Monday, April 20, 2009

Heroes episode recap – “I Am Sylar” S3E24 (airdate 4/20/09)

Washington D.C., eighteen hours before the faux Nathan press conference. Sylar wakes up, having shifted into his cover identity (“Agent Taub”) unknowingly in his sleep. “Why does this keep happening?” he wonders as he yanks a loose tooth out of his mouth. He stares into the mirror: “Who are you?” It sort of looked like he was talking to that tooth.

Then we cut away to a touching moment between Parkman and Baby Matt calling Janice on the phone. Parkman promises to bring the baby back to her ASAP. Hiro and Ando rejoin them after Parkman hangs up the pay phone. Who uses pay phones these days? They’re trying to get him to help them take down Building 26 but Parkman thinks it’s too dangerous – he doesn’t want to miss any more of his son’s life. Okay, says Hiro, you go back and save your family and we’ll attack Building 26. Parkman thinks that’s a bad idea as well, far too dangerous, especially since the two Japanese guys don’t really have a plan. But he leaves them to it and drives off with the baby. Ando mentions that perhaps Parkman has a point about the lack of plan but Hiro is resolute, spouting some nonsense about a Hero never giving up. Whatever, Hiro.

Danko meets up with Sylar and says that one of his agents claims to have caught him on a surveillance tape – surely that can’t be right since Sylar is keeping undercover these days. Plus he’s supposed to be dead. Sylar looks troubled as Danko reminds him that “Sylar died to give you your freedom.” Sylar tells him about having changed into Agent Taub in his sleep, plus the extra tooth that emerged due to his rearranging his DNA too often. Danko says that he should stay as Taub for the near future for safety’s sake. Sylar doesn’t want to – Taub is a nothing – so Danko reminds him that as Taub, he can go anywhere, kill anyone, but if he insists on staying as Sylar Danko will have no choice but to hunt down and kill him. Fine, Sylar snits, and transforms back into Taub. “Good,” says Danko, “See you at work.” When he’s gone, Sylar mind-etches “I Am Sylar” into his own forearm, the bloody letters healing almost immediately. And, my friends, we have the episode title!

Richmond, Virginia, one Tom Miller’s apartment. Tom Miller is Clint Howard and collects ceramic figurines. He gets a text: “Get out now - Rebel.” As he’s reading it, Taub strides down the hall, morphing back into Sylar as he does. In a flash he’s in Miller’s living room, helping himself to a cup of tea. Since when can Sylar teleport himself? He did it a couple episodes ago out of Danko’s car and now he’s doing it again. When did he get that power? Ahem - anyway. Miller says that Sylar shouldn’t startle him - he can hurt him. Sylar’s like yeah, whatever, I’m just like you and can help you. Miller asks if he’s Rebel; Sylar, playing dumb, says, “I’m a rebel.”

Sylar asks for a demonstration of Miller’s power. “I really hate to do this,” Miller says, placing a figurine on the coffee table. He concentrates and then snaps his fingers and the figurine shatters. Sylar: “That looks like fun!” Miller: “Are you crazy?” Sylar steps close and tells Miller that the government agents are approaching and he needs to pick sides now: Sylar or the government. Miller picks him – a perfect stranger who he just met – and Sylar grins, and slices Miller’s head open to harvest his power. As Danko and his agents come down the hall, they can hear Miller’s screams. When they burst in, Miller is dead and there is a message written in blood on the wall: I Am Sylar. “Taub” hunkers down next to Danko, saying, “Jeez, would you look at that? What an ego.” Danko rolls his eyes.

Later, back at Building 26, Sylar is in his own form when Danko finds him in his office: “You gotta be you, is that it?” Sylar tells the other man about the text Miller received from Rebel and Danko is pleased to hear it, saying he could use Sylar’s help to bring Rebel down. Sylar: “My help or Agent Taub’s?” He is all hung up over this current identity crisis, totally unable to deal. Danko tells him to find an anchor, “something to remind you of you, so when you’re feeling lost you’ll have something to hang onto.” Like Desmond! (Sorry, wrong show.)

Now in NYC, Hiro and Ando break into Isaac’s loft which the government has rigged with motion detectors, etc. Hiro has decided that Ando should be the bait and, once he’s captured, Hiro will come in and rescue him and they’ll take down the Building together. They start to bicker, as usual, about Hiro not respecting Ando’s having a power now blah blah blah and the government agents burst in, tranquilizer guns blazing. They duck together, Hiro squinting time to a stop. But when he stands up, Ando has not been frozen like the rest of the room. He is gleeful: If I’m not stopped, I don’t have to be bait! Hiro just looked confused and a little annoyed, clearly not having meant for this to happen.

“Taub” gets some files delivered to him: the unsolved mystery of his mother’s murder. He opens the boxes, pulling out her bloodstained sweater, and buries his face in it, breathing deeply. EEEEEUUW. He goes on to handle other things in the file – the scissors he stabbed her with, a couple of snow globes. He freaks out a little and throws one of the snow globes against the wall and then suddenly his mother is there – the wonderful Ellen Greene, looking much less glamorous than in her fabulous Pushing Daisies role. OMG I am so bored with Sylar’s Daddy Issues and Oedipal Complex. Blah blah blah, his mom says she loves him; he whines that he killed her; she smiles eerily and says, “But now I’m back.” A knock on the door interrupts this tender exchange and eeeuw Sylar morphs back into his own body from BEING HIS OWN DEAD MOM and if that’s not creepy and weird, I don’t know what is. He at least has the good graces to look a little squicked out by it. He answers the door. It’s Danko who reports that they’ve found Rebel: “Tell Agent Taub to come join us.”

Isaac’s partially time-stopped loft. Hiro recalls that when he stopped time holding Baby Parkman, the baby wasn’t stopped either so he must have been touching Ando just now when he froze the rest of the room. Ando, giddy: “I feel like I’m in your secret clubhouse!” He thinks that Hiro is jealous that he has to share this non-frozen time and there’s more bickering and I’m so bored again. Ando insists that he will not be relegated to a sidekick. While he’s ranting, Hiro sneakily steps behind a column, unfreezes time and doesn’t even flinch as all the unfrozen tranq darts hit his buddy. Ando screams and collapses. Hiro stops time again and apologizes to his friend. As he turns to go, he looks more closely at one of the frozen masked agents and says, “Just my size.”

D.C. Danko and his agents storm a warehouse, in hot pursuit of Rebel. Danko orders the lights cut, noting that “No electricity means no machines … it’s time to hunt down this sonofabitch.” Inside, Micah gets ready to run, shoving some notebooks into his backpack. From behind him, however, utilizing his still-unexplained teleportation power, Sylar materializes, a smug smile on his face.

After the commercial, Sylar looks around, “You’re Rebel? You’re just a kid.” Micah says that he knows who Sylar is and he can help him with his problem, his problem being that he doesn’t know who he is anymore. Sylar sneers that he’s joined the other side. But Micah, wise beyond his years, tells Sylar that he’s special - he can save all the Heroes, and the government doesn’t recognize that. And since Sylar loooooves being told he’s special, he starts to look conflicted as the rest of the agents are heard to approach.

Baltimore/Washington Parkway, black van. The agents are returning to Building 26 with Ando, all shackled and intubated with the sedative. Hiro is there as well, dressed in one of the agent’s outfits … but also wearing his glasses. Stealthy. He nudges the inert Ando with his foot and freezes the rest of the agents in the back of the van. After he wakes Ando up, he tells him to pretend to still be sedated – playing possum, an idiom that goes right over Ando’s head and one that Hiro himself shouldn’t know - and unfreezes the rest of the agents. They finally notice the eyeglasses (oops) and Ando has to let loose with his red electricity to fight the agents off. The van shudders to a halt. Hiro is disappointed because they were supposed to wait ‘til they got inside but Ando points out that he was about to get tasered. They find a GPS unit and set off on foot.

D.C. Micah has fled to the docks, pursued by Danko’s agents. They’re pretty close to him and finally corner him at the edge of the pier. Unbeknownst to the agents, however, the real Micah is hiding and watching from a safe distance and it’s Sylar in Micah form who has been caught. One of the agents hesitates, protesting that the quarry is just a boy, but Danko orders him to “take him down.” The agent fires a tranq dart into “Micah” and the impact knocks him backwards off the pier and into the water. The agents search but don’t find him. Sometime later, Danko wants to know why Sylar didn’t kill Micah and take his power. Sylar says mildly, “My head’s already spinning with the powers I’ve got – I thought talking to machines might be a little much.” Danko notes that they didn’t find Micah’s body but Sylar scoffs, saying that the boy isn’t a healer, “Dead is dead.” And folks, we have a Lost episode title! More importantly, Danko doesn’t seem to know that Sylar helped Micah escape. Danko goes on to say that they collected a bunch of intel about the Heroes Micah had been helping – it’s time to go back to hunter mode, “just as soon as you change your face.”

Actually, Micah is holed up for the night in Sylar’s apartment. He is awoken by voices, however: Sylar’s mom’s voice, telling her son that she is so proud of him. Oh, this won’t be weird. Micah listens intently and watches his host morphing back and forth between forms. But Mom catches him and Sylar is startled when he returns to himself. Micah thinks this shape-shifting thing is cool and that Sylar can use it to change into someone who is good: “[You can be] Nathan Petrelli! You can tell the President that he’s made a big mistake!” Sylar is freaking a bit and throws the boy out, saying that if he sees Micah again he’ll kill him.

But of course he breaks into the senator’s office later that night, rummaging through the desk, poring over the family photographs on the wall. He gets his crazy on again, flipping back and forth between his mom’s body and his own - identity crisis, matricide, I’m not special, blah blah blah. He apologizes to his mom and then, in his mom’s body, forgives himself. Weirdo. He finds one of Nathan’s toothbrushes, which he needs to collect Nathan’s DNA to enable the shapeshifting, and rubs his thumb across the bristles. (I was really hoping he’d stick it in his mouth but no, too germy I guess.) As he shifts into Nathan’s form, he says that he won’t let his mother down. That facial morph from Sylar to Nathan was a really cool and well done effect.

Los Angeles. Parkman and Son have arrived at Janice’s home. She’s out and has left a note on the door, so Parkman just lets himself in, noting that his ex-wife must be doing pretty well for herself judging from the swank digs. He wanders through the house, talking to the baby. Janice finally comes home, grateful to see her son, but the reunion is interrupted when Parkman overhears some agents’ thoughts from their surveillance van on the street. He tells Janice that they need a place to go and she thinks of her parents’ lake house, then asks, “But what about you?” Parkman tries to cover his shock at not being invited, and then suggests that he come with them. He doesn’t want to lose his son now that he’s found him. Janice agrees reluctantly but warns: “We have a lot to talk about.” Rats, says Parkman’s downfallen expression.

Press conference, Sylar-as-Nathan. The gist of it is: Once I shake the President’s hand, real change will come to this country and nothing will ever be the same. Back at the diner, the Petrellis and Bennets are fuh-reaking out, realizing that if Sylar touches the President, he can become the President and then All Bets Are Off. Nathan thinks that it’s all up to him – he needs to make sure that Sylar doesn’t get to the Oval Office. The others protest, saying that they got into this mess in the first place when Nathan was acting alone. Nathan insists on doing it himself and leaves; Peter takes just long enough to glance at the others around the table and then follows.

Building 26. Hiro and Ando have infiltrated and Ando is STILL whining about being put in the sidekick role. Hiro finally agrees, saying that they should be partners, so Ando puts his hand on his shoulder for the time-freeze-exemption-by-touch. But when Hiro tries to exert his power, he squeals and clutches his head. He’s in great pain and his nose is bleeding. Well, that can’t be good.

Los Angeles. Parkman has changed his mind: he’s not going to hide out with his (ex-)wife and child. He wants to have a life together with them again but he just realized that he’s going to have to take a stand and fight, just like Hiro and Ando said, in order to achieve that. They’ve lingered too long, however, and the agents have them surrounded; Parkman tells Janice to stay close.

D.C. Nathan strides purposefully into his senatorial office. Sylar-Nathan is there and has him at gunpoint. “Get the hell out of my body,” growls the real Nathan. Sylar taunts him, saying that Nathan loathes himself so much – he’s been given so much but wants to destroy the one thing that makes him special, his power. He tells Nathan that he’s not planning to be him, he’s planning to be a better him. Then he raises his head-slicing finger and bids Nathan goodbye. Before he can start cutting, however, Nathan gets dropped by a tranq dart in the back, fired by none other than Danko who chides Sylar, saying that U.S. senators need to be handled delicately. And then he maliciously shoots Nathan again with another dart. Heh. Danko steps up to Sylar and orders him to turn back into Taub: they need help taking the others down.

Ugh –a Mohinder voiceover, the words of which I shall ignore per usual. On screen: agents capture Mohinder out at Coyote Sands; Ando and Hiro try to figure out what to do; Parkman prepares to defend his family; Bennet, Claire and Angela are stopped at a roadblock on the drive home and more agents converge on their car.

D.C. Danko is not amused when Sylar steps out of the bathroom still in his own body. Sylar grunts that he doesn’t care what Danko wants him to do – and then is felled as Danko plunges that metal knife into the sweet spot in the back of his head. “What a waste,” mutters Danko, “You just didn’t know your place.” But as Danko radios for a clean-up crew, Sylar lurches to his feet and pulls the blade from his skull. “That hurt!” he says. Danko needs to practice his aim.

Season finale next week!

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes


  1. I'm with you on the still unexplained reason for Sylar being able to teleport. He NEVER took that power from anyone. Only Hiro and Peter ever had that power. The power of flight would explain how Sylar could get someplace quickly, but he doesn't have that power either. So I hope the writers explain this sometime soon.

  2. Yeah, that's a big gaffe if they just forgot to let the audience know he got that ability. Given the writers' recent track record, however, I'm not convinced they will 'fess up any time soon. (If they would just kill off Mohinder I'd totally forgive them for this Sylar-blunder tho'.)

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