Volume Four: Fugitives
Episode Five: "Exposed"
Like last week, we focus on only a few of the heroes and leave the massive ensemble behind. Tight plotting here, folks. Forward movement. Let's get it on!
Claire's secret is discovered as Mrs. Bennett finds Alex in the closet. The explanation Claire uses, that they were having sex, doesn't hold water as Aqualad emphasizes he never touched and barely looked at the 17-yr-old cheerleader. That Claire lied and Alex has powers disappoints Mrs. Bennet, and she says that both Claire and HRG underestimate her strength, especially in times like these. She plots to evade the gov't agents in the van parked across from their house (they know Alex is there, even if Claire is off-limits). First hiding Alex in one of HRG's hidey-holes when the agents do a random search and then causing a diversion, Mrs. Bennett proves she's not just a brainwashing practice dummy. Her diversion (driving with Lyle to the movies) gives Claire and Alex enough time to sneak out the back, dodge the agents and hide in a swimming pool (of course they have to "kiss breathe" to keep Claire alive; they've been flirting pretty hard since Mrs. B "outed" him) until Alex can get to a train. They part fondly, and Claire returns home and starts to bond with her mom...until the Puppeteer shows up. Why? "Rebel" told him "Barbie" can help....
Meanwhile, in NYC, Parkman keeps painting the same image over and over (him wearing a bomb vest), wondering if it's tied to the floor painting he did of a nuclear bomb (or mushroom-cloud producing blast) leveling the "capitol" district of Washington, D.C. Peter tells him Rebel has sent a message over the computer telling them where Daphne is (D.C.) and to flee, as the Hunter has a idea where they are (Isaac Mendez' studio). They copy the address, trust Rebel and escape just before the Hunter's agents (plainclothes) arrive.
At Building 26, the Hunter sets Peter and Parkman as top priority for detainment, but also says they are armed & dangerous. So shoot to kill, if you have to. Nathan disagrees but the Hunter calls his bluff and exerts some ominous authority. HRG vocally agrees with his immediate agent superior, leaving Sen. Nathan Petrelli in the cold.
Now, too, at Building 26, Parkman and Peter worm their way in using double-barrel telepathy (Peter ditches flight for it; "I guess the rooftop escape is out," says Matt) and make it to a control room. Now seen by the Hunter on video monitors as just down the hall, Parkman and Peter mind-control two guards to draw their sidearms and by threat of force keep the Hunter from interfering. They discover Daphne isn't at this facility and Peter downloads a crap-load of data (including video of detainees being loaded onto planes) to use as leverage. Rebel pops a message up on the computer ("You have 30 seconds"), causes a blackout and the two heroes flee...right into HRG, the Hunter and their guards. Parkman holds everyone ("his" guards & the Hunter's group) until Peter has safely escaped.
When the Agents discover Rebel's message still on the computer screen, the good Senator calls on his mother, Angela, and asks if she is tipping them off. She knows a lot, after all. No, she says, why would she jeopardize the protection Nathan affords her? Besides, she can't work a computer. Peter then phones in while they're talking and says he'll deal - Parkman and Daphne for the wildly damaging data. If not, or if he's killed, the data will be leaked. Nathan says yes, and sets a place. The Hunter, upon hearing this, says he's operating on Presidential orders ("we do not negotiate with terrorists") and will either capture or kill Peter. Nathan reminds HRG that Peter can "hear [your] thoughts," implying that he should warn the guy.
At the meeting, HRG does just that, thinking loudly (as Peter calls out for Parkman and Daphne) that it's a trap. The Hunter, no veteran of telepaths, broadcasts his thoughts about sniping Peter and though his target hears, the Hunter does hit him high in the left shoulder, sending him falling off the parking garage roof...and right into Nathan's arms. Landing a good ways away, and meeting up with Angela, Nathan tries one last time to get Peter to turn himself over to Nathan's care. All Peter wants to know is why his big brother is doing this. It's out of control, I'm the only one who can, Nathan answers. Peter sadly mocks that it's because his brother loves him that he wants Peter under his eye, right? Sure, the Sen. says, but Peter knows better, takes a dose of "flight" and zips off. Angela warns Nathan that the game has changed and she has foreseen terrible happenings. And then, she whispers in his ear, leaving Nathan looking like he's been gut-punched.
Across the country, somewhere with mountains, Sylar and Luke Campbell drive on, and our favorite serial killer is getting a wee bit annoyed with Thrill-Kill Campbell. They stop at a boarded up roadside diner, Big Jim's. Sylar's been here before, he knows this place. Exploring inside, he has a flashback and discovers that he has been here before, when he was a young boy. And with his biological father, Samson Gray. But it is the worst memory he could dredge up, as it was then that Samson sold Sylar to his brother Martin. Sylar chases his father into the parking lot where he witnesses Samson arguing with his wife. It gets serious, and Samson waves his hand and blood streaks across the back window. He pushes Sylar's mom out of the car and speeds away. Li'l Sylar then sees what will be his calling card: a ragged slash across his mom's forehead, eerily reminiscent of her boy's amateur neurosurgery.
Coming back to the Now, Luke admits Samson is a world-class jerk and Sylar should give up the hunt. The can go off together, they don't need this- Ah, mistake, Luke. Sylar realizes the boy is doing this for the thrill of it all, the excitement of being "bad," and ditches him with a parting gift: his life. Now it's on to meet Samson Gray...alone.
On the TV, the US sees footage of American soldiers detaining - without Mirandizing or probable cause - dozens of US citizens. What is this secret gov't program? Is it legal? Peter has made good on his promise.
Back in DC, the Hunter fiddles with a drugged up Parkman as they drive in a black van to an undisclosed location. You'll be the face of their fear, says the Hunter. He gives Matt an injection and pushes poor Matt out of the back of the van into a large plaza...near Congress. On his chest? A bomb vest. It's the painting, come unfortunately to life.
To be continued next week in "Shades of Gray."
In Character Development:
No Hiro, Ando, Daphne, Suresh or Tracy. Thank God, for the last one. Two weeks without Tracy.
Peter...eases further into an adult role, taking telepathy for its tactical advantage, realizing you can't plan for the end-game (rooftop escape) if you can't reach the objective. Hurray! It's taken over fifty episodes, but he's thinking his actions through.
Nathan...is quickly losing control. I see sacrifice in his future. His own.
Matt Parkman...starts behaving less like a wounded, cornered animal. When Daphne is returned to him, odds are he'll begin acting like a cop again. In this episode, he controls at least four people at once, and though it's taxing, we see he's got a great will and is more powerful than previously thought.
HRG...is our man on the inside. Agreeing with the Hunter while protecting the sanctity of life (...sort of), he walks a thin line. Not really much here, but we know he's a good soul.
The Hunter...is not a good soul. He's like Linderman or Arthur Petrellie - the ends justify the means. Also, no prisoners and he plays for keeps. Since he is capable, and not some big brute or intimidating "power," his villainy is craftier, colder, sharper. I like him.
Angela...is certainly more involved than ever, and running at least one shadow operations (HRG as double agent).
Claire (w/ Mrs. Bennett and Alex)...thinks like an adult, like her Uncle Peter. By accepting her mother as more than a domestic damsel-in-distress/target-of-opportunity, she realizes that she can rely on other people to help her. A bit sappy, but necessary. This turn should've happened sooner. Alex is out of the picture, but he'll be back and gunning for Claire's pants. Mrs. Bennett shows a little bit of characterization. Fancy that!
Luke Campbell...shall be spoken of no more, until he microwaves himself back into our hearts. Not the abused, downtrodden boy we might've thought, he is a sociopath and a dangerous influence for Sylar. Left to his own accord, he'd see many more dead.
Sylar...finally has some answers. Next week, we see the Gray men come together, I hope.
*Quick paced, better than many Season 2 episodes; the season begins to turn around.
*Claire is a better character after this episode, as is her mother. I think the writers figured out the petulant victim-child and brain-adled housewife weren't that appealing.
*I'm glad Luke is no longer a Lost Boy and is just lost and alone. He's bad news.
*Samson Gray: about damn time.
*Does Nathan fly another nuclear-armed hero to a spectacular night-sky finish?
*Hiro or Ando...anyone?
Episode One: "A Clear and Present Danger"
Episode Two: "Trust and Blood"
Episode Three: "Building 26"
Episode Four: "Cold Wars"