Heroes: How to Stop an Exploding Man

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I’ve been trying to come up with an adjective to describe last night’s Heroes season finale. Because with action/drama shows like this, I’ve grown accustomed to finales being over the top and adrenaline filled, with at least a few “Holy Fuck!” moments interspersed throughout. But last night’s finale was … “solid” would probably be the best word I can come up with. From an action and suspense perspective, Tim Kring certainly could have pushed the envelope much further. But he stuck instead with the balance of action and character development that has kept the show strong all season. And in this case, that meant giving all of the main characters a bit of long-needed closure.

Hiro finds Ando, saves him from Sylar, then takes him home and out of harm’s way, making it clear that it is Ando who has taught him what it means to be brave. In a hugely symbolic scene, Niki and Jessica come to blows … and even though we find out that it was really Candice she was fighting, it ends up being enough to finally let Niki claim her own strength. Peter loses Claire, and has some strange Christmas Carol moment where (I think) he goes back in time and is invisible all at once, and learns from Simone’s father that he is special and valuable, even though his mother has never treated him as such. For Matt, protecting Molly seems to remind him of why he was a cop, and thoroughly separates him in our minds from the douchebag he became in that alternate future. Claire realizes what a bunch of nutbags the Petrellis are, and embraces her adoptive family and father … WHOSE NAME IS NOAH!!!

Action-wise, here’s how the final scene breaks down (more or less) …

Peter and Sylar stand off against each other. Sylar pulls the TK first on Noah, then on Peter. Matt tries to shoot Sylar, but Sylar turns the bullets back on him. Niki whacks Sylar over the head with a parking meter, and gets close enough to Peter that he’s able to absorb her strength. Peter pummels Sylar, but it’s still not enough. Hiro shows up, Sylar turns, and Hiro runs him through with the sword, just as Isaac drew it. Hiro tries to help Peter, but Sylar throws him into the air, and Hiro has to wink himself away before he hits a building. Adrenaline pumping, Peter is unable to control his Ted powers, and begins to go critical. Claire, crying, is ready to pop a cap in Peter in order to save New York. But at the last second, Nathan shows up, they waste some time saying meaningful things to each other, and Nathan makes the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good by flying his brother up into the atmosphere, so that he can blow up “harmlessly” … thereby giving Nathan his own, very extreme bit of closure.

By way of epilogue, we see Matt loaded into an ambulance, not quite dead yet. We see a blood smear trailing off into a manhole, on top of which a cockroach is crawling, which tells us that we have not yet seen the last of Sylar. (So did a bunch of cockroaches carry Sylar into the sewer? Or did Sylar turn into a cockroach?) And in the first scene of “Volume 2”, we see Hiro fall out of the sky, Army of Darkness style, and land in a field … in Japan … in the 1600s … just as a total eclipse begins. (So will Hiro end up being Takezo Kensei, his own hero?)

Oh, and earlier in the episode, we learn from Molly that there may be somebody even scarier than Sylar out there — somebody she is afraid to “locate” using her powers, because whenever she does, the person can “see” her. Very creepy and foreshadowy!

So what did you think?