"Heroes" (P)review: ".07%"

Thu, April 12th, 2007 at 12:00am PDT

TV/Film
Michael Patrick Sullivan, Contributing Writer

When April 23rd rolls around and "Heroes" returns from its brief hiatus, fans who have been left on the edge of their seats by numerous cliffhangers will not be disappointed. Perhaps learning a thing or two from Executive Producer Jeph Loeb's experience in sustaining a story in which the audience must wait a month or more between segments (that would be writing comics), "Heroes" is able to keep up the same amazing energy from the last episode, "Parasite," six weeks ago.

NBC has provided CBR with an advance screener of the next episode of "Heroes," entitled ".07%," but it comes with the caveat that we're not to reveal any of the surprises in store for viewers. CBR abides, but it's not easy. And just to make sure, the point is made during the episode by Isaac (Santiago Cabrera) as he lets a messenger have a peek at the next issue of "9th Wonders," but with the caution to not post spoilers.

The episode, penned by Chuck Kim, starts out a somewhat "uncomfortable" scene involving Mister Bennett (Jack Coleman), being held by Thompson (Eric Roberts), and a special visitor.

Before the end of the teaser, however, we're back in Las Vegas with Linderman (Malcolm McDowell) and Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) and we get an answer to something fans have been wondering for some time. Does Linderman have a power (which hard core fans know the answer to from earlier in March) and if so, what might it be?

This reveal is quickly followed up as Linderman takes Nathan on a tour through his gallery of Isaac Mendez paintings (actual artwork by comics' Tim Sale), with a few other artists thrown in, and explains what is perhaps the biggest mystery in the show. Linderman reveals exactly what he's been doing to Nathan and also reveals that there's much more history to the whole issue of super-powers that had been suspected.

McDowell's performance is solid. As established by his appearance at the end of the previous episode, his villain is not so arch, being a much more grounded character than say, Lex Luthor. As any well-written villain does, McDowell's Linderman does not see himself as the villain of the piece at all. He does what he believes must be done, no matter the cost (which is where the episode's title comes in). And his plan, while it may seem familiar to some better-read comics fans, is no less frightening.

The long awaited first meeting between power-sponges Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) and the serial-killing Sylar (Zachary Quinto) is another high point of the episode. Well, it's the first meeting where both parties are fully conscious. It is a tense sequence where the viewer's knowledge of the "Heroes" universe actively makes the events unfolding before them that much more blood-pumping.

Mister Bennett, last seen in custody, makes use of the powers of another captive of the so-called Primatech Paper Company in a cleverly devised sequence in order to try and effect an escape. What makes it even more interesting is how Bennett, who must gain the trust of his fellow captives, seems to have a better grasp on how to use super-powers than the individuals that actually have them. He'll soon be on the other end of the knowledge see-saw (to coin an unwieldy phrase) before the episode's over.

Claire (Hayden Panettiere) learns what her newly discovered grand-mother, Angela (Cristine Rose), has in store for her and she's not exactly wild about it, but her real father, Nathan, supports it in a nice scene where Claire and Nathan finally gets some time alone to start sorting things out between them. The scenes involving Claire in this episode really show where the show's heart is.

Jessica's still in control of Niki's (Ali Larter) body and has some sharp words for D.L. (Leonard Roberts), but when Linderman want to involve her son, Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) in his grand plan, she takes a stand against her powerful employer. That stand may cost her, because Linderman is the kind of guy who gets exactly what he wants.

Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) gets plenty of action in the episode as well, but before the end credits roll, he forges an alliance with perhaps the last person you'd expect.

And just when you perhaps think that the producer's have forgotten about Hiro's jump to the future in "Parasite" (or perhaps after you've forgotten about him with all that's going in the hour) Hiro (Masi Oka) makes a startling acquaintance in a familiar location that leaves us hanging for another week, or in the case of someone with a screener copy, an agonizing three weeks.

The fact that the popular Hiro can be left to the end of the episode, given his remarkable time jump, is a testament to the brilliant pacing of Kim's script. What's more is that this is Kim's first teleplay for the series and he knocks it out of the park.

Lastly, the network has been teasing for some time that something "big" is going to happen on the show soon. All we can say is that, yes, in this episode, something very big happens. In fact, more that one big moment takes place and by episode's end you might come to the conclusion that it's really not a good week to be a super-powered person.

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