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Robert Forster, Hero to ‘Heroes’

Klosterman

Robert Forster, who could probably improve any work of pop culture simply by showing up as Max Cherry, has had a total of about two minutes of screen time in his two episodes of Heroes, and already it feels like a different show. From the beginning — well, since Heroes initially became popular and was able to hire some name actors – the show’s example of shady corporate malevolence has been Malcolm McDowell. He’s still hanging around, but, frankly, the old guy’s got too much ham in him — he's not really scary. He doesn't exude a menacing omniscience; he chews the scenery.

Not so with Forster. Playing the long-lost father of the Petrellis — and, we’ve learned, somewhat absurdly, Sylar’s pops — he has been introduced as the most powerful of all the heroes and villains, so tough that he kills Adam Monroe (who used to be the most powerful of all the heroes and villains) before the opening credits. If someone’s going to have the ridiculous, pulled-out-of-the-arse-at-the-last-minute-to-save-these-tangled-story-lines role of the Guy Who Has Been Controlling Everything All Along, Forster’s absolutely perfect. His final scene this episode, right before he takes all of Peter’s powers away from him, shows him wearing a sharp suit and stirring a glass of brandy: He is the Man, bringing as much class and style as the show has ever had. We can only hope he’s in every scene. (Plus, you can book him to speak to your group! One wonders if that’s how the show got him.)

Meanwhile, Ando wasn’t actually killed by Hiro after all (SHOCKINGLY!), Suresh is smart enough to become a supervillain but not smart enough to know you’re not supposed to let the lady who freezes things touch your hand, Parkman is flirting awkwardly with his future bride, and Claire bags her first villain by using the basic rules of game theory. Oh, and by being indestructible. That helps too.

Photo: Courtesy of NBC