My grandmother grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in the 1950's and 1960's. She doesn't watch shows like this but while I was watching "Heroes", she looked up from what she was doing and gasped to hear the waiter bark at Angela and Charles that they don't "dance with colored people". I'm sure she remembers more events before my time that turned up in this episode: the Cold War, the black-and-white flashbacks, the comments about "Communists" and "this happened before with the Nazis and the Jews". Why did Angela Petrelli start a Company? My theory is that she didn't want to compromise with government order or be exposed to the world as a freak. Alternatively, mention of concentration camps makes us all say "never again". At least with her own secret society, Angela and her friends could call the shots. They'd have to lie, murder, and blackmail people but they could keep their secrets safe. At least for a while.
The good: This episode is about forgiveness. The Petrellis, always at each other's throats, are now surviving by sticking together after everyone has been kicked out of Nathan's project (including Nathan). Being stripped down forces them to look at one another and admit their mistakes. Noah Bennett confesses he also failed to get inside and thwart the government project. While Peter still holds a grudge against Nathan for all of the suffering he's caused, Claire is more forgiving with both of her fathers and judging by her facial expression, she's coming to a satisfying maturity.
The not-so-good: Mohinder discovers his father was working in Coyote Sands and deduces that Chandra Suresh was another Dr. Mengele (the "Angel of Death" who experiment on people at the Auswitz concentration camp). I come from a family of Jewish survivors so that comment pricked. Sometimes science fiction bleeds into reality a little too close for my taste. I love Mohinder's character but feel he's been neglected this entire season--starting with the ridiculous bug mutation. After "Fugitives" began, other fans were asking what was Dr. Suresh still doing on the show as he didn't seem to have a purpose anymore. Perhaps the writers are trying to draw parallel lines between Mohinder and Chandra Suresh but it only makes things more confusing. We thought the death of Shanti Suresh was the portal to Chandra's research in season one. Now suddenly it seems that he knew about people with abilities and was working on it years before he even had children! If it becomes a "mind wipe" scenario then I'll be very disappointed. By now I wish the writers would start taking out comments to heart. Stop putting characters into such helplessly impossible situations that they cannot dig themselves out and need an unlikely twist or plothole to save themselves. It's something I would have expected back in "Villains" and by now I'm disappointed to see a step backwards for "Fugitives". Mohinder comments that he must have hope for redemption for everyone else, even Nathan. Why can't the writers give Mohinder a way to redeem himself?
The surprise new guest: "Fugitives" has been shaping up better than "Villains" but the introduction of Angela's sister Alice, a survivor and weather-master, was a bit of a disappointment. Too much like the sudden surprise return of Arthur Petrelli. Too many characters are coming in and coming out without a sense of purpose. In season one everyone had their role to play and it fit together beautifully. Everyone has their time and place, a sense of destiny. But now we get the sudden appearance and disappearance of a sister who begrudges Angela for abandoning her….what is the purpose? Why bring in people like Luke, Alex, and Alice and then just chuck them out?
It's two episodes to the finale and I've noticed "Fugitives" like to flip between low-key episodes of character development and tense episodes full of action. So the ending to this Petrelli-centered episode was very fitting for any fan of the "Five Years Gone" scenario. I'm sure jaws dropped when we realized it was Sylar impersonating Nathan on television. The show got into a big mess with "Villains" so I hope the last 2 episodes of "Fugitives" can pull them out….or at least have us feeling more satisfied before "Redemption" begins. And I want someone at NBC to know that there are still many "Heroes" fans out there who still believe that this show can-and will be-redeemed in the near future. It just needs better writing and storytelling.