After watching "Lizard," the second season two episode of Heroes, I'm really starting to believe that the production crew has learned from the missteps of season one and are firing on all cylinders. Of course, that assertion goes out the window if next week's installment stinks to high heaven and returns to the treading water mode we saw all too often last year. But for now they're getting it right.
The difference is that the narrative is moving forward. Last year, there was an unfortunate tendency to fill episodes with padding if they weren't one of the key waypoints in the overarching "blow up New York" plot. So there was a lot of unfocused character interaction and inaction. This time, though, they're pacing themselves much better this time around. There are several mysteries at work here, several distinct plot lines, but instead of saying "This is the mystery--how do we solve it," the story structure is essentially one of picking up enough clues to define the mystery. Granted, the deaths of and attacks on the older generation of metahumans can be viewed as an outright murder mystery, but the fact that survivors thus far know exactly what's going on and (presumably) who is responsible adds to the complexity, and hints that there's a lot more going on under the surfact. So much so, in fact, that learning who killed Mr. Sulu, and why, will only open a much larger can of worms that will take the second half of the season to resolve. Nice.
Good things about this episode include Cheerleader Claire cutting off her little toe and then watching a new one grow back. I kept waiting for the severed digit to start growing a new body to attach itself to--if Claire was split in two, say, by being chained to a log being run through a saw mill, would we get two copies of her? I was bugged by the fact that she snipped the little toe off using the tip of the scissors, since to get enough leverage to do the deed she's need to force the toe deeper into the scissor joint, but I'm just a stickler. Her Flyboy school mate is no less creepy this episode than he was last. Nothing good will come from his discovery of Claire's secret.
Maya and her brother are just getting creepier and creepier. Apparently they were infected with the Black Oil from the X-Files and are trying to reach America where they can contact Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Weird.
The telepathic confrontation between Parkman and Mrs. Petrelli was nicely handled.
The Hiro and Kensei plotline is seven different kinds of awesome. I love period pieces, especially when multiple super powers are involved.
They finally, FINALLY put together a cool fight using super powers. Peter Petrelli, despite being in Ireland, having amnesia and not fulling understanding the abilities he has, escapes being tied up and puts a serious hurting on a number of goons. What's more, he used telekinesis to knock one gun away, which means that he has internalized all of Sylar's stolen powers. That's cool. If Peter weren't such an inherent weenie, he'd be the baddest mofo on the planet.
I can't wait until next week.
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