Hiro and Ando continue their quest to unite the two Parkmans, while adult Parkman is on a quest against Danko to get revenge for what he did to Daphne. Sylar, meanwhile, is having a lot of fun with his new shape-shifting ability, using it to make Noah question himself and those he loves. Mohinder's finds some old boxes with information from his father, and as he's rifling through them it becomes more and more clear that all roads to lead to Coyote Sands....after the jump, that is.

Episode 22: Turn and Face the Stranger
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Sylar’s vendetta

Noah opens Sylar’s body bag, checking out the embedded knife in his skull.  Danko walks in behind him. “No pulse, no body temp….believe it or not, he’s dead.”  “Impressive work.  I never did catch how you pulled it off,” Noah says.  Danko finds it funny – Noah’s been chasing him all these years, and bam, Danko shows up and he’s dead. He questions whether Noah actually ever tried to catch him, and Noah simply says that maybe Danko’s just better than him.  Somebody comes to inform the two of them that somebody claiming to be Noah’s wife is here, and Danko says Noah should go.  He goes out, and indeed it is his wife Sandra, who’s there to berate him for not telling him about the agents who invaded their house, and ignoring her phone calls.  Noah tells her that the less she knows the better; Claire is safe; that’s all they need to know.  He tells her that there’s a body in the next room, but he doesn’t believe it’s Sylar.  Sandra says it’s crazy that he’s talking about Sylar while she’s trying to tell him about Claire.  Danko walks over there and introduces himself, saying he recognizes her.  Sandra fires back that it’s probably because of the cameras they have monitoring her house, and Danko nods ruefully and says, “Nice to meet you,” before walking off.  Sandra tells Noah she’s not going back to Costa Verde until she knows where Claire is.  Danko, meanwhile, goes into the bathroom and leans against the wall, right next to another Danko peeing.  Putting on a distinctively Sylar-ish grin, the Danko who spoke with Noah says, “It was fun being you.  I showed Bennett the body.  You should have seen his face.”  Danko tells him that this is dangerous; it’s not a game – not about finding some clever way to kill Noah Bennett. “I’m not gonna kill him,” Sylar says, shape-shifting back to his old self. “I’m gonna destroy him.”  Last week the Danko/Sylar team-up proved to be one of the best things that’s happened to this show in a long time, and this week it’s staring out to be no different – right away they’re making good use of Sylar and his shape-shifting powers, and there’s no telling what they’ll do next.

Touch and Go Baby
Meanwhile, somewhere in Ohio, Hiro and Ando are driving along with baby Matt, Ando unsuccessfully trying to call every number he can think of to reach Matt Parkman – Hiro thinks it’s their duty to unite the two Parkmans.  Baby Matt starts crying right then, and it can’t be because he needs a new diaper or because he’s hungry, because Hiro just changed and fed him. Then their car pulls to a stop on the side of the road, despite having a full tank of gas.  They try to hitchhike, at first are unsuccessful, until a large truck pulls over and a Japanese guy with a thick Southern accent who doesn’t speak a lick of Japanese happily invites all three of them on board.  “Name’s Sam Douglas, from Texas,” he says.  Hiro tells him they’re trying to get to the East Coast to get Matt to his father.  Sam starts the car, it goes forward about two hundred feet, baby Matt starts to cry, and the car comes to a dead halt. “Touch and Go baby,” Ando mutters in Japanese  “When he’s happy, he makes things go. When he’s sad, he makes things stop.”  They take Matt Parkman outside of the truck, and Sam heads off, while Hiro and Ando try to cheer him up by making funny faces and playing with his toys in front of him. He refuses to cheer up, until Ando makes a very specific face, which makes him stop crying.  Hiro closes Ando into the car and takes the driver’s seat, while Ando holds the position.  Hiro successfully starts the car, and Ando says he can’t keep his face like this all the way to New York.  “Sure you can!” Hiro says, getting back onto the freeway.

Suresh’s past

Mohinder’s trying to convince Matt to not go out to try to kill Danko because of what he did to Daphne.  Parkman thanks him for being a good friend, says goodbye, and leaves, despite Mohinder, shocked, trying to blubberingly convince him to stay. Good, now maybe Parkman won’t be a useless sack of shit anymore – Daphne now dead and gone, he has revenge on his mind, and maybe it’ll sharpen his mind skills.  Later, Mohinder breaks back into his old apartment, and looks around, all of his papers and research gone.  The landlord comes in and tells him that Homeland Security took it, and if Mohinder showed up, to tell them right away.  Mohinder tells him he could be implicated if he does, so he better not.  Mohinder tells him he’ll be gone tomorrow.  The landlord tells him his crazy old man left some stuff in storage downstairs, and Mohinder wants to see it.  As he’s carrying up the boxes to his apartment and sorting them, he gets a call from Hiro, who tells him it’s important that they find Matt Parkman.  “Hiro, Matt’s changed. He’s committed himself to a very destructive course,” Mohinder says.  “It’s difficult to dissuade a man who’s decided he has nothing to live for.” He tells Hiro he’ll tell them the place he was last headed.  Hiro thanks him, Ando makes the face, and off they go, driving right past Claire and Nathan, looking at a map, trying to find Coyote Sands, right in the middle of nowhere.  Mohinder, back at his apartment, talks into a tape recorder as he looks through his dad’s files.  “It appears my father was looking for information on an abandoned government project in the 1960s.”  It involved medical research and a place called Coyote Sands, and judging from a nametag, Mohinder realizes his father worked there.

Decoy discovered

Noah gets a call from Angela, who tells him she had a dream.  “Do you know about what happened at the place called Coyote Sands?”  she asks him.  Noah says he does, but the only thing he knows is that whenever he asked about it people told him to never mention it again.  Peter and Angela are heading there now, she informs them.  They’re going to meet up with Claire and Nathan – everyone needs to know the truth, and they need Noah there too.  “I just have a few loose ends to tie up. They showed me a body,” Noah tells her. Sylar, with a six-inch nail in his skull – and there’s only one way to find out if it’s actually him.  He pushes into the room with the body while Angela tells him over the phone that he needs to get out while he can.  When Noah comes to the room, though, all the bodies are gone.  He asks the receptionist where the bodies wer taken, and apparently the crematorium is the answer.  Noah doesn’t answer Angela’s shouts to him to leave, to get out of there.  He walks off and goes to crematorium, finding the body bag with Sylar inside.  He removes the nail from the back of his head, slowly, asking every agent there to train a gun on him. After a few seconds of Sylar remaining unmoving, he tells them he needs a DNA analysis of the blood on the nail.  He kneels down next to the body and asks under his breath, “Who are you?”

Danko’s secret

Parkman is scoping out the front of Building 26, getting inside Danko’s head, who’s analyzing the crowd of pedestrians walking by the building.  “It’s a weird feeling, no knowing who you can trust, isn’t it,” Parkman whispers, sweating and growling with intensity.  “The person closest to you is in danger,” Parkman says to him. “Go to them. Make sure they’re okay.” Danko grabs a cab and speeds off, and Matt follows, all the way to Danko meeting up with some blonde haired woman in suburbia.  He goes inside, Matt grabs a gun from the glove compartment, and gets out of the car.  Danko leaves the house later, and she thanks him for stopping by in Russian.  He tells her he can’t stay longer – he has to fly back to Chicago. “I’ll be back in Washington before you know it,” he says, going over to an anonymous black car that pulls over to pick him up.  Parkman’s on the side of the house, listening in on their conversation.  Parkman goes into the house with his gun and points it at her back, but is unable to pull the trigger.  She turns around and, shocked, demands to know who he is and how he got in there. Parkman only says it was a bad idea, and is about to leave when she says, “I don’t believe it.”  “They sent you to me, didn’t they?  The escort service.”  Apparently Danko was a client who had just stopped by. By playing with her mind, he convinces her he’s just a friend from his work.  She happily invites him to stay and sit; she’s never met anyone from his work. 

Sylar screws around
Sandra comes to visit Noah, and he says he assumes that Sandra wants to know about Claire.  Sandra tells him that Claire called her about twenty minutes ago; she just needs him to sign some papers.  As Noah ruffles through them, he realizes they’re divorce papers.  “This is the real reason you came all the way to Washington?”  he asks.  Sandra says that it’s because he perpetually lied to her, brought danger and loaded guns into the house, was always going behind her back.  “I already changed the locks, Noah.” “Don’t throw away 22 years of marriage,” Noah practically shouts.  Sandra asks if that’s really what he calls this.  He needs to call it what it is – an excuse to run around and shoot guns while having some cover.  He tries to defend himself, to say that he’s almost done with his work here, and then he’ll come home and work everything out.  “Don’t insult me with promises!” Sandra says.  “It’s too late.  I don’t love you anymore!  You’re a liar, and a betrayer.  You say you care about your family. You don’t.  It’s over, Noah. I don’t love you, I don’t trust you.  I don’t even respect you.  Even that’s gone,” she says, turning around and leaving him, staring, dumbfounded after her as she walks out the door.  In the street, Sandra walks into an alley and turns around to look at the apartment behind her.  Her face morphs into that of Sylar’s, who, with a grin, saunters off.  Whoa, so that means Sylar’s come in contact with Sandra, then.  When would he have done that?  In any case, it’s good to see that Sylar’s wasting no time in screwing around with everybody.


Alena pours Parkman some tea, and tells him about how Danko and his company sell schoolbooks all over the world.  “Sales calls do keep him on the move,” Parkman says.  She tells him Danko told her about him and his family right away – and that someday he and her could be together.  “To have someone like Jakob come into your life,” she says, trailing off.  “He loves me.”  “The sick thing is, he probably does,” Matt says.  “But he doesn’t deserve you.  Whatever you think he is…it’s a lie, Alena.  And you need to get away from him, now, while you still can.”  She stands up and says that she’s scaring him, and she asks who he really is.  “You want me to tell you all about Jakob?  I can show you,” Matt says.  Later, Danko gets an unsuspected visit from Alena.  “I don’t understand.  You live here?”  she asks.  “I brought her here,” Parkman says, stepping into a view and pointing a gun at both of them.  They go into the apartment, the gun trained squarely on the back of Danko’s head.  “So this is what you’ve been reduced to?” he asks.  Alena is still really confused.  “You said you lived in Chicago, with your family. Why does he keep calling you Danko?”  she asks.  Danko tells her not to listen to him – he’ll make her believe things that aren’t real.  “What’s the matter?  You worried she’s not gonna roll out the red carpet when she finds out what her boyfriend does for a living?” Parkman taunts.  “Enough with the psycho-babble Parkman. You don’t know me,” Danko snarls.  Parkman says that he used to be a cop, used to be surrounded by people just liked Danko, who would use anything to escape – families, fantasy, anything.  He mind-forces Danko to blurt out the truth to Alena.  “I’m a soldier.  I hunt people for the government…son of a bitch.”  “Tell her what you did to the one I loved,” Parkman says.  “A woman…Millbrook… Daphne…she was a threat,” Danko says brokenly.  Alena can’t believe her ears.  “Why did you lie?”  “Because I knew you couldn’t possibly love someone who did those things,” Danko says.  “You really care about her,” Parkman says, observing the way Danko speaks to her.  “This is the only way…you’re gonna understand what you did to me,” he says, turning the gun on Elena.  “If you think killing her is gonna make a difference, change my mind about the program, you’re wrong,” Danko says.  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry,” Parkman says to Alena.  “In his world there is no room for mercy.”  He’s about to shoot her, but he can’t, so he drops the gun on the floor.  Danko picks up his own gun, and, despite Elena pleading with him to not shoot, fires point blank at Parkman.  Just then time stops, the bullet less than five feet from Parkman’s chest.  Hiro pops in, wheels Parkman off on an office chair, and time is restored.  Danko comes back to Elena, looking at her with sorrowful eyes, but she, disgusted, says, “Monster.  Stay away from me,” and stalks off.  Later, Noah comes into Danko’s office, who greets him curtly.  “Guess again,” Sylar says.  He got access to Noah’s old Primatech files by posing as him.  “Looks like he’s been holding out on you,” he says, handing him a file full of mysterious items.  “I’m not surprised,” Danko says.  “Are you surprised now?”  Sylar/Noah demands, whipping out a gun and shoving it in Danko’s face.  Ah-ha, so it’s actually Noah.  Nice double bluff there. This part with Alena was entertaining and good to see Parkman actually doing something besides complaining about how much he needs to save Daphne, but it seemed to be the clichéd route of giving the villain some sympathy by showing how he loves someone, and Alena’s character wasn’t strong enough to make these few scenes really worthwhile.

Mistaken identity

Noah’s looking over the divorce papers so he can sign them, and he’s analyzing the signature too.  He notices that the signature on the papers isn’t at all like his wife’s. (Seems like a pretty big flaw in Sylar’s plan.)  Noah calls the labs for the results of the DNA sample he had sent to them.  They tell him it was James Martin of Arlington, Virginia.  “Sylar’s a shapeshifter,” Noah mutters to himself after he hangs up the phone.  Back at his house, he points a gun to the back of Sandra’s head after she walks through the front door.   “Divorce papers?  Nice.  Did you really think I wouldn’t notice the different signatures?”  Sandra/Sylar tries to stutter out an answer, but Noah tells her to shut up; he knows who she really is.  Sandra starts reciting details that only Noah’s real wife could know, but Noah just says, “You can mind read now?  Who did you kill?”  “I didn’t kill anyone!”  Sandra shouts.  Noah slams her face onto a table and shoves the gun against the back of her skull.  Sandra begs, pleads with him that she doesn’t know anything.  “Think of the kids, Noah, she says.  “Danko’s in on it, isn’t he?”  Noah says.  Just then Sandra gets a call from Lyle, and Noah picks it up.  Lyle asks where the pills are for the dog.  “I don’t know.  Top fridge, on the left, brown bottle, not the green one.”  Noah relays the information to Lyle, then hangs up, removing his gun from the back of Sandra’s head and backing away slowly.  “Get out,” Sandra says.  Noah tries to tell her that about Sylar, and what he said and did.  “You have to believe me,” Noah says.  “I really want you to leave.  Now,” Sandra says.  Noah complies, and once the door is shut behind him he hears the loud click of the lock. 

Shape-shifting Sylar

Later, Noah comes into Danko’s office, who greets him curtly.  “Guess again,” Sylar says.  He got access to Noah’s old Primatech files by posing as him.  “Looks like he’s been holding out on you,” he says, handing him a file full of mysterious items.  “I’m not surprised,” Danko says.  “Are you surprised now?”  Sylar/Noah demands, whipping out a gun and shoving it in Danko’s face.  Ah-ha, so it’s actually Noah.  Nice double bluff there.  Noah explains to Danko how he found out, and Danko asks what he wants.  “What did you think would happen the minute Sylar got bored?”  Noah demands of him.  “I want Sylar on a platter,” Noah says.  “And then maybe I’ll overlook this pathetic little cry for help.”  Danko says that Sylar’s on a mission with Team 6, posing as one of the captains, Donovan.  “They’ve been racking up a lot of wins lately,” Noah muses.  “Where are they now?”  “On a mission.  They should be back in an hour,” Danko says.  Noah decides to wait, and he also decides that Danko is gonna wait right along with him.  When the team gets back, Noah goes to congratulate them personally, shaking the hand of the man whose appearance Sylar has taken.  All of a sudden, Parkman whips out his gun, whirls Agent Donovan around, and points it to the back of his head.  He instructs the agents to train their sights on the back of his head, and tells Danko to tell them.  Danko denies it, and Noah tells them all that Danko has betrayed them and has been working with Sylar.  Donovan still denies it, and says it’s a huge mistake.  “You’re just stressed out,” Danko says.  “Yeah, probably because of the divorce,” Donovan quips.  “How would you know anything about that,” Noah says, shooting him right then.  “He’s Sylar, I can prove it to all of you.  Watch, he’s going to heal.”  As they watch the body, though, nothing happens. The blood and wounds remain, and the puddle of red only gets bigger, while Noah shouts at the body to get up.  Danko goes to check the pulse, and yup, he’s dead, Jim.  He tells Noah that Sylar was never even in the building.  Noah grabs Danko, points a gun at his head, and says that if anybody moves he’ll kill him.  He then pushes Danko away and runs out, leaving Building 26 and heading into the streets, as far away as he can.  Back in Building 26, Danko apologizes to the blood-covered body of Donovan lying on the ground, which slowly gets up and morphs back into Sylar.  He spits out the bullet into his hand and says, angrily, at Danko, “You almost killed me. He could have shot Foster instead.”  “Yeah, but if he shot Foster, Foster’d be dead,” Danko points out.  “Didn’t know you could bleed like that.”  “I squeezed a little extra; for show,” Sylar says, half-grinning.  Later, Danko leaves a message for Alena telling her how she means a lot to him – Jakob is just the man he wants to be; give him a chance to prove himself. We see Alena leaving her apartment and taking a cab somewhere as his message plays over the machine.

Parkman & Parkman

Parkman tells Hiro that he didn’t need his help, and he didn’t ask for it.  Hiro says that a true warrior knows the difference between a righteous battle and retribution.  “That is why we have to save you,” Hiro says.  Just then they hear Ando call out, “Matt! Finally!”  Hiro takes Matt over to Ando and the baby.  “Matt Parkman, meet….Matt Parkman.  He’s your son.”  They tell him about his power, and how he can’t give up now, because a boy needs his father.  Parkman is overjoyed, and he lifts baby Matt into the air, repeating over and over, “I have a son.”

Coyote Sands
Noah’s walking down the street, leaving a message for Sandra letting him know that he loves her and will call her when it’s safe.  Meanwhile, Angela and Peter have made it to Coyote Sands, and she tells him this is where their story really begins.  Nathan and Claire swoop down and land, and Peter asks Angela why she let him come.  “The family has to come together,” Angela says.  “Enough.  There’s been too much misery in this place,” Angela says.  “Why did you call us together?”  Nathan asks.  “To prepare for the future, you have to understand the past,” Angela says, walking to the car and pulling out some shovels.  “You’re going to have to dig.”  They dig until they hit paydirt – a skull pokes half-out of the Earth.  “Do you know who that was?”  Peter asks Angela as she stumbles to the ground, overcome with emotion.  “I knew all of them,” Angela says.  “All of them?” Nathan asks.  “How many are we talking here?”  “Keep digging,” is Angela’s only answer.  Shortly after, Noah pulls up and joins the digging, and as they dig, it looks to be some kind of mass grave, but the episode ends before we can get a too clear picture of it.

After the mostly character-based “Into Asylum,” looks like we’re back into the same territory, albeit with slightly more power-action, in this week’s “Turn and Face the Strange.”  There were more weak moments than last week, such as Hiro and Ando inexplicably being able to locate Danko’s apartment to save Matt, HRG just able to run out of Building 26 with nobody at all chasing him or stopping him, and the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold Alena, who looks like she’s already done with.  Despite these, though, these weaknesses were significantly outweighed by the episode’s strengths.  Sylar fucking with HRG and his relationship with his wife is classic Sylar and this way in which he’s using his shape-shifting ability make perfect sense.  The couple of double bluffs where Noah proved he couldn’t be deceived so easily worked well too, but it doesn’t make much sense that after having realized that the body with the nail in the head wasn’t Sylar, Noah wouldn’t figure out a way to figure out that Donovan actually was.  It’s forgivable, though, because seeing the entire Petrelli/Bennet family reunited at Coyote Sands feels good – we’re getting back to Season One territory, where our heroes aren’t just running scared, but banding together to try to overthrow a common enemy. On top of this, looks like we’re also getting back into Mohinder’s Dad’s history, which seemed to have been completely done away with, but exploring the connection between him and the Company is a road we have not traveled down before, and it could prove pretty fascinating unearthing what exactly in buried there and how it connects back to him. And finally, Parkman getting to see his son was a sweet scene and puts bot him and Hiro and Ando back on the right track. Hiro’s being a hero again, Parkman knows he needs to do what’s right, and we have a new baby hero on board.  Only a few more episodes left this season, and since these past couple have not been action-heavy, you can bet the last few are gonna blow us away. Or at least, let’s hope so.

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