All roads lead to Coyote Sands. Or at least a few of the paths our heroes walk do. While Mama Petrelli organizes a family reunion at this mysterious locale, Mohinder finds clues to its history from an old file that belonged to his father. Meanwhile, Hiro and Ando run into problems as they try to stage a family reunion of their own between Matt Parkman and his son. And while Danko tries to keep himself and a loved one out of Parkman's crosshairs, he also has to stay one step ahead of HRG who suspects Sylar's death isn't on the up-and-up. On with the recap!
Two Men and a Baby
Hiro and Ando leave California in their (shamelessly plugged) Nissan Cube and head cross-country to find Matt Parkman in New York. While Baby Parkman cries relentlessly — despite having just been fed and changed, Hiro says — their ride suddenly dies on the shoulder. Luckily, Hiro and Ando's hitchhiking thumbs flag down a trucker — who happens to be Asian, only with a killer Texas accent (ha!). But when crying-baby syndrome stops the big rig in its tracks too, Hiro finally realizes the secret to Toddler Touch and Go: When he's happy, he makes thing go, when he's unhappy, they stop. So how do you
scare a kid to death make a kid laugh? Have Ando make a wacky face, of course! With Baby Parkman all smiles, the duo heads to Washington, D.C., where Mohinder tells Hiro he last saw Matt.
Parkman's Got a Gun
At that last meeting with Mohinder, Parkman is loading a gun, mapping out his plan to find Danko, and make him hurt as revenge for Daphne's death. When he tracks Danko down, Parkman gets inside his head and tells him to go "protect" the person closest to him. By doing so, Danko leads Parkman to the home of an "escort" named Elena, who believes Danko is a man named Jacob. When Danko leaves to go back to "Chicago," Parkman busts in gun drawn, but is unable to pull the trigger. But the truth he tells (and then shows) Elena is much more painful than a gunshot wound.
Parkman takes Elena to Danko's apartment, and uses his power to force Danko to tell the truth. He reveals his secrets about his involvement in hunting people for the government and that he killed Daphne. (Or as Matt corrects, he let her die.) Even so, Parkman realizes that Danko's feelings for Elena are real, which is perhaps why, for the second time, he can't pull the trigger. But when Matt gives up, Danko is quick to grab his piece and fire at Parkman, who appears ready to take the bullet as an act of suicide. Luckily, Hiro stops time (boy, did they get across the country fast!) and wheels Matt to safety. Elena sees the "monster" that Danko is and storms out, while Hiro introduces Parkman to his baby boy. "A boy needs his father," Hiro says. "You can't give up." And just like that, all the sadness in Matt's life vanishes. (I have to admit I chuckled as all the toy cars started spinning around the yard because of Baby Parkman's happiness.)
Sylar, Sylar, Everywhere
As many commenters rightly noted last week, HRG knows Sylar too well to be fooled by the contents of the body bag Danko threw at his feet. But before he can investigate, he gets interrupted by the women in his life. First, Sandra shows up demanding that HRG find Claire and get her back home. Secondly, Angela calls to tell HRG that she is headed to Coyote Sands and wants him to meet the family there. HRG explains his feeling about Sylar, but Angela warns him to leave it alone. Of course, when he learns that Danko has fast-tracked the cremation of the bodies, he can do nothing of the sort. He stops the agents at the crematorium and removes the spike from the back of "Sylar's" head. HRG know he's right when the impostor doesn't spring back to life, and DNA tests later prove this man is James Martin. So, HRG now knows his worst enemy is now a shape shifter, and that Danko helped him pull it off.
HRG, however, unknowingly plays into Sylar's hands. "I'm not going to kill him, I'm going to destroy him," Sylar tells Danko. He begins to do so by taking the form of Sandra and serving HRG with divorce papers. But HRG realizes Sandra's signature on the forms is fake and heads to find Sylar. The only problem is, he ends up attacking his real wife and almost blows her brains out before realizing his mistake. HRG explains, and even though Sandra says she believes him, it's too late for HRG to make it better.
HRG pulls a fast one of his own, however, barging into Danko's office (sans glasses) armed with old Primatech files and purporting to be Sylar-as-HRG. When Danko takes the bait, HRG has his proof that Danko helped Sylar gain the shape-shifting ability. "How did you think it would end?" HRG asks in disbelief. But Danko regains the upper hand when he sends HRG to find Sylar, currently leading a squad of Danko's men on a mission. HRG again holds who he believes to be Sylar at gunpoint, but then Danko pretends he has no idea what HRG is talking about. All of the men assume he's lost it, but when the man mentions the divorce, HRG is sure he's got his man. But when his gun goes off (thanks to the other agents) the invincible "Sylar" lays in a pool of blood as Danko declares an innocent man dead. HRG runs off in a crazed panic now that blood is on his hands, but he was right all along: The man was Sylar, and he faked the death to save Danko.
All Roads Lead to Coyote Sands
After failing to stop Parkman from going after Danko, Mohinder returns to their New York apartment to learn the Department of Homeland Security has taken all of his research. Luckily, the landlord informs Mohinder that some of his father's things are still in the basement. There, Mohinder finds documents about Operation Icarus, which seems to have either taken place at or been otherwise linked to Coyote Sands. And when last we see Mohinder, he's back at it with that ridiculous map of his, connecting hundreds of people (strings of yarn) to that location.
And so, Angela brings Peter to this mysterious, deserted place which called to her from a dream. Claire and Nathan, at Angela's request, fly in as well just in time for lots of "weighty" rambling by Mama Petrelli. "This is where our story really begins," she says. (Groan.) "To prepare for the future, we have to understand the past." (Double groan.) "You want answers? Then you'll have to dig." (Can anyone hear my eyes rolling?) So what's the great mystery of Coyote Sands? There are skeletons there. But not just one. "I knew all of them," Angela says as HRG joins the digging party to Claire's surprise.
A few other thoughts:
• Mohinder is just how I like him in this episode: He's there, but his story doesn't really require him to open his mouth.
• I feel this Coyote Sands/Project Icarus is a nice throwback to the storytelling of Season 1 where all of the heroes converged at one location. With about half of the group already linked to this place, do we suspect Big Bad Sylar to find his way there soon enough?
• The episode overall was fine, but there were some standout scenes. Danko and Parkman's face-off was riveting, HRG holding Sandra at gunpoint was scary, and the fear in HRG's eyes after realizing his error was heartbreaking.
• I've often thought of Hiro and Ando as clowns, but tonight Ando literally was one for Baby Parkman. There are other ways to weave comedy into the show, guys...
• Case in point: Sylar, in the form of Danko, delivers the best line of the night to Danko in the bathroom. "You should get that mole checked out. You know the one."
What did you think of the episode?
All roads lead to Coyote Sands. Or at least a few of the paths our heroes walk do. While Mama Petrelli organizes a family reunion at this mysterious locale, Mohinder finds clues to its history from an old file that belonged to his father. Meanwhile, Hiro and Ando run into problems as they try to stage a family reunion of their own between Matt Parkman and his infant son. And while Danko tries to keep himself and a loved one out of Parkman's crosshairs, he also has to stay one step ahead of HRG who suspects Sylar's death isn't on the up-and-up. On with the recap!