Sunday, October 21, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: Generations
Chapter Two: “Lizards”
Written by: Michael Green
Directed by: Allan Arkush

Okay. Let’s backtrack.
When the whole Takezo Kensei thing was introduced in Season 1, with Hiro being a time traveler, my first instinctive theory was that Hiro would wind up back in time and actually be Kensei, thus inspiring himself to be the man—and hero—he grows up to be. That sort of circular symmetry fascinates me to no end.
Then, I tweaked that theory when I began to suspect that Daddy Sulu’s power could have been immortality of some sort, and that he was incredibly old, and that he had actually been Kensei, and he was really telling Hiro stories of himself.
Well, as it turns out, my first theory was right. Sort of.
Back in feudal Japan, Hiro is forced to wear Kensei’s armour to rescue Yaeko, and in an interesting play on the conventions of masked heroes, refuses to take off his mask when Yaeko requests to lay eyes upon his countenance.
Hiro’s efforts though, are enough for Yaeko to be smitten with Kensei, and when she expects Kensei (the real one) to help her rescue her father, Kensei agrees to go along with the harebrained scheme hatched by Hiro (aka “The Carp”), a scheme which will turn him into the hero history purports him to be.
But in feudal Japan’s version of a drive-by shooting, Kensei is plugged with arrows and apparently dies. For a few seconds, I thought, that’s it? That’s Anders’ role in all this?! So Hiro really does get to be Kensei?
But Hiro pulls out one of the arrows, and, lo and behold, the wound closes up! Hmmm. One must keep in mind, this Volume is entitled “Generations.” (Though Heroes writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite seem to imply that identical powers do not necessarily equate to an actual filial connection.)

Meanwhile, back in the present, Parkman’s first case as a detective winds up being Daddy Sulu’s murder. And since Granny P’s fingerprint was lifted off the photo fragment found on Daddy S, Angela’s brought in. Granny P, canny little minx, not only twigs onto the fact that Parkman is reading her mind, but also reveals that (gasp!) she slept with Daddy S a long, long time ago*. (Man, somewhere during this Volume, we really better see a flashback episode with the young Petrellis, Linderman, and Nakamura… Lots’a hanky panky there…)
Even as Nathan arrives at the police station however, she is attacked in the interrogation room, by an apparently invisible presence. She’s saved though, and the mystery of who is targeting the previous generation of Heroes quickly takes center stage. (I have a preliminary pet theory of who might be the killer, but it’s too early to spring it, and I’m still trying to reconcile what we see of Daddy S’ death, and the attack on Angela.)
Also, Daddy S’ messy date with NY pavement was apparently one of eight paintings by Isaac that have yet to come to fruition, and that painting is the only one of the eight that HRG’s seen.

In other present day subplots, amidst a sea of questionable accents, the amnesiac Peter escapes his Irish captors, only to have to save Caitlin (Katie Carr, Hayden Panettiere's co-star in Raising Helen, where she incidentally also played a character named "Caitlin") from some dastardly goons. This complicates the problem that began when Peter was found in the shipping container that was supposed to have a whole caboodle of iPods in it. So Caitlin’s brother, Ricky (Holt McCallany, from David Fincher’s Fight Club and CSI: Miami), makes a deal with Peter: help us with this one small job to pay off these goons and get them off our backs, and I’ll give you this box that contains everything we found on you, “Peter.”

And while that’s going down in Ireland, Maya and Alejandro are coming ever closer to America. Here, we find out they’re twins, and that Alejandro seems to be immune to Maya’s power, and that he can somehow cancel its effects—“Wonder Twin powers, activate!”—thereby preventing the death of whoever is struck down by it. (The question that arises here is, does Alejandro’s power work on Maya because they’re twins, or can his power affect others as well?)

In yet another subplot, Mo’s first day on the job brings him to Port-Au-Prince, where a third superpowered someone contracts the virus. And who should it be but the Haitian himself! He seems ready to face the judgment God is meting out to his sinner’s a$$ and is initially unwilling to receive Mo’s help. He gets it anyway, and when he finds out that Mo is working for the Company, he steals Mo’s memories (or so they make it seem).
When Mo contacts HRG though, who steps into Copy Kingdom but the Haitian. Yahoo! Partners reunited! Part of their agenda: find the other seven Isaac paintings-yet-to-take-place. (Could they be paintings of the other murders-about-to-happen? Jeez, I hope they don’t bump off Granny P… You all know how much I love Cristine Rose.)

In other Butler/Bennet news, Mr. Muggles does indeed miss his time in the spotlight, in that other far away life in Odessa, as he indulges in some masochism by watching a dog show on TV. Poor Mr. Muggles.
Oh, and Claire’s new ride is stolen.
She’s also chafing under the “keep your head down” edict (with a great line with a lot of resonance and honesty: “I can’t not be who I am, whatever that is”; it sounds awkward, I know, but Panettiere pulls it off brilliantly) and is curious about her powers’ limitations and mechanics. This subplot leads to a scene that so outdoes the autopsy scene from Season 1, it‘s not even funny.
It’s a great, audacious bit that segues neatly into the chapter’s cliffhanger, as West witnesses Claire’s regeneration in action.
And when Claire rushes out into the driveway, West is gone, baby, gone. But Mr. Muggles is barking, up, at the sky.
Look up, Claire! Look! Up!

So this episode seems more cohesive that the season opener, or maybe it’s because I’m acclimating to each subplot and how it works in the overall scheme of things. (I’m also finding the groove of the feudal Japan subplot, which is the one I had the most trouble with in the previous episode.)
Of course, now I’m wary of the other subplots that have yet to kick in and how they’ll ultimately fit in with everything else that’s going on: there’s the still unseen Niki-Micah-D.L. trio, as well as Sylar, and the yet-to-be-introduced Kristen Bell. (Another Trek alum, Nichelle Nichols, is also still waiting in the wings.)
Again, I hope the writers juggle those balls well…

* They better not spring some sort of “Oh, by the way, the end result of my little dalliance with Daddy Sulu is Hiro,” ‘cause that would make Hiro half-brothers with Peter and Nathan, and a half-uncle to Claire, and things would get preposterously incestuous…

Parting shot: This totally escaped me before: the necklace amnesiac Peter was wearing—I’d completely forgotten that that was the Haitian’s!
Hmmm, something owned by the Haitian, on an amnesiac’s person…

(Images courtesy of

No comments: