Season 4 Episode 10

Brother's Keeper

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 16, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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  • If the writers simply had the courage of their convictions, instead of feeling the need to pander to self-imposed restrictions, they would create a far richer and more enjoyable show.

    'Brother's Keeper' is something of a transitional episode, taking a selection of the show's core narratives and nudging them forward a few paces without really giving too much away. Thanks to 'Shadowboxing', Nathan has finally begun to catch a clue about what happened to him at the end of season three and it's certainly good to see all of the pieces finally slotting into place. The dramatic irony had begun to wear a little thin over the weeks, so now that everyone has the same level of knowledge, we can begin to get on with the pesky business of actually doing something with the plot. It's a bit of a shame that Peter's reaction to the revelation about his brother isn't a little more, shall we say, perturbed, as you'd think that the notion that the guy has been wearing the meat suit of a mass murderer would scare the bejeebus out of mostly anybody, but on the other hand, it's refreshing not to have to put up with yet another contrived grievance between the two of them. The scene in the hospital is nicely executed, full of unusual camera angles and cuts to convey the appropriate level of confusion and the moments between the brothers both atop the hills and in the apartment are nicely underplayed, successfully conveying both their bond and the overall horror of the situation.

    It's a bit of a shame that Matt is up and about with the greatest of ease, mind. Last week's attempted suicide was a thoroughly brave move and one that I'd hoped they'd have the guts to see through to a more satisfying conclusion. Instead, Peter heals him (well, who didn't see that coming?), Sylar leaves his body (and goes where? Intriguing!) and he regains control of his faculties, getting up and about and using his delightful powers with delicious glee. Perhaps if Heroes hadn't played the 'oh my God! They've killed x... oh wait, no they haven't' card so many times, this may not be so much of a problem. As it is though, it just irritates and sadly, this isn't the only instance of it in the episode.

    After having ended 'Once Upon a Time in Texas' with the jaw-dropping reveal that Samuel killed Mohinder, 'Brother's Keeper' retcons the whole situation and has Hiro save him. It puts a significant dampener on what is an otherwise rather neat little story. It's great to have Sendhil Ramamurthy back again, even if portions of his dialogue with his girlfriend barely even attempt to disguise their expositionary nature, and within a story that has significant bearing on the arc plot. There are some lovely touches in the inclusion of Chandra, the references to Coyote Sands and even a few odes to Lost (come on... skipping black and white video reels? DHARMA Orientation Films, anyone?), but all of this is secondary to the revelations about the source of Samuel's power, which turns out to be a rather pleasant surprise, as well as one that makes perfect sense. Whether the notion that he is recruiting the heroes so that he can become more powerful will degrade his character remains to be seen. He has been refreshingly grey so far, never veering too far either side of the limiting 'good/evil' binary and hopefully, this will continue in spite of the revelations. It's just a pity that Mohinder has to be rescued; that the impact of the previous cliffhanger must be completely annihilated. It really wouldn't hurt to take the road less travelled guys. And putting Suresh in a psychiatric hospital? Um, Niki, season one much?

    There is certainly much good in 'Brother's Keeper' - hell, even Claire and Tracey's sequences are actually quite nifty and play well for each character - but unfortunately, the writing staff can't seem to keep themselves from tripping over their own feet every so often. If they'd just have the courage of their convictions, instead of pandering to self-imposed restrictions, they would create a far richer, more enjoyable show.