Monday, December 3, 2007

Season 2
Volume Two: “Generations”
Chapter Seven: “Out Of Time”
Written by Aron Eli Coleite
Directed by Daniel Attias

So a number of emotional pay-offs coincide with some subplots’ semi-resolutions, and a tremendous amount of narrative ground is covered in this chapter, making up for some of the earlier meandering in this season’s opening chapters.

And perhaps the most satisfying stride taken by this episode: Hiro finally blows the over-long pop stand that has been Feudal Japan.
Like Hiro though, let’s go back in time first.
So Kensei’s heartbroken and turned Hiro, Yaeko, and her father over to White Beard. His reward: half of the land.
Baddie Kensei’s smart enough to keep Hiro disorientated with some opium in the face, but underestimates Yaeko, who picks her locks, gets the opium away, and gets Hiro to ‘port them to freedom. He then returns to destroy the guns, which is where he has his duel with Kensei (Isaac painting fulfilled).
During their battle, a lantern is up-ended, and with all that gunpowder in the tent…
Hiro offers his hand to Kensei, to save both of them, but Kensei refuses to be saved, and vows embittered vengeance.
Hiro has no choice but to ‘port away, leaving the tent (and White Beard’s plans) to go BOOM. (And it’s at this point that the question “Who is Adam Monroe?” becomes glaringly clear, while at the same time putting a bullet in the head of my theory as to the killer’s identity. More on that later…)
Hiro returns to the camp’s ruins to retrieve Kensei’s helmet, then meets up with Yaeko, who says that Hiro is the one true Takezo Kensei (thus making my very first theory regarding Kensei come to pass). Yaeko then says maybe now Hiro can spend some time with his princess, and for an instant, Hiro allows himself to bask in the glow of that thought.
But he knows how Kensei’s story ends: he cuts his heart out to save his princess.
Hiro knows what he has to do. He’s just narrowly averted historic catastrophe, and he can’t risk any more frak-ups.
So Yaeko makes her own vow: that she will spread the story of Takezo Kensei far and wide, so that little Hiro Nakamura can hear the stories as he grows up.
They kiss one last time, and bam, Hiro’s back in Japan, giving the charred helmet to Ando. The joyous reunion is cut short though when Ando tells Hiro Papa Sulu’s been murdered. (And we don’t have to wonder why he was the first to die. The important question now is, why did the killer wait all that while before killing Papa Sulu?)

Back in the Ukraine, Mr. B takes pictures of all the Isaac paintings-yet-to-take-place, then torches them. He also calls Mo, to help make sense of them, and to ask him if he’s been issued a Company gun (as the man-with-the-broken nose-holding-a-gun painting is apparently of Mo; didn’t recognize him last chapter). Mo says he’s being watched, and in Mr. B’s insistence, Mo begins to feel he’s expendable to Mr. B, and wonders whether they’re still on the same page.

In New York, we get into the most significant subplot chunk of the chapter, as Parkman and No Longer Beardo Nathan tell Bob that Maury’s after him, getting Bob to evacuate everyone else from the premises.
To stop him, Bob plans to inject Maury with the experimental virus to render him powerless, after which Mo will save him with his antibodies. But they’ll need Parkman to man up and realize he can do more than just read minds.
Parkman is initially dubious, and wants to talk to the comatose Molly first. It’s as Parkman is talking to her that he realizes he’s projecting his thoughts of love directly to her mind. (“Thoughts of love.” Yeesh.)

Meanwhile, as Mo is getting the syringe with the virus in it, Maury gets inside Niki’s head, and she begins to see D.L. who is demoralizing her, telling her she’ll never see Micah again.
She then sees Bob shoot D.L., which is about the time Mo realizes something is terribly wrong. But Niki super-swats Mo (bingo, broken nose) and goes after Bob.

Meanwhile still, Bob is with Nathan and he explains that Maury’s just the “blunt instrument,” and the mastermind is actually Adam Monroe, who was the “visionary” of their group, Linderman merely a “disciple” of Adam.
Bob also says that Peter is alive, and that they lost him in Cork, Ireland. (And though Bob doesn’t get a chance to say it, this is what I guess took place: Peter fell in with Adam, and to get Peter away from Adam, the Company had the Haitian wipe Peter’s memories, explaining, a) Peter’s amnesia, b) Peter having the Haitian’s necklace, and c) the Haitian’s guilt when Mo came across him. This could also be the tip-off that Elle is indeed Bob’s daughter.)
Niki then starts bashing the door open (another Isaac painting fulfilled). Just as Niki is about to attack with the syringe, Nathan tries to talk her down. He gets through enough to make her come to her senses, and she instead injects herself with the virus.

And meanwhile still some more, as Parkman continues to project his thoughts to Molly, he suddenly finds himself in a dreary apartment with Molly, who says this is where the Nightmare Man trapped her.
Parkman then pulls Maury into the apartment, and it’s revealed that this is the Parkman apartment, on the day Maury left them. Maury then says he’s sorry, and that he really loved Matt, etc. boo hoo. So Matt says, Fine, if that’s true, you give yourself in.
Maury says, No way, tubby. (Not those exact words, of course.)
Matt says, “I can keep you here. Look around. This is your nightmare, not mine.”
Maury says again, No way, tubby. You’re not that powerful.
But Matt is, of course, and he walks out of the apartment with Molly in tow, leaving Maury in there.
In Molly’s room, Matt and Molly come to, while Maury lies on the floor, comatose.

Over in Costa Verde, West drops by unannounced to make breakfast for Claire, Mrs. B, Mr. Muggles, and Lyle. He also shows Claire the newspaper item about Debbie‘s suspension and her story about the flying masked man.
West gets the thumbs-up from Mrs. B, and Claire tries to tell West that her father’s the man with the horn-rimmed glasses who jumped out of the bushes to abduct him. But Mr. B gets back from the Ukraine, and when West spots him, he panics.
When Claire finally gets to tell West that that’s her dad, West flips out and flies off. He also refuses to reply to her texts. (Now that’s just plain rude!)
When Mrs. B mentions Claire having a boyfriend, and when Mr. B spots the newspaper article, he confronts Claire. He then lays down the law and says they’re going to have to leave Costa Verde. But Claire lays down her own law: they can leave, but she’s staying.

Back in New York, it turns out that (gasp!) Mo’s antibodies aren’t working on the virus that’s been injected into Niki. She’s (gulp) dying.
So Bob shows Mo the key to help Niki survive the virus: a file on Claire, who has cellular regeneration. Mo is tasked to retrieve Claire, and to that end, he is, a) given a Company gun (double gulp), and b) shown a file of the dead Ivan (apparently, Mr. B left a fingerprint), proof of just how far Mr. B is willing to go.
So now Mo’s in a moral quandary, and he even tells Bob that he’s been working with Mr. B to take down the Company.
Poor, sad-a$$ Mo’s there, holding the gun, wondering what’s the right thing to do.

Meanwhile, in the future, Peter and Caitlin are rounded up by some containment suit dudes. They go through the usual quarantine protocol, including the forced showering of the indignant and violated; you know, the stuff you’ve seen in virus movies.
Peter’s then interrogated by a man who tells him, 1) he’s supposed to be dead, and 2) Caitlin’s going to be deported back to Ireland.
He’s then shown lots and lots of body bags, and is told that the virus has wiped out 93% of the world’s population.
Peter is then reunited with… Granny P! (And all I could think at that moment was, She survived! Yahoo!)
Peter of course, can’t remember her, but she begins to tell him about what he can do, and that he’s here because of Hiro’s power. She tells him he had a brother, who died in the first wave of the virus. (Oh, no! Nathan!) She also tells him he’s good and noble and selfless and that he has to remember.
Peter remembers her, and they hug. Granny P is then leading Peter somewhere when he sees Caitlin, but the young lovebirds are separated by a fence. They pull Caitlin away, and Peter, in his tortured anguish, inadvertently ‘ports away, and he ends up back in Montreal, leaving Caitlin stranded in the future. (Idiot.)
He tries to ‘port back to the future, when he hears someone enter. He zaps, scorching a hand.
A hand which heals itself.
A hand attached to… Kensei!
Who introduces himself as… Adam!

Thus, in the shadow of flagging ratings and the WGA strike, Heroes regains its narrative footing with a vengeance.
Even some of the more convenient bits, like Parkman suddenly getting a kick-a$$ handle on his powers, go down just a tad smoother, because of the emotional underpinnings of the episode; in Matt’s case, his love for Molly colliding with his Daddy issues.
(Though I must go on record: just as the whole viral future bit recalls the NY bomb, the whole character must learn the warrior way in an extremely short period of time was also done in Season 1 with the Papa Sulu-Hiro samurai montage.)

What is also annoying me to no end is all the moral hand-wringing: I mean, there’s Mo holding the gun, wondering if he’s gonna have to use it on the murdering Mr. B, when can’t he just ask Claire to help Niki? (In this light, it’s also unfortunate Bob “lost” Peter in Ireland. And if they had Adam/Kensei prisoner, why did they never get samples of his blood? He does regenerate too, ya’ know.)
Then there’s Hiro, who, not only inadvertently clued Kensei into the Dark Side, but actually assumed that a man who can regenerate would die in an explosion. Sigh.
And as I asked above, if Kensei/Adam knew the earlier generation back when they were young, why didn’t he off Papa Sulu way back when? Or was it because he needed to bide his time, to wait for Hiro to reach adulthood and travel back into the past to meet him, so as not to change anything at all?
Was the Dark Side that cooshy that he didn’t want a second chance? He could have offed not just Papa Sulu years ago, but Hiro as well. Was Kensei/Adam that happy to be bad that he didn’t want to risk what would have been of his life had he never met Hiro? (Ach, the head-aches of time travel.)

Now, as for my killer theory gone kaputz, remember that shot in the montage of future episode scenes in the season opener where we see Nathan on the post-explosion Deveaux rooftop? Well, that scene struck me and somehow, I thought the killer would be, like, some baddie future Nathan, come back to wipe out the earlier generation, and that somehow, that would tie in to Monster Face Nathan.
Aside from that scene, other things started to pop up to incriminate Nathan: a) the killer could apparently fly; b) who should bump into Ando right before he meets Papa Sulu with the death threat in the newspaper, but Beardo Nathan; c) who should have a heated confrontation with Granny P, right before she sees her death threat, but Beardo Nathan; and d) it seemed that following the attack in the police station, Granny P was protecting whoever did the attacking.
But we now know of course, that that scene I fixated on was actually part of Nathan’s greatest fear as pulled out by Maury Parkman, and that the real killer is Kensei/Adam.
Ah well. I tried.

(Behind the scene images courtesy of; TV Guide Heroes cover art [2 of 4] by Phil Jimenez, courtesy of

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