”Heroes”: The plot thickens
”Lizards,” huh? For a minute there I thought maybe this episode of Heroes was gonna be one big homage to the most awesomely bad sci-fi miniseries of the 1980s. That’s right, friends, I’m talkin’ about V! (Oh, how Diana and her fellow mouse-munchers scared the bejeezus out of my third-grade self.) But no. Last night, we got…uh…what is it we got, exactly?
Okay, okay. Compared to last week’s rather slow, don’t mind us as we break your neck whipping back and forth between lots and lots of Where the Hell Is All This Going? plot, ”Lizards” managed to move the saga along. Let’s start with the girl who’s reptile- and amphibian-obsessed. We learned that Claire’s mother knows about her daughter’s powers. Even better, we discovered, right along with the young Ms. Bennet, that her regenerative powers extend to the instant regrowth of pinky toes. The sight of Claire’s little piggy sprouting right back up was kinda gross, but the new — or should I said ”newt”? I’ll be here all season, folks! — manifestation of her ability was a welcome change from all that leg-busting and jumping-off-towers stuff we’ve grown used to.
And now, it seems everyone’s favorite ex-cheerleader isn’t the only one blessed with insta-heal. After Hiro, posing as Kensei, ticked off some Japanese warlords, they sought revenge by shooting a bunch of arrows into the real, utterly wussy Kensei (played by Alias‘ Yankee-once-again-posing-as-Brit David Anders). But no sooner had Hiro removed one of the arrows than the bloody wounds closed up — a sight that made our time traveler very happy indeed. Now it’s possible that Hiro won’t have to assume Kensei’s identity after all. He’ll just teach him to embrace his power. Still, I’m convinced Hiro’s gonna get the girl — or at least steal a smooch or two. The way he looked at the lovely Eriko Tamura’s princess just made my hopelessly romantic heart melt. (And how he stopped time to let fall a gorgeous cascade of cherry blossoms reminded me of his equally breathtaking trick with the origami cranes for Charlie last season. Oh, and I also loved it when Hiro asked a villager: ”Have you seen a scary white man?” Ha!)
Meanwhile, across the pond in Cork, Peter gets the you-know-what kicked out of him by some Irish lads, but within moments he bears nary a scratch. It bolsters my theory from my last posting that he survived the season 1 Big Bang after absorbing his niece’s gift. Of course, now he can also throw neato blue fireballs and use Jedi mind tricks on rope binding his hands to a chair. But why can’t he use a similar Obi-wan trick to win back his own memory?
And here’s where I have to take a moment to gripe. The whole amnesia plotline feels about as fresh as a box of day-old Krispy Kremes on Parkman’s desk. How many series have relied on the handy-dandy memory-loss device? Even within the Heroes-verse it feels stale, seeing as the Haitian spent all of last season wreaking havoc on people’s short- and long-term gray matter. For the sake of all of our patience, I hope to hell that Peter doesn’t spend more than a couple more episodes in the Guinness-soaked back room of that pub — if nothing more than to spare us from hearing Irish baddy warning his sister of Peter: ”If he so much as lays an inconsiderate fart…” Now, I dig a good scatological joke as much as the next gal, but…really?!
NEXT PAGE: The Honduran Wonder Twins, the hooded hoodlum, and kicking around the kanji
I can only hope that the Heroes writers have better tricks up their sleeves than what they’ve shown us so far with the Honduran Wonder Twins. I went easy on their story last week, reasoning that it takes time to properly develop new characters in an already jam-packed cast. And the Maya-Alejandro thing still might improve. But last night? Wow. First there was the nutty village healer who grasped Maya’s hands and, after some unsubtle woosh-woosh paranormal sound effects, declared that the girl could kill el Diablo himself with her unnamable badness. With zero subtlety, voodoo lady declared, ”No one can heal you. You are cursed!” And it got even worse when Maya went nuts at the Guatemala-Mexico border. Looking like a cross between the dead girl from The Ring and a disaster at the Mac counter, her eyes went black and oozed an icky viscous goo that looked more than a little like the evil alien oil from The X-Files. But then Alejandro showed up and not only proved to be the calming yin to her psycho yang. He also managed to revive their traveling companion Nidia, whom Maya seemed to have struck dead. I’ll give props to the significance of the siblings’ connection; it’s a clever metaphor for the intense closeness of twins.
So what do we have in store for the coming weeks? (Other than the arrival of Kristen Bell, that is. YAY!!!) There’s sure to be more killing off of the older generation. As my colleague Jeff Jensen’s interview with the great George Takei indicated, Kaito Nakamura is dead, but possibly not gone for good. Angela Petrelli is also marked for death. But assuming that the hooded hoodlum who’s doing the oldie-offing is Nathan Petrelli — in addition to last week’s clues, we all heard Parkman and his boss, played by the mighty Barry Shabaka Henley, surmise that whoever pushed Kaito off the roof seemed to just fly away — would the guy whack his own mother? Maybe so, if he’s holding onto some weird oedipal thing because, um, hello? We learned in the interrogation room that mom and Kaito were once lovers! And moments later, something scary popped into that room that made the normally icy Angela Petrelli scream and thrash like a rubber-roomer.
Wow…here I am, at the end of my TV Watch and I’m just getting to what I found to be the juiciest clue of all: that the Swastika-like symbol of death scrawled on Kaito and Angela’s photos is in fact a kanji, the kind of Japanese character that has its origins in the Chinese alphabet. (The other sets of characters in the Japanese language are hiragana and katakana. Isn’t learning fun?) This particular character means ”great ability” or ”godsend” and is the emblem of…yes! The great and heroic 17th century samurai Takezo Kensei! Aaaaaaaand, some 300 years later, it’s also the symbol of Angela Petrelli’s husband’s law firm. So Angie, when you say ”law firm,” you really mean super-secret, super agency for the super-protection and advancement of super-powered peeps, right?
So many questions, TV Watchers! Most important, where is all this going? Are you confident there’s ample innovative material waiting for us around the corner to keep this season cruising? Are you happy the Haitian is back? But what about this blood-cure business? Won’t Mohinder eventually run out of the red stuff in his crusade to save the world from the deadly superhero virus? How long before Stephen Tobolowsky figures out Mohinder’s game and comes after him and H.R.G.? What’s with all the thievery? The missing iPods? Claire’s car? Isn’t it creepy that West keeps peeping in Claire’s windows? And finally, how on earth can the Bennets afford their posh house on Noah’s copy clerk’s salary? Post your comments below.
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