And so Heroes lets loose with the flashbacks again, lending credence to the notion that it's becoming the new Lost. The black and white retrospective was an original and rewarding concept when it was first utilised in season one's 'Company Man' but by this point, it's so old hat, so passe, that you wonder why the production staff seem so obsessed with it. Oh sure, it looks nice and gives the director of photography an opportunity to revel in all the chiaroscuro possibilities, but as a viewing experience, it's tiresome, particularly when one considers the rather blase and ultimately pointless nature of the episode itself. Great, so it rebuilds the seemingly annihilated Petrelli bridge, bringing Angela, Peter, Nathan, Claire and HRG back together in at least a fairly understandable fashion, but the method by which this is achieved is pretty lacking. We aren't given enough of an opportunity to engage with Alice in order to empathise with her plight and it's a bit difficult to believe that she's been living in that government bunker for fifty years. Furthermore, there's some woeful over-acting from a large number of the cast, not the least of which is Christine Rose who is uncharacteristically hammy. Perhaps it's the less-than-stellar dialogue that hampers things. Still, it's not all bad: there's a promising cliffhanger, young Alice and Angela are arguably better than their adult counterparts and there's a lovely nod to continuity with Angela's sock-stealing, which is actually referenced in 'Genesis' (the pilot episode) and given a thoroughly logical explanation here. It's just a shame that, for a show so desperately in need of some forward momentum, it continues to produce episodes like '1961' which, while passable in their own right, when taken altogether, frustrate rather than satisfy.
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