Review: Heroes - The Fifth Stage
by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 1st 2009 10:55AM
(S04E12) One of the comic books that I never expected to enjoy is Marvel's X-Factor. It used to be your typical spandex and fists adventure, but then it changed into a noir detective series, with mutants feature much more subdued powers. One of the best of these is Madrox, also known as Multiple Man. Upon impact of any kind, he splits into two beings, and then his doppelgangers retain this ability.
Why am I talking about a comic book character in a review about Heroes? Well, aside from the obvious connection, we got introduced to a new character this week. With Ray Park's Edgar gone from the Sullivan Bros. circus, Samuel turns to another denizen of the big top to step in and be his right-hand man, or right hands.
We didn't get to see him much, but I've always thought that would be a pretty damned cool power to have; certainly it could come in handy for a lot of things. I would have loved to have it in college. There's just so many cool ways to use it. Too bad Heroes didn't really use any of them.
Unfortunately, this "multiple" man settled for surrounding people and that's about it. There were so many better ways to infiltrate Noah's apartment, but at least Noah and Lauren made it easy for him (them?) to steal away with the files by both running to the bathroom to arm up. I guess they thought the boy(s) were there to kill them.
After 21 hours driving, Claire and Gretchen made it to the circus themselves, where they were met with open arms by Samuel, and more cautiously supportive ones from Lydia. Lydia's an interesting character, not least of all because of the situation going on in "Slow Burn." Now, she knows about what Samuel did to her brother, but she is holding his secret for her daughter's sake. But, she may also be plotting something with Edgar on the outside.
Claire remains one of the most naive people on television, completely falling for the fairy tale Samuel was presenting about family and finding a place she belonged. Gretchen saw right through that, and remained skeptical until the end. Considering they knew that Gretchen may still be in danger from invisible girl, I was a little surprised when Claire decided to stay at the last minute. As it turns out, that may be the last minute for Gretchen as well; as it looks like she picked up an invisible hitchhiker.
First of all, it's kind of a dick move for Claire to announce at the last minute that she's going to stay, subjecting Gretchen to a 21-hour drive by herself. Second of all, how the hell does Claire plan to get back to college, if Gretchen takes the car? Third of all ... how deliciously evil is Samuel? The pan back to reveal the disgruntled customer he "didn't fight back" earlier in the back of a nearby pick-up truck was priceless. And stupid. Man, there are a lot of dumb characters on this show.
Samuel is trying to convince Claire that she can feel like a family at the circus, and he even went so far as to turn the other cheek in front of her so she could see what a great guy he is. So leave the body uncovered in the back of a truck parked near Claire's car? He's lucky she's so short, or she could have easily seen it. Plus, he has the ability to move earth with a thought, you'd think he'd never leave bodies lying around.
But let us move on to the next stupid person. I'll give Peter a pass, even though he has a history of stupidity, because he's in a strange state of grief over Nathan, I figure he knows in his heart of hearts that Nathan is gone, but he holds out hope. Taking the Haitians ability to suppress abilities to confront Sylar was a smart move, but turning it off to allow Nathan to come forth was a huge risk. Possibly stupid even.
As for Nathan, Adrian Pasdar did the best he could to have a "moment" with Peter under the bizarre circumstances of his impending death, but it did seem kind of arbitrary the way he went. Still, why the hell did he try and throw himself off of the building? Was it to protect Peter when Sylar finally did come back, by separating them, or did he think he could kill Sylar this way?
The whole thing came across as kind of stupid to me, and pointless as well. If it is Nathan, he can fly so throwing himself off of a building accomplishes nothing. If it is Sylar, throwing himself off of a building accomplishes nothing because Sylar can heal. The drama was a bit contrived.
I was more intrigued by the scene of Hiro, Ando and Suresh running through the jungle in the montage of what's to come when Heroes comes back in January. All in all, this was a good chapter to go into a hiatus with, it just had a lot of dumb people making dumb decisions in it.
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