This was not a promising follow up to last week promising reboot, I gotta tell you.
OK, so Daphne is as dead as you get on Heroes (that would be Mostly Dead), and out of respect I will finally actually use her name. Then, because anger leads to hatred and hatred leads to fear and fear leads to the dark side, Parkman used his mind control powers to murder those responsible. Now, Heroes has killed so many characters that it honestly doesn't pack much of a punch anymore (especially since Claire's blood would have just brought her back, and, duh Claire, you were standing right there). But this scene really takes the cake for shooting yourself in the foot, dramatically. You know what really helps a scene like a major character's tragic death, followed by another character's quick shift to a very dark place? A split screen with yet another character on the phone, explaining what you are watching as though you can't see it yourself. That really puts you in the scene, doesn't it? Honestly, there's not a worse way to do that sequence, unless you rotoscoped some cartoon animals in there and cut to the salsa music.
And to what end? To further underscore the "Nathan talks on the phone to an undisclosed person" framing device? It's been done before, and the reason is always to reveal who is at the other end, usually a game-changing shocker. You know, you're supposed to think he's talking to one of his co-conspirators, i.e., his mother or President Warf, and then you find out . . . DA DA DUM! HE'S TALKING TO SYLAR! OMG! HE'S THE VICTIM OF SYLAR MIND CONTROL. Or you know, something like that. Nope, he's talking to his mom, one of the two obvious possibilities, and we find out that in fact his mom is NOT one of his co-conspirators (like she clearly and obviously was, um, last week), and she is in a snit about it, and won't help him with her resources (which all burned to the ground two episodes ago), oh, and she has a dossier on the bald psychopath who is running ground operations for Nathan. It all adds up to a big, "huh?" and that's about it.
Meanwhile, we discover that Nathan is conflicted, for reals, y'all. Because the thing is that Nathan is doing this to protect the supers from themselves, because Peter is just a dangerous idealist who was going to endanger everybody with his . . . idealism, which is . . . Peter is . . . uh, wasn't Peter just living a mild-mannered, low-key life as a paramedic until Nathan started nabbing everybody? Didn't he CREATE the situation he's trying to control by creating the situation he's controlling? I mean, that might be the point, I guess; the futility of fascist tactics, but if the show really wants us to see Nathan as doing what he's doing because he has to, I just can't find the logical thread.
Here's what was good. We have a super-team out there now. Peter, Mohinder, Matt, Hiro, and Ando. It's a bit of a sausage-fest, but I forgive it a thousand fold because THIS IS WHAT WE'VE WANTED ALL ALONG, HEROES! Don't you realize we are watching this show because we loved comic books and the Superfriends on Saturday morning. For crying out loud, finally! Now let's keep the team together a while and do something with it. Let's give them code names. Sponge Lad, Mindmelder, Supercharge, Professor Dumb, and Paperweight. That'll do it. Personally, I hope that Supercharge is destined to kill Paperweight because Paperweight won't stop yammering about his destiny, like he really mattered anymore. I'm sad. I really used to like Hiro.
Also, Peter lost his superpowers hard drive space. This is really good. First, it kills off my biggest problem with last week's show, which seemed to forget he could fly. Second, it allows Peter to be in a scene without killing any possible tension. Well played, Heroes.
Here's what is really, really, really bad. Draw the future power. This is a drama killer, and a silly power, and I don't want it anymore. It's such a lazy device to get people to do what you want them to do. And now, in order to keep it, they just GIFT it to Matt, which makes no damn sense at all. In fact, I hereby pledge to complain in every recap about this until it goes away. Hey, it got Peter's powers scaled back. That's right, I'm claiming credit.
* So Speedy is still "nemesis" to Ando, after helping him out for all but an episode and a half. Does he know what the word means? Does she run over water, like a whole ocean of water? How does she get to Japan otherwise? Also, "How did you find me?" "Hiro told me about your super secret hideout, where you aren't right now, you're just hanging out in Tokyo, one of the most population dense cities in the world. So knowing about your hideout tells me nothing." Quibble quibble.
* I enjoyed this bit of dialogue:
Mohinder: "You lost your ability? How?"
Hiro: "It's complicated. And idiotic."
I may have made some of that up.
* They still call Claire "the cheerleader," even when they know her name, and even when there is no reason that they would know of that aspect of her character. Is this for the benefit of new viewer, if any, who still recall the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" tag, or what? She hasn't been a cheerleader for a long time.
* "Yes! Hiro is still alive because I kill him!" Man. I was really hoping that was going on the "we'll never speak of it again" reboot boat.
* Does the whole Bennett family talk exclusively through clenched teeth?
* Either Claire (and Sylar) can never ever ever die, as Sylar said at the beginning of the Season, or it takes one shot to the back of the head to kill her. Let's decide, shall we? I am willing to accept that they just HOPE that this will do the trick, and it won't.
* After last week's rather trenchant conjuring of real world Gitmo imagery and habeas corpus infringement, they went for an utterly ham-fisted and confusing conflation of the mess around the crash site to Iraq. Just saying the words "greeted as liberators" doesn't mean you're making a statement.
* Aw, Ace found his Gary. The Ambiguously Psychotic Duo lives! And Mohinder and Parkman are back together again, probably holding hands while Mohinder gazes into Parkman's milky, translucent eyes. They occasionally worry about Molly, wherever she may be, and what might be happening to her in this superpower round up. Sometimes they kiss, softly, tenderly. I am quite sure this is all happening off-screen, of course, but the sexual tension is there. On the other hand, Nathan and Peter shared a scene and didn't hug for an awkwardly long time, so maybe we aren't totally committed to the "obvious gay subtext" for this chapter.
* So who is contacting Claire with the OH HAI U R POWERS I CAN HAS REVOLUTION text? Peter, maybe. That one lady who can control electronics from Season 1 and never seen again, mayhap? Micah? Probably Peter. Hopefully it isn't Linderman's ghost who is really an apparition.
* Where is the Haitian Sensation?
* Um, Nathan? PETER is unpredictable? You change your entire raison d'etre pretty much every show.
* I like Baldy MacGenocide. A genuinely threatening bad guy, and I bet he's got powers, too.
* Remember when Tracy had a conscience for like a minute? I actually don't mind this inconsistency. I think that's how people are a lot of the time. My point is, Tracy's a B. That's right, I said a B. Don't faint, I think harsh language was needed.
* I imagine the missile strike was to cover up the plane crash. Hilariously, the tail of the airplane still factors in prominently for the rest of the episode. Maybe Eko and Bernard and Ana Lucia are in there still.
* The Emmies are nonsense. Three years in and Zach Quinto still hasn't won Most Eyebrows.