"Heroes" Episode 10

“Chapter Ten: The Eclipse - Part 1”

Spoiler Alert

Summary: The global eclipse brings huge changes for the heroes. Papa P draws a bunch of pictures showing the future. Peter and Nathan go to find the Haitian. Hiro, Ando & Matt follow Daphne to Kansas. Papa P sends Gabriel and Elle to find Claire.

• If fans will remember, many — if not all — of the heroes’ powers manifested after an eclipse in the first season. Well, another eclipse flies onto the scene and does the opposite. Now the heroes have to deal with being normal again. Perhaps the most artistic scene of the whole episode was a montage showing the pictures that Papa P drew and the heroes who starred in them, and the eclipse. It brought back a lot of memories of the show’s pilot.

• Tracy, who’s joined Papa P, informs Papa P of Nathan’s mission. When Mama P finds her talking on the cell phone, I’m sure she knew what Tracy’s doing. (She’s an ambitious string-puller herself, after all.)

• Mama P sends Nathan to Haiti to find the Haitian — the man with the ability to stop powers, and in this case, the only person who can stop Papa P. Peter wants to come, and reluctantly Nathan lets him. After the eclipse, Nathan can’t fly, and he gets him and his brother lost. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen some good Nathan/Peter brotherly interaction, and I enjoyed seeing it again. Peter, who’s been acting like a moron most of the season so far, really put Nathan in his place for once with his “you’re dad’s puppet,” and “you’ve always done what dad wanted” comments. I think hearing that will really have an effect on Nathan in future episodes.

• The brothers run into the Haitian, who won’t leave until he’s captured Level 5 escapee and Haiti warlord, Baron Samedi. Also known as the Haitians brother, it turns out. While the three of them wander in the jungle, they get shot at by Baron’s men, and Nathan gets captured. There’s an obvious parallel between the Haitian and his brother and Peter and Nathan. The Haitian is perhaps an extreme version of Peter (they both seem to have the tendency to “jump first, ask questions later,” anyway), while Baron is perhaps the extreme version of Nathan (both are natural leaders and somewhat arrogant, but Nathan is not nearly as blood-thirsty).

• Claire’s dad, Noah, takes Claire to a safe house (remember last week it was discovered that her blood was the “Catalyst” part of Formula H — the only way to make it work correctly). Claire’s sulky that she’s not fighting, but Noah gives her a reality check: that she’s indestructible, but it’s made her careless and puts others in harms way. So, he begins to show her the proper way to fight. Gabriel and Elle arrive, suddenly without their powers, and Noah easily overtakes them. When Elle tries to shoot Noah, Claire gets in the way. But without her power, she’s just as helpless as anyone else. Noah takes her home, and while he goes after Elle and Gabriel, Claire starts to bleed out. It’s been a while since Claire and Noah have been in a “heart-to-heart” scene. I think Noah was saying a lot of what audience members are thinking about her attempts to fight back. She needed to hear them, and as mad as she has been at him lately, I think he’s the only one who she would listen to.

• Gabriel is trying to be a good little agent while on the hunt for Claire, but Elle encourages him do and take what he wants. When the attempt to catch Claire fails, he seems like he’s genuinely happy he doesn’t have them anymore. Elle, on the other hand, is upset that “they can’t take what they want anymore.” Gabriel says “Said who?” and out of blue starts kissing her. As they’re making out, Noah’s aiming at them outside the window with a sniper’s gun. It’s interesting that Gabriel doesn’t mind not having powers. It shows him coming a long way from him wanting to be “special” in the first season, to just wanting to live without the hunger of his ability. If there’s one thing we know about Noah, it’s don’t mess with his daughter. Now that Gabriel doesn’t have his ability, he’s just an ordinary person — and a rather weak one at that. I’m predicting a lot of pain and suffering on Elle and Gabriel’s part at Noah’s hands.

• Ando and Hiro, who still thinks he’s ten, arrive at Matt’s apartment thanks to the “9th Wonders” comic book that Ando and Hiro have been using as their guide. Matt can’t seem to help him. Daphne, scared of what Papa P could do to them, the fact that their shot at saving the world thinks he’s ten, and that Matt may not trust her, runs away. Matt uses his mind power to find out she lives in a corn farm in Kansas. The comic book says that Ando and Hiro are supposed to go to Kansas, and so the three of them teleport just before the eclipse. Matt can’t read Daphne’s Dad’s mind when he tries to get in. He doesn’t have his power anymore, and feels he can’t save Daphne without his “mind-thingy.” Hiro convinces Matt not to give up, and later that evening, once Daphne’s dad leaves, Matt tries again. She calls him in, and in the weekly “wth” moment, it turns out that without her power, Daphne is a cripple. I think this moment has a lot more than the “surprise!” factor we’re used to. This answers a bunch of questions: why Daphne always chickened out when Papa P talked about sending her to her old life, and why she seems to value freedom so much. It’ll be interesting to see how Matt takes it next episode.

• While Matt’s tries to save Daphne, Hiro and Ando go to a comic book store to find the latest issue of “9th Wonders.” Where they find a couple of comic geeks (Seth Green and Breckin Meyer from “Road Trip”) who recognize them from the same comic. I’m a big fan of both Green and Meyer, so I’m really excited to see them in the next episode.

Praise: This episode is really monumental in terms of the true relationship between the heroes and their powers. Like Peter when he lost his abilities, most of the characters have come to value their powers a lot more than they care to admit. Nathan wishes he could fly to make their search easier. Matt thinks he can’t save Daphne without his powers. Elle feels like she has no control on getting what she wants. As much as they gripe and complain about how much the abilities are a bother, they have come to really depend on them. It’s like a person who grew up without a microwave. He/she finally gets one, only to have it taken away shortly afterwards. In a hero’s quest, there’s always a point when the hero must be vulnerable and show their worth as a hero, not just a person with heroic abilities. This is that moment for all of them, and I’m looking forward to seeing who it ends.

Complaints: The constantly going back to the eclipse every five minutes was slightly tiring after a while. We know it’s a bad thing without having to be constantly reminded. And there is a little confusion about the whole eclipse/powers connection. First the abilities are because of the genes in their adrenalin, now it’s because of an eclipse? I’m not sure what’s going on and I'd wish the writers would make up their mind.

Favorite Part: When Hiro tries to convince Matt to save Daphne and “fulfill his mission,” powers or no, there’s an amusing scene where Hiro tosses corn at Matt and yells that the “corn will keep coming” and “only you can stop it.” Afterwords, when Matt finally does, he looks really pissed and Hiro gives him a funny “please don’t hurt me” look. I thought the thing was really funny, and it involved three of my favorite characters, so that made it even better.

Grade: B+
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Justin Timberlake shows up on 'Saturday Night'

Justin Timberlake excited the viewers of Saturday Night Live's 'Weekend Update' on Saturday. Timberlake came on as a compromise for backing out of hosting next week's program. It's a shame he wasn't able to considering the mayhem he caused the two other times he took on the hosting role. Four words: "D*** in a Box."

For his piece, Timberlake came on the fake news and did a three minute montage of what his hosting contribution would be.

Here is the clip of his first appearance on the program:

He may not be very good at doing his impression of the target lady, but Timberlake truly shows his talent for acting, voice parody and musical talent in 180 seconds.

His next cameo came in the form of a skit with Beyonce, Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg and Bobby Moynihan. Beyonce played herself filming a music video for her single, "Single Ladies." Rudd was the director. Samberg, Timberlake and Moynihan were backup dancers complete with turtleneck leotards and black high heels. Samberg's thunder thighs sure were a highlight. It is an absolute shame nbc.com and hulu.com neglected to release the videos online.

To make up for it, here's a refresher on Timberlake's tried and true hit, just for old time's sake:

(It's the censored version, so it's safe for work.)

Briana Monasky can be reached at bmonasky@statehornet.com.

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"Heroes" Episode 9

Chapter 9 “It’s Coming”

Spoiler Alert

Ando tries to help Hiro to relearn his powers and get his memory back. Sylar and Elle confront each for the first time since their encounter a year before. Nathan and Tracy confront Arthur. Claire and Peter run from villains Flint and Knox. Matt tries to take Angela out of her coma.

• After witnessing the past, Hiro is found by Arthur, who shows up out of no where, and begins mind wiping him. While Arthur stops to look at a painting Utsu made of an eclipse, Hiro and Ando escape to a bowling/waffle place in Tokyo. Unfortunately, Hiro thinks he’s 10-years-old, and Ando has to teach him his powers again. (There’s a great moment when Ando tells him his power, and Hiro says “That’s stupid power I've ever heard of.) When Hiro learns his powers, he takes them to a comic book store, where they find the “9th Wonders” comic book (remember that the pre-cog in the first season, Isaac Mendez, wrote and illustrated the comic book before he was killed) that shows them in the same situation they are now — word for word. I thought having Hiro think he was 10 was a clever idea, providing some great comedic lines. That said, however, it seemed a little out of place within the gist of the rest of the episode. Hiro and Ando were always used as comedic relief, but at least they were trying to be serious. Everyone else is doing all this heroic stuff and Hiro’s throwing spitballs and stuffing himself with waffles. It seemed a little ridiculous.

• Turns out Arthur knew that Sylar kept Peter from dying when Sylar threw him out the window. He wants to teach his son how to gain powers without cutting off people’s heads — through empathy. He puts Sylar in a locked room with Elle, the lighting chick, cuffed to the floor. Seeing him (remember, Sylar killed her father), she zaps him with all she’s got. This goes on for a little bit, and Sylar just stands there and takes it the whole time. Finally, Elle lets so much into him that they both collapse. Elle begs for him to killer and “make the pain stop.” Instead, Sylar takes off her cuffs, and says that he can’t kill her — one, because he wants to be a good person and two, because she saved his life in the past. He forgives her for basically helping the Company use him as a guinea pig, and that she needs to forgive herself. She does rather quickly. Elle’s pain stops and it turns out Sylar has the electricity power. It ends with Elle teaching him a few lightning tricks. I think it’s safe to assume from this point on, we can safely call Sylar by his born name, Gabriel. “Sylar” is associated with slicing people’s head open, and “Gabriel” isn’t. Since Gabriel found a new way to control the hunger, I find it hard to see him returning to the “dark side.” I thought the Elle/Gabriel scenes were great. They really have a lot in common (both have screwed-up parents, both are extremely powerful, both are dying for some affection, etc.), and it’ll be interesting so see where they go from here. Elle is the mosther of Future Gabriel’s son, for sure.

• Mohinder is trying out Formula H on a test subject, but it’s not working the way it should — the subject has some kind of barnacles all over his face. Mohinder tells Papa P that they need some kind of catalyst to make it work. But this catalyst is not something — it’s someone. I’m glad that the Formula H is not as easy to make as it seems. But I have to say that the test subject was the ugliest being that I've ever seen

• Matt and Daphne go to the Company headquarters, where they find it virtually empty. In an interesting twist, Matt sees Usutu, and he follows him to the coma-induced Mama P. Daphne goes to Papa P and tells him that Matt is trying to help his wife. She wants him to leave Matt out of it. She runs back, and Matt invades Mama P’s mind. In a rather cool dream sequence, he finds Angela chained to a chair in a locked room. Suddenly, a vision of Daphne shows up, and stabs Matt. Back in the real world, Matt begins to bleed for real. Real Daphne enters the dream too, and tells him to wake up. The Dream Daphne turns into Papa P, and tells Matt that Daphne told him were he was. The real Daphne says that she “couldn’t go back to her old life,” but she didn’t want him killed, either. She admits she loves him. The scene changes to an office, where Angela tells Arthur that they were once like that, and that deep down, he still loves her, and for him to let her go. Arthur does, unexpectedly. I’ve said before that I really Matt and Daphne together, but I admit that Daphne's confession is … a bit sudden. I can somewhat see why on Matt’s part — he’s so enchanted by their life together in the future, so that somewhat quickens his like for her — but I had expected a bit longer wait before Daphne said it. I guess the fact someone cares for deeply for her might quicken the affection. I thought Arthur letting Angela go was not something I thought would happen. Since she’s awake, she can try to stop him, and he’s been dead set against taking down those against him from the beginning. I’m thinking we’ll see more of “Ghost Usutu” in the future.

• Nathan and Tracy go to Pinehearst to confront Arthur. Arthur tells him he wants to give half the world powers and have Nathan as president. Nathan isn’t sure, since the last time he listened to one of the Company elder’s, he almost helped blow up New York. He flies away to the Company Headquarters to see his mom, and that Tracy should go to Washington. Instead, in the weekly “w.t.h. moment,” she heads upstairs to Papa P, and says that right now Nathan’s on a fence, and that she can push him to the “right side.” I’m really starting to appreciate Nathan a lot more than I have in the past. He really does want to the right thing, but unlike Peter, he tends to learn from his past and think things through before taking action. I totally didn’t expected Tracy’s turnaround though — I wonder what she has cooked up.

• Peter and Claire are still in an apartment, and Peter tells his niece to go home. Claire, of course, doesn’t want to. Flint and Knox show up, and they escape to a sewer. Claire tells Peter to leave and that she’ll hold them off. Turns out they’re not after Peter, but her instead. As they make their way out of the sewers, Peter stops them, and Flint tries to light up, but they realize too late Peter’s let a gas pipe. While the fire flames at the villains, Claire ducks and they’re off to the Company headquarters. There, they run into Matt, Daphne, and Angela. Angela tells them about the catalyst, and that Kaito (Hiro’s father) is the only person who knew it was. Claire thinks it’s her. I’m really starting to recognize a pattern when it comes to Claire: she tries to fight — she gets captured — she gets saved. Talk about same old, same old. I almost want to see the badass Claire of the future — at least she could handle a gun. I’m not sure whether I’m quite ready to believe she’s the catalyst, because it almost seems too obvious.

• In Pineheart, Arthur, with his new pre-cog abilities (taken assumedly from Peter), to draw a picture of an eclipse. In the first season, most the powers seemed to manifest during the last eclipse, and from the promo for next episode, the phenomenon will have the opposite effect. I'm actually really interested in how this goes, because they've had their powers for two years, enough to get use to them — now they have to go back to being "normal." Oh the angst!

• There's a really cool ending where the villains march in a room, one by one, between shots of the heroes in Angela Petrelli’s room. Right now, the two sides appears to stand as follows: Team Company has Nathan, Peter Matt, Daphne, and Claire, with Angela Petrelli as team captain. Meanwhile, Team Pinehearst has Knox, Flint, Sylar, Elle, and Tracy, with team captain Arthur Petrelli. Time will only tell if these will be the same team that face off during the inevitable “Big Battle." Because you can't have teams like this and not have a battle.

Praise: I really enjoyed this episode. It was nice seeing all these characters intertwining in some really interesting ways, and then most of them come together into a larger group. The small “Villain-hero” montage at the end was probably one of the coolest "curtain-closes" to a “Heroes” episode that I’ve seen since the show’s beginning. I’ve been saying it — “Heroes” is back on track.

Complaints: Like I said, Hiro’s subplot seemed a little “out there” within the context of the rest of the episode.

Favorite Part: Loved the Gabriel/Elle scenes. In real life, the actors who play them are really great friends, and that might add to the excellent chemistry they seem to have. And it showed that whatever side he’s on, Gabriel has really turned over a new leaf.

Grade: A

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"Heroes" Episode 8

Chapter 8 “Villains”

Spoiler Alert

Synopsis: Hiro experiences his spirit walk by witnessing the past. Eighteen months ago, Mama and Papa Petrelli try to kill each other. A year ago, Claire’s mom is separated from her brother, one of the level 5 escapees. A year ago, we find out Sylar and Elle have a history.

• In a cool twist, the into credits with the “Heroes” title and eclipse was replaced with a “Villains” title and the genome symbol. So ultimately, not only was this the name of the episode, but the name of the “show.” I can see why, since the heroes were pretty much in the back seat throughout the whole episode.

• We first go back 18 months, to the relationship between Mama and Papa Petrelli. Turns out that Papa P. was trying to kill Nathan for digging into the illegal business he was dabbling in with Linderman. But the attempt failed, and while the two men were discussing it, Angela overhears. Somehow Papa P. already had a Parkman-like ability, and uses these mind powers to control his wife into forgetting/agreeing with what he has to do – including that Nathan has to die.

• Linderman, in a weird stroke of pity (I think he did it because he wanted Arthur out of the way), uses his healing power to fix Mama P's brain so she remembers everything. She poisons Arthur to keep him from killing Nathan. This was kind of interesting, because it seems like even though sometimes she has nothing but contempt for her sons. But she does really care about them. Unfortunately, instead of killing Arthur, he goes into the bedridden paralysis we first met him in.

• Go back a year, and we find out Flint, the fire-handed escapee from Level 5, and Meredith, Claire’s biological mom, are brother and sister. When the two of them are robbing a store, Meredith is captured by a man from the Company, Thompson, and is convinced to become an agent, even though she hates the Company. Things are going fine until she sees that they captured her brother too, where he’s told he’ll be an agent too. Thing is, she knows he’s out of control, so she breaks him out (one of the best lines from the episode is from Meredith during this scene: “What did Daddy tell you? ‘God gave you a big sister, instead of a brain'”), and the two of them escape on a train. They’re followed by Thompson, and while Flint escapes, Meredith is captured again. She says the reason she hates the company is that they killed her little girl, Claire. Thompson, knowing Claire is not dead, let’s Meredith go.

• At the same time the Flint/Meredith business is happening a year ago, Gabriel, who we know as Sylar, is about to hang himself after his first kill. Elle, the lighting chick, saves him just in time. Oddly though, she seems to show empathy for the first time ever when Gabriel’s moaning about killing a guy with a power he wanted. The two of them actually seemed to like each other. Of course, Elle is working with Noah Bennet, a.k.a HRG, who’s watching their exchanges through a camera in the wall. HRG says they need to see his power in action, and to do that, Gabriel needs to kill again. Elle doesn't want too, but brings in a guy named Trevor who looks like he can shoot invisible bullets with his fingers. While Elle gushes all over Trevor, Gabriel gets jealous and begins his head slicing thing. Elle escapes, but not before Gabriel figures out she has a power too (up until now, Elle pretended not to). And thus we find out that the killing spree Sylar is so famous for was caused by Elle and HRG.

• Quick theory: Remember the episode that took place in the future, where it shows Sylar had a son? The fact that Elle and Sylar had a history might prove that Elle is that boy’s mom. And now in the present, Elle and Sylar are both in Pinehearst — I’m looking forward to an interesting confrontation between the two of them.

• After Hiro wakes up from witnessing all this, there’s a scream, and we see a headless Usutu. Then Papa P. pops out from no where, and takes a hold of Hiro’s head, and we leave him screaming in pain.

Praise: I really liked seeing more of the villains pasts, and really explained some of the motives surrounding these characters. Funnily enough, when I first heard there was Papa P. with powers in the first season, I always imagined him as the “Good One,” while his wife — considering she tried to help blow up New York in the first season — was the “Bad One.” I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mama P. is Slim Shady compared to “Mambo Bad” Papa Petrelli. Watching the relationship between the two added a whole new dimension to Angela especially. I also liked the references they made to some of the episodes in the first season — such as the train wreck where Claire rescued a passanger — it brought back a lot of memories.

Complaints:: It seemed to be another one of the slow down episodes we’ve been experiencing the last couple of weeks.

Favorite Parts: the scenes with Mama and Papa P. together were really cool.

Grade: A-
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