Heroes: .07 – Acceptable Losses; Collateral Damage

.07When NBC's Heroes returns on Monday [9/8C], we get answers – maybe not the answers we want but, quite possibly, the answers we want. And, oh, yes, one of the heroes dies – a character who's been around since the opening moments of the first episode…

 

After far too many weeks of waiting, Heroes returns tomorrow night. Finally, we get to see what happens after Claire [Hayden Panetierre] discovers that her grandmother knew about her from the moment she was born; we get to watch Peter [Milo Ventimiglia] face off with Sylar [Zachary Quinto], and we get to see a new hero team forged – Matt Parkman [Greg Grunberg], Ted Sprague, the Radioactive Man [Matthew John Armstrong] and Mr. Bennet [Jack Coleman], the Horn-Rimmed Glasses guy, himself. And that's just for openers…

In the convoluted world of Heroes, events are coming to a head. A hero dies; Linderman's [Malcolm McDowell] plan becomes known; Isaac [Santiago Cabrera] paints more pictures; and Nikki/Jessica [Ali Larter] makes a fateful choice, and the fate of the world might rest in the hands of the youngest hero. Meanwhile, Hiro's [Masi Oka] heroic journey takes a time-twisting detour. And, yes, there's more…

From the beginning, Heroes has been an ambitious, occasionally unwieldy series. For most of the season, we followed the characters as they lived their seemingly unconnected lives – and watched as their arcs slowly began to converge. Now, we are on the verge of the destruction of New York, and the show's legion of characters is coming together.

The Nuclear Man

.07 is not just the title of tomorrow night's episode. It's also a number that figures in Mr. Linderman's plans – in a big way, even though it's a very small number. Indeed, that number has a profound effect on Nathan Petrelli [Adrian Pasdar] – an effect that heavily colors his reaction to a major, family-related event [though not the effect you might expect…].

The script works through more plot and character arcs than even an excellent ep of Lost – and he does a masterful job of set the different tones of each arc, while bringing them all closer together. Even Larter, Noah Gray-Cabey [Micah] and Leonard Roberts [D.L.] are completely tolerable, while Quinto, McDowell and Cabrera positively shine. And if temporal mechanics give you a headache, you may just get one from Hiro's quandary…

Now the stage is set and the players are moving into position for the Big Finish. Events are moving rapidly toward the cataclysm foretold in Isaac's paintings, and sides are being drawn [and not everyone is winding up on the sides on which we might have expected them]. Despite the huge number of characters, and machinations necessary to bring them together, .07 seems neither awkward, nor rushed. Questions are answered – and more questions are asked – but the end is in sight.

I'm not sure if .07 is the best episode of Heroes' premiere season, but it is certainly close.

Grade: A-

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