This week's episode of Heroes began with Hiro and Ando still in Africa fighting over whether or not Hiro should go back in time in order to save the world. Hiro refuses to use his powers to go back in time because of the disastrous consequences of his last trip. Hiro says something worse could happen if he goes back in time again. Ando asks, "What could be worse than the end of the world?!" This episode.

After previously bad, boring and clichéd episodes during this rocky season we were given false hope last week that things were returning to previous season's standards of excellence. Instead we received a confusing, boring and clichéd mess of an episode that even Sylar couldn't fix. In fact, he may have made things worse.

The man from Africa starts spewing left over lines from "Lord of The Rings" before the plot plods along. He says, "Evil forces gather. A dark sun rises. Soon it will be too late. Will you choose your own path or will you have it chosen for you?" This is important dialog because it ties into the ending of the episode so be sure to remember what the man from Africa said or he will have to remind you later.

Suresh confronts Nathan and Tracy. He tries to convince them to stay and help him. He just needs one more sample of their DNA to help him perfect his cure. Shockingly, they refuse him. So what does he do? What any not-so-sane villain would. He grabs Maya and jumps out the window.

Peter has a wicked nightmare about his Father being dead, Nathan giving him the bad news, attending the funeral and then his Father taking his abilities. He wakes up to find he's handcuffed to a hospital gurney. His father was waiting for him to wake up. They exchange heated words. Arthur tries to explain his master plan to his son but Peter won't listen. Then Peter threatens his Father and tells him he's going to make his Father pay for, "everything he's ever done." Bum, bum, bum.

Claire is still pissy about not feeling pain. Several characters throughout this episode have strange soap opera dialog thrust upon them, forcing them to recap things that should never be delivered in exposition. It seems way too obvious that the producers are attempting to welcome new viewers and get them up to speed in a wholly unnatural way which feels insulting to those of us who have been watching from the very beginning. In their greedy shortsightedness to gain a larger market share they are alienating their core viewers.

Turns out the electric girl, Elle, is short circuiting and decided to hole up in Claire's house until she got home to ask for help. Elle didn't count on Claire being able to withstand her electric blasts and thereby render her defenseless. It's a nice metaphor for a girl who's all-alone and needs help and it made for the only interesting fight of the whole episode. Claire has the not-so-bright idea to take short circuit Elle on an airplane. Then she's shocked when Elle starts sparking and causes the engines to cut out. To avoid crashing Claire grabs Elle's hands and creates a complete circuit. How sweet. They're becoming the sister they never had.

Suresh took Maya to Pinehearst for help in curing her. Arthur Petrelli takes her abilities and "cures" her. She's really jazzed about being normal but still really hates Suresh. So when he rushes in to get his reward hug she's none too happy to see him. Later she says goodbye to him and explains that she needs to make amends for all the bad things she did while she had her powers. She hopes he gets well. In the meantime Arthur convinces Suresh to help him perfect the formula they stole. He agrees as long as Arthur can provide test subjects. They try to use Peter.

However, Angela Petrelli comes to Sylar in his dreams and tells him to, "stop feeling sorry for himself and get out of this cell." She orders him to get up and go save Peter saying, "show them all why you're my favorite. Make Mommy proud." Talk about a guilt trip. Leave it to Mommy dearest to say the right thing and motivate her slacker son. He pops right up and goes off to kick some ass.

Daphne, the speedster, reports to Arthur. Arthur is disappointed that she couldn't or wouldn't recruit Parkman. Arthur then orders Daphne to kill Parkman since she couldn't bring him in. Parkman's Dad becomes incensed by this and tries to stop Arthur, reminding him that their deal was his loyalty for his son's safety. Arthur snaps his neck and then threatens Daphne if she doesn't kill Matt Parkman. Daphne shows up at Parkman's apartment with a gun but can't bring herself to kill him. She delivers the bad news that his Dad is dead. Parkman doesn't shed a tear. He says he hardly knew his Father. Then Daphne warns him that another villain will be showing up to kill them both because she failed to do it. Knox shows up to finish the job. Daphne tries to run away but Knox clotheslines her and kills her. Then Parkman threatens to get into Knox's head and destroy him but Knox uses Parkman's fear against him and punches through his chest, killing him. Knox leaves feeling pretty good about himself and we're shocked for a split second until we remember there must be a trick to this because no important character dies on the show. We're being led to believe that Arthur killed Parkman's Dad but we'll probably find out later it was a mind trick pulled off by Parkman's Dad in order to trick Daphne and get her to do what they wanted. Speaking of mind tricks, Knox killing Daphne and Parkman was all a mind trick that Parkman pulled off from the other room to convince Knox that they were dead. Oh but wait there's another twist that's supposed to make all these stupid plot twists worth watching, Daphne's a double agent and she's playing Parkman for a fool and using him while checking in with Arthur behind his back. Hello! We know Parkman can read minds so if he doesn't know that Daphne is lying to him then we're going to lose all faith in this show and the rules they set up. And we're going to draw the conclusion that the chubby American is so desperate for a girl to fall in love with him that he is either lying to himself or letting her lie to him. Either way we're losing respect for both Parkman and the show.

Sylar shows up at Pinehearst to kick some ass but gets his own ass kicked instead by his own Father. Then Arthur explains to Sylar how his Mother tried to drown him the in bathtub when he was an infant because of the visions she had of her son. He tells Sylar she's using him to save her real favorite son, Peter, and that he's only a weapon to her. Then we're supposed to believe that Sylar all of a sudden becomes loyal to his Dad after talking to him for thirty seconds. Peter confronts both Sylar and their Father and Sylar throws him out of a window with the wave of his hand and the use of his ever-increasing powers. But get this, Peter falls ten or more stories and doesn't die. So he comes to the conclusion that Sylar is still a good guy and broke his fall. He was trying to save Peter's life. Who does Peter reveal all of this to? Claire. How you ask? She was walking up to the building at that very moment. Convenient. Claire notices that Peter isn't healing. He explains that Arthur took his powers from him. Hearing this Elle abandons Claire and runs inside to get her powers removed too. Yeah, that's a good idea, run towards the person who just threw a guy out the window. Then again Elle has Daddy issues.

HRG arrives at Suresh's place to debrief Nathan and Tracy. Of course Meredith is with HRG so there's this awkward reunion moment and another horrible story recap by Tracy of how all the characters are related. Disgusting. Almost as disgusting as the horrific line Elle uttered before she and Claire took off to go to Pinehearst which was, "Okay Dorothy, let's go see the Wizard." Really? That's the best these writers can do? We expect better. HRG tells Nathan and Tracy to stick around so they immediately take off to meet up with Claire and Peter after Claire calls Nathan. Peter fills Nathan in on the whole story and tells him not to confront their Father. Nathan then immediately leaves Peter in order to confront their Father. Tracy says she's going to tag along because she's been on the Pinehearst payroll for over a year and she can open doors for him. He says he doesn't need any doors opened he, "plans on kicking them in." The camera zooms in on his face for extra cheesy effect here.

Now you've probably forgotten all about Hiro and Ando by now. Good. Even though you were warned, you forgot. Hiro and Ando were also warned. The African dude told them at the beginning of the episode to choose their path or it would be chosen for them. So because Hiro refused to do what he wanted he drugged him and sent him on a spirit quest. Nice guy. After this episode audiences might have to be drugged and forced to watch the rest of the season.

"Heroes" will be taking next week off to make room for pre-election programming but when they return they will be airing an episode that might prove fatal to the series. Apparently we're going to get a glimpse of the past and how all of these new plot points came to be. It will be either brilliant and therefore make up for the tediousness of this season or it'll put people off completely. If only the African man could paint us a picture of the future of this season and let us know if it's worth watching. We would be so lucky.

Heroes stars: Hayden Panettiere / Milo Ventimiglia / Ali Larter / Masi Oka / Zachary Quinto / Dania Ramirez / Kristen Bell / Noah Gray-Cabey / James Kyson Lee / Greg Grunberg / Adrian Pasdar / Malcolm McDowell / more

Story by Erin MacMillan-Ramirez

Starpulse contributing writer