Saturday, November 24, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: “Generations”
Chapter Six: “The Line”
Written by Adam Armus & Kay Foster
Directed by Jeannot Szwarc

Okay, this is more like it. Despite the number of subplots in this chapter (the only major characters we don’t see here are Parkman, Nathan, and Micah, and Elle drops off the radar), this episode actually moves.

So Claire tries out for the cheerleading team, but the squad leader Debbie (Veronica Mars’ Dianna Agron), who is of course, a b!tch, doesn’t want Claire on the squad, despite one cheerleader, May (Janel Parrish), putting her neck out for Claire.
So this screws up Claire’s lie to Mr. B about being part of the team. West then hatches a plan to humiliate Debbie, so as to somehow get Claire on the squad.
On a night when Debbie’s drunk and terrorizing the new recruits, Claire pulls her off to talk to her in private. West, in black, with a balaclava on, swoops down from the sky, picks Claire up, then drops her to lie bleeding on the school steps. Debbie runs, but West swoops her up as well.
When next we see Debbie, she’s telling some cops that Claire was there, bleeding, and that there was a flying masked man. But Claire shows up and says she’s fine, and of course she didn’t see any flying masked man. The cops find the bottle Debbie was drinking out of, and she gets suspended from the squad for being intoxicated on campus.
May then asks Claire to fill the now vacant spot on the squad.
Mission accomplished (though West is getting Claire involved in some potentially troublesome activities).

Meanwhile, we see Monica emulating some gymnastics (first we had Bring It On, now we’ve got Stick It) in the battery of tests Mo is letting her undergo. She’s at the NY Company digs and Mo finds out from Bob that he wants Monica injected with an experimental vaccine for the virus: Bob would like to see if they can take away Monica’s powers without harming her.
Mo however, immediately sees some of the other possibilities: Monica could die, or she could wind up getting injected with a variant of the virus that could finally cross over into the human population. Or, even if they manage to take away her powers without harming her, they’d still be taking away abilities without her consent, powers she truly seems to be enjoying.
But Bob gives Mo some tap dance about needing to do bad things for the greater good, and Mo actually gets into the room, about to inject Monica, when he makes a choice, and confronts Bob. Mo smashes the injection, says he’s not gonna do it, and that he’s taking Molly away. Bob says if Mo won’t inject Monica someone else will, and there’s plenty more of that experimental vaccine. Mo smashes the vials of the vaccine that are in the room, then storms out.
Later, Mo finds he can’t move Molly since she isn’t stable yet. Bob meanwhile, makes an interesting turn-around, apologizing, and telling Mo that in his need to deal with a menace (apparently one Adam Monroe), he overstepped some bounds. Bob says this is what Mo is here for, to check the Company’s choices and decisions. Bob entreats Mo to stay.
Bob then returns Monica to New Orleans, with a cover for her absence (a surprise seminar at Burger Bonanza HQ) and some contact numbers, and a video iPod, so she can insta-learn stuff. Cool.
Oh, and Bob sticks Mo with his new partner… Niki (or is that Jessica?). Ulp.

Over in feudal Japan, Hiro, Kensei, and Yaeko, find the swordsmith (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa; Mortal Kombat and Elektra), but he tells them that, under duress, he’s helped White Beard make some guns, and that the fiend plans to use them for a little coup. Hiro realizes that if this happens, the way of the samurai will die, so this is something that they need to stop.
Hiro says that Kensei will return to destroy the weapons.
During their escape though, Hiro saves Yaeko from a bullet, and teleports her away. Yaeko instinctively knows Hiro had something to do with their miraculous transport away from White Beard’s camp. She also realizes that Hiro was the one who was wearing Kensei’s armour at key moments in the past, and that it was his qualities that she fell in love with. When Yaeko asks Hiro point blank if he loves her, he says “Yes,” and they move into a kiss.
But Hiro freezes time, and for a moment, worries about the space/time continuum, but throws caution to the wind in favour of love, and kisses her anyway.
Naturally, who sees this pivotal kiss but Kensei.
It’s at this point, as Hiro says in his teeny scroll account, that this kiss was what fractured time, that the story runs out of scroll, and Ando is left dangling.
But we get to see more though, and when Hiro finally finds Kensei, Kensei confronts Hiro, calling him on his betrayal. Hiro says it was an accident that he fell in love with Yaeko, and that she fell in love with him, but that he would no longer act on that love, and that that kiss was their last.
Hiro says Yaeko is Kensei’s true love, and that Kensei needs to stop White Beard’s plan to take over Japan. At first, Kensei seems to agree, but he knocks Hiro out, and we see that Yaeko and her father have been captured by the baddies. Kensei walks away, leaving the three to the enemy.

Over in Odessa, Mr. B interrogates Ivan (Elya Baskin, Peter Parker’s landlord from the Spider-Man franchise), the man who trained both Mr. B and Claude way back when. Apparently Ivan knows where Isaac’s paintings are, but refuses to tell Mr. B. Ivan even offers Mr. B his life back, to return to the Company.
Mr. B however, uses the Haitian to erase Ivan’s memories one by one, starting with his memories of how he and his wife of 35 years, first met.
This is a chilling sequence of scenes, as we are reminded of how cold and ruthless Mr. B can be. The torture continues until Mr. B threatens to erase the memories of Ivan’s deceased daughter. “It’ll be like she never even existed,” he says. So Ivan caves and tells him the paintings are in a warehouse, the place where they “tagged the liquid man,” or something like that.
Then Ivan assumes they’re just going to have the Haitian erase the memories of his being interrogated, but Mr. B knows that if Ivan displays memory loss, that will indicate the Haitian’s involvement, and the trail will lead right back to Mr. B. So he does as Ivan once taught him, to make it look like he was never there. That this was simply a home invasion that ended badly.
Ivan makes one last ditch plea for Mr. B to rejoin the company, and tells him that if he doesn’t, and instead chooses to make this mistake, that Mr. B will damn himself to Hell. In what’s arguably the biggest shocker of the episode, Mr. B shoots Ivan in the head.
When they get to the warehouse, we get to see some of the other six paintings: what I managed to glimpse were: what appeared to be a vial, perhaps containing the vaccine; a blonde banging against a wall (being blonde, it could have been Niki; I don’t think that was Elle or Claire); there was what appeared to be a sword fight between Hiro and Kensei; then a man with what looked like a plaster over a broken nose, shooting a gun.
That makes four, and I saw another one displaying three figures, but that went by too quickly for close scrutiny. I seem to have missed one painting altogether.

And, as Sylar and the Wonder Twins near the border, Alejandro makes his distrust of Sylar obvious, but Maya insists they must trust Gabriel, as God sent him to them.
As they cross the border through an unfinished part of the perimeter fence, they’re stopped by the Border Patrol. Maya starts to freak, and her powers kick in. Alejandro tries to calm her, but Sylar says to let her be, and everyone, including Sylar, starts to die. Sylar makes Maya drive off, leaving the Patrol boys to croak.
Presumably, Alejandro was able to calm Maya down in time to save Sylar’s life, because the next time we see them, Alejandro is beating Sylar up. Maya stops her brother, and Alejandro makes an ultimatum: ditch Sylar, or I walk.
Maya still stubbornly says they need Sylar since he can take them to the dead Papa Suresh, so Alejandro relents, knowing he could never leave his sister. He says the next time Maya loses it though, he isn’t going to take her hand, and he’s gonna let Sylar die.
Maya then leaves to find something to clean Sylar’s lip. While Maya is away, Sylar talks to Alejandro in English, saying that when he gets his power back, he’s going to kill both the Wonder Twins, and that right now, Maya’s his new shiny toy.

Caitlin meanwhile, convinces Peter to take her with him to Montreal, as she was in the painting, and what’s more, she wants to kill the b!tch who roasted poor Ricky.
The next time we see the lovebirds, they’re in Montreal, where Peter and Caitlin stand before the door in the painting, a door that appears to have the “Godsend” sigil over it (something I missed last episode). Inside is a note for Peter saying that they were right about the Company being a threat. The note is signed: Adam.
Still confused, as he knows no Adam nor any Company, he embraces Caitlin, pleading out loud to know who he is, and to know what the future holds.
Suddenly, they’re in a deserted green screen New York, one of those post-apocalyptic deals with crumpled pieces of paper flying about a ghost city.
Peter finds an evacuation notice dated June 14, 2008. “That’s next year,” he says.

Okay, so on the plus side, we finally get to the heart of the feudal Japan subplot, and the love triangle is exposed. Not really new, certainly, but Dave Anders and Masi Oka sell the whole friendship-betrayed-over-a girl riff, and they sell it well.
It was also nice to see more of Mr. B’s back story by meeting Ivan, the man who trained Mr. B and made him who he is today. And while it was sad to see Ivan go just when we’d met him, it also brought back home the reality that Mr. B was (and apparently still is) a cold-blooded killer. To make matters worse, he is quite possibly even more dangerous now, as he’s fighting for something very precious to him: family. (And of course, he does look very dead in that eighth painting, so he’s fighting for his life too. Wouldn’t it be richly ironic though that if in doing all of this, he actually ends up causing the very death he’s trying to prevent? That he is, in fact, damning himself to Hell, just as Ivan warned?)
It was also interesting to see a human side to Bob (unless that turn-around was all a ruse to pull the wool over Mo’s eyes, and get in on Monica’s good side; one video iPod, presto, BFF).

On the down side, it appears that while Volume One had the NY explosion as the Big Bad Threat, right now we’re looking at what seems to be an epidemic, presumably the virus making that cross-species jump.
It just seems that Volume Two is a little too soon for us to have yet another looming doomsday scenario, though I hope the writers can ease this one out of the bag without the audience getting Season 1 déjà vu.
All in all, and despite my apprehensions about the bigger picture, this was a good episode, and I’m hoping the ones to come can balance all the subplots as well as this one does.

(Images courtesy of; TV Guide Heroes cover art [1 of 4] by Jim Lee, courtesy of

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