Sunday, October 18, 2009

Heroes episode recap - “Hysterical Blindness” S4E4 (airdate 10/12/09)

This time, Heroes recap compliments of, which worked great except that the scenes at night were very dark and nearly impossible to make out.

It’s very dark and I can’t see what’s going on – sounds like someone digging in loose dirt. A darkened figure staggers down the road, then is pulled over by the cops. The man turns as the light comes up and it’s Sylar - which would have been more effective if they hadn’t ruined it in the previews last episode. They seem to do that a lot.

Carnival at breakfast time. Several carnies seem to be empowered Heroes: one woman heats the wafflemaker with a touch of her hand. Samuel speechifies, saying that they need to bring other Heroes into the fold to complete their family. Edgar gives Lydia a look, clearly not entirely on board with the party line, but everyone else seems happy. Samuel promises that by day’s end, they’ll have a full table again.

College. Claire is all happy with her life, doing normal college girl stuff, hanging out with her new roomie. She and Gretchen are interrupted by Jackie from S2 of Veronica Mars, who is rush chairman from Claire’s mom’s sorority. Jackie’s name here is “Becky.” Claire is a legacy and they want her to join, inviting her to a rush function. Gretchen, being the “unconventional” character she is, of course doesn’t think the Greek system is a good idea, claiming that the sorority sisters will turn her new roommate into “Stepford Claire.” But Claire asks Gretchen to go to the rush function with her, she acquiesces.

Baltimore, police station. The cops have called in a psych consult for Sylar, played Simone, Emerson Cod’s girlfriend from Pushing Daisies). Sylar doesn’t know who he is or what’ happened to him, and the cops are all freaked out about him what with the bloodstains and the bullet holes in his clothes and the graveyard dirt and all. The head cop is Ernie Hudson from Ghostbusters, btw. As Sylar sits there, flashes from his past start to come back to him. He’s upset, crying. More importantly, he needs a haircut.

Emma, the deaf sound-seeing medical records clerk, is back at work. Her doctor friend thinks she has “conversion disorder,” a/k/a “hysterical blindness.” And, as it turns out, this doctor friend is actually Emma’s mother. Doctor Mom encourages Emma to stop wasting her life in records, to stop grieving for “Christopher’s death” six years ago. “I’m not grieving,” insists Emma, upset.

Angela Petrelli, stopping by Peter’s apartment ostensibly to see him but actually to see if he’s heard from Nathan, is slightly disturbed by Peter’s obsessive wall of heroic newspaper clippings. Peter wants to talk about himself, how he’s trying to make a difference in people’s lives, but his mother is far too distracted to pay any attention to him. Frustrated, Peter leaves for work, and Angela stays at his apartment, hoping Nathan will show up.

College, sorority house. Becky has organized a “get to know prospective pledges speed dating” event and splits Claire and Gretchen up. As Claire meets different people, it turns out that they already know about her as Gretchen seems to talk more about Claire than herself. This nonpluses Claire, as you might imagine.

NYC. Emma walks down the street, trying not to cry. She starts to see the sounds as colors again and, distracted, steps into the street into the path of a bus. Peter superspeeds up and sweeps her out of harm’s way. They recognize each other, but she’s still so shell-shocked that she just walks away from him. He grabs her arm, still not understanding that she’s deaf and asking if she’s okay. Emma pulls away from him. Annoyed, he tries to superspeed off, but can’t as his legs won’t accelerate. He kicks a trashcan in his frustration and sees a burst of yellow sparkles. Hmm … will he figure it out? Also, seeing sound as color is not quite so helpful to a heroic paramedic as superspeed.

Carnival. Lydia finds Samuel digging in the dirt. She wants to know who the new family member will be, but he doesn’t know yet. But he felt something move in the earth, something that hasn’t settled yet. Gosh, could that be Sylar, having dragged himself up out of the grave? “Guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” intones Samuel. What’s Edgar doing? I need more Edgar.

College, dorm room. Gretchen has appropriated some of Claire’s clothes and Claire struggles a little to it go. When Gretchen leaves the room for a moment, a book falls of the shelf and strikes Gretchen’s laptop. Claire takes a look at it and finds a disturbing number of Claire-related and jump/push/fall suicide web sites book marked. Weirded out, she sends Gretchen on ahead to the sorority mixer.

Baltimore PD. Sylar’s had a shower and a change of clothes (but not a haircut, unfortunately). He professes to the shrink that everything, every experience, seems new to him, even though he has the words to describe them. I’m bored – when is he going to start slicing people open again? The shrink decides to try a memory exercise, telling him to close his eyes and tell her the first thing he visualizes. Instead, he is distracted by hearing the ticking of the clock on the wall, as well as her watch, saying the time they’re keeping is off. She thinks this is significant. Cop Ernie Hudson interrupts them, telling the shrink that they’ve got an ID from Sylar’s fingerprints.

Hospital. Paramedic Peter, searching for Emma, is distracted by the colors rising from a bunch of kids singing for the patients. He finds Emma there too, watching, and they notice each other noticing the colors. She seems relieved to not be alone in this. Peter just gives her a totally goofy grin.

After the commercial, he discovers that this ability is new to her and tries to explain that there are Heroes with varying abilities. “That’s crazy!” she says, when he tells her about the flying, and teleporting, and mind reading. Then they play the piano together – ugh SO BORING. I really miss my DVR because I would be fast-forwarding this nonsense for sure. Anyway, at the end of their duet, she seems to believe him about people having abilities, although he really hasn’t done anything to prove it other than what she’s already seen. So he asks her to lunch tomorrow to talk about it some more, but Emma gets nervous and runs away again.

College. Claire arrives at the sorority mixer in a cute little red dress. Becky finds her at once, glad to see her, and introduces her around. Claire is chatting with some other sister when movement from above catches her eye. She shoves the other girl out of the way, stepping back quickly herself as a be-bannered flagpole plunges into the floor where they were standing. When Claire looks up, Gretchen is peering over the banister above her. Freaked, Claire walks off.

Baltimore. Cop Ernie explains to a still-befuddled Sylar that his name is Gabriel Gray and that he’s a watchmaker from New York who killed his own mother. Sylar thinks that’s awful and impossible – he’s not a killer. Cop Ernie gets tough, turning off the interview camera, and says that first he wants Gabriel’s confession, and then he’s going to throw him down a hole forever. The “down a hole” thing wigs Sylar and he puts his hands up defensively … which ignites his TK, subsequently tossing Cop Ernie through the wall. Sylar affects his getaway as an alarm rings. In the parking garage, the shrink has just gotten to her car when all the lights go off. She is startled when Sylar appears at her car door, begging for her help.

Back at their dorm room, Claire confronts Gretchen, asking if she dropped that flagpole on her to keep her from making new friends, or to expose her “freakiness.” Gretchen gets defensive, calling Claire paranoid. Claire shouts, “All I wanted was a normal life – I trusted you!” Gretchen protests, saying that she’s not really a stalker, well, maybe she’s just stalking Claire a little, then she swoops in and plants a big kiss on Claire. Claire staggers back, shocked, as Gretchen confesses to having a big crush on her. This tender and very frakking pointless moment is interrupted when the Psi Alpha Chi sisters barge in to invite both Claire and Gretchen to pledge their house.

Carnival. Samuel tries again on Lydia’s back to determine who their new family member will be, but the Swirling Tattoos of Destiny show him nothing. Samuel looks up as there’s a shimmer in the air: it’s Becky, the girl from Claire’s new sorority, who calls him “uncle.” She reports that she’s making friends with Claire … via flashbacks we see that she was the one who dropped the flagpole on Claire, and who dropped the book on Gretchen’s laptop to expose the stalking, and who pushed Claire’s original roommate Whatshername out the window. Seems Becky’s power is invisibility. Samuel asks if Claire is now on her way to the carnival but before Becky can answer, Lydia interrupts, saying that something else is happening. Samuel glances at Lydia’s back – we don’t get to see what he sees – and then sends Becky back to campus, saying that the carnival is about to pull up stakes.

In the shrink’s car, Sylar is still trying to remember who he is, insisting that he is not a killer. She points out that he’s at the least a wee bit violent and a kidnapper and carjacker. She pulls over and tries to get him to let her go and turn himself in. Suddenly the cops catch up to them. As Sylar raises his hands to surrender, electricity crackles between his fingers (ooh, I miss Elle) and the spooked cops open fire, hitting him in the chest numerous times. He tumbles into a ditch, taking the shrink with him, and they both watch in wonder as the gunshots heal themselves. She tells him to run, run!

Emma comes home to her quiet, empty apartment. There’s a cello in a stand and she picks it up, starting to play. Holding ceremonial candles, Claire and Gretchen follow the sorority sisters through the dorm as Becky shimmers into view behind them. Peter lets himself into his apartment, muttering to himself about not being able to connect with Emma, when Hiro teleports into view. “Peter Petrelli!” he grins, then collapses to the floor as Peter tries to help him. Emma’s playing gets more and more furious until the sound-colors make the wall in front of her crack. WTF?

Sylar runs and runs through the dark woods, the police close behind him. Then there’s a flash of color ahead and the Sullivan Bros. Carnival pops into view. Samuel beckons him inside. When the cops come into the clearing, there’s nothing there for them to find. Meanwhile inside the carnival, wherever it is, Samuel tells Sylar that he’s safe, and he’s home.

Hey: still no Mohinder! Is he supposed to still be in that deserted interment camp, researching? Didn't he get picked up by some shadowy government agency? Actually, I don't remember and I so don't care just as long as he stays away.

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes

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