Monday, February 9, 2009

Heroes – “A Clear and Present Danger” S3E14 (airdate 2/2/09)

I'm back - and so is Heroes! Thank you for your patience on both fronts: this new episode was much better than I thought it would be, except for Mohinder (as always) and poor Parkman's achingly slow storyline.

It’s two months later. Tracy is getting changed after a date while in the background, Nathan is on television giving an interview about his new role regarding homeland security. He explains to the interviewer that the American people need protection but is unspecific as from whom. Tracy notices that a window is open and finds this disturbing. She turns to find masked commandos in her home. She struggles with them, trying her freeze power but it doesn’t work. Defiant, she says she won’t beg for anyone and then they shoot her with a sedative dart of some sort and she crumples. The men cover her hands and one of them makes a phone call: tell Petrelli that we’ve got the first one.

Ando and Hiro are in Tokyo. Hiro has bought an old firehouse to be their superhero hideout since they need to protect their identities. He has a bank of high tech computers and even made a spandex outfit for Ando! Ando drags his feet, not wanting to save the world anymore … until he sees the “Andocycle.” They do some exposition about how Hiro doesn’t have his powers anymore and Ando is a “supercharger” for other people’s powers. But then Hiro pushes things too far when he injects his friend with a GPS transmitter (it hurts!), and Ando decides he doesn’t want to have any part of Hiro’s obsession, zooming off on his new motorcycle.

In NYC, Peter is now working as a paramedic. His hair is starting to get floppy again – damn. The guy he’s trying to save dies and Peter beats himself up about it, despite his partner’s assurances that there was nothing they could have done. In another part of the city, Claire is perusing college brochures in Angela’s home. (Apparently Claire went ahead and got her GED so that disposes of that pesky high school attendance issue – which makes for boring television.) Angela and Claire’s two dads want her to go to college like a normal girl; Claire doesn’t want to go – she wants to keep hunting Sylar whom she thinks is still alive, despite the Primatech inferno. Angela insists that it’s all over now – Primatech, the Company, Pinehurst – and they need to move on. Claire pouts that no, Sylar is still out there killing and she’ll stop him herself if she has too.

Baltimore, Maryland. Sylar walks into a watch repair shop, reminiscing a bit about the good old days before he turned into a psycho. The owner, one Martin Gray, comes out and cocks a shotgun at the intruder. Sylar calmly notes that Gray used to be his dad but walked out on him. Sylar’s got some questions about all that.

Back in NYC, Parkman and Daphne are still living in that grody apartment. Daphne has a delivery job and has used her superspeed to make all her day’s deliveries by 10:30 a.m. Parkman thinks she needs to live like a normal person and not use her powers – he doesn’t use his powers in his job. In the middle of his speech, however, he has a vision of Whatsisname the dead African visionary and realizes that being normal is so not going to be possible. But Daphne doesn’t notice his distraction and, giving him a perky kiss, chirps, “Fine, normal it is.”

Claire comes downstairs with her bag to catch Angela on the phone with Nathan. She listens in on another line, Nathan saying they’ve got to keep Claire away from Peter and Parkman “when [they] take them down.” Angela catches Claire listening in. Oops. Claire leaves anyway. Angela to Nathan: “I think we have a bigger problem now.”

Baltimore. Things are not going that well between Sylar and his dad. In fact, Sylar doesn’t believe that Gray is his dad at all: who am I, he wants to know. Gray says that Gray’s brother gave Sylar to him when Sylar’s mom wanted a kid and Gray just wanted out of his marriage. Gray hands Sylar an address for his brother and tells him to leave. Sylar’s fingers twitch, wanting to kill this man whom he thought to be his father, but he manages to exert some control and walks away, leaving Gray to his watches.

NYC. Peter gets a phone call from a distraught Claire who tells him that she thinks that Nathan and Angela are rounding up Heroes. She says she has to go warn Matt; Peter says he’ll go talk to Angela and call her back later. He catches a cab - Mohinder is driving. Ugh. They chat, Peter asking if he’s seen anyone lately. Nope, everyone’s keeping a low profile. Mohinder does agree with Nathan a little in that Heroes can be dangerous - look what happened to him – but Peter is scared of the alternatives – segregation, internment camps, experiments. Peter hops out of the cab, bidding Mohinder a friendly goodbye.

The next fare to get in, however, points a gun at Mohinder’s head and tells him to just drive. It’s the guy who took down Tracy in the teaser scene. They go to a parking garage where the guy’s commandos are waiting. The guy tells Mohinder to get in the van. Mohinder, whom I have forgotten is still superstrong, rips the cab door off its hinges and smacks the guy with it, then uses it as a shield against the sedative darts the teams shoots at him. He gets tagged but takes off running down the ramp. Bennett drives up and shouts at him to get in. They drive away, Bennett shouting questions – have you been in contact with Parkman? have you seen Claire? do you know if anyone is rounding up people with abilities? what did Peter says to you? – before screeching to a halt in front of the guy and his team. Mohinder is bewildered but Bennett merely says, “Sorry, Mohinder,” and zaps him with a tazer, pushing him out of the car and getting out himself. Eesh. If Bennett’s part of the rounding up (and I now remember that’s the side he went to in order to save Claire) then that’s going to be tough for the Heroes to fight.

Peter arrives at his mom’s house but only Nathan is there. Peter cuts right to the chase, saying that Nathan’s homeland security speeches has the country thinking he’s talking about terrorists but he’s really talking about the Heroes. As in, rounding up his own kind. He even calls his brother a “self-loathing hypocrite” which makes me giggle. Nathan deflects his little brother’s anger, asking for his help. Peter tells him to kiss his ass. Nathan tries again, asking if they can have dinner tonight. Peter acquiesces but then gets nervous when Nathan asks him what sort of abilities he’s presenting these days.

Parkman has another vision of Whatsisname the dead African visionary, who tells him that Parkman has been chosen to be a prophet; since he’s now assumed Isaac’s white eyes of prophetic painting, he is to tell the world its future. Boring.

Hiro is tracking Ando through that GPS chip: Ando is at a strip club since the Andocycle is a chick magnet. He tries to convince Ando to get with the superhero-ing but Ando doesn’t want to fight crime. However, he becomes concerned when he overhears a struggle back at the lair: the masked commando team has nabbed Hiro. Guess that secret lair wasn’t very secret.

Parkman’s art class of prophecy is interrupted by a loud banging on his front door. He opens it warily: it’s Claire. She warns him about Angela and Nathan. All he wants to do is show her his new drawings, however, and they page through them, trying to figure them out. All this does is waste time, enabling the commandos to tranq Parkman in the neck and burst into the apartment, surrounding Claire at gunpoint.

Peter lets himself into his own apartment where Nathan is waiting for him. Dude, change your locks. Nathan insists that what he’s doing is hugely important for the world. Peter just wants to live his life as normally as he can. Nathan tells his brother that if he’s on his side, he’ll make arrangements to protect him. Peter’s like nope, I’ll fight you with everything I’ve got. Nathan asks for a brotherly hug and that dumbass Peter goes along with it, allowing Bennett to sneak up behind him and zap him with that tazer. Nathan straightens his tie and leaves, his job done, telling Bennett to take care of Peter.

Sylar walks up to a gloomy house. The sign out front reads “Samson Gray, Taxidermist.” This’ll be creepy. Sylar lets himself in. The darkened rooms are filled with stuffed animals – deer, foxes, skunks, snakes. Sylar finds a snow globe, a photo of a young boy with glasses, a burning cigarette. He also finds a team of commandos. They shoot three of those sedative darts into him and throw restraining loops around his wrists and neck. But they are no match for Sylar! He TKs the darts out of his chest and flings the commandos all around the room, hitting several of them with Elle’s stolen electricity for good measure. It’s cool but I miss Elle. He TKs one of the commandos up off the floor and demands to know what’s going on. The commando gives up his name, rank and serial number but won’t say what happened to Samson Gray or who sent them. Sylar smirks that he likes a challenge and commences to slicing open the commando’s head. There is much shrieking.

Tokyo. Ando is back at the lair, using the GPS to locate Hiro.

Nathan watches as the commandos transport their catch. The captured Heroes are covered in orange jumpsuits, shackled, hooded, blindfolded, ears covered. The head guy tells Nathan that there are a couple of issues. Nathan guesses that one of them is Sylar, growling that his orders were to put a bullet in the back of his head, not try to bring him in. The guy acknowledges this, then brings out the other issue: Claire. Nathan orders them to release her and then carries his woozy daughter over to his limousine. Claire mutters that she hates him; Nathan drily says he knows. He wants her to go home and forget any of this ever happened. Claire’s like, and if I don’t are you going to threaten my family? Nathan says that he’s given her a free pass and she shouldn’t make him change his mind. The head guy seems to think that letting Claire go is a bad idea.

The remaining Heroes –seven or eight of them, maybe – are loaded onto a cargo plane. Claire, quickly coming out of her fuzziness, kicks the limo driver in the head and jumps out of the car. She runs after the plane, climbing up into the wheel well when it pauses before take off. After take off, she sneaks up into the cargo hold and starts freeing the Heroes. She finds Hiro, Peter and Mohinder; Peter touches Mohinder’s hand long enough to assume his superstrength. Peter breaks his shackles and starts freeing the Heroes, sending Claire to the cockpit. The commandos find him and there’s a fight, Peter’s assumed superstrength allowing him to easily hold his own against them. That is, until he inadvertently touches Tracy’s hand and catches her freeze power – and the superstrength leaves him. Ooh, that’s a neat twist: can Peter only have ONE power at a time now? That’s tricky! The commandos whale on him but now he can’t resist as well and falls to his knees, one hand on the wall of the plane. Which immediately freezes up and cracks open.

Meanwhile, when Claire gets to the cockpit she finds her dad there. Oops.

The plane loses pressure and starts plummeting. The captive Heroes in the back are screaming, helpless. One of the commandos gets blown out the hole in the plane, then one of the hooded Heroes. Peter is desperately clinging to a cargo net and, just as he’s about to get sucked out too, Mohinder grabs his hand. The plane goes down into the cold, snowy woods.

Hey - I just realized that there was NO voiceover for this entire episode! Awesome!

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes

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