Heroes – Episode 4-16 Review

So I have to admit that I was initially going to hold off on watching Heroes until Tuesday, but I follow Greg Grunberg on Twitter and he kept posting Tweets and Re-Tweets about how incredible the episode was and my curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to plop down at midnight and watch the episode. While it wasn’t bad, I think I would have preferred the extra hour of sleep.

Now, it’s important to me that I don’t give off the false impression that I no longer enjoy this show, because I do. Yes, it can be immensely frustrating, but I still care about a lot of the characters and I’d still like for the show to succeed. So let’s start off with some of the positives.

First and foremost, there was no Hiro, Ando, or Mohinder. That’s a victory in and of itself! Okay, okay, that was a little cheap. That sounded more like a backhanded compliment. But actually, with such a large, ensemble cast – with a group of characters that are not necessarily used every episode – sometimes it is a gift to know which characters to focus on and which ones to put on the backburner, if momentarily. And, for the most part, I think they made some wise decisions here.

I was initially skeptical with the Claire/HRG thing, especially when I saw previews. I shuddered when I saw Claire warning Lydia about her dad’s impending attack. I’m thinking, “Really? She’s siding with the Carnival over her father?” But it was actually a rather noble thing for Claire to do. She agreed that Samuel needed to pay for what he had done, but she recognized that it could turn into a bloodbath (showing more maturity and rationality than her father, arguably), and she was looking to protect the innocent (the bystanders at the Carnival) and those she cares about (her father). So, I didn’t mind her warning. And I found her attempt to arrange a peaceful hand-off inoffensive. Actually, this was a somewhat clever way of handling their reconciliation.

I was also worried that they’d have Claire once again distrust her father by believing that he was responsible for the Carnival shoot out. Trust me when I say that there was a huge sigh of relief when she rightly figured out that he was being set up. And, again, this did a nice job of drawing some distinct battle lines. It’s now Claire and HRG against Samuel and his minions. And it’s kinda funny, but I don’t recall us ever truly seeing HRG and Claire literally fighting side-by-side.

Oh, and I absolutely LOVED that HRG had instructed Lauren to call Tracy if anything went wrong. I’m so glad that they didn’t completely forget about that relationship. It’s actually rather too bad, because this is the first time, like, EVER that any of Ali Larter’s characters have been interesting…and instead of going with it, they needlessly introduced a new character.

So yeah, it’s actually HRG, Claire, Lauren, and Tracy….not too shabby.

I really want to give the writers credit for this, so I might as well give them the benefit of the doubt here. It’s my interpretation that they weren’t trying to go for any shocking twist when the shootout began. I think they expected the viewers to know HRG wasn’t behind it, and that they’d immediately figure out what this guy was up to. If that’s the case, nice job, because it did add a fun new level of enjoyment as the scene played out, knowing that he’s getting away with this dangerous manipulation.

My biggest issue with this episode was this concept of Parkman “hiding” Sylar’s abilities somewhere in his mind that he’ll never find them. First, this is just plain weak. Secondly, there is a well established (for this show, anyway) precedent that people’s abilities have nothing to do with their memories. Peter got amnesia at the start of season two, but his powers kept emerging. Sylar believes he’s Nathan, yet his “Sylar Powers” kept activating. Even when Sylar had no memory whatsoever, his powers were still apparent (geez, this show is beginning to give Smallville a run for its money with characters getting amnesia). There’s just no basis for this idea that Parkman can mentally block somebody’s abilities.

Come to think of it, where was the Haitian? This guy has the ability to (a) erase people’s memories and (b) block people’s powers. He’s, like, tailor made for this mission.

Oh, I was dying for Sylar to follow through with his threat that he can be very creative with his – if only to finally confirm which abilities he actually still possesses.

I also find the idea that Peter would seek out Sylar’s help INCREDIBLY hard to swallow. They’ve done a nice job of strengthening Peter’s character over the past two seasons, and I fear that they’re having him take a HUGE step back with this. Peter had developed into a smarter, more confident person who didn’t blindly follow what others – whether they’re motivated by powers or simply power – told him. And that includes visions of the future. With that in mind, I just have a lot of trouble believing that he would turn to Sylar – who he just learned murdered his brother – for any reason whatsoever. And it’s not even like he attempted to think of a Plan B! And I’m not counting him breaking the cello!

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.

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