They're working on individual focus instead of crammin every last character into every single episode, though now I remember how difficult it is to remember every detail from week to week. They've moved away from the land of unrealistic never fully explained sci-fi blarmy that doesn't really mean anything (I still don't get the carlyst thing from volume 3) and are just making the show without listening to what the fans thinks they want.
Slowly somewhat unsteadily this volume is restoring Heroes. From volume to volume I've had my opinions about Heroes, usually different from most fans but I've always remained interested. Even in volume 4, which was my least favorite for a lot of reasons, I always remained curious. But I must admit from volume to volume things could be very inconsistent. One year I liked it (S1), the next I was a little bored (S2), then I adored it (Vol 3), then I got frustrated with the show (Vol 4). These are just geneal comments on the volumes overall but I think this may be the year where Heroes finally starts trying to really find it's consistent footing. Rather then focus on correcting mistakes they think they're making, pleasing fans, or writing the show volume by volume they should just make the show. The biggest thing it had originally was originality. They seemed to get distracted by other things as time went on whether the problem was time itself traveling that is and overly powerful characters, fan reactions or stretched out poor plots lines. It felt as though they never seemed to plan out the show in a large scoop like say a Joss Whedon and as a result the show has been way to spontaneous. I get the instinct to try and write as they go but it just doesn't work with a show of this magnitude (I call Lost as my first witness), especially in terms of complication. Back story alone requires immense thought. But I think maybe all of that has really sunk in.
Which ties into the actual episode. Let's start with Sylar. I won't get into my adoration of both the character and Zach himself but I will say that Sylar has always been and will always be their strongest character. They recognized it early on but faced the same problem all great shows face when they turn a pure antagonist into a actual fleshed out character. Which way do they go? No matter the choice someone will be displeased. They seemed to really make the right choice in not solidly picking either road but trying both as the moved Sylar from a clear cookie cutter villain into a 'grey' (no one will every convince me that isn't why they picked that as his last name though that's a contradiction in more ways then one) complex fully formed character. I don't think that was their original intention, Zach was actually just a guest star in the beginning, and again as a result there were some problems. Season 2 saw Sylar being bad with or without his powers, to badly corrupted to ever be what he was again. Volume 3 saw the exact opposite in a certain way, Sylar making the choice to try and be Gabriel again which ultimately failed but was a great arc that both added to his complexity and really let us get to know the character in terms of who he was as opposed to what he was. It also backed up Sylar's actions in volume 2, which as I said saw him evil without powers. Volume 4 saw a complete reversion to form (which at the time seemed like a cop out & in some ways it was because they never really did enough with some of the moves they made aka Sylar wasn't Peter's brother after all but Peter did experience the hunger and the reality behind that which was never even acknowledged) and the madness within finally leaking out. I was concerned at the end of volume 4 when Sylathan was born that they were trying to wipe the board clean in terms of Sylar because they just didn't know what to do with him. Wiping the board would have been okay, consistent with the story of his character and a good surprised which they are fond of with Sylar but I was still a little unsure that returning him to evil wasn't a cop out. But luckily they seemed to realize or possibly even known all along that there is no clearn slate for Sylar. If he were to somehow try to become good again (again) and actually suceed the damage is done. He can never take back what he has done, he can never really undo Sylar even if he can be Gabriel again someday. I am convinced he can, that some part of Gabriel will always live inside him (that person didn't just get erased when he got his powers). But again it's just not that simple. They've since dropped Sylathan (thank god because that could have been such a waste of Sylar's character and all focused shoved on everyone thinking he was Nathan) but they've kept Sylar blank. He doesn't know who he is but just as when he was Sylathan the clock still ticks, the hunger still lies within and as I've always said Sylar will not be contained not even be himself. This episode showed a fightened person no more a murderer then innocent Claire, confused and alone. He had chances to kill people but didn't. He discovered his powers and did no real damage with them. He followed Samuel blindly into the carnival and experienced things in terms of beauty, something we've seen Sylar do with Elle for example. But is that Sylar or Gabriel? Where is the line? The two are intertwined that there really is no seperating them. As I said only chances for the show to utalize an amaingly character I don't think they even really meant to create, at leasy to the deree they have done (makes me wonder what the hell they are thinking with some of the other chaacters). They have yet to disappoint me when it comes to Sylar (I was angry when they let a lot of his volume 3 stuff slide but who knows if that won't change soon and I was concerned when they made him Nathan but it looks like that's done before it even began so bravo), emotional yes in every way possible but never disappointed. My fondest wish is that they stand by his last name because it's really what the show needs and what all the characters need to see. Within them all exists the dark and the light. But are they ever really seperate, is it really one or the other? Is it Peter or Sylar? Or like with Sylar is it both at the same time. I know on paper he can been seen as a villain even with the complexities they've embodied in him but again can it really be that black and white especially when human rules don't apply? You have a quarter, one side is heads. One is tails. But aren't they both a part of the same coin?
Oh and some other characters appeared! I was pleased to see Peter interact and connect with another person and as I've mentioned Emma is the perfect person for him at this time in his life. Whether they become romantic or not is irrelevant because honestly there's a lot they can both learn from each other. Emma discovered that that her power has something more to it then just pretty colors but I would have placed money on that. Though I still don't totally get it. At first I thought she was developing some sort of sonar but I'm thinking not seeing as she cracked her wall with whatever it is she can do. Claire had a moment with Gretchen but honestly at this point I don't know what to make of it so I'm just going to leave that one alone till I see more. And (to mention Sylar again) Sylar ended up of all places at the carnival. Yea, let's smother a forrest fire with napom. That'll just have fantastic results. They always give Sylar the best stuff in every sense. But Samuel has no idea what he's in for. The carnival itself is no safe haven band of outcasts looking for their own kind and safety from the cruel world that doesn't understand or accept them...okay they are all of those things but they are also murderers and decievers. They take full advantage of the fact that society (as all the characters have learned) casts them out and fears them. But they are not a band of friendly carnival folk where the characters we know and love can find solice. You want to point a finger and find a real villain point at the people in that carnival. Some of them may be there for good reason, some of them may not even be bad in the strictest sense but I guarantee you that Samuel isn't playing with a full deck. He's a bad, bad boy and bad boys all get what's coming to them on this show. Always.