This was Episode Four (or Five? Week Four, I guess...) and it followed four major storylines that had varying degrees of interest and success in my mind.
It was lovely and touching. And boring. And there were a few moments where I sort of wanted to puke. Noah and Claire Bennet's relationship is actually one of the strongest enduring elements of the whole show, generally speaking. The characters are intensely connected in a believable way, and the actors work well together. This episode in particular, though, just seemed unnecessarily cheesy.
Really, writers? REALLY? I did not approve of this turn of events at ALL. I'm not a huge fan of Tracy to begin with (read: I wish she'd just die half a season ago), but there were so many other ways that Tracy's confrontation with her past life could have been handled - so many better ways. For instance: She could have been forced to face the true awfulness of herself and been guilted into redemption (boring, cloying, but at least workable). She could have just gotten what she wanted, launching an entirely different new direction for the show (someone in the government besides Nathan? Omgnoway). She COULD have been refused, gotten angry, and gone on another killing spree. But NO. NO. Instead she was turned into a victim at the hands of her creeper politician boss.
I'm sorry, writers. Epic fail for you. Do all you want to make Tracy sympathetic by making her feel like a cheap whore. I don't care. I am never going to sympathize with her. So maybe stop trying to humanize Tracy and instead embrace her questionable nature. (Or just kill her off...)
Up until this episode I haven't been a fan of this whole Hiro-is-dying-wow-tragedy business. However, after "Acceptance" I feel like I've reached a new understanding about it which has led to a change of heart. The biggest complaint that I - and several other people whose opinions I've heard/read - had was that putting Hiro and company through the seven-steps-of-dying business is corny, canonical, and so unoriginal it made me want to cry. But seeing Hiro go through the endless struggle of trying to keep an employee from killing himself over drunken ass photocopies was an effective way of clarifying everything.
On the surface, Hiro's "mission" for this episode seems like a presentation of Hiro's newfound determination to right wrongs, illustrated by way of a cheap joke. How it really functioned, though, was as a reminder of the core element of the Hiro character. His name is not an accident. Though he has been filled out into a well-rounded and generally hilarious character, at his most basic, Hiro is the classic heroic persona made flesh - in his own mind and on a higher, intellectual level. So his dying is not just a desperate trick to stir up pathos in the audience, it really is a natural step in the character's journey and - now that I see it this way - one that is equally fascinating and heartbreaking.
I just hope they don't muck it up by saving him from death at the last second. That would cheapen it.
"Every time there's a buried secret, I find you with a shovel behind your back."
Ahh, there are few things more satisfying on Heroes than a hearty helping of sneaky Petrelli family hijinks. Unfortunately this one was not great.
On the positive side, Swoosie Kurtz! I knew she'd have to come back at some point after her five minutes of screentime last season. You don't bring Swoosie Kurtz in and then not give her anything to do. Also good, Adrian Pasdar. He really is extremely talented. And he and Cristine Rose have a rapport to rival the Bennet family dynamic.
But on the negative side of things, the whole chain of events was a mess. Angela Petrelli's aversion to her actually-Sylar son was essentially forgotten. And like every part of this plot so far, things happened waaay too quickly. We go from Angela trying to help solidify her son's personality in shapeshifted Sylar's chassis to saidsame shapeshifted chassis going back to it's original form in one episode? For crying out loud, people. PACE YOURSELVES! Yes I miss Zachary Quinto. But Parkman's Syluccination was enough to last me awhile. IS THERE SOME REASON THAT ALL SENSE OF SUSPENSE/TIMING HAS BEEN LOST IN THIS PLOTLINE?
...overall, this was an...acceptable episode. It wasn't bad, necessarily. It was just boring. I'm glad of the insight into Hiro it led me to, and there were plenty of little moments I enjoyed. As a whole, though, "Acceptance" was not particularly captivating and was exceptionally frustrating at times.
Also...RIP Adrian Pasdar on Heroes? We'll see, I guess. After all, Nathan is still around. He just looks like Sylar. And isn't really Nathan, he's just Sylar who has been telepathy-bamboozled into thinking he's Nathan.
...at least Heroes still sounds just as weird to explain as it always has.
(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)