Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hooper Reviews Heroes: Fugitives - Episode 2

A week late and a dollar short, but here's the next review, all spit-polished for your enjoyment.

Heroes Season 3
Volume Four: Fugitives

Episode Two: "Trust and Blood"

What Happened:

The story is told in flashbacks, as Nathan talks on the phone to a mysterious, silent individual. He's at "Building 26" and it's forty-eight hours after the plane crash. Everything...didn't go according to plan.

Well, the plane crashed, and that could hardly have been on the flight itinerary. Anyway, the plane goes down and "some" of the heroes escaped. Commandos busy themselves hunting through the Arkansas woods and do a poor job. Clarie briefly tries to escape with Peter, but HRG steps in and says, Nuh uh, Claire-bear...but he lets Peter get away. Meanwhile, Ando's bummed that he can't get a plane ticket to Arkansas (a mythical place to his Japanese travel agent) when in a flash (ahem) Daphne jets over and whisks them both to the crash site. Parkman, Suresh, and Hiro link up, Parkman goes all Isaac-eyes and rushes into the woods where he demands drawing material. The other two get some clothes at the sedentary trailer/hill-folk dwelling they find while Parkman sketches some stuff out. Meanwhile, Tracy and Peter pull the old prisoner-running-this-way-as-distraction-while-other-prisoner-karate-chops-the-commando-on-the-back-of-the-head maneuver (the ol' PRTWADWOPKCTCOTBOTH Maneuver, as I learned it).

Meanwhile, a woman and her teenage son (Luke Campbell) pass the taxidermy shop, surrounded by ambulances and cop cars; she knew it would come to this, what with that nut living there. The boy, by the by, is dark-haired, morose and recently got in a fight at school. No dad in the picture. Upon entering there house they find the commando Sylar was questioning, duct-taped to a chair with screw drivers pinning his hands to the armrests. They freak, Sylar appears, TK's them into chairs and says he'll torture them to get the commando to talk. Ooo.

Back at the crash site, Daphne and Ando have arrived. Parkman, Suresh and Hiro look at Matt's drawings: one of Hiro & a blond (Claire?) in India; one of Daphne getting shot in the shoulder in front of the plane wreckage. The second has Matt nervous and he starts back to the crash site and the others reluctantly follow. Claire gets the third degree from HRG and Nathan, giving some fire back, too. Daphne and Ando, the sidekicks, meet up with Parkman, Suresh and Hiro. Daphne acts impulsively (hah! that's two!) and dashes into the camp to get Claire. And here's where things get bad.

While standing, for a moment, in a plain view of the every eye in and about the crash site, Daphne takes that fateful shot in the shoulder as a squad of commandos crests the ridge behind the group's hiding spot. She then takes another, and several more for good measure before collapsing in blood and dust. Claire leaps forward and gets shot, shrugs it off and gives her best Wolverine I'm-a-pissed-off-unkillable-psycho look while Parkman cradles Daphne's lifeless (?) body. Much happens in slo-mo. Parkman now looks up at the soldiers and concentrates, forcing the main shooter to kill his other fellows until he is killed by the main commander, the Hunter. The heroes (Suresh, Hiro, Ando, Parkman) run away as Claire struggles to heal. Hunter takes Claire captive and threatens to put a bullet in the the back of her head, her Achilles' heal, but Nathan steps in, giving her to HRG to ferry back home. HRG promises to her he'll not be such a jerk to her friends. Claire returns to Costa Verde and gets a text message from "Rebel," who promises revolution against Nathan's people.

Tracy, after calling Nathan and promising Peter in exchange for her life, and Peter meet up later that night with Nathan...who did not come alone as promised. Peter holds Nathan at gunpoint, HRG and Hunter have their sights on him but HRG claims he "doesn't have the shot" (that's for you, Claire-bear). Peter flies away; Tracy is captured and taken to Building 26 where she's bound and drugged. For the greater good. Peter finds the other guy heroes and they plot to save their friends and counterattack.

Back to Sylar. He starts to choke the mother after the commando lies, claiming Luke wants it anyway, that they are hindrances to each other, basically putting all his own angst on the kid. Surprising us all (or, not at all), the kid has powers! He uses them to boil and burst the cup of coffee in Sylar's hand. He and Sylar have a pow-wow in the other room while the mother recuperates and the commando frees himself. But, Luke sees disaster (for who?) and microwave blasts the commando in the chest (the effect is like air rippling above a hot road), killing him. Sylar agrees to take Luke with him after the boy says he knows where Samson Gray, the taxidermist, lives. The head off in the Campbells' car.

We find out that Nathan's been telling the story over the phone to his mom, Angela, and she will not absolve him of any guilt over the tragic events. She will have no part of it and hangs up as she looks over the files she has of the Hunter...and others.

To be continued next week in "Building 26."

In Character Development...:

Peter and Nathan
Aside from reiterating that Nathan's a jackhole, there's not much on him. He is protecting Claire, but he's not learning from his mistakes. The "greater good" spiel might've worked circa Season 1, but characters grow. I guess not enough.

Peter, on the other hand, has grown. Showing determined leadership and realizing not all will turn out right with the world, he's made the decision to be forceful. Making a decision in general is big, but to take the lead and not appear wishy-washy floppy-haired Peter is a grand development. The power limitation also forces him to be practical where he's been spacey and relied on a bevy of crutches in the past.

She screwed. Politicking doesn't get you out of "heroes" Guantanamo, where/whatever that might be. Betraying Peter (or was it Nathan?), constant hedging, ignoring moral choice - these don't help in this fictional world. Good or bad, you have to come down on a side.

Suresh, Parkman and Daphne
So Daphne maybe dies; no body bag is seen. If she is worm-food, not great loss...except her power and what she does for Parkman (happiness). Speaking of, Parkman takes a big leap forward this episode by actively using his power in a combat situation. It's not the psychic knives or brain blast many of us (X-Men) fans desired, but "commandeering" still works. The psychic/seer stuff might get old fast; hopefully, he just gets flashes of insight and not full-fledged plot foreshadowing (ala Isaac Mendez). Suresh runs around.

Hiro and Ando
Not entirely a hero yet, Ando follows Daphne, another sidekick, and avoids death. Is he seeing what it takes to be a hero and, therefore, how best to use his abilities? In combat, I'd imagine his boosting would make Parkman an engine of mental destruction or Suresh a Bombay Hulk. The learning curve Hiro discovered in the first and second seasons plays out again, but with Ando.

Not one to sit by and not complain, Hiro laments his loss of power and says he needs to be a hero again. Parkman's painting supports that theory. Ideally, if he is to get his power back, it'll be an added bonus of heroism, not the direct benefit. Get a sword.

Claire and HRG
She's a victim who wants to take action against her abusers. HRG is a good solider with a conscience. See previous seasons. It's not that I don't like their characters (he is still my favorite), but until Claire realizes she's not Invincigirl all duded-up with the martial ability to combat evil, her story will be repetitive. Perhaps - and this goes against contact, popularity and wisdom - she needs to sit out half a season or so. Rest the character, save the plot.

What to do with the Company Man? I like his moral quandaries, but I think he's had enough now to realize that "fighting from the inside" doesn't work. Instead of derailing the Hunter by not killing Peter or keeping Claire free, maybe he should be in the field terrorizing this new fascist black-ops commando unit. Give him the Invisible Man, the Haitian and a few other "acquaintances;" I'm sure his hero team would boost the ratings.

Sylar (and Luke Campbell)
Of all the characters, Sylar is moving forward. By giving him a Maltese Falcon/MacGuffin (in the guise of his biological father) to hunt, we can see him interact with people differently than if he was on a killing spree. Already he has a sidekick, the mentally unwell Luke Campbell. I smell future betrayal. Luke brings a new power to the fore, microwave emission, and a random character dynamic. Is he evil? Misguided? A normal teen rebelling? And what's his (blood?) relation to Sylar's father?


*Sylar plays Peter Pan, picks up a Lost Boy (Solar Lad? Hot Plate Boy?). Positive. The best part of Season 2 was the "team-up" between Beard-O Nathan and Parkman as they hunted the latter's father.

*Daphne goes the way of the dodo...or does she? Speedesters, in comics, are notorious for both dodging death and healing quickly. I don't count her out.

*HRG isn't a total bad guy, as we all knew. However, he's not interesting enough anymore. I want less "new company, same as the old company" and more "I do have a particular set of skills..." bad-assery.

*Peter's powers? Perfect for him. It forces him to make difficult choices, making him grow up at the same time. Limiting him to one-at-a-time also allows for less arguments of "Why doesn't he just go ballistic on these people with lightning, TK, ice, telepathic assault, etc.?!" when faced with conflict and impediments. I like this quite a lot.

*Claire needs to heal Hiro so he gets his powers back. Maybe Peter, too. Mandy (wife) seems to think this is the best course of action. Linderman's ability healed brain damage by the Haitian. Suresh's formula could give powers and gave Peter almost his original one. Adam Monroe's blood healed people not him.

*Parkman using his powers aggressively? Finally. Finally. Now he needs to use them for espionage.

Looking Ahead:

*Is Daphne Dead?
*Where is John Glover/Samson Gray?! How long will this be dragged on? Road trips are fun; fantasy-novel style Walking Without Destination less so.
*Does the Hunter have a power we don't know about?
*Does Tracy make a deal?

Heroes: Fugitives
Episode One - "A Clear and Present Danger"



Tim said...

*Is Daphne Dead?

I don't think this whole "Daphne and Parkman" romance thing is over yet. I smell a glorious reunion percolating, promptly followed by alienation over trust issues with the man who can read minds.

*Where is John Glover/Samson Gray?! How long will this be dragged on? Road trips are fun; fantasy-novel style Walking Without Destination less so.

Ugg. Another chapter, another "Sylar goes on walkabout" tour. The Sylar roadtrip was done once before, except in Central America and Mexico. Could have done without it then, not looking forward to it now. Moving along...

*Does the Hunter have a power we don't know about?

I don't think he currently has a power, but I see this developing to a point where he is given powers by the formula or some other as-yet-undeveloped means... And he becomes our new overall antagonist for this chapter, while Nathan repents and sees the error of his ways. Angela Patrelli remains a cold-hearted, manipulating bitch. Just the way I like her.

*Does Tracy make a deal?

This chick is a waste. She will probably make a deal of some kind, or perhaps they will draw her and Peter together in some kind of rebellious act. Either way, I hate her character and how they've developed it... except for the fact that there are triplets. Where is the third girl with abilities??

Carl said...

The reason for Sylar's quest is to keep him away from everyone else. It has to be that way because everything's been written so that the only logical situation is him killing them or them killing him. "Fugitives" may actually serve to change that. Peter and company will need him as their most powerful weapon in the fight (although Parkman is on his way towards that).

Adam said...

It has to be that way because everything's been written so that the only logical situation is him killing them or them killing him. "Fugitives" may actually serve to change that.

While it ultimately wasn't handled very well, "Villains" did give Sylar some growth through his interactions with Noah and Elle. I'm enjoying his current big brother schtick though.

The Den of Mystery said...

But the growth from "Villains" wasn't taken as far as it should've been and instead of having a villain with a knowledge of the morality they are giving up (and therefore, the tragic figure built more in "Villains"), Sylar is turning into an anti-hero, rescuing the kid, defying "evil" authority, not recklessly killing innocents (just a little knocking around). Hm. I don't want another Punisher or Wolverine or modern Venom (does DC have anti-heroes? Jason Todd, maybe? Guy Gardner fifteen years ago...).


Adam said...

(does DC have anti-heroes? Jason Todd, maybe? Guy Gardner fifteen years ago...).

Vigilante, maybe? Black Adam and Hitman could be considered anti-heroes. DC has a few, but aside from Black Adam, they're not as high-profile as Punisher or Wolverine.