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Spoilers will be served with a side of diner food.

Leave aside for the moment the fact that Danko the Hunter engineered Tracy's not-quite-escape and freezing of the unfortunate analyst as a show for Kelly's Abby Collins, the Homeland Security agent assigned to Nathan's round-'em-all-up (except me) program. Even if it hadn't been, how spineless is this character that she witnesses one (admittedly frightening) bad act by one person with powers and suddenly decides that hell yes, this is the kind of program the full weight of the U.S. government should get behind.

One minute she's all, "Hey, I know that woman, she's a lobbyist, and you're torturing her! How dare you! I'm shutting you down!" And then it's, "You'll have all the funding you need." Oof. Couldn't Nathan at least shown her a few pictures of Sylar carnage, maybe the aftermath of a Knox-Flint crime spree? You know, something, anything before the Tracy incident, so that we see Nathan trying to build his case and her complete reversal doesn't come completely out of nowhere? Because if all it takes is a single action by one person to convince her that hundreds or thousands of people are guilty by association, that's some flimsy, flimsy stuff right there.

(I know — Heroes is not exactly synonymous with consistent character motivation. But Abby's reversal was even more absurd than some of the others we've seen.)

Now that that's out of my system, I suppose I should move on to the bulk of the episode … Hiro's Indian wedding adventure. Kidding. We'll go with the Bennet family drama.

I will give the show due credit for having Claire say what we were probably all thinking when her dad starts going on about how dangerous the world and the people he works for are: "And now's the part where you tell me how everything you do, you do to protect me." It's a refrain we've heard, what, about a hundred times over these past 2 1/2 years? And just as we are, Claire is pretty well inured to Noah's spiel now that she knows just what he's doing.

It's not hard to agree with her, given that he's working for Nathan and Danko (at least ostensibly). She, on the other hand, is working with someone named "Rebel," who's sending her texts about the comic-shop employee who's about to be rounded up. If "Rebel" turns out to be Peter, I think someone will need to explain to him what living off the grid means. A better guess is that it's someone — Angela, maybe — who has a beef with Nathan.

Fed up with all the lying, Claire also tells Sandra what Noah is doing, which leads to a blowup of the you-promised-me-you-were-through-with-that variety and Noah packing his bags and bugging out for a while, with promises to Claire that he'll A) try to be more honest and B) will still be around. At least, until Peter and his boys slip him a mickey and cart him off for interrogation. Next week's show looks to be pretty Noah-centric, and while I'm not sure Heroes is capable of another "Company Man," the prospect of an episode with Jack Coleman front and center makes me at least a little hopeful.

Elsewhere tonight:

Sylar and Luke continue their search for Sylar's dad, which starts to feel like a bizarre combination of Midnight Run and Apt Pupil, with Luke alternately jazzing on the idea of a road trip and very interested in Sylar's dark arts, and Sylar mostly looking like he wants to tell Luke "Now here come two words for you: Shut the f*** up" but occasionally going all Obi-Wan and telling him how to use his ability.

The feds find them, and even though Luke saves Sylar's butt by causing enough of a distraction to allow Sylar to get away — for which he repays Luke by leaving him behind. Or so it seems; as they're about to haul Luke away, commotion in the van indicates the bad guy is back, and he takes Luke and a laptop with him so he can figure out how Nathan and Co. are tracking him.

And in India, Hiro learns that he doesn't need his powers to be heroic. That's about all we need to say about that particular subplot, dontcha think?

A few notes:

  • The episode was called "Building 26," which is probably not an homage to the building at NCR Corp. in Dayton, Ohio, where my dad worked. Some pretty amazing stuff went on there during World War II, but it had nothing to do with superheroes.
  • Comic-book guy Alex, who can breathe underwater, is played by Justin Baldoni, who has apparently moved out of Ephram and Bright's apartment in Everwood.
  • Liked the serial killer exchange between Luke and Sylar: "You've got a pattern, you pick specific victims, you keep mementos …" "OK, technically I am a serial killer."
  • Nathan, after finding out about Danko's stunt with Tracy: "Apologize to his bloodstain — it's still warm." Really? 'Cause, you know, he looked pretty cold when we last saw him.

What did you think of "Building 26"? Was the Bennet portion of the episode enough to carry your through the Hiro and Sylar silliness?

Posted by:Rick Porter