But although I don't have an opinion on Thanksgiving (apart from "marshmallows with vegetables: why oh why?"), I do have an opinion on "Thanksgiving", which was of course this week's instalment of Heroes.
So let's see what was on the menu in Superpower-land:
Bennets, meet the Bennets, they're a complex modern family... (sing along, everybody)
- Blimey, everyone's got a date, even Mr Muggles. I am particularly amused that his doggy love interest follows the Ms Pacman pattern of being exactly the same as her beloved, only with a bow stuck on her head.
- I believe Sandra's new beau is what Sex and the City would have called a gay straight man. His sitcom attempts at perky normality did amuse me, though.
- Despite her Company credentials, Lauren seems to have wandered in from some other show entirely, like ER or one of the CSIs or something else with lots of initials that involves people being serious and heartfelt all over the place. If she'd ever done anything cool, I might be more in favour, but as things stand, Sandra PWNs her with a practised ease and Bennet's attempts to woo her with vegetable-based stalking look like the actions of a bored man with an insufficiently extensive DVD collection.
- Aw, Claire and Gretchen are reunited. Unfortunately they are heading down Carnival way, and I fear their joint perkiness may not survice another tedious onslaught of unconvincing exposition from Samuel. Not to mention the fact that I don't think they've packed any clean socks.
Chile con Carnival (please spit out the rocks)
- In some ways, the most realistic portrayal of a family get-together, in that it involved cheapo booze (wine bottles with raffia round them = classy!), sneakiness, resentment, several people badly disguising their hatred of several other people, and it culminated in large rocks being thrown at people's heads. Unrealistically for most families, however, it also involved a lot of people sitting around in silence because they don't have speaking parts.
- Coming as a surprise to nobody, Samuel killed his own brother. Less predictably, he did so in a moodily lit fake cornfield, under a big moon-shaped light that was glued to the back wall. Still, it all looked rather painterly and stylish, so I'll let them get away with it.
- Oh Lydia, don't scare Hiro by taking your top off. He's led a very sheltered life, and you're only boosting your reputation as one of the Carnival's most popular rides.
- Now that Edgar has sped away into the distance, Samuel may well start to get bored with the sound of his own voice. He's certainly got plenty of people to spout exposition at, but unfortunately none of them are paid enough to talk back.
- So where's Hiro off to now? Somewhere he won't inconveniently bump into Claire, I'll warrant. Which is a shame, because I was wondering if he'd yell "Cheerleader lady love - YATTA!"
A Very Petrelli Knees-Up (with the lights out, it's more dangerous)
- Predictably, I loved everything about Angela in this episode. Her epic towering hair. Her killer red jacket. Her tight-lipped realization that René T. Haitian must be struck off her Christmas card list this year. Her quivering stranglehold on the belief that WE ARE NOT GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT ONE OF US IS ACTUALLY DEAD OVER THE DINNER TABLE, SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP. She's glorious.
- Again, this bit was very stylishly filmed, especially the red, white and blue contrasts.
- I actually cheered out loud when Sylar finally took the wheel and started stuffing his face (the Hunger, now available in pumpkin pie flavour!). Fortunately he drew the line at devouring the floral centrepiece but it was a close thing.
- "You have raised the evil incarnate bar to an entirely new level." Not just a fabulous line, but the Evil Incarnate Bar is a brilliant name for a drinking establishment. I imagine they serve some very bad beer.
- Undeterred by losing the Evil Incarnate championship to the better woman, Sylar decided to take the Pseudo-Oedipal Lip-Lock baton and run with it, all the way to a very Freudian place indeed. Disturbing yet weirdly appropriate, particularly given their shared past: Angela's own playing of the Oedipal card herself back in One Of Us, One Of Them, Good-boy!Sylar kissing her on the forehead in Eris Quod Sum, Angela's dream of Sylar-as-Nathan in the first chapter of this volume -- and quite probably Sylar's secret desire to snog Peter as well (I bet he's just holding off for a while because Adam Lambert stole his thunder).
- Peter is not left out of the medals, however, walking away with the award for Most Flail-tastic Facial Contortions, achieved entirely without the aid of CGI. Hopefully that compensated for his false start in the Meaningful Speeches in Adversity event.
- Lots of fun here, then. Of course, there's still the underlying ridiculousness that Sylar can't kill either Peter or Angela, no matter how much he wants to, and of course Peter can't kill him either, so he ends up pulling disapproving faces and telling Sylar what a naughty boy he is, which makes both of them look distinctly silly when they are supposed to be Epic Nemeses. But we'll just ignore that and move on with the usual plot-prolonging shenanigans. I'm sure we can drag this storyline out for a while longer if we all clap our hands and shout "I do believe in Nathan Petrelli, I do, I do, I do..."
In conclusion, therefore: better than your usual holiday-themed TV instalment, with a couple of amusingly sick jokes about carving. But will next week provide a satisfying conclusion before the December hiatus takes hold? It's a shame we're unlikely to get a properly festive Heroes special: personally, I'd love to see Sylar's Christmas Carol. Or perhaps It's a 9th Wonderful Life...