Monday, February 26, 2007

Heroes, Ep 17: Company Man
Wow. Best episode of Heroes we’ve seen this year. Was it because there was no Ando/Hiro action? No Niki? I think, quite simply, it was just great storytelling. And, like Lost, it revealed answers while creating new questions.

For anyone who said last week that it seemed out of character for Matt to be pointing a gun at Lyle, we see this week that it was a really difficult decision for him to be involved in putting the family in jeopardy at all. Bennet finally figures out that Claire has spoken to the Haitian and that he didn’t erase her memory, because Matt reads her mind and says it aloud. Claire opens up to Matt that her dad isn’t a paper salesman, committing the ultimate betrayal to her dad. Eventually Matt realizes Ted is far more dangerous than any of them, and he joins forces with Bennet and Claire to try to stop Ted. But when Ted catches on, and freaks out, they all risk dying. Claire, Matt, and Ted are all joined in that they are “different,” they seek answers, and they blame Bennet for who they’ve become. But Bennet won’t make it that easy for them – what he does at the end is an incredible sacrifice.

What was revealed: Bennet was hired as regional manager of Primatech Paper 15 years ago. But he was no Michael Scott – he knew from the beginning that Primatech was just a cover-up for an organization that looked into how the species was evolving, and why strange mutations were showing up in human DNA. Eric Roberts, looking a LOT older than his younger sister Julia, plays the head of Primatech. HRG clearly knows what’s up, agreeing that outside people cannot know what they’re doing, and that they cannot know what measures they’ll take to keep the world safe. Roberts tells him he’ll have to deal with things that are morally grey, and that he’ll have a partner who is “one of them.” HRG is all talk, and THINKS he knows what they really do, but when Claude Rains suddenly appears in the office, the way HRG jumps up from the desk and looks completely shocked makes me think he has no idea what he’s getting into. Bennet is given Claire to raise, with the suspicion that she might “manifest” one day, and if she does, he’s to immediately turn her over. Obviously, his fatherly love gets in the way of that. Claude, too, begins to question what they’re doing, and he hides one of “them,” and Bennet is asked to kill him, which he follows through on (or so he thinks).
-Mrs. Bennet’s memories have been erased for 14 years

Great moments: Ted picking up Mr. Muggles, Matt saying, “Don’t!” and Ted looking at him and saying, “I’m not going to NUKE THE DOG.”
-Matt shooting Claire. The scene is full of tension, and the effect on Mrs. Bennet is unimaginable. -Ted going completely radioactive in the house.
-Claire walking outside, half-immolated, and healing right in front of everyone
-Claire handing Bennet the horn-rimmed glasses, making him who he’s become today
-the Haitian erasing HRG’s memories, right after he says one last goodbye to his “Claire Bear.” How painful is that?! It’s like that episode of Angel, “I Will Remember You,” where Angel becomes human and Buffy and Angel have this amazing time together doing everything they couldn’t when he was a vamp, and then he has to erase her memory, while holding onto the memory himself. The next time HRG finds Claire, if he does, she’ll be just another mutant to him. I don’t think I can take it… this is Joss Whedon-type pain. SUCH a good ending!

Big questions: -What the heck was Hiro’s dad doing on the roof of Isaac’s building? What is his involvement with Primatech and what they do? Is Hiro really his son, or was he, too, asked to adopt a child and turn him over if he manifests? Why did he go so quietly back to Japan if he thought for an instant that his son – rattling on about his mission – might be one of “them”?
-How did Bennet first find out what Primatech did, and how did he become involved with them?
-Why does Primatech seek to destroy certain “mutants,” yet allows others (Claude, the Haitian, Eden, that woman in the lab at the end) to join forces with them? Do they choose the powers that could help rather than hurt?
-did HRG really bring Ted back his file, or was it fake? At the company he says he’s not going to give Ted the truth, he’s giving him a tranquilizer. Matt and the Haitian seem to argue that Ted really does need the truth, so does he give in?
-The Haitian says he spared Claire because he answers to someone who has more power than HRG, in Claire’s life. Who is it, Claude? Is he somehow still in contact with the Haitian?
-Who was Claude hiding? Was it Claire? How did he survive getting shot twice and falling that far off the bridge to solid ground? Did he actually fall, or because he went invisible did he actually grab the ledge and move to the side so HRG couldn’t shoot him again?
-did Lyle really call the police, or was the call immediately diverted to Roberts?
-why didn’t HRG and Matt have worse radiation burns?
-did Claire get the tranquilizer into Ted, or did he die? What if the reason everyone had to save the cheerleader to save the world is because she has some sort of healing property? Could she be the cure they’re all looking for? Is there something in her that might help heal the others?
-where was Hana in all of this? She sent Matt and Ted on this mission and then disappeared.
-what is the special power of the woman in the lab at the end?


leor said...

my question is how much of bennet's memory did the haitian erase? when i watched, i thought he was just going to erase his knowledge of his own betrayal, not the whole past 14 years. did i miss something that gave more of a clue?

great episode...can't wait to find out what happens next.

The Chapati Kid said...

I agree. I think he's probably erased the fact that he left with Claire, so that Bennett's mind can't be read by Parkman when they question him as to his daughter's and the Haitian's escape. That way, he can't be killed. Oh... what a BRILLIANT episode that was. I agree with you -- one of the best since the opening weeks of the show, when we were discovering all the cool powers these guys had. Now the story's actually, finally, going somewhere. I just loved that Bennett gets shown to be such a multidimensional character -- definitely one of the most interesting on the show -- along with Sylar, Claude, Claire, and Peter. I STILL think Mohinder has a power we don't know about. I hope he doesn't remain the token Indian scientist on the show and actually grows a pair (of powers, I mean) so he can fight evil with the rest of them. And I agree with you about George Takei -- what's up there? Maybe he loves his son too? Or knows that his son can't do harm? Or has an idea of what his son's setting out to do? Weird. And even better -- have you seen Takei's PSA on Tim Hardaway? YouTube it. It's hilarious. Oh wait, here you go:

Nikki Stafford said...

Hmm... you guys are probably both right (I've been watching too much Buffy, apparently). Less dynamic ending to me, in that case. I figured if the Haitian erased Claire completely, then when he went back to Primatech and said, "Claire who?" Roberts would say, "Egads, man, the Haitian has erased your memory!!!" and it would be really obvious. But you're right; if he just erases the betrayal, then HRG won't ever turn on Claire, which is a good thing... actually, I guess it doesn't guarantee that. If the Haitian erases his betrayal, could it instead look like Claire betrayed him? In which case HRG might actually go after Claire. Hmm... And no, I didn't think he'd erase the past 14 years, just the parts with Claire in it. It might be less painful to have never known her at all than to know her and lose her. It depends on how far he's willing to go.

Anonymous said...

When I see Bryan Fuller's name on an episode, I know it's going to be good. Same with Jeph Loeb.

I don't know if you watch Doctor Who, but having The Master (Eric Roberts) and The Doctor (Chris Eccleston)in the same scene was a definite fangirl squee moment.

I think the episodes are much stronger when they don't try to cram every cast member into them.

Nikki Stafford said...

Colleen: You know, my hubby's the Dr. Who guy, and this was the first ep of Heroes I didn't watch with him, so I completely missed the fangirl moment. :( I agree; I really do think part of the charm of this ep was just focusing on one storyline. That said, they still managed to get 3 heroes in there (5 if you count Claude and mini-Gameboy-Hiro) so I think finally bringing these people together will make for fewer storylines, and more indepth ones. :)

Anonymous said...

This was def the best episode of the year so far. I really liked the way they played out HRG's back story. It was very interesting to see his previous interactions with Hiro's father and the invisible man. As much as I love LOST, Heroes is succeeding where they are failing this year, and that's good storytelling.
Do we think that the person in Claire's life that the Haitian answers to is someone we already know? Could some one else be involved that we didn't think of before?

The Chapati Kid said...

Oh, and according to the previews for next week, we finally get to see Linderman! And Mohinder is doing something very strange to Sylar!

Anonymous said...

The last two episodes of Heroes have been my favorites of the entire season! And I agree with Jeff that they are succeeding to create excitement, answers and intrigue where Lost has failed. I think they are answering big questions and not just promising to answer them like Lost does.

That new girl looks an awful lot like a clone of Eden, I hope they do not introduce too many new characters.

They did something in one episode that I totally didn't expect: they made me sympathize with HRG/Bennet. They created an entirely new dimension for this character with this flashback and I loved seeing Claude and Hiro's dad on the episode!!!

I hope HRG/Bennet isn't going to forget his Claire bear...sigh...that would be so sad!!!

C'mon Lost! Get it in gear! You have a few lessons to learn from Heroes!

Nikki Stafford said...

Chapatikid: There were no previews at the end of mine. :( I'll have to youtube it, because C. was just telling me about it, too.

As for comparing Lost to Heroes, the one thing we have to remember is, first season of Lost ROCKED on every level. Fantastic storytelling, dynamic characters, fast-moving plots, lots of mysteries, lots of answers, more questions, etc. etc. Let's wait until Heroes gets to season 3, where most shows face gluts because of having the same characters for 3 years and THEN we can compare the two shows. :) Until then, I'm with Colleen: I love Lost, and I'm keeping the faith that it'll deliver.

But as I've said in many interviews I've done recently where the interviewer's asked me about Heroes, you can only compare first seasons of shows, not the first vs. third. Just my thoughts.

Roland: I agree the new girl looks a little like Eden; I thought she looked a LOT like Hana, too!

Jeff: Really good question re: the Haitian. Who are we missing?

My theory: It's all Locke's dad. He's behind everything. ;)

The Chapati Kid said...

Maybe they'll start doing one-season or two-season tv series now...

Anonymous said...

I've noticed a trend over recent episodes. The heroes are being cutoff from their non-hero support cast. Matt loses his job with Audrey. Hiro cuts Ando loose. The fight between Peter and Issac results in Simone's death. And now Claire has been cut off from her family.

This does not bode well for Matt and Nathan's marriages.

Also, a couple weeks ago, I got the impression George Takei knew more about Hiro and his powers, but figured I was just reading too much into it. In light of last night's ep however....