Post Game: Heroes 3.6 - "Dying of the Light"

Post Game: Heroes 3.4

Last night’s episode of Heroes is by far the strongest episode of the season.

Spoiler Alert!

There was finally some meaningful forward movement on Mohinder’s long simmering storyline, which bodes well for the series. I’m also happy to report that the future played no role in this episode, which was quite a relief; it was getting quite boring watching each episode and wondering what future drama the writers were going to come up with next to complicate our heroes’ lives in the present.

Episode six opens and closes with Arthur Petrelli, patriarch of the Petrelli boys (Nathan, Peter and Gabriel, aka Sylar), subtly played by Robert Forester. In the episode’s best special effect moment, Arthur’s powers are graphically displayed as he takes Adam Monroe’s power, causing him to age hundreds of years in a matter of seconds before ending in a pile of dust. Maury Parkman is a clever use of an established character, and the Linderman subplot is made all the better for the wrinkle that it adds to his appearances.

As we continue our tour of clan Petrelli, we look in on Claire as she continues her quest to become a hero. Determined to rescue Meredith from the grasp of puppet master Eric Doyle (a man with the ability to control flesh and therefore the people living inside said flesh), Claire and her mother are captured by Doyle and forced to play a deadly game of spin-the-revolver, with Meredith as a third unwilling participant. The sublime acting of David H. Lawrence as Doyle really added a layer of suspense to his scenes. Lawrence managed to come across as creepy, but with a controlled insanity, which made for some tense scenes. Claire’s clever use of her power to finally end Doyle’s possession was a perfect out and the interaction between mother and daughter helped sell the scene perfectly.

In what has to be one of the funkiest smelling apartments in New York, Monhinder continues his experiments and bizarre transformation. For most of the season, this has been one of the weakest storylines, so much so that for the most part I had been hitting the fast forward button quite a bit during previous episodes. Mohinder’s obsession with powers takes a decidedly twisted turn this episode, as his abduction of Nathan and Tracy speak volumes as to the depths he will go to gain them.

Storylines aside, one of the most pleasant developments to come from Heroes has been the revelation of the surprising depth of Ali Larter as an actress. I’m not a big fan of Adrian Pasdar’s over-serious performance as Nathan Petrelli, but whenever he and Larter share a scene, he benefits greatly from her presence.

Elsewhere, Ando rises from the dead, sort of. Utilizing his powers, Hiro actually went back in time, thus breaking his own rule, to set-up the faux stabbing. After proving himself to Knox and Daphne, Hiro is sent to capture Usutu, the precog. As usual, the scenes with Ando and Hiro provide a lot of levity to the episode, but not so much that it becomes distracting. I especially thought Ando’s comment about Matt’s picture on the rock was quite funny.

Speaking of Daphne, she is probably the most pivotal character this episode as she is the catalyst that moves a number of storylines forward. Daphne’s reaction to Hiro’s seeming turn to evil and her meetings with Matt, fresh from his vision quest, start to raise doubts in her mind about what she is doing. While not really evil, but obviously under the sway of Pinehearst, Daphne goes about her job unenthusiastically. Brea Grant puts in another solid performance as Daphne. The thoughtful manner in which she adds emotional depth to Daphne as she is considering Matt’s words after freeing Sylar and Flint is spot on; you can almost see her thoughts as they flash behind her eyes.

At Level 5, due to his desire to leave his Sylar persona behind him, the newly christened Gabriel Petrelli seeks out his brother Peter, currently in a chemically induced coma – thanks mom – to fill him in on what is happening. After being apprised of the situation – mom in psychically induced coma (thanks dad) – Peter has what can only be described as a tantrum, decides to approach his enemies head-on, and heads to Pinehearst. As shocked as Peter may have been to see his father alive, it is Arthur’s action that ultimately proves to be the real unexpected twist of this episode as he relieves Peter of his powers.

In terms of enjoyment, I still like the show, but its over-reliance on the future and the Petrelli clan’s increasingly convoluted nature do raise a few concerns. There is a lot of solid acting to be found throughout the episode, and the writers are finally making some significant progress on the various storylines. It should be interesting to see how Peter gets his powers back, if at all. Anyone else getting an X-Men vs. Hellfire Club vibe from this storyline?

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