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''Heroes'' recap: The series rewinds

Going back four months, we see Peter and Elle practicing flirtatious shock therapy before the Haitian containerizes him; plus, we learn there are different sides to Adam/Kensei and Niki

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Mitchell Haaseth

Heroes

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season

”Heroes” recap: The series rewinds

”Four Months Ago.” That’s the title of this episode. I couldn’t help thinking, ”If we had gotten this episode four months ago, it would’ve gone a long way toward making this season more palatable.” (Not that it made everything all shiny and good — nothing can save the Oily Twins, at this point, save euthanasia.)

First and foremost, it would’ve made the Adam Monroe/Takezo Kensei story line so much more dynamic. Think about it: The way the story has unfolded, we’ve already seen how Adam became a bad guy back in feudal Japan (and, yes, I’m fully aware that Heroes will eventually posit a scenario in which we see that his actions, from a certain point of view, are actually good). So we know that whatever story he feeds Peter is just a cover for the eventual big badness. But if we had opened the second season with this episode, we’d think that, at the very least, Adam’s a victim of the Company just like Peter, and that he might actually be out to save the world, and then we’d hop back to Japan for the Hiro Escapades — and when Kensei turned on Hiro, we’d witness two betrayals at once.

But no. We began volume 2 with the glacially paced slow burn that creator-executive producer Tim Kring now openly admits was a mistake. Such a simple fix for such a fundamental problem.

Now, Heroes has never been particularly crafty about hiding its comic book influences. It is a show about superheroes, so it only makes sense that it draws from a half century of comics history. But this hour borrowed quite liberally from two incredibly well-known sources: Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men series (specifically, the idea of a mutant ”cure” — and don’t mention X-Men 3, not in mixed company) and Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vendetta (the inmates of a crazy research institution form a support bond through a tiny hole in the wall). Hey, if you gotta steal, then steal from the best, right?

Speaking of that prison, you’d think that Bob and the rest of his superpowered associates would’ve put Adam — the most powerful of them all, according to Bob himself — in a facility a wee bit more secure. This is what they mean by ”locked him up and threw away the key”? Why wasn’t he buried in a volcano, or kept in the Nightmare Man’s mind trap, or anything more lockdown-able than that retrofitted hospital room? (Looks like St. Nowhere.) But I suppose three decades in any room will turn it into a prison.

And creepy-hot Elle. I appreciate what Kristen Bell is going for with Electra-Lass. She’s trying for sultry, for film noir femme fatale à la Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity — the kind of girl so bored she plays with her food before devouring it — and she’s missing by just…this…much. Still, it’s fun to watch. Plus, she’s good with a clipper.

NEXT: Niki has more secrets

You know what the most interesting idea of the entire episode was? Naturally, it was the thing they did the least with. Gina, the third personality residing in Ali Larter’s tall-drink-of-water of a body. Her introduction just blew the doors right off that character: Imagine, she could contain a multitude of personalities, all fighting for the same corporeal shell. What if Niki isn’t the strongest? Maybe there’s a dirty dozen in there. In a flash, she went from the Hulk to Sybil — if Sybil were also home to a go-go coke fiend. I could watch an entire television series about the war waging within a young woman for dominance of her body. (Good thing Spielberg is working on a series for Showtime called The United States of Tara.) And it was nice to see D.L. step up. A fireman, while a little on the nose for a show called Heroes, was a good career choice for the man who can’t be touched. Sad to see him buy it the way he did — so pointless, especially considering that he had as much time to go intangible before the L.A. club guy’s gunshot as he did before the punch. I’m going to miss D.L and Niki as a couple: It’s always nice to see a healthy — or what passes for healthy, considering their peculiar power peccadilloes — interracial couple on TV.

Okay, I guess we need to talk about Maya and Alejandro, right? They’ve got to have a fan or two out there, so here it goes: That was a pretty kick-ass wedding — or should I say funeral? — they threw on the Universal backlot. That’s all I got. She kills people with her crazy tears. We get it. As they say, crap or get off the pot. (By all indicators, the producers have chosen crap.)

Last, why can’t anyone see that Bob the Alchemical Brother is a slimeball? If that dude came up to you and offered you anything, would you entertain his overtures? Would you get into bed with him — figuratively speaking, of course? (But if he’s your type, go literal and have a great time. Just be safe, and don’t take any pills.)

Okay, questions: Why didn’t Peter take off when Elle and the Haitian were chasing him and Adam? (The Haitian wasn’t all that close.) Speaking of the Haitian, why doesn’t Peter have his powers, too? Or Adam’s? And if Elle has lived her entire life in that compound, how’d she know to work the streets in Ireland so well?