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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Heroes - Nathan Petrelli's Chappaquiddick

(Episode: Acceptance. Spoilers ahead.)

This episode's theme is turning over new leaves - and old ones. Hiro makes numerous time-travel attempts to stop the self-destructive behavior of a suicidal coworker who has a penchant for photocopying his butt when he has too much sake. Hiro finally stops Tadashi from jumping; he confides in his terminal illness, and offers two bits of advice: 1) do something you love, and 2) don't keep secrets from family. Hiro follows his own advice and confesses to his sister about his terminal illness. During the conversation, a sudden headache makes him teleport involuntarily, in front of Kimiko and Ando.

Tracy sees New York governor Robert Malden and quickly gets her old job back. She has second thoughts; prodded by her recent traumas what she wants in life is to help others and not play moll to a self-serving politician. Stress temporarily destabilizes her physical form - her hands uncontrollably turn into water for a moment - and she decides to quit Malden's service.

Claire tries to encourage her dad to overcome his current unemployment. The pep talk lifts his spirits, but what starts the wheels turning is a visit from Peter. Peter exposes his arm to show the compass tattoo, which has now mysteriously vanished. Bennett seems to have no interest in Peter's adventure, but in his last scene he is sifting through news stories, including one titled "The Compass That Saved The World."

We see another glimpse of Lydia Sullivan's precog ability - she knows that Bennett has renewed his interest in people with abilities. We also see that Edgar doesn't share his brother's vision of expanding their little mutant commune.

Angela decides to help "Nathan" get over his "midlife crisis" with a box of boyhood memorabilia. A baseball cap triggers a horrifying memory flash - a bleeding woman in a swimming pool. It was his old girlfriend Kelly Houston, who had allegedly left home for London, never to be seen again. Her mom Millie is a longtime friend of Angela's. He visits Mille briefly. A walk by the pool, armed with the area gets the whole story: the two were on the diving board together and both stumbled into the pool; Kelly's head hit the edge of the pool, the blow killing her.

Nathan learns the truth from Angela; the Haitian had covered up the memory, of course. (Too bad the Kennedy clan didn't have a Haitian to help them cover up skeletons...) Nathan confesses to Millie, who says she doesn't believe him, and tells him to leave.

In a parking garage Nathan calls the police department and asks for homicide, and abruptly changes his mind and puts away the phone. A man, who we find is working for Millie, assaults and kidnaps Nathan, takes him outdoors somewhere, tosses the unconscious man into a shallow grave, shoots him several times, and covers up the grave. At the end of the episode Sylar emerges from the grave.

If the shooting turned off the Nathan delusion, and if Sylar's mind is in Matt's body, then the Sylar in the grave must be an amnesiac.

Did Millie know the truth of her daughter's disappearance all along - and does she have her own motives for keeping it hidden? Did Nathan/Sylar's murderer leave the cell phone? Will Sylar start calling the numbers on speed dial? Who will be the first to discover he's back to his original physical form? Where did Hiro teleport to? Will Tadashi swear off sake and photocopiers for good? Stay tuned.

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