Friday, April 13, 2007

Heroes Retrospective: Six Months Ago

1. Coda the First to "Save The Cheerleader", as we jump back six months before the events of "Homecoming". I suppose my biggest problem with this episode is that, while it purports to deliver the "origin stories" of the cast, it actually raises two questions with every answer. We learn how Sylar became what he is, but not the specifics of his power-thieving skills. We see Chandra Suresh tracking the Heroes down, but how did he find these people in the first place, and how could he have missed Sylar's mutation the first time? We meet Niki's dad and discover the source of her fractured mind, but why did Hal seek her out in the first place? And then, of course, there's the big question "Heroes" has yet to answer: up until this point, the assumption had been that the solar eclipse witnessed in the first episode was somehow responsible for "activating" the Heroes' powers. But here we see Nathan, Eden, Claire, Matt, Peter and Jessica use their powers long before that celestial event happened. So are we to believe that the Heroes had superpowers all their lives? And if so, how is it possible that no one figured it out all this time?

2. I love Ali Larter's subtle shifts of expression when she transitions from Niki to Jessica and back. Say what you will about her storyline (and I have), but Larter's definitely playing it well. Another question: Niki refers to D.L. as an ex-con, which means he was a criminal before the Linderman thing. So... what? When did that happen? What happened?

3. PARADOX! If Hiro and Charlie had a whole relationship before he was snatched away, why didn't she recognize him the day she died? That said, it was interesting to see Hiro's present-day storyline unfold alongside a flashback episode.

4. We're once again witnessing Nathan's ambiguous nature: having used his power of flight to escape his wife's fate, Nathan tells his brother he has no idea what happened. Is he telling the truth? Is he lying? Is he really, really good at repression? There's no way to tell, and that's what makes him so intriguing.

5. Umm... Mr. Bennet used Eden to get Claire's name off Chandra's list? Then how did Sylar know there was a Hero in Odessa, Texas?

6. Questions aside, though, this was a solid episode, and while I wasn't very impressed with Zachary Quinto as Sylar at the time, he's done an excellent job of growing into the role since then.