Haydenpanettiere_heroes_240After six straight increasingly compelling episodes of Heroes, it was probably inevitable that we’d get one that doesn’t quite hold up to what came before it.

Which is not to say Monday’s episode wasn’t worthwhile — there were three or four interesting revelations to be had (guess those theories about Micah were right). What we didn’t get, though, was any serious advancement in the mission. All the cheerleader had to be saved from tonight was her annoying little brother.

The Claire story did, however, yield the night’s best exchange: "I’m gonna put this on YouTube and make a million bucks." "YouTube’s free, you idiot."

Part of the problem may have been that NBC, the original King of Breathless Promotion, overplayed its hand a little bit with copious numbers of ads promising "Their secret is out." Well, yeah, Claire’s little brother knows about her now, and there’s a reporter poking around Petrelli, but that’s pretty much it.

Enough of the (not really big) negatives, though. Let’s deal with that question up in the headline: Just who the heck is Linderman?

I think we can assume that the shadowy guy behind Nathan’s pile of campaign cash and the current owner of the missing Claire painting is not HRG. Nathan told the reporter that Linderman was a friend of his father’s, so presumably if the mobster and HRG were one and the same, he would have recognized his abductor in Vegas.

Clearly, though, whoever Linderman might be, he’s tied up somehow in Claire and Peter and Nathan and Hiro, and probably not in a good way. So does he know what Nathan, Niki and D.L. can do? Surely his involvement in all three of their lives isn’t just a coincidence.

Also liked the Matt Parkman story — his gift is helping him climb the professional ranks at the same time it’s wrecking his personal life. And the encounter with Theodore "Radioactive Man" Sprague showed a different side to having superpowers. The guy clearly didn’t know what the hell was going on, and the radiation he gave off probably killed his wife to boot. I think Matt might have understood a little what Ted was going through.

Other notes:

  • What do you get when two superpowered people have a kid? A kid with superpowers. Micah, who we saw taking apart and rebuilding a computer in the pilot, is apparently some sort of technological savant ("technopath," my colleague suggests). Or a Cylon, one or the other. Also liked how he A) recognized Ando and B) can recognize when his mom is not herself. I’m guessing that’s just a kid’s intuition, though.
  • Simone’s dad (Shaft!) had a dream in which he went flying with Peter, who assured him that he would save the world. I don’t really know what this means, but given that Peter was dreaming about him at the same time, it probably means something.
  • Radioactive Man and Matt both have marks on their necks that look something like this: //. or maybe =, depending on the angle. That’s now two marks we’ve seen on our supers — both Bad Niki (or Jessica, apparently) and HRG’s eerily quiet sidekick sport the vaguely f-shaped mark (he on a necklace), and now this. Theories?
  • The episode description on my cable system said "Hiro questions his heroism." Maybe that bit got cut for time, because I thought he acquitted himself quite well at the car crash site.

Adding all that up, it was still a pretty interesting episode, and the return of HRG next week promises to move the larger story along some more. What do you folks think?

Posted by:Rick Porter