I think Hiro is a hero in the truest sense of the word. He wrestles with conflicts that are bigger than himself, he strives to take the road of honor at all times, and, as he learned so painfully in this episode, self-sacrifice forms the core of his existence. After setting into motion the legend of Takezo Kensei, he has finally returned to his own time, only to learn from Ando that his father has been murdered by a mysterious assailant in his absence. Unable to accept this loss, he travels back in time in an attempt to change history and save his father.
His reunion is bittersweet. It becomes an opportunity to say a final goodbye, but not to change the course of fate. Masi Oka captures the moment where Hiro fully accepts his destiny perfectly, displaying quiet resolve, great dignity, and heartbreaking loss. With the help of a much younger version of himself, Hiro learns the final lesson his father has to offer: "We have the power of gods. That does not mean we can play God."
I think someone may need to teach Matt that lesson, and soon, please! He's just discovering the true extent of his powers, and he's already sliding down the slippery slope. First he experiments on Molly, then he manipulates his boss, and finally, he, in full awareness of the import of his actions, pretty much mind-rapes Mama Petrelli to obtain the information he wants. As much as I'm happy to see Matt move out of Loserville this season, he hasn't been shown to be the strongest person in the world, and this turn of events makes me very worried. Is Molly going to end up with two parents who become gradually and unwittingly corrupted?
Which brings me to Mohinder. I think I hate Mohinder. It's been three days since this episode aired, and so far I'm not getting over it. At all.
Let me acknowledge that HRG has been my favorite character on this show since very early on, even when I thought he might be the big bad, and I think Jack Coleman is made of awesome sauce, so I may not be the most objective observer. I'm just saying. That said, HRG ruled this episode! If you're going to threaten his family, be prepared to bring it! Or maybe just bring a stupid PhD with an itchy trigger finger. Stupid Mohinder.
The main story of this episode focused on the big daddy showdown between HRG and Bob. On one side (the BAD one) we have the formidable Bob, his psycho daughter Elle, and stupid Mohinder. On the other we have the awesome HRG, his ungrateful daughter Claire, and not-so-skeevy-after-all West. The conflicts were compelling, the action was exciting and tension-filled, the visual effects were cool, and the climax made me scream out loud at my television. Altogether awesome, actually.
I liked the fighting between HRG and Claire. It really rang true for how teenagers and parents go at it, and it showed how teenagers often have no perspective. Whether your dad says you can't go out tonight, or he tries to save your life by moving in the middle of the night and giving you a new identity, to a teenager it just boils down to dad says no and how dare he try to run my life?! I think we've all been there. The strength of Claire's relationship with her dad shined through in how she reacted to Bob's big mistake. Good girl, Claire.
I also liked the cute bonding between HRG and West, coming together over their mutual love for Claire. I guess I'll have to admit West is not a creepazoid, but right up until the last second I kept expecting him to switch sides and reveal himself as a Company plant. He didn't seem all skeevy in this episode, but that's because he acted differently than he had previously. I still contend he gave off a majorly creepy vibe in his first episodes, and has displayed inappropriate behavior since then, but I'm willing to fanwank that growing up with a super power, coupled with the trauma of his abduction, made him grow up to be a little odd.
Kristen Bell is a delight as Elle. Elle simply has no personal filter for her behavior, and I'm always fascinated to see what she's going to do next. I think they've hit the perfect balance with her, showing just enough of the sexual side of her psychosis to titillate, while always staying just this side of the line of what's acceptable for broadcast television. And her snarky lines are tailor made for Kristen Bell's delivery. Every line out of her mouth is a gem. I also loved the Elle/Claire contrasts in this episode, the clear result of the differences between Bob and HRG.
Bob is deceptively bland looking, but Stephen Tobolowsky is the absolute master of portraying that undercurrent of pure evil that is the essence of his character ("It is a euphemism"). You truly believe he is capable of anything. I'm thrilled with his addition to the show.
Although I know Isaac's paintings always come true, and the show has gone to great lengths to reiterate that point this season, I never, ever thought they would actually kill HRG. So when that shot rang out, and he fell, so gracefully, in slow motion against the setting sun, I found myself on my feet, unable to comprehend the impossible, screaming "Nooooo!" just as Claire did, silently, on the screen. OMG!!
The next few minutes pass in a haze as I adjust, attempt to accept, and tell myself to trust my show, that it had to be done. And then we see the I.V., blood dripping, and instantly I know, and yet am afraid to hope. But yes, that's definitely his hand, his arm, his chest, yes!! And I'm screaming again! LOL! Isn't this just a television show? HRG is back!! Holy shit? Fuck me!