This week’s episode directed by John Badham was… wait! John who? Doesn’t ring a bell?
Obviously you do not sit until the bitter end of movies reading the credits do you? Badham has made some culture warping movies and some easily forgotten ones also. But keep in mind that Peter Jackson made some horrid movies like Dead Alive before he was given the honor and distinction of directing The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Let’s start with one that did change pop culture forever. Saturday Night Fever ring a bell? That’s his puppy. The tear jerking Whose Life is it Anyway. Who can forget Matthew Broderick in Wargames? How about the suck-fest that is Johnny Five in Short Circuit. Yes, it blew chunks, but if you were alive back then, you remember Johnny Five, don’t you? Heck I remember J5 holding hands with participants in Hands Across America (I’m dating myself aren’t I?) He also directed the hilarious Stakeout; back when Richard Dreyfuss was still funny and Emilio Estevez was still relevant (I have yet to see Bobby). He also directed the not-as-good-as-the-original-remake Point of No Return. The last time Badham really pumped my nads was with the real-time suspense thriller Nick of Time. If you haven’t seen this forgotten gem, rent it, download it, pod it, I don’t care just get it in your brain.
Since then he’s been relegated to directing television. Though this isn’t a condemnation since television now produces better quality story telling than the movies could ever aspire to accomplish. And Heroes isn’t his first foray into television. Way back in the '70s he directed episodes of The Streets of San Francisco. It’s just a damn shame the man doesn’t get more work but after this week's episode, he should be installed as a series regular. Why?
Well, the over-hyped episode just rocked.
"Fallout" was easily one of the best so far this season, even though it did not live up to the promotion machine. Nikki gets with the program and realizes that if her man can walk through walls, it’s going to take more than bullets to knock the brother down. Sure, he takes the first one, but the second one just flies right through his head like he’s vapor. So what’s a girl to do? Obviously the Sarah Connor on the warpath bit isn’t working. So let’s try to rip on Buffy Summers. DL can put up a good fight despite getting thrown around like a rag doll. But the fight ends when Jessica throws a meddling Micah aside and into a rock wall. Micah is injured, DL runs to his side and Nikki resurfaces. Nikki is engulfed with regret and turns herself in to the police investigating the earlier shooting. Personally I impatiently wait until Nikki and family get to meet more of the other Heroes.
Meanwhile back at the Bennett front, not all is quiet on the range as you’d expect considering the involvement of Mr. Bennett. Here the story gets even more tangled and Mr. Bennett has way too much on his plate and he seems to be losing control of the situation. The question as to whether he’s the Big Bad remains unanswered but we feel that he’s simply out to protect his daughter Claire and that he’s willing to make very hard decisions to accomplish his goals. Even when confronted by Sylar, the obvious Big Bad of the series, he remains focused. Sylar even threatens to “take care” of Claire, which seems to seriously piss off Mr. Bennett, but he only uses this moment to taunt Sylar by calling him by his real name and reminding him that he’s just a lowly watchmaker. You see, Sylar is locked into a more sinister looking version of Hannibal Lecter’s cell, which apparently isolates his powers since he is incapable of pulling Bennett through the glass. Though I believe that The Haitian is simply close by guarding Mr. Bennett; just like he was when Claire Bear and Papa Bear were being interrogated by Agent Hanson and Matt the Mindreader. During the interrogation Matt was incapable of getting any “signal” from either party.
What was even more interesting was Matt tried to read Peter Petrelli’s mind. Since Peter assimilates other mutant’s powers, they were both reading each other's mind, creating a very painful feedback loop to both. But enough information was transmitted between them for Matt to know Peter wasn’t Sylar. But Peter doesn’t seem to be feeling to well. He’s pale and coughs a lot even when Claire visits him. You’d think with her healing powers borrowed that he would heal, but he doesn’t. They have a heart warming talk. Peter tells her about the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World bit," but she doesn’t understand what’s going on — she’s still trying to cope with the fact that she’s not the only one with abilities.
But at the urgency of her father, she leaves the cell, telling Peter that he’s her hero. Awwwwwww!
Back to the Cheerleader storyline. Mr. Bennett swears Claire to secrecy after admitting that he’s known all along about her abilities. He asks her who else knows about her abilities… oh this can’t be good you say. Damn right. Mr. Bennett sends The Haitian to wipe the minds of her friend Zach — the boy who filmed all her suicide attempts — and of course, Lyle, her brother. Claire gets wind of what’s going on when she confronts Zach, implying they haven’t spoken in years and her brother, who can’t remember anything — not even how he got home. She’s now in panic mode and calls her father to find out if he remembers what she can do. She hasn’t figured out that her father is behind all this and fears “they” have gotten to him also. Mr. Bennett asks if she is alone… yes… no. The Haitian is there and grabs her. He tells her he’s done this before, to her mother, many times before, but he’s unwilling to wipe her mind. “Can you keep a secret Claire?” The guy can actually speak.
During all this time, Eden, the girl next door with vocal influence, seems to be suffering remorse. She leaves a note to Mohinder. She even gets Isaac the Stoner Psychic Painter out of his fake hospital room, because she is going off-reservation. But she wants to convince Sylar to kill himself first. She walks in the Lecter room with a gun but before she can use her voice, she’s thrown through the glass wall by Sylar telekinetic abilities. She points the gun at Sylar but as he tells her it won’t work on him, so she points the gun at her head and pulls the trigger, depriving Sylar of new mutant DNA. Can someone please explain to me just what he physically does with the brains? The morbid curiosity is killing me. Its also sad to see Eden go, as she was an interesting character. Such a tiny pixie with such great power over others.
Isaac ends up in Texas, probably with the help of Eden, and meets up with Hiro and his sidekick Ando. They exchange the regular “So what’s your super-power?” chit-chat and get to work. Isaac explains that he can’t see the future unless he’s high, but Hiro will have nothing of it. They have to find out how to prevent New York from going nuclear. It becomes apparent after learning of Sylar’s imprisonment that he can draw without the smack when he takes out drawings he had made while straight. They get to work on seeing the next piece of the puzzle. What comes of it was just too out there for me. It reached to far out of the “realism” the show has given us so far. We see a painting of Hiro with a sword and what seems to be Godzilla. But then it could also be a dinosaur, since Hiro can travel through time, but please, please, please… no Godzilla in New York. The last time that happened, the box office numbers were disastrous. But Hiro discovers the next step of his mission, he must find that sword.
Jailhouse Pete is bailed out by his brother, Nathan. Peter, looking sicker than ever, has trouble standing, even more trouble walking, and collapses on the stairs. There, he has a vision of all our heroes meeting up in New York. The city is completely empty and quiet. But he can’t hear the heroes talking either. They are coming out of cars and buildings when suddenly, Peter becomes luminescent, about to explode. He wakes up, thinking that he’s the one who will explode the city. “It’s all my fault… the explosion…. it’s me.”
See you January 22nd to find out how it turns out. Meanwhile, a masterful 5 outta 5 for a surreal and captivating episode.