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October 25, 2014

Heroes: Hysterical Blindness

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 13th 2009 4:15AM
Heroes - Hayden Panettiere
(S04E05)
I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but sometimes I wonder if we don't have more people reading TV Squad than Heroes has viewers. And so I want to keep reminding fallen fans who may have jumped ship over the past two not-so-great seasons that things are going much better this season.

There's a better balance in each episode than there's been. In the past few weeks, we've been sticking to mostly three storylines per week. This time around, we checked in on Peter, Claire and Sylar (after his unearthing last week). They're allowing the characters room to breathe and be themselves, rather than just rushing into the next adventure.

It was character growth and development that I'd missed the most, and we're finally getting it. Zachary Quinto was fantastic this episode, and even Hayden Panettiere showed an inkling of range. Oh, who am I kidding, she was as wooden as ever, but that's why we like her ... right? That kind of looks like a cardboard cut-out up there, doesn't it?

Claire
All season long we've been teased about this "lesbian relationship" Claire was going to develop. And it made perfect sense that it would be with Gretchen. But, I'll give the writers credit for some solid misdirection on this one. Right up until the reveal that it was Becky, the sorority sister who recruited Claire, I had all my money on Gretchen. It turns out poor Gretchen is just a college girl with a major crush. I can relate to half of that.

I actually like that change of direction. It also means that Claire does have one true friend, if Gretchen can survive. Samuel's intentions are to isolate Claire from any happiness or normalcy, which is why Becky tried to expose her abilities with the flagpole, and earlier in the semester pushed her first roommate from the window. I guess Samuel needs them to be vulnerable.

Peter
We got a better feel for the way Peter's abilities are working now when he accidentally absorbed Emma's visible sound ability. He clearly doesn't have complete control of what abilities he absorbs, and he's definitely working with the one-at-a-time limitation. I still think all the others are in there and it's more of a mental block that's holding him back, but who knows for sure.

The good news is that Hiro popped in at the last minute. Teleportation and time travel are far handier abilities for Peter's work as a paramedic than pretty colors whenever there's sound. Besides, seeing sound is a hell of a lot more handy when you can't already hear them.

Thank god we got that episode ending, though, because I was really starting to wonder why we were giving so much screen-time to someone who can see sound. In the park, I thought maybe the ability was enabling her to play the cello when she didn't know how to, but as she has one in her apartment, I'm going to say she already knew how.

We also got a little more background on her. She was an aspiring doctor but turned away from that when something horrible happened, for which she blames herself. I wonder if she lost her hearing, as well, or perhaps she learned to play the cello while already deaf. She's at least becoming a more interesting character.

Sylar
What a great path they're putting Sylar on, though we've seen him on these lost and confused journeys before. Still, if I were Angela, Noah and Matt, I wouldn't want to be on the planet when Sylar remembers what they did to him. I'm also wondering if this means that we've seen the last of Adrian Pasdar. I suspect once Sylar reclaims his evil self, he might continue the subterfuge as Nathan for his own ends.

Quinto's performance in this episode was brilliant. He was so genuinely lost and confused, he didn't even sound like Sylar when delivering his lines. It's quite a stark contrast when they cut from a Quinto scene to a Panettiere scene. But she does look better in a little red dress than he does. Oh, and squatting down in tight jeans and a halter top (which they made sure to show us twice).

When Sylar went into the Sullivan Brothers Carnival just before the police arrived, one of two things was happening. Either the Carnival turned invisible, or it moved completely. I think the latter happened. There was no sign of the police or anyone when we cut back to Sylar entering the Carnival and he was looking back in that direction. It would also explain how the Carnival came to travel outside the US, as seen earlier this season.

Samuel has been looking for someone to replace his brother, and keeps going on and on about family. I guess he thinks he's got that someone in Sylar, perhaps. He was hoping for Peter, but Sylar's the next best thing, right? Samuel may come to find out, though, that Sylar can be quite a handful.

[For clips and full episodes of Heroes, you can always rush to our friends at SlashControl.]

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Ðan

can't stand the light bright ability and thank god Peter doesn't have it anymore now that he came in contact with Hiro

October 14 2009 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
calc

I'm pretty sure that Peter is able to control when he takes someone's power, and that the transfer from Emma only happened because of an adrenaline rush, but he didn't expect to take the power. He was able to hold on to the carnie guy's speed for a while before accidentally taking Emma's and participating in her boring storyline, so the transfer doesn't just happen when he touches someone.

I don't need them trying to save the world every season, and I like the gradual pace that we're learning about the mysterious carnival folk, and I'm interested in seeing how Sylar interacts with them, but Emma's power doesn't interest me. I'm not against romantic storylines, since Peter and Caitlin were interesting, but when I see Emma on my screen I want to fastforward.

I really don't expect anything to develop between Claire and Gretchen. Claire looked like she was trying to think of a tactful way to say she wasn't interested.

October 14 2009 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
trekker437

Absolutely horrible job by the writers when it comes to continuity this episode. Does nobody catch the fact that in the prior episode, Peter got Samuel's power. And in the beginning of this episode he kissed his mother and they clearly touched hands. So how does he then leave the breakfast with her using his super speed to go to work. Now, I'm not saying it was a bad episode, but come on. You'd think he knows he can only hold 1 power at a time he'd take precautions about who he comes in contact with. And that the writers of all people would not miss such a glaring mistake on their part.

October 13 2009 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Raquel

Hey all, speaking of Heroes... Matt Parkman, Greg Grunberg, will do a web chat tomorrow (10/14) at 5:30pm PST on a site called LiveCloud. Hope people will join, and ask Greg about the mysterious death on the show...

October 13 2009 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MikLamb

It's interesting reading the comments here. I figured that Heroes would need to make some changes in the format if it was going to keep going, as the "save the world" thing only lasts for so long (1 season, maybe 2) before it gets understandably stale. Unless you're the show 24 and you can think up new ways to save the world -- but even that is sort of getting old, too.

I actually like what they've been trying to do this season, but there are going to be growing pains for both the show AND THE VIEWERS. The show in my opinion seems to be doing a lot better than the viewers, at least from some of the comments that the show is too boring, it doesn't have a point (I guess since we don't have anything specific to save now), the characters are too different/not different enough/boring/risque/whatever.

Face it, people. The show's audience was drying up, and this was an effort to change things. Will it work? I hope so. If it doesn't, you have to give them credit for trying.

October 13 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Deej

Emma's mother did say something to the effect of "you shouldn't blame yourself for your brother's death"

October 13 2009 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Todd

There were a few moments in that episode that really irritated me. Why did Peter absorb her power when they touched yet when the Carnie touched him previously, he didn't absorb his powers!? At the time, I thought that meant that Peter could control when he absorbed a power...deus ex machina!

Also, why did Sylar immediately regenerate when the cops shot him yet when that hitman shot him, it took so much longer? I mean the dude had time to bury him and all!

I am still a fan of the show but I can certainly see why some people are done with it. I liked how they showed what invisible girl did and how that played in to a bunch of things previously.

I am now also intrigued by that seeing sound ability. I thought it was pretty lame at first but now seeing that they may be able to actually do something physical with the colors ... hmmmm.

October 13 2009 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beatfavre4ever

It's probably too late for this in Emma's story, but I would love to see a guest spot by Kaki King, playing something along the lines of her song from August Rush with the kid banging on the guitar. It would look really cool.

Also loved Ernie Hudson. Wonder how long he's going to be chasing Sylar before he meets his end.

October 13 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rick cokely

This episode was actually pretty decent. I enjoyed the twist because I really didn't see it coming. I figured they were just being over the top as usual with Gretchen and it would be the usual double-agent mess, past seasons villains have been so predictable. I have my doubts about a lesbian relationship though, seems like a ratings stunt. I hope they deal with it appropriately and not just turn it into a "hey I never thought I was gay but now I am" because the real world doesn't work that way.

Other than that it's good that they are deviating from the same formula of catastrophe strikes, come together, save the world that they have repeated the past 4 "volumes" but hopefully they can pick up the pace and still keep it interesting.

October 13 2009 at 12:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chelsea

I'm actually surprised by just how much I'm enjoying Heroes this season. I was really worried the show was going to spoil everything with a single white female Gretchen. It's so much more interesting and realistic that Gretchen is just a regular girl with a crush. I was one of those who rolled my eyes at the "Claire's lesbian kiss" twist before it was shown but I like Gretchen as a character, and her kissing Claire in that context actually made sense and didn't feel like exploitation as I thought it would. I actually don't have an issue with Hayden's acting either.

I don't mind Emma so far, although I'm glad that the reveal at the end shows her power has more layers to it, and I'm not sure how much chemistry she has with Peter.

The writers haven't known what to do with Sylar since the end of season one, so I'm just praying they've got some direction and aren't going to re-tread the same old storyline. That said, so far I love what they've done with him and Zachary Quinto was brilliant.

I'm on the fence about the carnival too but it has potential so I'm hoping for a slow reveal that pays off.

Overall though I went into this season of Heroes preparing to hate it and stop watching and instead I'm really enjoying it. I hope it continues and the writers don't screw it up.

October 13 2009 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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