I came away from this week’s HEROES shaking my head in confusion because the way I saw it, the-powers-that-be completely retconned Chandra Suresh. And not for the better. In Chapter One, “Genesis,” Chandra was already dead, killed in a taxi crash. He was referred to as Mohinder’s father, the author of Activating Evolution, a controversial book that tried to explain why people were “suddenly” manifesting super powers. As Mohinder looked into his father’s work, he discovered that Chandra identified Sylar as “Patient Zero,” the original source of powered humans! Yet, now we learn that Chandra Suresh was involved with Project: Icarus at Coyote Sands in 1961 — in which he experimented on humans with super abilities. So why would he write that book some 40 years later? He knew humans had been evolving for decades, not “suddenly,” and he knew Sylar had nothing to do with it. So the question becomes, Why did Chandra want to reopen the issue of superhumans years later? Surely he must have been ashamed of his role in the concentration camp and the mass deaths? If he was not ashamed, then that makes his character a monster! (Ironic how Mohinder quickly noted that he had become his father by experimenting on human guinea pigs.) But leave all that aside: Why publish a book about “theories” of evolution? Perhaps he was trying to disguise his knowledge; instead of building on what he knew and could prove, he was trying to make his research look like conjecture in order to stimulate debate. But, again, to what end? It is somewhat believable that the government would want to seal all records of the Coyote Sands camp and the massacre. (Hmmm, didn’t we see a mass grave following a “purge” on LOST?), and I suppose the documents could be buried so deep that they could be forgotten. And it would help if the Company was doggedly stamping out all mention of evolved humans. In contrast to all the muddying of the waters of the past, when Angela told Alice how she obsesses over socks, she actually cleared up a little mystery from Angela’s very first appearance, waaaaay back in the premiere episode, when she was arrested for shoplifting socks. (However, even more ludicrous was the idea that Alice spent 45 years at the abandoned camp because her older sister told her it would be a safe place.)
In 1961, the young Angela met a trio of men who would help create the Company: telepath Charles Deveaux, who would eventually be Simone’s father and the old man Peter was caring for at the beginning of the series, was played by Edwin Hodge (ex-Brett, INVASION) in 1961, and Richard Roundtree in the future; Bob Bishop (who turned objects into gold) would grow up to be electrical Elle’s father, and be portrayed by Stephen Tobolowski); Casey Kringlen, who played the young healer Linderman, actually resembled his character’s future incarnation, Malcolm McDowell. The young Chandra was essayed by Ravi Kapoor, best-known as “Bug” from CROSSING JORDAN. Coyote Sands served as the springboard for the Company. In May 1961, Angela dreamed about founding the Company to protect people like them; an organization willing to do whatever was necessary to keep the secret of metahumans safe. “A necessary evil,” she called it. In the present, Mohinder believed a new Company could be done right. Peter hit upon the idea of organizing it around the extended Petrelli family, because families can forgive each other. But everyone agreed the organization must once again be kept a secret. It remains to be seen whether those good intentions will once again become corrupted.