So THAT is what a good episode of “Heroes” looks like! I had to wipe my glasses down a few times, because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Did this reach the glorious heights of Season 1? Well, not quite, but this episode, entitled “Cold Snap,” came damn close. Why? Because long-time characters suddenly remembered how they used to act, and the show remembered that having a show populated with powerful people is more interesting when they exhibit said powers. The result? A super-charged episode that almost super-charged my tear ducts by episode’s end.
Read on for spoilers that are cold as ice.
As Danko’s obsession started to reach a fever pitch, several of our favorites found themselves in harm’s way this week. Let’s break them down story-by-story.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled heroes
We saw something in Angela Petrelli’s eyes we have rarely seen before tonight: desperation. Sure, Arthur brought fear into those eyes, but we’ve never quite seen the “deer in headlights” look she sported after Noah informed her that going home wasn’t such a good idea anymore. Up until that point, she seemed like the calm one, with Noah forgetting his umbrella and incurring Greg Brady-esque shaving cuts on his face. She suggested giving Danko “Rebel” as a bargaining chip to earn The Hunter’s trust, but soon learned she was in more immediate danger than the technologically gifted trickster. With Nathan having revealed his power to Danko, all Petrellis are equal game.
She avoided initial capture through a conveniently timed prophetic dream, which enabled her to show up wet, disheveled, and altogether embarrassed in front of her old friend: Swoozie Kurtz, liberated from “Pushing Daisies” alongside the writer for this episode, Bryan Fuller. Swoozie’s character Millie looked at Drippy Angela the way one imagines her character usually looks at homeless people: with great disdain. Angela gets some money from her estranged friend, but it’s too little too late, as Danko’s men track her to a nearby elevator.
Danko’s troops manage to override the elevator, bringing her down to her imminent capture, when who should swoop in but Peter to save dear ol’ Mom’s life. All this after an episode spent convinced she had completely lost any affection her sons once had for her. Altogther now: awww. By episode’s end, they plan their next move: from inside the Statue of Liberty’s head. Well, that sure beats repurposing Isaac’s apartment for the thirty-seventh time.
Rebel rebel, your hair is a mess
The world’s worst mystery came to an end this week: yes, Micah=”Rebel.” “Who killed Laura Palmer?” this was not. Much more shocking? Micah’s voice! Because he looked essentially the same, I didn’t expect him to sound like James Earl Jones all of a sudden. But there he was, manipulating cameras, turning on fire alarms, and singing “Old Man River” all the while. OK, maybe not the last bit.
Why the focus on Tracy? Because Micah read up on her, through her bio and previous public policy work. Her leading Danko’s men straight to him gave him pause: apparently, he didn’t read up on the part where politicians lie and throw others under the bus to save their own skin. Their brief meeting in Season 3 (at Nikki’s funeral), however, apparently made enough of an impression for Tracy to actually perform an act for the greater good rather than for personal gain. And then ensued something that almost never, ever happens on the show: someone used their power in an intelligent, premeditated fashion.
So often in “Heroes,” the use of powers is either instinctual or used as a last resort. In Season 1, this made sense as people made sense of their powers and grappled with the morality of using them. But here at the end of Season 3? People should have learned more applications! That’s why it was fantastic to watch Tracy’s mind work, look at her surroundings, and use Micah’s ability to augment her own. Just perfect.
When Danko shot her, I wondered why “Heroes” likes killing Ali Larter so damn much. But we saw her icy self wink as her forehead dripped into the sewer. So I guess she’s Iceman meets a T-1000 now. Sure, that works. So Tracy lives to see another day, and after tonight, I’m actually glad. So long as she keeps going down the redemptive road laid out by Micah, I’m all for more Tracy.
The wheels on the barrow go round and round
Matt Parkman, Jr.: He’s Jack Jack from “The Incredibles” meets The Energizer Bunny meets that creepy kid from those E*Trade commercials! Hiro dubs him “Toddler Touch and Go,” which works fine I suppose. Not only can he turn the TV on when it’s not plugged in (that’s one energy efficient power), he can bring toys to life, and even powers back from the dead! That’s right, the show found a pretty ingenious way to give Hiro some of his stripped powers back through Matt Parkman Jr.’s healing hands.
Unfortunately, TTaG could only bring back Hiro’s time manipulation, not teleportation. This led to an incredibly funny sequence in which Hiro methodically and glumly wheeled Ando out of Janice’s apartment after a few dozen of Danko’s agents stormed the facility. Not sure how they found out about TTaG, unless he was part of the same wide net that sought to catch Angela as well. Looks like all blood relations of powered people are now enemies of the state. Next up: all their Facebook friends! So no, Micah, I don’t want you Super Poking me with your mind.
By episode’s end, Hiro and Ando have successfully evaded capture, but are no closer to finding Matt But that’s OK, as Matt was kinda busy having his heart broken this week.
We’ll always have (virtual) Paris
As part of her escape from Building 26, Tracy managed to wake up Mohinder and Matt from their sedated slumber. Parkman instantly rushed to Daphne’s side, and took her to a proper hospital. Once there, he used his powers to convince the on-call doctor not to report her gunshot wound to the authorities.
When Daphne wakes up, she’s in a hospital room adorned with well wishes for Gwen Stefani. Snicker. Daphne ain’t no hollaback girl, and she wasn’t too pleased about Matt using Janice’s name to check her in, nor a backstory that happened to Janice to explain how the gunshot wound was inflicted. Worried that their love is just the figment of some African mystic’s dream gas, she runs away at full speed.
She ends up in the same apartment from “Moulin Rouge,” seemingly, and even weirder, Matt follows her there almost instantaneously. Even weirder than that? He can suddenly fly. Whoa, that was a new one. And then I started to get a “Vanilla Sky” vibe, and sure enough, Paris is “Paris,” a mindscape implanted into Daphne’s subconscious. As they “fly” all “Superman Returns”-like over The Effaux Tower, she asks him to let her go. And right about then, it got damn dusty in my apartment. Cut back to Parkman over Daphne’s still body, in a hospital room that is dark, dingy, and Gwen-less. Remember the show “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose”? Well, Matt Parkman can’t win. Maybe meeting his son will finally turn things around for the poor guy.
Other tidbits from tonight’s ep:
- Loved Sylar’s “present” for Danko in the form of The Puppet Master. Looks like we’re going to have a “the enemy of my enemy is my furry eyebrowed friend” situation brewing between these two. Wonder if Danko develops an obsession with the seemingly perfect killing machine.
- No Claire, and the episode rocked. Coincidence? I think not.
- Nice of Mohinder to walk right into Danko’s trap. Next time, let’s hope Hiro’s nearby with a wheelbarrow to save him.
All in all, a nice return to form for the show. Hopefully, the rest of this volume takes the momentum and good will earned from this one and carries it through to the end. I’m skeptical, but still encouraged. And honestly, I’ll totally take that at this stage in the game.
Were you at all surprised by the identity of “Rebel”? Did Hiro’s antics with Matt Parkman Jr. delight or annoy? Did Peter actually do something awesome before our very eyes? And will you miss Daphne or be glad she’s gone for good?