What a polarized episode! For every good scene in this episode there was an equally craptastic one to balance it out. Unfortunately, that balance doesn't hold, and the crap starts overflowing.
Don't believe me? Remember the great cliffhanger from the last episode, where Arthur decapitated Usutu and was holding Hiro's head between his hands? Well, Arthur gets distracted for a minute, and Hiro and Ando get away, only for us to find that Hiro has been mentally reduced to the have the mindset of a ten year old. I am not making this up. For the rest of the episode, Ando tries to convince a literally retarded acting Hiro that he is an older man and has time traveling powers.
Meanwhile, in a scene that is actually dramatic, Sylar allows a trapped Elle to unleash her lightning blasts on him, so that she can get a sense of vengeance for her father's murder. This scene is filled with the sort of extreme masochism that you wouldn't expect to see at 9 pm on NBC, as the skin is literally burned off of Sylar's bones. This is part of the whole Sylar redemption plot that has been running through Season 3, which you may or may not think is a good direction for the character. What we can all agree on is how ridiculously short the period of time is Elle stays mad at Sylar for killing her father. After one session of frying Sylar for ripping off the top of her father's head, the person she was the closest with for her entire life, Elle forgives the former killer. Not even ten minutes later, the two twisted characters are practicing shooting electricity and making googily eyes at each other.
Claire and Peter spend the majority of the episode eluding Flint and Knox. There is a slight bit of suspense in this sequence, since we know that Peter no longer has his powers, and could actually die. At one point Claire jumps out a six story window. The camera follows her all the way down to the ground floor, where she makes a nice thud. Once again, we see a disturbing after effect of someone using their powers (which I think is the real reason why fans tune in to this show) but moments later we are reminded of why the show is considered to be at its lowest. Peter tells Claire that the reason why he is trying to keep her out of the action is because he has seen what she will become in the future. This admonition literally brings the tension caused from the chase sequence to a screeching halt.
Other highlights of the show? Parkman is able to use his mental powers to bring Angela Petrelli out of her coma, and during the process, finds out that Daphne is still working for Arthur Petrelli. Mohinder works on the formula that he believes will give normal people superhuman abilities. His human guinea pig is quite a disturbing sight. In the case of both Daphne and Mohinder, in each of their scenarios, they choose the side of good. Daphne decides to join Parkman and leave the Pinehearst Group. Mohinder grants his human guinea pig's wish, and ends the poor bastard life with a lethal injection.
The episode ends on a high note. It is now clear who is on both sides of the upcoming conflict. Both of the Petrelli brothers have sided with their mother, along with Claire, Parkman and Daphne. On the side of the Villains are Knox, Flint, Tracy Straus, Sylar and Elle and of course Arthur Petrelli.
With all of the characters picking a side, it seems like a massive X-men style battle is inevitable. I was almost able to overlook the low points of the episode, but then I saw the trailer for next weeks episode.
It looks like the eclipse that we saw in the first episode of the show is going to occur once again, but this time around it is going to remove the powers of all of the Heroes. This is a great idea for an episode, but it seems to contradict everything this season has been building up to. This is one of the main problems of this season. There seems to be no direction, no real goal for the end of the season. Each episode feels like it is part of a unique story arc, and all of them are loosely tied together with the idea that this is all going to make sense in the end.
Best way to tie it all together? In some sort of major conflict that puts a kibosh on the possibility to travel into the future, and ends with a few of the main characters dying