Last night's episode of superhero freakout show Heroes, part two of "Eclipse," brought an unexpected plot development. Everybody went back to normal. And I don't just mean the plot arc from this two-parter about how an eclipse (which, strangely, takes place everywhere in the world) temporarily robs our heroes of their powers. I mean that our main characters' wildly-shifting personalities all went back to exactly the same place they were at the beginning of the season. With one notable exception. Let us consider these changes and counter-changes, shall we? Spoilers ahead!
Hiro is an innocent otaku for great justice again
I have said a number of times that I'm annoyed with the direction of Hiro's character this season. He's been a slapsticky little kid, making faces for weak laughs, and even his cute little mop of hair looks lackluster. But in this episode, where he and his pal Ando look for answers in a small town comics store (managed by the awesome Seth Green), Hiro grows up a little bit again. He's re-figured out his powers by reading back issues of 9th Wonders, and girded himself with geekish courage after a funny lecture from Green. And at last, he actually saves the day by preventing Gabriel/Sylar and Elle from kidnapping Claire. Plus, he and Claire will now be on an actual time-traveling adventure together! (As geek Green points out, while poring over back issues, they're two characters who have almost never been in the same storyline.)
Powerful white men are learning life lessons from nasty dictatorial Afro-Caribbeans again
Now that the magical African who helped white people and Asians get in touch with their spirit lives is dead, the now-unmuted Haitian and his nasty dictator brother are back to teach whitey a lesson about human dignity and why blacks don't deserve to run their own countries. And by "whitey," I mean Nathan and Peter specifically. After the two brothers lose their powers, they randomly get embroiled in some kind of Haitian coup or gang war or something. Turns out the nice mind-sucking Haitian who did whitey's bidding is fighting his mean super-invincible brother who wants to rule Haiti by enslaving weeping women who say "bonjour" a lot. Don't try to understand the political context - your takeaway message is that there are parts of the world that are scary and bad, where nobody should be allowed to have superpowers. After rescuing the weeping girls, Nathan decides that he's going to join evil Papa Petrelli at Pinehearst and develop the specialness serum so that "the right people" in the world can become superpowered. Then he soars off, leaving Peter feeling sad that soon "the right people" in "the Middle East" (as Nathan puts it) will be as special as he once was.
Suresh is gross again
Remember those brief and glorious moments this season when Suresh was mostly topless and got to be all sexy with Maya? Remember last week, when he was TOTALLY BUCK NAKED when he slid out of that giant oozy cocoon all covered in sperm? Well, forget about it. He's covered in scales again, and despite figuring out that Papa Petrelli is weak and paranoid, all he can think of to do is stalk Maya and whine.
Gabriel is Sylar again
This is probably the most disappointing and simplistic of the change-backs. Crazed brain-masher Sylar, the Big Bad of the first two seasons, had been growing a conscience this season and turning into hottie nerd Gabriel. Sure, he was dating the mentally-unstable electrical Elle, but that was hot. And he was working for murderous, power-hungry Arthur, but that gave him the is-he-or-isn't-he double-agent depth his character desperately needed. But after the scary gunfight with HRG, who is like the most badass agent in the world when the heroes' powers are eclipsed, he's decided to go back to being totally evil. HRG has played with his mind, casting doubt on whether the Petrellis really are his parents and whether he can really trust Elle. And for some reason, despite the fact that HRG has been trying to kill him for two episodes, he decides to revert to Sylar. After a juicy makeout session with Elle on the beach, he informs her that he'll never lose his desire to eat brains, and cuts her skull open. Yawn - seen it before. Want Gabriel back.
Parkman is going to get the nice girlfriend he deserves - for the first time!
After Speedy Daphne's cerebral palsy reveal last week, and endless conversations about how Parkman doesn't really know Daphne, it looks like the two future lovebirds are going to get together and have happy time in the cornfields. When they get their powers back, Parkman reads Daphne's mind and knows all about how she plotted with Pinehearst. And he still loves her, and still is willing to listen to all her crap about how she's really a villain. Plus, he helps her figure out that she needs to hug her dad goodbye. In a cornfield. Which symbolizes like home and safety and stuff. Even though everybody else reverted, it was fun to see the Parkman/Daphne pairing achieve new levels of sappiness.