Heroes Recap: Baby Sitters and Hero Killers

Monday, March 23 by

Danko receives a little present from an anonymous donor, the gift being Eric Doyle the puppet master, and Rebel is up to some more antics as his identity is revealed and Tracy has to make a choice on whether she will betray Rebel or not. Parkman has to find a way to save Daphne, and Hiro and Ando discover that baby Matt has powers. Claire is blessedly absent this episode, and we get some juicy screentime from a neglected character: Angela Petrelli. It’s a thrilling return to form for Heroes, and it’s right after the jump.

Episode 20: Cold Snap
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Christmas come early
The Hunter grooms himself in front of his mirror, splashing cold water on his face, shaving with a sharp as steel blade. The alarm beeps: the front door is open.  He pauses and turns slowly to grab his gun and head down the hallway to investigate.  He closes the door and walks back down the living room to see Eric Doyle the puppet master strung up elaborately, with a giant red bowtie on his chest. Attached is a card that says, “My gift to you.” Wow, what a terrific opening. Sylar is back doing what he does best, and it looks like he’s about to team up with Danko, which makes sense for him. He knows he can’t outrun them forever, so what’s he got to lose by teaming up with them?

Rainy day
Angela picks up Noah on a rainy day, and tells him this has to be their last conversation.  “Family’s a horrible price to pay for what we have to do,” Angela muses.  Noah tells her that Nathan will probably forgive her, but Angela tells him she doesn’t think it matters.  Since Danko threw Nathan out of a building, he’s the only one left who can help them.  Gain his trust by giving him a hero.  “Give him Rebel, and Danko will be your best friend,” Angela says.  Noah points out that she’ll probably be needing Rebel’s services pretty soon.  Angela says she’s going to leave the city, and they need to part ways.  “I wouldn’t go home if I were you,” Noah says.  “Don’t say I never did anything for you.”  Wow, one moment after another – Angela and Noah’s discussion alone was better than anything we’ve seen in the past few episodes, including Sylar’s confrontation with his dad.

Gun control
At Building 26, Danko leads Mohinder into a roomful of drugged up heroes, all attached to complex IV machines. “What is this?” Mohinder asks.  “An effective way of stopping you from hurting any of us.” “Why don’t you just do it the old fashioned way and dig a ditch?”  Danko says it’s gun control, and shows Mohinder Daphne.  He tells him he can’t do anything to help her here, and asks why Danko wanted him here. “It felt it would be a whole lot easier than carrying you,” Danko shrugs, and Mohinder’s suddenly injected with the taser and drugged to sleep. “And make a bed for Miss Strauss,” Danko says. Once again, another awesome vignette, pushing us along, picking up the pace now that Nathan’s pussy-footing is out of the way and Danko’s hard-assery can begin.

Running Rabbit
Danko brings Noah into the chamber with all the drugged up heroes.  He shows him Doyle, and says that since he tortured his wife and daughter he felt it would be satisfying to see him drugged and tied up.  Noah thanks him, and asks if he would like something that would be satisfying too. He asks Danko what he thinks about Rebel just flying in here.  He suggests letting Tracy go free so they can follow her to Rebel. “What if we don’t catch Rebel?” Danko asks. “Then I put a bullet in Tracy Strauss myself.” FINALLY! “Fine,” says Danko. “Let the rabbit run.”

The real Matt Parkman

Ando and Hiro aren’t having a very successful time figuring out what they’re supposed to save Matt Parkman from. “Maybe it’s Matt Parkman’s baby,” Ando suggests.  “Heroes change the world, not diapers,” Hiro says.  As they’re watching the baby, they miss a report on TV of the real Matt Parkman in danger at the government building. They unplug the TV, and it turns off, until it comes back on, thanks to the little toddler. Baby Matt has a power.

Tracy’s Escape
After her meeting with Noah, while still in the car, Angela has a vision of being captured just a minute or two before it happens. When it does, she escapes out the side door and slips into the crowd, away from her pursuers. An angry Noah puts down the phone and informs Danko that they failed to capture Angela. Suddenly all the lights in the building go off and refuse to stop despite several people inputting their codes. “Rebel, Rebel,” Noah says, shaking his head. In Tracy’s heat room, the electricity goes off and the door opens.  Tracy ices her body and breaks free of her bonds, walking down the hallway and watching a camera show her the way to an unlocked door.  She goes inside and it’s the chamber with all the heroes.  She runs to each of them in turn, waking them up, first Mohinder, then Parkman, who immediately grabs Daphne. Tracy runs off before they can do anything, and runs into some guards, before Parkman fools them into believing the hallways are empty, making them run right past them.  Nice. We haven’t seen Parkman use his powers this effectively since the scene where Daphne died. (Not counting that lame scene where bright lights incapacitated him.)

HRG the Hardass
In a changing room at some department store, Tracy dresses into a new outfit, breaking off the metal tags with her ice power.  She’s about to ask for a smaller size, and when she opens the door, Noah’s standing there. He tells her she should’ve stuck with Parkman.  He comes into the changing room and closes the door behind him, and says that he could take the chance of firing the gun before she kills him by icing him over, but doesn’t want to. He asks her who Rebel is, and she asks what’s in it for her. He says he’ll let her go, and if she runs, and kills him, it will be a “big, fat cut to black. And that’ll be it for you.” This scene continues this episode’s trend of finally giving us some great interactions between the characters that don’t feel like duds. “It will be a big, fat cut to black” is a classic HRG line, re-instills some of the respect we used to feel for the character.

Memories
At a public hospital, Parkman brings Daphne into a hospital and mind controls a doctor into believing him that this was just an accidental gunshot wound, and he should let him come along.  Meanwhile, Parkman’s son is being baby-sat by Hiro and Ando, and he’s making his electronic toys fly around the room like magic. Hiro’s still not too used to the baby, and Ando tells him because he had childhood issues he has child issues.  “Your mom died sixteen years ago,” Ando says. “Not for me,” Hiro responds.  He explains to Ando about how he went back in time and met her and had her die in his arms. As he talks, he’s stuffing baby items into a bag, chokingly speaking out the words, barely able to conceal the tears. It’s sensitive and heart-wrenching and washes away the terrible stench left by Hiro’s childishness in the marriage episode. “I’m not afraid of the baby, I’m just trying to be brave for the baby.” They’re both interrupted by some noises outside, and a woman comes in, seeing Ando and Hiro’s faces hiding amongst a pile of stuffed animals. “You’re not from the baby-sitting service,” she says, skeptical. It’s Janice, Matt’s old wife.

Old Friend

As Tracy walks along on the street, a bank machine calls out her name and spits out a wad o’ cash for her. She accepts it and says thank you, catching a cab and heading off. Behind her, a short figure with a Corbin Bleu hairstyle walks along, looking back towards the camera and calling out for a cab as well. Hello, Micah. Halfway through, Heroes has seriously packed some punch this episode, and it looks like all the publicity, for once, wasn’t just hype. Even though they haven’t killed anybody off yet, they’re still giving some solid drama and great moments.

Dramatic elevator rescue
Angela walks into a diner to meet some old redhead named “Millie.” Apparently some agents came to Millie earlier that day and badgered her for hours about questions concerning the company she keeps.  “I have dug my sons a very deep hole, and I’m just trying to dig them out again,” Angela says. Millie asks her if she’s looking for a shovel, and Angela just says she needs to disappear. Millie says she “should turn herself in – just because there’s a road unfurling in front of you doesn’t mean you have to take it.” Angela walks off then, and before she leaves, Millie gives her a couple hundred bucks in cash. Who is this character? She’ s unique enough to not be totally random, and the fact that Angela would trust her enough to go to her when she’s being hunted tells us this is someone she has complete confidence in. Hopefully we’ll see more of her in future episodes, and she’s not just some random character. Later, Angela is cornered in a building as she rides up in an elevator. The cops stop the elevator before she can get all the way to the top, and when she tries to make it start again, the elevator is jerked back down.  She hears a noise above her, and when the doors open to waiting cops, Peter is standing there, with a satisfied grin, before shooting off into the sky with Angela in tow.

Yatta!
Hiro and Ando try to explain to Janice that he’s in danger, and they ask if she knows he’s special. She closes the front door and says that it began during the eclipse, just like with his father. They say they are heroes, just like Matt Parkman.  She says that he’s not a hero, he’s a terrorist, and she flips on the television. They say that someone made Parkman stand outside the capitol building, and they’re actually trying to run away from the government who’s rounding them up and locking them up. They’re interrupted by a knock on the door – two men in black suits informing Janice that they have a warrant for her and her baby.  She says it’s at the sitter’s and is about to lead them there when more men, some with guns, pop out and start to search the house. Ando manages to charge up his power and unleash a stream of energy that knocks one of the soldiers back (yay! Ando’s power isn’t useless anymore!), and a scuffle ensues, until Hiro’s power is activated when he touches baby Matt, freezing everything. Baby Matt and Hiro wander amidst the frozen fight, Hiro positively giddy that he has his power back. “Can you say yatta?” He asks baby Matt.  He walks back to Ando and closes his eyes to transport them to safety, but nothing happens. He tries again, but still no success.  Finally, he just gets a wheelbarrow and wheels Ando out of the house and to safety at a bus stop, where he unfreezes Ando and says that at least they have Time on their side now, though Space may not yet be mastered. We haven’t seen such classic Ando/Hiro moments in a long time, ones that actually seem character based. I mean, we witnessed Hiro cry today!

Get well soon, Gwen
Daphne wakes up with balloons all around her, wishing get well soon to “Gwen Stefani.” Parkman explains that he basically slotted her into his ex-wife’s life to give her a believable backstory. “You did that because we don’t have one,” “That’s not true,” Parkman says, while every single Heroes fan says “Yes, it is.” “Whatever we had, it’s all in your head,” Daphne says.  Parkman tries to stop her, and asks her what she’ll do if they catch her. She says she won’t slow down long enough for anyone to catch her, even Matt. Then she blows off while Parkman stares at her wistfully.  He finds her on a rooftop in Paris, staring out over the vast beautiful city. He walks up behind her and tells her, “A penny for your thoughts.” “Since when did you start paying people for their thoughts?”  Daphne fires back. She asks how he got there, and he tells her he flew.  He asks her how she did it. She says she ran on water, and she tells him that she knows he can’t fly. He starts to fly in the air right before her eyes, and she lets him take her up into the sky with her. As they’re flying above Paris, she tells him that he really would do anything for her, wouldn’t he? She tells him to let her fall, and he doesn’t know what to say. “We’re still in the hospital, aren’t we? And you’re just trying to give me a storybook ending?”  Parkman weeps in front of her, and then carries her off to the moon on her last request, as Daphne’s life monitor goes dead in the hospital. Wow, powerful scene. Parkman trying to give Daphne her perfect fantasy world was touching and sweet and almos justified the whole relationship that has felt so useless at times. This is a fitting send-off for Daphne if she remains dead, and it’s also appropriate that Daphne herself told Parkman their relationship only ever existed in his head, which is why it was never able to work.

Cold Snap
Micah approaches Tracy in the airport, and explains to her that he’s Rebel, and he knows that she’s not his mom. “Oh no, I led them right to you,” she says, shocked. Micah says he can’t believe she’d do that, to anyone, even if she didn’t know it was him, and he says he expected someone to follow her anyways, so he pulls out his phone and starts the alarms all over the train station while he and Tracy sneak off to a covered parking lot, Micah berating her for being so non-trustworthy. “I thought because you looked like my mom I kind of knew you,” Micah says. “But she was a hero. You’re nothing like her.” Soon after they hear a car on the other end of the parking lot. Tracy tells Micah to tell the sprinklers to go on, and he does, and rain pours down into the lot. Tracy tells him to go, to continue being Rebel. He’s about to run off before she tells him to stay ahead of the ice. She walks out into the middle of the lot, and agents surround her. Once they’re all pointing their guns at pointblank range, she unleashes her ice power, freezing everyone and everything, including herself, melting and morphing into a pristine reflective block of ice. Micah manages to escape into a hallway before the ice catches him, and once Tracy has frozen everything, Danko and Noah enter. Danko shoots Tracy in the chest, and she cracks, slowly breaking apart and tumbling in down upon herself, shards of ice scattering and scratching everywhere. We get an extreme close-up of some ice melting into the gutter, and a solitary eye blinks once. This kind of poetic image is what Heroes needs more of, and this episode had plenty of ‘em. It’s the best episode this volume, this season, the best episode, almost, since season one, and we close off with one more majestic, if a bit ridiculous, shot – Angela and Peter staring out at New York from the Statue of Liberty’s head, Peter asking his mom what she wants to do next.

Review

Though some aspects of this episode, like discovering that Micah was rebel, were kind of predictable, what made the whole thing work was the solid script, the plentiful poetic and shocking moments, and the feeling that finally the heroes will stop tripping over their own two feet and rally together to do something. Some nice touches to this episode – Danko shaving his face perfectly, with a razor sharp blade, and Noah having several cuts on his chin. You know that wasn’t done by accident, and that kind of attention to detail is what has been sorely lacking from Heroes lately. Parkman showing how he can still create entire believable worlds as illusions – and it looks like the bright lights/loud noises weakness may have been ret-conned, an alteration with which I would not have a single problem. Tracy’s moment of sacrifice for Micah – a breathtaking visual effect that ranks up there with some of the best shots in the series. Though she may not be dead, she’s earned redemption for herself and a chance at a new start, I believe it’s safe to say. As for Daphne – having her alive again made us realize how much we missed her, and she started speaking some of the first common sense we’ve heard on this show – pointing out how this relationship that Parkman’s been trying to pin on her just isn’t possible. Her death scene with that Paris illusion that Parkman created for her was both sad and happy and was a good send-off for the character. And let’s not forget the dramatic opening with Eric Doyle strung up in Danko’s living room, most likely by everyone’s favorite serial killer. All in all, for someone who had almost completely lost faith in heroes to do anything different or anything new, this episode is a jarring awakening, a bullet to the brain,  a welcome wave of relief amidst the sludge we’ve had to wade through. If you’re a Heroes fan, good news, Heroes may finally be making a comeback…

-Thomas Anderson
aka MovieBuzzReviewDude. Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.

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