Claire sees a new side of her mom as she tires to figure out a way to help Alex escape, and Parkman and Peter receive intel from Rebel on where to find Daphne, so they head to Building 26 to take her back. Sylar's also back in this episode, with his trusty sidekick Microwave Boy, shedding further light on his dark past when he stumbles upon an old diner where his father took him long ago. It's a surprisingly decent Heroes after a string of steadily declining ones, and it's after the jump.

Episode 18: Exposed
Full Episode Online: NBC Official Site

Coming out of the closet
Claire wanders into her room with a sandwich for Alex the Aquaman, telling him that she has the cash for him to take a train to Albuquerque, where he can start a new life where nobody knows him.  Alex doesn’t like the idea; leaving everything and everyone he’s ever known.  Claire says that if he doesn’t leave, the government will catch him, but Alex points out that they have satellites – couldn’t they be conceivably watching them right now?  Claire dismisses this idea because then it would make this volume of Heroes far too interesting, taut, and tense.  Alex points out that there’s no way they can know for sure, and she’s not Harriet Tubman, and this isn’t the underground railroad.  She’s just high school girl.  Claire fires back that “this high school girl” saved his life.  Then Sandra calls up from downstairs, coming into the room after Alex has hidden, asking Claire where the $300 she hides in Mr. Muggle’s shoe went.  Suddenly Mr. Muggle starts to bark at something under the bed, and Sandra retrieves the sandwich and gives Claire one raised eyebrow. A clatter from the closet, an open door later, and there’s Alex, nervously saying hi to Mrs. Bennet.  Claire shrugs and gives her mom a guilty look.

The Hunter’s off his leash

In Building 26, the Hunter asks Noah if he doesn’t mind that they’re keeping an eye on her daughter, and he replies that she’s a big girl and makes her own decisions.  The Hunter then makes an announcement to the whole room:  Peter Petrelli, along with Matt Parkman, is now priority one, and to be caught, dead or alive.  Nathan, pissed off that somebody besides him is trying to handle all this, asks on whose authority he’s giving this order.  Danko smiles.  “Mine.”  Nathan tells Noah to keep an eye on him, but Noah points out, “Peter and Matt kidnapped me and threatened my life – what makes you think I won’t do the same?”

Follow the Rebel
In Isaac’s apartment, Peter tries to jerk Matt out of his trance – he’s been painting the same image of him with bombs strapped to his chest, over and over again all night. Peter points out that they need to leave before they’re caught, but Parkman insists they need to save Daphne first- one life at a time.  Peter reluctantly agrees, and almost immediately a message pops up on the screen from Rebel – giving him them an address and telling them to leave right away.  They’re reluctant, fearing it might be a set up, but finally go ahead and flee out the door.  Through the other door barge a couple of Danko’s men, wiping at one of Parkman’s paintings, noticing the fresh paint and that they just missed them.  They capture the explosion on the floor on video and the Hunter looks at it greedily.  “I think I know where you’re going…”

Back at the Bennet house, Claire explains to her mom that Alex is her new boyfriend, but she’s not buying it, demanding to know why he was hiding in her closet.  Claire admits that they’re having sex, and Sandra looks at Alex.  “You do know she’s only 17,” she says.  Alex immediately denies ever having touched Claire, and Sandra turns back to her daughter, asking for the truth.  Claire reveals that he has an ability – he can breathe underwater.  Sandra berates the both of them for being dangerous, and Claire for lying to her.  “I am so disappointed,” she says before she stalks off.  She and Claire argue for a little bit longer, Claire saying that she and Noah need to lie to protect her.  Sandra is insulted at this, and says she knows a lot more than either Claire or Noah know of.  In fact, she knows there’s a pool cleaning van parked right outside that’s been watching them for four hours, and if Claire tries anything, they’ll capture Alex right away.  Claire says she has a plan, but just doesn’t know what it is yet.  Sandra, however, does have one.

Luke and Sylar are still on their road trip, looking at the computer that Sylar stole so they can be sure they’re “off the grid.”  Luke wishes that agents would catch up to them so they could, “charbroil them from the inside out.”  Sylar replies that he doesn’t want to leave a trail of dead bodies directly to his father’s house, and Luke says that parents suck, and his dad, while Luke only ever wished to go fishing, used to put out cigarettes on his arm for the hell of it.  “I have the scars to prove it,” he says, lifting up his shirt sleeve.  Sylar, sick and tired of this kid’s bull, telekinetically jerks him against the door of the car, smooshing his face up against the window.  “Why don’t you want me to find my father?”  “I just don’t get it,” Luke says.  Sylar answers that he doesn’t need to get it – he’s just looking for answers and he knows his father has them.  He releases Luke back onto the seat, who then says again that he doesn’t get it – Sylar’s the most powerful dude on the planet, why does he need anyone else?  Sylar doesn’t answer, and instead pulls off the road into the parking lot of an old broken down diner.  He and Luke get out of the car, and Sylar, with a look of recognition in his eyes, starts to rip off the boards covering up the windows and doors one by one.

Outside of Building 26, Parkman and Peter start talking about how to go in – they’re going to use Parkman’s power, but when he points that they have no idea how many men could be in there,  and he can only control so many minds at once, Peter sticks his hand on his arm and absorbs his power, saying two mind pushers are better than one.  Hm, why Peter thinks that it’s going to make much of a difference when you’re literally going into the belly of the beast is a little bit beyond me.   In the building, they control the mind of guard at the entrance and take the elevator up to the top floor, controlling two more guards before they find the room they’re looking for (wow, that was seriously life-threatening)– a bunch of computers with access to the database.  Peter searches through it, and while he does, the Hunter and his men pick them on the video camera.  The Hunter rushes outside into the hallways after failing to shut down the system because “someone is hacking it.”  Once in the halls, though, the Hunter is escorted back into the room at gunpoint by the two men Parkman is controlling.  Parkman gives a smirk to the camera.

Sandra’s ability (no, not that kind of ability)
After retrieving Claire’s little brother’s driver’s license, Sandra uses it to make a fake ID for Alex – to Claire’s baffled amazement that her mom had this whole other side of her that she’s never seen, and one we haven’t either for that matter.  When Volume 3 began, it seemed like Sandra went right back to being the ditzy clueless dog-loving wife, despite the fact that her memory had not been wiped.  In this episode, we see that she actually has character and spunk, and there’s a reason she’s Noah Bennet’s wife – after all, why would HRG marry some clueless broad?  She tells Alex to change his look – so he heads upstairs to just do that.  While he’s up there Sandra and Claire talk for a little bit longer – Claire apologizing for what she did and wishing that she was just normal, because it would be easier, and maybe Noah and her would still be together.  Sandra answers that she and her father had problems long before Claire, and that she’s not sure if they’re going to last much longer.  “I’m tired of being lied to.”

All the answers

Sylar and Luke wander into the old abandoned building, sunlight filtering through the slats in the window, dust hanging in the air. Luke asks why they’re here, and Sylar answers that something happened long ago.  As he walks around, analyzing the scene before him, he stops.  “I remember,” he whispers.  “My father was here too.”  The diner transforms into a black and white scene, and we see a young Sylar being led to a table while his father leaves him as he plays with a toy car.  He goes over to meet up with someone (who vaguely look like a young Arthur and Angela Petrelli), and as Sylar’s playing with his toy car, it falls into a crack in the paneling, lost.  The black and white disappears and Luke asks Sylar, “Where did you just go?”  “I can remember my father,” Sylar says, almost happy.  “You sure?”  Luke asks, which Sylar answers by ripping the wooden paneling from the wall with his mind, walking over and picking up the toy car.  He starts to touch it, feel it, his eyes growing darker with each second.  The ticking clock sounds in the background.  “Positive.”

Nerds have amazing bodies

Claire walks into her room to find Alex in the bathroom, shirtless and his chest wet from the shower. His rippling chest, with pecs the size of whales and a bulging six pack.  Okay, where does this guy work again?  Abercrombie & Fitch?  Let me double check this – yeah, that’s right, he worked at a fucking comic book store.  Wait, what the hell?  Since when do nerds have bodies that would make Brad Pitt weep and women come flocking?  Does he keep a bowflex in the back of the store or something?  Claire doesn’t seem too worried about the incongruity though, blushing and covering her eyes, muttering that she’s sorry.  They chat for a bit and Alex finally puts on a shirt.  He asks her how he looks, and she says, “Like an exceptionally cute boy who can also breathe underwater?”  Alex smiles, and then says, “You’re special, Claire.”  They start to talk and he tells how she gets him like no one else. (Wait, what?  They’ve known each other for maybe a day or two?)  They start to lean in for the kiss when Sandra bursts in and tells Alex he needs to hide.  Apparently the agents are coming in from the pool cleaning van.  They arrive and look around, not finding Alex.  “Why don’t you get the hell out of my house?”  Sandra says, threat low in her voice.  They leave (wait, what?  They can come in any time they want?  Why have a fucking pool cleaning van then?), and Alex tells him that they’ve helped him enough, so he can get to the train station on his own.  Sandra, however, has a different idea.

Bargaining chip
Peter Petrelli’s still searching through the database, discovering that Daphne Millbrook is no longer in the building; she’s bee taken to a different medical facility.  Parkman’s pissed, of course, when all of a sudden a message from Rebel pops up on the screen, showing them a file on the computer – video of the heroes when they were first captured and rounded up on the plane.  Peter downloads it onto a thum drive so they can use it as leverage to get Daphne back.  Back with the Hunter, Noah tells him and Nathan that if they distract Parkman’s other senses, his ability to control minds will be affected.  So they turn on the fire alarms and Parkman loses control of the guards (hm, seems they pulled this weakness a bit out of the blue – wasn’t he in a gun fight earlier in this volume and able to turn an entire platoon of soldiers against themselves?).  Peter heads towards the exit while Parkman stays behind to keep control of the guards.  When Nathan and the Hunter approach him later, they turn the lights on really bright and up the noise level, and Parkman is taken prisoner.  Wow, what a pointless weakness to his power.  All you need to do is put a particularly bright 80-watt bulb in his vision and it will nullify his ability?

Witness to history
Back on the road trip, rubbing the car has triggered Sylar’s ability to read an object’s history, and he looks back at his memory and sees his dad hand over money to the couple at the table, and then he brings Sylar over and gives him to them, walking off without him.  Sylar gives chase, catching up to the back of the car after Mr. Gray has climbed in.  As Sylar watches, he and his wife start to fight, and Sylar’s dad jerks his finger once in front of the mother, opening up a gash and splattering the back windshield with blood.  The door opens and her body spills out, Sylar’s signature gash staring him back in the face.  Now, remember, Sylar’s ability was not telekinesis originally – it was understanding how things worked, along with the hunger.  This doesn’t mean his dad can’t have telekinesis, though, and the similarity between their methods of killing is more likely just disturbingly similar than an indication of blood relation.

Prophecy revealed
Nathan and Angela are meeting after Peter’s escape, discussing “Rebel” and how he seems to know way too much.  He asks Angela if it’s her, and she denies it.  “I would never betray you.”  Nathan tells her that there are people who want Peter dead because of his actions, and Angela smiles and says that she has a bit of experience with that.  He then gets a call from Peter, who says that if Nathan hands over Parkman and Daphne, he won’t release the classified information that he stole to the news.  Nathan agrees, and later as he’s meeting with the Hunter and Noah, the Hunter reveals that he has a different plan to try and kill or capture Peter, because, as the president says, “We do not negotiate with terrorists,” and so he has higher orders to go on than Nathan’s.  Later, Noah meets up with Peter, who tries to probe his mind to find information about Daphne or Matt, and when he finally does find something, Noah’s telling him to get away because it’s a trap.  Peter catches it too late, though, and gets shot, tumbling over the edge and being carried off by Nathan above the astonished stares of Noah and the Hunter.  Nathan takes him to Angela, where they share the usual back and forth, and he begs him to come with him so he can protect him, and that Peter “has his word.”  Peter nods, smiling, and stands up.  “I know you take care of me.  Cause you love me,” he says.  “I’m just trying to help,” Nathan says.  Peter hugs him and absorbs his power, flying off into the night.  Nathan’s about to go after him but Angela warns him that, “The game has changed.”  She whispers in his ear what it is (why? No one’s around), and he looks off at the sky, thoughtful.  Peter releases the information to the TV stations, and they air reports around the country, while the Hunter angrily gazes on, catching in the corner of his eye one of Parkman’s paintings.   Later, Parkman wakes up out of breath and sweaty right in front of Danko, who tells him how dangerous and not innocent his people are, and how the world will see it and beg him to hunt them down and kill them.  “The enemy has a face, Parkman.  It’s you,” he says.  Parkman says that he doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and all Danko says is that Parkman looks exactly like a terrorist.  He punches a needle into his arm and then drops him off somewhere, still groggy and dazed. As the camera pans out, we see he’s standing in front of the capitol building in Washington DC, just like the picture, his chest covered with explosives.  Now, that’s not that bad of a twist.  Most people probably assumed that Parkman would somehow voluntarily endanger the whole city in an attempt to save Daphne, and the Hunter having gone out on his own to frame Parkman adds some spice to the affair.  It’s still sad that we’re seeing a rip off of season one, but at least it’s somewhat of a creative one.

“Mr. Freaking Rogers.”
Sylar is out of his trance, while Luke badgers him to tell him what happened.  Sylar physically picks up a chair and smashes it against the ground, shouting out, “He killed my mother!”  Luke apologizes softly, shaking his head.  “I didn’t know.  I’ve been trying to tell you that he’s a jerk.”  Sylar almost laughs and grabs Luke telekinetically by the throat, smashing him against the wall, saying through all Luke’s stories he made him sound like “Mr. Freaking Rogers.”  (Hm, perhaps Luke said what he said because the stories about a mean dad were his own dad, and potentially Sylar’s too.)  “I was just waiting for the right time,” Luke mumbles against the wall.  “Why are you doing this to me?” Luke asks.  Sylar smirks, “Because you’re here and I need to express my feelings.  You used me for some joyride; an escape.  I’ve got news for you, kid.  There is no escape, there is only pain, and you can never ever outrun it no matter what you do, no matter where you go.”  He lets Luke fall to the floor, and heads out, intent on finding his father, and when Luke asks him why, he says that now that he’s seen the truth he wants him to die. Well, Sylar’s ditched Luke for now, but you can bet it’s not the last we’ve seen of him.  Though his character has been interesting, one wonders why Sylar just doesn’t make him tell him where his father is right away.  The dude’s certainly a coward enough to cow to any ability Sylar might use on him to threaten him.  And plus, he’s really been pushing his luck, so his stupidity marks him for death too.  One thing that has been refreshing about this road trip is seeing someone who’s not deathly afraid of Sylar, but completely in awe and respect of him.  This is something that we’re not used to seeing, and probably Sylar isn’t either, which could explain why he’s willing to let Luke live.  In any case, next episode we’re finally due for Sylar meeting his dad, so that better be worth it.

An old friend returns

A car pulls out of the Bennet driveway, and the agents hurriedly rush over to intercept them, but find out it’s only Mrs. Bennet and her son, off to see a movie.  She smiles at them innocently and the agents rush after the other two, investigating behind the house, where Claire and Alex have fled and rushed down the hill, hiding in a pool in the yard next door.  The lady Agent climbs over the fence and into the yard, rushing her flashlight over most every part of the pool and some of the yard, except of course for where Claire and Alex are hiding, Claire inexplicably worried about breathing underwater when she can’t die, so Alex of course has to kiss her to giver he oxygen.  The lady Agent wanders away at the sound of her gentleman Agent’s call, leaving them safe, never really in any danger at all, actually, because the people chasing them are incompetent as shit.  And then you have the incompetence of the writers, of course, in demonstrating how “clever” Sandra is by noticing the van parked outside when in fact the agents out there seem to be able to come at any time they want.  Later that night , Claire tells her mom right before she goes to bed that she was incredible that day.  Sandra says she wouldn’t trade this life for anything, and Claire responds, “Me neither.”  Sandra says she’s made popcorn for a movie they can watch, and Claire heads down to retrieve it, while Sandra says she’ll be right down.  Downstairs, Claire looks in the microwave for the popcorn but can’t find it.  When she closes the door, there’s Eric Doyle the puppet master.  “Hey, Barbie.  I got a message, from someone named Rebel.  I need your help, Barbie.”  Okay, now this is a way to close off an episode!

Overall, this actually was a pretty good episode, and debatably the best of the season so far.  The comparison between Sylar and his dad and Claire and her mom was sharp and well drawn and an interesting one to make – how as they’re both discovering more about each of the influential figures in their life they each find completely different things.  Peter and Parkman were also actually out and about and doing stuff (even if it was a little clumsily), and the release of the video to the media was a smart move and finally made Peter seem more competent than he’s been these past few episodes. As for Sylar and his little vision of his past - well, it was nifty to see, but didn't add much that we couldn't have guessed. The best part, though, was closing off with Eric Doyle – note to the Heroes writers – THIS is how you bring a character back.  Now, whether or not they actually do something with him might be hoping too much, but now that we seem to be in the latter half of Volume Four, the pace will probably pick up, so it could very well happen.  We’ll just wait and see.

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