… but it was a fun ride.
Not even Toddler Touch N Go can protect you from spoilers.
Oh, Noah Bennet. Morally ambiguous, not always likeable, yet always trying to do the right thing and be a good family man (you know, in a super twisted way). I can respect that. So it was extra painful watching Sylar go all emotional shapeshifting ninja on him, relieving him of his wife in two extraordinarily well-acted scenes. Noah is smart enough to finally realize it’s not Sandra serving him divorce papers: it’s Sylar. But then, just to demonstrate how masterfully Noah has been played, his paranoia and desire for vengeance overtake him … and he alienates the woman he loves, driving her even further away from him, just as ably as if Sylar was in the room.
And if that wasn’t enough, Sylar takes away both Noah's moral certitude and job, tricking him into “murdering” an agent, thinking it's Sylar. (As it turns out it is Sylar; I know, it’s all very confusing, this episode was like a mutant telenovela.)
But nobody puts Noah in a corner. Sylar and Danko have stripped away his wife, his livelihood and his beliefs. He’s going underground, complete with clichéd back pack, and I suspect he’s not going to be in a forgiving mood when he comes back up.
Clearly Danko has got it coming. He’s gunning for that one-way slide into the abyss. His need to see this mission out at all costs makes him both formidable opponent and total idiot. When he hisses at Sylar “it isn’t a game!” you just have to shake your head … Danko has no idea what sort of creature he’s dealing with. Worse, he’s so hell-bent in pursuit of his own goals that he doesn’t really care. The question at this point seems to be, will death come for Danko looking like a tall guy with formidable eyebrows? Or will one of our other heroes/fugitives beat him to it?
It’s a safe bet the reaper will not look like Matt Parkman (Big or Little). Driven to despair by Daphne’s death, undeterred by Mohinder’s half-hearted pleas for him to leave well enough alone, Matt straps on his piece and goes to hunt the hunter. The trail leads him to the suburban home of a pretty émigré hooker in love with “Jakob,” Danko’s married, textbook-selling alter ego.
Parkman drags said hooker into DC, forcing a confrontation between the couple and pushing Danko to confess his lies. His intent is to kill the girl, to serve Danko up a taste of his own medicine, but apparently the writers have forgotten that we know Matt is not a cold-blooded killer. Surprise: he can’t pull the trigger. Ready to give it all up, he tells Danko to shoot him …
… But is miraculously saved by the appearance of Hiro, Ando and Little Matt Parkman. Hiro pauses time and bullet, introduces Matt to his new Reason To Go On, and everyone drives off into the sunset.
I know. Really. Well, who says this show doesn't give us happy endings?
Other notes from "Turn & Face The Strange":
- Based on last week’s preview, I was ready for Angela to preach us some answers. Alas, her “If you want the answers, then you’ll have to dig” speech came mere minutes before the end. (Cheap shot, show.) Still, leave it to Angela to put together the Petrelli Family Reunion at a mass grave site. From the looks of things, even her — deceased? — sister may be putting in an appearance. The family that exhumes bodies together … oh, nevermind. Can't wait for next week.
- Okay, so Mohinder’s dad was working on this Coyote Sands project all along? And he had a bunch of files lying around with top secret info that no one ever found? And Mohinder is breaking the case wide open at the very same time the Petrellis are shoveling dirt at said desert hideaway which no one has ever heard about until this episode? That feels like lazy, last-minute writing. Boo.
- I desperately want Hiro and Ando to do more than play Little Matt Parkman Has Two Daddies. Hopefully with this episode behind us we can move on to something a little meatier for these two — they have a such a great chemistry.
- Last week it was “Runaway” and “We Gotta Get Out of This Place.” This week the title is a play on David Bowie’s “Changes” lyrics? Okay, if you insist. Just, please: no "All Along The Watchtower."