Heroes – episode 14

“Distractions”

I really enjoyed the first half of Heroes. Since then we’ve suffered at the hands of an invisible Haggard-esque degaying of Zach (I don’t know: he still seems pretty gay to me), a general anti-climactic nature, boredom at the hands of Niki/Jessica, and the distinct impression that the writers are just throwing revelations at us for the sake of it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like Heroes; I just think that it’s incredibly silly. I’m good at taking silly things seriously, but come on: Hiro’s father is Mr. Sulu!

Spoilers!

Here’s your basic round up of this episode:

  • Hiro tricks his father into realising that his sister Kimiko is the business-minded member of the family;
  • Claire visits her birth mother, who spent a lot of time in Mexico and can create fires in her hands;
  • Sylar visits the Bennet household; Mrs. Bennet is totally fine with that until Sylar starts acting like a bizarre paedophile; telekinesis ensues;
  • The Tenth Doctor (The Invisible Man) acts like a dick to Peter, showing him Simone and Isaac in an innocuous situation and proceeds to push him off a building to awaken his latent powers;
  • Claire gets home from visiting her mother to realise that not only has something bad happened at home, but that the Haitian is really starting to suck at memory erasing;
  • Jessica goes on a pointless rampage; Niki gets let out of her padded cell by Linderman’s chief fat consort; Jessica traps Niki in a mirror somehow;
  • And, drum roll for revelation for revelation’s sake …

  • Nathan Petrelli is Claire’s father!
  • Dissecting Heroes makes me feel so cynical, but it’s at that point. It was cool that Peter demonstrated his magical regeneration ability rather than flying, but the way that he expressed it bordered on sugar overdose:

    I remembered Claire! She’s such a sweet kid! So all I needs ta do is remember the people I love and I can be super powered!

    So naturally Doctor Who punches him out. While I think that Doctor Who’s cynical plans to expose that Simone is a compassionate person turned ouit stupid (who would think that she would still have warm, non-sexual feelings for the man whom she loved for several years, who she saw through the worst of a heroin addiction, and who has gone clean and acknowledged that their relationship is no longer romantic? Probably everyone but Peter, who has been established as one of those “I loved you from the moment I saw you” types that exist only on TV and in the movies. In real life, they’re called stalkers), I do appreciate that he keeps Peter from floating away on his own tortured self importance.

    The Hiro side of the story is suffering from the impotence that Hiro himself is feeling. His quest for a McGuffin to boost his power is one of the oldest tricks in the book: he’ll eventually realise that the power he sought all along is self-confidence! I can understand that it would have been a big kick to his face that he couldn’t save Charlie from either brain cancer or Sylar (or her terribly pronounced Japanese, which she could get away with because she is prettier than Mr. Nakamura’s henchman), but he needs to get with the program! Linderman can’t give you your power! We haven’t even seen Linderman yet, Hiro! He is one of those unseen villains of villainous stance who does vaguely villainous things until Jessica kills him in another one of her pointless destructofests!

    So, Jessica/Niki’s story: the woman who wanted to integrate the personalities succumbs to the fate that she should have suffered in Little Miss Sunshine and Linderman busts her free. Hooray! Sadly, Niki has lost all of her strength of character and Jessica has become a caricature of violence. The idea that we got from the episode “Six Months Ago” was that Jessica was an overzealous protector of Niki. Now she’s just a crazy bitch who’ll do whatever she wants. This is not what I signed up for, Ali Larter! You can’t just have smug self-satisfaction and “oh noes!” faces! You get back in there and you ask for them to make your character more real! Violence is not a motivation!

    Moving onto Claire: yeah, sure, she’s no longer “check me out, I’m a freak!”, but now she’s got the whole “my father is a horn rimmed glasses wearing psychopath who solves all of his problems by using a Haitian who clearly has no passion for his work” thing going on, which means we get a lot of fake smiles from her.
    I have to wonder what Mr. Bennet did before he got the Haitian on side. I have to assume that he whacked people upside the back of the head with a jar containing a mix of peanut butter and mayonnaise, then proceeded to feed them the concoction (little known fact: peanut butter and mayonnaise will mess with your memory when consumed in tandem).
    Well, that makes about as much sense as any other mind wiping propositions you might have to share with me.
    Now that we know who Sylar is, now that he’s on the loose, and now that Eden is dead, he bores me. Hopefully Zach will accidentally run him over in his giant, standard issue SUV owned by all American high school students in recorded history. At least we’ve got the revelation that Claire’s father is Nathan Petrelli to sustain us for another week. Come on, you’ve got to admit that was a blatant attention grab. Besides which, how could that have escaped Mr. Bennet?
    I’ll tell you how: Heroes is made up as they go along!

    Who did we miss this week? Matt Parkman, of course! You’ll remember that we left him with the revelation that his wife was pregnant. I loved the surrealism of this scene:

    “Hey, honey, I’m suspended for the next six months!”
    “That’s great, ‘cause I’m pregnant!”
    “I love you!”
    “Hooray!”

    Maybe next week Matt will realise that money is required to support a family. Either that or his mind reading ability will allow him to resort to that ancient Heroes stand by: cheating at gambling.

    This episode is called “Distractions” and, just like the last two, it is a distraction from anything happening. Can we put Claire in mortal danger again so that the characters have a goal to aspire to? Peter’s “I don’t want to explode New York” aspiration isn’t quite cutting it for me.

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