And also: EEEEEEEEEEEEE!
First, I am a total sucker for origin stories. Second, I really love these particular origin stories. Third, I love how they managed to do an episode that was almost all flashbacks and still integrate some plot because of Hiro's storyline.
Where to begin? I gasped when I saw Jessica's gravestone, when Mohinder's dad called Mr. Bennet, when Eden met Matt, when Heidi showed up un-wheelchaired. So much coolness! And Sylar! Finally, the mystery is revealed! He does eat brains, or absorb powers, or something!
I really like that Niki is a recovering alcoholic, that there's a growing sense of her life that isn't her power. I'm still not quite sure what her power is. Or maybe she doesn't have one at all, and it was Jessica who did have the power, and it involved something like spirit transfers or possession, or that thing that Ino from Naruto does. And duuuude, Niki's dad! Or stepdad? Or something? And Micah, showing his powers as well!
And I relent: I am no longer bored by the Petrelli brothers! In fact, I really liked their scenes (Linderman connection!), especially how Peter was advocating not going after their dad at first while Nathan was trying to do the right thing, and then the flip. And oh, man. The accident. That is quality angst-fodder. It's not quite as bad as drunk driving, which is what I thought it would be, but no wonder Nathan doesn't want to admit to flying, when that was probably the first time it showed up.
I also had almost forgotten that their father killed himself. I wonder why? Did the DA tell him that Nathan was going to prosecute?
On a more shallow note, how in the world did Nathan go from being a prosecutor to a Congressional candidate in six months? That seems sort of fast....
And what's with Peter's dreams? Is it the kid? How does he know? That's not his power, right?
Claire continues to rock, though she didn't get quite so much time here. I just... I love all her interactions with her dad so much. I love the teddy bears and her saying she still wanted them, I love that she really respects his opinion, I love the mutual agreement about Jacki's bitchiness, I love that she actually thought about becoming a cheerleader and what that meant and what went along with it. I hug Claire so much.
Alas, not that much DL backstory, but I really liked getting to see him and Niki and Micah as a family.
I didn't really notice that there wasn't Isaac or Simone backstory, but they were cramming a lot in as it was.
Matt (Look! I remember his name!) was also more sympathetic, or I'm just getting used to him. And I can sort of see where his marriage starts to fall apart -- it sucks to be the significant other of someone who's depressed and moribund all the time, I bet.
And Eden! She was cool! Yay! Now I want backstory (and a name) for possibly-Haitian guy who apparently blocks people's powers.
And finally.... HIRO! EEEEEEEE! I like that they didn't make Charlie's disbelief too much of an issue, and that Hiro manages to prove his abilities pretty quickly. I also love that he's the one who gives her the Japanese phrasebook, though I'm totally not going to think about time travel paradoxes and if people at the diner in the present-day will know him or etc., because then my brain will just explode.
But... I love that he folds cranes for her, and that she falls for him, because I totally would, and that he's getting his own angst. I love him realizing that he can't change the past and hurting because of it. I wonder if that's why his timeskipping went all berserk? But if that's the case, how does future!Hiro come back and warn Peter? Or did that not really change the past at all, given that all the things in Isaac's paintings still happened?
Gender notes: Still not that many women, Simone still not a main character yet. But Eden seems to be getting much more plot and character, and they continue to develop Niki (and Jessica, who I am now going to think of as a separate character) and Claire. Claire doesn't have that much agency in this ep, since it's mostly about her dad. No dead women per se, though Heidi is injured for Nathan's angst potential and Charlie is sort of dead (again?) for Hiro's angst potential. Am very interested to see where the show will be going with Eden.
Race notes: I have to admit, I snickered a little when Sylar turned out to be a white man. Not that there aren't lots of white villains out there. But still. Key players in the ep largely included white men (Mr. Bennet, Matt, Petrelli brothers, Sylar). One was Indian. Then of course there was Hiro. DL doesn't have that much characterization yet. Haitian man needs to talk. Where was Isaac? No comments from Hal re: Niki's mixed-race marriage, that was neat. Still not many women of color.