True to their promise, this season IS moving a lot faster than the first and things appear to be well on their way to a good mid-season conclusion before they start CHAPTER THREE.
Bob - I can't wait to hear this guy's story. I'm beginning to think that his story about The Company changing direction might be true. By all accounts, Linderman and Mr. Petrelli were partners before joining The Company and both were A-Type Personalities. Ditto most of the people affiliated with The Company that we've seen who were in a position of power who have been whacked since then.
Bob though... Bob seems different. The whole season, he's seemed like a man in a positon of power who is unused to it and adjusting to suddenly being the one in charge. We know so little about him aside from that his power lets him change other metals into gold (and more, if one interview witht he writers can be believed) and that he's apparently had some medical and scientific training.
So imagine this: a scientist who discovered, as he was working on something and wishing that he could get a reaction to work more quickly, that he was able to do so just by thinking about it. It would fit the show's idea of a person getting powers based on their personality or their needs at the moment of activation and it would explain how the heck he'd detect having a power as obscure as an alchemical/transmutationary touch. It would also explain him being a lot less "showy" than the Company founders we've seen who are healers, master swordsmen and... whatever Mama Petrelli is.
Just a thought... it would explain why he backs down so quickly from Mohinder. It would also show The Company has changed a bit as he goes out of his way to help Monica. And why - as Niki points out - he decides to put her to work for The Company rather than killing her outright when doing so would certainly be easy enough.
Niki - So am I the only one who said "Oh, Thank You Lawd!" when it turned out that DL's sudden appearance wasn't Niki trading one DiD personality for another? And cheered when Niki found the control to fight Maury and stabbed herself rather than hurt another?
Nathan - I also liked the fact that it was Nathan who tried to get through to her. They did have that nice talk about her son way back in the first episode of Season 1 and Nathan does know better than anybody what it is like to be fighting to get your kids back and regain control of your life right now. Nathan is impressing me more and more as a character with each episode.
Matt - Speaking of impressed... wow. The shlub finally grew a pair... and they're the size of basketballs!
Out of Time should be the script the HEROES people hand in for Emmy consideration this year because there is not a slow moment or a weak performance in the whole episode. And out of all of the sheer awesome in this episode, the most awesome moment has got to be Matt confronting his dead-beat dad as well as his own fears and coming to that moment of divine catharsis where he unleashes 20 years of anger and worry in one psyche-crippling blow.
"No! I'm not scared of you anymore! I'm a good man; I'm a good cop. I'm a good father, which is something know nothing about. You don't know what it's like to fight for someone that you love; you left. You left. All you have are your nightmares."
Hiro - And speaking of sheer awesome... wow. The jaunt to the past ends in grand fashion with Hiro pulling the mother of all grandfather paradoxes out of the fire. The "I become my own legendary hero" story has been done before but never with quite this much style. And as much as I usually loathe some of the angsty "tragic love" stories that this show has given us... this one, I liked.
Still, even Hiro can't be too heavy-hearted and the scene where he goes to Ando with a gift was pure win. :)
Can't wait for the inevitable "Kensei? You're alive?!?" moment...
Sylar and The Wonder Twins - I actually got into an argument earlier in the week regarding D&D Alignments, the cast of Heroes and how Sylar cannot be "Chaotic Evil" because his power involves understand the inherit order of things.
First- for those of you who aren't D&D fans - let me explain. In D&D, all characters have a moral alignment based on two things. Law vs. Chaos and Good vs. Evil. Law vs. Chaos measures how much you consider a codified set of rules neccesary to living day-to-day life. Good vs. Evil measures how much you tend to put yourself before others.
A Chaotic Evil person is somebody who does whatever they want to further their own ends, regardless of ethics, the price others have to pay or the laws of whatever society they live in.
Now, call me crazy, but that seems a pretty apt description of someone who traveled around the country, killing people in order to steal their super-powers along with anyone else who got in his way (we see Sylar kill a truck driver, a homeless man and several police officers in the comics)... all so that he could feel "special"... even if he did have some half-assed justification involving an evolutionary imparitive involving natural law/survival of the fittest.
Secondly, we only assume that an ability to know how things work is exactly what Sylar's power is. It's never actually been spelled out just what the heck is going on inside his head when the clocks start ticking. Even if that is the case, there's no moral connection between the ability to understand how things work and living according to a natural order. And even then "the natural order" (at least so far as Nature is concerned) is True Neutral in D&D terms.
Why do I bring this up? Because Sylar's desire to control Maya, so that even if he can't get his powers back he'll still have some degree of control over who lives and who dies... that is some textbook Chaotic Evil behavior there. To say nothing of the fact that he is corrupting a relative innocent - also classic CE behavior.
Claire/West - First of all... HA! to those of you who insisted he had to be a Company plant or her brother or every single whacked out conspiracy theory that said West was anything other than a smart-ass kid who had issues with authority.
I loved the scenes with Claire and West, though. Especially the Chaotic Good/Neutral Good argument about whether or not what they did with the head cheerleader was right after the fact. Small wonder they put her in all but one episode - Claire is a great character and Hayden Pantierre is a greater actress.
I just hope he didn't fly out of the show completely. There's already too much love angst on this show.
Bennet - I think this poster I made sums it up best.
He's always been a grayish character at best - a good man willing to do bad things for the right reasons. But now it's become entirely about getting revenge on The Company for what they've done to his family - the goal of trying to save others from being killed or manipulated by The Company has been forgotten. Without that balance, Bennet is becoming a lot sloppier, a lot more dangerous and it's no surprise that Mohinder decided to turn on him.
The Paintings - Nothing else shows that the show's speed is picking up better than this. We're promised a set of 8 paintings that connect to this big disaster. One comes true in the very first episode. The last one suggests the death of a major character. And now, after one episode in which three of the events happen and we find out two events happened in the last episode, we have six of the events identified with #7 and #8 neatly set up.
Just in case you didn't catch them when we saw them briefly, here they are...
#1 - Kaito Nakamura's Death
#2 - Claire's "Death" after West dropped her
#3 - Bob's hand holding a vial with the different strain of The Shanti Virus
#4 - A mind-controlled Niki trying to break down the door to Bob's office.
#5 - Peter looking on in horror at a large pile of bodies through a window.
#6 - Hiro duels Kensei.
#7 - An angry Mohinder, with a broken nose, shoots a Company-issued gun.
Peter - Didn't get much done in the first episode, but wow... what an ending. Of course we all knew some kind of new disaster had to be on the horizion. And given everything else going on, it's not hard to see what the cause was going to wind up being.
I'm pissed that Caitlin has been taken out of the picture and hope Peter can get himself together in time to get her out of the future. He's got enough angst without losing another girlfriend and I really don't want to see the WiR list for this show grow any more than it has to if she winds up dying in an alternate future of a lethal plague.
And yes - I kinda saw 'Adam Monroe' being Kensei coming even before this episode made his links with Maury more obvious. Some of the original material on the show's websites kind of hinted at it, what with The Company having been founded in 1978 - the same year that Linderman came into posession of several authentic Kensei artifacts.
What I'm still trying to figure out is... did he found The Company with the intent of eventually using it to get back at Hiro, who would have been an infant then, after meeting Hiro's dad? Or did he have some other falling out with the group he created and not realize that... "Huh... my co-founder has a son named Hiro Nakamura..."