Heroes Villains episode review

So Usutu did make Hiro take a spirit walk in the past. Is it strange that Hiro never sees himself on his own spirit walk? Anyway, we got to see 18 months to a year ago for a select group of heroes. I thought Claire’s bio-mom, Meredith, had the most interesting storyline tonight. Maybe I was just happy to see Eric Roberts again as the Company man Thompson. And I thought it was interesting that blue flame-shooting Level 5 prisoner Flint is Meredith’s brother. Is everyone on this show related to Claire in some way? It would not surprise me to learn that Claire has a distant Japanese ancestor (oh wait, she sort of does) that makes Hiro her cousin. I could buy Meredith knocking off convenience stores in Texas, but being a Company agent like HRG? Not at first, but by episode’s end, I was sold.

Flashback episodes come with pros and cons. As on Lost, viewers can see old scenes with new insight. Meredith caused the train wreck that Claire ran into in the very first episode. HRG left Sylar’s apartment and Elle to get into Mohinder’s cab. However, flashbacks also give struggling writers a chance to retcon their characters a bit.

This has always been my problem with villains. Give them too much backstory, too much sob story, and my interest drops. Farscape was one of my favorite shows and evil Peacekeeper scientist Scorpius one of TV’s nastiest bad guys. Like mixing Dr. Spock’s logical nature with the calculating cruelty of Hannibal Lecter. (Spoilerific season 2 example: slowly driving his enemy insane, forcing him to kill the love of his life, interrupting his brain surgery to kill the doctor, eating a piece of his brain, and leaving everyone’s favorite good guy strapped to a chair with his skull open for summer hiatus. Evil!) But he was charismatic and so damn smart and such a great foil to John Crichton’s sunny Southern charm. And then they did a flashback episode where you saw him crying over his messed up childhood and after that, it was episode after episode of Scorpius turning out to be not such a bad guy after all. I love character growth, I do, but when you have a really great bad guy… keep him bad. A good villain is hard to find.

So again the writers are telling us that Sylar isn’t bad. He was made a monster by the Company. And Elle helped with her flirting.

And Arthur Petrelli was behind Linderman’s plan to kill Nathan all along, which led to a nice bit of villainy by Angela. Again, I love the Haitian.

But I still fail to see how all of these flashbacks will help Hiro stop the villains. Maybe it is too little, too late anyway. Poor Usutu, we hardly knew thee. That was a nice bit of unexpected violence in primetime. I think I’ve seen more gore on Heroes than Dexter this season. How did Arthur get to Africa? Is Hiro really in danger? What zany way will Ando step up and save his buddy so they can share awkward, nerdy dialogue again? We’re in sweeps season, people! Where is the forward momentum?

Heroes. 9 P.M. EST. NBC.

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