Reflecting on last night’s episode of Heroes, two conflicting clichés come to mind: “Better late than never” and “Too little, too late.” All fans certainly fall into one of those two categories. I’m in the former.
Yes, the second season has been a huge disappointment up until now, with pointless storylines, boring new characters, and very little Hero interaction. Last night’s episode, “Out of Time,” addressed all those concerns and was more or less an apology from the writers for the six episodes that came before. The main reason I can’t shrug it off as “Too little, too late” is this: it wasn’t too little. In fact, it was just the opposite.
Think about what we saw. Hiro (Masi Oka) finally came back to the present. Claire (Hayden Panettiere) was revealed to be an integral part in a larger, non-cheerleading storyline. Kensei was revealed to be Adam Monroe. The backstory of who may have killed Kaito, who the Group of 12 is, and what happened to Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) after the explosion were all partially answered or hinted at. And no Hondurans.
Sure, the reveal of Kensei (David Anders) as Adam Monroe was predictable, and whether you figured it out last week, or sometime this week, I doubt any true Heroes fan was genuinely shocked when it was finally revealed. But still, it’s quite cool. First of all, Anders is a fantastic actor, and he is especially great at playing the villain (see: Alias). But, how sure are we that Adam is even evil? Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) spoke a lot about morally gray areas, and that’s what I think we have. Do we take Bob and the Company at their word that Adam wanted to kill most of humanity? This is the same guy who also suggested they kill HRG (Jack Coleman). Speaking of Bob, Stephen Tobolowsky is giving one brilliant, under-the-radar performance that is always reliable but never flashy, so kudos to the person who cast him in this role.
As a quick sidenote, does this revelation mean that Adam Monroe wasn’t in the Group of 12? Anders’ youthful, pretty boy face certainly doesn’t correspond to either of the two remaining mystery men from the photograph. Also, does Kensei being Adam Monroe necessarily eliminate the possibility that Kensei is also Arthur Petrelli, Peter and Nathan’s father? Probably, but it would certainly mesh with the theme of “Generations” if the man helping Peter to destroy/save the world was his dad. Anyway, did Kensei leap forward through time, or has he walked the Earth for more than 300 years, never aging? Didn’t Linderman possess a Fountain of Youth-like power? And how does the mysterious “Pratt” fit into everything (the other Group of 12 member Nathan didn’t recognize from last night)?
These are all interesting questions and they all make me eager for the next new Heroes episode more than I have been since the end of season 1. Now, the bad news. First, if the writers’ strike continues (which it probably will), there are only four more episodes this season. That’s not nearly enough to provide satisfactory answers to all our burning questions. Second, next week’s episode is a flashback to the time between seasons 1 and 2. While I love the way the show plays with time, I’m skeptical because for the first time, the plot actually has some forward momentum, and they’re going to interrupt that with a flashback episode.
Sure, it will fill in a lot of missing pieces, but the only ones of any interest surround Peter, Adam and Elle. If next week’s episode were in the same vein as “Company Man” (only focusing on that single story) it might be great, but I suspect we’ll be getting some Monica and Maya and Alejandro, and other stuff that I care about even less now than I did before. Still, the brief preview of next week’s episode made it look like it will deliver a boatload of answers regarding the relationships between Adam, Elle and Bob, and since those three are the only interesting new characters, I’m all for it.
What do you think? Is Adam Monroe really evil? Is he actually Kaito’s killer? Is Pratt the one who controls the weather? Did you vow never to watch Heroes again after last week’s episode, and now you’re completely excited about the next episode?
-John Kubicek, BuddyTv Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)