The first half of this ep I was thinking, "He's not gonna be impressed" 'cause nothing was really happening -- again with the "necessary plot progression but not inherently deeply interesting."
However, Eden working with Mr. Bennet? In reading people's thoughts [er, that came out wrong, given what the source text in question -- and yes I did notice the lack of Matt this episode though I don't have the Grunberg Love] recently, I'm actually becoming convinced that he's not necessarily evil. He's played up as sinister, but all we've actually seen him do is kidnap mutants for brief periods of time and erase their memories of the examination. He knows about his daughter's "special" status and made cryptic remarks about it which I don't now remember. And okay he mindwiped the guy who tried to rape his daughter, but that falls under morally grey.
Nice reveal about the prior search for her "bio-parents" ("cold...impersonal...fitting"). Do we think that's how Mr. Bennet got started on all this? [i.e. his search for the "specials"]
And it took us until episode #6 to get the canon reference to the gay metaphor ("Do you plan on coming out to your parents?").
[Sidenote: I'm really not in the "zomg Mohinder=teh hotz!!11" camp, but I was kinda sold on his physical hotness in his one scene this ep. Something about the hair or something.]
The Niki stuff was fairly callable as it progressed. I still don't understand why Id!Niki framed DL and is generally convinced he's so bad, though. And, okay, you started to try to tell him before and he didn't believe it, but of course he's not gonna believe you once you're caught in the act and he knows you're the one who did all the bad shit he's in trouble for. I don't want him to be actually evil, though he totally rubbed me the wrong way with his bit about Micah being the man of the house in his absence; you don't put that kind of responsibility on a kid, even as a joke -- and Micah was serious as a funeral when he said "I know. I'm trying."
FYI, since I saw this confusion a lot after last episode: When the Mysterious Man guy first showed up (knocking Matt out) people thought he was D.L., but they're played by different actors. The guy who played Forrest in Buffy plays D.L. and is credited only starting with "Hiro's" (1.05). A different guy is credited playing "Mysterious Man" starting with "One Giant Leap" (1.03).
Also: Wax lion on the nighttable in that first scene at Niki's house!
Of course Hiro's big takeaway from the phone call was "I had a sword!" His crisis of conscience around the poker incident was totally in character and I like Ando using his own mindset against him -- the idea that "it's a journey!", complete with "Otherwise they can't make a movie about it" quip, but it's true, "You don't start at the end": for all that Hiro acts like he's got it all figured out (and to some extent he really does believe it, and to some extent I'm sure he wants to believe it and is thus acting as if he does) he isn't at the end. And of course the worry about being on the wrong path was a nice counter response.
I'd been seeing buzz about "zomg the symbol," which I happily ignored. Nicely played this ep, though, with the somewhat incidental view of Niki's tattoo (which we first saw when she banged Nathan) and then Isaac (who appears to be not-high) smudging that symbol on a painting. Also: painting of Eastern woman. Yay for introduction of new characters/plotlines.
I will likely read the comic but am still not watching the previews. Thanks very much.
And the abovementioned review of last week's episode, complete with e-mail Subject line from Eric:
Subject: Heroes review - see i was right! (well..by right i mean, i have the same opinion as this reviewer)
Heroes: "Hiro's" Review
With no major story advance, this week's episode failed to live up to last week's cliffhanger.
by Robert Canning
October 24, 2006 - Ending last week's episode with Hiro traveling from the future to give Peter Petrelli a message that could save the world was a near perfect moment that probably raised our expectations too high. As this week's episode began, plot points were spoiled and the inevitable let down of a time-traveling storyline started to take effect.
Though the "previously on" segment of Heroes isn't necessarily part of the show, it's being too poorly utilized not to mention it here. Instead of simply showing clips from earlier episodes to catch viewers up, the series has a theatrical voice-over explaining everything… even things that have yet to be revealed. The way things were left last week, the Man in Glasses and his mysterious partner (we know he's "mysterious" because last week's voice-over told us so) were standing over Niki and Nathan asleep in bed. The Man in Glasses said, "Just take the one," but we didn't know which one he was referring to. This was a great gimmick which left the audience to ponder who it was they took and why. Were they interested in Niki's powers or Nathan's? Did they even know that they both possessed powers? This was one of the reasons we were excited to watch this week's episode, but during the "previously on" voice-over, our anticipation was ruined when they stated Niki couldn't stop the politician from being taken. We didn't want to be told this information as if we should have already known-- we wanted to find out for ourselves.
Hiro's message to Peter was also given away… long before we actually heard it. "Save the cheerleader, save the world" has been the major advertising tool for this episode all week. The remainder of what Hiro had to share with Peter in their brief time together only disappointed. The logical thing for someone from the future to do when trying to get someone from the past to affect the world would be to come right out and tell that person what to do. "Peter, go to Odessa, Texas. Save Claire Bennet." Instead, Hiro talks in generics-- "Be the one we need"-- most likely to avoid backing the writers into events they have yet to map out. Not a good sign.
Elsewhere in the episode, storylines fail to build on their momentum. Claire's story, especially, took the direction of least resistance. Instead of killing her would-be rapist in the car crash and being forced to live with using her power to take revenge on another human being, the issue is completely swept aside. Brody lives. And now, thanks to Claire's dad and his "mysterious" memory-wiping friend, Brody has no recollection of the incident. This is interesting to a point, since we get see that Claire's father truly wants to protect his adoptive daughter, but how much more powerful of a story could they have told if the unbreakable cheerleader had to save the world knowing she's a killer? We'll never know.
We finally got to see Nathan fly, but everything afterward involved annoying coincidences. The flying politician just happened to land outside the very diner Hiro had been left at. Later, Nathan just happened to bump into Niki who should have left the hotel hours earlier. Such convenient coincidences can often be overlooked for the sake of storytelling, but only when a story is actually being told. Nothing major really occurred to help the overarching storyline move forward. Having hooked its audience with a spectacular cliffhanger a week ago, Heroes lost an opportunity to build on its momentum with this lackluster episode.