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Review: Heroes - Pass/Fail

by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 19th 2010 4:15AM
Heroes: Pass/Fail(S04E16) "Objection, your honor. He's reciting the opening to Quantum Leap." -- Adam Monro, prosecuting attorney in Hiro's mind-trial

This week, it was time to deal once and for all with that pesky tumor in Hiro's brain. This isn't Eli Stone, after all. Not to mention how downright loopy he's been lately. So apparently the resolution is for his body to collapse while he faces a strange trial in the diner where he met, failed-to-save, and then did save Charlie. David Anders reprised his role as Adam Monroe to prosecute our time traveling hero, while George Takei presided over the thing as his father and the judge.

The rest of the episode was split between Sylar's quest to figure out why Lydia's ability was directing him to Claire, and Samuel's attempts to woo Vanessa after he'd kidnapped her. I can say, that I thought he was off to a rough start on that one.

I haven't tried it (yet), but I don't imagine kidnapping a woman is the best way to convince her to be your gal; even if you do have history. We didn't really learn anything we didn't already know, except that the Samuel we've been seeing thus far was actually the kind and gentle Samuel.

He did everything he could to convince Vanessa that they could pick up right where they left off. They apparently had fantasy dreams about the perfect house and the perfect life together, like young and naive people often do. Unfortunately, while Samuel remains very much the emotional child, Vanessa has grown up and moved on with her life. She can't accept his offer, even if the Central Park growing guy did create a beautiful oasis, with Samuel and Vanessa's dream house right in the middle of it.

Of course he can't kill Vanessa, so how do you heal a broken heart if your heart is that of a psychopathic stalker with petty jealousy and rage issues -- not to mention the ability to move the earth? You let your love go ... and then completely wipe a small town right off the map. No more Mr. Nice Guy; he's not even trying to hide what a monster he's become anymore.

Across the country, Sylar can't seem to reclaim the monster he was. I'll give him credit for his Gretchen switcheroo, because I didn't see that one coming. When the direct approach failed, he used the subtle approach to find out what pearls of wisdom our former cheerleader could offer him, while helping her to understand her own problems with intimacy, as well. What did they learn? They're both hiding behind their abilities to keep people in their lives at bay.

Sylar, with so many abilities, has basically lost his humanity because of them, so the only way to get them back is to lose the abilities. It's too bad Papa Petrelli is dead. He had a knack for that. Not to mention, didn't Sylar lose his abilities once before, albeit temporarily? Did he become more human and complete then?

As for Claire, she realized that she needed to open up with Gretchen, which apparently means embracing her own willingness to explore a same-sex relationship. I'm still not sure if it's college experimentation, genuine bisexuality or lesbianism, or just a need to reach out to someone in need and finding someone to reciprocate. I'd imagine Claire isn't all that sure either. Still, might she actually find happiness? And have Sylar to thank for it?

As for Hiro, his "trial" was basically him trying to process the decisions he's made in relation to his code of heroism and honor, and his saving of Charlie only to lose her again to Samuel (this time, in time!). None of it really mattered, but it was fun seeing both Takei and Anders back on the show. The swordfight between Hiro and Adam made symbolic sense, as it was Hiro fighting to save himself, but the whole thing was a bit too cheesy for me to take.

I'm definitely looking forward to next week, though, as things start to build to the season finale. I'd actually grown fractionally more confident of a fifth season for Heroes when The Jay Leno Show got canceled. After all, that's five hours of scheduling added back to the schedule. But the ratings performances -- below 5 million a week now! -- just keep looking worse and worse. I don't think the best ever episodes of Heroes ever at this point would be enough to lure viewers back. Do you want Heroes to come back next fall, or shoot for a satisfying series finale this season?

[To look back at previous clips and full episodes of Heroes, check in with our friends at SlashControl.]

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BrC

I'd have to say that in spite of the general consensus, I'd have to disagree here. Yes, it got off to a slow start, but it always does. The only way in which season 1 was different was because it was completely new, as opposed to just a continuatation. You know the pattern by now, it starts off with them all going about their daily lives, and (very) slowly connects the dots, bringing them together in the realisation that unless they do something, bad things will happen.

To have Sylar reject his powers isn't too difficult to believe. If you remember the episodes where Peter goes to the future in Villains (shortly after Nathan is shot), he finds that underneath his powers Sylar isn't a complete psychopath. He's actually living a life that ignores his hunger and desire to kill 'specials'.

I will give you that anything involving Clare Bennett annoys me with the whining and constant on/off "I hate you dad" thing that's going on, but other than that, I see little fault in the direction the writers are heading.

Why can't love be a good motivator? It's not just a High School crush Samuel had, it said that they'd met up a few times since and dreamed of that future. Can you blame him? He did so much in order to create what he thought was the perfect world for the woman he loved, and got rejected. I mean, I'd be pretty peeved.

Perhaps this season isn't as exciting as the others. It doesn't have the sense of wonder imbued in the first, or the excitement of the second with Hiro and Adam in the past. But I think they're starting to round it off nicely. What do you expect from a show that has seemingly limitless potential? There has to be some boundaries. Hiro had to have that brain tumour to stop him being involved too much with the events that are happening now (he could easily ruin Samuel's plans).

Heroes is fine. The fact of the matter is that there are still people in the millions watching it. I think it'd be nice for them to round it off with a 5th series at best, not just leave it here. We need to see some sort of epic fight between Peter and Sylar before it's over. Jeez...

February 02 2010 at 3:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scotty

Basically sylar would NEVER want to give up his powers. He's always been obsessed with aquiring more..... and honestly knowing Peter, he should be doing everything he can to get sylar once and for all. The writers are just taking the mick. they have no idea anymore. I wish it Season 1 was the only series id certinly love heroes more!

January 25 2010 at 5:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

That's it - this week's Heroes should spell the end of the show. It's been in a tailspin ever since Season 3, but now both engines are on fire, and the pilots and flight attendants have bailed out - leaving just us passengers to go down in flames with the show.

Why Sylar is somehow "haunted" at the thought of dying alone is beyond me - he's a psychopath! People like him CAN'T have normal relationships with anyone. We've seen him try - I mean he killed his own freakin' Mother, when they couldn't get along - why would we believe he could do better in a relationship with anyone else? Turning his character into a softer, gentler psychopath goes against everything his character has been about since the inception of the show. I understand the writers may need a reason for having Sylar give up his powers, but they couldn't have done it in a much more "un-Sylar" way.

Claire @ college is the worst Claire yet. Hayden P. is a little hottie, so I personally don't mind seeing her onscreen - but her character is so damn whiny, annoying and mind-numbingly naive. "I just wanna be normal & fit in!" has been her mantra - yet she now decides to (all of a sudden) explore lesbianism? Really? I was hoping that at some point we'd see the "bad-a$$" Claire-in-black that was glimpsed in the future back in Season 2 - obvious that's not gonna happen.

Hiro & Ando are still the Japanese version of Laurel & Hardy. They're nothing but bumbling idiots with good intentions. Ando went from responsible businessman to comic book kid sidekick again. And, I couldn't believe how contrived and uninteresting the whole after-life trial sequence was. Glad to see his Takei and Adam make an appearance, but having Hiro's mother heal his tumor was ridiculous. It just went to show how superficial the entire "Hiro's dying" storyline was.

And the totally forced storyline with Samuel and Vanessa was horribly embarrassing. Going from kidnapping to cuddling in the span of 24 hours? They even had them share a milkshake (with 2 straws!) in a soda shop! Seriously?... I was waiting for them to order a plate of spaghetti so Samuel could roll a meatball over to Vanessa with his nose. I can't believe the writers dragged this Samuel / Carnival storyline out this long, only to have his ultiamte motivations be a high-school crush.

The only character I have any interest in this season is HRG (Bennet). The whole "gotta protect my family / daughter" bit gets a little old, but at least they've given him some decent material to work with. The rekindling of the old flame this season was done well, and I enjoy seeing Bennet at home and not constantly in Primatech thug mode like he has been the previous seasons.

This will probably be the last season - and it's sad and frustrating to see a series that started out so well-written and interesting crash and burn like this. I'll miss the show when it's ultimately over - but certainly not anything from this season.

January 21 2010 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

This is the last season of Heroes I'll be watching. The only reason I continue to watch it now is because I've put so much time into it and want to see where the Samuel/Carnival story-line ends up. This show's concept has so much potential and the writer's just drag it through the mud.

http://www.orble.com/teevee-heroes-118/

January 19 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris

Last night's episode was the worst episode in the history of Heroes and there have been many terrible episodes. I'm convinced these writers are mentally retarded. They abandon all sense of plot structure and ignore characterization. To have Sylar turn into a little girl who goes searching after Claire to learn more about himself was the most ridiculous thing ever. The whole episode was pointless. Hiro's stupid little dream sequence. I mean what was the point of making Hiro get a tumor in the first place? Did these writers want to try and manufacture some drama? There was no drama because as always, these dumb characters get brought back to life. I thought his tumor was inoperable? Oh wait, Hiro was healed by his dead mother during his after-life fantasy sequence. How silly of me to question it. This show could have been epic and amazing, but it's being managed by morons. Why do they focus on Claire so much!!! She's so unwatchable that I have to either turn away from the TV or fast-forward through her scenes. I think they focus on Claire because they don't have the budget or the ability to focus on cool stuff like people displaying their powers and battling. It's outrageous. And I read an interview with Tim Kring in which he said that Peter and Sylar will join forces in the last couple episodes to stop the stupid deaf chick from killing people. Once again, the writers will do anything they can to make sure Peter and Sylar will not battle. If I'm Peter and my brother is slaughtered by Sylar, then why on earth would I join forces with his killer? These writers abandon all sense of character consistency. They have no sense of plot structure. I've officially had it.

January 19 2010 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

Was I the only one who was waiting for Hiro to get Adam's quickening?

The show is much better, I can't deny that... if season 2 and 3 deserved renewal, it would be a shame to stop them now...

January 19 2010 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hessian

I didn't care one iota about the Samuel/Vanessa storyline. Apart from ticking Samuel off, it felt like so much filler.

Same for the Claire monologue with Gretchen/Sylar.

This show is constantly spinning around in circles with entire hours dedicated to going nowhere; three episode arcs that end right where they start.

I feel like I'm in an abusive relationship. Can't stop watching, but stopped enjoying it long ago.

January 19 2010 at 12:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kayvan

Since Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) officially vanished from the show on November 30, 2009, I have not cared about HEROES as much. I fell in love with the show, as well as the Petrelli Brothers, during the very first episode. However, over time as the characters were written with less consistency with no regard for past actions, I found that I was mainly watching for Nathan and the Petrelli brothers. Today the show overly focuses on a villain instead of the heroes and should be retitled SYLAR instead of HEROES. It is not the same show I fell in love with at the beginning. (And declining ratings seem to indicate that I am not alone in these thoughts.) Now I force myself to watch as a "closure" thing to see what happens that may still connect to Nathan. I am happy that Nathan died a Hero, but his removal from the show in such a manner has disappointed me, as well as the decreasing focus on "heroes." When this season finally ends, I am sad to say that watching HEROES will probably end for me as well.

January 19 2010 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
framerate

I thought the line "Objection Your Honor... He's reciting the opening to Quantum Leap" singlehandedly made this epsiode worth watching :)

January 19 2010 at 11:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to framerate's comment
LRM

Yeah, it was a good line. The only problem was I had already heard it about 5 times before including once here on TVSquad if I'm not mistaken. I'm also pretty sure the person who said it here meant it as a derisive comment about the writer's lack of creativity.

January 19 2010 at 1:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cory

Heroes and I called it quit last night.

January 19 2010 at 4:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Cory's comment
Ed_C.

Me too! I fell asleep on my couch right when that "trial" thing was starting. I woke up during Leno and I realized i didn't care what I missed.

January 19 2010 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

I would stop watching too but there's just not anything else I'd watch on Mondays except for House. That said, last night's episode was truly horrible. I'm sorry but the whole Claire-pseduo lesbian angle is horrible. They're making the youngest, arguably prettiest female star into a maybe-lesbian? It just seems so predictably forced for nothing other than ratings. If she actually goes gay, I think that'll be the point when I stop watching because I can just watch House to see a cute actress be a lesbian.

The trial was also horrible. Hiro hasn't changed since day 1. The trial just showed us that. Despite everything he's been through, he's still the same kid from season 1. He's like Samuel - emotionally stuck at 9 years old. I used to like Ando and at the beginning of the season it looked like he was finally going to grow a pair and be a man, but then he started enabling Hiro all over again. It's no wonder Hiro doesn't grow up when he's surrounded by his 2nd mother, Ando. We get it. His mother died when he was a kid and his dad was emotionally unavailable. Get over it.

Samuel is a good character, but they keep showing him doing the exact same thing over and over and over again. He's sensitive and understanding and charming and convinces someone that he's a good guy or that his carnival is a good thing and they fall for it. His story line was basically the exact same thing he's done to Claire, the deaf girl, Peter, etc etc. It's just gotten old at this point, even though it finally gave us a motivation for all the stuff he's doing. The problem is there was no subtlety to it at all. I think we could all guess from the last few episodes that he was building a perfect Eden for Vanessa and that she was going to reject him and he was going to go nuts. Great. Good plot and decent setup, but then they spent a good third of this episode explaining everything all over again.

January 19 2010 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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