Heroes 4-02 “Ink” (09/28/09-spoilers)

Our band of little mutants are back for another season of spending the first episode trying to live normal lives, then having that idea shot to hell about 28 minutes in. Sylar’s having his semiannual existential crisis about whether he can be a good person, except this time, he really doesn’t exist, except in the form of a pretty good person (by body count, at least). So he’s transferred all that angst to Nathan. Nathan (or reasonable facsimile therein) thinks he’s been behaving like a dick all his life so now he wants to make amends. Granted, it’s a lot easier to make amends when your regrets are about neglecting your kids, and not about killing around 239 people for brains, shits and giggles.

Angela tells Nathan that turning 40 comes with all sorts of surprises; in his case, those surprises include lightning shooting from his hands. Noah tried to work without a ‘one of them’ and got drowned for breakfast and stabbed by dinnertime(He survived, Danko didn’t). Peter won’t ride shotgun with him so he’s courting Tracey into the job by being pathetic and charming in a hospital gown.

Hiro’s brain damaged himself with that time and space crap, so he’s going to use them some more to go back in time and make amends for all the stupid stuff he’s ever done (yeah, I know, see you in 2055, dude). Claire’s gone to college to try and live a normal life, but doesn’t make it through the first day without smashing herself to rubble and letting Girl-West see her reassemble herself.

Matt’s feeling inexplicably guilty for turning a homicidal maniac into a benign public servant and vows never to use his brain thingy again. Either he sucked up some Sylar consciousness when he wiped him into Nathan, or he’s hallucinating, but now Matt’s got said homicidal maniac haunting/taunting him. One positive: Sylar’s good with the baby.

And some carnival full of PWA’s is recruiting, and the naked lady’s back says they need to bring Hiro, Claire, Sylar and Peter into the tent. Good luck herding those cats, Samuel-you picked the four who are the least likely to do anything they’re told.

Mohinder, it seems, has been DL Hawkins’d right out of the picture, resulting in a 100% beige cast.

(Hey, if Sylar’s actually backwashed into Matt’s mind, do you think he’d have brought two jackets with him?)

From the show site:

Peter faces unexpected consequences for his heroic acts and encounters a reluctant new hero. As Claire continues to adjust to college life, she must figure out how to deal with her ability having been revealed. Meanwhile, Samuel moves heaven and earth to recapture the memories of his late brother Joseph. Elsewhere, Matt struggles with his internal demons as Sylar mysteriously resurfaces.

Sort of like what happened last week. Maybe fewer knife fights.

Oh yeah- Darth Maul’s playing a knife wielding killer who suffers angst over his deeds. Either he’s a keeper or they kill him within 7 episodes.

Here’s a non spoilery spoiler photo: “Do I know you?”

Well, that episode seemed more adult-oriented than usual, and I’m not talking about Claire wearing tight tops.

It was preempted here for a football game. I’m hoping my DVR caught it.

Claire changed into that dress to go out with her dad?!?

Synesthesia is “common” among the deaf?

Still, I am feeling much better about this season so far that the last two.

Not sure how the new woman’s sound-seeing and music-playing powers will apply to super-heroism.

Lots of mystery about what exactly Samuel’s powers are. Is it simply that he has separate tattooing and earth-moving powers, or are they the same power somehow?

Getting really irritated with the conceit that people can only speak out loud to figments of their imagination. This drove me crazy in BSG.

G4 replays them on Tuesday nights - it has a bunch of “interactive” bullshit going on around it, but you can watch it in its entirety. I have the same MNF issue, but wasn’t interested in the Cowboys last night…

And…I enjoyed this episode (especially the Sylar fake out!) and have hope for the future…

I think the ink is somehow “earth” based which allows him to manipulate it using his power to move earth. He’s a clever carnie, and a trickster, so experimenting with new ways to use his abilities wouldn’t be shocking. although, I have to say I am not sure I understand how he could create a photographic image of himself out of that ink…

So deaf cello lady–could everyone see her notes, or was she just good at playing?

She was supposed to be good. At least, the onlookers seemed to have a “Wow, you are really good at playing!” reaction rather than “Whoa, what are those lights?!?”

Just wanted to add…I’m getting very distracted by all of the product placement…

“Daddy, you’ve giving me the Rouge!!”


IIRC, he was only adding his image to the black-and-white picture in a somewhat grainy newspaper clipping, so it didn’t need to be all that good – especially for a guy who could ink his name right into the accident report.

I didn’t notice that one but there was a full on shot of a sprint telephone before Parkman grabbed his 30 day medal.

There was one shot of her and the crowd and there were no lights. Only she can see the lights. The crowd was just enjoying her playing.

About the product placement, I don’t even notice. Just looks like normal everyday stuff to me.

I kinda dig how they try to subvert the marketing manure they’re forced to spread: the Rogue got stolen and apparently the A/C konks out once you cross into Mexico; the Sprint phone is shown next to the Alcoholics Anon. medallion. Baby Stop & Go kept making that butt-ugly Cube malfunction, Sylar’s blood splattered stolen Dell laptop last year. That must have pissed off the Dell people, 'cause this year it’s Mac’s for everybody!

(Angela’s been sucked out of the credits now too? And Nathan, Hiro and Tracey? Hey, if someones not in the credits, that mean they don’t get paid? Heeeey, now I get it! Not being in the credits is just part of the great budget cut/alternate revenue stream reality of Heroes season 4. In that vein, you may have noticed the complete lack of Tokyo flattening and California-nuking in this season’s premiere)

*Let’s watch everyone get washed up and ready for their day. Parkman badges up,grabs his Sprint phone and 30 day chip off the dresser when he sees Sylar behind him in the mirror. He pulls his gun on his own reflection, of course. Because shooting at hallucinations doesn’t work as well as you would think, and Janice would probably yell at him for messing up the bathroom anyhow. Sylar’s now playing the role of Matt’s id, and he’s going to Great Gazoo him into being a bad Jedi and restoring Sylar to his own self healing, shapeshifting meatbag. I haven’t decided if there really is residual Gray matter in Matt’s head, or he’s having the world’s least deserved guilt trip, but Matt’s new invisible buddy’s great! He’ll drive Matt to homicide or suicide soon, but it sure is neat to see what’s crawling around in Matt’s subconscious. Actually, his sub is pretty ordinary-insecurity, inferiority complex,he thinks he’s a pussy- but his imaginary narrator’s a blast.

Peter’s cutting out newspaper articles to add to his wall of awesome; Samuel’s going interviewing for his new minions so he’s putting on his going to funerals average guy suit, sucks a liter of ink up his arm to go out into the nasty world. In case he needs to tattoo someone’s lights out.

Having finished his Daily News rescue mosaic, Peter’s ablutions are interrupted by the short arm of civil law, and he gets served with a lawsuit. Someone clearly didn’t see The Incredibles before turning into Super-Medic. *

Back to the carnival:
Samuel: Lemme tell you about myself, girlfriend. I hate suits because they remind me of what a little nerdling our parents made us be- combed hair, no tats. Then I found out I could control the earth-mud, mud, glorious dirt! But I have to go undercover as a civilian to find someone to replace my brother.
Lydia: You could just go suck that Peter guy up here through a hole in the ground or something
Samuel: Yeah, but this takes style. And I want to see how he handles being manipulated by a surrogate brother.
Lydia: I’ll clear out the spare room for him.

*A woman who has a harder time than me getting up in the morning (and kinda looks like baby Gabriel’s’ dead mom from last season)is catapulted from a bed outfitted with a washing machine motor set for ‘spin’, and club lights attached to the alarm clock. Hey, she has a cat, why doesn’t it start pawing her face and head butting her a hour before she has to get up? I thought that’s what cats were for. As she gets ready for work she slaps on her ipod and watches a drippy tap make pretty splashes in the sink. The cat looks at her like she’s an idiot.

Claire’s reading a big fat chem textbook so I think we have a new future science bunny to replace Mohinder. She’s ignoring Girl-West who’s banging on the door wanting to talk about Claire’s auto- repair trick the night before.

Back in the stakeout car, Matt and his corporeal partner are waiting for legal authorization to go bust in a drug house and kick some ass. Matt confesses to what’s his name that he fell off the metaphoric wagon and had some metaphoric drugs last night. Gazoo Sylar (who, like regular Sylar, spends a lot of time taunting people from the backseats of cars) is whining about his limited plane of existence:*

Gazoo Sylar: Your life is like the world’s lamest movie. Have you seen yourself eat a burrito? I can’t even go to the can without you following me and shooting at me in the mirror.
Matt: Screw you, you’re following me!
G-S: I follow you, you follow me; it’s like being tied to Fred Flintstone with a bungee cord. The sooner you go bad Jedi and start mind humping people again, the sooner I can get you to put me back in my body
Matt: What makes you think I’d put you back even if I did use my powers again?
G-S: Oh please, I got you to scare off a water delivery guy by making you think your hot lawyer wife wanted his stoner ass. I could have you wearing an Evil Overlord costume by Saturday, tops

Matt slaps on the shades and kicks in the drug den’s door and starts looking in the kitchen for the bad guy. Gazoo-Sylar is pestering the living shit out of him, so he’s off his game and starts ignoring the obvious clues:
G-S: the closet, you idiot. He’s in the closet and he’s going to shoot you right through that
BANG BANG BANG BANG door. Good thing I annoyed you away from standing in front of it, huh?

*Noah comes to see Claire bearing a veritable Santa sack of presents and a belly wound that he fails to mention, so she gives him a big ole hug as a thank you. *
Noah: If I feed you will you stop squishing my knife wound?
Claire: Sure, let me just run off to the communal bathroom and watch guys in towels come out of the shower in the mirror while I brush my teeth. I should be done in about 90 minutes.
Gretchen: Can I come too? I’m a college kid, mooching meals is part of my tuition funding strategy
Claire, sotto voce: No, no, don’t invite her, ixnay, throat slashy gestures
Noah: Sure, you can come to lunch Gretchen. Like any dad, I live to piss my teenage daughter off. Let’s go for Indian.
Me: *OK show, now you’re just fucking with me…

Back at the drug den…*
Matt: Where are the drugs?
Perp: What drugs?
S-G: Yeah Matt, what drugs?
Matt: I gotta go to the can
S-G, in the can: Do you have to follow me everywhere?
Matt: I can ignore you, I can do my job without you
S-G: You can’t even find your phone without me. So, why would a big mean drug dealer with no kids have a stuffed bunny in the house?
Matt: Uhhh… it’s coming to me…
Me: Sylar bunnies!!!
S-G: Dude, this isn’t a drug den, it’s worse. Even my sensibilities are offended here…
Matt: I really don’t want to know how you know what a kiddy porn lair looks like, freak.
*Matt starts rustling around looking for gawd knows what as evidence, and he finds a ransom note- Sixty jillion dollars, or the girl dies. Oh, thank god, slightly; it’s just a kidnapping for cash.

Peter goes to the records office at the hospital to snoop the records on the guy who’s suing him, and lo and be-hold, it’s cat lady manning the records desk. Still has the ipod on, which makes it easier to ignore the phone.*
Peter: hey lady? Laaaaadyyyy???
Cat lady:
Peter: OK, I’ll just talk to myself. Do you have the report I filed on the ungrateful shit who’s suing me?
Cat lady: roots through a cabinet, finds papers, hands them to Peter. Suave mofo that he is, he smashes her coffee cup onto the floor reaching for the report. Maybe if he was fast or something, he could have caught that before it broke. It makes pretty colors and patterns when it hits the floor. Peter splits, cat lady goes to the ER for a checkup:
Doctor: Deaf people see sounds as colors all the time
Cat lady, signing: Are you shitting me? I didn’t lose my hearing by taking too much acid. This is not normal.
Doctor: Those headphones make you look like a douche, Emma
Cat lady: Actually, I wear them as douche repellant

Gretchen: I saw this freaky girl on Youtube who can’t feel pain or get hurt,and he parents lock her in the basement. Gee, that sounds familiar…
Noah: One day. You can’t get through one day without spilling the beans, Claire. OK, let’s find Haitian…
Claire: This is my problem to solve and if you do anything to interfere I will cut you out of my life.
Noah: Wow, emotional blackmail. You really are Angela’s granddaughter, aren’t you? OK, fine, you win. dials Sprint phone “Hi, Haitian? You’re going to have to do Claire too…

Peter sees that lawsuit-boy’s in the physio lab for a treatment, so he takes the legally prudent course and goes to ream out the guy who’s suing him
Peter: William ‘Ungrateful Little Shit’ Hooper”?
Samuel: Hi, that’s Mr. Ungrateful Little Shit to you. You ripped my arm half out my socket yanking me from that burning bus. Now I’m too feeble to support my family. Did I mention my brother died?
Peter: I don’t remember you from the accident. This is a scam, I’m outta here.
Samuel: Your apartment’s made from clay brick, right?
Peter: Whaddya want to know that for?
Samuel: No reason vwoomp.
Perusing Peter’s glory wall, he finds the bus crash article and ink squirts his image into the newspaper photo. Peter comes home to check out the photo, sees the ULS in the picture, and feels all guilty and mushy over yelling at the guy. For some reason which was probably explained while I was making popcorn, he meets up with Samuel/William in Central Park

Peter: Sorry I thought you were a big faker. I’m really a nice guy, y’know. See, sheepish grin!
Samuel: Yeah, you seem nice. I’ll drop the lawsuit.
Peter: You could go back to your childhood home while you’re in town, remember the good times with you and your brother.
Samuel: Sure, I’m already depressed and lonely because of losing my brother. Going back to the horrible place we were raised, that’ll perk me up. Thanks, Peter. Pay no attention to whatever it is I’m psychically squirting into your arm as I shake your hand

  • A few benches away, iPod Emma’s eating her lunch and watching a busker play the cello. Sure enough, she sees the music as big swirly colors- (hey, I think I have an app for that.). The cello dude goes for a snack and leaves his cello on his chair, in the middle of the park, at night, unattended. He’s lucky the only thing that happened to it was Emma sitting down and playing it. Her ability’s pretty. And she learned to play the cello damn quick, 'cause a crowd’s formed, Peter amongst them, to listen to her play. Do they see the colors? It’s not clear if it’s just her seeing the sound, but that’s freaky enough for Emma, and she runs off. Or maybe she saw Peter giving her the smwoop eyes and decided a clumsy guy from work with a lawsuit on his ass isn’t great date material.

Back at the drug den, Sylar’s intently playing with the bunnyrabbit while Matt and his partner rip up the house looking for the kid.*.
Sylar: Look what I’m reduced to playing with. It’s not even mechanical. Don’t suppose there’s some clocks around that need repairing…
Matt: If you’re in my head, how can you be playing with a physical object?
Sylar: Uhhh, hey, look, maybe the kids’ under the stairs! Brain suck the perp, she could be dying!!
Matt: Brain sucks the perp
Perp: Underthestairsunderthestairs
Matt: Why are the kids always under the stairs?
Perp: Shit! How’d he know that?
Sylar: Don’t ask me, that’s how Molly managed to fool me, remember? See, now that’s the first place I look for the terrified little kids, under the stairs, why do you think I suggested it…
Matt: rips away paneling, revealing a girl’s body You sick bastard !
…and makes with some mighty fine righteous Hulk-smashing of the perp’s face. Mohinder would be so proud…
Partner: Whatdahell are you doing???
Matt: Look under the stairs, he killed her!
Partner: looking under the stairs There’s nothing under here except wrapping paper!
Matt: No, wait, there’s a dead kid in there…hey waitaminute…
Sylar: Doesn’t it suck when people plant thoughts and images in your head, Matt?
Matt: Sylar,you bastard!!!
Partner: Buddy, you are so fired!
Matt, brain mojo’ing his partner: Nothing happened here… the perp fell down the stairs repeatedly, I didn’t beat him up…
Partner: Gee, he sure fell down those stairs a lot
Sylar: Turned you to the dark side, and we still have time for lunch and a Dodgers game!

Claire and Gretchen are hanging out in Claire’s room in their underwear. Even Greg House is flipping channels over to NBC
Claire: It’s so nice to not have to lie about who I really am. See, cut me, I’ll show you
Gretchen: I’ve never done this before.
Every guy in the audience: Giggidy!

Samuel’s at some big splashy mansion trying to crash a dinner party. The lady of the house meets him and his Men’s Wearhouse suit at the palatial front gate:
Samuel: I grew up here, me and my brother-did I mention he’s dead? Our dad was the butler, we lived in the carriage house, and he made us dress like nerds, can I come in and have a cathartic moment about my dead brother in our childhood home?
Lady: Begone, peasant!
Samuel: Shame about that sinkhole under your house
Lady: What?
Samuel: vwoomp Well, that was cathartic

*Next time: Nathanyler’s remembering the dead hookers in Nathan’s past. You knew it’d be Nathan with the dead hookers, right? *

Wow, an episode that didn’t feel totally stupid.

Deaf girl benefits from not having the writers be able to write (much) dialogue for her, which means she’ll probably seem cooler and better written than anybody else in the show. Did she already know how to play the cello, or does she gain some special ability to know how to produce perfect vibrations in strings and other objects, as well?

I like how Samuel was using his abilities, from subtle manipulations to baam where’s your house? I don’t quite get his motivation, though. Is he trying to reshape the world, or just carve out a better niche for his “family”? Couldn’t he already provide a really cool home and lifestyle with all their combined powers?

Anyone notice that with him as Earth, Claire’s bio-mom as Fire, Tracy as Water, and Peter as Heart, they’re only one Wind away from Captain Planet? Is THAT his end-game? Most nefarious, indeed.

That was my question too. Just because I can see the color of paint doesn’t mean I’m a good painter. So why should being able to see the color of music make her a good musician?

I know I’m in a small minority but can we not reference stuff in the previews unspoilered? I try and avoid them where possible as they are often reaaally spoilery.

I think the version of Sylar that Matt is seeing is ‘real’, ie some kind of weird download he’s absorbed rather than guilty conscience. Not only do I flatly doubt that Matt could invent a person smarter than himself (he can’t even bring himself not to answer Sylar back out loud) but more basically, why would he be feeling bad about what he’s done to SYLAR? As far as I’m concerned it’s Nathan that got fucked over. If he was being haunted by the ghost of Nathan asking pointed questions about why the bloke who brutally murdered him now also gets his face, office and CD collection, then I’d buy the conscience theory.

Also, sucks that there is no Mohinder. He got no story to speak of in the last arc and now he gets (maybe?) demoted? That blows.

Thank god for On-Demand. Stoopid local station shoved it back to 3:07 this morning.

I agree. I think he’s like a shadow of Sylar that Matt absorbed while giving the real Sylar the mind fuck of a lifetime.

Noah got okay with Gretchen knowing about Claire awful fast. I’m still subscribing to my Gretchen can manipulate people theory. Claire’s healing may protect her to a degree, like Peter’s (ex)healing helped him recover from The Haitian’s mind wipe.

I agree that Sylar is more than a figment of Matt’s conscience.

Annie, just want to say that I really appreciate the work you put into your synopsis.

I hope he’s a figment, because Quinto doesn’t need to do a mind meld with every character he plays, and if he was to start planting himself in people’s heads, a la Morry, he’'d still have to transmit from his own (self aware)body. That body’s currently in DC trying not to electrocute himself. But there’s stuff coming from two sub consciousnesses here- Matt’s girl trapped under the stairs/Sylar’s rabbit. So hmmmmmmm.

Tupug, thanks. Promethea, sorry, remind me next week to knock it off.

Ma sistah! Yeah, his only function in the last arc was to get tasered as a way to explain why he’s suddenly in Washington. A lot.