If there was ever a “filler” episode of Heroes, this was it. However, “filler” is decidedly different from “stalling,” so I’ll chalk this up as the lesser of two evils. Normally episodes such as these are a necessary evil when it comes to properly pacing the season, however with such a large cast with so many stories going on, it’s admittedly a bit tough to defend.
I suppose if there was any “A” story, it was Sylar’s continued haunting of Parkman. I will admit that I found it somewhat funny that this entire time Parkman has been pretending to be a recovering addict, and then in the end alcohol ended up overcoming his proverbial demon. And, actually, I enjoyed the climatic reveal that Sylar had officially taken over Parkman’s body. However, I can’t help but be disappointed that they’ve really missed out on the fun dichotomy of Sylar’s consciousness living in Parkman’s body, and Nathan’s consciousness living in Sylar’s body. Instead, we’ve just got this massive overexposure of Sylar. He is just all over the place.
But man, did I ever cringe when Parkman called Mohinder.
I’ve repeatedly stated that Ali Larter is the weakest link of the Heroes cast. For whatever reason, they just can’t make any of her characters work in the series. But, as I’ve noted, I’ve really, really enjoyed this progressive bond between her and HRG (yeah, you heard me). After all, these are pretty much the only two characters who are expressing the “redemption” portion of this volume. They’ve been a pretty fun pair. And, for the most part, I still feel that way. However, this whole thing with Tracy getting drawn to the carnival is a tad too reminiscent of what we saw last season, with Tracy joining up with that volume’s lead antagonist, Papa Petrelli. As I’ve indicated with Sylar, we don’t need to see the same characters having the same struggle over and over again.
And that’s why I continue to dig HRG – he’s one of the few characters that legitimately seems to grow as a person. I buy that he wants to make up for his past mistakes, and I thought his performance this week was really strong. He genuinely wanted to help Jeremy, and you could really feel HRG’s pain when he discovered Jeremy’s body.
Not much to say about the Claire/Gretchen thing, except that four girls seems like an awfully small pledge class, doesn’t it? Seriously, though, I was a bit relieved we didn’t have to sit through Claire and Gretchen going through some super duper awkward phase where they avoid each other and pretend like nothing happened for a gabillion episodes. No, I don’t think Claire will end up being a lesbian, but I was glad she handled the situation with such straight forward maturity.
I’d hate to sound overly negative, but I’m having a lot of trouble getting into this whole carnival thing. Personally, I’m more interested in the redemption aspect of this season, instead of force feeding a plot point that will eventually bring the characters together. This is one of the cases where the build has been a bit too slow. We’re a few episodes in, and I feel like I have no real understanding of who these people are. Or their motivations, for that matter. They may be manipulative, but are they decidedly evil? And without that distinction, I don’t find myself particularly invested in who does and doesn’t decide to join them.
What I think we need is a “Company Man” type episode that focuses solely on the carnival crew. And we need that soon.
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].