On ''Heroes,'' Hiro, Ando, and Matt take things that don't belong to them; meanwhile, Nathan almost meets Claire in Texas

By Gilbert Cruz
Updated February 13, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST

Heroes (TV series)

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”Heroes”: Criminal behavior

When did Hiro and Ando turn into Laurel and Hardy?

I remember the good ol’ days, when Hiro’s story was my favorite one on the show. He was happy-go-lucky, in love with the idea of being special, and a great source of humor on a show that sorely needed some levity. Ando was a worthy sidekick and a loyal, logical friend.

I long for less levity.

In what was an otherwise good episode (I’m glad they didn’t feel the need to shoehorn in everyone on the cast, especially now that many plots are intersecting — Jessica and Matt, Nathan and Claire, Sylar and Mohinder), Hiro and Ando’s bumbling antics felt pointless. It sorta made me dislike Ando (bro, women aren’t everything) and made me even more frustrated with Hiro for having what has now become a very prolonged crisis of confidence. I understand he needs his sword, but after last week’s parley with Papa Nakamura (of which we were reminded when Hiro was called Sulu before getting clocked by a large blonde), you’d think the guy was back on his game. I only complain because I love, and I’m tired of these two looking like buffoons. (Ando, New York is going to disappear in less than two weeks, and you decide to run off with some woman? Shame on you!) And forgive my uncertainty, but was the absurdly named S.R. Gustavson — of the state gaming commission — the guy from whom they stole the pink bag? I couldn’t tell for sure. Because if that’s the case, I foresee yet another sidetracking subplot in Hiro’s future, along the lines of having Hiro, Ando, and Hiro’s family stand in a Long Island warehouse for an entire day. (Or maybe the writers will manage to intelligently link this and the sword story.)

All in all, episode 15, ”Run!” (note the wonderfully comic-esque exclamation point), saw many of our characters in moments of danger or disappointment or despair. Most obvious was Matt, who just cannot get a break. I mean, it’s his first day as a bodyguard, and he has to protect Linderman’s shady lawyer, Malsky (who apparently absconded with the money that he picked up from D.L.). Learning at the last minute that the money-diamond exchange was a setup (someone please explain to me why Malsky was changing money for diamonds; isn’t it usually the other way around?), Matt looked pretty competent there, until he got his ass handed to him by Jessica, who chucked him out of a window. Then his former colleagues arrived and, as usual, insulted him in their minds. Good for you, Matt — steal those diamonds. A man needs to feel like a man, and sometimes a criminal act is the only way to achieve that feeling. I sense some major Parkman-lying-to-his-wife scenes in the near future, but at least his kid’s going to have a sweet college fund.

And how bold is Sylar? From a mousy watchmaker to a serial killer who can sit mere inches from his latest victim (donning his Ramones T-shirt seemed like salt in the wound) and straight-up lie to Mohinder — that’s quite a character arc. It’s like he gets a thrill from toying with people — Mrs. Bennett last week, Mohinder this week. It’s frightening to think what’s going to happen now that he seems to have persuaded Mohinder to take him on his heroes hunt. Is he going to string Mohinder along for as long as he can before killing him? And good luck to anyone who wants to try to put Sylar in a cage now that he can liquefy metal. H.R.G. is going to have to build some floating plastic prison, like the one they used to house Magneto in X2. That, or kill Sylar. Probably the latter.

And finally, poor Mrs. Bennett. The Bennett story line, as soap-operatic as it is, is also the most tragic. I mentioned last week how the Haitian’s constant memory wipes on H.R.G.’s wife could not be doing her any good, and now it seems they’ve significantly deteriorated her mind. At episode’s end, she was like an Alzheimer’s patient, not recognizing her beloved Mr. Muggles or even Claire. I can’t imagine H.R.G. doesn’t love his wife, and it has to be killing him to know that he’s done this to her. Just like it’s killing Claire to know that her biological parents want nothing to do with her. I had my fingers crossed that Claire and Nathan would meet this week and all three family members would reveal their powers to each other. Alas, Nathan — despite his mother’s protestations — went to Texas to personally deliver a $100,000 check to Claire’s real mother (from what his mother says, Nathan’s actually a big softie on the inside), though when offered the opportunity to meet Claire, he turned it down, which didn’t make much sense to me, since it probably took a while to get down there (not many direct flights to Kermit, Texas) and he only stayed for five minutes. Also, he drove up in a stretch limo. Whatever happened to, like, a town car? Not very discreet.

Hell, Claire and Nathan might never get to meet if Jessica delivers on her second contract, which was revealed at ep’s end to be Nathan himself. That is going to be an awkward moment, Nathan coming face to face with the woman who gave him the best sex of his life only to have her try to kill him. (Ando, this is why you should stay away from mysterious women.)

With less than two weeks in the show’s time left until the explosion, are things going to pick up? Are you as frustrated with Hiro’s story as I am? Is Matt going to get away with his theft? Is the show going to take Ando on some ridiculous side story? And how does everyone get around so quickly? Nathan to Texas? Mohinder to Virginia? It’s never clear how much time passes on the show, but these people move awful quickly. So has this TV Watch. Next week, or so says the annoying whispery voice, someone will fly and someone will die. I don’t think it takes a genius to narrow down the possibilities.

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