Tonight’s episode began not with the resolution to the cliffhanger but, rather, with Nathan making a phone call to…who? At first, I thought, “Oh, it’s Mama,” but, no, that would’ve been too obvious. And we knew it wasn’t Tracy, since she was on the plane. Then I had a crazy thought: maybe it’s Papa, already back from the dead. It wasn’t, of course: it actually was Mama. But, hey, a Robert Forster fan can dream, can’t he?

The post-crash sequence quickly showed that last week’s cliffhanger was a big waste of everyone’s time, as every single hero got out alive, but once the gang got on the run, it looked like things were going to get very interesting very quickly, especially when Matt went all white-eyed. But, suddenly, the jets flew over and bombed the shit out of the crashed plane, and I groaned. Really, “Heroes” writers? You think having a couple of big, loud jets flying by and dropping bombs is somehow going to draw attention away from the plane crash that happened a few minutes before…? And my groaning turned into moaning with the funny-for-all-the-wrong-reasons scene of tranced-up Matt busting into a trailer just to hunt down paper and a writing utensil. Fortunately, Ando was there to provide a couple of legitimate laughs, most notably at an airline operator’s lack of knowledge about the whereabouts of the state of Arkansas.

It was a shame to see Daphne get shot down, though I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see a great deal of Matt’s emotional reaction beyond his turning the soldiers against themselves. I’m sure, however, that we’ll see him start to grow darker with his power usage in upcoming weeks as he extracts his revenge.

It was good to see Julia Campbell turn up (Remember her turn as Christy Masters in “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”?), but it was even better to see that Dan Byrd was able to pick up work so quickly after the untimely cancellation of “Aliens in America.” The whole torturing scene was pretty dark, but when Luke blew that cup out of Sylar’s hand, I started getting curious about where things would be going. It’s never a good thing for Sylar to find a kindred spirit, but when he smirked after poor Luke accidentally fried that dude, it was instantly clear that he was planning to mold Luke into his own image.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I did, however, have a couple of problems with this episode. The first thing…well, okay, this is totally a geeky one, but I took issue with Daphne managing to carry Ando from Japan to America at super-speed without him suffering any ill effects. (C’mon, people, you know comic book geeks watch this show. Didn’t it occur to you that someone would ask about this?) My bigger problem is this ongoing thing with Claire. It is idiotic that they just keep sending her back home when they know full well that all she’s going to do is keep coming back for more. I’m so annoyed by the ridiculousness of it all that I barely even care who she was getting a text message from at the end of the episode.

All in all, I can’t say I was thrilled with the episode, but the ending confirms that they’re trying to maintain this newly dark tone to the show, and I’m particularly intrigued by the Sylar storyline and in seeing what’s going to happen with Matt in the wake of Daphne’s death. Tune in next week, kids…