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Heroes, Masi Oka, James Kyson Lee, Hayden Panettiere

NBC/Adam Taylor

Spoiler alert: Hayden Panettiere was pumped full of bullets on tonight's Heroes!

And now, on the heels of Kristen Bell's exit, yet another blonde Hero is gone for good.

Still, if you know anything about this show (and Hayden's magazine-cover-worthiness), you know that Hayden and her character Claire are totally invincible in every way. As long as Heroes is on the air, that cheerleader and her bad wig will be.

So who's the blonde who's dead for good? And what's this I'm hearing about yet another blonde dying before the season ends?

Click in for exclusive scoop on tonight's episode and what lies ahead...

Heroes

Adam Taylor/NBC

WHAT WE LEARNED

Brea Grant Can Go Back to Landry: Sources tell me there was much back and forth within Heroes' writers/producers camp as to whether Brea Grant's character Daphne (the Speedster) should live or die this season. But now we know which side won out—the one who wanted to fill her full of bullets and send her on her way, as they did courtesy of the Hunter (Zeljko Ivanek) and his team. Will you miss her? I know Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) will! But his loss could be Landry's gain over on Friday Night Lights, right? Shall we start the petition to bring her back to Dillon, Texas now?

Nathan's Motives Are Finally Revealed: My own pet peeve with Heroes new storyline direction? That the eldest Petrelli brother (Adrian Pasdar) seems to have no true motivation for rounding up all his "extraordinary" friends, sticking tubes up their noses, putting bags over their heads and sending them to some kind of Guantanamo-esque camp. Well, tonight, good ol' ho-biscuit Tracy Strauss (Ali Larter) came to the rescue by finally begging the question we've all been dying to ask: "Why are you doing this, Nathan?!" Nathan's response that "Powers just lead to chaos" fell flat. But Tracy's response might help the storyline make a wee bit more sense:

"You son of a bitch. Maybe that's what you tell yourself so you can sleep at night. But this is about you. Your ambition. It's all you are Nathan. It's all you ever were."

Hmmm...Maybe? Are you buying it?

This Show Still Can Be Good: Maybe it's just me, but tonight's episode seemed far more engaging than what we've seen so far this season. It was like the best of Prison Break (orange jumpsuits) meets Lost (plane crash) meets Land of the Lost (the Hunter's sleestaks!) meets Dexter (Sylar is back to his truly spine-tingling serial killer ways). And Peter's line—"Our lives as we knew them were over. We can't go back to anything we knew"—seemed to show the writers are serious about moving the storyline forward. I sorta dug it. Anyone else with me?

Ali Larter, Heroes

NBC

WHAT LIES AHEAD

Sources tell me that somewhere around episode 20, Ali Larter's character Tracy Strauss will be, um, broken up. And yes, it's the sort of breaking up that lands the character permanently in a grave. Will she come back as yet another manifestation along the lines of Niki/Jessica/etc? That remains to be seen.

What did you think of tonight's episode? Better, worse or more of the same? And which cast members are you hoping to have stick around?