I’m not quite sure what the Building 26 in the episode’s title is, but my first guess is that’s where Nathan’s uber-illegal activity is going on.
Quick thoughts on tonight first:
One, Claire didn’t totally annoy me tonight!
Two, Hiro really really did!
Three, How does one violent act change a woman’s morals utterly, seriously?
Four, Sylar and Angry Young Skywalker frakking ROCK. This is by far my favorite storyline!
Claire Bennet: She’s Not Gonna Take It Anymore!
Okay, let’s take a look at Claire and the Bennets first. Blah, blah, lying to mom and Lyle, blah blah. This routine is getting old, and I’m with Claire when she tells daddy dearest: “That’s the thing, dad. You can’t [control me].” You know what, he can’t! That’s entirely correct! Now stop wearing your hair in a french braid like you’re 12 and let’s go save that comic book guy! Alex the Comic Book Guy I kind of like–he’s funny, cute, a geek, wears glasses, has a superpower…okay, yes, I mostly just want him to be my boyfriend, don’t judge me! Their interaction is amusing, as Alex is convinced that Claire’s been put up to this by some friend of his. (Although the ‘cute blondes don’t come in here’ schtick is a little much–all kinds of people go into comic book stores, Tim Kringe [sic], but since you refuse to have real comic book writers on your staff, you wouldn’t know that, so instead you’re going to further the stereotype. Thanks, ass.) Anyways, she shows him she means business just as HRG comes in to try and round up Alex. Now, since the ‘motivation’ in this whole thing is that people with powers (they still refuse to use the M word!) are just too darn dangerous to be allowed to live free, you have to wonder, man, what can this Alex kid do? Turn liquids into solids? Erase your mind? Blow you up by looing at you, walk through walls, what? He can breathe underwater. That’s….that’s it? Seriously? Have those government not heard the numerous jokes out there about how totally not useful Aquaman is? And hey, he can at least talk to fish, too! *facepalm* So Alex the Deep One and Claire run away, and somehow this works because they hide behind a shurbery, and now he’s living in her closet. That’s okay, I already like him more than West.
And in perhaps Claire’s BEST move of the night? She refused to be a party to dad’s lies any longer and told her mother right up front what was going on. Good for her! She’s really NOT letting her dad control her anymore! Mom is understandably pissed and finally tells HRG what he’s won: getting his ass kicked out of the house. Frankly, it’s about time. He had her memory wiped consistently for years, and then still continued to lie to her on a regular basis. He might love his wife, but it really doesn’t matter if he’s going to keep lying to her like this. Mad props to Mrs. Bennet for this one! I would have kind of liked it if Claire had maintained her anger at her father when she told him he was moving out, but I suppose her feeling sad about it also makes sense.
Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi: Whiny Idiot Ball
Hiro and Ando have gone to India, following the path created for them by Parkman’s artwork. Hiro sees a wedding is going on at the location depicted, and immediately decides this means he has to stop the wedding. Um, why? What in that painting says “stop the wedding”?
While Hiro is off being a self-centered dumbass, Ando is getting sh*t done. He happens upon the bride-to-be, who is not looking forward to her arranged marriage, and she interprets him as the sign she’s been praying for that she should not do this. Ando is happy to have done something good, and Hiro’s whining that he was supposed to stop the wedding and get his powers. Meh, meh, meh, cry me a river Hiro, and another thing, how the hell was doing this supposed to give you back your powers??
Ando later accurately pinpoints that Hiro is jeaous because he has powers and Hiro doesn’t, and Hiro has to put up with being the sidekick now. When Ando gets kidnapped (while trying to do the right thing, rather than moping about uselessly), Hiro unfortunately gets the chance to do his loud and yelling and waving his arms so that hey everyone look at me being a hero over here!! thing, and gets to stop the wedding from going through. The image in the painting comes to pass, and Hiro yells that damned “YATTA!” line again and I kind of want to shoot someone. He claims to have learned that one can be a hero with powers(I’m not buying it), then when the bride figures out that their names are familiar because she got in a fax or them from “Rebel” saying to go save Parkman in LA, Hiro loudly exclaims that it is a fax from destiny.
Um, no. It’s from some person calling themselves “Rebel.”
Hiro’s had his hands glued to the Idiot Ball for a while now, starting in earnest with that god awful ‘I’m ten years old’ storyline in Volume 3, but this episode was just awful in regards to his character. It’s like he only managed to age his brain back to 15! I could understand some mild jealousy and resentment of Ando being the “hero” now, but to this degree is just ridiculous, and his repeated idiotic insistence that “Destiny” was faxing him or guiding him or some other bullsh*t stupid response was just irritating beyond belief. I used to like Hiro, but in this episode? Someone could’ve hit him with a truck and I’d have been okay with that. Furthermore, an iPhone? Traveling abroad? What happened to staying off the grid, people?
Nathan Petrelli: My New Power Is Erasing Morals!
In some building, I presume Building 26, Nathan is going on about how dangerous people with powers are (they might stay underwater for hours, or even go swimming less than an hour after eating!) and how they all need to be rounded up to the visiting DHS representitive. Moira “Toe Pick” Kelly is the rep in question, and accurately points out that Nathan is violating human rights like it’s coming into style, and after she sees that the has Tracy Strauss (whom she knows) under hot lamps, she’s made up her mind. This place is getting shut down so fast they’ll be dizzy, there’s no reason that these people don’t still have the same rights as everyone else. And she’s completely right! Then, however, Tracy notices that the chain holding her is weak, so she pulls it free, and breaks out, taking a man hostage, but when she sees that she’s surrounded, she settles for freezing and shattering him instead of trying to get out of there. Why? Who knows. The DHS woman sees all this happen. So Tracy’s locked back up and tells Nathan she knows he left the chain broken and the door unlocked for a reason, and that next time she will get out of there (I argue, what stopped you this time, and also, why didn’t they kill you after they saw you murder someone, but hey, what do I know, right…). Nathan in turn blames The Hunter, who doesn’t so much care and says the sacrifice was necessary. DHS woman has forgotten what the defintion of human rights is, apparently, and tells Nathan he’ll have all the funding he needs.
Really? Okay one, even if she did now think this was all necessary and above board, then how about the fact that they seem to only have ONE prisoner? ONE! And second of all, okay, ONE prisoner is a killer. Does that mean every single one of these people with powers is a bad guy? Um, no. But hey, thanks for furthering prejudice. Toe pick!
(And one more note: there’s an unmissable line about the Patriot Act giving them a lot of leeway in this whole shady business. Which is just another reminder of, hey thanks for the social commentary….four years later. Late to the party much, Kring?)
Sylar and Angry Young Skywalker: Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.
Now for the storyline of awesome! Sylar is fantastic as always, and I’m liking his sidekick here. Thinking that Luke may be putting him on, he pulls over and informs very carefully of what it is he usually does to people and why he knows if he’s being lied to–he cuts open their heads and takes their powers.
“So you’re…a serial killer?”
“I’m not a serial killer.”
“Well, you have method of how you kill people, there’s a pattern to who you go after…”
“Okay, fine, technically I’m a serial killer!” Hee!
Sylar doesn’t kill him, as he can see that Luke does clearly know the address and that’s no lie. Luke also has some more info on Sylar’s dad: he sold his son for money, and he was really into birds. He used to take Luke hunting for birds with him sometimes, in a red wagon that Sylar suddenly remembers from his youth. This was pretty interesting, because finally Sylar asks Luke, “Why would he tell you all of that?” “I don’t know…maybe because I reminded him of you.” And that’s no lie either, methinks.
In the diner they go to, Sylar starts giving Luke tips on…well, on how to be a serial killer, as far as I can tell!
1. Always have an objective.
2. Know your endagme before you begin.
3. Keep a clear head, emotions make you sloppy.
4. Understand your motivation and what you want.
While Sylar once just wanted powers, now he just wants to find his dad, and hopes to find some answers about himself from that. This whole conversation shows a little more self-awareness than I quite believe from Sylar–or at least, the way it’s presented is a little off coming from him somehow. But Angry Young Skywalker seems touched by his story, so he writes down the address and gives it to Sylar. Sylar accurately points out that he’s got no reason to not kill Luke now, and Luke just says he’s kind of hoping his wannabe mentor won’t do that. as Sylar ponders the pros and cons, he notices that suddenly they’re being surrounded by the same breed of stooges who tried to take him down back at dad’s old digs, and it turns into a dangerous stand-off. Luke distracts the man with a gun on the “sweet spot” on the back of Sylar’s head, and the serial killer makes good on an escape, leaving Luke behind to fend for himself! Which he doesn’t do so well at, quickly falling into the government’s custody. Surprisingly, however, Sylar returns in cognito and slaughters the agents, taking both a laptop (Dude, he’s getting a Dell!), and his padawan. When Luke asks why he bothered rescuing him and taking him with him, Sylar insists it’s nothing and it just makes things easier for him and doesn’t mess up his plans. Which is true–there’s no way for Luke to spill the address to someone else this way. But Sylar then turns on the radio and ends that topic of conversation.
These two I love. I’m so glad they’re still on their road trip, it’s fantastic. I like Luke, he plays off of Quinto pretty well, being neither annoying nor saccharine. He’s not a sidekick to redeem Sylar, he’s a rebellious teen to be lead down the path. Will the apprentice one day try to overcome the master? Or be killed for his insolence? Or when it’s convenient? Or will he indeed succeed in getting under Sylar’s skin, for good or for ill?
Finally, we end on a scene the surprised me a little bit. HRG is getting a few drinks at the hotel bar where he’s staying for now, and then suddenly everything’s going dizzy. I figured the government was taking him in now, but not so! Parkman, Peter and Suresh stand up and go to his “aid,” saying it looks like he’s had too much, but they’ll make sure he gets home okay. Clever move, boys! I’m not sure how they drugged his drink, but regardless, well-played. First smart thing they’ve done in a while!