So I’ll be honest, Heroes had a pretty uphill climb throughout the episode. I mean, the episode was pretty evenly split between Sylar finding himself (for the millionth time) and Hiro having delusions (literally, this time) of heroism and grandeur. Frequent readers must know by now that these are my two favorite subjects. Oh, and the Carnival too.
But it was kinda neat seeing David Anders compete with himself, appearing on both Heroes and 24.
I suppose I should be fair and admit that, given the topic matter, they did a commendable job. In fact, I have to applaud them for pointing out some of the erratic and borderline utterly selfish decisions Hiro has made over the past couple of seasons. Most notably, that he was willing to go against his code AND allow a ruthless killer to walk free in order to save the woman he loves. They didn’t merely gloss over the parts of the story that don’t conveniently fit into the argument they were attempting to make. And for that, I commend them.
A lot of his dream sequence was clichéd and cheesy (punishable by…..DEATH!), but I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it was purposeful. As in, this is exactly the sort of scenario Hiro would dream up. But even that excuse goes so far. I mean, what the crap was with Ando’s soliloquy? Honestly, it sounded more like a movie trailer than a man pleading with his best friend to continue fighting. And for that matter, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that Hiro is descending into such cartoonishness that the boyish charm that made him so popular has all but disappeared.
Another side effect of the episode was that it reminded me of what Sylar SHOULD be. As I noted in the introduction, we were once again force fed this idea that Sylar is some torn and complex character (it’s gotten so bad that I’m pretty sure even Claire called him Emo). How many times have we seen this routine? Damn, how many times have we seen it this very season? It was so much more enjoyable watching him nonchalantly rattling off all the people he’s killed, without the slightest hint of remorse. That, on top of his lackadaisical attempt to remember Ted’s last name. I don’t understand their resistance to just allow him to be THAT character. The opportunity for him to be a quasi-hero has long past. I mean, are we supposed to feel bad for him that he doesn’t want to die alone? Are we supposed to root for him in that regard? And perhaps most bothersome – his sudden concern over dying alone is a direct response to what Hiro told him in the past, after he saved Charlie. Therefore, it obviously had a really profound effect on him. Yet we’re to believe that it didn’t alter his history in the slightest? I find it hard to accept that he’d be so concerned about never finding somebody, but would still kill Elle after making a legitimate connection with her.
I feel like a broken record, but that’s the biggest problem with Sylar’s character – and the reason why I can’t become invested in him. He’s just so inconsistently written. For example, the way it’s been portrayed, the “voice” in Parkman’s head WAS Sylar. It wasn’t a delusion, it was Sylar’s actual subconscious. And that man had absolutely no problem whatsoever killing people. And even when he gets reunited with his body he’s able to kill, despite his struggle with Nathan. But once he vanquishes all of his obstacles, he’s suddenly all bothered? Sorry, I don’t buy it.
I am curious if they’ll strip him of his powers, though. A lot of people have made the argument that Peter became too powerful, so essentially having him start from scratch was a good thing. I’m wondering if they’ll have the guts to do the same with Sylar.
I wasn’t bothered by the stuff with Claire. People seem to hate her character, but for whatever reason I think she manages to bring out the best in whoever she shares scenes with. I noted that last week with HRG and Peter, but I think it’s true with Sylar as well. These two just have such a twisted relationship – and while it was laid on a bit thick by Sylar, the two of them really do share a special bond. Her self discovery also felt a little more genuine than Sylar’s. She is, after all, at that age that people attempt to “find” themselves, and she’s going through some mighty confusing stuff right now. It’s difficult for her to accept that she may have feelings for this girl, and she’s of course worried about being judged and labeled. The writers are constantly attempting to coincide Claire’s abilities with her attempt at being a normal teenage girl next door, and this is the first time (in a long time) that it feels like they succeeded.
I also have to complement the writers by NOT having the extras stare at Gretchen and Claire as they walked away holding hands. The easy, obvious path would have been for everybody to look at them and for Claire not to care. The better route – the one they decided to take – was to have nobody care, and to show the viewers (and possibly Claire) that she was making a bigger thing out of it than was necessary. This shows that this is something Claire has to overcome, not something everybody else has to accept.
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. Be sure to visit his blog at [a case of the blog] and follow him on Twitter.