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Review: 'Heroes' - 'The Wall'

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 2nd 2010 1:30AM
Heroes: The Wall
(S04E17)
While not quite as surreal as Pink Floyd's version, 'The Wall' still offered a pretty trippy experience for Sylar and Peter. Several years and a few hours later, it didn't seem like they were going to make any progress on Peter's hare-brained scheme to bust Sylar out of his mental prison.

The rest of the episode showed us Samuel's attempts to create a permanent rift between Claire and Noah by revealing to Claire, and us, the "Secret Origin" of H.R.G. By that I don't mean the origins of the odd fashion choice Mr. Bennett has made in eyewear, but the secret past he hasn't shared with Claire, Sandra or anyone in his life.

Why do this? Because apparently, and I still don't know why, Claire is important to Samuel's plans. In that she is a "special," I agree. In any other regard, she's not that remarkable. And where he left things, it seems he just might have figured that out.

We've learned in recent episodes that Samuel is much like a petulant child. He gets upset when he doesn't get his way and has been known to slaughter entire towns in a fit of rage. It's not a surprise that he buried Noah and Claire at the end of this penultimate episode, but I wonder if he's truly done with her. After all, he can always raise her up later and watch her come back to life.

I just feel sorry for the kids in Central Park who want to get a souvenir before they get slaughtered so Samuel can prove a point.

The slow evolution of the kinder, gentler Sylar got a major head start as he spent three years alone in his head after what Matt did to him. Three years to him which equated to three hours in our world. By that math, he and Peter spent an additional nine years together trapped in that world. A lot can change in that time. According to our penal system, full rehabilitation is possible in that span of time, though I think Sylar would get multiple life sentences or the death penalty for his list of crimes.

Zachary Quinto has done such an amazing job of crafting the villainous Sylar that it's hard to imagine that facet of his personality being gone completely. Plus, I'm still not convinced that there aren't trace elements of Nathan in there somewhere influencing him. We got confirmation of Nathan's memories; memories which Sylar has difficulty differentiating from his own; still being inside Sylar, so it's not too far-fetched.

I give Lauren credit for having the guts to just waltz into a carnival full of super-powered people. I have no idea how she was skilled enough to escape Multiple Man, but that's no mean feat. It was a little disappointing that Emma so quickly turned her in to Samuel, but she's clearly misguided.

Perhaps it was just to move the plot forward, but I have to address the fact that after Peter bonded with Sylar in the last episode, Matt went ahead and finished up the wall and then just left Peter there propped up against it for half a day? If Matt was truly convinced that Peter was now gone, forever trapped in the prison he'd created for Sylar, he could have at least put him on a couch, or gotten him some pillows.

Then, at the end, where the hell was Matt that Multiple Man could just waltz into his house like it was no big deal? I guess he could be at work or something, but it seemed a glaring absence. I'm sure it was so they didn't have to pay Greg Grunberg for the episode appearance, but I have questions, dammit!

Questions aside, it looks like next week's finale will be interesting indeed. There's a lot to wrap up in an hour, especially if they want to address all of the principal cast members. We haven't seen Mohinder or Tracy much at all this season. It's still unclear if this will be the final season of 'Heroes' or not, but just in case, I hope we get something satisfying for those of us who've remained loyal through the good, the bad and the surprisingly good again.

[Make your own judgments with clips and full episodes of 'Heroes' at SlashControl.]

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Brandon

I agree with Bob and Kristi. This season, while certainly not perfect, has been the best since season one. And I actually didn't have much of a problem with season two...I just thought too many new characters were introduced that season and the writing got a bit sluggish.

My main problem was with season three. There was way too much going on and lots of gaping plot holes. But season four has been a pleasant surprise and I'm sad to see so many former fans abandoning the show, because it has gotten better.

As for "The Wall," I found it to be a pretty good episode, and a decent lead-in for what could wind up being a series finale (rather than a season finale; I'm hoping NBC doesn't pull the plug on this show just yet). "Heroes" has always been brimming with potential, potential that sadly, at times, wasn't utilized properly. Despite this, there have always been hints of brilliance, and I hope this continues into the season finale.

I'm looking forward to next week's episode.

February 03 2010 at 1:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

Hey Bob. I'm totally with you. I've been a fan of the show and a loyal viewer since the beginning, but that doesn't mean I don't find the show completely annoying (most) of the time. (I do think this season has been better than the last season)
AND for Jason up there, here are my reasons why it's gone downhill since the first season.
1. The first season was the time to introduce the characters and develop a storyline. They stuck to a consistent good vs. evil storyline and the characters battled with their newly found powers. While in the subsequent seasons each character has gotten more vapid and has wallowed in the burden of their power(s), none of them progressing in any substantial way in terms of character.
2. In the first season, the characters were all intertwined in an overall story arc (Save the Cheerleader, Save the World). But since then, they are all off on their own journeys that may or may not have any real impact on the overall story arc (this season the Carnival). I understand that they want to keep these characters on, but if the writers can't come up with a way to incorporate them into the story, they should be able to let them go and not bog down the potential with clips of these characters just for the sake of having them in an episode.
3. This kind of goes back to number 1, but I think it needs more explanation. The characters, in my opinion, are annoying. In a show called 'Heroes' I would expect to root for someone, really hope that they overcome the odds and win. This isn't the case for me. Since the first season (I was all for Peter beating Sylar), I know that most of the main characters will make the worst choice in any given situation and are so entrenched in their worst personality traits (ex. Peter's stubborness) to really change.

Okay, this is getting kind of long, so I'll stop...
http://www.orble.com/teevee-heroes-21/

February 02 2010 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob

Re: Samuels need for Claire: 1.Additional power 2. Since Claire is basically living forever, he wants her as a storyteller, to sing Samuel's praises to oncoming generations.

Personally, I think Claire nailed it when she first walked into the hall of mirrors, "if my dad was the shooter, you'd be dead." She's too used to HRG hiding things at this point to be surprised with anything "Dreadlock Dude" can show her.

Re: Peter and Sylar
I thought this was a great "comicy" storytelling device to allow the characters to progress farther than they had previously, without the usual, boring "jump into the future/past/alternate timeline" nonsense they'd used the last several seasons.
These two guys have been the most integral, and most poorly defined characters in the show, with every season being changed. This is what turns people off.

Overall, I feel this has been a better season than most people are giving it credit for. After season 1, the subsequent seasons have been extremely disjointed and to me, it seemed there were too many parallel plotlines to try to follow, along with the constant character personality revisions. It started to read like the late 80's/early 90's Merry Marvel Mutant comics. X-Heroes...

February 02 2010 at 9:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guess Who

It's hard for me to believe "Heroes" is still on NBC yet Conan got the bum's rush. Heroes hasn't been any good since the first season imho.

February 02 2010 at 4:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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