Heroes didn't suck last night!
It’s a little surprising that NBC waited until November before releasing the first episode of Heroes this season. To this point it's been sort of like the NFL preseason: few things have happened, and none of them matter. Watching our favorite old characters dink around with second string rookies has been a pretty hollow experience compared to the finished product. Like I briefly hinted at in the last recap, these large multi-arc shows are at their best when their separate plotlines intersect and weave together. The first half dozen episodes of this season saw almost no intersections, as each group of characters went about their own business, independently explaining their powers to the camera while enjoying Nissan products. But in this episode, I counted at least five instances of storylines intersecting. It made for a very satisfying episode – admittedly a pretty low bar, given the number of Honduran Wondertwin moments we’ve endured lately. Other things we learned. The biggest revelations this episode concerned the mysterious “Adam Monroe.” It turns out he was one of the original organizers of the Company and the group of elder Heroes. He was extreme, and urged holocausts and wars as ways of saving the world. He’s the one that gives Maury Parkman (the Nightmare Man) his orders. He was also in the Company’s custody until 2 weeks ago, when he escaped. While in custody, he met Peter, and likely helped him escape. Also, he’s Takezo freaking Kensei. It always seemed likely that the immortal swordsman would show up somewhere in the present day. That he showed up so deeply interleaved with everything else that’s happened this season is a pleasant surprise. No tedious Central American trek for this guy – he lept right to the heart of the action. The “Hiro breaks history” plotline wrapped up quite neatly I thought, considering the predictable path it had been trundling along. Having the final tale of Kensai and the Dragon become a metaphor was a nice touch, even if substituting “a love lost” with “cutting out your heart and giving it to a dragon” feels like a really laboured lyric from an 80’s power ballad. I was also pleased to see that Hiro shares a weakness with myself: Opium. The lowest moments in the episode would have to be the bits involving West and Claire, which shouldn’t come as surprise, seeing as West remains an insufferable douchebag. The whole “waffle surprise” struck me as possibly the creepiest thing he’s done yet. Also, the West-Claire-Mr. Bennet misunderstanding feels remarkably forced and artificial. Everyone involved only knows part of the whole story, and they all keep storming out of the room before they can be enlightened. It’s like an episode of Three’s Company, only with an insufferable douchebag instead of a sufferable one. Aside from his awkward and uncomfortable Daddy-issue laden monologue, this was a great episode for Parkman. No longer content at being merely competent, Parkman was actually