Monday, April 30, 2007

Heroes—Five Years Gone

aka "String Theory"

Tonight's episode is set five years in the future, after our Heroes have been unable to stop the destruction of New York City. Hiro and Ando have arrived in Isaac's loft and have found a timeline of the events of the last five years. This turns out to be the work of Hiro himself, or rather his badass future self. He's been trying to figure out where he needs to go to save New York. He's determined that our Hiro needs to go back and kill Sylar on the day of the explosion. When future Hiro tried it, Sylar had Claire's powers and was able to regenerate. A bunch of cops, including Matt and the Haitian, break into the loft and drag Past (Present?) Hiro off. Apparently Future Hiro has a reputation as a terrorist.

In Vegas, Future Hiro and Ando find Peter's girlfriend in a bar, dancing. It turns out to be Niki. Or Jessica. Or whoever the heck she is in this timeframe. She's a little tense--must be Jessica. And it sounds like both DL and Micah are dead. Peter has a big scar on his face. That's kinda hot. Plus--stubble, for the win!

Reading Past Hiro's mind, Matt realizes he doesn't remember the terrorist acts he's being accused of. Nathan--now going by Mr. President--is suspicious about Hiro's sudden apprehension, thinking it's a terrorist trap. Mohinder's working for him, doing scientific research to stop the mutant-types from causing more damage, but more and more of them are showing up. Nathan suggests extinction might be necessary. And Mohinder looks particularly hot tonight, too. I like this future where nobody shaves.

At Primatech Paper, Bennet's putting folks into a mutant protection program. He and Matt have an agreement--Bennet alerts Matt to dangerous mutants, while Matt passes benign folks over to Bennet for protection. Claire is still alive--wait, if she's alive, how did Sylar regenerate? Anyway, she's in a diner in Midland, TX, going by the name of Sandra, and with dark hair which I find much less annoying than her regular hair.

Things just get plain complicated after that. Matt's apprehension of Past Hiro as well as Future Hiro leads him to break off his agreement with Bennet. He goes after Claire, who's about to leave Texas with her boyfriend in only partial defiance of her father's orders, and turns her over to Nathan. Peter wears a long back coat and goes completely badass on everyone. He is just smokin' hot tonight. Partially because he's combed his hair back, but then there's the coat, and the kicking down of doors... Goodness.

In other nice tidbits of future backstory (is that middlestory?), we discover that Matt's arrangement with Bennet has come about at least partially to keep his own wife and son safe, and that Hiro's personality transplant came about because of Ando's death. He's spent the last five years trying to work out how to go back in time to save New York not so much to save New York but to save Ando. Peter has taken on the weight of the world and turned into Broody McBroodster Hottiepants because he was the one who blew up New York, not Sylar. Okay, that's making sense now, given Claire's not-deadness.

Well, not dead yet. Because when Matt turns her over to her dad, we find out Nathan's not Nathan at all. He's Sylar, and he's finally getting his chance to appropriate Claire's powers. He's also decided to kill off the other mutants in the world by giving them a "vaccine" supposedly to "cure" their powers. (Didn't they do that in X3? And Astonishing X-Men? And... Okay, never mind.)

A big showdown ensues as Nathan leads a service commemorating the fifth anniversary of the destruction of New York City. Convinced of Hiro's abilities to go back in time and fix things by panels he's seen from Isaac's comics, Mohinder betrays faux Nathan and uses the "vaccine" on the Haitian. But as they all try to escape, Future Hiro is shot to death as a Peter/Nathan showdown ensues. Ando's usual earnest cheerleading convinces our Hiro he can return them to the past. They manage this just as all hell breaks loose between Peter and Nathan/Sylar. Hiro sees the comic panel of him killing Sylar, and realizes it's up to him now to save the world.

All time paradoxes aside--and, honestly, there's no way to avoid those in time travel stories, so why bother?--this was a stellar episode. I was caught out by plot twists a couple of times, and I really liked the way the episode fit together both on its own and in relationship to the other episodes of the season. The writers really seem to be weaving their story together in a complex yet comprehensible fashion, and that's great to see.

Plus--future Peter? Totally hot.

Goldfrapp--Ooh La La (Niki's pole dance song)
Goldfrapp - Supernature - Ooh La La