First of all? Worst. Anticlimax. Ever. "Claire, you have to shoot me! Oh, wait. Nevermind. It's all good, yo." I never got around to reviewing last week's episode, but the entire thing felt like foot-dragging in between Hiro's trip to the future and the inevitable events of the finale. (Sylar and his mom in the life-size snowglobe almost made up for everything else, but not quite.) This one still had to move some pieces around (Sylar stealing Ted's power, Hiro studying under Papa Nakamura), but it felt far more exciting overall as the bodies began to drop.
I think death has become a cheap device in network dramas -- "24" in particular has now conditioned its audience to not care about anyone but the main character, because everyone else is one case of writer's bloc away from catching a bullet -- but these deaths were very well-executed (pardon the pun). HRG putting a bullet in Eric Roberts' brain was awesome, and D.L. putting his fist in Linderman's brain even moreso. D.L. is arguably the least interesting original character left, but if he dies, they gave him a kewl exit. And Sylar beckoning the FBI van to come to him, then stop on a dime, was one of the creepiest demonstrations of his powers yet. I like how his ability (natural or paranormal) to understand how things work tends to make him better with each power than the person he stole it from (and better than Peter's been so far with his borrowed abilities). At the same time, I feel like they have to get rid of Sylar in the finale, or at least find some way to depower him, because he's officially become too powerful for any character but Peter and maybe Hiro to realistically face.
Papa Nakamura showing off his mad katana skills was a highlight -- George Takei had the same gleam in his eyes as he did in that "Star Trek" episode where Sulu was running around the Enterprise shirtless with a fencing sword -- as was the acknowledgement that HRG isn't all warm and cuddly now that we've gotten to know him. I imagine he and Mohinder will come up with some compromise solution about Molly, but HRG's not playing -- he'll kill the girl if it comes to that, even if he has to die himself.
Some pointless speculation on the finale:
- Like Kensei, Hiro will have to cut out his heart to save the day. Does that mean he'll have to surrender his own innocence, or that he'll have to let Ando die?
- If D.L. dies from the bullet wound (and he looked alive but still pained in the previews), does that automatically change the future Hiro visited? Because D.L. survived there, at least long enough for Sylar to eat his brain.
- Can Linderman apply his healing powers to himself, ala Claire and Peter, and bring himself back, or is he kaput? (And if his powers are like Claire's, is there any chance that he and not Pa Petrelli is Nathan's dad? In general, there hasn't been any correlation between the powers of family members, but you never know.)
- So what does Candice actually look like? The french fry scene suggested she's at least fat. There's a very minor Marvel Comics villain (from "Squadron Supreme") named Moonglow who's a heavyset woman with illusion-casting powers that she uses to turn herself into a hot, skinny blonde.
- Anybody know who drew the Kensei pictures? I don't read "Lone Wolf & Cub," but it vaguely resembled what I can remember of those covers.