This episode demonstrated, yet again, what makes this show brilliant. It juxtaposes and blends contradictions left and right: ordinary moments with extraordinary ones, noble intentions with ignoble actions, courage and doubt, humor and fear. There is no plain, old-fashioned good versus evil dichotomy on this show. Would fans have it any other way?
Claire was finally doing what many teens do when backed into a corner — leveling with her father, HRG. HRG returned the favor – somewhat – just enough to blunt her relief with bewilderment about his actions. And what were they doing as they discussed her special ability and his fear for her safety? Drinking chocolate milk, like any other parent and child.
HRG and Sylar were eerily similar. Both have seemingly benign intentions — HRG wants to protect his daughter and Sylar just wants to be special. Yet Sylar murders people and HRG has done things he’s “not proud of.” When the two men were confronting each other, it was hard to tell who was creepier, although Sylar’s sociopathic tendencies give him a definite edge.
Peter’s self-doubt escalated, despite the amazing courage he showed when he rescued Claire (with the full knowledge that rescuing her was foretold to lead to his own death). Nathan’s personification of Peter’s insecurity was chilling; Nathan was so nurturing as he told Peter “The world is bigger than you” in Peter’s dream. More than chilling, that moment was so typical; many people have relatives/friends who are their biggest doubters in an attempt to “protect” them.
Niki/Jessica is the most obvious juxtaposition. She also raises the most questions. Is Jessica a separate entity, the ghost of Niki’s sister, who materializes with superhuman strength to provide ruthless protection? If that is the case, then what exactly is Niki’s special ability?
Or is Jessica part of Niki — the antisocial aspect of Niki who has gotten out of control, as Niki herself asserts? In this instance, Niki used her sister to personify a strong, but unacceptable, side of herself, just as Peter used Nathan in his dreams to personify his self-doubt.
Personally, I prefer the second option, but I’m biased; I’ve never been into psychics or mediums. Let the debate begin!
Watching Hiro and Isaac share their knowledge of the future revealed that foreknowledge is not always pleasant. Both were admirable, though. When Hiro learned he really was going to confront a T. Rex, he simply made plans to find that sword.
Isaac took the news of his impending decapitation well, given that he did not go rushing off for a hit. He knows the future is not set. Yet it made Ando’s sentiment (“I wish destiny would lose our number”) understandable.
Matt needs to learn about the silent Haitian fast before his brain implodes. Speaking of imploding brains — poor Eden. Rumor has it Eden’s demise was hastened (by about six episodes) due to a salary dispute. For the most part her character seems expendable, but who will poor Mohinder have to talk to now? And can Sylar still take someone’s abilities if their brains are mush?
January 22, 2007 is when we start to get more answers. Curse these holidays!