Heroes Returns With Claire Quoting Sartre And Carnies On Quaaludes

Psychological torture was on the menu last night when Hiro struggled with brain scrambling, Sylar returned to his body, Claire frowned, and I was forced to watch two hours of Heroes with drunk bisexuals.

OK, they weren't completely drunk. But they did finish a whole bottle of cheap champagne, and kept making me rewind the DVR, which is hard because you can't rewind a digital video file. The main problem was that unfortunately my drunk friends were the ONLY BISEXUALS even remotely connected to last night's episode of Heroes, so start feeling sorry for yourself right now.

Scratch that - start the inexplicable voiceover from beyond the grave, because goddamn it if Suresh isn't doing his "droning about an abstraction" voiceovers again. I thought we'd gotten beyond that, people. In part one of last night's episode, "Beyond This Rock," Suresh told us a bunch of woo-woo stuff I've totally forgotten while Claire does important carnie duties like carrying giant boxes of teddy bears and spearing pieces of trash. Yes, Claire is still having her "I must find myself and process my feelings" moment with the carnies.

This episode was so inexplicably bad that early on I began to convert every major scene into a sentence about murder from the game Clue - you know, like "Colonel Mustard in the kitchen with the rope"? So here we go.

Claire At The Carnival With The Sartre Quotes

So Samuel is still being an unctuous freakazoid with Claire, who talks to him a lot about freedom and then quotes Sartre: "Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." OMG she is a college girl! Also Sartre totes is Facebook friends with Heroes. Hot Tattoo tips Claire off to the fact that Samuel has a bunch of Primatech's old files on mutants and is using them to round up new recruits. Remember, now that Samuel knows his dirt powers can expand in strength the more mutants he has around, he's trying to recruit a ton of new pals - especially ones who can make rainbows sprout from musical instruments. But more on that in a moment!

The point is, Claire accuses Samuel of hiding the Primatech stuff from her, and then he leaves to go mutant hunting and puts Eli the Copy Boy in charge of leering creepily at Claire to prevent her from leaving while he's gone. There's a really boring showdown between Claire and Eli in the house of mirrors (whoa - there are a bunch of him and a bunch of her!) that ends with Eli going down with a chair to the head.

Nerd rage moment: Why the hell does Eli have to TELL HIS OTHER SELVES WHAT TO DO? At one point, he turns to his copies and is like, "You guard the doors." Huh??? Aren't they just shadow versions of him? So next week, I can't wait for Eli to get into an argument with ten versions of himself over who left the toilet seat up.

Hiro In Tokyo With Yoda

One of the mutants scrambled Hiro's brain, and now he can only speak in nerd riddles. This has got to be the most annoying subsubsubplot in the show's history. Hiro is babbling about Jedis and Batman and Caprica (???) and Don Quixote (is that really a nerd reference?) and X-Men and Spiderman - and only Ando can figure out the riddles and determine that Hiro is actually telling them to go to someplace in Florida called Arkham.

Of course there is actually a moment where Hiro says (in Japanese): "Defeat the Dark Side we will."

Nerd rage moment: SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP IT BURNS SHUT UP

Rainbow Brite Emma In Central Park With "Her Soul"

Samuel's new target - whom he'll be visiting in a snazzy leather blazer - is Rainbow Brite Emma. She's feeling sad because her application to get back into med school didn't work out. What will she do with her life now that she has to wait another year for her chance to go back to school? Maybe she'll let a creepy guy into her house who convinces her to talk to him by signing really badly and showing her that his tattoo matches the compass painted on the cello sent to her by an anonymous someone.

Samuel is the anonymous someone! And he's going to show her how to use her power, understand her power, and also make her sit through his wincy-faced story about how the cello was for someone very special to him. Who do you suppose this special-deshel lady is who almost got a cello? In a helpful black-and-white flashback, we learn that the teen Samuel was in love with some chick whom he hoped to impress with his dirt powers and rock music. But older brother Joseph made fun of him and said he would never see the "love of his life" again and that he should stop trying to make dirt do anything.

Are you surprised to know that Samuel is STILL SEARCHING for Lost Love Lady, and that he's planning to build his "promised land" for the mutants in the EXACT PLACE where Joseph once doubted his carnie goth powers?

Anyway whatever. I feel like everybody's powers on Heroes are getting way too complicated - I still don't really understand Hot Tattoo's power, which is like knowing desires/telling the future/growing tattoos/being Sylar's girlfriend. And it turns out that Emma's powers are even more nebulous. So at first her power was Rainbow Brite - seeing color in sound. That was lame, but OK it was a basic power. Then she was able to create music whose color created a giant crack in her wall. WTF? Now, according to Samuel, her power is "projecting her emotions" or "putting her prayers into song." He also says she's a "siren" who can lure people with her music. So basically what this means is that she's whatever they need her to be this episode.

In this particular episode, they needed siren girl because Samuel is trying to find some other dude with plant-growing powers who has gone crazy and is living in Central Park. So the two of them lug the cello out to Central Park, where Emma plays for like two seconds until Plant Boy shows up and Samuel says something like "Let the music fill you up" and Plant Boy makes leaves grow.

Emma takes Plant Boy back to the hospital and gives him a shower and change of clothes, which is all he needs to get better. Whee! He's off to the Carnival. Emma also has an invite to come there to be a doctor - and a compass to get there.

Nerd rage: Please just give people ONE power that does ONE thing. Or I will deliver my scream that shatters bone/controls birds/turns into a laser beam/injects everyone around me with the giant doses of animal tranquilizers required to get them into a state where they accept that Emma has rainbow emotion projecting siren luring cello powers.

The Puppetmaster At The Carnival With The Name-Calling

Among the carnies, Claire has been given too many nicknames. Puppetmaster is mad at her for trying to ruin his nice family by yelling about those Primatech boxes, so he starts calling her Blondie again. But Eli is mad about the chair thing, so he calls her Nancy Drew. What else will she be called?! I can't wait for next week to find out!

By the way, Samuel is now being open about the fact that he killed his brother Joseph, but it's OK because he feels bad about it. Even though Hot Tattoo says the carnival isn't good without Joseph, who was right and nice and true, everybody else seems to be on Samuel's side. Still, Claire wants to leave and Samuel decides to let her after showing her the "promised land" he'll lead everybody to after he executes his secret plan to do a 2012 on the world with his magnified dirt power.

A moment of coolness erupted from the otherwise awful episode at this point!!! It turns out that Samuel has this barren valley in Ohio or Kansas or someplace that will be the promised land, and he wanted Plant Boy so that they could terraform it. OK that is just freakin cool. There's a great scene where Samuel cracks the Earth open so water fills the valley and then Plant Boy causes it to fill with grass and trees. Even though Claire thinks it looks pretty, she's like "I'm going home now so that I can torture viewers with another hour of this show."

Welcome to HOUR TWO of this episode, which is called "Let It Bleed" and contains too many Rolling Stones references because somebody on the Heroes' writing staff finally watched the last season of Battlestar Galctica and thought it would be a great idea to duplicate the All Along The Watchtower thing that all of us hated.

I'm seriously going to need to spike my coffee with crack to finish this recap. OK, I just did it. IT'S LIKE I'M SAYING GOODBYE TO RUBY TUESDAY.

Claire And Peter At The Funeral With The SloMo

Feeling twitchy, so let me just sum it up really fast for you. Claire is mad because everybody lied about how Head Sylar Was In Body Parkman while Pseudo-Nathan was in what appeared to be Body Nathan but was really Body Sylar transformed into Nathan. Peter is mad for the same reason. HRG worked with Mama Petrelli to fake Nathan's actual death by putting his frozen actual body on a plane and crashing it. Pretty much the entire funeral is in slomo and the parts that aren't feel like slomo.

Then somehow Peter and Claire wind up going to some office building where a guy who just got fired is shooting everybody. Peter is in hero mode, and heard about the incident on the police scanner and Claire is in whiny black pantsuit mode so of course she follows him. Right now Peter has the Haitian's powers so I'm not sure what he thinks he'll do. He finds the shooter and tries the whole "I feel your pain because my brother died and then my mom faked his death and I want to kill the guy who actually killed him the first non-fake time" line but it doesn't work. He gets shot, then Claire gives him healing power so he's healed, and then he gets flying power from one of Claire's Facebook friends (I shit you not - this is actually true).

Nerd rage: Why all the tearful missing Nathan that's going on with Peter and Claire? Most of the time he was a total douche who treated them like shit. Why would they miss him?????

Sylar In The Tattoo Both With The Flesh-Eating

Sylar is back, and the new hair is pretty snacky. Also he's going to take his shirt off later, which is actually kind of awesome. I can't even remember why he's pissed at Samuel, but he is. He shows up and tries to be all menacing by wrecking the carnie tattoo both where Samuel is using dirt power to draw pictures of his Lost Love Of The Cello From A Few Scenes Ago. Turns out dirt power trumps brain-eating power, because Samuel creates a whirlwind that eats the flesh off most of Sylar's face.

Then Samuel sics Hot Tattoo on Sylar, and she makes out with him and tells him how smooth his regenerated skin is. Even better she does some armchair psychology (you're lonely! you are afraid nobody loves you!). When Sylar tries to kill her and can't, she's all, "You're impotent!" So now we have a boring new mystery about why Sylar can't or won't kill anymore. Here's a brilliant hint, from Samuel: "You're not a good guy, but you're not totally bad either."

Nerd rage: Snore.

HRG and Lauren In The Freezer With the Quaaludes

At last, I will give to you the one gem in this episode, which is the great scene with HRG and his lady friend Lauren, who is awesomesaucily referred to as "the Iron Maiden" at various points. Sadly, nobody quotes from any Iron Maiden songs. HRG catches superspeedy Edgar AKA Darth Maul zooming around his apartment, tases him, dopes him up with quaaludes, and sticks him in a freezer where he can't go fast because all his muscles are slowed down by cold or some dumbass explanation like that.

After some good torture scenes, Lauren finally steps in and says torture is wrong and they'll get more answers from Edgar by shooting him with truth serum and asking what's gone wrong in the carnie family. Edgar lets slip that everything got bad when Samuel took control, and that he's afraid his family will be destroyed. They decide to team up to stop Samuel, but then Edgar runs away at the last minute because Lauren and HRG insist the carnival is a "cult" and everybody needs to be separated and "reintegrated into society."

I'm with Edgar on this one - WTF is so wrong with a bunch of mutant carnies running around together? As long as they don't have a psycho murderous leader, there's no problem with forming a family out of friends who understand you. I mean if you define "cult" as "any large group of people who live together like family" then you'd better break up every group house, co-op, and fraternity in America. So anyway now HRG and Lauren have to try to find the carnival, Edgar is going to try to depose Samuel on his own I guess, and Claire is being a whiny turd who won't help out by letting HRG use her compass.

Oh and here's this episode's allegedly BIG REVEAL.

Sylar stole Hot Tattoo's power, stuck himself with ink, and got a tattoo that showed him his ultimate desire/future/whatever the fuck else that power does. And what do you think it was? Claire!! So the episode ends with Sylar hovering outside Claire's dormroom muttering about "the cheerleader." OK first of all, she's NOT A CHEERLEADER anymore she's a HOT SARTREAN LESBIAN. Second of all, recycling season one much?

Tune in next week when the gibbering madness this episode injected into my spine oozes out in a black fluid, covers my body in latex, and forces me to dance to Iron Maiden songs in a dance club. Also, I promise next time not to write so much. Or to drink crack in my coffee.