Spoilers for, in order, "Heroes," "Journeyman" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm" coming up just as soon as I call a limo...
How boring was "Heroes" last night? So much so that I vastly preferred the episode of "Journeyman" that followed it. (Though, in fairness, it was a decent episode of "Journeyman." More in a minute.) The new characters range from repetitively dull (Maya and Alejandro, who are now 3-for-3 in plots where they're temporarily split up, though at least here Maya actively decided to use her powers) to completely annoying (West the flyer, the Lucky Charms gang). The stories are moving at a snail's pace, typified by Peter getting the magic ID box but refusing to open it, largely because it gives the writers an excuse to keep him off the board as long as they possibly can.
The only real highlight -- other than, as Fienberg joked to me this morning, Parkman and Mohinder coming out of the closet as Molly's two gay daddies -- was the return of Sylar and the news of his apparent depowering. I said last year that he had reached a point where the writers needed to find a way to shake loose most of his acquired abilities because he was too powerful for them to write interestingly. (The season finale was proof of that.) So I hope that he's really back to ground zero, in need of acquiring an entirely new batch of powers, rather than having his talents temporarily repressed. And I definitely hope that he was unsuccessful in picking up Candace's illusion-casting powers, as they became really annoying in the last third of season one, giving the writers a Get Out of Scene Free card by allowing Candace to appear anywhere as anyone. (The power did give them an excuse to keep the character around briefly despite the loss of Missi Peregrym, and the writers finally pulled the trick they should have in the season finale by showing us, sort of, what Candace really looked like. If you want, fanwank it as the default illusion being so powerful that it can work even when she's unconscious, but not when she's dead.)
"Journeyman," like I said, was halfway decent. I don't know that it's a show I'd watch every week, but Dan's mission -- and the complications generated by its setting -- was a lot more interesting than the first two. Having to change something small while ignoring a big event is a familiar trope of this kind of show, but it's something "Journeyman" had to do at some point, and Dan's failure to save Hugh's sister illustrated some of the limits of what he can do. (If the guy playing Hugh wasn't a regular, though, it would have been a lot more interesting if Dan had saved the sister and then returned to the present to discover that he had a new boss, because Hugh was still a drunk without his sister's death as a wake-up call.)
That said, making him a reporter was a mistake, because there's no way a guy who's supposed to be a topnotch investigative journalist would be spending this much time with Livia without constantly badgering her with questions about the who, what, when, where, why and how of their "traveling" -- especially now that he's adjusted to the situation. I know I harp on this a lot with Jack and The Others on "Lost," but this is even worse, because it's the thing Dan is trained to do. That doesn't mean the writers have to make Livia spell everything out for us by episode four, just that there need to be reasons for Dan to not ask (i.e., his target shows up or Livia disappears as he's in the middle of a query) or for Livia to not answer (even "I don't know" or "I'm not allowed to tell you yet" would suffice). The ratings are lousy enough that I suspect this is a moot point, but if the show were to be around long-term, it would bug me.
Finally, that's two bad "Curb Your Enthusiasm"s in a row. This one was, I guess, partially redeemed by the sight of Larry and John McEnroe -- Larry's equivalent in the world of tennis -- screaming at each other outside the party, but the rest was a mess. The internal logic didn't work at all. I understand Larry wanting to help out the limo driver -- he got into trouble for something similar in the episode where he took a fork out of the restaurant -- but why invite him into Ted's house? Why not bring him a book or something else to help the guy pass the time? Why would McEnroe tolerate all of Larry's questions instead of just shutting the divider? Why on Earth would McEnroe invite Larry into the party after that fiasco at the cemetary? Etc. When "Curb" works, it's because you understand why people are behaving the way that they do, even though they're being ridiculous. This was just a lot of forced wackiness.
What did everybody else think?