Heroes: Shades Of Gray

Heroes: Shades Of Gray

When last we saw Matt Parkman, the guy with ostensibly one of the most powerful powers on Heroes, he was strapped with explosives in Washington DC—a heinous plot by Danko to frame him and make all the Heroes look like, umm, villains. Which leads me to a question of the type that the show often inspires: Why does Danko hate the heroes so much? Presumably he just learned about their existence a few months ago, and yet he’s had time to become some sort of raging racist against them? C’mon Danko—get to know a hero! Maybe one could get your cat out of a tree! You hate them so much that you were willing to die a few weeks ago just to prove your point? Did a hero steal your milk money or something?

Anyway, things go just fine for Parkman, as we knew they would. Danko is willing, of course, to kill Nathan Petrelli in the process, which is a slightly new revelation. We knew the guy was badass, but he’s going to give the order to set off the explosives with Nathan standing right there? That’s commitment, I guess. He apparently answers to no one. (Or something like that.) This was all a set up to bring Nathan back around to the side of the heroes, but at this point, will they even want him? He’s pulled the two-time too many times, and even though he ends up saving the lives of several heroes in this episode (Tracy, Parkman, and Claire at the end), why would they ever want to trust him again?

But it’s back to the heroes he must go, after Danko outs him as the flying super-duper man that he is. And all is right again in the world (or something). But holy crap that look ahead to the next episode (airing two weeks from tonight) has a little promise, doesn’t it? Sylar versus Danko? Naturally, Sylar should just wack him immediately, but something dumb will happen to keep Danko alive in that situation. Maybe those two will bond over being psychopaths. (Snooze.)

Speaking of bonding, Sylar found daddy! And daddy was on a really bad Hollywood set made to look like a crazy old taxidermist’s trailer. (Anybody else bothered by the set decoration here? It was just over the top, with everything looking fake dirty.) And Sylar’s dad, jeez. Like a wise old Charles Manson, with a little bit of crazy behind his eyes. When Sylar arrives, with murder in his heart, he’s saddened by the lack of challenge that Dad presents—he’s already dying of cancer, so he doesn’t even mind if Sylar kills him. (Reminds me of an old joke: The masochist says to the sadist, “Beat me, hurt me!” And the sadist replies, “No.”)

Sylar quickly learns that dad has abilities, too, but “hasn’t used them in years.” I call bullshit right there—if you had an ability like that, you’d be getting yourself beers from the fridge from three rooms away every damn night. When Daddy Sylar learns that Lil’ Stinker Sylar can heal, though, things change, and he goes on the attack. Naturally, Sylar just “plays possum” (okay, that was slightly badass), and overpowers Dad with his Jedi mind bullets. But then he lets him live! Because he wants dad to suffer with his cancer til the end. Bo-ring. The only thing more boring in this plotline will be if Dad is ever on the show again. Please, just let him die in his wise old trailer.

The other big cliffhanger at the end of last week’s episode involved pervy mind-control dude (character name: Eric Doyle) breaking into Claire’s house and stealing her microwave popcorn. (Dastardly!) It turns out that REBEL (I think Steve’s right that it’s Micah) has been in contact with Doyle, who’s on the run from the baddies. And why would Claire or anyone else want to help this psycho puppeteer? Because he apparently had some sort of epiphany, and he just wants to go back to his old life. And Claire’s big moment in the show is helping this asshole escape the authorities. All because he has a sob story about his theater being burned down? Claire, he tried to kill you. And he raped you with his eyes like six times. Let that fucker twist in the wind. But no, that’s not the Heroes way. And she’s not that kind of hero. She learned some shit about it while working (WTF?!?) at the comic-book store. Why is that better cover than just hanging out at home?

And one quick point on Doyle’s eventual escape: At the beginning of this volume, Danko’s teams were PREPARED to capture heroes. They had those wacky guns and full-body armor and there were like 20 of them. Why then would he send the good-looking duo from CSI: Costa Verde to pick up the guy who can control their every move? Why would the female agent walk up behind him and tell him to freeze? She knows his power, right? (Oh, it’s so Claire can save him and make a difficult decision, with no regard given to what makes sense or what’s happened in the past few weeks? Oh, okay, got it.)

On the plus side this week, still no Hiro and Ando!

Oh, and there was that crazy tease for the next episode, which packed about 25 plot points into 60 seconds. Sylar versus Danko looks good. Hiro and Ando versus Baby Parkman looks like Two Japanese Heroes And A Baby, and I predict that it’s going to be cutesy and interminable.

Grade: C

Stray observations:

-- How ’bout that new Star Trek trailer?

-- Sylar’s emotionally conflicted look is getting a little old. Let’s hope his emotional journey is over. I do predict that he’s going to come around permanently to the good guys eventually, don’t you?

-- “Cut the string.” Could that get any more on the nose, Mr. Sylar?

-- Why does Nathan have a toothpick in his mouth, hoss?

-- So even though we don’t know Rebel, he can just hook up weird pervy dudes with a new driver’s license? And then what, FedEx them?

-- In a strange twist of the word’s meaning, NBC says that the next episode can only be described as “classic.” Even though it hasn’t happened yet.

-- Hey look, it’s Parkman’s wife! Let’s hope she murders Daphne.