Season 4 Episode 8

Once Upon a Time in Texas

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 02, 2009 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (17)

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  • The episode left me with mixed feelings and opinions, but that's a Hell of a lot better than the complete indifference I had to the show at the start of the season.

    I've not been on board with Hiro's quest to right all the wrongs in his past as back in season 1 he realised that he doesn't have the right to change the past. The fact that the main reason for this revelation was that he couldn't save Charlie made the set up for this episode feel like a slap in the face. However it kind of worked.

    The main danger this episode had was that it ran the risk of destroying the entire show's continuity. Because of that part of me was thinking why even bother doing this episode, but there was some good stuff to come out of the idea of going back to that season 1 episode. Before Hiro can do anything Robert Knepper's Samuel (the best addition to the cast pretty much ever) pointed out how if he wasn't very careful he could mess up everything. This worked nicely to ease the worries of the audience that the last three seasons could be undone and allowed us to be able to enjoy the episode.

    There was some fun had with Hiro's power here, which has been done before but is always quite funny. Seeing him wheeling Sylar out of the diner was great and while a bit cheesy, it worked nicely. The thing here is that the episode seemed to be grasping at what was good about the first season. While it had no where near the same emotion as before there was enough and the humour played off it well. Another good thing was continuity, something Heroes can be terrible with at times. Hiro referring to himself as "future-Hiro" and being questioned why he didn't have his cool sword was great and a funny little running joke. While it did point out that Hiro's character has hardly developed at all in three years it's always good to see a show that's able to poke fun at itself.

    As well as Hiro's story we were given some extra story on Bennett. My main issue here is that it played like a flashback episode for him (which it was I guess) but it was covering a time period that was already shown. That this fairly major character of Lauren was supposed to have had this story with Noah during season 1 seemed a bit much. True timeline wise it worked and by having her mind wiped it helped the continuity but it still felt out of place. I think the main reason for it was just to have some kind of B-story for Hiro's main story to cut away to.

    Hiro's deal with Sylar to save Charlie kind of worked. It still felt a bit iffy that super-cool season 1 Sylar would've agreed to Hiro's offer as all he had was Hiro's word that he was from the future and could tell him how he died. Still you could believe it and the scene where Sylar got rid of her tumour has well handled. The blood going down through her eye was a bit gross but a cool visual. Of course they still needed a way to get Charlie out of the main story, as otherwise season 1 Hiro wouldn't have continued on this journey. I quite liked the way they did this. Having her angry at Hiro at first made sense as it was what the audience was likely thinking. However once she'd cooled down she could accept that Hiro had simply saved her life and was greatful.

    From there having Samuel kidnap her or whatever made sense both from a story and thematic perspective. The last moment showing him standing over a seemingly dead Mohinder was a cool cliffhanger. It's noticeable that he hasn't been in any episode this year, to the point where I couldn't help noticing the actor's name in the opening titles which gave the game away a bit. But it was a good ending to a decent episode. There were still plenty of issues, but the characters are getting more likeable again and the plot doesn't seem to be the giant mess it was last year so things are looking up.

    Also as a side note, despite her story not really working too well, I liked Elizabeth Rohm as Lauren here. Having not seen her on anything since Angel it was cool to watch her again and she was very good. It's a bit of a shame we'll likely not see her again, but you never know.
  • The Charlie storyline was okay the first time around - it introduced Sylar - but this rehashing of it feels completely pointless, not to mention annoying.

    Hiro wanted to save Charlie – he actually forgot that means confronting Sylar. Samuel is right – the coffeeshop is a minefield. So many lives intersected there. Just moving Sylar meant Hiro didn't go back to save her and he disappears from the photo. A perfect example of the Butterfly Effect, this point in time – right before Peter saves Claire – is critical… and Hiro is messing with it! Hiro is changing things without knowing the consequences. Hiro allied himself with Sylar to save Charlie. Talk about a deal with the Devil. It worked out but it could so easily have gone wrong. Even Charlie knew Hiro did the selfish thing – he lets Sylar keep killing to save her. That's quite a burden.

    Noah had a thing for his co-worker. I like her. Noah was at the diner and didn't even know that Sylar was in the same room. Noah even kissed his partner, Lauren – she's great, even offered to help save Claire. If I know one thing about Noah, it's that he loves his family – and he flirted with the idea of having an affair. Lauren must seriously have had it bad for Noah to need to wipe her own memory to deal with it.

    It's becoming a pattern that brain trauma is related to powers – Hiro and Arnold have brain tumors; Charlie has a brain aneurism; Emma became deaf.

    Samuel's big secret, the reason he's manipulating people, he killed Mohinder?
  • There's taking time guys, and there's downright procrastination...

    Okay Heroes, I'll give you one thing: while you may be dabbling in that age-old problem-generator time travel for the seven millionth time, at least, this time around, everything actually seems logical and fairly water tight. At least we aren't creating gargantuan paradoxes or a series of alterna-strands that serve only to boggle the mind and frustrate the quantum physicists in the audience. No, here, things stay strictly on the straight and narrow and the only concession made is Hiro's alteration to the untimely ending of poor Charlie's life. Thank the Lord for that. Problem is, while all of this works wonders, the same cannot be said of the meat of the plot, which is depressingly lean.

    There is a nagging ambivalence coarsing through the entire episode and it somewhat hurts our enjoyment of it. On the one hand, Noah and Lauren's story is a rather brave move that opens up a entirely new set of doors for HRG's character, allowing us to see both the minutiae of his work life and exactly how it affects him (how lonely and torn he is), but it's also achingly predictable and more than a little questionable given his absolute devotion to his family. Oh yes fine, so nothing actually happens but the idea that he would even consider it seems rather out of step with his personality.

    Similarly, it's great to see Masi Oka being more than a cipher for once, making some darker, more human, decisions, and hell, he gets a lot of great dialogue, but it's a shame that it all amounts to some glorified 'happily ever after' Hollywood fantasy; a trite love story that fails to surprise. Sylar's inclusion here is probably the best thing about the entire episode: honestly, give Zachary Quinto his own show, stat. It's incredible how effortless the slip is back into his former self. The 'OK corral' scene (you know the one I'm talking about...) is rather regrettable however, taking the Hiro/Sylar confrontation just that one step over the line into cringeworthy.

    There are some other praiseworthy elements: Robert Knepper continues to be simply fantastic as Samuel, and the final scene is a genuine shocker, but overall, the episode feels too much like it's taking on water. For all this may, conceptually, be a fangeek and continuity freak's dream, there's not really enough engaging plot to go around and what there is becomes a little stale around two thirds of the way in. There's taking time guys, and there's downright procrastination...
  • A trip into the past may give Hiro another chance to save the love of his life.

    A trip into the past may give Hiro another chance to save the love of his life. I thought the Hiro portion of the episode was pretty silly. Didn't really think the show needed to get back into the Charlie love story again. I did think the rest of the flashback was pretty interesting and think it should set up some very interesting scenes for the rest of this season? Is what Hiro did going to change what we once thought to be "the way it was"? Noah cheats on his wife with a woman he ends up erasing her memory. I thought that was a little bit out of character - but it does explain why he clung to his family a little bit. Overall, better episode then most this season but still not amazing. Excited for the next episode though.
  • Great episode, with a a few boring parts *looks at Noah*

    Why Once Upon A Time In Texas worked:
    1.Season 1 Sylar came back and was still creepy!
    2. No plotholes!
    4. Dr. Sylar!
    5. I felt the love Hiro had for Charlie
    6. Samuel was a minipulating as ever
    7. Mohinder was gone for a shocking reason!
    8. I loved the scene where Charlie was getting her anuerism 'fixed'.
    9. It felt like Season One in some ways.
    10. Hiro vs Sylar
    11. Hiro is put in an awkward postion to work for Samuel.

    That's about all I have to say, I liked this episode, this season's been going well, very well. Of course it isn't Genesis, but its doing its best.
  • A step into the past

    This was billed as a much-anticipated episode, and it certainly had its allure. The Hiro/Charlie episodes were some of the best of the first season, and I was interested to see how the current version of Hiro would manage to interact with the old timeline without causing massive problems and changes. Add Samuel to the mix, and things get really complicated.

    Right off the bat, there is one thing that irritates me. As much as I love Samuel as a character and I enjoy his cryptic machinations, his plan doesn't quite fit with the way that time travel has been treated in previous seasons. The writers always made a point to show the past as relatively immutable and the future as to be determined. This is definitely not the case with this season, especially since Samuel is pushing Hiro to change things.

    Some things clearly have been changed over the course of the series. Hiro's original six-month relationship with Hiro is an obvious example, and Hiro's adventure in historical Japan in the second season caused certain ripples. But this is on a much more substantial level. Maybe it's just the fact that Hiro used to insist on preserving the timeline, and now he is not. And maybe it's because time travel is a storytelling crutch that the writers can't seem to avoid.

    That said, I think it's very interesting that Hiro would go so far as to manipulate Sylar into curing Charlie and then resuming his reign of terror. While it seems extreme at first glance, and therefore out of character, I would argue that it speaks to how important Charlie always has been to Hiro. People do terrible things for love, and this proves how far Hiro will go for her. And that, in turn, makes sense of Hiro's decision to fall in line with Samuel's desires.

    I was wondering how Mohinder would factor into this season, and why he hasn't made an appearance yet. I suppose we now know why Mohinder has been out of the picture. It makes for a nice twist, even if I personally haven't missed Mohinder one bit since we last saw him. I get the feeling this will integrate the carnival with the rest of the known "Heroes" world a bit more, and that would not be a bad thing.

    It was also great to see Charlie again, even if she looked noticeably different from her original run in the first season. I've also gotten used to the actress on "Glee", so it took a moment to adjust. Considering how the episode ends, I have to wonder if Charlie is supposed to appear again later in the season. If not, maybe she's trapped in the same temporal limbo as Caitlin, Peter's erstwhile girlfriend from the second season!

    Even with the time travel-related annoyances of the main plot, it was much, much better than the Noah/Lauren material. I really have no idea what the point of that was supposed to be. I understand that the writers enjoy going back and retroactively adding details to the story, but there should be a rule that such changes/additions be value-added.

    There is a certain attempt at counterpoint between the Hiro/Charlie and Noah/Lauren relationships, but it doesn't seem to matter beyond that ephemeral purpose. If Lauren never appears again, what was the point? And beyond that, did Lauren have an ability? We never see one in play, so it seems to contradict the long-standing Company policy of using normal/metahuman partners.

    Episodes like this play a dangerous game. They harken back to popular moments from the heyday of the series, and remind us of all the things we loved about the show in the beginning. Yet that also tends to remind us of how the show has fallen from grace from those heady and fascinating days.
  • Hiro goes back in time to mess with the past and save Charlie.

    IMO - horrific episode. Why? Here are the reasons:

    1. I always found Nakamura to be the most irritating character of this series. The last episodes had just too much Hiro in them. They should have left him in the hospital. He is dying because of his power, and now he`s time travelling as if nothing was wrong with him, wasting his power to play with Sylar? Idiotic.

    2. To go back to the beginning of the series is lame enough, but the way it`s done is boring and pointless, espescially the part about Bennett and his affair.

    3. The Time/Space-travel has always been the weak spot in the series. It´s a difficult issue, because it`s obviously extremely powerful. The writer(s) use it too much, so there are not only logical problems with the timeline it also kind of loses it`s "magic" after a while. Plus it`s in the hands of an idiot.

    4. The reaction of Charlie after Hiro rescues her is not comprehensible. Normally, a person would react the other way round: First be thankful and THEN have moral concerns. People normally value their lives, and don`t complain being rescued.

    The only interesting part, once again, is Samuel. I don`t understand how the writers can manage to make such a mess of this show. How hard can it be, to write a halfway decent story? Heroes will fail sooner or later with bad storylines like this. Hardcore fans may not see it but the show has reached a new low. Which is sad, because it has so much potential.
  • Decent episode...felt like a Sci-Fi finally..

    Heroes has been walking on a slippery slope since the last season. And now while the show hangs in the balance facing the ignominy of cancellation, this episode though not up to par will give interest levels a much needed boost.

    So, as I mentioned in my summary, this episode finally felt like a Sci-Fi making the viewers don their geek hat and think about the plot. The premise of the story turned the clock back by 3 years taking us to familiar places, cornering itself onto countless loopholes,and explaining unnecessary extra-marital affairs. Maybe Heroes is getting back its groove, maybe not.
  • *Spoilers Ahead* My explanation of why I thought this was the worst episode of Heroes yet.

    1. "If you kill me you'll never find out what I know about your future." Is Sylar really stupid enough to not realize that if he took Hiro's power of time travel, he could find out anything and everything he wanted about not only his own future but everyone else's? I don't believe it.

    2. Taking me back in time to "Season One" does not in fact take me back before Season Two through now happened. I believe the nostalgia factor was played in this episode to mask the massive number of plot holes that had to be jumped through to get Hiro to the Carnival so that the increasingly convoluted overall story can progress.

    3. Noah's affair. What does this have to do with anything? It was wrapped up neatly with a convenient "Haitian Brain Wipe." I wish I could get one of those so I could forget about seeing this episode. I would have much rather seen a simultaneous storyline in the present that is directly affected by what Hiro is doing in the past. For example, what Peter is doing at the hospital or what Ando is doing. Hiro is the one time traveling, why are we breaking his POV by going off on a storyline in the past that he isn't even involved in?

    There are more points I could make, but overall I found very little in this episode that I felt good about. I feel like the whole time travel element is getting squeezed for what it can, and a whole lot of suspension of disbelief is being called for. Maybe they pulled it off since it seems like most people are loving the whole nostalgia and "cleverness" of this episode, but I'm not buying it. Thanks for reading.
  • One of the best written episodes so far.

    I have been waiting to see what happens when Hiro of the future meets Hiro of the past. The line "Where is your sword?" is priceless. To see Hiro speaking in a stern voice to himself to go backwards so he can be in the picture with Charlie was great. I loved it when he called himself a moron.

    This is a subject that has always fascinated me. If we travel backward in time, do we tamper with the past even if it means saving some ones life? Think about causality. If we tamper with the past, how will this affect the future. Maybe Charlie was suppose to die. Now that Hiro has saved her, how will this affect the events of the present? Charlie and Hiro have their brief moment where she becomes upset with what he did for her. She was prepared to die. This shows how fragile love can be. How one choice can make someone that loves you fall out of love. Hiro briefly meets HRG. Charlie's heart feels so much love for Hiro that for a brief moment, these two are very happy. Their happiness is disrupted by Sullivan who has been manipulating Hiro all along. We see another side to Hiro. A very angry side. Charlie has been taken away from Hiro, and only Sullivan knows where. Now comes the task. Hiro must send Sullivan backwards in time to undue something he did. We see Mohinder. I wondered what happened to him. What connection does he have with Sullivan? It was touching to see HRG interacting with Clair. This ties season 4 perfectly with season 1. It was a wonderful down memory lane, and it made me realize why I love the show so much. The characters are very real and they play off well with one another. The drama, comedy, action and mystery keeps us glued and wanting more. There is so much to explore both past, present and future. I totally love this show and like all of you, I cannot wait until next Monday to see what will become of Sullivan Mohinder.
  • Hiro goes back in time to the Burnt Toast Diner to try to save his love Charlie Andrews from the clutches of power hungry Sylar resulting in a standout performance from Masi Oka. Samuel is still awesome. One detail sours a virtually perfect episode.

    There are more pros than cons with "Once Upon a Time in Texas" and since I want to get really in depth about everything (namely how Heroes uses time travel as well the 3 years ago flaw) , I'll cut right to the chase. I thought the episode was pretty solid, this is the first time in a very long time I felt really connected and sympathetic towards Hiro and that's mostly due to the layered performance of Masi Oka. For the past few seasons, Hiro's lost the depth he had in season 1 and just become a total cartoon and Oka who once blew me away every week ventured into total cheese territory. Even early this season I wasn't impressed with what they were doing with him, and I was hoping he'd get killed off because he was beyond redemption. This all changed on Monday night. It's like the writers all sat around and said "ok, now we fix Hiro". Masi Oka is such a talented performer and he really gets to showcase a wide range of emotions and actions varying from absolute joy to sadness and finally total rage. It's just masterful. It also helps that he's surrounded by equally amazing actors like Jayma Mays, Robert Knepper, Zachary Quinto, and Jack Coleman. Some other great stuff that was done was with Jack Coleman's character Noah Bennet. In season 1, up until the episode "Company Man" Bennet (or HRG) was seen as a cold calculating badass almost void of conventional feelings and emotions. He was a rock that could not be moved until we found out his back story and really learned his love for his family and what he was willing to do for them. Since that episode we've seen the many layers of Noah Bennet and the grey nature that makes him one of the best characters of the series. In "Once Upon a Time in Texas" we see him at that mid stage of season 1 where he was 100% devoted to capturing the mysterious serial killer Sylar and saving his daughter Claire. Though we did see that side of him, back then he was portrayed as cold and really well put together. In this episode we see a new aspect to that time in his life, fellow agent Lauren (played by Elisabeth Rohm) a relationship that is very close and seems to boarder on an affair. It's a relationship Bennet has never been seen to have with anyone he works with so it was refreshing to see badass era HRG was just a man struggling with what to do next. He's even got an awesome scene with Future Hiro and gives him some encouraging advice about love.

    And then there's Samuel Sullivan played by Robert Knepper (interestingly enough promoted to regular with this episode which is awesome). I can't say enough about how fantastic he is. I mean, it takes a really gifted actor to play a complete scumbag with no redeeming qualities like Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell on Prison Break and still remain one of the most beloved characters on the series. That's Robert Knepper for you, he's a guy who survived on bit parts until Prison Break and then he just broke out and it's all talent and charisma. With Samuel Sullivan he's playing an antagonist unlike anything we've seen on Heroes. He presents himself as a guy who sees every angle of a situation and exploits it in his favor. He's a man with a plan. But he's also a man with his own flaws and secret shame(s) and he seeks desperately to correct it. Frankly we still don't know what his grand plan is with gathering super powered people to his Carnival but we now see just how far he's willing to go and what he'll sacrifice to get what he wants (he used his dying time traveler friend to assure his plan for Hiro succeeded). It's incredible. Essentially he just plays Hiro for the entire episode and once he knows he has him, he takes the one thing he loves most (Charlie) and holds it over his head securing his allegiance. And while I love Gabriel "Sylar" Gray, Samuel is just something so different it's refreshing to see two villainous forces of nature can exist on the same show and it's not overkill. Hopefully the ball isn't dropped like with David Anders character Adam Monroe and Samuel gets at least a full season run or more. Speaking of Sylar we also get to see him in the past (back when he'd only killed 10 people instead of what must now be close to 50) when he was that mysterious figure in the shadows. This time, we get to see him in full light, he gets lines and he's cocky as hell about his power, as well power hungry. We see even Sylar at that stage can be reasoned with, as Hiro gives him information about the future in exchange for "fixing" Charlie's aneurysm and not killing her. It's a nice change of pace as Sylar's bloodlust was only recently curbed when he found out he could control his hunger and just kept at it for pleasure. With Hiro doing this to past Sylar I wonder if he damaged the timeline further. More thoughts on time travel in the next paragraph. I thought it was refreshing to see Hiro who used to fear Sylar as he would a demon or monster, just making him look like an ass and completely embarrassing him into surrendering to his way of thinking. And I can't say enough about how great it was seeing Jayma Mays back as Charlie, easily one of the coolest character used on Heroes, but more later. For the most part the use of time travel has created more story problems than its solved on Heroes. Although the "scientific community" pretty much agrees time travel is "impossible", there's no shortage of theories of how it would work and what limitations there would be and how much the future could be effected if a person were to go back in time to alter the present. I think the closest thing we have seen to corruption of the timeline has been in season 3 where Future Peter goes back multiple times to correct his future only to change time and create a whole new horrible future. He tells present day Peter the only way to alter the timeline without doing insane damage like he did is to take Sylar's natural ability. Which is all well and good, but nothing becomes of it because "Villains" turned into total clown shoes. Actually LOST introduced the most "accepted" theory about altering the timeline via the character Daniel Faraday: essentially if you were to go back in time, since the future already exists you can't change anything. Something will always get in your way to stop any alterations (on LOST they solve this by calling the survivors stuck in the past "variables" capable of changing the timeline). There's also the problem of a paradox. Take Terminator for example. John Connor, savior of the human race send a lone protector back in time to stop the machines from killing his mother, his protector turns out to be his father, John knows this. But how could John be born of Kyle Reese and Sarah Connor if he hadn't sent him back in time in the first place, wouldn't he have another father? Not if time is circular! So that's the old "it was always meant to happen" theory that kills Future John's mantra of there's no fate but what we make for ourselves, the future is not set. It would also mean no matter what the Heroes do to prevent future disaster something will always change and put them on a doomed path (case in point, pretty much the plotline over every season). There's also the idea that every alteration you make will create a new spinoff future(what the comics like to call divergent timelines). This comes into play with Heroes thanks to Peter leaving Caitlin in the Virus Future from season 2 than destroying the virus making said future impossible. Did Caitlin and that timeline just cease to exist, or do they now exist in a new timeline? We'll probably never know.

    Essentially Heroes seems to adopt all these various theories almost at random. In season 1 we saw minor care from Future Hiro who thought he figured out the whole mess and chose to risk a time rift to reach Peter and put him on a path in which he thought with the information he had the best way to avoid the Explosion Future.. In season 2 we didn't see much care and Time Travel was just a plot device. In season 3 we saw just what happens when you crush a butterfly and screw everything up repeatedly. And this season we saw the futility of trying to stop something that was meant to happen (Hiro's suicidal office worker). But we also have Samuel taking a very unique approach to Time Manipulation (and manipulation period) and how he seeks to factor every little detail into the equation and crush very small "butterflies" and effect the future in a manner he wishes. Of course when Hiro goes back in time and stops his sister from hating Ando resulting in them becoming a couple, one would think it changes the actions and characterization of Ando in season 1 but that's minor compared to going back in time (again!) to save Charlie from being murdered by Sylar. The first time around Hiro finds out Charlie is going to die anyway regardless of what he does due to her brain aneurism, he learns for the first time he cannot change everything.

    This time around with maturity from past blunders as well faced for the first time with his own mortality (his brain tumor) and under the guidance of Samuel, Hiro devises a way to inflict minimal (if there is any) damage to the timeline while also saving Charlie's life. Hiro (and probably the writers) have finally found a way to do this insuring everything that's supposed to happen, like Hiro going into the past in the first place to save Charlie and getting her to fall in love with him is key to pulling off the plan. Frankly I'm surprised that they even thought to use these details as they've never been so careful before in creating plot holes. There are minor issues one might find with the episode, as I mentioned up top Sylar now has made the conscious effort not to kill in exchange for information on his future. Hiro tells him he will kill many people and become the strongest of all, but in the end no one will mourn his death. Long story short Hiro does everything he needs to, to preserve time and his past self's future actions when he saves Charlie. The way the changes are made, it even allows past Hiro to believe he failed saving Charlie meanwhile our Hiro was successful. It's quite masterful and not nearly as clumsy as Time Travel's been done before. Also the scenes he has with Charlie are so touching it filled me with optimism I haven't felt since season 1 which I guess is the whole point. Unfortunately for poor Hiro, Samuel takes her away using his now dead friend's last bit of power to trap her somewhere in time in which only he knows the location. Thusly angering Hiro and securing him so he may use Hiro to crush his own butterflies and past transgressions so they don't tear the Carnival family apart. In a neat twist, he tells Hiro he did something bad 8 weeks ago which turns out is a seemingly dead Mohinder.

    As for the one detail that sours what has otherwise been a perfect episode is the math. I may come off sounding like a complete Heroes Nerd, but hear me out. The events in season 1 "Genesis" took place between October and November of 2006, "Generations" skips 4 months ahead making it roughly March 2007. That volume roughly covers a few weeks to a month and "Villains" picks up directly after. Towards the end of "Villains" just before the episode "It's Coming" we have the episode titled "Villains" which takes place in the past at what was the "Six Months Ago" period in season 1, but it's now "One Year Ago" making "The Eclipse 1 and 2" "Our Father" and "Duel" around April 2007. Still with me? "Fugitives" is said to take place a month after "Duel" making it May at the start. I'm not 100% sure what the timeframe was for the remainder of "Fugitives" but I don't think in a span of 12 episodes Danko spent a year hunting enhanced humans, most likely it was about another month maybe two. Finally the events of "Redemptions" start happening six weeks (a month and a half) after the end of "Fugitives" and at the end of "Once Upon a Time in Texas" we find out season 4 has roughly been happening over the course of 2 weeks making it now two months after "Fugitives" Now with all this information can the Heroes present be anything other than fall 2007? Well apparently it's 2009. Anyway this minor fact just bugs the Hell out of me and really sours an otherwise perfect episode.

    Overall I'm only giving "Once Upon a Time in Texas" a 9 out of 10 because I fail to understand how we're 3 years after the events in "Genesis" otherwise it's worthy of a 10. Again, you have a masterful layered portrayal of Hiro Nakamura which I haven't seen in a very long time. We learn even back when we thought Bennet was a cold badass, he had a softer side, and we see power mad season 1 Sylar is still capable of being reasoned with. For me the episode just adds whole new levels to characters I already thought I figured out. And once more, Robert Knepper is amazing. There was a time I thought Kristen Bell was gonna be the best thing to happen to Heroes, period (David Anders, and Zeljko Ivanek were cool too, but they're not Kristen Bell!) and for a brief time she was, but what they're doing with Robert Knepper is incredible. I think he's the best new cast member they've added and Samuel Sullivan is definitely a more rounded organic antagonist than we've seen before on the series. I hope they keep him around all year.

    Finally the little end bit with what I'm assuming is dead Mohinder is really a bonus for me. I haven't liked the character since mid season 1 and I've often thought the show could've been redeemed had they killed him off at the end of "Parasite" in season 1. Nothing against Sendhil Ramamurthy's talent level, it's just Mohinder consistently sucks as a character and really results in most of the problems each season has. He is the weakest of the OG cast and when they said someone was gonna die, I hoped it would be Mohinder and not someone that "brings it" 100% of the time like HRG, Matt, Peter, and Sylar. Mohinder's just this messy bit of suck on Heroes that needs scrubbing from the series. Hope it happens!

    And those are my insane thoughts on "Once Upon a Time in Texas". This volume is about Redemption, and my guess is it's for the characters finding it, the theme itself, and the writers redeeming themselves for past failures. Though the season has gone back to the old school way of doing the show putting character study and drama over goofy gimmicks and action, this is the first episode I think was done with absolute maturity and attention to detail, 3 Years Ago error aside.

    I look forward to next week.
  • Wow!!!

    Once again I find myself torn... but less torn than I was before. On the whole this was a very difficult episode that could have instantly gone belly up... the infamous homecoming sequence was one point of Heroes at its best. But there was little to worry about. They nailed it. Completly. In fact, if you watch the three episodes where this plays a role in season 1, even with the changes Future Hiro makes, it still makes sense. No paradoxs (apart from Charlie survives). Everything about this was spot on, from seeing Ando again (monsterously underused this season thus far) to Sylar actually helping Charlie. It took me a second to realize that Hiro considers Sylar dead... so his warning obviously makes more sense when taking that into account. Sylar just didn't care. He probably thought... as if they are going to be able to defeat me. I'll be the most powerful. Let 'em try. Hiro and Charlie did lack the chemsitry that had been present in season 1, but on the whole I really enjoyed what happened between them. I was expecting Sylar to turn up at the end and kill her after all... but no!! Samuel turns up! This charactor is amazing! So its he who has been behind Mohinder's strange absance? Finally... we are getting some answers here. Just what happened? Heroes... you have redeemed yourself.

    Well... almost....

    Noah and his blonde. What the hell? Blatant filler. It was nice to see Issac again but the rest of it was so *yawn*. Who gives one that Noah almost cheated on his wife? His story from season 1 is told... why go back just to, again, desperately find him something to do. This is why I hated Acceptance so much... too many people sitting around talking about things just not interesting. Whether Noah would cheat on his wife just failed to interest me. But hey... young Claire was kind of cute. Come on writers... give HRG something decent to do!! I don't hate him at all as a charactor but I hate where he is fast going.

    Such a shame because otherwise this episode was perfect. 10/10 for Hiro. 2/10 for Noah's... thing. 8 because I simply don't believe this episode deserves any less.
  • No, Mohinder!!!

    Mohinder's swan song begins with Charlie's swan song back in 2006, Hiro goes back in time to pray on our collective nostalgia for one of the most epic moments on Heroes's history: the day they saved the cheerleader.

    We're forced to see the morning of that same day from a new abgle just moments before Sylar kills Charlie, a different agent takes Eden's place in Noah's task force and both the haitian & Elle are nowhere to be seen, Sylar however is still in position. Samuel factors himself into the equation. Hiro awaits for his plan to work out.

    However Hiro does preserve space-time continuum, Sylar helps him and Charlie is alive we know something is wrong long before Charlie rejects Hiro for what he has done, long before Samuel takes her to the Carnivale to force Hiro to help them, something has been off for the last 8 weeks ...when Mohinder Suresh was killed.
  • The show preys on our nostalgia. Take that away and how well does this episode really hold up?

    I was looking forward to this episode so bad. Hiro's brief moments with Charlie in S1 were so well done and sweet, that it truly resonated with fans. To revisit this, and possibly change it all is a pretty big deal, and I think the writers had a responsibility to the viewer (and the characters) to handle it as cleverly as possible. They somewhat succeed. This had the potential to be Hiro's "Company Man", but sliding in a half-baked love affair for HRG brought the whole thing down. Things already started off a little awkwardly with Hiro telling some random kid the whole love story. The way he clicked into 'narrator mode' for this felt a little hackneyed to me, but I guess it was a quick way to get viewers up to speed. (Time's a wastin', bro!) The moment about good guys in white hats and bad guys in black was a fun cowboy touch, but they could have been a bit more subtle with it all. Boy whispers to Hiro: "He's wearing a BLACK hat!" Yes, we can SEE that, thank you.

    Zachary Quinto somewhow, and somewhat amazingly, finds a way to slip back to his S1 killer with the greatest of ease. Yeah, he's been a bad guy all these years, but it's just been different lately- It's hard to describe, but he plays "early Sylar" without a hitch in this one. He's the reason this episode FEELS like we really did go back in time. Great work.

    Less convincing is Hiro and Charlie's relationship this time around. I could never shake that they felt like strangers to me- the chemistry just wasn't there, but that might be because they spent less time together than I expected. It was great to see Jayma Mays again, but the way she was handled, from her reactions to being saved, to scolding Hiro for being selfish (this really annoyed me) kind of turned me off to the character. Maybe she was best left in the past. Hiro had better scenes with his past self in the bathroom. ("Where's your sword?")
    That was fun, and when he got himself re-inserted in that old picture, his 'Yataa!' moment felt earned for the first time in years.

    Speaking of old faces, we briefly got to see Isaac again! The old paintings, homecomming, 'save the cheerleader, save the world', could the show have been preying on our nostalgia? Sure. But I can't deny I loved it. Too bad it came about in Noah's plot of possible adultery. I hated this. At the time, HRG was still an ambiguous figure, good or bad? And I suppose the idea here was to flirt with this a little more with Noah conflicted about cheating on his wife. If he doesn't do it are we supposed to think he's a stand up guy? If he does do it, what does it matter, he and his wife end up divorced anyway. And they can always use the Haitian. It all seemed pointless and arbitrary.

    After Samuel's butterfly effect warnings, Hiro decided he would let Sylar continue his murderous path, only just not kill Charlie. Not the best of plans, but I did enjoy the cowboy-like showdown with them in the alley. Hiro promises his knowledge of the future for Sylar's help, and Sly does in fact, lend a helping hand. This was the best scene in the episode; Hiro comforting Charlie as the 'brain man' removed the tumor. There was another good scene squeezed in here, with Noah visiting Claire (in her iconic cheerleader outfit), but after that, Hiro tells Sylar about how he dies, and Sly's reaction is fascinating. He doesn't seem to care. Samuel swoops in at the end to steal and then hide Charlie somewhere in time, and I can't help but be reminded of Peter's Catlin from S2. This made me laugh, and I hope another strike doesn't role along to see Charlie end up with the same fate, lol! Samuel now has Hiro at his command, and his motives have finally become clear. The way he's been jumping around in time, (with his own time-traveling guy) I don't know why he hasn't just fixed his problem himself already. But sadly, Suresh is back, and I know it was inevitable, but I enjoyed my time without him while I could. Days without Mohinder:... 0
  • This episode has brought Heroes back from the dead. Best Heroes episode since season 1 has ended.

    Let me be frank, at this point in Heroes history i only watch heroes to spite it, and watch as it goes down in flames, and to pay my respects to the epic first season of the show. But this episode has revived my love for heroes. FINALLY there is some character development, Hiro Nakamura is developing, becoming mature, becoming the darker, older, and far more powerful future Hiro that we caught a glimpse of in season 1. We see new twists on Sam Sullivan, who is one of the most interesting characters on the show. I absolutely loved this episode, and any Heroes fan who had given up on Heroes b/c of its LOOOONG losing strea, should go see this episode, b/c if they can keep this up, Heroes has a very bright future ahead of it. I cant wait for next week's episode
  • 1st half... okay. second half... great

    The only complaint i have with this episode is the mention that HRG made to isaac about no one knowing what sylar looked like. however, in season 3, we learn elle and HRG were there to witness sylar's second kill. he knew who sylar was. anyway, the good news is that we get a more twisted view of samuel. he is becoming my favorite villain to date. the way he manipulates and extorts hiro is a nice twist. normally, hiro's stories have a comical aspect to them, but it seems he's in for some darker material. will we see charlie again before the end of the volume? or is she doomed to the fate of caitlin from season 2? i didn't get much of the significance of the lauren/HRG storyline. I'm guessing they threw that in there to show that even at the time when we all saw this evil man, he was just a struggling person, who wanted more for his life than lying and manipulating. We are seeing now in season 4 how he is realizing his dream of mentoring and helping others, so in a way, this episode shows us that the seeds were there from the beginning.

    the revelation of the last scene really has me intrigued now. how does mohinder figure into all of this? why does samuel not want anyone to know about it? did he kill him?
  • Season 1 revisted, both in story and in quality. SPOILERS AHEAD

    Heroes is redeemed. For all the sluggishness of Volume 2, irreverance of Volume 3 and inconsistency of Volume 4, we now have 4 great episode episodes out of seven, with lasts weeks being pretty good as well. Where Ink, Hysterical Blindness, and Tabula Rasa dipped their toes in Season 1 waters, this took a dive.

    The Awesome:

    The authenticity of the Hiro/Charlie love.

    I 100% believed this, it was perfect, and not straightforward i.e. interesting, and ultimately satisfying in keeping to the ironic-fairytale theme of the episode right until the last minute.

    Samuels mastery

    Although the most intruiging character to date, there was only little development up till now, with the final scene finally giving us an insight into his motives. This is both kudos to the writers and Rob Knepper.

    The Good:

    Hiro's bargain with the devil (Sylar).

    This wasn't perfect, but I liked the way in which this worked, although if I were Sylar, I would have just gone back to the diner again and again until hiro slipped up. After all, hiro, ultimately, told him nothing, except for he dies.

    The Okay:

    HRG and lauren.

    Interesting enough, but was there any point? Is she coming back? How does this have any impact on HRG, or the plot, at all?

    The slight-irratation-but-can't-really-mark-it-down-as-bad:

    The cop-out of the writers in not changing the past. This was incredibly convoluted, relying on so many factors working faultlessly to avoid changing the future. And by some stroke of luck, everything was fine! Hooray! a cynic would say how convienient...

    But really, by the end, despite the oh so minor faults (see if you can spot the single plot hole in the scene with Claire before she gets on that bus) the feeling was incredible of how well this was pulled off byt Samuel, and a fantastic effort by the writers, I never expected them to pull the rug like that. Hell, what was better, I didnt even know there was a rug there!

    Also, I glad mohinders back, even if he is covered in rubble and possibly dead :)