By Special Correspondent Arturo R. Garcia, also Posted At The Instant Callback
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!
“You could have told us all this in a restaurant.”
— Peter Petrelli
It’s never a good sign when Petey’s argument makes the most sense. But he’s exactly right — “1961” was, quite the pointless trip in the wayback machine, an ostensible origin story for the Company wrapped around a maudlin effort at “reconciliation” for the Benetrellis.
Picking up from last week’s events, the family comes together at Coyote Sands — the site, it turns out, of a metahuman relocation camp and some sort of subsequent massacre involving the members of Angela’s family. But the vacation’s not all fun and tomb-raiding; the former Angela Shaw is there looking for her sister Alice, who was apparently so traumatized that she’s been living in a bunker at the camp for more than 50 years.
Think about it for a second: a firefight involving superhumans at a government facility, and the site is still wide-open? And, there’s evidence of spontaneous weather patterns generating in this one particular zone and nobody – not even Primatech — sussed out something weird was going on? And the camp can’t be as remote as we were led to believe if the nearby cafe has been able to stay in business this whole time. Surely somebody would have noticed a weird woman wandering around town?
For all the (literal) Sturm und Drang kicked up here, none of it ultimately matters a lick in the bigger storyline. Alice disappears (or something); Claire and Noah make up (for now); and so do the Petrelli boys (for now). Until their next pissy argument erupts; then it’ll take them four more months to figure out that, hey, the world might be going to pot again.
It’s not literally until the last minute that we get a bit of plot development: Sylar has somehow taken on Nathan’s appearance – have they even met? — and is impersonating him in front of the media. Wouldn’t all that time spent chasing ghosts in Arizona have been better spent preventing this from happening?
The Racialicious Scorecard
Charles Devaux: Who’s the handsome black chap callin’ people Ja-Shut your mouth! … For the most part, the young Mr. Devereaux we saw here was a complicated man (though Angela seemed to understand him). But seriously, that out-of-nowhere slur scripted for him was completely at odds with the serene, sympathetic Devaux we met in season one. (Not quite as jarring but also incongruous: Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” featured in the episode, was actually released in July 1961, months after the events depicted therein.)
Chandra and Mohinder: Like father, like son, in a bad way – we didn’t get a satisfactory resolution for either character. We saw Chandra conducting interviews and holding up a gnarly-looking syringe, but writer Aron Coleite pussy-footed around any hard evidence that the elder Suresh himself was doing anything harmful to the people at Camp Notanxmenripoff. Worse yet, after spending most of the episode in disbelief that his father would do such things, Mohinder begs off when offered the chance to actually confirm his suspicions. Instead he separates from Peter and company with some vagaries about seeking “Redemption.” Since that’s the title of Volume 5, it’s likely we’ll find out more about Mo’s quest next season – but what a lackluster way to seemingly write the guy out.