Posts Tagged ‘redemption’

418 – Brave New World

Eighteen episodes have led to this point, the climax, the crutch, the single hour where Heroes must fight for survival and remind its viewers why they bothered watching it up all until this moment.

And it’s… about as disappointing and unsatisfying as the rest of this horrible story arc has been. Claire and Bennett manage to escape from their impossible situation (entombed in a caravan some thirty feet under the ground in the middle of nowhere) because Lauren called Tracey. The water woman helps them escape somehow and then vanishes from both the story and our minds, proving once and for all there was no reason to ever bring her back to life.

Hiro, at least, manages some closure to his pathetic story, somehow coming across an aged Charlie at the hospital after his brain tumour operation. Seeing that she’s had a wonderful life and has raised a whole family, Hiro decides to do the decent thing and leave her there to die. Charming.

Peter and Sylar escape from Parkman’s basement, only to find that Multiple Man Eli has taken control of the house. What could have been an interesting fight is then cut short by both a scene change and a cop-out. Parkman then invades Sylar’s head and makes him want to be good (only the third time Sylar’s wanted to switch sides, mind) and the mass murderer and Peter head off to the carnival. Parkman then invades Eli’s unconscious mind and then disappears from the story altogether.

But that’s not what the episode is about, no. This episode is where we finally discover what it is that Samuel has been up to and what his real intentions are. Well, we can finally reveal them to you, once and for all:

He’s going to kill people.

Eighteen episodes and that’s the best the writers can come up with. The carnival appears in Central Park in New York, where Doyle forces Emma to play her siren song and draw as many people and television cameras to them as possible. Bennett, Claire, Edgar, Peter, Sylar, Hiro and Ando all converge on the carnival to end mean old Samuel’s rotten schemes and, hilariously, the situation is defused with a conversation.

Six superheroes are up against an army of carnies and they solve all their problems with conversation. Yeah. Underwhelming doesn’t quite get it right. Punch in the balls is a more accurate way of describing it.

Hiro teleports all the superheroes away and Samuel is left powerless, making the viewers wonder why his brother Joseph ever surrounded him with Specials to begin with. Samuel is arrested and that’s that done.

The ending is so flat and boring it feels like it was done deliberately to enrage all those who wasted their time watching this pile of crap fester. Even the lead in to the next Volume is awful, managing to completely destroy the original idea behind the show.

The best thing to do is to put all this behind us and move along. Let’s choose to remember the greatness of Heroes. Before everything went wrong, before turgid romances and silly plot strands and unnecessary characters, back when it was great. Let’s remember it as a classic show that never got a second chance to prove what it could really do.

Goodbye, Heroes.

1 star

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417 – The Wall

Two equally interesting storylines battle it out for supremacy this week. In the blue corner, Peter Petrelli steps inside Sylar’s damaged mind to find that he can’t get them both back out. While Sylar has only been in his comatose state for three hours, inside his mind three years have passed.

In the red corner, Samuel gets his magic voodoo man Damien to make yet another head intrusion, this time on Bennett, exposing all his deepest, darkest secrets in front of Claire.

It’s a two-tier episode, with one part focussing on arch enemies putting aside their differences in order to work together to escape the hell they’ve been confined to. Unfortunately, just as it seems like dramatic sparks are going to fly (mortal enemies confined to the same space! Tension! Drama! Action!) Peter decides to just get along with Sylar and figure out their escape route, which involves a metaphysical wall like the one in Parkman’s basement.

The second part of the episode is yet another series of flashbacks into Bennett’s past, exploring his character and how he got to be the man he became. Samuel reveals all of Bennett’s former horrors to Claire, seemingly in the hope that she’ll finally turn on him for good. Sadly, it backfires (duuur!), forcing Samuel to bury them both in a tiny caravan underneath the earth.

Both parts of the story are reasonably interesting, but the real problem is that they are just padding before the final showdown. Samuel could have unleashed his plan at any point this series, seeing as how he hasn’t actually needed Claire, Sylar or Hiro for any part of this.

Overall, it’s average, but not unwatchable. Here’s hoping the ending is what they’ve been saving the budget for, because it’s not gone into the rest of the show.

3 stars

416 – The Art of Deception

Another fairly good episode – at this rate, Heroes might just become enjoyable again.

Sylar now believes that the only way to avoid spending an eternity alone is to somehow lose all his powers, so he’s come to the one person who can make that happen – Matt Parkman. Unfortunately for him, the fat cop pulls one out of the bag and stitches Sylar up well and truly.

Peter, meanwhile, is having dreams of Emma playing her cello in the carnival and Sylar jumping in to rescue her and everyone else from a horrible death. He goes to Angela, who somehow knows where Sylar is. Peter shows up at the Parkman house just after Matt pulls a whammy and finds the cop trying to brick Sylar up in his basement, alive, immortal, and trapped in his own mind. In trying to wake up his arch nemesis, though, Peter gets pulled into Sylar’s nightmare.

The biggest part of the episode is given over to Claire, Samuel, Lauren and Bennett in a pretty good and fairly dramatic siege segment. Lauren and Bennett decide, for whatever reason, that they can take the carnival all by themselves, with one rifle between them. Naturally, Samuel screws them over by getting Multiple Man Eli to shoot at the carnival, injuring Samuel and Claire, but killing Lydia, who had begun to question Samuel.

It’s not too bad an episode, but there is slightly too much talking. We only have a few more episodes left to go until the season is over – isn’t it time we actually felt like it was building to go somewhere? It’s good that the plotting feels quicker and things are beginning to tie up, but what’s going on with Peter, Matt and Sylar? One of these plotlines is about to be rendered null and void.

3 stars

415 – Pass/Fail

Here’s a shocker for you – a good episode that revolves around conversations between three groups of people. It shouldn’t work – every single part of this is utterly doomed to fail – but it works and it manages it in a very comic book way.

Sylar pursues Claire to her college, intent on finding out why she is his destiny and his random fear of dying alone. They spend their time exchanging barbed comments as Sylar uses what methods he can to find out why he and Claire are bound together. It’s a fairly interesting revelation, albeit one that sort of breaks Sylar’s character completely.

Meanwhile, in the much more interesting subplot, Hiro passes out at Bennett’s and wakes up in a courtroom in the Burnt Toast Diner, where Judge Kaito is presiding over whether or not he altered the timeline for his own personal gain, with the prosecution taking the form of Adam Monroe. This is classic comic book stuff – the hero on the stand for the few crimes they’ve committed, with the penalty for a guilty verdict being that Hiro succumbs to the brain tumour. It all builds to a proper climax where Hiro must fight Adam Monroe to stay alive.

Least interesting part of the whole thing is Samuel’s attempts to convince Vanessa to stay with him. It turns out that he’s made the valley beautiful so he could build her dream cottage right in the centre of it all. But she rejects him and we finally get to see what he’s capable of when he causes an earthquake to swallow an entire town.

It’s an enjoyable episode that seems content on solving all the minor quibbles for the characters before we get plunged into the build-up for the final few episodes of the season. It’s a really curious choice of David Anders as guest star though – didn’t they use all of Volume Three to sever any and all ties to the much-maligned second season?

All in all, it’s a merciful break from the usual craptastic plotlines. If the Claire and Samuel plots were slightly faster in pace and if the Hiro plotline wasn’t resolved in exactly the same way it was cleared up in Volume Three (seriously, it’s the second time they’ve used the same conceit to unscrew his brain) then this would get full marks. As it stands, it gets four stars simply for not being shit.

4 stars

414 – Close to You

Opening with a monologue by Bennett who mourns over the deepening void between he and his daughter – who really should be on Jerry Springer by now, with all the backstabbing and lies going on – the episode gets off to a moody start. Things get bleaker for Bennett when Lauren leaves him to his quest to find Vanessa, a woman Samuel claims to be in love with.

Bennett gets in touch with Parkman, who is slowly becoming the world’s fattest and least relevant character in any TV show and tries to convince him to join up and stop Samuel. Parkman refuses only to show up later and hypnotise Vanessa into talking with them and set up a trap for their target. Just when you think it’s about to get interesting, Samuel makes a measly crack in the earth, blinds Bennett and runs away with Vanessa. Admitting defeat, Parkman and Bennett head home, with Bennett apologising to his increasingly irritating daughter and Parkman feeling like a coward for not stopping Sylar WHEN HE HAD ALL THOSE CHANCES.

Lydia meanwhile contacts Peter via the plot device compass tattoo that Samuel installed on his arm back in chapter two. Emma uses her siren song to call him to her and the two meet Angela Petrelli, who informs Peter that Emma is going to help kill thousands at some point. Peter takes her power – making it pretty irrelevant that he took gained flight last week – and dreams about Emma playing her cello in the hall of mirrors to the sound of screams before Sylar appears, grinning. To solve this, Peter hilariously and heroically smashes Emma’s cello, taking away the only light in a deaf and dumb woman’s extremely bleak existence.

In Florida, Hiro has himself committed to the same mental home he sent Mohinder to, leaving Ando to rescue them both with his red lightening powers that everybody forgot he had. This leads to a high-larious sequence where Ando accidentally takes medication intended to knock out Mohinder. The three of them escape and Ando magically fixes Hiro with his red lightening (don’t ask) before the three of them teleport to Bennett’s – just as the old dog finally gets it on with Lauren.

There’s nothing to say about this episode. It’s pretty fast and gets a lot done, with the major saving grace being that a lot of plot strands are finally beginning to come together.

2 stars

413 – Let It Bleed

As Peter and the others mourn at Nathan’s funeral, convinced he’s died in a plane crash (despite being able to fly), the sulky one himself decides to get a massive strop on and attempts to tackle a random hostage taker armed only with the Haitian’s rather ineffectual ability. Naturally he gets shot but luckily Claire is on hand to get him through it.

Meanwhile Sylar goes after Samuel but gets erectile dysfunction in his head-sawing finger leading to a truly awesome image of Samuel creating a sandstorm that tears Sylar’s face apart. He absorbs Lydia’s power (at least there’s some consistency in the writing office) and his tattoo reveals to him his destiny: Claire.

Edgar returns and goes to Bennett, intending to bring him to Samuel, but is bested, leading to several pointless scenes with the two and Lauren where Edgar flip-flops his allegiance before running away from them both.

It’s just slightly more interesting than the previous episode, but that’s still like comparing getting hit in the crotch with a hammer to being stabbed in the face. Annoyingly, it plays its trump card (seriously, Sylar getting his face chewed off by a sandstorm is absolutely outstanding) before the opening credits, which leads to an episode of cock-teasing and stilted dialogue instead of genuine superheroics.

What’s staggering is that the season is almost at its end and the viewers still don’t know what Samuel is planning, why he needs the Heroes and why it concerns the valley near the carnival. It’s a monumental mess in need of a desperate clean. Hopefully this can all be sorted out and tidied up before the end, allowing a neat finale. Just pray they can bring it all to a satisfying climax and not resort to slamming a goddamn door on the camera again.

2 stars

412 – Upon This Rock

Welcome back, everyone. Good Christmas break? Remember where we left off? Well, Claire is staying at the carnival with Samuel, Hiro has had his brains tampered with (again), Mohinder is locked up in a mental home, Ando is marrying Kimiko, Bennett is on his way to scoring with Lauren, Sylar is back, Peter and Angela are frowning lots, Emma is utterly irrelevant to the plot, Tracey is off on a mission continued in the equally incomprehensible comic series and nobody has any idea what’s going on.

Fittingly, the episode opens with Claire picking trash with a pointy stick. Symbolism – it’s a bitch. Her part of the episode sees her trusting Samuel, distrusting Samuel, finding out that Samuel plans to do something in a desert valley nearby, and finally trusting Samuel but not wanting to stay. It drags out for the whole damn episode.

In other stories, Hiro has returned to Japan to get Ando to help him with something. Unfortunately, Samuel’s interfering with Hiro’s brain, along with that tumour, have left everybody;s favourite comic relief character speaking gibberish. Luckily, Ando deduces what he wants and the two head off to Florida – to rescue Mohinder.

Meanwhile Emma is seduced by Samuel, who finally reveals what her power can do: act as a siren call to other specials. This brings in a man who can bring nature to life at a touch, setting up the episode’s big CGI moment – a valley full of grass.

To say that it’s a disappointment is an understatement, like saying you were a little upset when the Hindenburg exploded with all your family on board. Admittedly, it’s at a much quicker pace than it was before, but the only ongoing mystery is what Samuel is up to. Frankly, it’s not enough to keep viewers hooked. What if the biggest mystery was how Samuel is going to get to the point where he is ludicrously powerful?

As this pathetic story arc limps towards it climax, we’re all left scratching our heads and remembering just how bloody good it used to be. Where did this show go so wrong?

2 stars