HRG’s History

Monday, February 23 by

Parkman uses his powers to search through Noah’s mind to discover exactly why Nathan is after them, uncovering some other information along the way, including the fact that a fallen hero may not have fallen so far after all. They also find out that Danko the Hunter has a far greater presence in HRG’s past than anyone suspected, and that Noah’s loyalties don’t lie entirely with Nathan, but are still well within range of the Petrelli family.  It’s a Heroes that we’ve seen before in a lot of ways, but it offers up some nifty surprises in spite of its many shortcomings, and it’s all after the jump.

Episode 17: Cold Wars
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Old Friends
Peter, Mohinder, and Parkman debate on how they’re going to interrogate Noah – as Parkman is pretty sure that the Company man would be prepared for his mind tricks, given that he’s spent his life trying to lock the heroes away, practically.  In the motel room where they’re shacked up (presumably Parkman and Mohinder are sharing the bed) – Parkman delves into Noah’s mind and comes up five weeks ago….
Noah’s meeting up with Angela in a nondescript park, saying to her that just because Primatech burned down doesn’t mean their work is over, but Angela insists it is, handing him an envelope “for his years of service…pension…severance….and this is from me.”  She passes him a small box that contains a watch, and says that she thinks it’s time they gave up the “bag and tag” routine and turn in the towel – but Noah insists that it’s not over, that they just have to figure out what they did wrong, correct it, and start again, that this is all he’s ever known, so what is he to do?  Angela simply tells him to take care of Claire, and live a normal life, and walks off.  Parkman is broken off from connection with Noah mentally, and Mohinder challenges him, asking him how far he’s willing to push.  “As far as I need to,” Parkman says, half-grinning as he stares a groggily waking up Noah in the eyes. Well, this is a good start – already we’ve got some questions answers (and not a moment too soon) about what went on between Volumes 3 and 4, and one of them is a surprise that make perfect sense – Noah wanted to continue hunting the ones with powers, not Angela – she wanted nothing to do with it. Another interesting idea is how Angela talks about this same old routine they’ve been in for years that hasn’t been working – a parallel, in a way, to the same formula that Heroes has been harping on for the past two and a half seasons.  Whether this is intentional or not is questionable, but the comparison is nevertheless an interesting one to make.

I feel like I don’t even know you anymore….
Nathan is informed by the Hunter that Noah has gone off the grid for about three hours, and they have no idea where he is, and Nathan finds out that the Hunter has been spying on him and some of his own man, which he is deeply shocked by, perhaps forgetting that he’s not much better.

Claire’s dads make a deal

“I feel like we’re sitting ducks,” Peter says, walking away from the window, looking at Parkman.  “You can’t rush an interrogation,” Parkman says. “It’s not an interrogation, it’s torture,” Mohinder says.  It bothers him intensely that they’re willing to just compromise their beliefs to find out information, and they shout back and forth before it’s decided they really don’t have a choice.  Parkman dives in again, and sees Noah four weeks ago, reading a newspaper, drinking coffee, and talking with his wife, who comments that “it’s nice to have you around.”  A knock on the door and Noah answers it; it’s Nathan Petrelli – he wants to talk to Nathan alone, not to Claire, and he invites himself in to talk to Noah about rounding up the heroes up so that everybody can be safe.  Noah doesn’t like his ideas too much, and Nathan reveals his full plan – to round them up so he can use scientists to figure out how to eliminate these powers from the face of the Earth forever, and that if Noah cooperates, Claire could be an exception, and protected.  He takes Nathan into a backroom at the Paper Company – a room full of crates with guns and God-knows what else.  Nathan gives a small grin and says that he’s the US government, he doesn’t exactly have to go on the black market to find weapons  “Look, I joined the Company for a reason,” Noah said.  “And that doesn’t change just because you turned on the lights.”

Guns. Lots of guns.

Parkman jumps back again, and he and Mohinder and Peter start arguing again, Mohinder about the ethics of the whole thing, Peter demanding to know how it matters that they know Nathan is behind the whole thing (good point, Peter – didn’t we know all this already?), and Parkman insisting that it’s not about Daphne.  They hand Peter the address of the weapons warehouse and he heads off to snatch up the boomsticks , but a camera catches him, and the Hunter’s leery grin smiles down at the video feed. “Gotcha.” Okay, so now that we’ve gotten past the initial thrill of seeing flashbacks into Noah’s head, this episode is falling slightly flat. I mean, for “heroes on the run” – these guys seem to be pretty stupid – would Peter really just waltz in and peruse the weapons like it was a Wal-Mart knowing there were cameras there?  In any case, he manages to escape when Danko sends his men down to grab him, flying away past the guards, down the hallway, and into the sky.

Us and Them
Meanwhile, back at the motel, Noah has woken up. “The only thing you can do is let me go,” he says.  “I’m not letting you into my head,” Noah says, shaking his head. “You can’t stop me,” Parkman taunts, sitting down in front of him and squinting each eye in turn, a sign that he’s about to tear up some shit in Noah’s mind.  He dives in and we see Noah meeting up with the Hunter for the first time, two weeks ago – where he makes it explicitly clear that this is about “us and them,” pointing out the massive fuck-up that was last season’s “broken loyalties” and such – Noah points out that for 20 years he kept the existence of powers secret from people like him, and the Hunter just about laughs out loud. “You don’t presume to know anything about me,” he says.  Hm, well that’s about pretty much admitting that the Hunter’s got some definite powers-related history in his background, so it’ll be interesting to see when and how that’ll be revealed.

Mohinder’s secret

Back in Noah’s, head, Parkman sees Noah get into a cab and tell the driver, Mohinder, “Something big is happening, and I need your help.” Noah tells him the cab driver that they can save lives if he accepts, and when Parkman’s jerked out, he pounces on Mohinder for not having told him about his encounter with Noah, even though Mohinder says that he refused Noah, because he had manipulated him too much in the past.  Hm, potential plothole – if Mohinder didn’t trust Noah why did he just jump into his car when he saved him in the season premiere?  Moving on, Mohinder pins him to the ground with his super strength and says that no matter when he would have told them, it would not have saved Daphne. Then they look over – and, surprise, Noah has used this opportunity to escape, apparently cutting his rope on the broken shards of mirror that Parkman had smashed Mohinder into. Damn, these guys suck as captors. Parkman and Mohinder run out onto the balcony, searching through the parking lot for Noah, while he hides behind some cars, and, resourceful as ever, snaps off a car antenna and uses it to jimmy the lock of one of the cars.  After hotwiring it, and just before he’s about to turn it on, Peter comes smashing down onto the hood of his car. “Hi,” Peter says.

A visit to the Hunter
Back in the motel, more yelling goes on, and they ask Noah who’s in charge.  Noah says, “I’ll never tell you,” before Parkman desperately shouts out, “Who? Who?” shoving himself into Noah’s brain, before we flash to a scene from a week ago where Noah approaches the Hunter in his hotel suite – a getting-to-know-you visit.  “All that time you worked at your company, danced the fine line between company man and family man – I’m not much for dancing.”  He believes Noah’s focus is too split to win this war for good.  Noah says that he’s known men like the Hunter, men who throw themselves into their work and think they’re perfect – “Not perfect, just better than you,” is the Hunter’s response.  “We have to be reminded of these people’s humanity, not their ability,” Noah says.  They part ways and Mohinder drags Parkman away from Noah, who’s sweating profusely and has a small nosebleed.  Parkman gives Peter another address, and says he needs to go there – that this is the guy they’ve been looking for, this is the guy they need to cripple to bring Nathan down.  Peter leaves, flies away, while Mohinder stares on, shocked, as Noah screams his old mantra, “You’re unraveling things you don’t understand!” Except this time, it has some kind of dramatic effect beyond, “Damn, does Noah how to say anything else?”  After he’s flown off, we see a bunch of black vans pull up to the motel, and out pour Nathan’s soldier boys.  Looks like the interrogation session is about to come to a close.

Petrelli Power
The Hunter comes into his room, on the phone with someone informing them to wait for his orders.  He’s interrupted by Peter telling him glibly from behind, “You really should lock your windows.  So you’re the one that’s driving all this, making us run, hide?”  “You want me dead?” the Hunter taunts, deliberately pushing his forehead against the barrel.  “You wanna die?”  Peter asks.  The Hunter points out that if Peter kills him, he’ll have gotten what he wanted – proof that the people with powers are dangerous.  Nathan steps in, and the Hunter is shocked that he arrived so quickly, unaware of course, that Nathan can fly.  Peter shoots the Hunter in the arm in a fit of nervousness, and he tells them both to shut up before Nathan points out that if he kills the Hunter, he’ll have signed Mohinder and Parkman’s death warrants.  Peter gives him a hateful glare and sprints toward the window, jumping out and flying off.

Remember Daphne?  Well…
In a desperate attempt to keep Parkman from going further into his mind and potentially killing him, Noah screams out, “Daphne’s alive!”  (Hmmm…..guess the Heroes writers aren’t that brave.)  “You’re lying,” Parkman accuses, but decides to go into his head to find out while Mohinder holds off the guards.  He dives in and sees Noah walking down a long hallway, two days ago, coming upon a nearly dead Daphne that he revives thanks to something in a syringe, but she’s only barely alive, and not entirely cured.  Parkman comes back out and pulls out a gun to point at Noah’s head before the guards rush in, already having knocked out Mohinder outside.  Parkman reluctantly puts his gun down and they put those tubes in his nose and that life monitor on his chest, while Noah grabs his arm and says that he’ll go ahead and walk him out.  After he’s gotten him down the stairs, though, a smoke bomb is planted at his feet and goes off, distracting everyone for a split second while Peter hops down from the sky to snatch Parkman away and zoom off into the night.

Mohinder’s choice

Mohinder wakes up in Building 26, while Nathan tells him that their actions on the plane supported those who believed they should be executed.  “That’s your plan?  Round us up and imprison us forever?”  Mohinder laughs.  “The first part,” Nathan admits.  He wants to find them all and search for a way to subdue the powers once and for all.   “It’ll never work,” Mohinder counters back, and Nathan’s response is to show him a video of Daphne, barely alive, whom he claims needs Mohinder’s help if he doesn’t want her to die.  He then walks out and leaves Mohinder there, in the dark, chained with no way of escape.  So, Mohinder may finally be taking up the mad scientist mantle again?  It’s true, he does it a lot, but he’s proven to best at it, and not so good at all this running around superhero business.

Double Agent
“You were right, before, when I said I was weak because of my split focus,” Noah admits to the Hunter as they’re walking, later.  “Yeah, I admit, I underestimated them,” the Hunter says. “They got away because Petrelli let his personal issues get in the way of his judgment.  We need to find a way to change that, do you agree?”  Noah smiles, and nods.  “Absolutely.”  They part ways and he goes over to sit down at a bench next to none other than Angela Petrelli, and she asks him, “So?”  “All things considered, it went pretty well.  I think he trusts me,” Noah says.  Angela tells him that he doesn’t trust anybody, so he can’t think too much of it, and that Noah will continue to be tested, and should be willing to make sacrifices.  “You know me, I’ve always been comfortable with morally gray,” Noah says, smiling, getting up, and walking away.  Angela picks up something he left behind – the watch.  Guess they’re not so done after all.  In an apartment, we see Parkman paint like Isaac, doing everything but painting Daphne, whom he really wants to find.  He even paints  a picture of him with explosives strapped to his chest, and Peter assures him that he’s not a murderer, to which Parkman responds by pointing at the floor, and the camera zooms up and we see….a giant mushroom cloud over Washington DC. WHAT? Another mushroom cloud?  How many have we had exactly in this series?  At the very least two, maybe even three or four – it’s sad that the writers feel like conflict needs to be created by something happening in the future and the heroes doing something to prevent it.  Enough with the damn nuclear holocausts!  I mean, you have an entire planet of heroes with a potentially endless array of powers (and powers that actually make sense if the writing is clever enough, unlike the guy who could just randomly conjure mini-black holes), and the only thing that keeps on coming up is explosions?

Review
Basically, Heroes has done it again – meaning they’ve built up this episode to seem like it’s going to change everything or reveal a whole bunch of secrets – and then just given us another run-of-the-mill episode where nothing of consequence is revealed at all other than some stuff that could be assumed without the heroes spelling it all out for us.  For one, the whole “big reveal” of Noah’s past seems to be nothing more than what he’s been up to between volumes three and four – and the big, huge, main reveal is that – guess what! – he’s in cahoots with Nathan!  If you’re saying, “Um, I already knew that” – then you’re not alone.  Mohinder having talked to Noah before was interesting, but again, of no real consequence.  The Hunter and Noah’s underused rivalry was the best part about the episode, and if they expound on that in future ones, it could bring the series closer to its former glory.  It’s just annoying that they made it seem like we would learn a whole bunch of stuff about Noah from before Claire, before the Company, before Nakamura, before everything, how he came to be who he is – but nope, now we just know he’s a double agent for Angela (and yes this tidbit was enlightening and fun to learn).  Notable absences from this episode: Claire and Sylar.  Claire gone missing was a welcome relief – no more of her whining was music to my ears.  Sylar was moreso missed, but it’s good they’re not overusing him.  And as for Daphne being back – all I can say is – all-too predictable, and kind of disappointing.  Can’t the writers ever stick to their guns when it comes to killing characters off?  Now that Daphne’s introduced there’s no way Mohinder’s not going to reviver her, so it’s just a matter of time. In summary, what could have been a devastatingly good episode winds up only being a mild entertaining one, rendered only more infuriating as it goes along, culminating in the "big reveal" of the final explosion that will have Heroes fans’s remotes flying at their TVs all over the country. If my remote had been in arm’s reach, I assure you, the consequences would have been the same.

-Thomas Anderson
aka Movie Buzz Review Dude. Check out his movie/media/pop culture blog here.

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