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Heroes Watch: The Squiggly Thingy of Death!

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SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched last night’s Heroes–hey! Stop drinking that coffee and look at me when I’m talking to you!

Paul Drinkwater / NBC

The downside to all that closure that Heroes bends over backwards to give you is that, once an arc ends, the show has to tap-dance pretty fast to set new stories in motion. Gotta get those balls back in the air! Can’t let the fanboys start saying we’re boring! That said, Heroes 2.0 did a decent job of picking up some existing storylines (Molly’s visions, Noah vs. The Company) and establishing new ones (the Honduran Wonder Twins; the sins-of-the-fathers storyline; the menacing Squiggly Thingy of Death that appeared in Molly’s dream, the threatening photographs, and Kensei’s standard). There was enough going on that I scarcely noticed that we had hardly any Peter and absolutely no Niki.

All well enough done–no real characterization, but who has time for that!–but these whiplashing episodes start to become like watching a clip reel over time, and I hope once the new season gets established we start seeing more pace-breaking (and better-written) episodes like “Company Man.” As for Hiro in 17th century Kyoto, I’m undecided. Masi Oka continues to give the best performance on the show, and I’m sure he’ll be able to wring funny-touching moments out of discovering that his hero is a fraud and having to right his wrongs himself. And I’m sure that Oka will take the story to the conclusion that, all together now–He was the hero of his own story all along!–without making it appear nearly as corny as it sounds. But I don’t want him out of the mix in Quantum Leap: Kyoto for too long. The present needs you, Hiro.

Other thoughts:

* Ah, Peter’s alive. And Nathan, sporting the Beard of Deep Psychic Torture. So much for the whole noble-sacrifice business. Also, Sylar. From here on out, I am no longer mourning Hiro’s dad, or anyone who dies on Heroes, until I see them burn the corpse and shoot the ashes into space. And even then I expect to see the Ash Ghost return within six episodes.

* So Claire’s new probably-definitely-heterosexual-this-time boy can fly? Any chance he shares some genes with his new crush? We do know Nathan Petrelli got around.

* The whole Noah-working-in-a-copy-shop bit: might have been a touch funnier if Chuck hadn’t debuted an hour earlier.

* All right, this has almost nothing to do with Heroes, but since we’ve touched on the subject of classic punk bands pilfered for car commercials before: The Nissan Rogue commercial with the Clash version of Pressure Drop? Killed a teensy bit of my soul. OK, carry on.