Shades of Gray

Episode Reviews (35)

Great
652 votes
8.5
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  • 6.0

    Gaps in logic

    By entil2001, Apr 15, 2011

    When Bryan Fuller returned to the "Heroes" fold, he was bluntly honest about the state of the fourth volume. He said that the first few episodes would be a strong start, but that things would fall apart and get pretty bad by episodes 18-19 of the season. That kind of honesty could be interpreted as simple arrogance and narcissism, but I can't help but see his point.



    Oddly enough, I'm usually one to root for the underdog. If I start watching a random football or baseball game with little or no personal investment in a given team, I'm the one who starts cheering for the losing team. Someone says a film or book sucks? I look for the silver lining. Which is the roundabout way of saying that I still have hope that "Heroes" can pull out of the tailspin they've found themselves in for the past couple seasons, and I see the potential within the story that has yet to be managed particularly well.



    The episode doesn't get off to a good start. Previously, Danko had set Matt up as a "terrorist", complete with a bomb strapped on his chest, to give the public and his superiors evidence of a threat worthy of serious human rights violations. For this to work, Danko's involvement shouldn't be obvious or easy to determine. Unfortunately, somehow, everyone is quickly convinced that Danko set Matt up, and Danko doesn't even try to deny it. This renders the entire situation moot, revealing it to be little more than an attempt at shock tactics.



    But it does serve to bring the conflict between Danko and Nathan to a head, effectively paying off their little power struggle. There was never any doubt that Danko would take full control over the operation, and that his more extreme policies would take effect almost immediately. Nathan was a fool to ever expect that he could keep Danko under control, and sure enough, now Nathan is in the crosshairs. (The outright thick-headed stupidity of the Petrelli family is staggering to behold.)



    Much like Matt's subplot early in this episode, Claire's subplot seems a bit pointless. If the writers were going to have her stay in Costa Verde for a while, working for Rebel and the burgeoning metahuman underground, it would make sense for her to take a new job and establish herself. But as it stands, the situation is mostly notable for tossing her into a comic shop job where she can be the object of attraction. Oh, and so she can prove to be as clueless as her father and uncle when it comes to taking people at their word.



    The highlight of the episode is, as usual, the Sylar subplot. Even that, of course, has its flaws, but the darker side that Sylar represents is a lot more interesting. I loved John Glover during his tenure on "Smallville", and he brings some familiar amoral depth to the role of Samson Gray. If Samson hadn't been weakened by time and disease, I doubt Sylar would have been able to beat him so easily. But it does seem to have given Sylar the closure he needed to move on, and it should be interesting to see what he does with Danko. I suspect he will convince Danko, one way or another, to make him an operative, serving both their interests (since Danko's team was unable to stop Sylar in the past).



    It's far better to contemplate Sylar's ongoing shifts in character motivation than, say, the logic behind tossing Hiro and Ando into a baby plot. That turn of events was beyond random, and perhaps typifies the underlying problems with the episode (and the volume thus far). While the central conflict could certainly be compelling, the writers appear to be struggling with the task of giving so many characters something to do. Even so, I'm holding out to see if the revised writing staff can turn things around.moreless

    5 10

  • 6.0

    Sylar at last meets his father while Claire must help a former enemy.

    By wodonnell102992, Apr 15, 2011

    I think at this point in the series I'm simply suffering from fatigue. From what I've read it was very good, but I've lost a lot of my previous interest. The terrorist set-up involving Matt was handled horribly, it really could have lasted the episode and ended meaningfully. Claire's story line had some potential, the puppet master is genuinely creepy. However, I think some of my fatigue crept in here because I was just not blown away. In addition, I hate to say this but Sylar has been used up. What was once the biggest baddie on TV has turned into an overused character, much like HRG. In short, average.moreless

    4 6

  • 8.0

    huh.

    By Anyanka22, Jul 16, 2010

    At first sight I knew this would be another Daphne-less episode, which is really pissing me off. I think with all the commotion about the bomb scene, they could have made it a little longer than 2 or 3 minutes. Plus; The Baby? Really? and they're bringing back Janice!? Oh god no, Are she and Matt gonna have some sort of big heart-felt talk?! I really hate those. ...On a possibly lighter note, Rebel? Did Tracey know their identity all along, or did she really just figure all that out from a message?. I really hope Molly's involved; I drastically miss her. Hopefully Molly and probably Micah, Cause that'd be so awesome. Well, We'll just have to wait and see!moreless

    5 4

  • 8.0

    One of the better episodes of "Fugitives," but still far from perfect.

    By IProcrastinator, Jul 16, 2010

    This was one of the better episodes of this story arc, but I still can't bring myself to give the episode more than an 8. Watching Sylar's struggle with his father was interesting, but I was expecting their conversations to be a bit more revealing. The reasoning for abandoning his son and killing his wife? He just felt like it. Really? That's the best the writers could do? Still, this episode did manage to keep things rolling pretty smoothly without too many plot holes like previous episodes. Sylar's self discovery isn't enough to keep this show afloat however. I've heard that season 4 is going to be a completely new slate, so hopefully they can wrap up these characters before then.moreless

    8 3

  • 9.0

    Oh finally.

    By koogepanini, Jul 16, 2010

    Although this episode isn't right back into the usual Heroes greatness, I at least didn't feel disappointed as it unfolded, hence my higher score rating. It's an overall small push in the right direction. It seems like they've found a purpose for Claire in the show once again. Sylar is finally back to being the bad guy. (Thank goodness. No more daddy issues.) It's a good thing they decided to simplify things and making Nathan's position clear out in the open again. I liked how he saved Claire at the very end. It seems that the show is bringing back some previous characters - not sure yet if that's a good thing (Janice, Eric...esp the baby...) I guess we'll see. Solid episode but not great yet.moreless

    9 5

  • 9.5

    Exciting....

    By saleblanc, Jul 16, 2010

    I do believe Heroes is back to being the Heroes of old and getting better with every episode. It's back to being a jigsaw puzzle and our job to see how the pieces fit together. I loved the irony in Claire saving Doyle. I don't think I've ever realized just how conniving and resourceful Angela Pertrelli can be. I loved watching the interaction between Sylar and his father as well as determining who flinches first as well as seeing that daddy has some tricks of his own but as I expected Sylar wins. HRG is really playing a great chess match with Danko and it seems he's using Nathan as a pawn. I'm curious about why Tracy kept Nathan's secret. Loved the idea of Claire being eye candy in the comic book shop. Danko maybe fired but I don't think he's not going anywhere far he still has some tricks up his sleeve.moreless

    10 6

  • 9.0

    I was expecting more

    By feraflower, Jul 16, 2010

    Fans weeping that Bryan Fuller's Pushing Daisies is cancelled may find some consoladation that he has returned to Heroes. Many Heroes fans have viewed his return as the second coming, finally, Heroes can have the lock to make it a stellar show. One, I thought Heroes has been doing pretty well in Fugitives so far. Two, I'm not aware of the full extent of his impact, since Tim Kring is Heroes' boss. Whatever they were looking, whatever I was looking for in this episode, I didn't find it. The Volume has once again shifted to equal great-okay ratio. This episode was just all right. And that's all it is. Just all right, Fuller or none. Some good developments but plenty of wasted opportunities. Matt's dilemma is solved in less than five minutes. With some help from Nathan, Matt is saved and no one is hurt. However, Matt is back to being captured. Nathan!!! You dump a hero on Washington streets and defuse him in five minutes!!! Punk-out. Claire is shocked to find Doyle in her kitchen and so am I. How did he manage to escape Primatech in tact when Meredith doesn't look to be alive?!? Whatever, if Sylar can walk from the dead unexplained, I guess another villain can too. Doyle needs Claire's help in getting him away from the government and Rebel told her she would be the perfect one. Uh, why? His stay pisses off Claire and Sandra, reasonably, but Doyle limits his 'string'-powers. He's changed or so he says, he even manages to shed a tear, and says Claire should want to help him herself and he shouldn't have to force. What can she do? Sylar finally locates his father (a completely unrecognizable John Glover), only to discover his father is dying. At Building 26, Nathan chews out Danko over Matt but Danko's through with Matt. He's after Nathan now. He suspects Nathan has a power (duh!) and now he has proof, since Tracey is singing like a broken bird, "Nathan, you're one of us!". Nathan goes to Tracey and warns her not to talk about him, saying that he's been protecting her and if he gets fried, so will she. Danko storms in and it comes down to who Tracey is more afraid of. The only thing she will admit is that Nathan sucked in bed. Hah. Claire wonders if she should help Doyle or stay hidden. She doesn't want to be locked up but she's scared of being outted. In the end, she decides to work at Alex's comic hangout so she can double to save heroes. Sandra gives her doubtful blessing. At Father Grey's, Father goads Sylar to kill him. He's miserable, he's dying, what's there to live for? Sylar discovers that Father has his same ability and Father is just as surprised as he is. However, Father is what you could call a "broken" serial killer. Killing got too boring for him, meaningless, just an act. Mother's death, he just did it because he wanted to. Dumping Sylar? Same. Nothing matters to him. He is willing however to skin a rabbit alive since that is a challenge left. A cat dangling with a mouse. He informs Sylar pretty close on the nature of "their" hunger-drive: it will consume Sylar and it will burn him out. He will take challenging lives, from people that are worth the hunt, worth the prize. Sylar denies this, saying he only killed for power-desire but Father informs him that the heroes were challenging, worth the fight. He won't kill anyone that "bores" him. The agents? Luke and his mother? They were "boring". Sylar can't stand this but he wants answers so he does the honor of skinning the rabbit. Claire is hired on as a comic-book employee, however, Rebel soon texts her that Doyle has gotten himself into trouble. Expose herself or save Doyle? Danko asks Noah about Nathan and Noah points him to Angela, pinning Peter's survival on her. Somehow, saving Nathan is in the two's plan. Danko meets with Angela and tries to probe her but poor sap, he should know that Angela always does one better on anyone looking to investigate her. Some quip from Angela over a war incident twelve years ago over hundreds of civilians lost and remarkably, Danko is still alive. Danko leaves peturbed. Definitely his defining moment leading him to hunting but I would like to know more. What is Heroes trying to delve into? What happened? And is the crew trying to point out that Danko has an ability? Shrug. Doyle is cornered but is saved by Claire. Nathan has the President's permission to fire Danko. Apparently, dumping a 'terrorist' near White House grounds will do that. Danko is pissed and tries to make people turn on Nathan but no luck. Danko warns it's not over and it's not. Noah looks to be the next commander but Danko stops near them. He shoots the window and slams Nathan out and Nathan reveals his power. Not that he wanted to, it was instinct. Danko's got solid proof. Nathan flies away. The tables have been turned. Claire gives Doyle new id. She informs him she didn't do it for him but because she had to. She at least asks if Doyle really has changed. Doyle smirks and leaves. You can either take the smirk as decide for yourself or no-way-has-he. I'm thinking the latter. Oh, well. Returned for some reason and then gone. Whatever. Sylar reveals to Father his healing powers, smirking that he can never die while Father will. Father quips that it means more suffering. He changes his tune when his power-lust returns. He telekinically shoots arrows in Sylar and uses an ability of hypnosis to make Sylar sleep. He wakes up when he shouldn't and breaks free. Father is impressed but afraid. Sylar chokes him with a cord and Father asks for a quick death. Sylar refuses. He simpers that Father is not worth the hunt and lets Father go, telling him his death will be slow and painful. Sylar walks off and flashes a crushed look. His last chance at humanity is gone, he is told and given proof that he will always be a monster. What's he to do? Rebel gives helpful signs throughout the episode. At the end, Hiro and Ando finally show up, looking for Matt Parkman on Rebel's tip and they find him, or rather, his son. About time that baby showed up. Although, how The Incredibles was that scene with the babysitter, voice and all? Sylar closes in on Danko's home for Some reason. Did Rebel tell him where Danko lived or what? Claire's reprieve is expired, the brigade closes in to capture her but she is hidden away by father Nathan. Touching moment as father and daughter are fugitives together. While not all-together awful, I was expecting something else. I didn't expect Matt's predicament to be solved in five minutes because really, what? Waste of story-space. I expected this episode to be completely about Sylar and that would have been the way to go but sadly, Sylar's story was greatly squashed and no great developments came out of it. Quinto and Glover were amazing together but Glover was so severally underutilized, it seems wrong. Like many Heroes episodes though, this one is important, as this time, it appears that Nathan is no longer the head of his plan and will be hunted down like the others. Finally, he can get a taste on what he's dishing out to these poor heroes. And I expect and hope for a bitter/awkward/heartfelt reunion with Peter. However, those who expected Heroes to get immediately better no that Fuller is back, this is not the episode they probably wanted. Or maybe it was. Who knows? Shades of Grey's rating boosted probably because of that. Whatever. Fuller is one player on a massive team. If Heroes will get better, people need to realize that. But then again, since this episode was just okay and the ratio has been pretty balanced this Volume, next episode should be really good.moreless

    7 9

  • 10

    Getting ready for the meat of the situations

    By Dreamgiver, Jul 16, 2010

    Wow....John Glover....goes for being one crazy dad to the next...I loved this episode...wow the writers so cool the actors great job.....I would have never thought that Sylar would have let his dad live...wow...that might come back to bite him...either that or he's just becoming the hero he was never ment to be. Thats two ppl with abilities that he has let live...hmmm...humanity don't give him too much you'll mess up the character.

    Nathan...I knew he was the Rebel this show is shaping up so well and I can't wait for the showdown..now there are three sides to choose from

    Humans

    Fugitives

    Wild cards I love it!!!!!

    Thanks guys for another great episode.moreless

    12 6

  • 10

    One of the most amazing episode's this season. John Glover was amazing as Syler's dad

    By jason86586, Jul 16, 2010

    After the mid-season finale, i saw that an episode further on in volume 4 had been titled Shades of Gray. Immediately i was excited about this know that it would be a very revealing episode for Syler and i was not disappointed. John Glover did an excellent job as Syler's dad and all of his dialogue was well written. I was also very surprised at that fact that Eric Doyle has changed so much after the event of Villains that he would actually cry and let claire out of his hold. Everything with Danko was great especially the restaurant scene with Angela. Overall, a very special episodemoreless

    9 10

  • 9.0

    Finally a GREAT episode.

    By whiplash_989, Jul 16, 2010

    This episode reminds me of why we all fell in love with this show to begin with. So far, this season has been very disappointing, long, drawn out, boring even, but it has all lead to THIS moment. I hope everyone can feel the shift, the set-up is complete, the pay off is about to begin. I wont lay out all the reveals that were put forth in this episode, that would be a spoiler, and I hate those, but let me just say this, if you didn't catch them all, you need to run over to NBC.com and watch it again.moreless

    6 11

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