Heroes: Hysterical Blindness
by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 13th 2009 4:15AM
(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?
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.
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.
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.
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