When the eclipse ends and everyone's abilities return, Nathan finds a mission and Gabriel finds his real nature
Credit: Adam Taylor/NBC

Heroes (TV series)

‘Heroes’ recap: The nature of things

Man, what a great episode. I know that some of them have, on occasion, been a little less than awesome, but ”The Eclipse, Part II” totally delivered everything I want out of an episode of Heroes: romance, sweaty Nathan, and Mohinder (who is always sweaty and, therefore, fantastic).

Firstly, the romance. Gabriel and Elle consummated their spark-filled relationship on the splintery floor of that house — the one in which they had the big shoot out with Noah and Claire. Last time we saw Noah, he had Gabriel and Elle in the sights of a big-ass sniper rifle. It was awfully considerate of him to wait until the lovebirds did the deed. (Either Noah really likes to watch or Gabriel is really quick on the draw, if you know what I mean.)

But it was nice to watch Gabriel tend to the wounded Elle throughout the episode, patching her up while they were on the run from Noah (doing his best Terminator impression), protecting her, sacrificing himself for her. I kept thinking that maybe he would turn into the man we saw in the future, the tender father caring for his son. Maybe this was the story of Gabriel’s redemption. Maybe, without the crutch of his powers, Gabriel would learn to see people for who they are, not what they offer.

And then he had to go and slice Elle’s head open. Poor impulse control has hobbled many a great man.

On to sweaty Nathan (and Peter, if he floats your boat) and the Haitian adventure. Pretty handy for Nathan that he knows French, huh? And that the people in the jungle interior of Haiti speak French, and not Haitian Creole, which they most certainly would. But never mind the language barrier: It’s good to see Peter step up and take control of his own fate. As he tells the Haitian: ”I needed to know I can be a hero without my powers.” And a hero he becomes, as he goes all Jack Bauer on Baron Samedi’s men and stalls just long enough for Nathan and the Haitian to get their powers back and get the job done, sweaty hot dude style.

Not that there’s too much to say about Mohinder this episode, other than that he recovered from Flint’s diabolical Zippo-lighter torture to pummel the firestarter to within an inch of his life and finally escaped Arthur’s clutches. Way to man up, Mohinder! Too bad your scales came back before you could have some floor-rolling time with Maya.

Hurray for Hiro!! With an assist from the two comic-booky wise men, Hiro continued his amiably cute quest for knowledge…and…you know…he was totally awesome….yataii!

Okay, I just can’t keep this up any more.

I tried watching this episode as if it was the first one I’d ever seen. I tried reviewing it, as so many of you have requested, like a person who loves, nay, blindly lurves everything that is Heroes. But it’s so damned exhausting, pretending that what for the most part blew…didn’t.

NEXT: The real deal on the Haitian adventure

I just couldn’t overlook the fact that Matt Parkman is the least observant person in the world. ”What are those things on your legs, Daphne, bracing them?” He’s not stupid, it’s just as if he doesn’t have any experience dealing with other humans…despite an abandoned career dealing with them.

Or that Nathan, chained in the slave den of Baron Samedi, suddenly thinks that the plight of Haitians under a power-mad despot is his fault? White man’s burden taken a little too far, n’est ce pas? Oh, and that Peter’s big plan was to keep Samedi’s forces at bay with 30 rounds in that AK and a Rambo-lite grimace? What was Baron Samedi’s power, anyway? Looking good in camouflage? Why did anyone think he was a god?

(The more I think about it, the more I don’t understand the purpose of the Haitian escapade. Nathan and Peter went down there to find the Haitian — never mind the ridiculousness of trying to find a man called the Haitian in Haiti — so he could dampen Arthur’s powers long enough to kill him, right? Funny, that’s exactly what happened even without the Haitian’s abilities. They could’ve done absolutely nothing and got the same desired result. And if your ”heroes” can accomplish their quest through abject inaction…well, that’s just bad writing.)

I kind of liked the reason why Claire was on the brink of death: that her invulnerability was a shield from the world’s everyday contagion — that the things that we’ve built up a tolerance to over years of playing in the dirt and kissing people with cooties and changing diapers render her a debilitated mess.

But you know and I know that they were never going to kill her. Same with Gabriel. If I thought for a second that either was actually going to die, those might’ve been interesting moments. But if you’re not going to put your characters in real jeopardy, don’t even head down that road. Because it’s cheap and a waste of time.

Hiro. With the aid of two comic-booky gurus (Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, trying to raise the bar through sheer force of will) and their back issues of 9th Wonders, Hiro realized that in order to get his memory back he’s gotta go back to where it all began…when Kaito Nakamuro gave Claire to Noah on that New York City rooftop. And he’s got to witness it with Claire at his side. So, to get that done, he’s rescued Claire and her family from Gabriel. Which he did so quickly it totally sapped any menace Gabriel and Elle might’ve had. He’s 10, remember? A prepubescent snot shouldn’t be able to take out the Big Bads.

So help me, I liked Nathan’s conversion at the end of the episode. Sure, it was a little neat — a little detour through an impoverished nation realigns his world view — but his Superpowered Intervention policy had just enough logic to feel like a valid decision. Sure, we can see its inherent flaws, as can Peter, but it holds water just enough for us to understand why Nathan’s taken in by it. I just wish it wasn’t the only thing of consequence to happen in the whole episode.

So, what did you think? Are you on board for ”find the bike messenger, find the lost 9th Wonders story” initiative? Doesn’t quite have the ”save the cheerleader, save the world” panache. Did Gabriel really kill Elle? If so, why’d he bother with the slicing-the-head-open stuff? He already absorbed her powers. And if Mohinder’s newfound monsteriness wasn’t a result of his injected powers, why hadn’t they manifested in any way before?

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Heroes (TV series)
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