”Heroes”: Peter rediscovers his powers
Boy, was the vitriol spewing on the message boards last week. So let’s just get this out of the way first thing: Hi, my name is Missy, and sadly, I have no super powers. I am not infallible. I have not committed every detail of the sprawling Heroes mythology to memory. Nor do I have a pile of index-card cheat sheets scattered across my living room floor to remind me of every detail. (Even if I did, my cat, Lilu, would waste no time messing them up.) So yeah, I may have the occasional off night during which I make mistakes as I attempt to digest each episode in real time and send off my musings to my editor before midnight. I might even make errors on the on nights. That said, I promise you this: Never, ever again will I unintentionally type that Claire Bennet is Peter Petrelli’s sister. I mean, duh! Even little Lilu knows she’s his second cousin once removed!
(That was a joke, friends.)
Okay. So shall we try to get along now?
Last night’s episode opened in Cork, with Peter getting the lowdown on the ”football” scam the Irish mobsters were planning. I was worried that the whole heist thing was going to either drag on and on or take some time-killing turn in which they all got busted and had to break out of the pokey or something. Luckily, we were spared that kind of nonsense. Peter dutifully distracted the guards, then when the fuzz (or rent-a-fuzz) showed up, he managed to fling the armored car in front of them and escape in the getaway ride. Of course, back at the pub things played out just as he knew they would, with the sketchy-looking dude trying to boost the loot. Peter saved the day, but not before enjoying putting the choke hold on said bad guy a little too long. Peter is grappling with a lot these days — including navigating the darker instincts that come with his abilities.
Regardless, by taking a bullet (and then popping it right back out — neato!), Peter got in tight with the Irish gang, who took young Petrelli under their wing as one of their own. He has become their symbolic brother — one of their ”kindred,” to acknowledge the ep’s title — and he even got the gang’s sign tattooed on his arm. But just as he started smooching with the lass, his new tattoo turned into the ubiquitous Kensei mark — and then disappeared. Was it the consequence of Peter’s choice not to open his (Pandora’s) box?
I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about the Wonder Twins, because they bore me and just aren’t getting any more interesting. They run. They meet trouble. Maya cries black deadly ooze. People semi-die. Then Alejandro reverses it and they run some more. But here’s one theory, courtesy of my astute brother Nick Fratamico in our home state of Massachusetts: Could it be that the twins’ power is activated when Maya is forced into situations against her will? There were the ”coyotes” ready to rape her in the season premiere. Their separation at the border last week. And this week, the cops who cuffed her after she provoked them.
The brother-and-sister team might have been the most obvious manifestation of the episode’s title, but kinship was all over the place last night. For one thing, Niki and Micah are back. Now, I never was the biggest fan of Heroes‘ doppelgänger story line, but I’ll take Ali Larter and Noah Gray-Cabey any day over the un-dynamic duo from Honduras. In an attempt to give Micah a ”normal life” with ”normal people,” Niki dropped off her wunderkind at, presumably, his granny’s house in New Orleans. And who played the lady who answered the door but Nichelle Nichols, a.k.a. Star Trek‘s Commander (formerly Lieutenant) Uhura. Between Nichols, George Takei, and Zachary Quinto, there’s a heck of a lot of Trek love spreading through Heroes land these days. Hey, Shatner, you’re up next, buddy!
Or maybe it’ll be Leonard Nimoy, by way of his 1987 hit Three Men and a Baby. Seriously, that movie is all Nick and I could think about during the New York City segments with Parkman, Mohinder, and Molly. Yeah, yeah, so Heroes‘ version is more two men and a little lady, but still?What’s Tom Selleck doing these days? He could fill out the trio quite nicely.
NEXT: Claire has a boyfriend!
Okay, okay, back to reality. Over in SoCal, we watched West continue to taunt Claire for refusing to admit she’s ”different.” But a few minutes and one science-class humiliation later, there they were, soaring above the school. (Again, I must give credit to my brother, who wondered if West had stolen a move or two from Superman when he swept Claire off her feet and up into the clouds.) Later, we saw them fake bickering over who had the coolest powers. The beach lovey-dovey moment was a tad too sickly-sweet for me. On the other hand, isn’t it every teenager’s dream to find that person who feels as different as you do? Claire is one of my favorite characters, and I’m happy she’s got a boyfriend now. But I can’t say I’m digging the idea of her reverting to her daddy issues, now that she knows that the ”man with the horn-rimmed glasses” abducted West some years ago after glaring at him as if West were ”an animal he wanted to trap.” (Could that have anything to do with Pops telling her last week that she needs to lie low, lest the baddies put her in a cage? Oh, and on a semi-related note, it seems we now know who stole Claire’s car: the gringo who ended up helping the twins escape.)
As for the feudal-Japan segment, I have to say my patience is wearing thin. I absolutely adore Masi Oka and his time-and-space-bending character, but I’m just not enjoying his prolonged stint in the 17th century. Hiro wasn’t able to change history last season when he tried to save Charlie, but now he’s doing a bang-up job of it, helping to put Kensei on the right track to hero-dom. It all feels too forced to me, like the writers are spinning their wheels. I say, wrap it up and return Hiro to the 21st century. Besides, are we really supposed to believe that, as Kensei’s sword traveled through four centuries’ worth of collectors, art dealers, and your garden-variety extraordinarily endowed types, no one would have noticed the ”Ando, open” inscription in the handle? Come on.
And finally, TV Watchers, we got to Sylar. Dude is still alive, having been dragged off Kirby Plaza four months ago by everyone’s favorite shape-shifter, Candice. Only now she’s become a redhead called Michelle. Then Sylar bludgeoned her and she reverted back to her true, mom-jean-wearing, middle-aged-woman self. Or did she? I’m guessing that the deadly blow to her head was just another one of her illusions and that she’s not a goner at all. She knows full well how dangerous Sylar is. Would she really put herself in harm’s way that readily? Nah. (If it is all merely illusion, it’s one that, at the end of the episode, looked a lot like the island on Lost, don’t you think?)
Tim Kring and his team continue to throw a lot of balls in the air, and I’m not sure they’re juggling said orbs as gracefully as they did during the best moments of last season. I can’t help wondering where the forward motion is, and if the disparate story lines are suffering from a lack of focus, despite what the producers and writers promised us in my colleague Jeff Jensen’s Heroes cover story a few weeks back. I just want to see the heroes — or at least some of the heroes — reunite. Then kick some ass.
And on that note, I’ll leave you with some questions to ponder. Do you believe that D.L. is really dead? Is Linderman a descendent of Kensei? Is Linderman still alive? Is he somehow behind the offing of the older generation? Does the Irish woman have super powers of her own? Is the gringo who helped the twins escape more than just a random gringo? What did Niki promise the Company in exchange for being ”cured”? Or it that just a ruse, a way to help Mohinder and H.R.G. take down the bad guys?
Want more Heroes? Don’t miss EW’s Ultimate Heroes Fan Guide, where you can join with other members of the Heroes community to fill in new details of season 2.