Spoilers for "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I apologize for that post title...
Based on the comments, I think I felt warmer towards the premiere than a lot of you did, but I also thought this was quite a bit better than that.
We're still at the point where most of the characters are off in their own storylines (though the murder of Papa Nakamura has Parkman crossing paths with Ando, Nathan and Ma Petrelli), so it's easier to judge the episode in pieces than as a whole.
Claire's flying emo tool of a would-be love interest is annoying, but I really liked the scene at Copy Kingdom where she starts discussing the limits of her powers with an unhappy HRG. It's about time somebody on this show thought about the larger implications of their abilities -- both how they work and how they can be used -- and though I was squirming when she reached for the scissors, it was pretty damn cool. I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a Wolverine situation where eventually her healing factor becomes so potent that she can be regenerated from a single drop of blood.
And speaking of healing factors -- and power limits -- does Kensei have the same ability as Claire, or did Hiro do some kind of time reversal with the arrows? I'm inclined to assume the former, but the writers have been inconsistent in the past about how Hiro's powers work (notably him putting the bullet back in the gun during that silly Missi Pyle storyline), and I wouldn't be stunned if they decide that Hiro can suddenly reverse the flow of time in only one very localized place like a human body.
Either way, I'm enjoying the hell out of Hiro's time trip -- aside from Hiro being so far behind the rest of us in terms of realizing that he was destined to take Kensei's place -- particularly his casually potent power display during The Battle of Twelve Swords (and, more importantly, the little shrug he gave after recognizing a job well done) and the look on Masi Oka's face as he pulled off the mask. The stunt with the cherry blossoms is similar to something he did for Charlie the waitress (involving paper cranes, right?), but I like that Hiro has only a limited number of romantic moves right now.
Speaking of impressive power displays, Hiro's defeat of the 11 swordsmen was followed immediately by Peter having his way with the Lucky Charms gang's archrivals, showing off abilities borrowed from D.L. (phasing out of the ropes), Nikki (punching the guy across the room) and, I think, Sylar (the blue telekinetic energy bolts, though I don't recall Sylar's looking like that, which could mean Peter encountered more powered people during the same stint where he went to Supercuts). I doubt Peter's ever going to be interesting as an actual character whose behavior and emotions I'm supposed to care about, but I hope episodes like this one and "Five Years Later" are evidence that the writers realize how kewl he can be with all his powers, even in brief spurts.
(Also, given the amount of time Milo Ventimiglia obviously spent in the gym on hiatus, I'm sure shirtless, sweating and bound Peter wasn't an unpleasant experience for a certain segment of the audience. After all the Nikki webcam scenes from early last year, it seems only fair.)
I loved the look of pure joy on HRG's face when he reunited with The Haitian, but I had some problems with other segments of that story. For one, the revelation that this was Mohinder's patient was only surprising if you don't know enough geography to know where Port Au Prince is. (Then again, knowing the state of American schools, I'm betting that most of the audience didn't know that.) Also, the revelation that Mohinder and The Haitian were secretly in cahoots needed some kind of line about how HRG was convinced The Company had surveillance on the place, because otherwise all of Mohinder and The Haitian's bickering was just for the audience's benefit, which is dumb.
Not yet invested in Maya and Alejandro, but it's interesting to have yet another power like Radioactive Ted's that's far more curse than blessing, and I'm not going to be that invested in the murder mystery arc until the writers start giving us some suspects.
Still, I felt this episode moved better than last week's, and there were fewer moments that had me groaning.
What did everybody else think?