Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Heroes Review -- 2x04, "The Kindness of Strangers"

When last we left our Heroes, Sylar had escaped the Company's custody and, though lacking powers, was currently at large and dangerous. This week, calling himself "Gabriel Gray," he joins Maya and Alejandro on the Road Trip That Won't End, discovering that they have "powers" because, though Alejandro's cautious of just blabbing the big secret to any random hitchhiker, Maya is blissfully unaware of the danger she's in. Sylar, unbeknownst to Maya, has already killed the man who escaped from jail with them when he threatened to call the police.

Bennett is still worried about Claire, and, given the picture of her mid-smooch standing over his dead body, especially about her dating someone. She succumbs to West's doubtful charms long enough to go on one date, lying to her dad that she's going to the library. Since the one date involves sitting on the second "O" in the Hollywood sign and some mid-air kissage, Claire decides to keep lying to her dad. She convinces him to let her cheerlead as a cover story for hanging out with West with some sob story about wanting to feel normal. He agrees, saying, "I didn't know it meant that much to you." More than your family's lives, apparently. You'd think with that kind of reason, Bennett might be a little less susceptible to his daughter's wiles. After this is settled, the Haitian appears to tell Bennett he's got a lead on the paintings and they need to go back to Odessa.

In New Orleans, we have the introduction of another new hero. Still no sign of Kristen Bell, but I like this new one, whose name is Monica (Dana Davis). She is Micah's cousin, the older sister of Damon -- a bratty kid around Micah's age whose only goal in life is to watch pay-per-view wrestling, apparently -- and works as a fast-food cashier, but dreams of passing a regional manager test that apparently has only a 2% pass rate. People like her best "friend" and her boss keep shooting her down, telling her to be content with what she has and be grateful, but Monica keeps hoping. She's also taking care of Micah, and is a little disappointed in him when he secretly uses his superpower to get Damon the wrestling for free. It turns out she learns things really fast, and her eyes go all wonky when she watches the wrestling. Then, when a customer pulls a gun on her at the fast-food place, she uses her newfound skills to wrap her hands around a pole and launch herself into an Alias-style kick at the guy's head. I'm sorry, she learned that from wrestling? I'm confused... But Dana Davis is a charming actress, and the sheer weight of the low expectations she's battling because she's poor, black, female and lives in a region battling a disaster make her a sympathetic character.

Molly's still having the nightmares, and Matt's worried about her -- until his investigation of Angela Petrelli pans out. Angela confesses to murdering Nakamura in order to get everyone to let it go, telling Matt via her audible thoughts that she wants him to accept her false confession. Going through her things, Matt and Mohinder discovers a picture of the group of 12 that have been dying one by one, and among them is Matt's father. He wants Molly to help find him, leading to the big reveal that Parkman's father is the boogeyman -- but Matt doesn't care and wants Molly to find him anyway. Suddenly not liking Matt so much. He won't like himself much either very soon, since when Molly uses her powers to locate the boogeyman in Philadelphia she falls into a dead faint. We end on Matt hearing Molly think, "Matt! Help me! Maaaatt!"

Lastly, and most importantly, Nathan, who's still a drunk and still hallucinates the face of a horribly burned man in the mirror, shaves The Beard to please his kids. THANK GODDARWIN.

I found this episode not much of an improvement over the last few, but it did have a little more coherence and some interesting interplay of storylines -- Matt, for example, reveals himself to Nathan, Sylar joins Maya and makes her odyssey a little less irrelevant (although still not in any way compelling), and the boogeyman is given a face, a name, and some emotional relevance. Still, that coherence was only achieved by ignoring Hiro, Niki, and Peter -- kind of a large contingent to sacrifice, and if every episode is so unrelated to the one that's before it, it will be hard to keep caring about each separate thread.

In Summary: Nathan trimmed his beard -- now let's see the writers trim the cast, or learn to use it properly.


Media Maven said...

Totally agree with your assessment. Let's hope they combine some storylines soon, so we don't have 50 plots going on at once.

Kristen said...

Seriously! Getting vertigo here...