I needn't have worried. I quickly found myself falling right back into the groove of the show. My favorite storyline was the Texas one. I enjoyed HRG's orchestration of the escape, using his knowledge of Matt and Ted's powers. As the Eric Roberts character will later say of HRG to the Artist Mohinder: "Glasses? Tall fella? He's no longer with the company." No doubt.
Though how funny is it when Matt suddenly realizes HRG is not some major player, but only "middle-management" without absolute knowledge of what the Company's overall agenda is, or even that Linderman is involved?
Linderman turns out to be some sort of idealist, in his own mind at least. Got to say though, that plan of bringing about world unity via nuclear disaster is a pretty tough sale. Recent history alone is filled with plenty of unprecedented catastrophes -- none of which have brought the human race to any condition approaching unity. Sorry, even for a super-villain this plan's dicey. Naturally, this may not be Linderman's real motivation, but only his approach at hooking Nathan. And Nathan seems to take the bait.
Early on, it does look as if Nathan's repulsed by the whole scheme. The clincher seems to be Nathan's discovery that Peter might (though it is still a mighty big might) be able to survive self-explosion. By this time Nathan has had a chance to salivate awhile over the idea of himself in the Oval Office. Nathan hears Peter's theory that Claire's presence in New York is the "save the world" part of a certain famous catch-phrase. He decides to send her to Paris until after the election anyway. Seems clear that Nathan is signing on to the Linderman plan.
It's a good thing Mohinder packed Peter's corpse into the cab and personally brought it to the Petrelli mansion, rather than, say, call 911. It's probably no surprise to viewers that Peter didn't stay dead. The real suspense here came in wondering how he would return to life and how long it would take. Because of the early reveal of Linderman's own ability, I thought Peter might actually stay dead awhile and get resurrected by the big man himself. Or maybe that Mama Petrelli's (still unrevealed) power might also be as a healer of some sort. But Claire's removal of a glass shard hidden in Peter's trademarked dark wavy locks made a nice sort of symmetry with his first meeting of cheerleader.
Future Hiro, when he contacted Peter, stopping time in a subway car early in the series, mentioned not recognizing Peter "without his scar." Peter didn't get that scar from Sylar we now know. With his Claire-ability I imagine giving him a physical scar won't be easy in any case. Maybe this indicates that the past (from Future Hiro's point-of-view) has been changed, or maybe additional scarification possibilities lie ahead in Peter's future.
Candice tries to pass herself off as Claire to HRG, but he isn't fooled. Impersonating family-members to get information is not the kind of trick you can pull over and over again on the same person, after all. Actually, I think Candice and the Company are attempting to mess with Mr. Bennet's head here, and not really fool him.
Candice soon moves on to kidnapping Micah for Linderman. He politely asks Jessica for Micah first, which you'd think would spur Jessica into running away immediately with the kid, but it doesn't. Anyhow, with the way Jessica/Niki and D.L. handle their lives, maybe Micah is better off as the pawn of an evil billionaire for awhile. D.L. makes an interesting statement at one point. He says Jessica's personality is a lot more like Niki/Jessica's father than that of the dead twin, so crazy in this family goes back at least one generation.
Isaac the artist gets a real send-off. I actually started to like him for the first time right as he's dying, which is the way it seems to go on these contemporary serial dramas. Sylar appears mesmerized by his newest ability, painting the future. But if Isaac is right this is just about the end of the road for the serial-killer. Syar's own painting-style is, appropriately for the character, much more twisted than Isaac's. His own rendering of a previously-painted scene is distorted and savage.
We only get back to the future with Hiro and Ando in the final minutes, just enough time for Hiro to confuse Ando with his theory about how Isaac might still be alive. I suspect most fans were happy to see Future Hiro turn up. However, Future Hiro himself seems none too pleased with his past self. "You," he says, with unreserved contempt. Didn't expect that. I'm looking forward to see how it plays out ...
On TV Squad's recently implemented 1-7 scale I've settled on giving this one a six. Not as awesome as, say, "Company Man" but still pretty good.