The second episode of the "Fugitives" arc was entitled "Trust and Blood." And, well, the episode featured very little of the former and buckets of the latter. Nathan's ultimate plan of containment seems futile at this point, with the less-than-spectacular plane crash (apparently too spectacular to, you know, actually show) leading to a series of events that has both sides well beyond the point of negotiation.
[More, including spoilers, after the bump...]
Casting aside the fact that only Claire has Wolverine-like healing abilities, the heroes aboard Petrelli Airways managed to emerge unscathed from the crash caused by Peter's unfortunate freezing of its hull mid-flight. The Hunter's goons were soon on the scene, but were no match for Mohinder's mouth breathing, as he, Hiro, and Parkman fled to safety. Elsewhere near the crash, Noah let Peter go after repeated pleas from Claire. Just after this, The Hunter ordered an air strike to cover up any evidence of the plane crash.
The Hunter, Noah, and Nathan spent the majority of the episode going over the "rules" of this season's plot. Nathan wants to round up all the heroes into a type of Gulag situation outlined in the graphic novel "Kingdom Come." Noah wants his family, especially Claire, to stay out of harm's way. And The Hunter: he just wants to kill people and throw around words like "terrorist" and generally act like every other evil military man you've seen in a few hundred other films and television series. Personally, I was ecstatic to learn Zeljko Ivanek was joining the cast as a heavy, but the only thing heavy about his character is the heavy-handed dialogue they've saddled him with so far.
While escaping from the crash site, Parkman received a vision from…well, wherever visions come from in the "Heroes" universe. He jotted down several drawings, one of which represented the "no turning back" moment of the season: the death of Daphne. Now, I wasn't the biggest Daphne fan, and Lord knows Parkman had more romantic chemistry with Ando than with her, but I'll miss the energy her character brought to the show. Throw in the fact that the show never gave us a proper moment of finality between Daphne and Matt and you have a wasted death in my books
What that death did allow, besides said critical moment, was a blisteringly awesome moment in which Parkman gave in to the dark side lurking beneath his moral veneer. Taking over a soldier's mind was something I kept waiting for Parkman to do, but more in a "these are not the droids you're looking for" way, NOT "I'm going to use you to kill off your fellow soldiers" way. While "Heroes" is notoriously awful at keeping anything close to a semblance of continuity, the show has always shown hints of Parkman's slippery slope towards becoming every bit his father's son.
And since we're here in terms of continuity, here's this week's biggest gripe: in convincing Ando of Hiro's well-being upon arriving in Arkansas, Daphne told Ando that Hiro couldn't be dead, because Ando kills him in the future. Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down there, now-dead Daphne. That time of causality might fly in Lost, where there's a single street of time, but "Heroes" has created the equivalent of Boston's Big Dig in terms of timelines. Ando no longer kills Hiro in the future, thanks to the destruction of the formula at the end of Volume III. That future no longer happens, along with the one in which Daphne dies while accompanying Evil Claire as Good Sylar goes supernova. Aaaaand look, now my brain is leaking out from my ears.
Speaking of Sylar, his search for his father continued in New Jersey. But instead of finding his father, he found the maladjusted, microwave-hands version of Robin to accompany his mass-murdering Batman. The boy in question, Luke Campbell, would have a personal ad that would read: "Likes: Melting objects, disabling pacemakers. Dislikes: Mothers, this whole hellish world." He pulls an Anakin (not Luke) Skywalker by killing Special Agent Simmons and potentially sparing Sylar's life, leading the two traveling down the road to what's ostensibly the home of not only Sylar's father, but Luke's as well. Sylar taking on an apprentice reeks of the Magneto/Pyro relationship in "X-Men 2," but then again, most of "Fugitives" reeks of that movie, so we shouldn't be terribly surprised.
All the way on the other coast, Claire found herself back at home, with Mom and Mr. Muggles. She's upset that she's out of the fray, and resigned to her fate. But soon, help calls (or texts, more accurately) as someone named "Rebel" with the message: "There is hope. You can still fight back." Right about then I screamed at the television, "If you bring back West I'm so breaking up with you, Heroes." And much like no one puts Baby in a corner, no one puts Claire Bear in a Costa Verde. How she'll get back in the fray from such a distance is anyone's guess, but never underestimate Claire's sense of self-importance. She'll be in the thick of things before too long.
After escaping Nathan's trap by absorbing his brother's flying ability, Mr. I Can Only Have One Power At A Time Now helps form the first superhero group of the show. Now, last week, I mentioned I was excited about finally seeing the various heroes on the show team up and work together. But that's before I learned said group would consist of Peter, Ando, Parkman, a neutered Hiro, and Mohinder. Not exactly a murderer's row, there. Peter can only borrow powers, Ando can only augment powers, Parkman's too down in the dumps to use his powers, Hiro has no powers, and Mohinder is just an awful human being who should have died instead of Daphne.
Then again, these five don't have to do anything terrifically amazing to stop this mass ethnic cleansing from happening. All they have to do is what Tracy FINALLY did at episode's end: call out Nathan's powers at a decibel level heard by more than dogs. If one more person whispered to Nathan about his ability while eight people in earshot could hear, I was going to scream. If this were a show like "Battlestar: Galactica," the show could make some provocative statements about someone from a "different" background eliminating those of his/her own kind. There's incredible drama to be mined from that situation. But in "Heroes," it's not so much dramatically interesting as narratively improbable.
Are you sold on this volume yet, or ready to check out? Is Sylar's side quest a saving grace or merely disconnected from everything else? And what should the newly formed supergroup be called?
Ryan also writes about television and pop culture at Boob Tube Dude.