Heroes, NBC, Airs Mondays 9/8 c

Episode: “Shades of Gray” (Season 3, Episode 19)

Synopsis: When Sylar (Zachary Quinto) comes face-to-face with his long lost father (guest star John Glover), the reunion proves to be what he least expected. Elsewhere, after receiving a tip from “Rebel,” Claire (Hayden Panettiere) must decide if she will help her sworn enemy, Eric Doyle (guest star David Lawrence XVII), evade capture. Meanwhile, as “The Hunter” (Zeljko Ivanek) plans to uncover the Petrelli family’s secrets and take control of Nathan’s (Adrian Pasdar) operation, Matt (Greg Grunberg) finds himself in the spotlight and on the verge of leveling Capitol Hill.

Review: If we’re going by a color code of criticism, white being the greatest show ever and black being a boxed set of Married with Children, the third season would be a journey into darkness. But Shades of Gray was a move toward getting into the middle ground. In an effort to please some of our readers, we are also going to do our best to hold back from breaking out the adamantium claws on the show this week. Yay positivity.

Eric Doyle’s attempt to get back to good surprised us. His attempt to set a Guinness Book record for character using the word Barbie in an episode was also a testament to his persistence … or at least the writers’ attempt to be funny. We give them points for trying and showing how gullible Claire can be. We wondered why she would be so willing to help someone like Doyle, but she has a good heart. We can’t hate on her for that. Positivity, remember?

Watching Matt use his power to get out of an explosive situation (cue rimshot) was a nice way to start the show. The Hunter is one ruthless little monkey and we love him for it. Moral ambiguity is nice but sometimes we want to see a guy that will remove anyone in his path to get what he wants. We’re not sure why he didn’t at least wonder if Nathan Pertrelli had a power considering his brother did. The Hunter is smarter than that.

Claire’s hunt for a job at the comic store was a funny and honest scene . Anyone who has tried to get hired at the fanboy mecca knows it can be harder to achieve than getting Alan Moore to attach his name to your film. But then again, we aren’t all cute like Claire. Of course she would get hired. The store she works in would be packed full of teenagers hoping to see her in a Supergirl outfit. The question is whether the odor rising from their pizza stained Venom shirts would make her pass out. The journey was still a bit meaningless, as Claire hasn’t really moved any closer to a real goal by the episode’s end. But what so you expect? She got a job at a comic store. Is that really the best way to get ahead in life?

Sylar’s meeting with his father (John Glover) didn’t turn out the way he had hoped but the message behind the scene made a lot of sense. We don’t always get what we want. How many times have we wanted to have a dramatic encounter with an old enemy, ex-lover or family member that turned their back on us, only to realize that the results were less climactic than we had dreamed of? We never tire of John Glover and it was great to see where Sylar’s lust for blood and power stems from, and the way Sylar left his father alone to die was pretty harsh. Not that we blame him.

We promised that when Heroes showed us signs of improvement, we would be happy to cheer them for it. The endgame created in the episode between Danko and Nathan qualifies as progress. Shades of Gray moved at a faster clip than what we have become used to from the show and offered less eye-rolling dialogue, so we have to praise the show for that as well.

We would like to see Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee) do something significant, you know, like they used to in the the first season? Hiro’s babysitting service doesn’t really cut it. We’ll let it slide for now and be content with an episode that was better than a lot of what we have seen lately. That’s all we can ask for right now.

Up Next Week: A re-run of Clear and Present Danger.

Read More: Heroes Recaps

Did you watch the Shades of Gray episode? If so, what did you think of it?

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