If you’re like me, you may have wondered during some point during the first part of this season, “What if it’s me? Are my standards too high? Am I remembering last season as better than it really was? Is this season actually good and I just can’t appreciate it?” If you did, rest assured that it’s not your fault – even the creator of Heroes admits that this season has been lousy (read his mea culpa here). However, he promises that we’ll see a huge jump in quality from here on out, and this episode seems to back him up.
This is the flashback episode we’ve been promised, and it does a great job of answering all of our questions about what happened after the big bang. Peter did explode, and Nathan just barely escaped with his life. The flashbacks he’s been having all season of his horribly scarred face were his reality four months ago. DL survived the shotgun blast, and he tries to start over with Nikki and Micah, but of course it could never be that easy. Bob lays a guilt trip on Nikki and convinces her that she needs constant medication or another personality could emerge. And sure enough, as soon as Nikki stops the meds, we meet “Gina,” a fun-loving alter ego, apparently without superpowers. Note to Tim Kring: Among the many things you owe us is a coherent explanation of what the hell is going on with Nikki/Jessica/Gina/Sybill/whoever. Is she a Hero or just mentally ill? And the whole trapped-in-the-mirror thing is really old. Anyway, Gina runs off to Los Angeles and causes DL’s death when he gets between her and another guy.
Meanwhile, Bob lays the same guilt trip on Peter, but with more success, and Peter agrees to enter the facility for treatment and a possible cure. That’s where he first meets Elle the Electric Girl, who turns out to be a combination of flirt and sadist. Peter also meets Adam, who’s being held against his will. Adam proves that 400 years hasn’t dampened his manipulation skills at all, and he convinces Peter to break him out so that they can heal Nathan and take down the Company. However, they’re separated when Bob, Elle and the Haitian catch up with them as they’re leaving the hospital. Adam escapes, and the Haitian captures Peter (but not before he loses his shirt – I’m starting to think Milo Ventimiglia had a minimum number of shirtless scenes written into this season’s contract), and once again takes matters into his own hands. He tells Peter that he’ll help him start a new life, and erases his memory before sending him off to Ireland. This brings us back to the present, where Adam and Peter meet for the second time. Adam convinces Peter to “regenerate” his memory, which sounds cool enough that I’ll just let the ridiculous logic of it go.
Our final flashback is of the Wonder Twins of Death, which is as boring as all of their other plotlines, except for the fact that the wedding scene where Maya first found her “power” played like a horror version of “Like Water for Chocolate.” I think these two are beyond hope, but with luck, they’ll be a small blip in an increasingly good season.