I’m not saying this was the best episode of the season, but it was definitely filled with some of the best dialogue of the season.

I can’t tell you the exact moment that I decided I liked every character on “Heroes,” but at least I can identify it for Claire’s new boy, Alex (though I like to think of him as Aqualad). It was when he looked at her and said, “You’re not Harriet Tubman, Claire, all right? And this isn’t the Underground Railroad. You’re just a high school girl, and you’re in over your head.” He’s probably a narc, but what can I tell you? You just don’t get many Harriet Tubman references nowadays; you’ve gotta respect them when they come along. Also, I actually laughed out loud when Alex wouldn’t even cop to having sex with Claire to save his own skin.

You know, I almost hate to admit it, but I actually kind of liked Hayden Panettiere’s performance this episode…probably because she actually played some semblance of a typical teenage girl for much of the time, particularly during the discussion with her mom about whether or not a divorce from HRG was forthcoming. Her mom had quite a few good lines during the course of the episode, too, including her observation about the van that’d been sitting outside their house for way too long (“No-one’s pool is that dirty”), but nothing topped the lustful shout-out to the glory of Def Leppard’s Rick Savage. Having the agent come in and almost but not quite find Alex wasn’t nearly as suspenseful as I think it was probably intended to be, though, nor was Claire and Alex’s great escape. And the underwater kiss…?

Okay, fine, it was actually kind of sweet. Happy?

It’s no real surprise that Zeljko and Nathan should butt heads over the former’s decision to use lethal force to stop Peter and Parkman, and, of course, we knew that HRG would be feigning camaraderie with Zeljko. Parkman’s one-track mind about finding and saving Daphne led to he and Peter bum-rushing the joint to find out her whereabouts, not to mention Peter giving up his power of flight in favor of borrowing some of Matt’s mojo. (“I love doing that.” “Right? Makes it a lot easier.”) When they told the dude to go out in the hall to finish his lunch, it was straight out of the “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for” playbook. Had to love Parkman’s “how you doin'” look at the camera, though he clearly wasn’t so smirky when they wreaked havoc on his sense and captured his smarmy ass. The meeting between Nathan and Mama was worth it for her great line, “Yes, dear, I’ve had a bit of experience with all this,” and having Nathan rescue Peter was a cool moment. So the question is, now that HRG’s let Peter know that he’s not as much of a bad guy as he might’ve thought, when will Mama reveal that she and HRG are playing for the same team?

The adventures of Sylar and his new buddy…wherever Sylar goes, heeeeeee goes…were typically solid, including such classic lines as, “You should’ve worn a seat belt,” and, “You’re here, and I need to express my feelings.” Yep, the idea of teaming Sylar with someone who often has even less scruples than he himself has was definitely a good one. The use of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” during Sylar’s flashback was cool, as was the whole Matchbox car bit and the splash of red blood in the midst of the black and white. So Daddy killed Mama? Yep, that’ll fuck a kid up, all right.

I’m curious to see how things will play out now that the footage of the captured heroes has made it to the press…particularly now that Zeljko has dumped Parkman off at a national monument in an attempt to make his prediction come true. But, mostly, I wanted to know what the hell’s up with the Puppet Master needing Claire’s help.

Holy crap: did I just say I was looking forward to a Claire storyline? What’s happening to me?!?