Heroes moved from 8pm to 9pm this week in an attempt to save it from routine ratings slaughter by House, which airs at 8pm on Fox. But while the new time slot may have temporary alleviated the hurt, such a change can only do so much.
Monday night was just another chapter in the Encyclopedia Britannica-sized history of dull Heroes episodes. Hiro and Ando broke their old friend Mohinder out of an asylum and then did a bit of time traveling, Matt Parkman struggled with the decision of whether to help fight bad guys or make ratatouille for dinner, and Peter Petrelli pulled an overly dramatic stunt that involved smashing a deaf woman's cello. I was simultaneously bored to tears and outraged that Heroes, which once showed so much promise, has taken such a precipitous nosedive. This season's story line is seriously lacking: There's no threat of imminent apocalypse, and the delicately woven subplots of yesteryear have been replaced by clunky, easy-to-follow stories and performances that rival stand-ins on Days of Our Lives.
Like most recent episodes of Heroes last night's was all over the place. The only glimmer of hope came at the very end, when we got a sneak peek of next week's episodeand saw a brief flash of Sylar looming over ex-innocent Claire before diving in for some tongue gymnastics. (Do I see angry, broadcast-appropriate sex in the future?) So there's a little excitement up ahead, even though it's likely another cheap trick (a la Claire's lesbian lip-lock) that will leave me feeling dirty and unfulfilled.
I will say that the one thing this season's got going for it is ex-agent Noah Bennet. His scenes may not be particularly scintillating, but he at least can see the forest for the trees. There's no time for self-pity; this is a war he's fighting. Occasionally, Matt Parkman or Peter Petrelli will hop on board and help out for a little while, but in the end Noah is the only one with a sense of urgency. Sylar's still out there folks! And now the carnival people? I could take acid and imagine I had powers too. It'd probably make for a better show.
What did you think of the episode? Were you as bored as I was? Can anything save Heroes at this point?
Follow TV.com writer Anna Hiatt on Twitter: @AnnaAtTVDotCom