Review: Heroes - Once Upon a Time in Texas
by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 3rd 2009 3:00AM
(S04E08) As promised, this week's episode of Heroes took us back to the heydays of the first season. Back when this was a world of wonder filled with new and exciting characters and mystery. Their futures lie before them, and it all centered on Charlie, the poor waitress that Hiro failed time and again to save back then.
Now that he's working on his bucket list before he kicks it, the time has come to head back three years and try to undo her death by Sylar's hand. Which means we got to see HRG, Claire, Hiro, Ando, Sylar and even Isaac as they were three years ago.
The question was whether or not he could change the past and save Charlie, when he failed to before. Furthermore, could he do so without changing all the subsequent events that had happened. He'd already had a taste of success with Ando and his sister, but this sojourn had much higher stakes.
The episode did a great job of reminding me just how much I was enjoying discovering this rich tapestry of characters and situations back during that first season. I know they're trying to recapture some of that magic, but so much of the drama was driven by the portents of Isaac's paintings and the mysteries surrounding who everyone was and how they might all come together to stop Sylar.
Now, everybody knows everybody, and the only one seeing anything about the future is Lydia, and Samuel, I guess. I still haven't figured out quite how that whole ink on her back thing is working; a combination of their abilities I'm thinking.
I didn't realize it until about a third of the way through, but there was no abandoning Hiro's journey into the past. That's not to say we didn't jump to see what Noah was doing, painting him in a much more sympathetic light than he was three years ago. Though, other than character enhancement, I'm not really sure why we spent so much time on Noah. Is the partner romance that wasn't going to somehow come back into play?
The main focus was on Charlie, and as with any time travel situation there was a lot to keep track of, including what happened in an episode three years ago. Ultimately, though, Hiro saved Charlie while keeping Sylar on his path of destruction with the Cheerleader.
I do wonder, though. If Sylar killed Charlie the first time around, then he gained her ability to remember anything she sees, which I believe he did. Now that she survived, he won't have that. It's probably a minor ripple easily ignored, but I'm curious if anyone remembers a time where that ability was key to his plot advancement? Maybe I'll have to start doing some digging.
Not to mention, why the hell didn't Sylar try and kill Hiro, or Charlie again, after he was basically duped into saving her life. Hiro had nothing of value to offer him. He basically just called him a big fat loser and then set him loose right outside the diner. Sylar already knew Hiro was weakening and only didn't kill him in the first place because of the deal they struck. He should have just knocked the diner down with everyone in it, and then went off to face his destiny.
As much fun as it was seeing Hiro save Charlie, it was short-lived. I found myself actually caring about her fate and getting pissed off at how cavalier Samuel was about imprisoning her somewhere in time. The guy just became a supervillain with that little stunt, which makes sense because Hiro is the only one who sees himself as a true hero.
And while I hate to admit it, because I'm so done with Suresh, I am curious as to what happened. Did Samuel kill him? If so, why? And why does he now regret it? It's nice to see Samuel continuing to get layers beyond the petulant man-child who wants a family so badly he'll do anything to get it and destroy anything that gets in his way, or in the case of his childhood home, turns him away.
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