This week on Heroes, a lot of things happen that we kind of knew were going to. Peter helps out the Irish gangbangers, winning the heart of Ricky's sister Caitlin in the process, revealing which of them is a traitor and eventually becoming an honorary member of the gang. She gives him a tattoo, which his magical healing body doesn't completely heal away, but replaces with the helix sign; he also gets The Box containing his identity, but refuses to open it for reasons of the heart that I'm not sure I buy. Claire also hooks up, with West, after he jerkily almost reveals who she is, but then reveals who he is by scooping her up and flying away to a nice romantic beach. Previously to hooking up they have such awesomely witty banter as, "Why are you such a smartass?" "Why are you so bad at lying?" However, getting close enough to lick his tonsils also gets Claire to the right angle to spot the two marks on West's neck, and he explains how he got them: a kidnapping, by a man with horn-rimmed glasses. Sounds like Papa Bennet!
We watch more of Maya and Alejandro's struggle to get to the border. Maya kills more people with black eye gunk. It's pretty much the same as last week. Present-day Ando finds a 300-year-old scroll from Hiro inside the sword, narrating his life with Takezo Kensei. He tries to make Takezo a hero by making him fetch a Fire Scroll from a temple that's being protected by the "90 angry ronin." As the aforementioned ronin storm angrily down the stairs of the temple entrance, Takezo nervously asks, "How angry are they?" Hee. But he gets the scroll, and wins the heart of the young woman Hiro has fallen in love with despite knowing she's destined for Takezo. He can't bring himself to leave this timeframe quite yet. Back in the present, we're also reintroduced to Micah and Niki, finally, as Niki leaves Micah with his grandmother in her search for a cure -- for which she'll have to give the Company something in return. (They also visit DL's grave, so he's definitely dead. He was pretty, but he dragged the pacing down a lot, so I'm satisfied.)
Also, Sylar's back! I know you're all surprised, because the disappearance of his body last year and the previews last week totally didn't give it away. He's being taken care of by an illusionist, and because of his injuries (presumably) he can't exercise his powers, so when he kills her to take her power, it turns out to be in vain. The episode ends with Mohinder being assigned by the Company to live in Isaac's old apartment. Nervous that he's going to be under surveillance, he calls Bennet and tells him about his new place -- in which he has found one of Isaac's paintings, #8, which shows Bennet dead on the ground with Claire kissing someone to the side. Claire arrives home from her date with West, and the two of them say good night to each other, each with deep suspicion.
Most of this was pretty predictable. We knew Peter and Caitlin were being set up, as well as Claire and West; the Maya thing continues to be blah; Hiro continues puttering around in 1671 which, while nice because it allows us to watch David Anders, seems pretty pointless; we definitely knew about the Sylar thing; and I wasn't terribly surprised by Niki's actions either because of hints we were given in the finale. Still, the introduction of another little snag in the Claire/Bennet relationship was done effectively, and I can tell the Sylar storyline is going to heat up soon. And I really liked some of the editing work with Hiro's storyline -- the shots of flower petals falling on Yaeko, and the transitions between time periods, were cool.
I am really feeling a sophomore slump with this show, all in all. I feel like a lot of set-ups don't pan out, the storylines aren't interconnected enough, and the action isn't twisty enough. Can we get Maya and Alejandro over the border? Please? I am SO BORED by these two. And can we go back to shirtless Peter? I miss shirtless Peter. Sniff.
In Summary: I guess we'll have to wait for Kristen Bell to come and perk things up.
10/01/07: Heroes Recap and Review -- 2x02, "Lizards"
09/24/07: Heroes Second Season Premiere