Monday, March 9, 2009

Heroes – “Shades of Gray” S3E19 (airdate 3/9/09)

Bennet house, Costa Verde. Doyle the Puppetmaster reiterates that he needs Claire’s assistance and, when she refuses, he begs for her help. Sandra comes down and together both the Bennet women are alternately scared and brave. Doyle wants to know why the agents are not coming after Claire and she reluctantly admits that she’s been given a free pass. He’s upset about that – the agents having burned down his theater with him in it - but, strangely, does not force her to help him. A lone tear rolls down his cheek and with one last plea for her help, Doyle leaves. Claire and Sandra can’t believe it.

Building 26. Nathan wants to know what Danko has been doing. “Cleaning up the mess your brother left behind,” is the snarled answer. Nathan points out that there wouldn’t have been any mess if Danko would have released Parkman and Daphne like he’d asked. Nathan gets a call and, after a few terse words, snaps at Danko: “I thought Parkman was in your custody … he’s in front of the Capitol building with a bomb strapped to his chest.” Nathan takes his leave but heads up to the roof – which Danko finds curious.

Capitol building. Parkman screams that he was set up and he doesn’t know how to deactivate the bomb. When Nathan arrives, Parkman is not happy to see him, thinking that Nathan is behind it. Nathan insists that it was Danko but when Parkman tries to read his mind to see if he is telling the truth, he can’t because of the drug Danko injected in him. Back at Bldg. 26, Danko watches the live feed, wondering how Nathan got there so quickly. Pushing that thought aside for the moment, he tells an agent to arm Parkman’s bomb, saying that if Nathan wants to be a martyr to his cause, so be it. “Take him out, now!” he orders.

The agent pushes a button and lights start flashing on Parkman’s vest. Suddenly, Danko and the agent are bumped out of their computer – by “Rebel” I’m guessing. Nathan tries to keep Parkman calm, asking him if he can read the minds of any of the bomb squad guys surrounding them. Parkman can only hear snippets, however, but he finally gets enough to rip out the correct wire just as Danko tries to detonate the bomb remotely. Bennet is there with the frustrated Danko, watching but not interfering. Parkman pulls the detonator off the vest and then Nathan clocks him, knocking him to the pavement. Agents move in and drag Parkman off as Nathan saves face by saving “Can’t have you using your powers, Matt.”

Boondocks. Sylar pulls up to an extremely low-rent trailer in the middle of nowhere. He goes inside: there are stuffed birds and animal skins everywhere so he must be in the right place. He sees a man in the attached workshop and goes in: “It’s me … your son.” “That so?” says Dad, “What brings you all the way out here?” Ugh - boring: Sylar has questions about who he is, where he came from … blah blah blah. “Now I kill you,” sneers Sylar. Dad turns around – it’s John Glover, bad guy extraordinaire – and tells Sylar to go right ahead: “Either you kill me or the cancer does … I haven’t got all day.” Sylar is nonplussed, not having expected exactly that response.

Building 26. The lackey agent explains to Danko that he doesn’t know how the hacker got into their system. Danko is pissed off and wants a name. Nathan says he does too, plus he’s had enough of Danko’s leadership. Danko sneers that he answers to the President and Nathan can’t remove him. We’ll see about that, sniffs Nathan, calling Bennet over. Bennet rolls his eyes so Danko can see. Nathan begins to tell him that he wants to set up a team to take over when Danko is removed, but is interrupted when an audio file plays over the computer speakers: it’s Tracy shouting, “you’re one of us, Nathan!” Danko notes that the Petrelli family has a lot of skeletons in its closets – and he’s pretty sure he knows what Nathan’s is. Nathan’s all, “Bring it, bitch,” and Danko comes back, “oh, it’s so brought.” And Bennet is left to roll his eyes again.

Tracy, gloved and shackled, is led through the tunnels of Building 26. They pause at a checkpoint and the computer flashes at her: “Help is coming – have hope.” That crazy Rebel!

Nathan and Bennet snap at each other as they walk through the corridors: basically Bennet tells him that he showed Danko his hand and shouldn’t have done that. Nathan does not seem to be in the mood for lectures from anybody and leaving Bennet at the door, he enters Tracy’s well-heated cell. He tells her that “the man who transferred [her] back here” (Danko) will be in to question her soon. Nathan tells Tracy that he’s been helping her, and everyone else, all along – to which she snarks that he’s doing a fabulous job of it – and he needs her to help him now. He leaves as Danko comes in, and you can see Tracy trying to figure out the angles.

Danko questions Tracy while Nathan watches them on the live feed. When Danko says he wants to know everything about Petrelli, Tracy’s response is, “He was lousy in bed,” and Nathan looks like that hurts his feelings. Danko then wants to know what she meant when she said he was one of them: does Senator Petrelli have an ability? “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” says Tracy. Danko stares up at the surveillance camera and stalks out. That’s it - he’s not going to ask her any more questions? Jeesh, some interrogation. After he’s gone, it’s Tracy’s turn to stare into the camera.

Costa Verde. Claire frets that maybe she should have helped Doyle like Rebel wanted her to – perhaps she should be using her “free pass” to help the other Heroes. Well, says Sandra reasonably, that’s fine but Rebel really shouldn’t be sending psychopaths to our house. Okay, says Claire, then I should maybe take Alex’s old job at the comics store as a cover so the Heroes can contact me there, instead of the house.

Later, Claire is interviewed by the head comics geek at Sam’s Comics. Perhaps he’s Sam. He asks if she can work Wednesdays – which she can – and then he asks her what kind of hero she is: flight or invisibility (i.e., impulsive or calculating)? Claire takes this question much more seriously than Sam expects her to and he backpedals uneasily, “They’re only comic books … you got the job!”

Sylar’s dad’s squalid trailer. Sylar thinks that his dad is pathetic – he used to be a killer, now this. His dad’s like, I’m not going to fight you. He opens a rabbit cage and then puts the freed bunny into a trance by whistling at it. Sylar boggles, “You’ve got an ability!” and his dad chuckles that he’s got lots of them but it’s been years since he used them. In fact, he has the same initial ability that his son has – the power to take abilities from others. It’s a biological imperative: the two of them have the urge to kill, but they tend to pick easy prey like that poor bunny. Problem is, Dad continues, all the power in the world doesn’t matter if you’ve lived an unsatisfied life. And he thinks his son has already figured that out. Dad: “You want to know more or are you gonna kill me then?” Nope, Sylar wants to know more so he kills the rabbit for his dad instead. Poor bunny.

Building 26. Danko watches footage of Peter’s flight from the parking garage. He asks Bennet if he came across any Heroes who could fly in his years with the Company. Bennet says that he should be thinking about who would want to save Peter instead: perhaps Angela Petrelli. Hmm, says Danko, I hadn’t thought of that. Then Bennet has to go out in the hall and call Angela, warning her that her reckless older son has made a power play against Danko which is causing all sort of trouble. She isn’t worried and appears to have a plan. Then she holds a pair of argyle socks to her face. Um, what?

Costa Verde. Claire leaves work at Sam’s Comics, noting the surveilling agents watching her from a van across the street. Troubled, she calls her dad and asks how he was able to live a double life. Bennet is unable to give her a good answer as he watches agents take Parkman down the hall and Claire is left to figure it out for herself. As soon as she hangs up, she gets a text from Rebel: the agents have cornered Doyle and she needs to help him.

Down by the beach, the female agent chases Doyle, telling him to put his hands up. He does, immediately exerting his puppet-power over her. “When are you going to learn? I have this power over women,” he says smarmily. Is it just over women? Because that’s totally icky. The agent tells him that she’s giving him the opportunity to surrender so Doyle makes her point her own gun at her head. “I should kill you but I just want to go back to the way life was,” he murmurs and slams her body into the wall, knocking her out. Then the male agent comes up behind Doyle with his gun drawn … but suddenly someone kicks his feet out from under him and he goes flying. It’s Claire, and she stares at Doyle as he breathes, “Ooh, Barbie.”

Manhattan. Danko finds Angela at a swanky restaurant, sucking down champagne and oysters. Uninvited, he sits and says that Hiro, Parkman, Elle, Claire and Peter all inherited powers from their parents – was Nathan the misfit? “Sometimes these things skip a generation,” Angela replies blithely. Danko doesn’t believe her. She doesn’t care, noting that his focus and current lack of family connections makes men like him both useful and expendable, referencing some horrific incident in Angola that she’s surprised he escaped unscathed. Danko is impressed with her resourcefulness. Then she ignores him until he goes away. Heh.

Trailer o’ taxidermy. This is SO boring. Sylar wants to know why his dad abandoned him and killed his mother; John Glover doesn’t remember but he’s sure he didn’t care about any of it. As Sylar tries to help stuff the bunny, he slices his hand with a knife, and then turns his palm towards his father so he can watch the wound heal. His father wants to know how that happened; Sylar: “Just something I picked up from a cheerleader.” You can see John Glover’s expression flicker just slightly and know that Sylar’s dad realizes he can use that healing power to save himself from the cancer. Sure enough, as soon as Sylar turns his back, his father TKs a couple of arrows through his shoulders, pinning him to the wall. “I want that power!” roars Dad, then makes that little whistling noise he made before. Sylar’s eyes go wide, then the picture gets blurry and he sags against the arrows holding him to the wall.

Sylar struggles against the faintness, fighting against it, gasping, “I thought you’d given all this up.” His dad agrees that he had – but this healing power would give him a new chance at life. He steps up to his son and prepares to slice into his head using a knife, not his index finger. Sneaky Sylar flexes his will and knocks his father back, growling, “I thought a hunter like you would know when someone is playing possum.” Sylar pulls the arrows out of his body and turns to go, dismissing the older man. His dad asks him to stop, to kill him first before he goes, but Sylar’s like, no way, you’ll die alone and suffering – I won’t help. And then he walks out, leaving his father behind.

Building 26. Nathan struts into Danko’s HQ and hands him a piece of paper, saying that the President didn’t actually need that much persuasion to let him go. Danko blusters a bit, saying that Nathan will pay for this. Nathan looks at Bennet and grins, saying that the President wants to meet Danko’s successor. They head out to the corridor. As they wait for the elevator, standing none-too-subtly in front of a big window, Danko approaches, menacingly saying that while the Heroes scare the bejeezus out of him, Nathan has never once shown any fear – and he wonders why. Then he pulls a gun – Bennet shouting not to shoot! – fires two rounds into the window, and then rushes forward and pushes Nathan through the window. He leans out in time to see Nathan hover in midair for a moment or two before flying away. Danko turns back to Bennet, eyes wide: “Tell me you didn’t know about this!” Bennet just looks at him with the world’s worst poker face.

Costa Verde. Later that evening Claire finds Doyle sitting in a park. She hands the puppetmaster an envelope that contains a whole new identity. He thanks her, calling her “Barbie” once again, and leaves.

Los Angeles. Oh fabulous: the Hiro and Ando show. I have not missed them at all. They enter a house, Hiro saying that Parkman could be here, in danger. Suddenly a girl jumps out at them saying that it took them long enough to get here. She hands them a fat baby and heads for the door, saying she quits. Wait, protest the boys, we’re here to save Matt Parkman. “You’re holding him,” she says, “this babysitting service bites.” And then she’s gone. Either the baby is Parkman’s kid with the same name as his dad ... or I guess we’ve time-traveled again.

Also fabulous (not) - a Mohinder voiceover to close us out. I'm not paying any attention to what he says, but this is what we see: A tired Claire flops down on her bed but immediately gets a text from Rebel: “Your free pass is up. Agents are coming.” Sylar’s dad sits alone in his squalor. Danko comes home to find the stuffed rabbit sitting on his desk – with Sylar hiding around the corner. And finally back to the Bennet house as armed agents bust in. They search Claire’s room but she’s not there: she’s outside, hovering midair in Nathan’s arms. Whoa - Nathan is “Rebel”? I thought for sure it was his mom.

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes

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