Episode Title: Collision
Original Airdate: 10-16-2006
Coming into the fourth episode of the season and characters are already starting to intermingle with each others story lines in different and unexpected ways. Some of the characters begin to fall into using their powers for their own gain, and we get to see a little bit more of Noah and what he really does. There isn’t much progress on the Sylar front, or really any major story line. Most of this episode just involves a lot of character development and interactions along with the first real hint at the season long tagline “Save the cheerleader, save the world.”
One of the most interesting aspects of the story is how it brings up the idea of rape culture, something that is still a very prominent issue. Claire discovers that the quarterback that sexually assaulted her and accidentally “killed” her has been doing this for a while and is already on the move to do it again, leaving behind a trail of “sluts” in his wake. It also shows more of the show’s penchant for gory moments as it continues where last episode’s teaser left off showing Claire’s chest splayed open on an autopsy table. Even though it really isn’t handled in any realistic way, the event does finally give Claire some motivation where she gets the initiative to take Brody for a ride straight into a brick wall. For three episodes of her avoiding pretty much anything interesting, it is good to see her take action even if it basically murder.
There’s also a bit of comic relief with Ando and Hiro playing Rain Man in Vegas with Hiro stopping time to cheat at roulette and cards, thought Hiro doesn’t do a very good job and gets them found out, kicked out, and beaten up. Even if he didn’t leave any proof, he was blatant enough to cast suspicion towards them. It was a little out of sorts when you look at the bigger picture and how everyone around them has such high stakes around them, while these two are just playing around in Vegas.
As I mentioned in the intro, the episode title is called collision and while there is the literal collision near the end of the episode with Claire’s car crash, there are plenty of character collisions throughout this episode starting with Mohinder flip flopping on his stance by raving at Nathan that he might have powers, but when Peter comes by claiming he has powers, Mohinder suddenly doesn’t believe him. Of course, it doesn’t help that Peter has already figured out that his power is absorbing other’s powers and he can’t seem to find anyone with powers to absorb. We also get our first glimpse at future Hiro as the cliffhanger ending when he introduces himself to Peter. We also get to see Niki and Nathan meet up in Vegas under the direction of mob boss Linderman and we also get to see Niki let loose with her “power”. Ultimately, I felt like this episode was a lot of wheels turning without getting anywhere. Side note: I’m starting to get the suspicion and/or starting to remember that Mohinder’s neighbor has an ulterior motive. I get the feeling that she either has powers, or is working for Linderman, or both. I’ll leave out any quick research and keep the surprise for myself to find out if I’m right or wrong about this.