Well, it's official. "Heroes" has become the most schizophrenic show in the history of Prime Time Television. By the way, I spelled "schizophrenic" correctly on the first try. I know, I'm awesome.
This episode was pulled in so many different directions, and in so many different directions from past episodes which were also pulled in several directions, that I'm finding it really tough to care about the over-arching season plot, or even keep in mind how each event is playing into it.
Despite that schizophrenia, for the second week in a row, I enjoyed what I watched. Just like last week, I'm wondering if I'm just in an above average mood. After all, I'm listening to a fantastic bootleg of a Billy Joel concert in Montauk from 1991 I just downloaded (which has an incredible version of "Everybody has a Dream" on it), and I've spent more time playing "Fable II" in the last three nights than I have spent sleeping.
But no, this time I'm sure it's the show that's just better than average, not simply my mood coming into it.
Because, again, despite the logical fallacies, this week's show not only entertained, but it helped return a tension the series has been SORELY lacking.
The first place that tension showed up was in the Puppet Master's little game of Russian Roulette (which, by the way, in Russia is it simply called Roulette? And if so, what are the Russian Casinos like?). With HRG far away from the action and since we've seen a much Darker Clare in the future, I really thought one of Clare's two Moms (remember "My Two Dads?" what a show...) was going to eat a lead sandwich. For the amount of whining Clare does, she sure could use a little tragedy to justify the whining, right? Oh, wait, I forgot, she lost the ability to feel pain, a tragedy the writers are sorely ignoring... anyway, I digress.
I'm a bit schizophrenic myself tonight, I guess. Yes, I really thought that either Clare was going to have to pull the trigger on one of her Mommies, OR, I thought Mrs. Bennett was going to kill Meredith. And since the Puppet Master's control was pretty omnipotent, I didn't see the way out of the situation.
That said, there were a good deal of logical problems with this situation. 1) If Clare has her Dad's files, should she have known to just shoot the Stun Gun before giving Puppet Boy a chance? 2) Isn't Meredith only there to protect Clare? Why is HRG now taking Meredith on his little adventures?
Anyway, that tension showed up again for the very end of the episode, when Daddy Petrelli did something that I hope hope hope becomes a permanent change ----- spoilers coming ------ he stole Peter's powers. Cue the music! Oh happy Day! Oh happy Day! Finally, something has been done about the fact that Peter was WAAAAAAAY too powerful. First Sylar was, sort of, de-powered, and now Peter, I love it.
This move also creates the first truly dangerous threat of the season. We've had a lot of evil guys running around, but none stood out among the rest. We've had this whole apocalyptic future thing going, but that hasn't really been a threat as much as it is a plot point. Daddy Petrelli, who can suck a power right out of you and now has ALL of Peter's powers, is the biggest threat this show has ever seen. And, again, I need to praise the casting department for getting Robert Forster.
Oh, and great casting on Mr. Puppeteer, too. After last year's horrible casting for Bob and Maury, both these roles were great to see this episode.
Now, the disappointing part of the show was Hiro and Ando. It didn't take much to see how Hiro avoided killing his friend, and then their bumbling adventures in Africa just made no sense. The writers' biggest sin this season has been not fully understanding how to make the characters utilize their own powers, and there is no bigger example of this than Hiro. All the little guy had to do in Africa was stop time and search the surrounding area while Mr. Precog was frozen in time. Instead, he left himself wide open to get hit in the noggin -- twice.
Oh well, I'm probably forgetting something big, but it's 4:30 a.m. so I'm going to wrap this up with the Random Thoughts:
1) Mohinder's turn to the dark side happened WAY WAY WAY too fast!
2) I'm kind of bummed Adam Monroe is dead. The writers really should have kept him in the ground for a couple of seasons instead of offing him so quickly.
3) I like how the writers are, so far, playing Daphne's backstory close to the vest. In fact, that actress has been pretty darn great all year.
4) And speaking of characters I want to see more of, Where is Micah's Cousin?
5) I love having Maya up on that wall. This episode was her best ever.
6) Peter and Sylar actually fought each other a little!!! It was like as if we were watching a show featuring powered-people!
7) By the way, I'm with Peter on this one -- Sylar has jumped on this "Mother" thing WAY too fast.
8) Where did this Pinehurst company come from, anyway? Who built it while Daddy Petrelli was napping?
9) Who wants to see Hiro, Ando and Parkman fight over Daphne?
10) I like how Tracy decided the only way to show Mohinder what she could do was to freeze an expensive and specialized piece of a equipment. How 'bout just freezing a pen, huh?