Episode Reviews (7)
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Chuck Schumer, even worse than Samuel Sullivan
Eli: So she's free to leave.
Samuel: Not in my lifetime.
This is how you tell the good guys from the bad.
Do they respect your individual sovereignty and individual liberty? Or when persuasion fails, will they resort to naked force?
Samuel is an ever so slick con artist, carnival barker, i.e., a skilled politician.
But Chuck Schumer, a real life politician, is even worse. Like all politicians, left and right, east and west, ancient and contemporary, autocratic and "democratic," he's all about using physical coercion to bend you to his will.
New York Post WASHINGTON -- Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Bob Casey (Pa.) took aim at Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin Thursday when they introduced legislation designed to tax expatriates even after they have left the country. Their so-called "Ex-PATRIOT Act" would impose a mandatory 30 percent tax on American investments for those who renounce their citizenship and would also prohibit individuals like Saverin from re-entering the country.
Eli: So she's free to leave.
Samuel: Not in my lifetime.moreless
Nancy Drew has never looked hotter
Picking up after the break, Claire has decided to stay with Samuel at the carnival. But some suspicious behavior throws Claire into Jr. Sleuth mode and she wants some answers. I've been enjoying what they've been doing with Multiple Man, and the Claire gaining the upper hand in the House of Mirrors was a fun touch. Her scene with Puppet Man was also enjoyable, like a trip down memory lane. The poor dude doesn't want to break up the family. And so it seems this "family" isn't the problem, only their leader, Samuel. It's so hard to know what to feel with this character because despite negative evidence to the contrary, he's been mostly redeeming and dare I say, likable.
Just look at the the way he was with Emma, our hospital clerk with the sonic boom. She and Sam share the best scenes of the episode as he teaches her the harness the true nature of her powers. It seems she is a 'siren' and her 'call' can bring others to her. I dig that. Sullivan was searching for a dude with plant powers. I immediately thought of Bush Root from the "Darkwing Duck" cartoon.
The weakest element of the show was enough to damn this episode with a 7.5 from me. More crap from Hiro. If you thought "10-year old boy" was bad, just wait to get a load of this gibberish "comic-book geek speak" they've got him stuck with now! Yes, I get all the Sherlock Holmes/Spiderman/Star Wars/X-Men/Batman references. But none of this is done in any way that is clever or cool. It makes sense to Ando only, and I feel sorry for everyone involved. It's embarrassing. Claire finally confronts Samuel and he shows her what was up with that empty valley. Turns out he needed Poison Ivy over there to turn the land into a lush a fertile place for his people to live and grow. Seems innocent enough...The ep concludes with the funeral of Nathan Petrelli. Nicely done. But where were his ex-wife and kids? I hate when the show can't remember something as fundamental as a dead man's CHILDREN.moreless
A solid return for Heroes, continuing the strong balancing act between character development and plot progression that the show has been pulling off so far this season.
Heroes achieves the nigh on impossible this week and actually does something productive with Emma's character. After weeks of pontificating over bizarre colours, oohing and aahing at her ability to see sound but ultimately achieving nothing other than giving the cinematographers something different to do, Carlos Cota actually bothers to make her story relevant to the ongoing narrative, doing something more with her than simply pointing and exclaiming at how gosh darn cute she is. As suspected, good old Samuel was responsible for sending her the cello and while we're still unclear on how it managed to crack a hole in the wall of her apartment, at least now we're aware that Emma can do a whole lot more than just make the screen look pretty. That she is a siren should have been screamingly obvious from the earlier park scene but its underplaying did a deft job of disguising the fact. Refreshingly, Cota actually explores the possibilities inherent in her deafness too, using sign language rather than lipsynching and attempted dialogue, which feels far more natural than the conversations she's been having in her previous appearances. It makes the viewer work to appreciate the scenes and adds a potent level of believability, strengthening our investment in her character.
The other crucial development this week concerns ol' Clairebear, whose trip around Carnyville (see what I did there?) actually proves to be more than passingly interesting. It's intriguing to follow the day-to-day activities of the occupants of the place and acquire a different perspective on their way of life: Doyle's dialogue in particular gives us an opportunity to understand just how much the notion of togetherness, of community, can mean to people. Once again, David H. Lawrence XVII is tremendous as the illustrious puppet master, proving endearing and bloody freak in equal measure. Further airtime for Lydia and Eli proves to be nothing other than a good thing too: the latter is particularly eerie in his continual observation and pursuit of the young Bennet, while the tattooist just generally fascinates, enveloping Samuel's world further in murky shades of gray and allowing someone, anyone, the opportunity to finally see a little of what T-Bag might be planning. It is never quite apparent what will happen to Claire, whether or not she will choose to stay, as developments twist and turn continuously, flipping her onto opposing sides of the decision. This lack of predictability is certainly refreshing and the fact that the choice is only stalled by Nathan's death really strengthens the storyline.
As was probably to be expected, this is treated with great sensitivity, steering clear of the mawkish and overly emotional. Petrelli's funeral is a sombre affair, with surprisingly little dialogue. Peter's speech is short and sweet, a perfect tribute to the world's most schizo brother, and the use of military procedures adds a nice lump-in-the-throat touch. The cinematography is wonderful too, all fitting greys and blues, giving everything a solemn hue. It's a rather nice decision to use it as a bookmark to the hour, having no other reference until the thirty five minute point, as it qualifies all that has gone before, adding a strong sense of perspective. The only slightly disappointing element of the episode is Hiro's descent into ridiculousness, which does threaten to veer too greatly into cringeworthy territory at times (especially as he's rescuing the 'maiden' or whatever), but given that his dialogue is effectively a fangeek's wet dream, loaded with intertextual references, we'll forgive it.
A solid return for Heroes, then, continuing the strong balancing act between character development and plot progression that the show has been pulling off so far this season. Tropes move forward, characters acquire new significance and insight and Masi Oka gets to reference Battlestar Galactica. Let's just forget about those horrible child actors and their side-splittingly awful attempts to pull off an Irish accent, shall we?moreless
Mostly a filler episode.
Looks like Hiro's brain tumor's finally kicked in – that was hilarious! 'Stirred his fanboy brain'.
Emma's powers are starting to make sense – her Pied Piper routine the other day in front of Peter really was just that – she can summon people to her. Samuel wants another elemental like himself. Creating his little Eden is very benign… and doesn't fit at all with the ominous forebodings.
Angela! Now that Nathan's really dead, she makes sure his disappearance is explained with Nathan's real body. An autopsy would show the body had been frozen but Angela can have that covered up.
Nathan really is dead. It was a beautiful funeral. The one odd thing was Claire – she hasn't even spoken to Nathan this season.moreless
The steady pace continues...
(Note: This review covers the first half of the two-episode event that aired on 04 January, 2010. This review was written without prior knowledge of the events in the second episode. A subsequent review will cover the second half of the event.)
"Heroes" returns from a brief winter hiatus to begin its final stretch for the fourth season (and possibly for the series). The events of the previous episode suggest that the season arc is shifting into its resolution phase, with about 6-7 episodes remaining, but the momentum doesn't pick up much in this particular installment.
The writers have adopted a slow but steady approach to the fourth season, focusing more on character development and exploration than endless plot twists and turns, and the results are mixed. Generally speaking, this is a preferable approach, especially when the characters are fascinating. This is one reason why "Lost" has been so successful; at the heart, it is a show about complicated characters on a bizarre journey to redemption (or, in some cases, a lack thereof).
Everything about this season of "Heroes" boldly points to a similar mandate. As I've said before, the statement was a bit too bold. Redemption works when it is organic. If the audible has to be told that redemption is the goal, it's not redemption. It's self-serving rhetoric. But it has been toned down over the course of the season, and now the question is whether or not the characters are still interesting enough to carry the story. (And this has been an ongoing concern since the beginning of the third season.)
For my part, Samuel and the other carnies continue to be the saving grace of the season and series. Why? Because the writers do better with characters without established history. They can shape the character's background to fit the immediate story requirements, and for the most part, it all feels right. Despite some hiccups along the way, Samuel has proven to be a complex character, full of righteous indignation and a dangerous level of self-deception.
I had hopes that Samuel would emerge as a true Magneto-esque figure, and one way or another, he's serving that purpose. Whether it is all about his personal desire for power and control, he is still bent on creating a sanctuary for metahumans. To call on another typical comparison, Samuel reminds me very much of Jordan Collier from "The 4400". I love how he's calculating in one moment and solicitous the next, all while carrying the banner of providing a home for his people.
If Samuel's character had been less nuanced, Claire's reactions might have been too obvious. Instead, Claire seems to have come to the logical conclusion: Samuel's goal is not the issue, but rather, his methods and personal agenda. The problem is that Claire has yet to communicate much of anything well, so it remains to be seen if these distinctions will carry over to Peter (who is obviously the one she will be turning to for help).
That said, this is the most interesting Claire has been in a long time. While the Claire/Gretchen kiss has proven to be little more than ratings fodder, as many feared, her interaction with Samuel strikes at the heart of the character's inner conflict, tired as it has become. It doesn't hurt that Hayden is still very easy on the eyes.
The other prominent subplot in this episode pertains to Hiro and his attempt to communicate to Ando, now that his brain has been scrambled. It didn't take long to figure out that Hiro was trying to tell everyone that he needed to break Mohinder out of the psychiatric hospital, so it was a little frustrating when it was clear that the characters would take a lot longer to get to the same point. Hopefully this will be resolved in the next episode. Hiro's geek-speak aphasia was amusing, but it was a minor improvement on what continues to be another disappointing plot thread for Hiro. At this point, it seems clear that the writers have no intentions of letting Hiro (or Ando) grow.
On the whole, the good elements of the episode outweighed the bad and tedious. I still consider this to be an entertaining show, even if it is occasionally frustrating. Much of that is due to the new characters and the storytelling opportunities they have generated. Even so, I doubt it is enough to bring back former fans of the show or earn it another season.moreless
Claire joins the carnival but begins to suspect Samuel has a secret agenda.
-Claire was doing great until she started wining like always I hope she happy about finally feeling human for once thanks to uncle Peter, Now can we move on to a better kicking a$$ story.
-Hiro storyline could have been worse if you ask me the guy memories have been modify he actually doing a lot to try to tell Ando the situation, So yes I give him credit for that, even though he sound crazy.
-Emma she awesome seem how powerful she can be is nice to know and that she is a Hero not a Villain makes it even better. -Peter he has developed he character so much I am glad he is no longer that desperate Peter who took actions before thinking about the consequences , (FYI enough with this holding one power at a time crap I had enough of it give him his full empathy back like before)
-West is good to know that he is not on a drawer with Cailin files and the rest of the missing Heroes. Over all I hope the show renew for another season this is one of my fav. Show of all timesmoreless
Sylar, Claire, and Peter struggle for connection.
Sylar as we've seen before is not the clear cut black as night murderious villain he likes to think he is. There's evil there no doubt but as Samuel might say there is good in there too. Fears, insecurities, needs, at the very least the want for connection. It explains a lot of his actions and motivations. The search for his father, Luke, wanting to believe he was a Petrelli and allying himself with both Arthur and Angela & his subsequent yet brief reaching out to Peter, Elle. Hiro told him he'd die alone and it eats at him, does that sound like pure evil to you? He thought he was a Petrelli once and it embraced it without thinking, including being a brother to Peter. Now he's felt that close up. He's felt that at a close range, everything Peter felt from Nathan Sylar experienced. It's a memory that's in him now. Nathan may be gone but what he felt during the brief time when got to see through is eyes may not be so easy to forget. May leave frozen, unable to kill. Bring his yearnings for connection to the surface. Maybe even make him willing to use Samuel to get a bigger answer. With Lydia's power and Samuel's voo doo ink (I still don't understand what that is) he may be heading down a new path. A new connection. Can't say I'm surprised but I am so pleased. I've always felt that when it comes to Sylar there's some answer in Peter and over the last two seasons in Claire. Apparently I was right.
Of course that's probably not a head space she'd be willing to explore even if she hadn't just learned that Sylar killed one of her dad's (and yet another one of her parents) but has been posed as him for some time. She's bound to react badly but I think the fact that Sylar went right to her the minute he saw the tattoo speaks volumes. Hovering outside her window like that, watching her yet still calling her by the old stand by 'cheerleader' I'm not totally sure what's happening but I do know that he ran right to her. He has her power, true he could use her as revenge against Angela and HRG but he's never been great at follow through and there are much simpler ways which Sylar tends to fond of so..why run to her? With Lydia's power I certainly want to see and I'm an hopeful he does to.
Amoung her carnival adventures Claire continues with the same issues she always has (thank goodness for continuity of character, the show is doing well with that when it comes to a lot of the main cast). Whether it was her thirst to be normal or have normal things, fighting back against evil, balance, or her new yearning for honesty and being out in the world Claire's never been one to just sit by and play doe eyed. She causes trouble for Samuel, stands by her emotions when it comes to what HRG and Angela did, and more importantly supports her uncle who needs her deeply. She does very well in this episodes, I think I may have found a respect for Claire that she was probably always worthy of but really lived up to in this episode.
Sidebar, I also really appreciated the throw back to West. It was a nice way to finally hear from him again even though we didn't actually get to see him.
Peter (again that goodness for continuity of character, I'm loving it big time) also continues with the same issues he always had. There was a time when he wanted to be special, destined for more. And he was, he was one of the most special. Then like it was never there it was snatched away but her never lost that empathetic spirit or that heroic lion heart. He may have been down graded power wise but he continued to reach for that heroism harder then when he had every power in the world at his disposable. He wants to be more not so much to be special but to help, not only to satisfy that part of him that wants to save the world (whether it be one person at a time or in one epic moment) but to be more then a 'bandaid', more then just do something to ease the pain. He wants to wipe it out completely, it's just his nature. But when it comes to saving himself he may needed a little support. Couldn't be Angela, he'll never trust her again. Had to be Claire after all he's the last real part of Nathan he has left but more importantly she's one of the few real friends he has. Most of his connections are fleeting and unsubstantial, whether because of loss or because circumstances just don't present him the oppurtunity to get close. Claire's the exception. Over the years he's wanted to be close but he's become closed off over the last few volumes and distant not only from himself but from what connecting to other people used to mean to him. It's natural, he's been beaten over by life and destiny and there's bound to be bitterness but he can't stand alone. Not really. He needs the lion heart to survive but he needs his good empathetic heart to live.
I'm also looking forward to more Sylar/Peter. We got a taste in the first half of this volume but what with Peter's serious anger I think we may finally be in for more. But Heroes, like always, isn't fond of going the way you'd think with things so we'll see.
Sometimes I worry that I give the show to much credit but then episodes like this come around and I remember that is great, does it mis-step of course but I think a lot of people under estimate it. Unlike a lot of shows they work at character continuity, the don't spoon feed us everything and leave some stuff to pure insight and interpretation which is risky, and they aren't afraid to leave both unanswered questions and pace out things to be explained further down the road. They aren't afraid to go the opposite way with things which leads to interesting roads. Say what you will about it but I'm always interested to see what happens next even when I'm not fond of what happens.moreless