Review - Heroes Chapter 9: Brother's Keeper

Last week's episode of Heroes was actually quite solid. And I can't remember the last time I wrote that line about this show. Regardless, we learned a lot more about Samuel and his motives, Claire and her father and Parkman, Nathan & Sylar. There are really a lot of good storylines in this season that could potentially end on a high note, but we're navigating potentially familiar waters now. Familiar in the sense that right about now (as indicated by seasons past) the show decides to completely derail itself and just get way too convoluted. Was this week's episode the start of the train jumping the tracks (or shark from a broader perspective)? Or did the episode pick up steam from last week? Read on for a spoiler-laden review. Sigh, this looks like a Hiro week. Hiro is with Samuel at the carnival getting his marching orders in order to save Charlie. He has to go back nine weeks in time to before Samuel killed Mohinder and get a video made by Mohinder's dad about the mutant powers. The video takes place at the mutant camp and he emphasizes that as more mutants gather their power increases. Interesting. I think it's obvious that Samuel knows something to this extent as well, which would explain his gathering of the mutant masses. Mohinder is alive... in flashback form that is. He's seemingly teaching classes at a school in India (?) where he's apparently got a pretty hot girlfriend. Needless to say she's none too pleased that he's still holding onto his father's research; not in the memoriam way but the obsessed way. In an effort to appease her he throws it away, but of course he retrieves a short while later while she's sleeping. Which is good because among the files is a video made by his father; the same video that Samuel wants Hiro to get. While watching it he realized how to build a compass to track down the most powerful mutant in the world that surrounds himself with specials. I'm going to take a wild guess here and say that the child is Samuel. Mohinder visits the carnival to find Samuel (who he thinks is the mutant in the video). He encounters Joseph instead, the seemingly straight-laced of the two brothers with Samuel being a ne'er-do-well. Joseph realizes that Samuel really is full of tremendous power, as his mother experienced it firsthand at Coyote Sands. Mohinder of course wants to play the reuniting scientist but Joseph knows Samuel otherwise. He realizes that if Samuel discovers this power that he'll not know how to control it. He rescinds his welcome to Mohinder who leaves, but not before Samuel eavesdropped on the whole conversation. Mohinder isn't happy with just walking away; however, he realizes he made a mistake leaving his significant other and chasing down his father's legacy. I guess he wanted to show the reel to Samuel to make him aware of his capabilities, but changes his mind at Joseph's urging. Right as he's about burn the reel in a trash can in a hotel room Hiro shows up and grabs it (actually, he switches it with another reel...apparently these things are easy to find nine weeks ago). Love knows no bounds apparently. After Hiro leaves and Mohinder sets fire to the reel, Samuel bursts through the door angry and he wants to know what's on the reel because he knows it will unleash his true power. Mohinder's refusal turns into Samuel's rage and makeshift shotgun blast with pebbles. Thanks to Hiro pulling a Marty McFly to Mohinder's Dr. Brown, Mohinder is ready this time. Last time we checked, Samuel killed Mohinder and he was aware of it, which is why he sent Hiro back to get the reel. Hiro of course couldn't let Mohinder die, as he warned him and Mohinder was wearing a bullet(rock)proof vest. Sure, it wasn't a tattered note that Mohinder found in his coat pocket after Hiro went back to the future. But the spirit was still there. He hides Mohinder for 8 weeks so that Samuel doesn't catch on and as Hiro delivers the reel to Samuel he still doesn't get Charlie. Oh, and Hiro put Mohinder in a straight jacket in a freaking mental institution to keep him hidden. Traci is grappling with her encounter with Samuel. In a diner. Where she strikes up the obligatory conversation with Flo talking about fire-breathing freaks traveling from town to town. Minor slip-up! Traci inadvertently freezes the coffee mug she's drinking from, drawing expected wayward stares from the diner patrons. Does Claire have any shot of a normal life? I mean, she's visiting with pops and there are signs of forced entry and shadows lurking. Shadows as in Traci (again, nice touch in Claire telling Traci to "freeze"...well played). Traci can't control her power anymore and she has no idea why. Yeah, she froze Claire without even touching her too long. So how does she react? By dragging her frozen body across the floor to get her in the bath, ripping off her foot in the process (shades of Hulk-Wolverine here, just without the overpowering aggression). Claire pulls herself together (literally) to Traci's jubilation because, you know, that's one less person she's responsible for killing. What's the deal with Claire and these semi-lesbian scenes this season? The scene in question is Traci and Claire in pajamas discussing life over tea. The discussion turns to Samuel, where Traci says she wants to join him and Claire actually encourages her. Wasn't it just last week that Claire saw what Samuel was capable of? I'd expect a little more resistance from her when she says she wants to go with him. Traci decides that she wants to join anyway and somehow meets with Samuel in the diner. Samuel wants her to use her power to help other mutants somehow, but the how isn't exactly clear at this point. And Bennett wasn't the least bit intrigued as to why Claire and Traci were having tea (and a good time) together? I thought that Traci and Bennett didn't exactly leave on the best terms since the healing kid? Nathan is grappling with himself. He tells Peter that he's lost a week of his life and he is desperate to know where the time went. According to mama Petrelli Nathan went on vacation. The Haitian shows up and I like how he warned Nathan not to come any closer (nice touch because presumably he would wipe out the power of Parkman in keeping Sylar in Nathan). He needs to tell Peter the truth, and in this case the truth is that Angela Petrelli wants the Haitian to wipe the memories of Nathan and Peter. He's not going to do it though, and offers Peter a chance at the truth. Despite The Haitian telling Peter to go alone he brings Nathan along anyway to a storage facility in Arlington, VA. What's in the unit? A coffin and body bag. Guess who's body? Nathan Petrelli's. Not really sure how a storage unit is an effective means of preserving a body but what do I know. As he looks at the body he gets a flashback to the whole event where Parkman did his Sylar thing. This is just the link they need to get to Parkman in the hospital in Texas. Of course, getting to the hospital is one thing, but getting to a patient who drew on police is a whole other thing. Actually it isn't as Peter and Nathan just walk in. Peter puts his newfound abilities to "good" use by reviving Parkman, much to his chagrin. This of course awakens Sylar as well. So wait. Does Nathan and Peter not know that Sylar was pushed out of his body and Nathan's thoughts inserted? It didn't take long for Sylar to regain control of Parkman and try to trick Nathan into touching him. With the touch comes the exchange and presumably the awakening of Sylar (and death of Nathan...again). Sylar's mind control was working until the cop burst in, preventing the consciousness exchange. Well, not quite. Nathan did brush hands with Parkman, and something happened; all we know is Sylar quite possibly disappeared. Nathan grabs Peter and flies away before the calvary arrives. Parkman has control of his powers again and gets a guard to sneak him out. Nathan and Peter end up in the middle of the desert and Peter gives up his healing power to get Nathan's powers. And perhaps a bit of Sylar? Not sure if Peter really thought that through but at the very least he can fly. Nathan and Peter are back at Peter's apartment as Nathan come to the realization that "Nathan" is dead. That's got to be a lot, coming to terms with the notion that you're aren't really you, but someone else instead. Not just someone else but a freaking mass murderer. I thought it was really poignant when Nathan said that everytime Peter looks at him he's going to see Sylar instead of Nathan. Could it be? Did I just see two solid weeks of Heroes, even with an episode that completely rewrote the show's history? So far things have been continuous and nothing has been too outlandish. The characters are sticking true to what defines them and Sylar is getting ever so close to breaking out. Sylar is theoretically inside Nathan again, which means it's only a matter of time until he gets his body back. Hiro is going to get very angry as Samuel continues to use Charlie as leverage over him. Parkman will most likely make his way to New York to find out what's going on with Sylar/Nathan. And Claire is getting anxious about her so-called life. This week wasn't as strong as last week. That's not saying that I didn't like it. It's just that it was a little slower as far as story development goes. I was impressed though that the story is keeping up these past few episodes and continue to set up a great finale. Samuel is turning to be a lot more ruthless than he's let on so far this season and I'm actually starting to like Hiro. I've become a fan of the maturer Claire and I know there's still going to be an epic Nathan meltdown at some point when Sylar comes out to play. I'm liking this season so far and am happy to say that I'm slowly becoming a Heroes fan again. Overall score: 85 out of 100