Archive for November 17, 2009

406 – Strange Attractors

You know an episode is going to dip in quality when it features any of the following characters: Tracey, Claire or Parkman. This episode features all three.

The episode see-saws between reasonably interesting and claw-your-eyes-out tedious as Claire and Gretchen get kidnapped for a Sorority day out, but it turns out to be a ploy by invisible girl Becky (the murderer of Claire’s former roommate) to try and off Gretchen for Samuel’s Master Plan, in the manner of the movie Saw.


Speaking of Samuel, the carnival one crops up in a wooing plot with Tracey. While Bennett tries to get healing hands boy Jeremy out of prison with the former governor’s secretary’s help, Samuel attempts to show her that Bennett’s plans for the boy to disappear won’t work and that the specials need each other to survive in this world. It all goes wrong when she refuses, however, and Jeremy winds up dead at the hands of ignorant cops.


Elsewhere in the episode, the excellent Zachary Quinto struggles to make sense of the gone-on-for-far-too-long saga of Sylar in Parkman’s brain. This time sees the arc finally take a step forwards as Sylar lures Parkman into getting drunk and lowering his defences, allowing the evil one to come forward and take over his body.

Basically, it’s a pretty middling episode livened up only by the episode’s climactic sequence where Samuel takes vengeance on the cops who murdered Jeremy by levelling their station, more than making up for the missing sequence where he did the same thing in episode two.

It’s telling that things are starting to drag – perhaps the writers didn’t plan this set of storylines through properly? The Claire/Gretchen romance is so bland it’s funny, with the bizarre change of atmosphere in this episode coming off as sadistic. The Parkman/Sylar battle has taken six episodes to get to the point where it has changed pace and did the story of Jeremy really need to cover two episodes? With a bit of trimming and tight plotting, this could all have been covered in three episodes, four max.

Thank god for Samuel.

Two stars