I think this is the finale I’ve been looking forward to the most.  When Heroes premiered back in September, I remember liking it, but not feeling like I’d end up staying with it for very long.  (At the time, I was higher on Studio 60…but that’s for another post.)  But Heroes has delivered something that – for my money, anyway (your mileage may vary) – hasn’t been in episodic television since season 1 of Alias, or the early days of Buffy…well developed characters, superb storytelling, and all-around satisfying TV that hasn’t been dumbed-down in order to cast a wide net.  Sure, like all episodic TV, some episodes were stronger than others (without a doubt, “Company Man” and “Five Years Gone” are standouts from season 1), but there was no filler here, no weak episodes; only ‘strong’, ‘stronger’, and ‘holy living fuck!’.

So, enough with the preliminaries.  Time to get on with Chapter 23:  “How to Stop an Exploding Man”.

9:00 PM Eastern
Previously on Heroes, A LOT OF SHIT HAPPENED.  Seriously, I’m glad they didn’t try to do a traditional “previously on” for this episode, because it would have to be almost as long as the episode itself.

Linderman shoots DL – the thing that I was left wondering…oh, never mind. Niki just asked the question for me.

“Your last thought!”  BOO-YAH, HRG!
Hey – Greg Grunberg made it through this whole season!  That must be some kind of record for a non-JJ Abrams show.

Have I mentioned lately how awesome George Takei is?  Masi Oka too.

*ad break*
“Fantastic Four 2” looks a lot better than the first film (from the trailers, anyway).  I suppose that’s to be expected, since the first movie was saddled with the origin story.  I wonder what they could have done with the first movie if they had skipped the origin story and just cut straight to the action?  I guess we’ll never know.

Nathan looks like he could use a Zantac.
Time to start playing “What is Mother Petrelli hiding?”

Richard Roundtree?  SHAFT!  (Daaaaamn right.)

Anyone think we’ll actually find out HRG’s first name tonight?

Hey, Peter – can you read my mind?  Because I’m practically screaming “Remember what Claude taught you!”

*ad break*
Does the Olive Garden really expect us to believe that they have a cooking school in Italy?
The less said about this Red Bull ad with the two dogs, the better.
Hey!  That Lexus is stuck in the Prison Rings from “Superman”!

I know that Molly’s been ‘in’ since the very first episode, but does anyone  think that her ability is a little too convenient?  But I know “Molly Walker” isn’t an anagram for “deus ex machina’.

HRG has a plan.  Is he a cylon?  (Oh, wrong show.)

Lucky for Peter this is ‘backlot New York’, and there’s no one on the streets on the Upper East Side in early evening.

OK…who’s feeding Peter these images?


*ad break*
Something just occurred to me – did they say Isaac’s apartment was on the Lower East Side, near Reade Street?  Either they’ve renamed some streets in NYC, or someone on the writing staff doesn’t know Manhattan as well as they thought they did.

This wasn’t one of Ando’s better ideas.
Huh.  Syler can do the Chokie Roberts!

If I didn’t know better, I think Hiro just ‘served’ Syler.  Now all he has to do is kill him.

Wait – how could Candace know about DL?  Or…?  Naaaah.  Couldn’t be.  Could it?

The Petrelli’s pitch to Claire sounds an awful lot like they’re trying to tempt her over to the Dark Side.
I suppose it would have been a little cliche for Claire to scream “I REGRET NOTHING!!!” on the way down…

*ad break*
“Transformers” – I just don’t know.  On the one hand, I know that it’s Michael Bay, which is almost a guarantee of ‘noisy’ and ‘brainless’.  But on the other hand, Transformers were my absolute favorite toys when I was a kid, and I’m damn curious.
Shawn White & Carrot Top: Separated at birth?  (Also, how much does he spend on his AmEx card that he has THAT MANY points to use on air travel?)
I like this Audi commercial for two reasons:  1) the rip on Lexus, and 2) the Elwood Blues-style parallel parking.  Man, I wish I could do that.

Huh.  So despite the psyche-out last week, I guess that IS Candace’s real form.  (One would presume that if it weren’t, she wouldn’t have reverted to it when Niki knocked her the hell out.)

Yes, Hiro DOES look bad ass.

Shaft lays down the wisdom on Peter.  For a second, I thought we were gonna need a montage…

Everyone remember, 22 episodes ago, when we thought HRG was the big bad?

The Junior Division to the rescue!
Oooh.  That can’t be good for HRG’s spine.
Heeeeeere’s Gabriel!  One more break, and it’s time for Endgame.

*ad break*
“Shrek the Third”: still not enough for Eddie Murphy to redeem himself after “Norbit”.
More “FF2” – if nothing else, Silver Surfer is pretty bad ass.

Witty repartee, and Syler goes right for the Chokie Roberts.
Aw, hell.  Remember what I said about Grunberg?

Alright Hiro!  Kansai!  (Or whatever.)

Really, Peter?  Is this the time for a Ben Stiller impression?

Man, even in the last episode, they can’t let that catchphrase go.

WHAT?  Syler got away?

Volume Two?  Wha?  (Oh…right.  Never mind.)
Oh.  well, that answers my question about what happens to Hiro.  It also explains how Hiro ends up with an unbroken sword.

There’s so much detail to analyze here, I’m going to have to watch this episode at least one more time to get the full benefit.  But creator Tim Kring was on record that Volume (season) 1 would have a satisfying ending, and that Volume 2 would be set up in the finale – and oh, mama, did he deliver.

A quick note about The Simpsons & Family Guy – I ended up going over to my parent’s house for dinner last night, and didn’t get back until late, so I didn’t watch the episodes live.  I did TiVo them, however, and while they were both funny (although I think the “24” episode of The Simpsons was actually funnier than the finale/episode 400), I think I’d have the same problem that I had with Scrubs – too many gags, not enough time.   So that’s that.

Next time on M-D Watches…:  a probable TiVo-assisted double-header – Veronica Mars and NCIS.