Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Heroes – “Cold Snap” S3E20 (airdate 3/23/09)

Danko cleans up in his gray bathroom (in his gray apartment) – washing his face, shaving, all à la Dexter extreme close-ups. An alarm sounds: the front door is open. Already this scene is shot more sophisticated visually than anything we’ve seen in this show’s history - very slick, very stylized. I love Bryan Fuller! Calmly Danko checks out the front door, gun drawn … and finds Doyle trussed with a bow and hanging on the wall in his living room. There’s a note pinned to his chest: “My gift to you.” Doyle wheezes – he’s alive – and Danko stares, now wigged out a bit.

NYC in the pouring rain. Bennet jumps into Angela Petrelli’s limo, dots of toilet paper blotting the shaving cuts on his face. Not so steady a hand as Danko, eh? Angela is a little cranky about having to sacrifice her relationships with her sons to enable her to save them; she says Nathan will come around but she fears Peter is done with her forever. She tells Bennet that it’s all in his hands now – he’s got to make Danko trust him again, especially in the recent revelation that Nathan can fly, perhaps by feeding Danko one of the outlaw Heroes. She suggests “Rebel” as an offering, saying that she can do without him – she has other resources. Angela gives Nathan her umbrella, telling him to go catch the next rail to D.C. In return, Bennet advises her to avoid going home. So far, the dialogue is TONS better than usual too – I love Bryan Fuller!

Building 26. Danko brings Mohinder into a lab where many, many Heroes lie on gurneys, doped to the gills to keep them sedate. Mohinder checks on Daphne, saying that she badly needs medical help. Danko replies that he didn’t bring Mohinder here to help Daphne; he just wanted to get Mohinder in the room of his own accord. A stealth lackey plunges a hypodermic into Mohinder’s chest and the doctor crumples. Danko turns and orders another bed made ready for “Ms. Strauss.” That would be Tracy, I guess, who is still sweating it out in her overheated cell. She tests her restraints, then leans forward, breathing a frosty sigh into the hot room. She’s still got it.

Later, Danko and Bennet enter the lab and Danko shows him Doyle all laid out, “[his] gift to [Bennet].” Bennet asks how he caught Doyle. “Because I’m smarter than the average bear,” Danko totally lies. I mean, he’s probably right, but he didn’t catch the bad guy this time. Bennet brings up with his (Angela’s) plan to capture Rebel: they allow Rebel to rescue Tracy, but use her as bait. Danko isn’t sure, not wanting to let killer Tracy loose: “If we don’t capture Rebel?” Bennet: Then I put a bullet in Tracy’s head and we call it “self-defense.” You know, that would just be good for everyone.

Ugh. Hiro and Ando are hanging out with baby Matt Parkman. At first they think that he’s Parkman changed to a baby, then Ando figures out that the baby is Parkman’s baby and they are annoyed because they meant to save the grownup one. Then the baby turns on the TV and the two idiots are too busy fussing around to notice that grownup Parkman is on the news, about to blow D.C. to bits with the bomb strapped to his chest. They unplug the TV, trying to set a good example, and then the baby exerts his own ability, turning the set – and a bunch of other toys and gadgets - on (and off), and they’re too busy marveling at his power to notice AGAIN that the baby’s daddy is on national news. I repeat, UGH.

NYC. Angela is annoyed that her car is stopped when her limo driver gets yanked out by a couple of goons with guns. Luckily this is one of her premonitions and she snaps to moments before her limo driver actually gets yanked out by a couple of goons with guns. As the goons search the street for her, she disappears into the pedestrian crowd by cozying up to a handsome businessman with an umbrella. Smart lady, that one.

Building 26. Bennet finishes a phone call, and then reports to Danko that their team lost Angela. Suddenly, the room goes into lockdown and the computers are nonresponsive. “Rebel, Rebel,” muses Bennet. In Tracy’s cell, the heat goes off and the door opens. She flexes her power and quickly busts out of her restraints. Rebel is considerate enough to open doors for her, leading her to the lab where she pulls tubes out of Mohinder’s, Parkman’s and Daphne’s noses. Now, why them? I guess she knows them from the plane escape. Parkman says they have to get Daphne to a hospital but Tracy doesn’t want to wait, rushing out. The boys scoop a comatose Daphne up and follow, catching up to Tracy as she runs into a pack of agents with guns. Parkman flexes his brain – thinking, “all clear” – and the agents rush right by the fugitives, unseeing. “So we just walk out the front door?” asks Tracy, grudgingly impressed. “Aren’t you glad you waited for us?” grins Parkman. Back at the locked-down HQ room, Danko Has Had Enough: when Tracy gets to Rebel, Bennet is to put a bullet in both their heads. “Call it self-defense,” he sneers.

Some time later, in a high-end clothing store, Tracy is helping herself to a sleek new black outfit, complete with sassy boots, conveniently freezing off the security tags. She gets cocky, though, and opens the door to request a smaller size … and in walks Bennet. He chides her, saying that if she’d stuck with Parkman she could have [continued to walk] right past all the agents – going out on her own was a bad idea. He’s pretty sure he can pull the trigger before she can turn him to ice. She’s ready to call that bluff, however, because she’s been building up a serious “cold snap” ever since the heat lamps went off. Diffusing the tension slightly, Bennet asks who Rebel is, but she doesn’t know. He suggests that if she leads him to Rebel, he’ll let her go: she won’t have her old life back (that’s gone forever), but she’ll be on the outside. If she won’t, or if she kills him, all bets are off and it’ll “be a cut to black.” Tracy thinks about her options.

Hospital. Parkman staggers down the hall, calling for help, Daphne in his arms. She’s woozily awake now. Nervous Mohinder urges Parkman to be ready to bolt if the hospital staff gets suspicious. Instead, Parkman flexes his mental muscles to encourage the doctors not to report Daphne’s “accidental duck hunting gun shot wound” and paces nervously while they take her into the surgery, Mohinder frowning worriedly at his back all the while.

Hiro packs a bag for Baby Parkman while Ando frets that they can’t just take the baby with them, as that’s kidnapping. I am resolutely not paying attention to Ando’s dissertation on Hiro’s mommy and daddy issues – blah blah blah. Seriously though, that is some really gorgeous baby luggage. Oops – a door slams: Mommy’s home! She finds her son and his two Japanese ninnies nannies in the playroom. Unrealistically calmly, Janice notes that they are not from the babysitting service. Why is she not screaming bloody murder?

NYC. Tracy sashays down the street. I suppose we’re meant to assume that she didn’t take Bennet’s deal. As she passes by an ATM, a robotic voice says her name and prints out a boarding pass for her. She thanks the ATM and hails a taxi, instructing it to go to Union Station. After her cab pulls away, a young black man with a curly mop of hair steps to the curb to hail his own cab. It’s Micah, of course. He must be Rebel – who else could manipulate all these computers? He’s grown – not as bad as Lost’s Walt, but not nearly as adorable as he used to be. His voice is even starting to change.

A bedraggled Angela meets her friend Millie (spot-on cameo by Swoozie Kurtz) at a restaurant. Millie is not that pleased to see her old friend, whom she hasn’t seen in some time, especially since she was detained for hours earlier today on the basis of their past friendship. Angela notes that she’s not having the best day herself. She asks Millie for a change of clothes, the loan of a car, whatever cash she has on hand. Millie does not seem inclined to help and suggests that Angela turn herself in. Angela stands to leave and Millie has a quick change of heart, handing the other woman a bunch of money. Angela thanks her and quick-steps out, but not before snagging Millie’s umbrella. Now, that was a neat and tidy scene, showing that Angela is not, in fact, all powerful and, when cut off from her family’s resources, needs help like anyone else. And it’s nice of Bryan Fuller to toss some work Swoozie’s way in light of Pushing Daisies’s cancellation.

A-ha! That’s more like it: Janice Parkman tells her Japanese invaders that she has called the police. They ask if she knows that her baby is special and she confirms it, saying the ability started during the eclipse. Hiro tells her that her ex is a hero like they are, and they warn her that the government will be hunting for her son. Just then, a knock on the door. She confesses that she didn’t actually call the cops so Ando takes the baby and he and Hiro hide while she goes to answer the door. The government agents there want to take her and the baby in for questioning, ignoring her perfectly valid point that the baby can’t answer any questions. Janice lies that she has to pick the baby up from daycare. She leaves with the agents but one of them relays an order to search the house over his earpiece. They hustle her off and agents swarm the house.

Hiro and Ando run with the baby to the center of the home. They’re trapped! Ando hands the baby to Hiro and sparks up, hitting the first few approaching agents with a big blast of his red energy. He’s excited by this but doesn’t keep his guard up, and gets a punch to the face for his trouble. As Hiro cringes in the middle of the room, the baby brushes Hiro’s cheek with his chubby hand and manages to turn on Hiro’s time-freeze power! Much rejoicing! Unfortunately, it only seems to be the time-freeze, not the teleporting, so Hiro must tuck the baby into a baby-Bjorn and then trundle a still-frozen Ando out of the house in a wheelbarrow. Okay, that’s kind of funny.

Daphne wakes up in the hospital, surrounded by cards to “Ms Stefani” as Parkman convinced everyone that she was Gwen to get her a private room. That's pretty funny too. Daphne seems pretty sassy for someone so recently on death’s door. As she gets dressed, she tells Parkman that even though he thinks that they’re supposed to be together, they don’t know each other and she’s not sticking around, even over his protests that he loves her. (Um, based on what, exactly? He thinks that he will love her, based on the future he saw, but I don’t think he actually loves her yet.) He tells her that she needs to stay with him for protection but Daphne’s not planning on slowing down long enough for anyone to find her, not even him. She pats his cheek kindly and superzips out of there.

Union Station. Tracy stalks through the crowd, making her way to a locker where Rebel has left her tickets, etc. Micah pops up, then, saying that they’ll be sitting together. She wants to know what he’s doing here. “I’m Rebel,” he says, cheekily. Tracy actually shows some conscience about this, saying that she had no idea “Rebel” would turn out to be her actual nephew. Micah quickly deduces that she’s bait and snaps that he figured they’d send someone after him, he just didn’t think it’d be her.

Out on the NYC street Angela soon finds herself chased by a bunch of agents and flees to an apartment building’s elevator. The agents quickly commandeer the elevator, bringing back it down to the lobby. Her expression is grim, resigned and a little scared. Just before the car reaches the lobby, there’s a thump on the roof. When the elevator doors open, the agents find Peter there, his arms around his mother. He gives them all a smirk and then, before they can fire the eight million guns they have pointed at the Petrellis, flies up into the elevator shaft with her. Well, now, I guess she’s relieved that he didn’t decide to just write her off after all.

Micah and Tracy walk quickly through a parking garage. He’s super-disappointed in her, saying that she’s just a politician, not a Hero like his mom. He wants to know what side she’s on, muttering that “[her] own” is not an option. They hear the agents approaching and she asks Micah if he can set off the sprinklers. He does, and the agents keep coming through the downpour. Tracy sends Micah away, telling him to keep doing what he’s been doing – and to stay ahead of the ice. And then she walks out into the wet, slo-mo so you know it’s Serious. There’s water everywhere. The agents converge, raising their weapons and she lifts her chin defiantly. Everything freezes: the men, the weapons, the water, the walls ... even Tracy. And then Danko walks up and shoots her pointblank in the chest, shattering her into tiny shards of ice. Micah hears the shot and pauses, briefly, and then keeps going. Bennet joins Danko, saying that he found no sign of Rebel. Danko grunts then walks off. Bennet takes a moment, standing over the frozen shards of Tracy Strauss, grieved. I sort of think that Tracy chose to sacrifice herself mostly because she couldn’t face a life on the run with her public profile and riches gone, rather than out of any overweening heroic martyrdom.

Hiro and Baby wheel frozen Ando to the bus station. It seems that everyone in the entire town has been frozen in time - that’s some amped up power there. Then Hiro blinks and time restarts. Ando is thrilled that they’ve escaped and Hiro can freeze time again – very exciting. Next stop: save big Parkman.

Parkman (speaking of him) finds Daphne on a Parisian rooftop: he flew there, she ran across the ocean. And by “flew,” he means actual flight, and he shows her he can levitate. When the frak did that happen? This is a fake out, I’m sure of it. Daphne plays along though, and asks him to take her for a tour around the Eiffel Tower. As they float through the sky, she comes clean: she knows that they’re still in the hospital, and this is all in her head, him trying to make her happy. Sniff. Back at the hospital, a somber (and silent!) Mohinder is with Parkman when Daphne dies.

NYC. Peter and his mom hide out at the top of the Statue of Liberty (symbolism much?) and he asks her what she wants to do next. To be continued!

Well, hush my mouth: “nothing momentous” and “nobody’s going to get killed off.” That’ll teach me to make pronouncements. My second least favorite character gets offed – the only thing better would have been to kill Mohinder. But fear not, Ali Larter fans. There’s still one triplet left of the Niki(Jessica)/Tracy/Barbara trilogy, and I suspect ol’ Barb will be making an appearance soon. I suppose it would be too much to hope that she is a total nerd whose power is being able to understand bird-speak. Because that would be hilarious. Anyway, pretty darn good episode, thanks to no Nathan, very little Mohinder and Peter, and the deft hands of Bryan Fuller. Long live Bryan Fuller!

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes

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