Not an outstanding episode this week, but still pretty good and certainly no flop. That's four good out of five this volume. Are we back on track then?
Spoilers after the jump.
Once again, a reduced cast list episode. No Ando, no Hiro, no Mohinder and (curses) no Tracy. And once again, it was better for the focus. Instead, this was a forces of evil episode combined with a Peter, Matt, Claire and Moma Claire episode.
Thankfully, this was high school Claire, not gets up everyone's nose bratty Claire. So despite the exceedingly large amount of teen romance going on, the whole Claire sub-plot - which appeared to have received a visitation from the Heroes web series The Recruit - was relatively bearable. In fact, good old Ashley Crowe and some decent writing for her for a change made the whole thing tolerable, although boy did I feel old when the concept of Def Leppard being one of her favourite teen bands came up.
Matt and Peter had an interesting dynamic this episode, with far more camaraderie and joshing around going on than in previous episodes. Their mind-control was pretty impressive and scary, too. If only Milo's way of making Peter seem a bit more hardcore weren't to rasp all his lines, I could get to like new, non-whiny Peter.
Quite why, when given a chance to break in to Building 26, they didn't bother to rescue either Mohinder or Tracy, I don't know, particularly since Tracy's probably the only one with the connections to get the whole mess sorted. But that's Matt and Peter - never the brightest of sparks. Although I guess it does mean that Rebel isn't Micah, because "Rescue my aunt" would probably be one of the main requests he would have come up with.
Meanwhile Sylar and mini-Sylar were still on their road trip. This was probably the dullest part of the episode, although not for want of good writing and the flashbacks to young Sylar were great. It's just fundamentally you don't want to spend hours delving into Sylar's psyche - you want him to be evil over with the main action. And mini-Sylar is still too nerdy to really take seriously.
And then, of course, there's Nathan and co, all trying to out-nuance each other. HRG didn't have much to do beyond show his year's of experience when dealing with heroic types and expose Matt's Achilles heel. The Hunter just got to look a bit out-classed. Nathan is trying to hedge his bets to avoid getting killed this season by coming up with yet more slippery answers to the question, "Why are you doing this?" And Angela appears to be on the side of good for once. What did she say to Nathan?
Interesting conclusion, too, and not just for the return of the Puppet Master. For one thing, it means that the producers have wisely chosen to give the volume a different threat other than the reprise of season one's we'd all feared when Matt had his visions last episode. We also have the revelation of the government's operation to the nation's media, something I didn't think would happen for a while yet. It seems, then, that the producers have much bigger plans for both the rest of the volume and Volume 5 than we might have expected.
So as I said, not outstanding, but pretty good all the same and I think we have to accept Heroes is back on track, if not fully revived yet. Here's a promo for next episode.
- February 9, 2010: Season finale: Heroes 4x18 - Brave New World
A review of the Heroes episode Brave New World and a look back at the fourth season