Review: Heroes - Shades of Gray

Slowly but surely we're getting through the season. The operation is moving on with more and more heroes being collected, but we're still not sure who is on what side really and what's the point of it all. Does this episode help? Read on. Puppet Master likes popcorn, and still calls Claire Barbie. He's scared to go outside for fear of getting caught, and decides to lecture Claire on what she should do to help. Of course, Claire admits she has a free pass so why should she want the help, which doesn't go over to well with the man. The man who has turned over a new leaf and just wants to amuse people with puppets. She has doubts about refusing to help him, which leads to another mom and daughter heart-to-heart. Which leads to another bout of Claire wanting to help others like her. Wasn't Puppet Master just in her house asking for help? Didn't she just refuse to help? So her new idea is to get a part time job at the comic book store, where she will be tasked to work on Wednesdays (new release day!). This will allow her to fill that community service void that's missing in her life. And of course the comic book store is chock full of what comic book fans are: dorks that have never seen a girl before (come on guys). Part of the interview is a philosophical question that asks what type of hero she is, and Claire has even more self-doubt. And a job at the comic book store. This leads her to a talk with her dad, and Claire realizes that her path involves helping where possible. Good thing Puppet Master was just located and needs help. She races to the scene and helps him get away, and somehow she gets him a new identity and a chance to go back to the way things were for him. The free pass only goes so far, and this last act brings the agents into Claire's house looking for her. She got an early warning from Rebel (which ends up being Nathan) who saves her. I can just picture the writers thinking "what should we name this anti-hero, this rebel?" and then turning to one another with a devilish grin... Nathan and Danko are at odds again about the recent chain of events. An Nathan's going to be even more pissed when he realizes that Parkman with the bomb is by Danko's doing. Nathan wants to talk Parkman down from the ledge so to speak, but Danko wants to speed things along and detonate the device. Not so fast my friend. Someone has hacked the network and has prevented its detonation. The scene was actually pretty smart, as Peter told Parkman to read the minds of one of the bomb technicians in the area. The bomb is defused, which leads Nathan to knock Parkman out cold so that he's contained. Isn't the fact that Nathan shows up to defuse the situtation essentially make it public that there's something special about Parkman? Why would a Senator who's working on this crazy project show up to defuse some random guy's bomb vest if that guy wasn't important? And what exactly did Danko hope to accomplish by having Parkman blow himself up? People still wouldn't know that there were mutants out there, unless Danko told them that Parkman was one. But at that point he'd be dead and no one would really believe him anyway. Nathan and Danko are at odds again about the recent chain of events (yes I meant to write that sentence twice). This time Nathan exercises his authority in relieving Danko of his position, which Danko refuses because of his executive authority by the President. Danko decided to play video of Traci admitting that Nathan has powers too, ratcheting up the continual tension between the two of them. Bennett's council to Nathan is to not lose his cool. Let me get this straight. Meanwhile, Rebel reaches out to Tracy via the computers saying help is on the way (without anyone else noticing?). I suppose this gives her hope, but regardless Nathan decides it may be prudent to get to Tracy before Danko does. And when Danko shows up we are meant to see a Jack Bauer-like investigation where he will do whatever it takes to know everything about Nathan (meaning his ability to fly), and that includes staring menacingly. But Tracy toes the proverbial company line and lies for him, which is strange. Obviously she has a lot to gain by staying on his good side, but she immediately decides to trust him again? Nathan made no promise of her freedom or anything, just that she should trust him. That hasn't worked out so well in the past but I guess we're far enough away from the first few episodes that it can be thrown out. Danko changes tactics and decides to go at Mr. Bennett. He denies any knowledge about Nathan as well and realizes that Angela Petrelli is the woman talk to. He meets with her for lunch at a swank restaurant downtown and wonders how Nathan wouldn't have powers when his parents do. Not one to fall for his power play, she brings up an incident in Angola that Danko was at the center of which scares him off (temporarily at least). And she seems mighty pleased with herself for doing so (and celebrates by sucking down an oyster). This is enough to allow Nathan to go to the President to get Danko removed from his post, installing Mr. Bennett instead. Danko as the disgruntled employee calls out Nathan's power play and sends him out a window where he flies off to safety. So at this point Danko knows that Nathan can fly. He couldn't have pieced it together or anything when he saw Nathan go out the fire escape to the roof earlier in the episode when Nathan left to save Parkman. That'd be too easy. Sylar is at what his father's house, a ragged looking hovel with a homeless man living inside. And yes, the homeless man is his dad (and I guess he's not really homeless since he does live there). The confrontation with the man is what you would expect at first: drudging up old memories and Sylar deciding to kill his father for his past transgressions. Which he would actually prefer since he has cancer. Sylar has waited all this time to see his dad and he's disappointed that he can't kill him outright. Dad has some abilities too it would seem...lots of them. Similar to what Sylar has. I think this is the first instance where the child's abilities were the exact same as the parent's (and its interesting that the parent-child power link was brought up twice in this episode). Anyway, Sylar decides not to kill his dad so he can learn more, starting with how to gut a rabbit. During their bonding session Sylar made a mistake by healing. He cut his hand inadvertently and healed up real quick. Next the obvious happens when he decides that his son is a cure for cancer. After pinning Sylar to the wall and using his ocarina power to sedate him Sylar's father starts monologuing. And he doesn't realize that his son is really playing possum (an obvious nod to his father's profession) and is rebuffed in his attempts to take the healing power. Sylar then does the poetic thing in letting his father die by the hands of the cancer, essentially setting up another meeting down the road. He takes the stuffed rabbit along for good measure and reflects with it. He travels all that way with Pyro just to learn that his dad has cancer and how to stuff a rabbit? That's all we get? I'm guessing we're going to find out down the road that Sylar's father worked for the company at some point and will reunite with Mrs. Petrelli as old friends. You read it hear first. Hiro and Ando are back and in LA. Who's house? Parkman's house. Where they relieve a babysitter who is babysitting Matt Parkman. Presumably his son. That's all I have to say about that. Another filler episode. Not much plot movement here, but thankfully no new characters were introduced. Unless you count Nathan as Rebel, which is actually kind of lame. But it does explain how Rebel knew everything that was about to happen and gave ample warning to avoid them. Nathan has been outed and presumably is no longer in control of the operation (I would assume Mr. Bennett is), and the showdown between Sylar and his father was extremely disappointing. The next episode is being touted as epic, but I'll believe it when I see it. So far the show is just asking more questions with fewer answers, and my question is when do I stop watching? Overall Score: 80 out of 100