Mexico. Nathan and Claire are hiding out south of the border. I like her new bangs. They find a sketchy motel, all they can afford since they fled on such short notice. Claire’s feeling a little cooped up and heads out for a walk; Nathan gets her to agree to meet him for dinner at a cantina up the street. Back in NYC, Peter and Angela come back to earth in an alley next to a cathedral. Peter wants answers. So does Angela. “This is where I’m supposed to be,” she tells her younger son as the downpour starts again. Peter watches as his mom walks steadily towards the doors of the cathedral.
Arlington, VA. Several agents are dead on the floor of some apartment; the surviving agent, Jenkins, didn’t see anything and, in fact, is busy vomiting on the carpet. Danko and Bennet take a look around. There’s no sign of a scuffle and one bullet in the back of each agent’s head. The agents’ target had been James Martin, high school geometry teacher. They don’t know what his ability is but he’d been red-flagged as a person of interest. Bennet chides Danko for sending his men in without knowing what they were up against. Danko isn’t taking any guff, however, reminding Bennet that since Rebel got away, Bennet is the one who “needs a win” right now.
Danko goes out to the car and fires up the cigarette lighter. Surprise: Sylar is in the backseat. Sylar asks if Danko liked his presents – the stuffed bunny and the trussed-up Doyle – and Danko wants to know what’s going on. Sylar says the two of them are on the same side since they both want to kill people like Sylar, and he thinks they should pool their resources. Sylar goes on to tell Danko that he’s in over his head in this case and he, Sylar, can help find the guy who killed the agents. Soon enough Danko’s temper runs short and, quick as a bunny (unstuffed), he draws his pistol. But Sylar is gone – if he was ever really there and not some psychic projection. As the grumpy agent drives away, Sylar stands atop a nearby building, raising his face into the rain.
Building 26. Danko rallies the troops to apprehend James Martin and honor the dead agents. Interestingly, he puts Martin’s photo at the top of the most wanted chart, moving Sylar down. Danko goes over to Bennet and tells him to get on this – and he doesn’t want to hear any “one of us, one of them” nonsense. Bennet’s like, it got the job done – just like all those counterinsurgency jobs you ran way back when … but Danko doesn’t know what he’s talking about (nor do I, only I’m not lying about it). Bennet shrugs, whatever, and presses the value of working the enemy: “A little focused manipulation goes a long way.” Danko asks how he can trust the Heroes and Bennet retorts that he doesn’t trust them, he uses them. Bennet wonders if he’s to be sent after Sylar. Nope, says Danko, “I’ve got another assignment for you” and hands him Angela Petrelli’s file. Now that’s just going to be awkward.
Mexico. Claire finds her way back to the cantina where Nathan is enjoying a taco. She slaps down a wad of cash. Where’d she get that? Nathan wants to know. “I sold my kidney,” she says, “Twice. Both of them, actually.” And then grins at his horrified expression: she sold her necklace at a pawnshop. At a nearby table, some tequila-fueled frat boys are totally checking her out. Nathan tries to reign his daughter in as she gets fired up, saying that they need to get back to the States and help their kind – the government is going to continue rounding Heroes up until Nathan tells them not to. Nathan pouts a little and tells her that he wishes she’d show a little gratitude to him, for (a) giving her that free pass and (b) rescuing her out the window that last time. Claire pauses, and wants to know just why he did give her that “free pass.” “I have my reasons,” Nathan says obliquely. Then he snatches up the money and says he’ll be back – he’s going to turn it into more. He then walks over to the frat boys and asks for some tequila as Claire stares after him.
NYC. Mass has just ended in the cathedral and Angela and Peter sit in the back. She tells him that in order for her to have her visions, she must be able to sleep and she hasn’t been able to recently. But this cathedral gives her peace – she was married here, her children’s first communions were here, etc. – and maybe it will give her enough to rest. Peter asks if she’s looking for forgiveness. Angela: “I’m not sure even God has that in him.”
Mexico. Shots all around. Nathan ups the ante with the boys: $100 a hit and last man standing takes it all. Claire’s like, um, Dad? but Nathan insists he’s got it under control. This seems as though it will end badly, doesn’t it?
Building 26. Agent Jenkins (the survivor from the James Martin massacre) checks in with Danko to see if there was any progress. No, go get some rest, son. Jenkins persists (a little creepily), saying that Danko’s earlier speech when he rallied the troops was inspirational. He stretches out his hand and Danko pauses, and then shakes it. Then a cell phone starts ringing. Danko paws around and finds the phone hidden on top of a cardboard box. He answers it, dismissing Jenkins. It’s Sylar, calling from another rooftop. He’s done some homework on Martin: there’s another body that was stashed that Danko didn’t find. “Look in the box,” instructs Sylar. He goes on, saying that the answer to how Martin killed all the men is in the box: “He’s a shapeshifter.” Up on the roof, Sylar bends over a headless body; down in HQ, Danko opens the box to find the bodiless head. Ooh–Jenkins is the shapeshifter! Danko grabs his gun and runs after Jenkins. Sylar smirks on his rooftop.
Danko tracks Fake Jenkins/Martin to the parking garage. There’s running and chasing, Fake Jenkins pausing long enough to grab a startled janitor’s wrist. More running and chasing. Danko finds the actual janitor and orders him to be taken into custody, while around a corner, Fake Jenkins groans, his face rippling and flexing – shapeshifting looks painful. He manages to shift into the janitor’s form and runs out of the garage, getting lost in the passersby. Danko and his men emerge shortly thereafter but are too late. Their quarry is gone.
NYC. Peter and Angela are still in the cathedral, Peter bringing his mother a dry coat from one of the bins of clothes for the needy. Ironically, it’s one she donated last week but Peter insists that she needs it right now. Blah blah blah – Angela has regrets over the way she treated her sons, especially Peter. She is, in fact, looking for forgiveness. “I don’t hate you,” Peter says, “no matter what’s happened, you’re still my mother.” Angela: “I’m afraid that unconditional love isn’t love at all.”
Mexico. Tequila! Claire watches in horror as Nathan and one last frat boy (the only cute one) pound shot after shot. She interrupts them, saying they don’t look so good. Nathan insists he can take it, and then promptly passes out on the table. Cute Frat Boy reaches for the money and Claire grabs his wrist, asking for a rematch. She offers Nathan’s fancy watch into the mix and CFB is interested. But, he points out, he’s already twenty-two shots deep and she’s a little late to the party. (Twenty-two shots? That’s such bullshit – he’d be SO wasted and possibly dead.) Claire grins and pulls off the sweater she’s wearing over a teeny tank top - “Well then I guess I’d better catch up, huh?” - and starts downing shots. Her “eeuw” face is very cute.
Back in Arlington, Sylar walks into the shapshifter’s apartment. Danko is already there and waiting for him. His opinion is that Sylar is desperate to catch Martin because shapeshifting is a most excellent ability. You have no idea what I want, snarls Sylar. Danko pulls out an ugly knife, ready to shoot Sylar and then stick the knife into the no-more-regeneration spot in his brain, calling Sylar his white whale. Sylar prefers to think of himself as the golden egg-laying goose, saying that he – and he alone – can round up all the Heroes and deliver them to Danko. “And then you can take your shot.” Danko stares hard at him, and then puts the gun to the side. Come on, WTF? Why the hell would Sylar do this? I guess last season’s writers screwed his character up so badly that even Bryan Fuller can’t straighten him out.
NYC. Angela continues to sit quietly in her pew at the back of the cathedral, trying to get some rest. Peter watches over her, then goes to light a candle. He talks to God for a bit, wondering what the point of it is: he’s got this gift and he can’t even help people. Blah blah blah – tired of fighting, angry at his family, angry at God. Milo Ventimiglia is pretty enough, but he is just not good enough an actor to pull this sort of soliloquy off. Pluswhich, since when is Peter religious? Just then a draft blows out all the candles: agents pour into the cathedral, telling the startled priest that there are fugitives hiding out here. Angela and Peter duck into the confessionals.
Martin’s apartment. Danko thinks Martin has fled but Sylar disagrees, saying he’s still in the city. They tear the place apart, Sylar finding many different outfits not particularly apropos for a geometry teacher, like an Armani suit and scrubs. Sylar profiles that Martin is looking for power in all these different guises, either to screw with people or just to screw them. Then they find a bunch of photos of different men – all of whom are Martin - with different beautiful women. That would be the “just screwing them” part, I guess. They also find a matchbox: Garden of Eden, the club Martin frequents.
Mexico. Cute Frat Boy is impressed with Claire’s hollow leg, saying she doesn’t even look drunk. Oh, right, she realizes, and then starts slurring and giggling. More shots and then CFB falls off his barstool. Claire nudges Nathan: “We gotta go … I won the money!”
NYC. Angela insists on talking through the confessional grating even though there are agents swarming all over the cathedral. Blah blah blah – she was going to be a good person, a teacher, and then the visions came. And no one would listen to her so she got their attention with lies and manipulation and betrayal … but it was the price she paid to save the world. Suddenly, the door to her confessional is ripped open and both Petrellis freeze. But it’s Bennet - yay! He stares at the frightened, bedraggled Angela and shakes his head. “All clear,” he calls to the other agents. The Petrellis collapse with relief.
Garden of Eden club. Techno music blares and throbs. Sylar fits in with the pretty young things but Danko is totally a fish out of water. Sylar spots their quarry at once and points him out with a grin: Martin is wearing Danko’s body. The real Danko’s expression is exquisite.
Aw, I love those Budweiser Clydesdale commercials.
Real-Danko is quite discomfited, especially as Martin-Danko starts macking on a hottie. “He’s a better you than you,” laughs Sylar. But Martin-Danko sees them and soon it’s a cat-and-mouse through the crowd.
Mexico. Claire drags a sodden Nathan back to their squalid motel. He wants to know why she’s not a drunken wreck and she guesses that the whole tissue regeneration thing probably includes her liver. Nathan truly is a drunken wreck and starts apologizing and babbling. He thought that if he kept his distance from his illegitimate daughter, they would eventually find each other when the time was right – but he waited too long. The whole “free pass” thing was because he thought he could win her over, just like that. And now, he’s using protecting her as an excuse to hide behind to avoid helping the other hunted Heroes. He’s still babbling that he’ll make things right as he passes out, leaving Claire wiping away her tears.
The club. A Danko stares into the crowd with Sylar. “I lost him,” he says, “for good. Let’s go.” Danko turns to go and Sylar stares after him intently, and then follows. As they near the door, Sylar pulls out a gun but Danko is too quick and, turning, shoots Sylar who gasps and falls. Another Sylar – the real one – runs up: “You killed him!” “No,” says the real Danko, “He’s still alive.” And then Real Sylar looks down at the frightened and panting Faux Sylar and realizes what Danko is offering him. Zach Quinto is looking quite hot in this scene. As he reaches out a hand towards the cowering shapeshifter, Danko asks him if he can do it without removing the top of the skull. Sylar grins again. That damn music starts thumping again but cannot drown out Martin’s screams as Sylar bores his ability into his head. I guess it doesn’t hurt any less even with your skull still attached.
Mexico. Amazingly, Nathan is not hung over the next morning. I wish I had that super-power. Claire asks if they are going to head straight back to Washington to get started with the rescuing but Nathan shakes his head – he’s got no clout left with the government. “But you said …,” she protests. “I was drunk,” he says, and then sheepishly adds, “Some things are just too big for one man.” Claire is PISSED: “You could do anything you want! You can fly … you’re supposed to be Superman.” In tears, she leaves and Nathan hangs his head.
NYC. Angela has managed to sleep and dream and, in the morning, tells Peter that she knows what to do. First, they need to find Nathan and Claire, bringing the family together, and then they need to visit Angela’s sister. Peter: “Sister?” Angela caresses his cheek and then gives it a little slap. Peter just shakes his head at the friggin’ family he was born into.
Meanwhile, Nathan catches up to Claire at the bus station. There’s one heading to San Diego soon and she plans to be on it. She asks him what time it is but he doesn’t have his watch anymore, having pawned it to get her necklace back. Aw. Nathan looks at her, saying deliberately that he’s heading back up soon. Good for you, she replies. He walks away a few steps then looks back, asking if she’s coming. She smiles a little and takes his arm. Dude, I’d much rather fly Petrelli Air than take a stinky ol’ bus.
D.C. area. Bennet finds Danko with a body bag. Inside is “Sylar” with that big knife sticking out of the back of his head. Bennet recoils a little and the lady coroner asks if he’s okay. Danko goes back to his car and gets ready to light a cigarette but the lady coroner gets in the passenger seat and snatches the butt away from him, saying “Those things’ll kill you.” Danko asks how that was, zipping up the body bag. A few grunts and groans later, Sylar is back in his original shape and says, “Cathartic, poetic, and tactically fortunate.” Danko points out that if their partnership succeeds, Sylar “will be the only one left.” Sylar: “Funny how that works.”
Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes
35 minutes ago