Vol.2 Chapter Four: The Kindness of Stangers

on October 17, 2007 in Uncategorized

Episode Four was a slower paced episode, speckled with jaw-dropping reveals. There were quieter, sadder moments like Nathan visiting his sons at school. Reminiscent of a Wes Anderson scene, his sad, shaggy face pressed through the bars to make weary promises that Daddy would be coming home soon.

Mama Petrelli was also worn down. The deaths of her son, Peter, and former lover, Kaito Nakamura, as well as the attempt on her own life have put this alternately tough and fragile spirit on the edge. She’s damaged and desperate enough to confess to a crime she didn’t commit, just to be protected, just to be redeemed. She’s resolved, but also scared; enough even to express her affection for Nathan and implore him to change the ways she herself instilled in him.

She also implored Parkman to stop investigating the case. Perhaps she knows more about him than his ability to read minds, but for the rest of us the first real jaw-dropper of this episode was that Matt’s Daddy was one of the original 12.

(Arguably, the first would be that the Wonder Twins came across Sylar passed out in the middle of a dirt road in Mexico—but that was just unexpected. And kind of weird.)

Immediately I have great love for the plucky Monica Dawson, cousin to Micah Sanders and hero-in-discovery. Played by Dana Davis (Malcolm in the Middle, Veronica Mars) the character comes across, as she herself puts it, “like a woman with a future.” I’m ecstatic to see such a determined woman on the series, but Kring & Co. need to be careful with gender and racial stereotypes. D.L. was an ex-con, Niki’s claim to fame is as a “single mother.” Monica works double shifts at a fast food establishment and has dreams of going back to college, but is burdened with financially supporting her extended family in the post-Katrina South.

These types of experience do exist in the real world, the problem is creating a show with diversity requires more than just showing a variety of color, gender, sexuality, and class. It’s a huge start, but it’s important to represent these lives as lives of complexity—not just reductionist descriptives. With such a large cast, it may be hard for the writers to step away from cliché, but with an episodic, certainly not impossible.

Monica does have a really cool power! She instantly picks up skills by watching them, much like Charlie could by reading. Talk about “educational TV!” The entertainment wrestling-style kick to the Burger Bonanza robber was particularly awesome.

(And I just have to point out how sweet it was when Micah tried to “fix” Monica’s sadness for her. I don’t think he’s ever experimented with his gift on humans before, or he certainly would have with his mom, but he seemed genuine in his compassion for his cousin. They’re both trapped in situations they don’t want to be in, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they find freedom, and perhaps even satisfaction, through use of their gifts.)

I’m disappointed in the wedge that’s been driven between Noah and Claire. They’d be a stronger unit if only they would just be honest with one another—but it turns out, Claire is just a good a liar as her daddy.

Sneaking out with West provided one likable West moment. He encouraged her to jump off the famous Hollywood sign because he wanted to see her powers. She did it because she was convinced he wouldn’t be offended by her post-injury appearance. When West caught her in mid-air he had a sweet, suave line:

“I know you can heal, Claire. But I never wanna see you hurt.” (awwww)

But I still feel like he’s bossy with her. You WILL go out with me tonight. You HAVE to jump off this sign so I know that you trust me. And she’s so young, so desperate for someone to talk to about these changes in her life that she’s letting him manipulate her. He could turn out to be a good thing for her. But he could easily turn out to be an enemy. I prefer to see Claire making choices for herself.

As for HRG, why doesn’t he talk to Claire about the newly-discovered painting? I know he’s trying to protect her and that one can’t trick or prevent fate. But the last time he was privy to this kind of information (precognitive painting courtesy of Mendez) he could have saved Claire some pain by sharing it with her.

The Cliffhanger

Parkman is desperate to find his father so he can warn him that the original “heroes” are dying/being killed. He asks Molly to locate him, but when she sees the photo of the 12 she begs him not to make her do it.

She eventually agrees, and as she zeroes in on Parkman senior it turns out that he is the Bad Man. Her body goes into shock as her psyche is kidnapped.

The episode ends, and the look on Parkman’s face is heartbreaking.

Next Week: Kristen Bell!!!!!!

Leave a Reply