Monday, May 21, 2007

Heroes—How to Stop an Exploding Man

I'm having a bit of difficulty writing tonight's review. The usual recap and commentary doesn't seem like the right thing to do tonight. I haven't been as attached to this show as I have been to, say, Supernatural, but tonight's episode was a well-done and stunning conclusion to a surprisingly solid season of TV.

When Heroes started off back in the fall, I was intrigued but not really hooked. But as the season progressed, I got more and more of a sense that the writers knew what they were doing, and had a goal in mind that they were making their way towards. And they did, on both counts.

Heroes has had a surprisingly solid voice and feel from day one, especially for a freshman show. While most first-season shows take a while to hit their strides--some not making it until a second or even a third season, if they last that long--Heroes seemed to know what it wanted to be from the beginning. Kudos to Tim Kring and the writing staff for pulling this show together in such a spectacular fashion.

So... on to the plot, or a brief summary of it. First, DL is not dead. He looked really dead. That was kind of cheap, because I really thought he was dead. But he's hot so I won't be bitter. Anyway, at his insistence, Niki leaves him to search for Micah. There she meets up with what she thinks is Jessica, and they throw down. But then Jessica appears in a reflection to cheer Niki on--they've found common ground in the desire to protect their son, and in the end they seem to have reconciled. While a reasonable conclusion to her season-long conflict, it seemed a bit anti-climactic.

Realizing Nathan is in on the plot to blow up New York, Peter lets his emotions run away from him and starts to go radioactive. He passes out in an alley, and in a sort of not-really-conscious emotional fugue, sees himself in the past, at Isaac's loft with Simone's father. The pieces of the plot come together around him as he watches his mother talking to Charles. Then Charles is able to talk to Peter, and tells him all he needs to save the world is love.

Ando arrives at Isaac's loft, sword at the ready. He faces off with Sylar, who mocks the comic book that shows Hiro killing him. Hiro arrives as Sylar is torturing Ando for information. Hiro rescues Ando in spite of Sylar's smirky McSmirkiness. I liked the fact that Isaac was very present in this episode, in spite of his no longer being around. Almost every major character passed through the loft and saw something there that spurred them on. Hiro teleports Ando to Japan and proceeds back to New York to fulfill his destiny.

Finally, all the Heroes converge in New York, where everybody takes a shot at stopping Sylar. The major confrontation, though, is between Peter and Sylar. Matt arrives and is taken out by his own bullets when Sylar throws them back at him (he's still alive at the end of the episode but not looking too hot). At this point Peter should have an advantage, because he can absorb the power of everyone present, not just the ones who's brains he's eaten. Again, Peter's emotions run away from him and he starts to go radioactive. Hiro arrives and puts a sword through Sylar, just as shown in Isaac's comic. But Peter can't corral his radioactive powers. New York is doomed unless someone can eliminate Peter.

Bennet prepares to shoot, but Claire arrives and takes the gun. She's reluctant, but willing to do what has to be done if there's no other way. But before she can, Nathan arrives on the scene, having finally chosen a side.

I knew what was going to happen as soon as he shot like a rocket out of the sky, but that didn't make it any less intense. Nathan and Peter reconcile, declare their love for each other, then Nathan takes Peter and flies him straight up into the sky. Shortly thereafter, there's an explosion, far up in the sky.

I did not want to see either of the Petrelli brothers go, much less both of them, but that really was a beautiful moment. The plot led to it without telegraphing it, and it was emotional without quite becoming melodramatic. And with luck, since this is a comic book, maybe they'll be back. Hey, a girl can hope.

Of course, then at the last we see a bloody trail where Sylar was lying, presumably in his death throes. It leads to a manhole cover. So he might be back next season. Plus there's a new threat--someone Molly can "see" who's scarier to her than Sylar, because he looks back at her.

In a short coda, Hiro, teleporting, arrives in 1671 Japan. And this is our introduction to Volume Two, "Generations," which will air over the summer. I'm looking forward to that.