Given what a cool ending we had to last week’s episode, things sure did start off a decidedly anticlimactic fashion. The scene between Claire, Mrs. Bennett, and the Puppet Master was a major letdown, only serving to remind us that A) things are tough all over for people with superhuman abilities, and B) evil characters get really boring really fast when they try to turn over a new leaf. Good thing they quickly moved over to the Parkman storyline, providing us with a rare opportunity to end the pre-credits sequence on a cliffhanger.
The dark humor of the dialogue between Nathan and Parkman as the latter tried to get his power working enough to defuse the bomb that’s strapped to him was great. (“Don’t touch the red wire!” “I’m not touching anything!”) I liked the fact that Zeljko managed to be suspicious – if only for a couple of minutes – about how Nathan had gotten to Parkman’s side so quickly without suffering from one of those leaps of logic that never would’ve happened in the real world. Instead, Tracy helped fill in the blanks for him by repeatedly screaming, “You’re one of us, Nathan!” Oh, sure, when push came to shove, she backpedaled, but with a guy like that, once the genie’s out of the bottle, you can’t just put him back in and think he’s going to stay there. (Given enough time, I could’ve mixed at least a couple more metaphors in that sentence, but I’m working on a deadline here.)
And, indeed, the next thing you know, HRG’s put in a position where he has to throw Mama Petrelli to the wolves, though he at least has the common decency to let her know what he’s done. Not, as it turns out, that she needed his help. (Fancy an oyster…?) The scene with Zeljko shooting a couple of holes in the window and then throwing Nathan through the compromised glass was well executed, although I thought the shot of HRG lingered too long after Zeljko said, “Tell me you didn’t know about this.” Just a quick shot of his oh-fuck-how-am-I-gonna-handle-this expression would’ve been more effective.
As much as I hate the way the show uses comic book stores (I still say it’s just an unabashed attempt to suck up to the geek demographic), I had to laugh at the job interview Claire had to suffer through tonight, even as I was a little embarrassed that I knew the importance of why she’d have to work Wednesdays before it was explained to her. The best part, though, was the admission that, even though she didn’t know jack shit about comics, they couldn’t deny the way she’d bring in the customers. It was also pretty funny when she called HRG in frustration, asking him how managed to lead a double life for all those years when she could barely handle it for an afternoon. And what a great response he had: “Honestly, Claire, I’m the worst person to ask.” I feel like I say this every week lately, but I’m surprised to find that I’m actually still enjoying Claire’s storyline. The Puppet Master’s look served as the silent answer to her question made me feel better about his purported desire to life a quiet life.
Was it just me, or was the father-and-son reunion between Sylar and his pops a little disappointing? I was all psyched to see John Glover play yet another sci-fi father on TV, but things moved so slowly that, even after Sylar slaughtered the rabbit, I was yawning a bit…which, given how strong this storyline has been thus far, was a major bummer. It wasn’t until the 40-minute mark of the episode that the tables turned in an interesting fashion, with Daddy suddenly finding that his lust to absorb new abilities wasn’t gone but was merely sleeping, but even then it felt like a waste of a perfectly good opportunity.
After 55 minutes of waiting, we finally saw Hiro and Ando, whose appearance in the episode had been foretold by the fact that they were spotlighted in the “Previously on ‘Heroes'” segment at the beginning of the hour. Way to make the most out of just a couple of moments, guys. Not only did Hiro earn a great laugh (“No, sank you”), but we were given a strange new mystery to ponder: who is this baby that’s being referred to as Matt Parkman? Unless I missed the introduction of a hero who can cause people to age backwards at a rapid clip, then I’m wondering if Matt’s ex-wife, Janice, had a bun in the oven when she started their divorce proceedings.*
And as far as the final scene goes…? I’m actually looking forward to seeing the father/daughter team of Nathan and Claire working together. More than that, though, I’m looking forward to the next episode of “Heroes,” which will mark the first time we’ve seen the credit “written by Bryan Fuller” in far too long.
* Of course, if you stayed tuned for the scenes from the next episode, then you already know that that’s exactly what happened.