Seven Minutes To Midnight

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B- | Grade It Now!
The Ballad Of Charlie And Hiro

Back in Midland, as a crazed Laura Bush barrels past a crossing guard in her Buick Town Car and continues down the road with seven first-graders splattered on her windshield (offscreen), Hiro and Charlie are sitting at the counter, studying her Japanese phrase book. "The dance floor lights are cool," reads Charlie, in Japanese. "Perfecto!" cheers Hiro. "You ready for disco!" Of course, he throws an arm up in the air, aiming to evoke Tony Manero but forgetting to point a finger and landing closer to Herman Goering. "Almost," Hiro adds, of Charlie's pronunciation, and she urges him not to let her off easy. Hiro repeats the phrase in Japanese for her, she repeats it after him, he beams and claps like a seal, and Wing Chun giggles delightedly. "I don't like this song -- let's get a drink," tries Charlie in Japanese. Hiro looks enthralled -- as though she weren't just reading, but might actually be hitting on him -- and breathes, "You learn very fast." Charlie tells us again about her super-memory, and Hiro informs her, "My skill much more...compleecate." Charlie chuckles, asking what that might be. He considers for a moment, as she regards him expectantly, and he finally replies, "I can teach Japanese to anyone." Charlie giggles and even tips him the tiniest wink, and then rhymes off like fifteen Japanese syllables that we are to believe just add up to "You're sweet." Hiro looks at her heart-meltingly for a moment, and then back to the book, flipping through the pages to see whence she's reciting. "'Sweet' means nice," Charlie explains. "Cute." "That's not in book," Hiro tells her shyly. Charlie smiles and shakes her head, earnestly saying in Japanese, "No. It is just true." Hiro looks up at her, and then down again sheepishly, tittering. Charlie adds that she likes the way Hiro's cheeks wobble when he concentrates. Hiro obligingly makes his time-stopping face, without actually stopping time, and she laughs appreciatively. Then one of Charlie's orders comes up, and she goes to get it, telling Hiro in Japanese that she'll be right back. Hiro adoringly watches her go, and then instantly turns around to Ando, throwing up his hands in a triumphant V and screeching (in Japanese): "I'm sweet!" Nothing like playing it cool. Back in the booth with the paper, Ando gives Hiro a sarcastic "okay" hand. And, at the dark and stormy corner table, Sylar takes a sip of his coffee. His black, black coffee. Sylar's cup returning to the table segues us straight back to...

...Ted's holding room, where Audrey sets a glass of water in front of the detainee. Ted looks into it sadly, expositing, "You wouldn't even let me go to my wife's funeral." Aw! As Audrey takes a position holding up the wall, she tells Ted that they need him to answer some questions. Ted bitterly asks if she can't just get her "partner here," indicating Matt, to look inside his head, but Audrey explains that they need it on the record. She reminds us that Ted burned up a bunch of stuff and probably gave his wife cancer, and asks how he did it. Taking the "Good Cop" gig, Matt eagerly swoops into the chair across the table from Ted and tells him that if he doesn't let Matt and Audrey help him, Ted will get taken away where no one will listen to him. Exasperated, Ted sighs that it doesn't matter: "Nothing matters! I killed my wife!" Ted slams his palms down on the table, causing a jittery Matt to check his dosimeter, now -- like Audrey's -- displaying a bar the colour of tomato soup. So...not dark green. Matt tries to draw Audrey's attention to the fact that they're sitting in a giant microwave right now, but she is focused on the agitated Ted, who's ranting, "You know, just lock me up. Execute me. Leave me the hell alone! ...I don't know anything about any nuclear material!" Matt starts to twig that they wouldn't like Ted when he's angry, and tries to soothe him, but Ted's not having it: "Do you want me to be a terrorist, huh? You want me to be the bad guy? Fine. I'll blow this place apart!" Ted closes his hands around the glass of water, and of course the water immediately starts boiling. Matt stands up, still trying to calm Ted down, but of course Audrey has to escalate the situation by drawing on Ted, who screams, "Do it! DO IT!" Matt's like, "Y'all, let's just mellow out," trying to explain that he knows what Ted is going through. Ted is dubious, but Matt reminds him, "You've seen what I can do!" The soundtrack is all alarmed and the camera keeps cutting back to the glass gripped in Ted's hands, but...like, it's four ounces of boiling water. Okay, he boiled it with his mind, or whatever, but let's not all freak out like he's menacing Matt and Audrey with a cup of lava; this whole situation could be defused if only someone could bust out a sachet of Top Ramen.

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