Spoilers for "Heroes" and "Friday Night Lights" coming up just as soon as I get some cupcakes out of the oven...
On "Heroes," Claire's dad -- or H.R.G. (Horn-Rimmed Glasses), as NBC officially bills him -- is quickly gaining on Hiro in the favorite character sweepstakes. They even had equally hilarious reactions to phone news, Hiro to his future sword (the entire Peter/Hiro/Ando conversation was great), H.R.G. to the idea that someone has the power to stop time. With Jack Coleman becoming a regular and the way he's been portrayed the last few weeks, I'm wondering whether he's really evil or just morally gray. When he and his bald buddy abducted Matt Parkman, for instance, all they did was scan his powers and then send him home without his memory of their encounter.
If he's not the big villain, then maybe Niki is. We knew her mirror-self was willing to do things she wouldn't, and some people had even guessed that those bodies in the desert were the people D.L. had been accused of killing, but that was some hard-core badness from her last night. Her fight with D.L. was the first straight-up comic book-style fight, down to D.L. using the Vision trick of phasing his hand into an opponent's body and then solidifying it just enough to make them pass out from the pain. (At least, I assume she's just passed out, as I can't imagine NBC allowing them to kill off Ali Larter this quickly.) I wish the episode had ended on D.L. running out of the room with Michah, because the quick cut to Eden (aka Pixie Girl) sapped some of the cool cliffhanger juice, making two episodes in a row that didn't end right on a stunner.
Also, no Nathan, Parkman or Simone this week. I know Peter and Isaac need to get the painting from Simone, but I'm hoping the producers have started to realize her pointlessness and are easing her out to make room for other characters like Ando and H.R.G.
I'm damn curious to see the ratings for "Friday Night Lights" this morning. If it did even marginally better than "Studio 60," then that's likely all she wrote for Sorkin's Folly. If it did the same number, or even lower (and, with real football as competition, that wouldn't shock me), then NBC has some tough decisions to make.
It's just too bad the "FNL" people couldn't have thrown together a stronger episode for this unplanned Monday showcase. There were parts of it that were very strong (the team visit to Street's room), and overall it was fine, but compared to previous weeks, it felt like a drop-off.
In particular, I think they fumbled the resolution to the QB One issue, first by making Voodoo such an obvious screw-up that no coach in America would have left him on the field, and second by skipping over some of the obvious beats after Taylor made the switch (the crowd's unhappy reaction to Saracen's return, followed by Saracen beginning to play well, etc.). The Voodoo scene in coach's office painted the character as morally ambiguous enough that the writers could have either gotten more mileage out of him or, at least, made Taylor's decision much tougher. (Though I continue to love any scene where Taylor goes berserk on one of his players. Kyle Chandler usually plays such easy-going characters that I didn't know he had this type of screaming in him.)
The Tyra subplot felt divorced from the rest of the show and was made especially odd by the fact that, outside of her High School Slut-wear, Tyra looked roughly the same age as the scruffy young businessman. The show had already done a good job of establishing that she's a lot smarter than she looks and that she longs to get out of this one-horse town, so unless (as Marian guessed) she winds up pregnant as a result, not sure what the point was.
Whether it was the visit by the team (and, especially, Riggins) or he was going to do it on his own, glad to see Street decide to skip over the six months of self-pity and move directly towards training for some Murderball. I think I would feel more investment in the love triangle if the actors playing Lyla and Rigggins were better, but Street's cool.
What did everybody else think?