Thursday, November 15, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: “Generations”
Chapter Five: “Fight Or Flight”
Written by Joy Blake & Melissa Blake
Directed by Lesli Glatter

So we kick off this chapter with Mo and The Biggest Loser (aka Parkman), who basically coerced Molly into finding the Sauron baddie/Nightmare Man (aka Parkman’s runaway Pop, Maury), thus putting her into some kind of coma.
It finally sinks in that, Oh gosh, I really shouldn’t have asked a little girl to do that, huh? (No arguments from Mo or me, Biggest Loser.)
Irritatingly, it also takes a little convincing from Mo for Parkman to go down to Philadelphia to find Papa Sauron Parkman (codename: PSP; I’ll start calling him Maury next time). “But I don’t even know what I’m facing,” Biggest Loser says. Well, Molly didn’t know either, and you made her face him. Idiot.
Parkman then decides to see what Granny P can tell him, since she knows PSP personally. But, off-camera, it seems Parkman gets nothing out of her. (Presumably since she knows how to deal with a mind reader like Parkman.)
Parkman runs into No Longer Beardo Nathan at the police station, and wham! Team up time. Over Parkman’s initial protestations, Nathan convinces Parkman that he can help in Philadelphia, and that if PSP is the reason why Granny P is in jail, then he has every right to be in Philly.
So they get on down there (and it’s unclear whether Nathan actually flew both of them there, though that’s entirely possible) and they find PSP (Alan Blumenfeld) in the apartment.
PSP appears surprised that his son has turned into the cop he sees before him, and he says he’s proud. But Parkman’s still pissed and just wants to know what happened to Molly. PSP claims he did it to protect himself and that he also received a death threat.
When Parkman tries to read PSP’s mind, he gets that same effect he had when he tried to read Peter’s mind in Season 1. So it turns out that PSP is also a mental mind dude. PSP also tells Parkman that reading minds is only the beginning.
PSP admits that he was part of the previous generation of Heroes, with Linderman, the Petrellis, et al. He also says they tried to make a difference in the world, but that things went wrong. He then says he’d like to show Parkman something in the other room.
When Parkman follows him there though, PSP’s abilities kick in.
He traps Parkman in a waking nightmare: in a prison cell, where a baby appears, then the ex-Mrs. Matt (yahoo!). Ex-Mrs. Matt claims that when she told Parkman the baby wasn’t his, that he read her mind and knew she was lying and still left anyway. When Mrs. Matt leaves the cell with the baby, Parkman tries to stop her, but the guard—who speaks backwards, by the way*—gets into a fist fight with him.
Meanwhile, Nathan finds himself on top of the Deveaux building, in post-explosion NY, where he finds someone who he at first thinks is Peter, but is actually Monster Face Nathan, who sneers and taunts him, saying he failed everyone. Nathan and Monster Face Nathan get into a fist fight.
As it turns out, it’s actually Parkman and Nathan fighting each other, and when Parkman realizes it’s all a Jedi mind trick, he apparently projects his thoughts to Nathan to stop fighting, which Nathan does. (Ooooh, Parkman’s repertoire of Jedi mind tricks is growing! And he presumably also has the potential to make people face their worst fears, as PSP apparently can.)
They find the room in shambles, and PSP long gone. Frustrated that his pops ran out on him again, Parkman throws some stuff on the floor, and what should they find, but another piece of that damned photo, the fragment showing Bob’s face, with the “Godsend” sigil scrawled on it. So they make the assumption that PSP really is the killer and that his next target is Bob.

Meanwhile, in New Orleans, Monica is interviewed by the cops, but claims she doesn’t really remember much about the whole Rey Mysterio incident, including what the robber looks like. The cop shows her a picture of the schmuck, who’s apparently robbed three other fast food joints in the area, but Monica wants to keep her nose clean, so she lies and says she doesn’t really remember the guy’s face. Cue disgusted cop-who-can’t-really-do-his-job-because-other-people-aren’t-willing-to-help to leave Burger Bonanza.
When Monica gets home, Micah’s playing the piano. Double M share a moment at the piano (apparently Monica’s mom played but no one’s touched the piano since she passed away). But even as Micah is playing, Monica starts to unconsciously play as well, and when Micah points this out to her, she’s just a little bit freaked out. (So it looks like she doesn’t need the TV to insta-learn.)
Later, she’s practicing the tomato flower thing again, when Micah shows her an issue of 9th Wonders, where the character “St. Joan” appears. It seems St. Joan is a “muscle mimic” (okay, cool, but “insta-learn” has got a certain ring, methinks) and can learn to do anything just by seeing it happen.
To show Monica that she isn’t alone, Micah shows her his technopath powers, then goes on to say this freaky powers thing runs in the family, telling Monica that D. L. could walk through walls, and then indicating Niki has powers too, though he doesn’t specify to his cousin what those powers are.
In a nice little bit, Monica says she’s been praying to God and says, “Of all the things God could have given me, it’s this?” Micah says maybe they’re meant to do something with these gifts.
To test her abilities, Double M go on a little field trip, and Monica tries the Double Dutch after watching some girls do it. She does the routine like a pro, and the Double M share another moment.
Later on still, in a far more practical application of her power, Monica starts to train Bruce Lee-style by watching the tube (I guess that was Enter The Dragon, though I’m not entirely certain), and Micah sees her and thinks it’s super cool. (Like me, the little dude realizes that martial arts will be far more useful than the Double Dutch.) Monica says this is their little secret, then shoos him off to bed.
There’s a knock on the door, and who should it be, but… (More on that later.)

Over in Ireland, who shows up looking for Peter but… Veronica Mars!
Actually, it’s Kristen Bell playing Elle, and we quickly see that she’s where Peter got his new sparkly blue electro-powers from. Just as she finds out where Peter’s at, Ricky gets wind of the blonde American searching the docks for Peter.
So, after seeing Peter and his sister in liplock, Ricky tells Peter to hide out for a spell at Caitlin’s flat, while he deals with this snoop. Dumba$$ Peter allows himself to be convinced.
At the flat, Peter finds out that Caitlin likes to paint to relax. Then there’s a little snogging before Peter says he thinks he should open up that box already, as it’s probably high time he discover who he is. But when he does open the box, the only pertinent things inside are a passport giving him his name and listing his gender as female! (Apparently a gaff that didn’t get rectified before the episode aired, though this will be fixed for the Season 2 DVD set; which is kind of sad, actually. That would have been quite the plot twist…) There’s also a plane ticket to Montreal.
Frustrated, Peter suddenly begins to see glimmers of a painting on a blank canvas. He grabs a palette, a brush, and some paint, he then proceeds to do the freaky white-eyed painting thing, much to Caitlin’s worry.
When his eyes snap back to normal, he’s a little freaked out too at the painting that’s suddenly in front of him, a painting of two people (backs turned to us so we don’t see who they are) in front of a door. In the distance is what appears to be a church, and the street signs are in French. And hey, people speak French in Montreal, don’t they?
Unbeknowest to them though, Elle appears at the pub and when Ricky doesn’t seem to want to be of help in her search for Peter, she electrocutes his Irish a$$ till all that’s left of him is a crispy critter. (Poor Ricky.)
Caitlin gets the call, they go over to the pub, she breaks down at the sight of her brother, and Peter, knowing this is all his fault, vows to find who did this to Ricky…

And before we leave that subplot for the week, we should note that at one point, Elle says she works for a Company. We also see her get a call on her cell, telling her to leave off in the search for Peter (after she’s admitted that, yes, she killed someone). Before she hangs up, she calls whoever is on the other end of the line, “Daddy.” (So either she’s got a kinky sex thing going on, or her father is Bob… Or maybe PSP and she’s Parkman’s half-sister. Or maybe someone else altogether and the writers are just making us think Bob or PSP. This is Heroes, after all.)

In another subplot that was MIA last chapter, Ando consults some expert dude to help repair the damage that some of the teeny scrolls have suffered over time.
We pick up with Hiro and Kensei getting the last bit of the map that will lead them to Yaeko’s father.
There’s a nice little bit where Hiro sees Yaeko’s hand in Kensei‘s and he notes that everything is happening as it should and that the lovers are indeed falling for one another, but we of course can see his crestfallen face as he suffers the pain of a breaking heart because history needs to unfold as he knows it did.
They then head off to face White Beard and Yaeko insists on accompanying them, since she has been sword-trained, after all. Hiro and Kensei agree, and the three look upon the vast forces of the enemy.
And that’s all for that subplot.

Finally, Mo, panicked that Molly’s vitals are falling and he can’t seem to help her, calls Mr. B, who’s with the Haitian and walking in some vaguely dodgy green screen environment (either they’re already in Odessa or they’re headed there). Mo is at a loss and thinking of going to the Company to save Molly. Mr. B warns Mo against this course of action, but Mo feels this is the only way to save her life.
So he brings Molly in and she’s hooked up to some machines and stuff, when Bob asks Mo to go on another field mission to bring in another powered someone, giving him a taser for good measure. Mo says he needs to be here with Molly, Bob says Molly’s welfare is top priority, and he needs Mo out there to help others like Molly.
The discussion is cut off though when who should go apesh!t in the hall but Jessica, whom Mo recognizes as Niki. Jessica slams Mo into the wall, then proceeds to throttle poor Bob. Mo of course, tasers Jessica.
When Niki comes to, she’s restrained to the bed. Here is apparently the first time Mo discovers that Niki suffers from MPD. Once Bob leaves the room, Mo tries to set Niki free, but she says that she’s here of her own free will, and that she believes this is the only place where she can get the help she needs.
The next time we see Mo, he’s at… Monica’s front door! And he says he’s here to help her with answers to her questions. (So either he’s here because he’s deluded himself into believing the Company can truly help because of the Niki episode, or he’s here to warn Monica. It better be the latter, Mo, or you may as well join Parkman in the Biggest Loser camp.)

Again, we have an episode that’s less cluttered than this season’s initial chapters, since we lose the Sylar/Wonder Twins subplot, and there’s no sign of Claire either. (Boo! Hiss!)
Curiously, we also don’t see Granny P, even if she’s mentioned when Parkman says he got nothing from her. (Boo some more! Hiss some more!)
And then… no Mrs. B or Mr. Muggles. (Boo even more! Hiss even more!)
Seriously though, I can live with these sorts of decisions—it’s not like I need my Claire fix every episode—if the narrative’s rhythm felt natural, but the whole Feudal Japan subplot is beginning to feel really stretched out, so much so that hardly anything happened with the love triangle this episode.
That feeling is exacerbated by the fact that we also are missing a lot when it comes to how Kensei and Hiro are getting that map together. We see them returning, all tired and out of breath, for a battle we missed in its entirety, just as we missed the whole battle with the Angry Ronin. (I realize we’re probably missing all this stuff due to budgetary reasons, but it just leaves me with this feeling that I’m being gypped by seeing zero action, and that the plot is lurching forward in this horribly awkward zombie march. I mean, if we’re not gonna see any samurai action anyway, then why is this subplot taking so long to reach its culmination? Hopefully we see some sort of samurai action next time we touch down in feudal Japan.)

On the plus side though, the Double M dynamic continues to be a nice sight to see, and Dana Davis and Noah Gray-Cabey are delivering some great performances. Mo just better end up doing the right thing by helping Monica…
The fact that the muscle mimic in 9th Wonders is called “St. Joan” though, does not bode well, does it? I mean, Monica has been portrayed as a God-praying sort…
And hey, Gray-Cabey is, in real life, a prodigy, and has reportedly been playing piano since he was a year and a half old! Wow.

Before I leave off this chapter, I should also point out that at the moment, I’m not entirely convinced that PSP is the actual killer as that seems too easy somehow, but hey, we’ll see…

* After seeing the episode, I found out that the whole backwards-speaking guard thing was due to Parkman’s dyslexia. Brilliant.

Parting shot: This episode was helmed by a familiar name from way back in the Twin Peaks days: Lesli Glatter (though back then, she went by “Lesli Linka Glatter”).
Haloo! So great to see your stuff again, LLG!
Incidentally (1), I thought that the backwards-speaking guard was a nod to Twin Peaks, instead of a reference to Parkman’s dyslexia.
And, incidentally (2), among Glatter’s other television work, is a number of Gilmore Girls’ episodes, on which she first worked with Milo Ventimiglia.

Parting shot 2: Incidentally (3), we reportedly have Oprah to thank for Noah Gray-Cabey trying out acting, as he did his piano prodigy thing on her show and some agent or other saw him, and well, here we are now.
Hurrah, Oprah!

(Behind the scene images—of episode director Lesli Glatter, and stars Milo Ventimiglia and Kristen Bell—courtesy of

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