Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: Generations
Chapter Four: “The Kindness of Strangers”
Written by: Tim Kring
Directed by: Adam Kane

We rebound from the previous choppy, scattershot chapter to this more satisfying, lean and mean episode.
We drop the feudal Japan and the amnesiac Peter in Ireland subplots, and there’s also no sign of Niki working with Bob. And as the “Salvaje” clue did suggest, the powerless Sylar subplot oh-so-conveniently collapses into the Wonder Twins’ thread, as Maya, Alejandro, and the American kid-in-the-Mexican prison-whose-car-they’re-fleeing-in (aka Derek, played by TW Leshner, soon to be seen in the upcoming Timber Falls) almost run over a prostrate man lying in the middle of the road.
And yes, it’s Sylar, though he introduces himself as “Gabriel.”
Maya, trusting fool that she is, tells Sylar that they’re headed for New York too, since she needs to meet Papa Suresh, brandishing the book for Sylar to see. And when Sylar says that he knows Papa Suresh, Maya is overjoyed, while Alejandro is rightly suspicious.
At a stopover, Derek sees a newspaper with the police sketches of the Wonder Twins and calls Sylar over. Derek says, ironically, “There are murderers in the car.” Sylar tells Derek to call the cops while he keeps the Wonder Twins busy. But he instead picks up the brick that’s being used as a paperweight at the newsstand, and bashes poor Derek’s head in (off-camera).
Back in the car, Sylar confronts Maya with the paper, and when she says, “Yes, that’s us, but it wasn’t murder,” Sylar says, “Well, Derek’s calling the cops on you.” Maya freaks, and her bleeding-black tears-from-the-eyes power kicks in, and Sylar starts to die. But Alejandro does the whole “calmate” thing, and Sylar is saved. Shoot.
He now realizes that he’s in the car with two powered people. So he drives off, while the Wonder Twins think that they’re just ditching Derek, but who’s apparently dead, while a cockroach crawls over the bloodied brick.

Over in post-Katrina New Orleans, Micah is staying with his cousins Monica (Dana Davis, from TV’s The Nine and the upcoming Prom Night remake) and Damon (Carlon Jeffery), and their grandmother (or “Nana,” played by Nichelle Nichols, who we saw ever-so-briefly last episode).
Monica (who has quickly proven to be the most interesting new character this Volume) works at the Burger Bonanza, with high hopes to get her family out of the still-depressed area. But her hopes are dashed at every turn, and all the while, she slowly begins to realize that she is not exactly normal.
Apparently, her power is to insta-learn anything she sees, so she learns how to make a tomato flower and whoop a$$, Rey Mysterio-style, all from the TV. At this point, it’s unclear whether Monica can insta-learn anything she actually sees, or if the TV is the proper conduit. (Micah, her cousin, has an affinity with machines, after all.)

Meanwhile, in Costa Verde, Claire, mindful of her father, at first tries to distance herself from West. But flyboy is insistent and asks her out on a date, and, if she is unimpressed by it, promises to leave her alone.
So West ends up flying Claire to the Hollywood sign, where they sit and bond amidst some good blue screen (a lot better than last episode’s Japan stuff). Claire says stuff happened back in Odessa, and she’s not sure if she can really trust anyone anymore. West, of course, says learn to trust me. Jump off the sign. (Yeah, I say that to all the people I’d want trusting me too.)
And when Claire is convinced, she does so, and of course, flyboy catches her, and there’s a mid-air kiss.
When Claire gets back home, late, she and West realize that her excuse (library) isn’t going to hold water. So Claire, in getting Mr. B off the scent (he suspects it’s a boy), says she tried out for cheerleading. She then manages to convince Mr. B that this is something she needs (“one normal thing”). So Mr. B, poor schlub, relents, on the proviso that she doesn’t start dating anyone yet.
Claire, little liar, agrees.
Oh, and the Haitian shows up, presaged by the wind chimes, and says he has a lead on the other Isaac paintings. They’re headed to Odessa.
Texas, you ask?
Nope. The Ukraine.

Over with the Petrellis, Granny P confesses to having murdered Daddy Sulu, while the wounds she received in the attack two episodes ago appear to have been self-inflicted. It’s clear though that she’s covering something up. (Or perhaps protecting someone…)
Knowing Parkman is reading her mind, she “tells” him to just accept her statement and leave it alone, or everyone will find out about “us” and “what we can do.” (Note though that we have yet to see what Granny P’s power actually is…)
After a brilliant scene between Cristine Rose and Adrian Pasdar, Granny P’s handcuffed and wheelchaired out to the hoosegaw.
Meanwhile, Beardo Nathan first visits his two sons, and tells them their grandmother is in hospital and could use some cheering up. The pint-sized Petrellis don’t approve of Beardo Nathan, so he shaves off the facial hair in time to have his scene with Granny P before she is carted off by the fuzz.
Parkman enlists No-Longer-Beardo Nathan’s help by first revealing he can read people’s thoughts, then showing Nathan the death threats received by Daddy S and Granny P, which both came from a photograph Nathan recognizes. A photograph with his parents in it, that had some “ten, maybe twelve people.”
So let’s review. Daddy S said there used to be twelve, and now there are nine.
Check. Pop Petrelli, Charles Deveaux, and Linderman, casualties of Volume One.
Daddy Sulu then does a pavement dive.
Eight left.
Now, when Nathan searches for the photograph, Parkman reveals that the ex-Mrs. Matt was actually pregnant with Matt’s scummy partner’s kid. (How this impacts on the “Five Years Gone” implication that Matt’s kid has powers remains to be seen.)
Then, when Nathan finds the photo, who should be in it as well but Bob, someone who may or may not be Joanna Cassidy, and… dan-da-da-daaan, Papa Parkman!
So Parkman takes the photo home and asks Molly to help him find Papa Parkman, who apparently stole a lot of money from some people, and abandoned his son when Matt was 13. But when Molly sees the photo (and somehow I saw this coming), she throws a hissy fit and refuses.
Papa Parkman is the Sauron baddie, whom Molly dubs “the Nightmare Man.”
Parkman, bull-head twit, tries to strong-arm Mo into making Molly find his MIA father, but in the end, it’s Molly who says, “Okay. I’ll help you find him.”
Molly does the stick pin-on-the-map thing and (yes, apparently we all see this coming except for idiot Matt) gets “caught” by the Nightmare Man, going into shock, while Parkman hears her screaming in his head.
To her credit (and Matt’s bone-headed prodding), Molly gets out city, apartment building, and room number, before she enters Catatonia City.
Repeat after me: Parkman is an idiot.
Oh, almost forgot. Somewhere along the way, Nathan sees Monster Face Nathan in the mirror…

So, I liked this chapter a lot (hey, Mrs. B and Mr. Muggles! Yahoo!), and Monica, as I mentioned above, is an interesting character being played ably by Davis. And though I could have done without the quick snippets of file footage of Katrina damage (which seemed a tad heavy-handed), Monica seems like a very real, honest character, with some nice rapport with Micah, so I’m looking forward to seeing where that subplot goes.
And then there’s Claire, who continues to be a rather substantial, involving character; I think this is the first time I’ve really been disappointed with her, because of that whole lie about not seeing any boy at the moment.
To be fair though, she was lied to for many a year by her adoptive father, so maybe she just sees this as a fair turn-around. And she of course has no idea about the 8th Isaac painting-yet-to-take-place. Though I do suspect that West (as far as the painting goes) is a red herring, and that shadowy someone with Claire is someone else altogether (my pet theory as to the killer’s identity).

I also enjoyed this episode since it feels the least-cluttered since the season began, so here’s hoping there’ll be more chapters like this to come.

(Images courtesy of; behind the scene images courtesy of

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