Claire and Gretchen continue to pal around on “Heroes”

The preview of last week’s episode of Heroes showed some promise, at least in the minds of readers, as it revealed that Gretchen accepted an invitation by Claire’s dad, the Notorious H.R.G., to Thanksgiving dinner at the Bennet residence.

However, weekend at Bennet’s ends up being a buzzkill, as H.R.G. and his ex-wife both bring dates, Claire announces her intention to drop out of school, and severe awkwardness ensues.

Eventually, Claire becomes fed up with everyone, slices her hand at the table and spontaneously heals to prove that she cannot fit in at school.

This causes her mother’s dweeby date Doug to faint, which also prevents him from speaking. Everyone present is secretly thankful for the latter.

At the tail end of dinner, Gretchen finally makes her appearance. She and Claire have a heart to heart, and Gretchen contemplates moving back in with Claire, because she finds her new roommate dull. After all, no one has tried to kill her for four days. Claire suddenly has a change of heart about dropping out of college, and she tells her dad that she will be back at school on Monday.

Claire steals Samuel’s compass from her dad, and she and Gretchen blow the joint to find where the compass leads. Claire warns Gretchen that they might run into Becky, and as you remember, who tried to, you know, murder Gretchen. But Gretchen is whipped, so off they go on a 21 hour drive to never never land. Brilliant. If Heroes were a horror film and Claire couldn’t heal, they’d both be dead by now.

The storyline picks up this week when Gretchen and Claire arrive at the big bad mutant commune, i.e. the carnival. Initially, Claire has second thoughts and attempts to leave, but Gretchen convinces her otherwise. As I said before, if this were a horror film, these two would have been slashed to pieces by now.

As they share a brief moment of smiling sweetly at each other, Samuel appears out of nowhere and interrupts them. Can’t these two get some alone time? Samuel gives them popcorn and tells them to explore the premises.

At some point, Claire and Gretchen enter a tent where they find Tattoo Girl, who partially disrobes. “Well, this looks promising,” quips Gretchen. Tattoo Girl tells Claire to grab her hand and she will reveal to Claire her deepest desires. The ink that appears on Tattoo Girl’s back indicates that Claire secretly wants to be “Indestructible Girl.”

Then Claire shoots the breeze with puppeteer who, in a previous season, used her biological mother as a love slave and tried to shoot Claire. And now they’re pals? WTF, Heroes?

Claire and Gretchen happen upon Samuel entertaining a group of children with abilities. Samuel convinces Claire to tell them a story to entertain them. Gretchen disdainfully remarks to Samuel that he shouldn’t be preying on Claire’s emotions, which Samuel ignores. It has already become clear that Claire has been drawn by the promise of a sanctuary where people like her can live in the open.

While Claire is mingling with the carnies, an angry patron who believes that he has been ripped off confronts Samuel and proceeds to beat him. Claire intervenes, only to get her face slashed by a broken wine glass. Claire heals in front of the angry customer, who immediately loses his bravado and flees.

Finally, it’s time to leave. Claire and Gretchen enter the carnival parking lot to take the long 21 hour drive back to college. But Claire tells Gretchen that she is staying for a couple of days, promising that she will return on Monday. They part, and Gretchen drives off alone. It looks like Claire and Gretchen’s excellent adventure has come to an end.

Parking lots, as I have pointed out before, spell the end of lesbian relationships on television. So in my expert opinion, the chances that the Claire/Gretchen relationship will be rekindled is nil. It has already been dead for a while, but the appearance of the parking lot is the final nail in the coffin.