Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: Generations
Chapter Three: “Kindred”
Written by: J.J. Philbin
Directed by: Paul Edwards

So it turns out that Ricky wants Peter to help with a heist at a local bookie’s. But while the plan’s being discussed, Peter picks up on a stray thought from Will (Star Trek: Enterprise’s Dominic Keating), who’s planning to screw everyone and take the money. Peter announces this, but of course, Ricky takes Will’s word.
Peter then tries to access his powers, shirtless of course, to better lure Caitlin into his personal gravity. Caitlin meanwhile, keeps Peter’s powers a secret and takes to calling him “pretty boy.”
The heist goes off without too much of a hitch, and Peter uses his TK to move an armoured truck to facilitate their escape. Conveniently enough, Caitlin is again the only one to witness Peter in action.
Back at the pub, Will tries to take the money, shooting Peter in the process. But the bullets are spewed out by Peter’s body, and he uses his TK to nearly strangle poor Will. Caitlin gets Peter to stop, and Will scampers off into the night.
Ricky sees all this, and takes it in stride, grateful for the save. He hands the box over to Peter, and gives him an honourary tattoo (a Celtic-inspired design) to signify his new status as a member of the family.
With the box now in his hands, Peter is still reluctant to open it, due to his fear that he may not like who he really is. And though Caitlin assures Peter that he’s a “good soul; I can tell” (I’m sure she tells that to all the shirtless, superpowered Americans who come through the pub’s door), she eventually asks him if he’s happy with who he is right now. Peter says “Yes,” and he leaves off opening the box for another day, as they go into liplock.
Meanwhile, the “Godsend” sigil is momentarily revealed to be an element hidden in the design of the tattoo, before disappearing, leaving Peter’s skin apparently untouched…

Mo returns from Haiti, much to Matt’s annoyance, since he feels he’ll need to keep an eye out for Mo while he does the deep cover stuff.
Mo moves into his new laboratory space, which happens to be poor Isaac’s loft. (Oh, look, recycled set!)
While there, he snoops around, and finds the eighth painting in the series of Isaac paintings-yet-to-take-place, and what should the image be but… (more on that later!)

Ando’s back to doing the sarariman thing at Yamagato (with a boss who does a fantastic job of looking constipated), when he notices writing on the hilt of the Takezo Kensei sword, a message for him to open the hilt, which turns out to be hollow. Inside, a bunch of teeny scrolls, upon which Hiro has apparently written to Ando from the past.
Segue into flashbacks from previous episodes, leading up to Takezo’s drive-by arrowing and regeneration.
Initially freaked-out by his insta-healing, Takezo comes around when he realizes that he’s not the only freak around (Hiro reveals his powers), and, better yet, he can become “richer than the Pope!” So Hiro, feeling he needs to force the hero issue, teleports Takezo to the place where he is to do battle with 90 angry ronin and retrieve the Fire Scroll.
Hiro waits for Takezo to return in Yaeko’s company, all the while mooning after her when she talks about the “gentle” Takezo (as opposed to the “brute” he sometimes is). Takezo returns, triumphant, and Hiro sees this as a successful mission, as Takezo has apparently succumbed to the whole “hero” thing.
Hiro says he should take his leave now that things look to be on the right track, and Takezo tries to dissuade him, saying Hiro is his “conscience.” But Hiro is steadfast. That is, until he sees Yaeko enraptured by the company of Takezo. Poor, love-smitten fool, Hiro decides he can stay for a little while longer.

And while I’m passably okay with the feudal Japan subplot at the moment, the whole Wonder Twins thing is wearing thin, and I truly hope this ends up being a pivotal, relevant thread.
Anyway, while in Mexico, Alejandro tries to steal a car in broad daylight (duh!), and is spotted by the cops. Chase ensues, which ends with Alejandro’s arrest. Maya goes to the jail, thinking to bail him out on their remaining $14.
Things go bad, of course, and Maya is about to be arrested herself when she uses her power. After being released from his cell, Alejandro calms Maya down, and saves the lives of the two cops and the American teen-ager who happened to be in the cell next to Alejandro.
Just as the Wonder Twins are about to make their great escape, the kid says he’s got a car, and they spring him too, and pile into the vehicle.

Then, in the first of two subplots that see the return of some familiar faces, we discover that D.L. died after all*, and Niki is about to leave Micah with some relatives, while she intends to go off to do something important and (what else is new?) mysterious.
Micah is brought to New Orleans, where he is greeted by (look who else just beamed down from the Enterprise), Nichelle Nichols!
We also find out that Niki has contacted Bob, and wants them to take away her powers. Bob of course, needs something in return from her (which he does not disclose, the big tease).

Returning character subplot two: Oh, look who’s in a dodgy blue screen beach. Sylar!
Apparently the rat bastard was dragged away during last season’s finale by (gasp!) Candice, the b!tch!
She’s now going by the name “Michelle,” and doesn’t look at all like Missy Peregrym (sigh). When Sylar forces “Michelle” to drop the illusion though, they turn out to be in some dingy hovel, and Sylar still has stitches from the impaling he received in the Season One finale.
Moreover, Sylar seems to have lost the powers he so painstakingly stole from all his Season One victims. And when “Michelle” tries to persuade Sylar that he needs her help (in a semi-awkward seduction scene recalling Mystique trying to get into Wolvie’s pants in X2), Sylar decides he’s going to start from Square One, today.
He bashes “Michelle” in the side of the head with a coffee mug, then proceeds to do his brain-eating thing (off screen, of course). We also see that, as was implied last season, Candice/Michelle was indeed overweight.
But when Sylar tries to use the illusion power, it doesn’t work, and frustrated, he exits the hovel, and we pull away to see it’s in the middle of a dense forest somewhere. (Didn’t recognize the geography, though the “Salvaje” clue outside the hovel makes me suspect this subplot may collapse into another one somewhere down the road.)

And, to address last episode’s cliffhanger, Claire tries to convince West that he didn’t actually see what he thought he saw. West of course, is dead certain he saw her cut off her toe, and that it grew back.
West makes Claire cry (the schmuck!), but then reveals to her that he can fly! (Taking off from school premises in broad daylight. Sure, students were in class just then, but there are such things as windows, doofus!)
Cue more dodgy effects and iffy flying bits. Later, on a beach somewhere, West and Claire get into a “who’s got the cooler power” debate. Claire then sees the tell-tale mark on the neck of someone who’s been abducted by the Company. And when she quizzes West, he tells her that he lost an entire day once, and the last thing he remembers before the lost day was a man with Horn-Rimmed Glasses.
(I’m gonna have to check at this point, but didn’t West see Mr. B in the parking lot, when he almost ran Claire over in Chapter One? Or were his eyes too locked onto Claire? And whatever happened to Claire’s car? Did we even file police reports? Or is that how far beneath the radar the “Butlers” need to stay that they won’t even do that?)
When Claire gets back home, she greets Mr. B, and gives him a loaded, foreboding look.
At the same time, Mo snaps the Isaac painting with his cell and zaps the jpeg over to Mr. B.
The image? A very dead Mr. B, shot through the eye, with Claire standing in the shadowed background, apparently being kissed by some shadowy figure or other. (Or at least, it looked like she was being kissed…)

Okay. Though I did appreciate the story Hiro was telling Ando, the “real” one, as opposed to the Takezo legends Hiro grew up with, and Hayden Panettiere continues to knock her scenes out of the park, the episode itself felt scattershot.
Again, as with some of the more problematic episodes from Season 1, this one seemed to have too many subplots, and some (like the Wonder Twins one) are quickly becoming tiresome. Honestly, what still keeps me nominally engaged with the plight of the Wonder Twins is Dania Ramirez’s performance. Clearly, she was underutilized in X-Men: The Last Stand.

On the plus side though, Mr. B is apparently getting sucked into the whole murder mystery (and here I thought the potential victims would be limited to the earlier generation of “heroes”), and there’s the implication that Claire will have something to do with his murder. I just hope that this subplot develops well, and the fact that Claire is being implicated in the murder-to-be, brings something interesting to my pet theory regarding the killer’s identity. (I am also taking Bob’s cue and being a tease at this point.)

I am concerned though that they’ve apparently kick-started 3 new subplots (the powerless Sylar; Micah in New Orleans; and Niki doing stuff for Bob), while still having all the others on-board, and with the post-Veronica Mars Kristen Bell still unseen.
Clear some of the board, people.

It’s also unfortunate that they couldn’t get Missy Peregrym back to reprise her role as Candice, since she’d already been shanghaied by Reaper. As a result, what was reportedly intended to be a multi-episode arc featuring a Sylar/Candice team-up, ended up being just another brain sandwich for Sylar. Sigh.

Oh, and no Granny P, Mrs. B, and Mr. Muggles this chapter. Boo! Hiss!

* Whether D.L. died as a result of the wound he received in Season 1’s tail-end, or some other occurrence in the four months which took place off-screen, has yet to be established.

(Images courtesy of comicbookresources.com.)

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