Hereoes – Cautionary Tales aired in the US on 11/19/07 on NBC
This week’s episode began with Claire’s story. When we last left Claire, she and West had pulled a reckless stunt to embarrass the head cheerleader which had gotten them noticed in the paper. Her dad reacts strongly for a number of reasons, Claire has compromised their cover, she has a boyfriend and her dad is also reacting to Isaac’s painting that depicts him dead having been shot. The episode begins with the Butler family packing and getting ready to move, again. Claire comes downstairs in her Cheerleader uniform and says that she is going to school that she is not going to move with them and there is nothing they can do about it. You have to admire such bold teenage angst, all that was missing was her stomping her feet and holding her breath. HRG and Claire get into a heated argument; Claire tells her dad “I hate you!” and leaves. My wife and I sat there yelling at the TV you selfish girl, he is doing all of this for you, he is trying to keep you alive. I sat there and wondered if there was millions of teenage girls around the world at the same time going “he is so mean to her, why can’t he let her be happy?”
She meets up with West and assures him that yes her dad is the same man that kidnapped him as a boy but she is not a spy and that she is just a cheerleader who likes a boy. She tries to convince him that she is staying in spite of her family moving because she wants to be with him. This is indicative of all of the immature decisions that Claire has made throughout the series. Her motivations are always self centered and short sighted. Like any teenager her decisions are based on what best serves herself in the given moment without much forethought about the consequences. For example, if she stays, where will she live, how will she afford to eat, does she think that West’s parents are simply going to let her move in? Throughout this and last season, my wife and I are constantly irritated by Claire’s thought process.
Before we continue with Claire and HRG’s story I would like to touch on the two other plotlines that ran this week. The first one involves Matt Parkman the police officer who can read minds, and now much more. We find out early in this episode that Parkman has learned that he can implant thoughts in people’s minds in fact to some extent he can control their minds. What a slippery slope, this can be a shortcut he uses in so many circumstances and before you know it he is trying to control everyone. I think that this is going to lead to some very bad choices by Parkman in the near future.
He is trying to identify all of the people in the photograph of the company. He goes to Angela Petrelli in prison to get her to give him names. He uses his new ability to try and force her to give him honest answers. She knows exactly what he is doing and resists strongly to the point that it begins to do physical harm to her body. He tells her that he wants to know who the last lady in the photograph is, she tells him that “if you take this secret from me, you are not as bad as your father… you ARE him.” We see the dramatic pause and showdown between the two characters and the scene cuts away, however, later on in the episode we see that he has in fact identified the woman; we are left to assume that he took it from Angela. As I stated earlier, a slippery slope having that kind of power. The woman’s name in the photograph is Victoria Pratt.
There is a bit of a parallel between Matt and Claire at this point. Angela tells Parkman that her generation did and sacrificed so much to try and shelter his generation from all the things that were coming to pass and he should show a little respect for what they sacrificed. Just like Claire Parkman’s decisions are impulsive and made to satisfy his needs at the moment without thinking about the long term consequences of abusing his new power.
I am going to briefly touch on Hiro’s storyline this week, I thought that it was pretty poorly written, not from a dialogue perspective per-say but just in that they wrapped things up too tidily and to quickly. Hiro goes back to save his father and prevent his death. He meets up with him on the roof of the Deveaux building. He explains to his father that he is there to save his life; his father tells him that his abilities do not allow him to play God. If it is his fate to die that day then Hiro should let that come to pass. Through a rushed sequence that involved Hiro having a conversation with his younger self he discovers that his father is right and that he cannot play God. He returns his father to the Deveaux building and witnesses the hooded man throwing him off the roof, however, he does freeze time long enough to find out who the hooded man is and sure enough it is Kensei/Adam Monroe. At this point I would just like to point out that I predicted this was the case weeks ago and was in fact correct (pat on back).
Back to Claire and HRG; HRG goes to find West. He wants West’s help in convincing Claire that she needs to leave town to be safe. Bob, Elle, and Mohinder have arrived in town and are looking to separate Claire from HRG long enough to grab her without incident. Bob and Elle however are more inclined to simply kill HRG and be done with it. HRG does in fact find West at the same time that Mohinder calls him to lure him into the trap. He tells HRG that West is at a specific location, the irony being that Claire’s dad is standing next to West at a different location. It is at this point that HRG realizes Mohinder is setting him up and that the danger Claire is in has just escalated. He asks West to help him spring the trap and they go together to meet Mohinder.
Mohinder and Elle attempt to capture HRG, however, with West’s help the tides are reversed and HRG captures Elle. Meanwhile Bob has captured Claire and is holding her hostage, he is also taking blood samples from her to use in experimentation. With both fathers holding the other’s daughter hostage, they negotiate a swap; Claire for Elle.
The plan is that West will fly in and take Claire to safety and HRG will kill Bob, things go only slightly according to plan but HRG breaks rule #1. When you are going to kill someone, particularly shoot them, if you go into a monologue of any kind you are going to get killed yourself. HRG begins his monologue explaining that by killing Bob he can bring down the company and keep his family from having to always be running. His monologue, as always is too long, he should have just shot him, no use explaining your motives to someone who will be dead in two seconds. Consequently, he gives Mohinder enough time to react and shoot HRG fulfilling painting number 8 in the series painted by Isaac Mendez.
West takes Claire home safely which I found completely unrealistic. If the company really was concerned with capturing Claire, they would know that after seeing her father die the first place she would go is home. They could easily swing by and pick her up there. Anyway, there is a scene outside of Claire’s house where she tells West about the last thing she told her father being “I hate you!” I wondered what the millions of teenage girls around the world were saying at that moment?
Never fear boys and girls, HRG is not dead. Claire’s blood is injected into his body and it immediately heals itself and he finds himself a captive of the company and that is how this week’s episode ended.
So what is next? I think that quite possibly the Haitian is going to help HRG get out of the company’s facility. I still hold fast to the fact that West is a bad guy, there is something we don’t know about him, something big. You also have to figure that pretty soon here Nathan and Peter will reunite. The thing that I am curious about is what happens next with Parkman. He is the only one who is really trying to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and he is making pretty good progress, how is that going to play out?
Well the good news is that the writers and studio execs are going back to the negotiation table the Monday after thanksgiving. This gives a shred of hope to the fact that the season may not end in two weeks but go back to the original 22 episode schedule. Keep your fingers crossed.
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