Last night's Heroes ended the "Villians" chapter and inaugurated "Fugitives." Unfortunately it was a recappy mess, though hints of what's coming give us hope that the show is headed for an upswing.
As you can see in this clip, a lot of the episode was devoted to the theme that has been beaten to death this season: Every hero also contains a villain, and all good guys are also monsters. Not a bad theme, but nobody wants to hear the writers telegraphing it every episode a couple of times in long voice-overs and speeches. Still, Sylar looks kind of shock-jock sexy in this scene, crooning through microphones to the captured Primatech crew about how repulsive he is.
Most of the episode was devoted to face-offs between old enemies: It was Primatech vs. Pinehearst, Nathan vs. Peter, and Petrelli vs. Petrelli. Then there was the weird moment when grownup Hiro teamed up with little Hiro - less said about that the better.
I think the main problem with the episode was the fact that it was a rather clumsy attempt to wrap up dozens of story lines through exposition.
And in those moments when we did have some action, it felt random: How many times can Nathan flip-flop his loyalties before it's just impossible to say what he wants to do, or what his vision is for "a better world"? It's pretty clear that he's become a bad guy, and that he wants to take over Pinehearst so that he can create a "better world" - but one minute that "better world" includes handing out powers like candy, and in the final minutes of the show we discover it involves rounding up all the special people and putting them special facilities.
Probably the best moment in the show took place in Suresh's lab at Pinehearst, where he's got a giant vat of the formula that creates superpowered people. He's about to inject himself, and hopefully cure his botched attempt to become Jeff Goldblum, when Peter shows up with Anger Dude and the Lame Flame. They destroy all the formula, but not before Suresh gets soaked in it and loses his scales. And not before Peter injects himself and gets repowered just in time to save his perfidious brother from the now-burning experimental chambers.
Meanwhile, Ando has also injected the formula and developed a seriously lame power, which is that he can boost other people's powers. I sort of love the Ando-Speedy-Parkman troika, but still found myself groaning when he boosts Speedy's power so that she can run so fast she travels back in time, and rescues the time-stuck Hiro. Question: How does she return to the present? She runs backward? What? Look I know it's not realism, people, but please.
As Pinehearst goes up in smoke, Speedy and Hiro manage to get the formula out and rip it to shreds. And at the same time, Claire and her crew at Primatech manage to get out just as Claire's mom explodes. In another "oh please" moment, Sylar has injected her with adrenaline in order to force her fire power out of control. So she's a goner, and indestructable (but unconscious) Sylar got left in the burning building.
Papa Petrelli is dead, but Mama lives on. HRG lives on, too. So Claire still has a ton of mommies and daddies and grannies to order her around. Primatech and Pinehearst, the special people's seats of power, are in ruins. Things are about to change in a major way.
And here is where the episode got really cool. "Villains" ends with the usual awful voice-over from Suresh, and then "Fugitives" starts with an amazing scene where Nathan gets into a car with the president of the U.S. . . . who turns out to be none other than Michael Dorn, the guy who played Worf on Star Trek: TNG! There's a face we're happy to see again, especially without the Klingon makeup.
Nathan's outlining a deal with President Worf that will sound familiar to anyone who read the "Civil War" comics or dipped their toes into the X-Men universe(s). Nathan says he wants to round up all the special people and put them away.
Though Nathan has discarded icy spin doctor Tracy, clone of Jessica, she's still in circulation too. We see the cured Suresh getting into a car with her.
I think we can guess why the next chapter of Heroes is called "Fugitives," and I'm frankly excited. Bryan Fuller, lately of the beloved show Pushing Daisies, is coming back to work on the show's next chapter, too. With a radical new direction for the show - humans vs. specials - and a new creator on the team, I think Heroes may bounce back from doom like a superpowered cheerleader.