Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heroes Episode 5: Still Better, Still Not Great

This was the best episode of Heroes Season Two so far. It actually has me legitimately excited to come back next week and see what happens next. It doesn't hurt that Maya, Alejandro and stalker boyfriend West were entirely absent, that Kristen Bell was entirely present, and that the Matt Parkman/Nathan Petrelli and Monica/Micah teams are probably the most interesting ones on the show. Hell, even the Hiro subplot, while still boring and contrived (with his time travel/teleportation powers, why can't they go *past* the army, instead of through it?), was watchable. Still, here come the gripes (and a few kudos):

*When one of your producers can't spell "lightning" and instead spells it either "lightening" (that'd be making it lighter) or "lighting" (that'd be making it brighter)? Yeah, that doesn't look so good.

*Also, lightning hands? Cool power. Introducing that power by having the girl talk to herself and fire a few sparks at a nearby cargo shipping container? Laaaaammme. Jeez, reveal the power when she fries a member of the Lucky Charms gang, at least that would have been cool.

*Kristen Bell is doing good stuff with what little they've given her, though. Some of that Veronica Mars sass in the hands of a much more wicked girl. I *loved* her "Yeah, OK I killed him" conversation with "Daddy" and I'm dying to know who "Daddy" is. Easily the best new character of the season. No shock there. No pun intended.

*Second best new character, though, is definitely Monica. She and Micah have a great rapport (and the kid who plays Micah is one of the best kid actors on TV), she has a cool power and I like that they're instantly going into "What do we do now" mode rather than having her spend three episodes denying her powers.

*Unlike, say, Peter, who is still pissing about in Ireland, with the writers' mistakenly believing we give a shit if they kill any (or indeed all) of the gangster/bar owner characters they've introduced this season.

*Parkman's dad? Great stuff. I was totally buying his act until the second he was revealed, and I thought the reveal of what was going on with Matt Parkman and Nathan Petrelli and the mindgames was very well shot.

*Also digging the stuff with The Company, with Stephen Tobolowsky being great as always, and I loved Mohinder and Nikki interacting, if only briefly.

Overall, while it's worth noting (as EW did) that at this point in the last season, we got that kickass, electrifying moment in the subway between future Hiro and Peter, and thus Heroes Season Two is still too slow and disappointing, this was a promising upturn. The real grade is probably still a C or a C-, but if you grade on a curve against the rest of the season, this was a B, maybe a B+ episode. Here's hoping it continues to improve, and faster, each week.

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