Could NBC have hyped this episode a bit more? You could barely flip past the peacock network the past week without seeing a preview for Heroes.
Which is why I find it hard to step back and separate the hype and the lofty expectations NBC created for the episode from the actual episode itself. I don't want to overpraise it nor do I want to condemn it for not living up to the huge expectations NBC placed on it.
I don't mean or want that to sound like I'm damning the episode with faint praise. It was good. In fact, it was light years better than last week. The storylines had some movement, some momentum and I felt like we were pushing things forward in new, interesting ways. I really do hope if Heroes is going to be the new big thing that they take a book from Joss Whedon's book of storytelling (big events happen when they happen for the story) as opposed to the Chris Carter book of storytelling (big events happen in sweeps and sweeps only). So far, it appears Heroes is doing this and I can only hope the success of the show allows them to continue telling the story they want to tell in the way they want to tell it, without too much network pressure.
As we've seen in previous weeks, the various destinies of our heroes are starting to cross. They cross in a big way this time, with the climatic final two acts in which Sylar makes his move against Claire. But before we got there, we had the on-going Pitrelli family drama, with Nathan trying to save Peter from himself. Nathan destroys the painting that will reveal to Peter where to go and the future of how to save the cheerleader, save the world. I have to wonder if Nathan's doing this is more motivated to keep his little brother out of the paper and to push forward his own political agenda. Was it done out of love for his brother or self-interest? I can only imagine what his opponent must make of the crazy brother who tries to kill himself and then gets arrested at a high school for murder. You can bet the mud-slinging ads on that one are going to be vicious.
Luckily for all of us, Nathan isn't really thinking his plans through (as we saw with his decision to sleep with Niki/Jessica a few weeks ago...he tends to not think of the long-range consequences of his decisions...he should do so well in Congress) and doesn't think there might be a copy of the painting around. Thankfully, Simone has a picture of it and that sets Peter on his date with destiny. Peter is able to get to Odessa in time and fulfill is part in saving the cheerleader.
Now, here's where things could get tricky. Claire is saved, yes. We're still not sure how saving her saves the world, except that it may keep Sylar from getting some of Claire's healing power and making him unstoppable. But in the end, a cheerleader did die. Was the message meant to try and save the other girl as well. Did she have some latent power that Sylar has absorbed or does just feeding on his victims make Sylar more powerful? Did Peter not arrive in time to save the world? Because while we can all assume the cheerleader in question is Claire, it could be the other girl.
Also, as the episode unfolded, we never see much of Sylar. We see enough so that it can't be Christopher Eccleston as Sylar in a few weeks, but I did have a thought. What if Sylar is Peter? What if Peter absorbs enough of the various powers of those around him, including that of Hiro and is able to move back in time? If Peter's great hope is to be more than he is, to make a difference, could this be corrupted? Could Peter's good intentions be corrupted so that he becomes Sylar? Or could it be that Peter thinks by killing the heroes that he is averting the disaster Hiro saw when he jumped forward a few weeks ago?
I don't necessarily think it is Peter, but it's an interesting idea to consider.
Meanwhile, Ando is feeling pretty ordinary without Hiro. I have to wonder how long he'll wait for Hiro to come back. And it seems as if Hiro has vanished out of all history a few weeks ago. Is he dead? Did Sylar get him in the past? It's apparent he hasn't saved Charlie yet, but will he? Can he save history? And did his desire to save Charlie move him out of position to help save the cheerleader? If it turns out the cheerleader is the friend and Sylar is more powerful now, has Hiro created the future he was trying so hard to avert?
Time travel....it opens so many doors.
And then we have Niki/Jessica. Looks like Jessica has taken over and it hunting down her son. We're left with a cliffhanger--she pulled the trigger but did she hit DL? We're also left with wondering what happens next for Peter. And it seems that HRG has Sylar in custody now. How long will that last?
Interesting to see how Eden can use her powers on Sylar. And then Haitian guy shows up to knock our Sylar without much of a struggle. I do wonder if this was because Sylar wasn't able to feed off of Claire or did Peter absorb some of his power?
So many questions and I bet none of them are answered next week. We'll move back in time six months and see what is up with Hiro and the rest of our Heroes in the past. It should be interesting, but it does leave a lot of questions floating out there until January.
And yet, I can say I'll be there to find out just what all these answers are.
So, to answer my own question--did the episode live up to the hype? Yes and no. Yes in many ways it did because the final half was edge of your seat good. No becuase honestly, few epiosdes could live up to has much hype as NBC put into it. But what I will say is that I came away satisfied with the show and wanting more, so that is a good thing.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/21/2006 08:25:00 AM