Heroes has stealthily made perhaps the most prudent tactical decision it could have, one its fans — or what’s left of them — have been begging for this past season and a half. The show is starting to kill people off.
Nobody important has been offed yet, so don’t get excited over that long-called-for Claire execution. But in two straight weeks, we’ve had matter-of-fact, oh-yeah-he’s-dead-now finishes for Adam Monroe and Maury Parkman, both slain by Robert Forster’s apparently ruthless Arthur Petrelli. Neither one of those characters would be classified as “major,” but they did once have their own plotlines and were two main reasons for the show’s recent bloat. Their deaths were abrupt and of little note. That’s a start.
A nice place for the Grim Reaper to go next? How about Mohinder’s place? The scientist-narrator-philosopher turned Brundle Fly grows more insufferable each episode (though he does win points for driving Maya off the show; one more down!). Or how about the offices of Tracy Strauss, allowing us an unprecedented third twin death and Ali Larter a chance to emote ONE MORE TIME? And actually, now that Peter Petrelli has lost all his powers (taken by Daddy), he’s easily squashed too.
We do almost lose Claire this episode, or at least Kristen Bell’s Elle character, in one of the many oppressively silly Heroes scenes that we must laugh at lest we turn off the television. Elle, who makes lightning, is having difficulty controlling her ability (she’s shooting lightning all over the place, like crazy), so what do she and Claire do? They get on a plane! As you might expect, Elle’s lightning spasms causes the plane to lose power — this is why you turn your cell phones off, people — so Claire must save the day: She grabs ahold of Elle to “absorb” the electricity. This, of course, betrays the most basic tenets of physics: Electricity in an enclosed place is electricity in an enclosed place, and that plane should be going down. But perhaps asking Heroes to follow the laws of physics is simply like asking a dog to walk on its hind legs. But a plane crash would've been nice, the final thing swiped from Lost, done in a mediocre and plodding manner.
A week off for Election Night Eve, and then … another flashback episode. Here’s hoping they make Robert Forster young by using scenes from Medium Cool.