-powerless Hiro converts an old firehouse into a cool superhero lair for himself and newly-powered Ando. He presents Ando with a spandex costume and a motorcycle. Ando is cool with the latter, but not so much with the former. He’s also not cool with Hiro secretly embedding GPS tracking chips under their skin. Ando, who suspects Hiro is overcompensating for the loss of his own powers, storms out in a huff and heads to a strip club. Back at the lair, Hiro gets tasered and captured by masked goons.

Sylar’s in Baltimore, where, sadly, he is neither hanging out with the cast of The Wire, nor starring in Hairspray. Instead, he’s on a quest to find his real father. Yawn. Seriously, Sylar, I’m sure you can come up with a more interesting way to occupy your time. He breaks into a watch repair shop, confronts the guy whom he thinks is his dad, and talks about his abandonment issues. This is far and away the dullest part of the episode, though it’s salvaged by the fact that Quinto is kinda looking smoking-hot these days. Anyway, his alleged dad passes the buck and tells Sylar he’s actually someone else’s kid.

So Sylar moves on to the next likely paternity candidate. No one’s home, but Sylar finds some compelling evidence that maybe he’s in the right place: a) it’s the home of a taxidermist, which seems like a suitable occupation for the father of a serial killer, and it’s cluttered with b) snow globes and c) baby photos of Sylar. Masked goons storm in and try to apprehend him, but Sylar uses his eight billion abilities and slaughters them.

Matt, who is now working as a security guard, is living with Daphne in Mohinder’s apartment. The question of where Mohinder is living remains unanswered. Matt bitches at Daphne for using her super-speedy abilities to help her with her new job as a courier. A tedious domestic squabble ensues. Back when Matt was stuck in his loveless and naggy marriage, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and assumed the bulk of their domestic problems were triggered by Janice. Then Matt shacked up with Mohinder and bickered nonstop with him, and now he’s getting crabby with Daphne. Matt, buddy, I hate to break this to you, but you’re kind of a nag.

Matt is visited by an apparition of Usutu, who is looking pretty hale and hearty considering his recent decapitation. Usutu tells Matt he’s been chosen to be a prophet. Upon hearing this, Matt develops the patented Isaac Mendez Milky-Eyes™ and starts to draw. When Claire stops by to warn him about Nathan’s diabolical plans, Matt shows her a prophetic sketch of himself and Claire getting apprehended by armed goons.

Immediately thereafter, Matt and Claire are apprehended by armed goons.

Peter returns to his apartment and finds Nathan lurking in his living room. When Peter tells Nathan he wants no part of his crackpot scheme to imprison everyone with special abilities, Bennet creeps up behind him and tasers him. Lots of primary characters get tasered this episode. It’s perversely satisfying.

Our heroes are drugged, manacled, masked, and loaded onto a plane. Nathan takes Claire out of the group, tells her to forget what she’s seen, and sends her home. Claire secretly jumps aboard the plane just before takeoff. This is preposterous, of course, but it’s awfully nice seeing Claire being useful and proactive. She rouses Peter, who swipes Mohinder’s super-strength and helps Claire free the others. Claire breaks into the cockpit and discovers the plane is being flown by Bennet.

Peter accidentally absorbs Tracy’s ice ability and, during his scuffle with the goons, freezes the side of the plane and creates a gigantic hole in the hull. The plane nosedives. Peter is almost sucked out through the hole… but Mohinder grabs his hand and saves him.