So, on with my thoughts on Heroes 3x22: Turn and Face the Strange:
- This episode seems to be a pilot for a new reality TV series: Homewrecker Heroes! Think of it as an exciting replacement for tired old dating shows, but instead of trying to bring couples together, you try to break them up in a cold-blooded rampage of emotionally fraught revenge. It's fun for all the dysfunctional family!
- So, tonight's first contestant is Matt Parkman, who has chosen to split up Emile "No, My First Name Isn't Donnie" Danko and a lavishly accented Russian blonde. This task scores low on the difficulty scale because they've only been going out for a year and the Russian blonde thinks he's someone completely different anyway. Nonetheless, Matt sets out all gun-toting and firm of jaw, but we all know he's just a big softie and won't go through with anything too nasty. Points for the subtle(ish) use of brain mojo, minus points for the Hiro-ex-machina ending. And we all know it'll be much more fun watching Danko's hubris becoming his own undoing.
- And speaking of doing or undoing Danko, let's meet our reigning champion, Sylar. This week he's playing for big money by trying to break up the 22-year marriage of Noah Bennet, by dressing up as Bennet's wife and telling him he doesn't love him anymore... honestly, who needs fanfic with this show? And as a pair of particularly kinky sidelines, Bennet himself is in obsessive pursuit of Sylar's naked body (or at least a dead ringer for him), while Sylar gets his own chance to get over-familiar with Danko, mole and all. Crikey.
- I'm getting almost as much fun out of Sylar's shapeshifting as he is himself; as a kinky thrill, it certainly seems to put his little lie-detector tingle in the shade. And although it robs us of quality Quinto time, it does provide some fun for the other actors who now get a turn at practising their sardonic smirks. Danko!Sylar's was particularly spot-on, although I also liked the "who, me?" flattered expression he did when he heard the Bennets talking about the real him. (He's so vain, he probably thinks this post is about him.) It was only a shame that the camera didn't pull back when he turned back into himself after being Danko -- I really wanted to see him with Danko's trousers barely reaching his knees.
- While we're on the subject, where does Sylar keep the extensive wardrobe he now needs for both sexes and all occasions? Hammerspace? Handwavyville? The huge and secret storage locker where he previously kept his huge collection of slightly different black jackets?
- Poor Sandra, though. I can't decide whether or not I want to the Bennets to get back together. I think I just want Sandra to put Noah's bollocks in a vice and twist them for a while, THEN condescend to MAYBE take him back if he is sufficiently contrite and promises to behave.
- While everyone else is involved in thrilling shape-shifting shenanigans, Mohinder puts on a flat cap and remembers the old days when he was a lad, back in season 1, when he had a big map with strings and some plot-related stuff to do. Seems like a very long time ago, doesn't it?
- Whatever happened to Matt's magic tortoise? I noted that it wasn't lying in Mohinder's old apartment with its legs in the air. Is it now wandering the earth like a reptilian David Carradine? Perhaps it's lumbering slowly towards Coyote Sands as we speak.
- I bet my parents are grateful I didn't have car-stopping powers like Baby Matt when I was a nipper. I was one of those perennially whiny "are we there yet??" passengers and so if I'd had any say in the matter, we'd never have gone anywhere more than five minutes down the road.
- "I want Sylar on a platter!" -- don't we all, Noah. Perhaps with a light garnish of lollo rosso, and a few of those flowers made out of curly bits of carrot.
- "Get up! Get up! Get up!" - is it just me, or is anyone else picturing Bennet's rendition of James Brown's Sex Machine on Company karaoke nights?
- As if Sylar bleeding out for Danko wasn't pervy enough, we then get to find out that Sylar spits. Bullets, that is. (By the way, even though smushed ship names are the work of Beelzebub, it amuses me greatly that Sylar and Danko's is Syko. Hee hee.) I also note that Special-Agent-Guy!Sylar shook Bennet's hand, so I am guessing that some turning-into-HRG should be on the cards in the v. near future.
- Tune in next week for the divine Angela revealing the secrets of Coyote Sands! I'm betting that it's not going to be anything like Coyote Ugly.
By the way, the gratuitous Bowie reference in the title of this week's episode was a handy reminder that Ashes to Ashes is back very soon, on April 20th. Cross-media promotion in action, or simply a lack of imagination when it comes to picking titles for things? You decide, viewers...