Powers Eclipsed

Tuesday, December 2 by

The eclipse still baffles the likes of Mohinder and Arthur, Peter and Nathan help the Haitian overthrow his brother’s corrupt rule in middle of the jungle, Elle and Sylar struggle with what the loss of their powers means to their identities, the Bennett family has to deal with some rather traumatic incidents taking place, and Hiro, Ando, Daphne, and Parkman try to figure out the next step in their quest to save the world.

Episode 11: The Eclipse, Part 2
Full Episode Online: NBC Official Site

Matt and Daphne
Daphne explains to Matt her experience of discovering her powers during the last eclipse, which had eliminated her cerebral palsy, and they bicker a little bit more as Matt tells her he’s a good person and Daphne goes on about her villainy – old hat stuff, usually – the Parkman/Daphne dynamic has been nicely shaken up by the introduction of her cerebral palsy, but too much of the usual back and forth sitcom nitpicking will quickly kill any chance Daphne and Matt’s sudden relationship had at being endearing, or even bearable.  The characterization pace Heroes has set for itself this season doesn’t allow for too many middling around, and too much middling has been evident between the ex-cop and the speedster.  In any case, after a brief trip to the comic book store, Parkman finds Daphne and helps her to reconnect to her estranged father before the both of them decide to join up with Hiro and Ando back at the store.

Hiro and Ando
Back at Sam’s Comics a confused Seth Green and Breckin Meyer argue over whether or not the comic book apparitions in their store are actually real, while Hiro slaps a credit card onto the counter to purchase a whole load of back issues of 9th Wonder comic books.  He rifles through them, rebuilding his ten-year old memory as he does so, and Parkman drops by so that Green and Meyer can tell him what Heroes fans have probably been guessing for a few episodes – that once the eclipse ends, the powers will return.  Parkman heads back out to continue in his atttempts to help Daphne.  Hiro gets scared from all the stuff he’s supposedly done, so he locks himself in the bathroom, and must get talked back into being a hero by a reluctant Seth Green and a translating Ando.  Successfully reinvigorated, Hiro exits the bathroom to find Breckin Meyer flipping through a comic book and discovering that Hiro and Claire met and talked once, long ago atop a building near Kirby Plaza.  The eclipse over, Hiro is no longer limited in his powers, and he vanishes in a second, with Matt and Daphne arriving too late to do anything.

Mohinder
We find our young dashing scientist flipping through what appears to be high school textbook for research on the eclipse, then Arthur comes by, demanding results.  Mohinder screams that he has no idea what could have caused their loss of powers – while Flint offers him some motivation in the form of a Zippo lighter flame sizzling the skin of Mohinder’s hand.  Arthur leaves the two alone, and Mohinder flings at microphone at Flint’s face, proceeding to punch him silly, before grabbing a post-it note with Maya’s name and address on it.  When he arrives at her apartment, the eclipse over, he discovers that his icky Fly-like transformation has begun once again, so he slinks back to Arthur, disgusted at what he is.

Peter and Nathan
Peter rushes off with the Haitian before deciding that hey, he can’t just leave his bro back there like that, so they’ve got to go help him.  Back in the squalid prison Nathan finds himself taunted by his captors (like all good captors know is their duty), among them the Haitian’s brother.  He’s later rescued by Peter and said Haitian, who had raided the camp.  Peter sends them all off into woods as he stays behind to protect them, fearlessly heading forward into the fray as his own automatic spits out a deadly spray of lead.  Running out of ammo pretty quickly, Peter is forced to stop shooting and advance steadily towards waiting gun barrels, before Nathan and the Haitian, their powers back now that the eclipse is over, swoop in and save the day – Nathan smashing the Haitian’s brother into a parked truck.  It doesn’t hurt him, though, so the Haitian has to eliminate his brother’s mind completely.  Later on, as they’re trekking through the jungle in the middle of the night, Nathan talks to Peter as to how he envisions giving people powers can actually be a good thing – either he’s a part of the solution, or he’s a part of the problem.  Peter disagrees, but Nathan zooms up off into the night before he can really protest. It was refreshing to have this little absence from powers and more focus on the two original Peterell brothers, but it did end too quickly.

Elle, Sylar, and Noah
After doing a little dance, making a little love, and getting down tonight, Elle and Sylar ponder their recent loss of power. Noah interrupts their pow wow with a bullet from the house next door that barely misses Sylar after Elle notices the little red dot and rolls him out of the way.  He chases Sylar and Elle out of the house, screaming at them that they should run and be scared, because they need to feel like Claire did.  If this scene doesn’t send a little bit of a chill down your spine, make sure you still have a spine.  After checking in with the missus, Noah finds a trail of blood leading to whom he hopes will be his prey.  Meanwhile, Elle gets bandanged up in the medicine aisle at the local Walgreens as she and Sylar hatch a plan to work together to be rid of Noah after a bewildered clerk tries to interrupt them.  They run down into the storage area and spot Noah on the security cameras. Sylar whisks Elle off to a safe place despite her necessary protestations, and after an intense scuffle with Noah, Elle watches in horror as HOLY CRAP NOAH JUST SLICED OPEN SYLAR’S NECK.  Now, admittedly, given what has happened so far in the episode, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether Sylar is permanently dead at this point (my money was and yours should be “no”), but nonetheless, it’s still a pretty cool scene.

Claire
The young catalyst is wheeled into a hospital with a deadly gunshot wound.  Her mom watches over her as Claire experiences feelings of sickness and pain she’s never felt before.  “I’m not brave,” she says.  “I was just a stupid teenager.”  Soon, convulsions begin to overtake her body, and the doctors must open up her chest to try to zap life back into her dying organs.  Her mom watches on the side, petrified.  A scene later, a doctor places a blue sheet slowly back over Claire’s lifeless body and walks away solemnly.  Her mom wanders over and removes the sheet just as the eclipse begins – and bam, when the light touches Claire’s face her powers are activated again and her chest gun wound slurpily heals shut.  As she’s lying in her bed later that night, Noah walks in to try to console her, and she shouts at him indignantly, “I died!”  Noah pauses.  “You died?”  He freaks out, but, as usual, doesn’t explain to Claire, rushing downstairs as fast as he can, to find both Sylar and Elle waiting for him with his wife as a hostage in their clutches.  Sylar dispatches both Claire and Noah with a flick of his finger before flinging Noah against the wall, letting them know that all they want is Claire.  Noah, in a desperate attempt to keep Sylar away from Claire, tells Sylar that he is not actually a Petrelli – that Arthur and Angela merely used him and his mommy/daddy issues to gain leverage and make him their pawn – Sylar looks at Elle, whose ambivalent face gives everything away.  Furious, he starts to slice open Noah’s neck, and has cut about a inch when Hiro whooshes in and performs and one of the best save-the-day moments ever – he whisks off, one by one, Claire, Sylar, and Elle, leaving Noah and his wife with nothing to but stare at an empty living room.  Awkward.  Little do they know that Sylar and Elle are off on a deserted beach somewhere in the middle of the night, as Sylar breaks probably for the fifth time any rules of good characterization when he proceeds to kill Elle and acquire her power.  Really?  Just when the Elle/Sylar dynamic was getting good?  Okay, not one of the best last five minutes of an episode, but not the worst either.  The last two minutes make up for it, though – as Hiro has transported Claire to witness herself being given to her father, by Mr. Nakamura,  when she was just a little baby.  The effect leaves her speechless, and for once, Heroes closes without much fanfare and little in the way of cliffhangers.

Review
This is the best episode of Heroes in recent memory, and a lot of it is due to something finally happening that isn’t a bunch of people freaking out over a jai break or mysterious talk about some kind event about to take place.  The event has taken place, it’s here, and it’s brought some damn fine moments along with it. Hiro swooping and saving the Bennett family was priceless; there’s no way you can criticize the casting of Seth Green and Breckin Meyer as the two comic book nerds; and despite the shortcomings of Elle and Sylar’s romance, it works too – it flared up briefly, like an intense surge of energy, a spark of electricity – and then died, the memory of it still burned in our minds from the heat it generated.  It would have been nice to see where a relationship between the two went (they’re probably the two most mentally unstable characters on the show), but hopefully the ending of this show reveals where Sylar will go next – and it better not be right back into good guy territory again, because I will have lost count how many times he’s changed sides.  What was fascinating, though, is the revelation that Sylar is not actually a Petrelli – of course, with the duplicity of these characters, it’s always difficult to tell what’s the truth, but at least some grumblings about how Sylar being a Petrelli was merely a manufactured plot point designed to only generate buzz and suspense should be quelled.  If you’ve been holding off on Heroes because of how weird it’s gotten, now may be the time to come back.  Not because it’s any less gloriously weird, but because it’s finally seeming to settle down from the crazy plot twists and explore a more methodical weirdness.  Up to you whether that means Heroes is worth watching again, but I’d at least give it a shot if I were you.

-Thomas Anderson
aka MBRD. Check out his blog here.

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