This show, although relatively better this volume, has kind of wallowed in mediocrity since volume 2 and been written badly since the start of volume 3. Yeah there has been some good episode's here and there but mainly it became character's motivations led by plot. Bryan Fuller is therefore a Rebel who restores faith in the audience that the characters can drive plot as well. He also mostly leaves out the big 3 of Claire, Peter and Sylar (well Peter appears at the end, Sylar's prescence is felt with the delivery of The Puppetmaster). In fact, Nathan doesn't appear either. What's more important though is that with this episode Bryan Fuller has the guts to kill off, redeem and re-introduce characters and their powers. He starts to streamline and incapacitate, or in one case, give a character an ending that is more than, 'shot in the shoulder, who cares'. When Daphne was supposedly killed in chapter 2 for a few eps she was mostly forgotten. Not till now do we see her again, and as she lies in a hospital bed, Matt's storybook ending for her was touching and charming. Her character could have been so much more but was wasted when she became Parkman's unlikely girlfriend. The writing is good enough to acknowledge that, as a couple, they made no sense but still gives us a glimpse of the way their relationship should have evolved, in the first place.
So onto Rebel which was obvious from the start. This was set up very similar to the Linderman/Maury Parkman mystery from last volume but not as successful in tricking the audience. It was Micah by the way and even though Tracey was surprised it felt too underwhelming for me. The main surprise came from how much the actor looks different because he's grown up a little. This story was mainly Tracey's anyway, a way for her to redeem herself. Her shop lifting felt novel and (like Matt) the sudden increase in power felt right and long overdue. She sacrifices herself for Micah and shatters with a little help from Danko. Whether she is dead or able to do a T-1000 isn't entirely clear though. It was the scene itself that was able to look cool as well as serve a purpose that made it work.
So third and 4th strands. With the death of Daphne we are re-introduced to Matt's wife who when last seen was pregnant. Well she's had the kid now and it's up to Hiro and Ando to save it from Danko's men. Along with better comic-relief we get some actual character moments as well. Hiro reveals to Ando he saw his mother die when he was stuck in the past. You sort of feel this should have happened already but gives the character added warmth and gravitas that he hasn't had since that episode. The fans will also be happy as well because baby touch and go reboots Hiro's freeze power. No teleporting though as that makes time travel possible and we don't need that after so many problems its caused with plotting on the show. Add to that Ando's power increase and more progression emerges.
The last strand is fugitive Angela Petrelli which lives up to the name of the Volume. Her little talk with friend Millie reminded us that the character has flaws. We are nicely reminded of her shoplifting after Arthur's death and that made me feel for the first time in a while that this was a 3d character and not a 2d villain.
So a good episode, one thing though is that it serves amongst everything to propel the plot, resolve loose ends and get rid of or push to the side unnecessary characters. Also, 3 character's in particular had a sudden upgrade to there powers in this episode out of nowhere. If Bryan Fuller had been around earlier then at least this could have been hinted more frequently. Basically this episode, although a return to form, was let down by having to resolve and move forward some of the mess that had been created beforehand. With it we at least can have a more clean slate and his next episode can be an absolutely amazing one.