Spoilers for, in order, "Heroes," "The Class" and "How I Met Your Mother" -- all of which built up to surprise endings -- coming up just as soon as I pull this sharp stick out of my head...
Ho. Ly. Schnickes. I was enjoying "Heroes" for most of the first three episodes, but it wasn't until we got to that final shot of Claire on the autopsy table that I knew I was in for the long haul. Any show willing to vivisect a cheerleader on network TV, I'm in favor of. Tim Kring may not be much of a comic fan, but he and his writers keep coming up with these great cliffhangers. I was ambivalent about the pilot until Adrian Pasdar flew, was planning to only watch the first half of my episode 2 & 3 DVD until Hiro realized when he was, and now this.
Outside of the biggest challenge a healing factor has faced since Wolverine had to regenerate himself from a single drop of blood, the highlight for show three was, of course, Hiro (and the return of his buddy Ando). I'm curious exactly how long this comic book is supposed to be; it looks like the standard format, which would mean it's going to run out of pages long before Hiro finishes whatever this quest is. And wouldn't Isaac be freaked to realize he was drawing his own apartment (and, possibly, his own corpse) in a comic book? He always freaked out about his paintings after realizing they had come true, but none of them involve him.
The other scene I loved was Peter at the playground. When I saw him standing on what seemed to be the edge of another building roof for the third episode in a row, I wrote in my notes, "Oh, come on!" Then they pulled back to do the jungle gym reveal, not to mention the little kid in the red cape, and I laughed. That the show already recognized how ponderous some of those Peter scenes had become is a good sign.
Well, now I know why CBS was being so vague in its press releases about what character Sara Gilbert was going to play on "The Class." Not wild about the show going to the adultery well twice in four episodes (or, if she's not Richie's wife, just plain cheating). Even less wild about the continuation of the joke about Holly and her husband not understanding Kyle's boyfriend's perfectly clear English, which is actually about 12 times lamer than the joke about Holly's husband being a not-so-secret flaming queen (or else second cousin to Lyle, the Effeminate Heterosexual). The only really funny stuff this week was Duncan becoming bestest buddies with Yonk. After some marginal improvement in each of the last two weeks, this was a big step backwards.
"How I Met Your Mother" also recycled a recent device, with the series of flashbacks that were repeated twice with the same dialogue but different meaning, but it was a funnier joke to begin with and the entire episode didn't depend on it. (I was starting to suspect that Barney was standing in for Ted around the time Robin talked to the bouncer.) My only major complaint: how do you have Marshall go back to the club and not show him dancing? Even for two seconds? Total missed opportunity.
What did everybody else think?