Monday, November 10, 2008

Heroes – “Villains” S3E8 (airdate 11/10/08)

Gosh, I can’t hardly remember what happened when this show was on last … oh, right, Hiro’s damn vision quest. I think this is all meant to be a flashback vision, not an alternative universe, so let’s go with that..

Eighteen months ago: Arthur and Angela Petrelli’s 41st wedding anniversary party. Linderman is there, and corners Nathan, asking if his office is about to start investigating him. Uh, yup. As Nathan drifts away into the crowd, Linderman asks Arthur to take a peek inside his older son’s head to see what’s there. Trouble, says Arthur. Linderman points out that if Nathan starts investigating Linderman’s dealings, he’s going to find his father’s sticky fingers all over everything. Linderman asks Arthur to ask Nathan to back off but Arthur goes one better and vows kill Nathan if he has to, to protect their secrets.

Memphis, Tennessee: Flint and Meredith are robbing a convenience store. She wants to get out of there post haste but Flint is busy getting testy with a patron who won’t lie down. It’s Eric Roberts (“Thompson” – how quickly I forget and have to check IMDb!) and he tells Flint to listen to his sister (!) before spraying Flint with a fire extinguisher, foaming out the blue flame. When Meredith sends her own orange fireball at him, Roberts steps to one side and aims a taser at her. She puts up her hands and Flint scampers away. That’s cool: sibling firestarters!

One year ago, Brooklyn, NY: Sylar’s watch shop. Geeky Sylar hangs up a noose out of remorse for having killed his first Hero to steal his telekinesis (good ol' "Brian Davis" - remember him?) . He’s just hanged himself when Elle walks into the shop. She finds him dangling there and cuts through the rope with a sparkle of electricity that he doesn’t notice, what with the strangling and all. Sylar falls and she rushes to him, cradling his head. “Forgive me,” he says hoarsely.

Elle tells Sylar that everything will be okay - everyone does bad things. He tells her that a man had something that he wanted and he took it at a terrible price. She replies him that he deserves a second chance: the rope broke and it’s a sign ... neglecting to tell him that she cuts the rope. Later, she goes back out to the Primatech van where her partner Bennett is waiting for her. She wonders why they can’t just “bag and tag” this guy. Bennett tells her that Sylar’s ability is very rare and her assignment is to get him to show her how he does it before they bring him in.

Back on Level 5, Thompson peruses Meredith’s file. She’s had a troubled life, no big surprise. She wants to know what sort of deal he’s going to offer her. He tells her that the Company wants her to be an agent, to work with them. With scorn and derision in her voice, she tells him that she hates the Company and would never work for them. Thompson reminds her what her choices are: agree or live out her life in an asbestos-lined cell. Even when he won’t concede to her request to leave Flint alone, Meredith sighs and asks when she starts.

Arthur Petrelli is pruning some rosebushes when Angela finds him. She wants him to come to Peter’s nursing school graduation but he’s not interested in his fop of a younger son. Nathan drops by to pick up his mom and his dad asks him again to drop the Linderman investigation. Nathan refuses, calling Linderman toxic, and Arthur sort of shrugs and turns back to his roses.

Then, it's Nathan and Heidi’s car accident when he learned he could fly and she got her spine crushed. At the hospital, Nathan is furious with his father, saying that it was Linderman’s men who drove him off the road: “I’m going to hurt that man and, when I do, if you’re standing next to him, I’m going to hurt you too.” That night, at the Petrelli mansion, Angela asks her husband if Linderman might truly have gone after their son, finally asking if Arthur ordered him to kill Nathan. Arthur denies it.

So far I’m kind of “meh” about this episode. There are so many freakin’ characters, they really need to thin the herd and focus.

Austin, TX, one year ago: Meredith and Thompson are on a training mission – no powers allowed unless Thompson okays it. They approach a homeless Hero whose cool power is to turn his right fist and arm into metal – which he does when he gets suspicious of their lame-ass cover story. The homeless guy clocks Thompson with his metal fist (hee!) and then Meredith flames into him, sending him staggering back. Grinning, she grabs Thompson’s taser and brings the guy down. Thompson scrambles to his feet and welcomes her to the Company.

Queens, NY: Primatech van, still one year ago. Bennett is surveilling Sylar via a nany-cam as Sylar pulls a list of names off a corkboard. I think he’s in Dr. Suresh’s apartment. A chirpy Elle knocks on the door, bearing pie. Shyly, Sylar tells her that he’s got an ability and demonstrates his telekinesis. She sees the list of names on the table but Sylar crumples it up and tosses it the trash, casually mentioning that the people on the list have abilities too. Then, “What kind of pie did you bring?” She brought peach, which is his favorite. While he’s distracted by the pie, Elle snatches the list out of the trashcan. I like blueberry best myself, although peach is good too.

Thompson and Meredith have brought Metal Fist back to Level 5. He looks grumpy. Meredith asks if she’s an agent now; Thompson says not quite – once she proves loyal and obedient to orders, even ones she doesn’t agree with, then she’ll be an agent. He tells her to dump their guy in Cell 9, handing her a keycard. But when she takes the guy into the cellblock, she sees Flint there, captured. (I think this is a loyalty test – Thompson had to know Flint was in there.) He tells her that they’ve promised to make him an agent too: he’s psyched about it and is clearly a complete dumbass. Thompson walks in: “Is there a problem?” With a glare at her moronic brother – who is chortling “Bag and tag, baby, bag and tag!” – Meredith says no, and puts Metal Fist in his cell.

Bennett continues to watch on the nanny-cam as Elle and Sylar have pie. (That is not a euphemism – keep it clean!) There’s a plastic cover on Dr. Suresh’s armchair – heh. Elle gently probes about the people with abilities; Sylar begins to tell her that he’s been coveting others’ powers, feeling a little addicted to feeling “special.” However, since he met her, his hunger has waned and he’s starting to think that he doesn’t need to be so special. Elle turns on the charm and tells him he’s special just the way he is.

Outside, Bennett rightfully gives her a hard time about the cheesy line and tells her that they’re “stalling out, time to kick it into high gear.” Elle is worried that Sylar will kill again; Bennett says of course he’ll try to kill again – the only difference is whether they’ll get to see it or if he’ll do it in a dark alley. Elle keeps dragging her feet and Bennett rounds on her, taunting that she likes Sylar, thinks he’s sweet. He shows her a file and says somebody’s name, “Trevor” something. Elle is angry, saying she is not going to do it; Bennett insists, saying that they need to see him kill. If she doesn’t follow orders, she isn’t an agent – which is something her father’s been training her for since she was four. Come on, he says, let’s introduce these two.

Linderman and Arthur Petrelli continue to discuss their Nathan problem. Linderman is getting cold feet about the whole murdering-his-friends’-son thing, but Arthur says the plan for New York has been in motion for years and they can’t stop now. Linderman says okay, fine, he’s got a guy who can do it. Problem with all this is that Angela’s standing right over there and she hears it all. She runs into the kitchen and grabs a knife, Arthur and Linderman right on her heels. She begs that Nathan is her baby (technically not but anyway) but Arthur stares at her, speaking telepathically that Nathan has to die. He repeats, pushing at her mind, pushing at her defenses, until finally she monotones, “Nathan has to die.”

In the midst of his vision, Hiro sits up, exclaiming, “Murder!” Ando tries to wake him but Usutu admonishes him, telling him that something has disturbed Hiro’s vision, making him want to awaken. But no, Hiro goes back under.

Meredith busts Flint out of his cell. He doesn’t really want to go; he wants to be an agent like the nice people at the Company said he could. “They’re tricking you because you’re dumb,” says his sister. They hop a freight train, heading to Mexico, Thompson right behind them. Meredith distracts the agent long enough for Flint to jump off the train. Then, once she’s set the cargo in their car all afire, she and Thompson have to jump too, right before an explosion.

Angela is making dinner (Italian lentil soup, Arthur’s mom’s recipe) when Linderman stops by. He tells her that he can’t stand by and watch her husband destroy her. She doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Linderman says he can heal the scars left on her brain from when Arthur pushes thoughts into her head. She slaps him for his effrontery, but he persists: do you want to live in blind obedience or do you want to know the truth? She chooses truth – and the Angela Petrelli we all know is born.

At the wreck of the train, Thompson’s got Meredith’s hand tied. He asks her why she hates the Company so much and she says it’s because her baby Claire died in the house fire that broke out when the Company came to take her. Thompson’s all, hm, that’s what they told you? and slices through her bonds, telling her to get on out of there. As Meredith scampers off, we see Claire in her cheerleader outfit, running to the burning train to make her first rescue. Aw, remember that?

Elle is back at the apartment with Sylar. They’re having dinner together. There’s a knock on the door: it’s Trevor, who she invited over because Trevor has an ability too. Sylar doesn’t understand. Elle tells him that he shouldn’t go through this alone and asks Trevor for a demonstration. Trevor points his hand like a gun at a couple of glasses and they shatter, one by one, like they’ve been shot. Elle’s all, that is so cool!, and hops up and down a little as Sylar breathes in slowly. Bennett smiles approvingly from the surveillance van.

Arthur and Angela eat their lentil soup together. He wonders why she seems so far away. She asks him if he’d even know her at all without using his power to dig through her brain. He concentrates … and nothing. Because the Haitian is standing right behind him. Arthur gives a little cough and she smirks, “Indigestion?” She asks him if he thinks she’s going to kiss him or kill him. Oh, how I do like the cold, calculating Angela.

Elle is flirty and touchy with Trevor, saying how special he is. Sylar gets jealous and TKs Trevor across the room, pinning him to the wall and getting ready to slice open his head. Elle can’t keep up the ruse any longer and pleads with him to stop. When he won’t, she zaps hits him a little, saying that he doesn’t need to do this. Now he’s really pissed, and TKs her across the room. Afraid, Elle bolts as Bennett swears in the van. Distractions gone, Sylar turns his attention back to poor Trevor: slice, squish. Elle climbs into the van and finds Bennett watching Sylar on the video-feed, marveling “he actually exposes the brain.” Elle sits there and shakes.

“Our own son, Arthur!” says Angela. When Arthur tells her not to be sentimental, she retorts, “I’m sentimental because I don’t want to kill my son?” Arthur paces about some more then stops, grabbing at his torso and falling to the floor. Angela sniffs that the recipe she used wasn’t exactly his mother’s and takes a drink of wine as the Haitian silently looks on. After the commercial, she gives the Haitian her keycard and tells him to use the incinerator on Level 3. If anyone asks, Arthur is a casualty of a “field op.” Nathan picks this inopportune time to swing by his parents’ home and finds his dad on the floor. He calls 911. Nathan ruins everything!

Bennett tries to cheer up his young partner, saying they’ve done good work – the tapes will be studied and analyzed. Elle’s upset mad because they didn’t try to save Sylar, they made him into a monster and set him loose on the world. That was the assignment, not bringing him in, he reminds her, they’re agents and they follow orders.

At the hospital, Angela and Nathan wait, upset, until the doctor tells them that Arthur has died. Angela wants a cremation ASAP. She hugs her son, coldly staring at the wall behind him. The doctor goes back into Arthur’s room where Petrelli is hooked up to all those machines. At Arthur’s telepathic communications (which we don’t hear), the doctor tells Arthur that the poison has irreversibly damaged his “peripheral nervous system” but promises to find another body so Angela can have her cremation. Later, Nathan and Peter reminisce about their dad at his memorial service. Angela is STONE COLD, telling her sons not to idolize their father just because he’s dead: “He was just a man, deeply flawed in ways you will never know.”

Back to present day, and Hiro emerges from his vision walk. He urgently tells Ando that they need to warn Angela and Nathan, and find Meredith, and ... They then hear a horrific scream and run out to find Usutu’s body lying on the desert floor. His head is way over there. And suddenly, there’s Arthur Petrelli: “I understand you’ve been dreaming about me,” he grouches, and grabs hold of Hiro’s head. Hiro screams and screams, and we’re To Be Continued.

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes

Okay, this episode ended stronger than I thought it was going to, plus we got rid of one character! But it's a little bizarre how the majority of the characters who are killed off/written off on this show are people of color: Simone, Isaac, D.L., Micah, Monica, Maya, Maya's brother Whatsisname, Usutu. Just an observation there.


  1. "She begs that Nathan is her baby (technically not but anyway)"

    what do you mean?

  2. Well, Nathan is the older son, so Peter is "technically" her baby. But I wasn't going to split hairs with her in such a tense moment. (Pluswhich we don't know where Sylar falls in the Petrelli boys hierarchy - maybe he's the youngest for reals.)