Eris Quod Sum, “You will be what I am.” A quick Google search tells me that this phrase was part of a Horace maxim that was popular on Puritan gravestones as a way to provoke self-examination through the lens of mortality. There wasn’t much death in tonight’s episode, aside from the looming end-of-the-world threat, but there were a lot of characters looking closely at their alliances. And the title could work on another level, with Arthur Petrelli’s (Robert Foster) theft of several abilities, in addition to the treasure trove of abilities he took from Peter last week.
I enjoyed tonight’s episode. The pacing seemed on-point and even Peter’s scenes didn’t bore me. What role will he play in the coming showdown between Pinehearst and Primatech, without his arsenal of cool tricks? Everyone seems to be working for the greater good, but good and evil are subjective terms. Sylar seemed to pick a side: as much as Arthur tried to woo him over to Pinehearst, he did save Peter from a fatal fall. Was it a sole act of kindness before Sylar murders Peter in the halls of Level 5, as Angela dreamt in the season opener? Either way, it was satisfying seeing Peter get tossed out a window.
My favorite scenes tonight were probably Claire and Elle’s (guest star Kristen Bell) journey to Pinehearst to regain control of their powers. This season, Heroes is really into buddy cop tropes. Elle, her electric powers on the fritz, is even more of an anxious flier than me. That near-plane crash was pretty damn scary and well-staged. Too bad Elle decided to stay at Pinehearst. The two blondes made the back-and-forth banter fun and Bell is especially good at portraying morally-conflicted characters.
Matt’s scenes didn’t make my eyes glaze over either. His conviction that he and Daphne have a future together was less stalker-ish this week and more sweet. You could see he’s winning Daphne over, even after her clever double cross. I also thought Matt was a bit creepy when he channeled some of his father and threatened Knox with his own fear. What would scare a man who feeds off of fear anyway?
Another potentially exciting development happened tonight. I was pissed that Maya wasn’t dead, but after Mohinder took her to Pinehearst and Arthur absorbed her lame power, I’m hopeful that when we saw her with her suitcase, she was packed for a permanent vacation from the show. Or at least for the remainder of this volume. Mohinder seems to have accepted that he will become a monster and agrees to continue his work on the formula and gain new test subjects.
There are still too many characters on this show. Nathan and Tracy are just kind of spinning their wheels. Tracy takes a consulting fee from Pinehearst and can reunite Nathan with his father, when the time is right—my guess is November sweeps. And Hiro and Ando are in Africa where Usutu (he has a name now!) is preparing the geeks for a less risky form of time travel through a spirit walk. Only Hiro has a bad reaction and it is revealed that Usutu has forced Hiro to travel to the past and stop the Villains before they can do harm. And now we have two weeks to wait for the next episode. It wasn’t quite an oh-my-god-I-can’t-wait cliffhanger, but the previews for the concluding part, and the flashes of cool guest stars (Eric Roberts, for one) have me excited.
Heroes airs Mondays at 9 P.M. EST on NBC.