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Heroes Watch: Do Not Try This at Home

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SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, turn on your TV and do whatever it tells you to.

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Chris Haston / NBC

The bad news: No Hiro. The good news: No Peter! The bad news: More Nathan. The good news: He shaved! Because his kids told him to! Guess his spiritual crisis is over!

In the absence of Hiro, the best thing on last night’s show was the Claire-HRG storyline, not because I can especially bear the scenes with Flyboy (“I know you can heal, Claire. But I never want to see you hurt”) but because I continue to enjoy how the storyline takes a typical storyline of adolescence–girl fighting with her father for independence–and amps it up, without making either side of the tug-of-war entirely right.

Speaking of the florid Claire-Flyboy scenes: something must be said about the dialogue in this episode. I know that, on a sheer wordsmithing level, Heroes is never exactly going to be The Singing Detective. But seriously, someone delivered the writing room an extra shipment of corn this week. For starters, there were Monica’s sentiments about Katrina–”One storm rolls through her and blows away my whole life. My Mother. My college education. My dreams”–with the faded-in news footage of the flooding in case that was too subtle. But the prizewinner was the exchange between Sylar and the very-trusting-all-of-a-sudden Maya, who asks his name. “Gabriel.” “Like the angel?” “Yeah. [Mandatory Meaningful Pause and Turn to Gaze Out the Window] Just like the angel.”

On the plus side, despite my squeamishness about kids-in-peril plots, I’m interested to see Parkman get something to do, as he now has to save Molly, who’s a prisoner inside her own head. And really, Monica’s power? The ability (apparently) to perform any feat she sees on TV? Much cooler than just having another dude fly. Somebody needs to sit her down with a few DVDs of Alias. Or Samurai Jack. Or John from Cincinnati. (She could make money appear from her pockets and surf in the sky!)

Ah well, on to next week. The good news: We finally get Kristen Bell! (Down, Chaddogg!) The bad news: We have to get Peter back to make that happen.