>TV Round-Up: Heroes

>Six Months Ago
Wait, I’m confused. An episode-long flashback that provided insight and answers? How cool is that?

This episode covered a lot of ground and was, in a lot of ways, more satisfying than last week’s much hyped episode. I think part of that was with the usual NBC Thursday line-up off last week for the holiday, I didn’t see the relentless promos for Heroes during My Name is Earl and The Office. And that kind of helped since I went into this one without the lofty expectations that were placed upon last week’s episode.

In the past, we get some big gaps filled in. Until now, we’d had hints and I’ve asked a lot of questions, but doggone if this episode didn’t provide some answers. We found out how Nathan’s wife became paralyzed (which brings up the question of how much does she remember?), we find out that Peter has some kind of pyschic bond with his brother (he dreams about the accident as it unfolds), we find out more details about the Jessica side of Niki (I wasn’t shocked she was a recovering alcoholic, but it did lend some new layers to her character), we find out about the creation of Sylar (and thus shoot down my it’s Peter gone wrong theory) and we have the tragic storyline of Hiro and Charlie, the cute waitress. I have to admit I was a bit heartbroken for Hiro as Charlie tells him of her condition, that she loves him and then he suddenly fast forwards back. It made me wonder if Hiro has only a limited amount of time he can spend in the past before he’s snapped back to the present (kind of rubber band theory if you will) or if his emotions play some part in his powers. He was so happy when Charlie said she loved him that I wonder if that set off his jumping forward somehow. And I guess Hiro can only go back to a certain place once since we saw him unable to jump back. Or has he just not yet learned to control that power.

It’s interesting to note that of all those with powers that we’ve seen on screen, it’s only Hiro and Sylar that want the powers. The others are reluctantly embracing theirs, but so far only these two have desired to have them. I think it’s interesting exploration of the characters to see this yin and yang if you will. Sylar is so desparate for powers that he takes the extreme method of kiling those with them and somehow absorbing their power. Sylar refuses to accept limitations placed upon him and we see just how far he’ll go to get what he wants. Meanwhile, Hiro has limitations and realizes that he can’t abuse the power too much to get what he wants. Hiro resigns himself to the fact that he can’t save Charlie (at least not for now….I wonder if this plotpoint will come back) and tries to keep moving forward.

One of my many criticisms of early episodes of this show was how there were almost too many plotlines running without any intersection. But this week, we had all separate plotines and they all had enough time to be interesting. Never in switching did I feel like I was being short-changed by spending time with a storyline. That said, I think the stuff with Niki and Jessica, while illuminating was a bit too melodramatic. It just felt like a page from the cliched writers book of children having issues with their fathers (and heaven knows we get enough of that over on Lost). But since that’s the only real big criticism I can lob at the episode, that’s pretty good overall.

I am interested to see where it goes now. Having provided some answers, some new layers and new subtexts to the characters, where does Heroes go now. There are at least two vital questions that have to be addressed in fairly rapid order next Monday. But now we’ve got some intersting threads and plotlines, some twists and turns. I loved finding out that HRG’s agenda in sending Eden to New York was to get Claire’s name off the list of those with abilities. This could be interesting in how far he may or may not be willing to go to help Peter (or let Claire help Peter) be exonorated of the charges that will be filed against him. Will HRG allow Peter to suffer to protect and save Claire and could that lead to a split between the two?

For now, though, color me satisfied with the show and thinking that if the last two weeks are any indication, next week’s mid-season finale and cliffhanger should be a good one.

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