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November 27, 2014

Review: Heroes - Once Upon a Time in Texas

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 3rd 2009 3:00AM
Heroes
(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.

[For clips and full episodes of Heroes, you can always travel on over to SlashControl.]

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aki

"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."

Sylar demonstrated this acquired ability once in Season 1. Remember when he was about to (or already have) kill Ted Sprague? He skimmed a book and memorized how to drive a truck. My memory is kind of fuzzy and I don't know if it's important or not or if it's an important plothole.

November 21 2009 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cress d

I really thought this episode was excellent. After last weeks horrendous outing, this episode surprised me. I am really enjoying this season of Heroes. I think its the best since season 1. Everyone complained about Season 2 and Season 3 as having too many characters and too many stories to keep up with. Now Tim Kring and company have scaled back, got the show manageable, and people are still bitching. The part where Hiro is telling Charlie a haiku while Sylar takes care of her blood clot was well done. And the end with Samuel and Hiro was great. Maybe you geniuses should write the show since you know more about the world of Heroes than its series creator.

November 04 2009 at 1:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sir Yuck-Yuck

last season I got the Lost time travel flashback storyline
on Dark Shadows (1991) I got the time travel to the past storyline IN Dark Shadows (1966-71) I got the time travel to the past & future HELL I even got the parallel time storylines BUT Heroes confused the HELL out of me last night :|

November 03 2009 at 9:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Erin

Am I the only one who caught the Quantum Leap shoutout at the beginning of the episode, when Hiro looked straight at the camera and deadpanned, "Oh boy!" Loved it!

I'm also wondering if Hiro inadvertently changed the past by telling Sylar that he was going to die alone. The Sylar of three years ago was evil, but arguably not as evil as the one we know today. Perhaps the knowledge that he'd die alone will stop him from committing murders, or at least as many? That difference would change the whole future. (It may also explain why Sylar didn't turn around and kill Hiro & Charlie as soon as he had his information.)

November 03 2009 at 7:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Leroy

The biggest hole in this episode for me was leaving Ando (-3) waiting for Hiro (-3) to return from the past after having fallen in love with Charlie (-9). When Hiro (-3) returns to his present, Charlie (-3) will have disappeared and Ando (-3) will know nothing about it. I think this would start Hiro (-3) on a hunt for Charlie that would drastically rewrite his timeline from there to the present. I hope that makes sense.

November 03 2009 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Leroy's comment
Sir Yuck-Yuck

:/ after reading that my head hurts : LOL

November 03 2009 at 9:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Derick Brown

For any time travel story there has to be suspension of disbelief. It works because it does. Don't try to think about it too much. It's like asking how magic works....It works by magic:
http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/11/2/

November 08 2009 at 3:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Age-K

Okay, I enjoyed this one, but there were time travel continuity errors that had me all confused. The major one was in season 1, didn't Sylar kill Charlie, which caused Hiro to go back in time and alter the past but she wound up dying because of her aneurysm anyway? Or did she just tell him about the aneurysm and she wound up being killed by Sylar? Actually, that might have been something I was confused by back in season 1 too.

And I think his saving Charlie and taking her out of her time, making everyone in that time think she was actually dead, would likely keep the path continuing in the same way that it originally did because she would be gone and wouldn't be affecting things in those three years.

November 03 2009 at 2:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
conniebury

If Samuel could go back in time to find Hiro, why couldn't he go back and fix his mistake?

November 03 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kaath

When a show starts having flash-forward, flash-backward and even flash-sideways (sp) all in the same episode... It's on its way out. Sad...

November 03 2009 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kaath's comment
literaryluv

I would have to disagree on that - Flash forward/backward/sideways have been extremely successful on LOST and Flashforward.

November 03 2009 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

I've watched this show through good and bad, and I really don't like that people are giving it such a hard time this season. . .I really think they cleaned up their story-telling (with the 3-stories per episode) and are diving deeper into character depths this season. Do I wish it wasn't inching along? Sure. Do I wish we got more instant gratification? Heck Yes. BUT I think they've been building some suspense and mystery that worked so well in season 1 back into this season, and I'm hoping they can pull it off by the end of the season. . .
http://www.orble.com/teevee-heroes-112/

November 03 2009 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gordy

I swear, Heroes is like a bad relationship. You stay because there's nothing else going on, but the entire time you're there you wonder "why am I here?" I think I'm done this time.

F Heroes.
F the dumb disjointed & orphaned story lines.
F stupid bufooney Hiro.
F T Bag and the circus (a cool name for a garage band though).
F the sinking feeling that I get every Monday at 10PM when I realize that I wasted an hour.

Sylar is cool, but, that's not enough since there's no Yin to his Yang.

It won't get better, just leave!

November 03 2009 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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