Interesting — and puzzling — Heroes this week. If the show is, in comic-book terms, something of an origin story, then Monday’s episode, "Six Months Ago," was something of a pre-origin story. We gained some insight into several characters, but at the hour’s close we ended up pretty much where we started.
Which is to say, where last week’s episode ended, thanks to Hiro’s time-hopping.
By far, the biggest reveals were about Sylar — or Gabriel Gray, the character’s birth name. Surely, his six-months-ago resemblance to Clark Kent is not accidental, but I’m not entirely sure what the show is saying here. He talked about always wanting to be different and special, hoping someone would come and tell him his family wasn’t really his family. That’s more or less the opposite of the Superman story, where Clark’s parents eventually reveal to him that he is, in fact, special.
We also see his first kill, which comes after he drinks a little too strongly of Prof. Suresh’s "evolutionary imperative" Kool-aid and then, somehow, absorbs the unfortunate Brian Davis’ telekinetic ability. He thinks he’s "fixing" his fellow super’s brain like he fixes watches, but Brian won’t be getting any more use of his instrument.
The other insights we got from the flashback weren’t of the same magnitude, although it was interesting to see how many of the characters were connected before we jumped into the story. Matt stopped Eden just before the Haitian delivered her to HRG/Mr. Bennet, who spoke to Prof. Suresh just after the professor met with Sylar. Heck, Hiro even talked to himself.
Speaking of our lovelorn time-bender, let’s start there with some individual bits and pieces.
Hiro: As they were two weeks ago, his scenes with Charlie were incredibly sweet. More important, though, we learned that he can’t change the past. Despite his efforts to warn Charlie of her impending death — which may have been inevitable anyway; she had a blood clot in her brain — he jumped back to present-day Tokyo as he was trying to whisk her off to Japan. Whether that’s a genuine limit on his ability, something he can’t yet control or just a way to make the show’s continuity easier to follow, I guess we’ll find out down the line.
Niki: Well, now we know who Jessica is, or rather was: She was Niki’s sister (a twin, presumably), who protected Niki from the drunken rampages of her father and died at age 11. Her consciousness or spirit (or something), though, appears to live in Niki, popping up whenever her sister feels threatened.
The Petrellis: We see the cause of Heidi’s (Rena Sofer) paralysis — a car wreck caused, presumably, by one of Linderman’s people (who, it becomes clearer, is a mobster who had his hooks in Nathan and Peter’s father). Nathan flies out of the car a few seconds before the impact — whether it was on purpose or involuntary, I think, is open to our interpretation (your thoughts are welcome in the comments section). At the same time, Peter wakes from a dream grasping for air just like his brother. And didja notice, in the scene at the hospital, there was something — a reflection from a light, maybe? — that looked an awful lot like the eclipse from the pilot?
HRG, Eden and the Haitian: The thing that most disappointed me about the episode was that we didn’t learn anything new about who HRG works for, how long he’s been at it and what his connection to the Haitian is (and by the way, Jimmy Jean-Louis is giving a pretty effective performance for a character who has yet to say anything). We do know that he found Eden so he could use her persuasive powers to get Prof. Suresh to remove Claire from his list. And either he’s immune to her skills, or the Haitian’s presence renders her neutral.
With Hiro’s return to present-day Texas, we came back right to where last week’s episode ended. The cheerleader is still saved, for now, but Peter’s still in jail and Jessica’s bullet is still headed toward D.L. NBC is promising someone will go down next week, and a big ending to leave us hanging until 2007.
What did you take away from Monday’s Heroes? Did anything surprise you? And who the hell is employing Mr. Bennet?