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Review: Heroes - Strange Attractors

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 27th 2009 3:00AM
Heroes: Strange Attractors
(S04E07)
We'll have to wait until next week to see Hiro try to save Charlie. This week, we stayed with Noah and Jeremy, checked back in on Claire and Gretchen, and saw how Matt was faring with his unwanted head-guest. And things didn't really go well for any of them.

The series is really finding a nice stride, for those of us left to enjoy it. I'm racking my brain trying to think of ways to inject a sense of excitement into the show to lure some of its wayward former viewers back. Who could they cast for an arc on Heroes that people would have to tune in to see. Summer Glau? Jennifer Aniston? Bill Cosby (he has the power of slow dancing)?

They're keeping things pretty simple now, not stretching us beyond three storylines per episode, and the sense of excitement and wonder really is back in a way I've not seen since the first season. I'll not go so far as to say this is the Heroes of old, but it's a helluva lot better than the Heroes of lately.

Noah & Tracy
The lion's share of the episode followed up with Noah after he stayed back with Jeremy. Despite his best efforts at covering up Jeremy's parents' death, the poor kid still wound up arrested. There we found out that he had a darker past in the town, which culminated in a tragic finale.

Before it got to that, Noah called in a favor with Tracy to try again to get Jeremy out of jail. After yet another death, Jeremy became so consumed with guilt that he walked himself back into the jail. In the end, the small town took their pound of flesh, subjecting Jeremy to vigilante justice. I guess he can't heal himself.

Before all of that went down, Samuel arrived in town and whisked Tracy away to the Sullivan Brothers Carnival, which confused me even more as to just what his abilities are. Or who he's got helping him be everywhere. He's getting most of his information from Lydia, and yet he seems to know so much about everything. He knows who's at a crossroads and the right moment to drop in and seed their minds.

He leaves Tracy the compass, which spins madly when she's holding it. That backed up my theory that the compass senses people with abilities, but as with everything related to Samuel, there's more to it than that. Tracy takes Jeremy's death pretty hard, because she relates to his emotional predicament; she too killed someone when her abilities were manifesting.

But what does it mean that after she completely dismisses Noah from her life and thinks about what to do next, the compass nails down a direction. Yes, Samuel indicated that it would point her the way, but how does it know when? Furthermore, how did she get back to Cainan, Georgia from the Samuel Brothers the first time? Is there a transporter within the Carnival?

Claire
Samuel's invisible lapdog Becky continued her efforts to isolate Claire, thus making her vulnerable and sad enough to join his "family." This guy is seriously disturbed that he wants to gather up everyone with abilities and make a "family." His brother's death must have left a massive hole in his heart.

As for Gretchen, I went from mistrusting her to feeling sorry for her. Becky was gunning for her all episode, though why she was going to such elaborate lengths to off her is beyond me. If you're invisible, there are a million ways to take someone out without leaving the hint of a clue.

But Becky was so bad at this that first she tipped off Claire that she was there, or at least that someone was, and then she got desperate and wound up getting revealed. Which means that the dumb girls who were pledging with Claire and Gretchen now know about both Claire's ability, as well as Becky's.

I'm assuming Becky will just disappear, but that's not so easy for Claire. This is the normal life she's been trying to build for herself. Now granted, the other two girls are really, really, really dumb and their stories will be pretty unbelievable. So long as Claire can keep anyone from poking anything into her, she should be able to shake this off.

Matt / Sylar
While Sylar's body is struggling with Nathan's memories, Matt's struggle with Sylar reaches a dramatic turning point. I'm not sure why I didn't foresee the grand switch that takes place by episode's end. Even at the end, it didn't cross my mind that Sylar was now in full control of Parkman's body. I wonder if that means he has his ability, as well; what a mess that would be.

I loved how Janice was looking at Sylar-Matt gloating in those final moments. Even if she didn't fully understand what Matt told her about what he did with Sylar, she knows that there's still something seriously wrong with her husband. Suddenly, this storyline is getting pretty interesting. Now I'm really looking forward to Matt and Sylar's (the body one with Nathan's mind) eventual reunion.

[For clips and full episodes of Heroes, you can always check with SlashControl.]

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Tri

Samuel seems to have a range of abilities, and I am starting to wonder if he is somehow channeling the energy of members of his "family". He made a comment to Tracy somewhat to that effect.

November 02 2009 at 5:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
christina elwiss

Matt goes to extreme lengths to get rid of Sylars mental influence.And Claire and Gretchen go on a sorority scavenger hunt only to discover someone is taking it deadly serious.I watched this show on http://www.watch-heroes-online-free.com.

October 28 2009 at 5:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Will Claire remain a virgin for life? I was thinking about it after Gretchen asked her. It also made me think of True Blood. Also can she she ever get pregnant?

October 27 2009 at 9:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
greatone

I didn't like the episode at all. What is the point in introducing the healer/grand reaper boy only to kill him off after 2 episodes? The Parkman/Sylar storyline was ok at first but now it is getting boring. I wish they will go ahead and advance this storyline. What is the point of the lesbian angle with Claire beside a way to drum up ratings? I could just imagine the writers in a conference room going over story ideas.

Head Writer: "We are losing a lot of the male viewers. How can we bring them back?"
Bryan F.: "If we come up with a great storyline, they will come back"
HW: "Nall, that takes to much work. What do man like?"
W1: "Women and women with little to no clothing. How about we involve Tracy in a storyline where she plays a stripper?"
HW: "That is an ok idea but I think we need to involve Hayden is this angle since she is over 18 now."
BF: "Do you hear what you are saying? Instead of coming up with a good storyline you would rather have one of the characters play a stripper? That is dumb and lazy. What's next? You going to make Claire go off to college and get involve in a lesbian relationship."
HW: "By George, that is a great idea. Once Claire goes off to college, let involve her in a lesbian storyline. The ratings can't go nowhere but up."
BF: 'Shake heads.'

If HIMYM or Big Bang Theory wasn't in repeat this week this episode would still be sitting on my DVR. Every week I keep wondering why I am still watching this show and never can come up with a good reason.

October 27 2009 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mr. Bungle

I thought this was one of the better episodes. I also like that we didn't have to watch magic sound girl for the whole episode playing instruments. Sylar has awesome lines that were funny in this one also, and I think that Lydia may have something to do with the transportation, as Tracy left with her to go back. I'm afraid that when Sylar gets his old body back it will be the end of the Carnival and the begining of "Super Sylar".

October 27 2009 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Confused Sardar

Echoing 2 comments made already
#1. Heroes is much much better this season. Surely there are dull spots, but the focus on not more than 3 stories maybe the reason it is so improved.
#2. Sylar's lines are getting really good.

October 27 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Actually, I won't leave it at that...

Wonder what the gay community thinks of this... Haven't they been the ones for about two or three decades demanding that sexual orientation isn't a preference or a choice, but rather the nature of someone....

And yet, it seems, the general populace is perfectly comfortable with Claire possibly CHOOSING to be gay... riiiight.

Either you're gay or you're straight, or you're a slut who just wants to get poked by anything that walks...

But it's not like it's just about Claire being confused... look what they've done to Gretchen... She's not a lesbian either. She's had more boyfriends than girlfriends... and what'd she follow that up with? Oh yeah... she likes to be poked by anything that walks.

Great strides for the gay community here... then again, I don't care, I'm not gay... but I've been forced to hear for 25 years that it's not a choice....... maybe someone should tell Tim Kring.

October 27 2009 at 12:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Mike's comment
Mrcaliche

Mike, being gay is not a choice, but it's not something you necessarily KNOW all your life, especially since you're told you "shouldn't" be gay since you're a kid, so it's rather common for lesbians to have had boyfriends at some point in their lives or for gay guys to have had girlfriends. While I personally am tired of the whole "female character who conveniently finds herself to be a lesbian sometime in the series" idea, in the case of Claire and Gretchen I think it's being tastefully handled.

October 27 2009 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kris

There's this thing -- you know -- called a "bisexual".

October 27 2009 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Janice is so stupid... I'll leave it at that...

October 27 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

It is a real shame what they've done to HRG's character. He's been neutered beyond comprehension. He used to be such a badass character who actually had complicated motivations for his actions and despite being completely powerless, he was one of the stronger characters. Now, he's just kind lame. Also, I thought it might be kinda neat to see a Tracy+HRG pairing, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen any time soon.

I think the whole is-she/isn't-she storyline that they're cooking up with Claire is nothing but a ratings ploy. Two supposedly attractive college aged girls in a pseudo-lesbian relationship. Gee, I wonder what kind of viewer they're trying to attract.

I really like the Carnival characters but I'm starting to lose patience. What's their end-game? Just to collect people with powers for the family? I think you hinted at this in your review, but at this point, Samuel is starting to seem like deus ex machina and I think it hurts his characterization.

In my opinion, Parkman has been a bad character most of the series. This storyline has been no different.

October 27 2009 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fsu120

Sylar : "You're the second Parkman I've made scream today"

I had to pause the show after Sylar said this because I was laughing too hard.

October 27 2009 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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