Heroes – Episode 4-4 Review

With this episode focusing mainly on the Hiro story arc, I can’t help but think about Charlie’s demise on Lost. More specifically, I’m wondering if Heroes will have the cajones to do what the ABC hit series did. For those of you unfamiliar with Lost, Charlie was a highly lovable, practically universally adored character who was killed off, arguably at the height of his popularity. However, unlike most of the major deaths on the show, this departure was foreshadowed (quite literally) for the entire season. Within the first few episodes of the season, Desmond told Charlie that he had visions of his death. And throughout the year, fans were continually wondering, “Would they actually write this guy off?” And they did, and I honestly believe that it will go down as one of the most beautifully written deaths in modern television history.

So I restate the question: With Hiro’s current story arc revolving around his impending death, will the writers have the guts to pull the trigger and actually kill him? Considering the last “major” character they’ve conclusively killed off is Isaac, near the end of season one, I’m not exactly optimistic.

This episode seemed to revert back to the “things are destined to happen, no matter what happens in the past” time travel mentality. No matter what actions Hiro takes to prevent a certain event from happening, it’s bound to find a way to occur (kinda Lost-esque, actually). This method ran the risk of getting old, but I couldn’t help but snicker when Hiro answered the phone, greeted his suicidal co-worker, and told him he’d be right up on the roof before the person on the other line even spoke. And then, upon going up on the roof, they’re just casually sitting on the ledge talking. Although I’m not quite sure what to make of his epiphany, because it seems counter-productive to what I figured they’d be doing with the character for much of the season.

Shifting gears slightly, I was THIS CLOSE to commending the show for actually showing some restraint by not featuring Sylar AT ALL this episode. Then they went ahead and had Nathan transform back into Sylar (physically, anyway). Only, what, five episodes into the season? They had Hiro “find himself” in feudal Japan for what felt like 30 episodes, but they can’t stretch this potentially interesting arc out for at least an entire Volume?

Admittedly, my judgment may be a little premature. We’ve only seen a snippet of where this is going. But my disappointment lies in the fact that we jumped into the season at what feels like the mid-to-late point of this storyline. I would have really preferred seeing Nathan more or less as himself, and then slowly coming to realize that something just isn’t right. Instead, the season kicked off with Nathan KNOWING that something isn’t right (even awkwardly stating “it feels like my memories aren’t my own” – who talks like that?) and pretty much conclusively figuring it out within a couple of episodes.

Like I alluded to earlier, it’s amazing how easily this show can stall certain things, yet seemingly can’t show any restraint with intriguing stories that just need to be delicately developed.

That criticism aside, it is interesting (and I hope purposeful) that Nathan showed such a sympathetic and compassionate response to the prospect that he was in any way responsible for the girl’s death. What I find compelling is that this is a decidedly Nathan trait, not at all reminiscent of Sylar’s behavior. I mean, sure, Sylar may have shown some slight regret at certain dastardly actions, like killing his mother, but “Nathan” went to great lengths to unravel the mystery of what happened to this girl, and on more than one occasion attempted to take responsibility for it. Doesn’t sound a whole lot like Sylar, does it?

I do wish they held off on the big transformation, though.

Matt Basilo has been writing for Inside Pulse since April 2005, providing his insight into popular television shows such as Lost, 24, Heroes, and Smallville. You can visit his blog at [a case of the blog].