Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes Episodes Eight and Nine

My apologies for the lateness in the first half of the post, but with NaNoWriMo going on, I used most of my days for sleep. Last week’s Heroes fell by the way side to just before I watched tonight’s show. Sad, considering it’s easily the best episode this season.

We seem to get the season back on track as we go in to flashback mode with “Villains”. Hiro (apparently) goes on a viewing spree as he watches the events of one year ago. Eric Roberts returns as Thompson to bring Meredith in to the folds of the Company, while Noah and Elle work together as we see their pre-season one investigation of Gabriel Gray, even as he transforms himself in to Sylar.

We learn bits and pieces of the history of Arthur and Linderman, and the investigation by Nathan as a DA on Linderman. How it was not Linderman that ordered the attack on Nathan’s car at all... We finally learn what turns Angela against her husband as she learns what her husband has planned for Nathan. But even as Arthur acts, Linderman plots behind his back. He shows Angela the true nature of her husbands actions, and how he manipulated her mind again and again. Angela recruits the Haitian and several ounces of poison to eliminate her husband, but Nathan’s untimely arrival leads to Arthur’s chance at survival.

Meredith’s short career as an agent does give us one bright spot, as she encounters Danny Pine, a man the internet already nicknamed Hobolossus. Let’s hope we can see more of him soon. Anyway, things devolve when Flint, apparently Meredith’s brother, is also captured, and Meredith goes to free him. Thompson shows an amazing depth of character as he lets Meredith suddenly go free after she betrays the company.

Elle’s appearance in his life seems to be a saving grace for Gabriel, but Noah’s manipulation only causes more of Sylar's moral decay. We learn that Sylar may not have the loose moral standards we once thought.

The episode ends with Hiro wakening, and the sudden death of the African seer at Arthur’s hand. Arthur grabs Hiro....

Which is where we open on episode 9, “It’s Coming”. Arthur wipes Hiro’s mind down to that of a ten year old, but Ando saves him from death and helps him escape back to Japan. Ando begins a slow quest to reteach his friend how to use his powers, but Hiro has some problems taking things seriously.

Arthur returns to Sylar... and in an attempt to cure his bloodlust locks him in a room with Elle. Elle’s reaction is less than friendly, as she rips him apart with an electrical attack... He accepts the attack and encourages her to make more. Their confrontation cures Elle’s overpower, while somehow unlocking Sylar’s power mimicry as he finds he can now use her powers. They seem to be on the return to their romantic inclinations shown last episode.

Claire helps Peter escape an attack by Knox and her uncle Flint. But when she goes back to confront them, she learns it isn’t Peter they’re after at all. Peter uses his mind instead of his powers to save the day and help Claire get away.

Parkman and Daphne go looking for help at Primatech, but he only finds an unconscious Angela. Nathan makes the decision to free her mind, but may be just putting himself in the sites of fellow psychic Arthur. Parkman can’t find a way out of Angela’s mental crisis and finds himself stabbed by a psychic projection of Daphne. Daphne enters the dreamworld, and Parkman learns of her double dealing when Arthur arrives. Parkman confronts Arthur, but Angela forces Arthur to free them.

Nathan confronts his father. Arthur makes the same offer Linderman did back in season one, but this time Nathan isn’t as ready to make a deal with the devil for “the good of mankind”. Nathan leaves, but Jessica returns to speak with Arthur and make a deal for her future...

Mohinder’s experimentation proves a failure, as they are missing a third component, a human based catalyst, but his actions remain shady at best. Maybe something will actually come of this storyline soon...

Ando takes Hiro to a comic shop where 9th Wonders opens his eyes for the first time. They learn of the coming eclipse in its pages.

The episode ends with the villains coming together, but the heroes do so as well. Surrounded by Parkman, Peter, Nathan, Claire, and Daphne, Angela reveals the existence of the human catalyst and lays out the plans for their new mission: to stop Arthur from finding the catalyst. And Claire realizes exactly what Syler meant by how “special” she was...

Robert Fresco wrote Villains, his first episode of the show, and while it ties together stories from over two seasons in a way that could only be planned, the fresh look on the characters actually makes the show shine more than it has since season one. Series creator (and clearly best writer) Tim Kring returns for It’s Coming to continue the streak of quality episodes. Finally, this season’s first story arc is coming together despite the worst attentions of the season’s first several episodes. With their continued participation, and the recent removal of the overly influential (and not in a good way) Jeph Loeb, Heroes might just survive yet.

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