Ordinarily, I do "Chuck" and "HIMYM" posts and "Heroes" later in the day, but I'm feeling all discombobulated from stike coverage, so I'm flipping things around. Spoilers for "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I study pictures of my childhood kitchen...
Just as it never rains when I bring an umbrella just in case and it always rains whenever I forget (particularly on days after I get my car washed), I have this weird tendency to do "This show is awesome!" columns on days when the series in question winds up airing a dud episode, and to write "This show sucks!" columns on days when the series in question has a rare bounceback episode. The moral of the story kids: if you don't have a screener in hand, you may want to wait to write.
Now, last night's "Heroes" wasn't perfect, but it was still easily the best hour of this disappointing sophomore season. Stories finally moved forward, there were some exciting moments, and the Black Oil Twins were nowhere to be seen.
The Hiro/Kensei storyline retroactively got some major heft, as it turned out we weren't just watching a fun romp on feudal Japan, but rather the birth of a supervillain. As motivations go, "Hiro stole my girlfriend!" isn't that much deeper than "Superboy made me bald!" (which, for reals, was Luthor's motivation at one point in the '50s and '60s), but we know by now that "Heroes" isn't a deep show, and I think David Anders and the much-maligned (including by me) writers have done a nice job of illustrating why Hiro's betrayal would cut Kensei so deeply. The revelation that Kensei and Adam Monroe are one and the same wasn't a huge stunner -- people on this blog were guessing that as far back as the discovery of Kensei's healing power, which might have the potential to make him immortal (and definitely to survie falling off a building with Mr. Nakamura), and it's not like the writers have given us many other suspects -- but the pieces all fit together nicely, and make what's happened before seem like far less a waste of time. (Sort of like Hurley's use of the magic Dharma bus in the "Lost" finale.)
Like everyone else, I'm still annoyed that the story arc again involves a desolated New York, but this episode extended the tragedy's scope beyond that, to one where 93% (and counting) of the world's population has been killed by the Legacy Virus (or whatever they're calling it on the show). This time, Peter really will get to save the world, and not just half of Manhattan. I also thought the scenes in the decontamination camp were well done, particularly guest star Mark Harelik's delivery of the line about it being a tough week as Peter gawked at all the bodies. I'm glad Ma Petrelli's force of personality -- or, as has been hinted, psychic talents -- has started Peter on the road away from retrograde amnesia, and that his Irish lassie got stranded in the future. Not that I necessarily expect the "Heroes" writers to grasp the potential of time travel stories -- otherwise Hiro wouldn't have returned from Japan at the exact moment that the present-day stories are taking place -- but there could be a cool development where Peter is faced with a choice between saving the world, and therefore erasing the future where his girlfriend is trapped, or letting people die so he can enjoy some Irish Spring.
The Nightmare Man's invasion of Company HQ was pretty well-executed. Even though his use of his powers was again nothing I haven't read dozens of times in comics featuring guys like Mastermind, the personal connections for both Parkman and Niki made their traps more interesting than what he did to Parkman and Nathan the last time. Also nice to see another Company man help Parkman realize his powers are a lot more versatile than just reading minds. I'd really like Bob's apparent face turn to be genuine, both because I'm tired of Mohinder always being a sap and trusting the wrong people, and because it would make things a lot more interesting for the rest of this arc if HRG turned out to be at cross purposes with the other good guys.
What did everybody else think? Am I just feeling more generous, or did they actually fix a few things last night?