'Heroes' reminds you to drink responsibly

Haydenpanettiere2_heroes_240  "Heroes" featured a number of family-bonding moments this week, which is great and all, but it didn't give me what I was really hoping for: An FUI.

Bless me, father, for I have spoiled.

While "Into Asylum" didn't reach the heights of last week's episode -- didn't come all that close, really -- I did appreciate the fact that Nathan and Claire's fugitive Mexican blackout holiday didn't result in him suddenly coming over to the side of the righteous and promising to save the day. Instead, in a rare moment of self-awareness, he admits that he really screwed the pooch with his internment program and doesn't really know how to fix it.

That, at least, stays true to the path Nathan has been put on for this volume (it's not much use grumbling about how he got started on it at this point). I'd rather have Nathan struggling to come to terms with the monster he's created, even for a little bit, than making yet another unexplained reversal of allegiance. Claire's tearful "You're supposed to be Superman!" aside, it's just better drama.

That said, I'm not sure we needed to see Petrelli and daughter collectively drink a bunch of college tools under the table to get there -- especially if the show isn't going to give us the money shot of Nathan trying to fly while he's plowed (the aforementioned FUI). Claire makes reference to not flying in his condition as they stumble back to their motel room, but if you're not going to show it to us, "Heroes," don't talk about it either.

It does look like, by episode's end, that Nathan has recovered his sense of right and wrong and is on the verge of whisking Claire back to the States to take action against Danko and the program. It was probably inevitable that Nathan would end up fighting for the good guys again before season's end, and these few moments will at least make that a little easier to take.

We'll get to the other branch of the Petrelli family momentarily, but the night's other big meetup occurred between Danko and Sylar, two zealots on a mission. After going in blind on a guy with nothing more than a DNA flag as evidence and getting three of his agents killed, Danko is desperate to both avenge their deaths (packing at least five fire-up-the-troops cliches in about 20 seconds of speechifying) and prove that he's still got the program under control.

Zacharyquinto2_heroes_240 Enter Sylar, who has a proposition for our G-man: Let me help you hunt these people, and we'll both get something we want (Danko is apparently too arrogant or too dumb to realize that once Sylar helps round all these supers up and presumably helps himself to the ability buffet, he'll be even harder to control/bring down). So it's off to hunt one James Martin, a shape-shifter who first assumed the identity of one of Danko's agents, then of Danko himself.

James, it seems, isn't too bright either, because rather than skip town, he heads to a club to pick up a woman. Sylar and Danko track him there, and Danko is smart enough to get the drop on him after he morphs into Sylar, taking him down with a gut shot and letting the real Sylar finish the job -- without the signature head-slice this time, because when Bennet arrives on the scene the next morning, all he sees is Sylar in a body bag. So the real one is now free to roam America, ostensibly working for Danko but, as we all know, really advancing his own agenda.

Angela and Peter, meanwhile, don't advance much of anything as they took refuge from a mother of a rainstorm and Danko's agents in a church. There Angela explains that she needs to sleep so she can dream and see what's coming, and this place -- the church where she was married and Peter had his first communion -- has always been a place of peace for her.

While she prays, Peter lights a couple of candles and rails at God about how he asked to be special and promised to make the world better, but he wonders if it was all just some cruel joke -- "I think it's about time you lived up to your end. Please, just show up." It's not exactly Jed Bartlet cursing God in Latin, but the last bit kind of works. Angela eventually tells Peter -- while they're hiding in a confessional -- that she had to resort to lies and manipulation to stop the world from going blooey because no one would believe her when she just told them, and it's ended up costing her her family and everything else.

After another bailout from Bennet, she finally does fall asleep, and the next morning she tells Peter that it's time to go see her sister. Mmm-kay. As teasers go, it's not much, but I guess we'll see next week when the she and Peter arrive at what looks like the remnants of a World War II internment camp.

Other notes from "Into Asylum":

  • What did you make of the music that sort of framed the episode -- Del Shannon's "Runaway" and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" by the Animals? "Heroes" hasn't used much pop music on its soundtrack in the past, so while I get why the songs were placed where they were, mostly I was just thinking, "Huh -- pop music on the soundtrack."
  • Claire's regenerative powers apparently include all the tissues involving alcohol absorption. I, like drunk Nathan, was not aware of that. That'll come in awfully handy if she ever makes to college.
  • I have lost track of some of Sylar's powers -- does he, in fact, have the ability to locate people the way Molly does (or some other way)? Or is he just a smart guy who knows how his fellow supers think?

What did you think of this week's "Heroes"? Danko can't really think he's going to end up on the winning side of his little arrangement with Sylar, can he?