We’ve accepted that the Heroes universe is ridiculous, but can’t that ridiculousness at least be consistent? If a person can, say, survive being blown up by a nuclear bomb, it stands to reason that same person could survive a shotgun blast to the head. But when Adam killed the Random One-Episode Key Supporting Character, and Peter gave him a pass after Adam’s explanation that “no one comes back from a head shot,” we threw our hands up. This show has written itself into so many corners this season that the writers’ strike is actually its salvation — they’re gonna be able to hit the reset button far earlier than they had anticipated.
As for the rest of the episode, everyone seemed to be scrambling. It’s gonna be an awful strain to tie up all the disparate plotlines in the final installment next week. Sylar pops back up again, killing people the old-fashioned way and taunting Mohinder, whose nose has to be healed by now (doesn’t it?). The New Orleans family pops back up again, with our TV-absorbing teenage girl being kidnapped by random Nawlins hoodlums. (If only she had watched The Great Escape! Kids today, they have no culture.) And look, there’s Kristen Bell and her Ned Ryerson Dad again, having some sort of drama, we’re not sure what.
On the plus side, we were treated to one of the greatest Heroes howlers of all time, from our cheerleader pal Claire, mourning the “loss” of her father: “I’ve fallen twenty stories. Been stabbed in the head. Crashed a car at 70 miles an hour. I’ve even been on fire. This hurts more than any of that.” Yeah, but that hangnail that really freaking stung.
The show is apparently headed in one right direction as it wraps up this truncated, shambling mini-season: The promos say they’re killing off two heroes next week. With the program so overpopulated and overplotted, it probably wouldn’t hurt to drop a couple of the lamer story lines. And if we’ve learned anything, we shouldn’t mourn anybody’s death too intensely. Death in Heroes is like the weather — just wait a few days, and things will change. Unless, of course, the person is shot in the head. Maybe. —Will Leitch