Heroes should remember to stick with flashbacks, instead of flash forwards. Though I wasn’t a huge fan of this episode, mostly because it didn’t really move the story forward. But it served some great purposes. It brought some resolution to characters that have basically been feuding all season, and it gave the audience some insight into how the Company was formed, how Dr. Suresh got involved with people with powers and finally cleared up why a classy lady like Angela Petrelli was always stealing socks!
This week, we focused on Coyote Sands and finding out why the hell Angela brought her family there, and what happened so many years ago that had Angela saying, “Mum’s the word.” We last saw Peter, Nathan, Claire and Noah digging up bones while Angela looked far into the distance, probably remembering the horrible things that occurred. Sadly, Angela’s sister, Alice, her parents and all the others at Coyote Sands were killed. Through black and white flashbacks, we learn how it all came to be.
BACK IN THE DAY
Surprisingly, the first face we meet in 1961 is Dr. Chandra Suresh. He greets Angela and her sister who have been brought, by their parents, to have their abilities tested. Everything looks all cheery and campy and fun except for the men toting huge guns. Angela plays the big sister role well, always assuring Alice that everything will be okay and this place will mean good things for them. Alice, who also brought nothing but toys on this trip has cold feet, and Angela promises to find her some sock. (So, it all makes sentimental sense!) Angela already has visions which to her are more like nightmares that keep her awake at night. Oh, and Alice is all Storm-like, controlling the weather.
One of the nights, Angela has a nightmare that Dr. Suresh is involved in killing the parents and children in Wonderland. This shocks him, and we all know Dr. Suresh never seemed to be that kind of man, but it’s pretty clear how dead on she is when she predicts the cards he hold in her hands during one of his tests. She can even predict what he will say because she’s already envisioned it.
Angela also quickly befriends three other guys at the site. The young men turn out to be Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman and Bob Bishop. Oh, the beginnings of the Company are falling into place. But why are they alive, if everyone else is dead? She confides in them regarding her vision and what she saw, hoping they can help form a plan to save everyone.
While eating at a diner and formulating a plan, Angela notices a dramatic shift in the weather and realizes something really wrong must be happening with Alice. Alice was taken for testing by Suresh and being the scared little girl she is, she ends up lighting bolting one of the guys recording the testing and causing what looks like a sandstorm. While running away, she also causes more mayhem because her dad tries to protect her with his powers and is gunned down. All hell breaks loose of course, though we don’t see it. All we see is the scared girl hiding, probably wondering where the hell her sister was and why she said that everything would be alright.
When a storm starts brewing, Angela is convinced that her sister must be there. How could she be alive? That’s another question, but she knows she has to confront her on her own. While all this is going on, Nathan has caught up to Peter who flew away exasperated at the end of last week and begs for his forgiveness. He’s already got Claire on his side, working it on his behalf, but Peter doesn’t cave so easily.
On the other hand, Noah, while looking for Angela runs into Mohinder, who’s not to happy to see the man who captured him and locked him away in Building 26. Once Noah convinces him that he was always on his side and explains why he and the others came to Coyote Sands, Mohinder finally has some answers to what his father was doing. He even sees the correlation in what happened to him when he became obsessed with curing people with powers. (Poor Mohinder. I was actually hoping he’d die this episode. We’ll see later why I thought that.)
But Angela was right. Somehow Alice was still alive, and living on her own in the desert has sorta driven her crazy. She’s been waiting there the whole time because Angela said she would be safe if she stayed there. (Isn’t that so sad!) It seems like a sweet family reunion until Angela confesses it was all her fault and tries to apologize. Immediately Alice puts two and two together and gets so angry that she starts another storm that lightenings Mohinder and almost kills Angela. She tries to talk her down by saying she has a family in the people who are here, but Alice wants none of it. At least she doesn’t kill anyone, and instead just disappears. I wonder if she’s more like Storm than I thought and used the wind to fly herself away because Angela, only steps behind her, can’t catch up to her and doesn’t even see her leave!
Finally part of the past has been settled, and a big question of how the Company came to be has been answered which I really appreciate. (Thanks, Fuller!) Later on, our crew sits around a table, deciding to take up the old Company’s quest to keep people with powers a secret. Peter even forgives Nathan because he knows he must to move forward as a family. Mohinder, on the other hand, sticks around, mostly because he’s being whiney and hard on himself for the things he’s done that seemed very much like the massacre at Coyote Sands.
In the final scene, the crew sees Nathan on the TV screen being the Senator we know him to be. Except we know it’s not Nathan. Fortunately, Noah is there, and he knows what we know. That Sylar must be planning something with Danko. Now, I’m just itching to find out what that plan may be!
Season 3, Episode 23: 1961 (originally aired April 13, 2009)
For another take on this episode, check out Coyote Ugly by Paul Secrest.
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Photographs courtesy of NBC Universal, Adam Taylor, Chris Haston