Capturing the Catalyst

Tuesday, December 9 by

Heroes is heating up! In this episode Claire follows her baby self around, intent on keeping the catalyst from being delivered to her own body, Sylar goes power-hungry and embarks on another killing spree, Nathan starts to work with Pinehearst on building an army for the coming war, and Hiro gets to talk to his mom and find out deeper secrets concerning the catalyst. Read more for full coverage.

Episode 12: Our Father
Full Episode Online:
NBC Official Site

Hiro and Claire
The two observe as Hiro’s father gives the baby Claire to Noah Bennett.  As they exit the balcony, the present Hiro and Claire find difficulty communicating because Hiro doesn’t speak any English.  Once Kaito and Noah walk off the balcony, Hiro and Claire follow and watch from afar as Kaito and his wife argue over what to do with the catalyst (revealing, in the process, that Hiro’s mom’s power was that of a healer) and Claire realizes what she needs to do: follow her young baby self around to make sure the catalyst does not get injected into her body.  Hiro, alone, watches his past self playing game boy before he’s interrupted by Kaito walking in and mistaking him for the chef.  Hiro, stunned, nods and walks off mutely to prepare food.  Claire, meanwhile, is still tailing her mom and baby-self, posing as a relative of Sandra’s next door neighbors, Bonnie.  After they’ve changed the baby’s diapers, Noah comes back while Sandra’s out of the room, and looks seriously freaked out by Claire’s presence.   “Who the hell are you?”  he shouts at her, not at all fooled by her “Bonnie the next door niece” story.  (I wouldn’t have been either – who has a nice named Bonnie?)  Claire claims she’s only there to protect the baby, and implores Noah to safeguard the baby as best he possibly can, because she’ll be with him for sixteen years and she’ll need protection from dozens of dangerous things – until she’s interrupted by a phone call.  Noah moves to pick it up, but Claire tells him not to – that they’ll take the baby back, only for a little bit, but it will change her forever. Back at Kaito’s mansion, Hiro watches his mom and dad talk about giving Hiro the catalyst, but Kaito seems reluctant, citing Hiro’s irresponsibility and obsession with trivial video games as evidence enough to not give it to him.  Later, when he brings his mom breakfast, he confesses to her that she’s his mom.  She’s ecstatic.  She wants him to tell her everything, but Hiro says he can’t – thanks do his stolen memories.  Because she’s a healer, he figures she can heal his memories, and he leans forward and receives a soft kiss on the head.  He smiles, remembering everything, and tells her about how he saved the world, twice, and now he can save it again, if she gives him the catalyst.  She agrees, and presses her hand against his chest, transferring the catalyst into Hiro’s body, which glows a dull orange and red before fading – and leaving his mother lying dead on the couch.  At night, Hiro and Claire meet on the roof and are about to go home before Arthur hops in and steals both the catalyst and Hiro’s power, sending Hiro flying off the roof and Claire disappearing to some random location.  He teleports away from the scene and we see Hiro over the edge of the building, desperately clinging on to a flagpole.  This is a lot to take in, but at least it all kind of makes sense and the whole at-times-seemingly-pointless side tangent of Hiro being ten is redeemed.

Sylar
Sylar sits on the beach, still pissed off at the world, when Arthur gives him a ring to ask him where he is and that he’s eligible for an exceptionally low introductory 0% APR financing – Sylar informs him that he won’t be working for anyone anymore, and working from a list of phone numbers in his phone, he’ll be able to find dozens of more people with abilities.  Arthur is powerless to convince Sylar otherwise, and Sylar hangs up and burns Elle’s body with a zap of electricity and lighter fluid, then speeds off to intercept a secretary with the ability to tell when people are lying – slicing open her head and positively befuddled when her friend break into the room holding presents and food and shouting “Happy birthday!” Sylar smiles.  “Cake.” In the elevator, Sylar shares an Awkward Moment with a random bystander, who gets slightly nervous when he sees the buckets of blood covering his shirt and hands.  These few little vignettes of Sylar will assuage viewers who held the same fear as me: that after so much hopping back and forth, his most recent conversion would just be overturned a couple of scenes later – but that’s not the case – his few scenes in this episode reestablish him as the super villain we all used to know and love: he has a hell of a lot of fun with what he does, he’s vicious, cruel to a t, and above all, he has a sense of humor. The scene in the elevator is priceless.

Nathan and Tracy
While Tracy and Arthur are chatting, Nathan walks in and tells Arthur that they do need a leader, somebody with vision, but that it’s not Arthur.  He claims he’s taking over Pinehearst and nonchalantly pushes past both Tracy and Arthur to stare icily back at Arthur.  Arthur agrees – they could use Nathan’s legitimate public face to further the company’s interests.  Tracy then takes Nathan to a location in the facility where they are training soldiers – super-soldiers, in fact, who will receive the perfect formula treatment – allowing the company to choose what powers they want to give out.  The marines they’re using do not know what drug they will be taking, so Nathan interviews one of them, to ease his own conscience and let the marine know that the drug he will take will change his life forever.  Back from stealing the catalyst, Arthur, before the eyes of Mohinder, Nathan, and Tracy, releases the catalyst into a ready container with eager hands.  “Ready to change the world?”

Peter and the Haitian
Angela confers with Peter and the Haitian as she hands them a gun, for now that they have the Haitian they can subdue Arthur’s powers and enable him to be killed.  Peter, at first, refuses, until Angela points out, of course, that there’s no other way.  (When is it any other way than that there’s no other way?) Peter takes the gun and cocks it.  In the car, the Haitian and Peter talks about the kill that needs to happen – the Haitian is willing to make the kill for Peter, who refuses – he needs to do this himself; it’s his kill to save the world.  When they confront Arthur in his office, Peter hesitates for a few seconds too long, allowing the enormity of Arthur’s power to overthrow the Haitian’s hold – just in time for Sylar to step in, whisk away the gun Peter was pointing at Arthur, and use his newfound ability to tell whether or not Arthur is lying when he claims to be his father.  Once Sylar discovers that he isn’t, he kills Arthur and leaves Peter because he’s no good to him without powers anymore.  Astute viewers will wonder why Sylar doesn’t take the Haitian’s power – but it could just be that he’s worried about what taking that power will do to the rest of his powers.

Matt, Daphne, Ando
The trio heads off to where Isaac Mendez’s packages are kept, encountering some resistance with the storage clerk, which is quickly dispatched by Parkman’s quick thinking.  The dude tries to escape with the sketch book, racing off on a bike, before Daphne intercepts him and snatches the sketch book away.  Once it’s in their possession, they read the cover: Hiro Nakamura: Lost in Time.  The first panel is a picture of Claire, after they read about the meeting between Arthur, Claire, and Hiro, the three decide that there must be another time traveler to save Hiro from his predicament on the flagpole in the past.

Review
As this volume of Heroes comes close to closing, more and more cool stuff is happening, and it’s making for more and more fascinating episodes.  In the past several episodes, Heroes has given us some truly amazing character moments – Peter nearly killing his father, Claire getting shot and actually killed, Sylar and Elle finally igniting the sparks that had been flying between them.  And in this episode, perhaps best of all: the moment between Hiro and his mom as she gives him the catalyst to hide it in the future.  It’s a tragic, hopeful moment, the kind that Heroes, when it’s really trying, can execute perfectly.  And with Arthur dead, the complaints about the power-swapping can end too.  Althoug knowing Heroes, that may not be the last we’ve seen of him.

-Thomas Anderson
aka MBRD – check out his blog here.

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