Heroes

Season 4 Episode 16

Pass/Fail

4
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Jan 18, 2010 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

8.0
out of 10
Average
372 votes
  • Good thing there's a 5th season.. this episode sucks!

    3.0
    I miss the first season of Heroes. Those were the best episodes! Count to think of it, Heroes, during the first season, is the most popular series globally! People looks at it like the real, non-animated X-Men..

    Second season was not as good but still it satisfied the hunger and addiction of the Heroes fans.. The third and this one, well.. it's disappointing. I have always been a big fan of Heroes, I even got a blue ray of the first season and DVD of the rest, but I tell, you this is the worst episode of the 4rth season yet.

    Why?

    What the heck happened?! I thought, from the last exciting episode before this one, that all action and story development will continue, but nothing did.. All I see is Samuel getting dump and Hiro in a 'heaven slash diner court' ?? What is that?! It's like almost nothing happened.. At least there's this Sylar visiting Matt.. There's a little something to look forward too..

    (if there wasn't a rumor of a fifth season, i say season 4 is the last one)

    http://watchtvonlinestreaming.com/heroes-season-5-almost-confirmed/
  • This season started interesting, but now its just boring.

    4.0
    Everything in this show is exposition. Nothing is subtly implied, everything is stated bluntly. Sylar is one of the few glimmers of good acting, and maybe HRG. This show has just gotten so slow and boring. Nothing happened in this episode. Sylar talks to Claire. Samuel talks to his long lost love. Hiro talks to a bunch of dead people. The only exciting part of the episode was when Samuel spirals out of control at the end. They really need to reboot this show. Claire's storyline is achingly dull. Sylar seems to be wandering about with no purpose or goal. Hiro has been trapped or powerless or weak or scared or sick ever since the end of season 1. Peter is totally uninteresting now that he isn't uber-powerful. I guess they weren't creative to work with the characters they created in season 1, so they nerfed everyone into oblivion. And now, all they can do is rehash the same story elements over and over again. I've stuck with this show hoping it'd get better, but I'm starting to lose hope.
  • Navel-gazing, Heroes style

    5.0
    Much has been made of the fate of "Heroes" this season, and this episode may represent the most potent argument against renewal. The ratings were abysmal, even by this season's low standards. The writing appears to be on the wall, but too many factors come into play. With NBC suffering a huge meltdown as a result of their idiotic Jay Leno experiment (which everyone with any insight into media knew would fail miserably), there will be a scramble to mitigate the damage. That could give "Heroes" a lease on fifth season life, even in a limited capacity.

    Fans had better hope so, because it's already been noted by members of the cast that the fourth season will be ending on a cliffhanger. It's a remarkable display of hubris by the production staff. Why not construct a season finale that could provide resolution if the series ends, yet serve as a launching point for another story arc if the series survives? I suppose that would be asking too much.

    It doesn't help when the writers deliver an episode like this. There are four characters in the spotlight, and only one of the plot threads is particularly interesting. Two of them feel like another way to spin wheels, while the last doesn't feel particularly earned.

    Samuel's plot thread speaks directly to his motivations, and this latest setback in life should be quite the turning point. I was fairly disappointed to discover that all his talk about creating a place for metahumans to live free of mundane society's scrutiny was just a pretext for his desire to trap Vanessa in a fantasy world. I liked the notion that Samuel was trying to convince himself, and others, that his self-interested bid for power had a higher purpose.

    But even if his reasons for proposing a metahuman haven were based on selfish reasons, that may no longer matter. Vanessa's rejection is essentially a rejection by the "real world" for Samuel, and now he could be ready to create an enclave by any means necessary. In fact, his decision to destroy an entire town, committing mass murder, suggests that he will do anything to see his will fulfilled. This only adds to the speculation that Samuel will use his ability to create a metahuman haven, only to be taken down and replaced by Peter as a more stable and pragmatic leader.

    I had thought that Sylar would make the perfect assassin's weapon against Samuel, but this latest delaying tactic leaves me doubtful that the character will ever get solid treatment for long. Sylar was great in the first half of the season (one of the few highlights, for that matter), but this latest turn is disastrous. If taking away Sylar's power is supposed to be the way to restore his humanity, why didn't that work in the second season? As mentioned in previous reviews, the notion of a redeemed Sylar no longer makes sense.

    Nor do I think that Hiro's little trip into the depths of his subconscious will lead to any worthwhile permanent shift in the character. How many times has Hiro been pushed back onto his path, only to stray again when the writers need comic relief or need to take him out of the equation for a while? Hiro's entire character arc this season has been about keeping him from being a challenge to Samuel as long as possible. Bringing back old characters is fun, but this is really nothing new or creative.

    It's ironic that I noted in a recent review that the kiss between Claire and Gretchen must have really been a rating stunt, given that the relationship has barely been discussed since that big moment. All of a sudden, Claire is admitting that her personal issues have been driving her to avoid her true feelings. This realization is so abrupt and complete that it feels like the writers wanted to get to this point without wanting to risk a more direct approach by building up to this point over time. Compared to the development of the Willow/Tara relationship on "Buffy", this is laughable, and feels like a token attempt by Kring and/or NBC to mollify those annoyed by past mistreatment of homosexual characters.

    The result is an episode that just didn't generate much in the way of excitement. Samuel's further descent into madness had its good points, since one could see things going badly from the start, but everything else has been seen before or felt disingenuous. As much as I want this season to live up to its potential, the writers keep missing the mark.
  • Second worst episode of the season so far

    6.0
    I didn't hate this episode as much as Acceptance. At least something interesting happened here. Unfortunately, it promised much and delivered little. I liked the idea of Hiro's trail and bringing back Kaito and Adam were nice touches. However, it shows especially that both charactors were killed off far too soon. Especially Adam. The oh so symbloic sword fight between them had no effect at all, and if I'm being honest the whol trial aspect was filler. Sure, it represented Hiro's subconcious and his misgivings and doubts. It was the best thing about this episode, if anything just to see Adam again. But who actually thought Hiro would die? Exactly.

    And experiment proved. Zach Quinto may have carried this show but the charactor of Sylar is tried and tested beyond belief. Not even he could make the Claire storyline interesting. I was actually begging Sylar to slice up both her and Gretchen. Seriously, she just. will. not. stop. moaning. And his revelation is annoying to the point of extreme. He's going to try to get Matt to take his powers now? Not only can't I possibly see how they can make this work, I would ask the writers to remind themselves of season 2. Sylar was powerless for the entire 11 episodes yet was still a murderous psycopath. Yet later seasons have tried to blame this on his powers. That is just inconsistant writing. Its his mind that is the problem. And for the first time this week Samuel bored me. That I never expected to happen. But I just didn't care about his pathetic attempts to woo Vanessa. The ending, however, looked promising. He's supposed to be powerful to the point of dangerous; get him using his damn powers!!!

    I'll conclude with Mohinder. If I was (can't spell his name) I'd be very annoyed at the writers this season. They seem to barley want him around for five minites before sending him on his merry way again. Hugley wasted. If they can't fight anything to do with him, kill him off!!

    This season needs to spice up. Seriously, this episode was not all bad but I'm ready for some action now. Far too much time spent dwelling on talky scenes.
  • Pushin' it .

    7.5
    I was afraid that this might happen one day , I am starting to get bored with Heroes.What's up with the last three episode or so ? Is this show a soap opera o it's an interesting action-packed superhero show ? Cause lately I can't tell between both of them. Sylar is such a wuss , what happened with the fearless killer of the three last seasons ? This was my favourite character and now he talks about love and feelings , what is up with that ? Oh Claire , seriously ? Bonding with your father's killer ? And for that matter with your mother's killer ? I don't get it , I simply don't get it. Enough with the lesbian insinuation , is getting old and completely out of character. I think the whole " Law & Order " storyline was pretty creative but Hiro's mother coming from the grave to heal him..... too much. Samuel : Another good character who is starting to completely suck , at least he returned to his evil path after being rejected , that will mak things interesting. At this point , the only thing that can save the ending of this season is a final showdown between Sylar , Samuel and Peter , but what are the odds of that happening ?
  • Heroes the way it should be ( or almost ) .

    8.0
    Well, we're not quite back to the glory days of the first half of season 1, or "Company man", but this episode was certainly a good try. First of all, all three arcs were character-driven, and not excessively convoluted, just as they should be. Zachary Quinto plays a "different" Sylar much better than in volume 3, and his speech actually makes a point ( I just have a hard time buying he changed just because of what Hiro told him ). Hiro's trial was predictable, but fun, and bringing back Kensei and his parents was a nice idea. Robert Knepper showed once again his fine acting in that episode. And when he's rejected, his reaction is both heartbraking and suggesting a spectacular ending for the season. Again, the episode is not without its shortcomings, but it was very enjoyable. If the end is near ( and maybe it should ) , maybe the show will go out on a strong note.
  • A generally solid episode, thanks largely to its refreshingly considered focus on the show's most sorely mistreated Japanese supergeek.

    8.0
    A generally solid episode, thanks largely to its refreshingly considered focus on the show's most sorely mistreated Japanese supergeek. Finally, Masi Oka gets the chance to prove that he's not just a cutsie-wutsie face with a penchant for ludicrously overused catchphrases. Give this man something with weight, a storyline that has some actual bearing on the arc plot and manages to deliver a whack-load of character development to boot, and he'll outshine the lot of 'em. As with season three's once-in-a-blue-moon 'Our Father', 'Pass/Fail' dares to treat Hiro as something other than comedic foil and reminds us all precisely why we fell hopelessly in love with him in the first place. For all the makeshift trial is pseudo-fantastical gumf (it's all in his head! Wait... his mum's there! She heals him! Is it all in his head? Is there something more going on? Is it all just symbolic? We'll never know!), it has its hrt in exactly the right place: it helps us to put Hiro's actions in the past season into a wider context and carefully outlines the somewhat murky moral dilemma that inevitably arises when presented with the responsibility of control over the space-time continuum. It also gives us a chance to marvel at the woefully-missed acting talents of good ol' David Anders, whose turn as Adam Monroe, Metaphysical Prosecutor, is right on the nose, and, indeed, at George Takei who, despite having only a handful of lines and just bashing a salt-shaker a bit, is one of the best things to happen to Heroes in ages. It's a shame that the denouement, in which Hiro engages in a symbolic battle with His Inner Conscience (sorry, Kensei), falls rather flat; there is never any question of the character actuallysuccumbing to his illness so while the point is not exactly moot - he still needs to re-learn the moral lesson, if you will - it still lacks the dramatic punch that it perhaps could have packed. Elsewhere, there's a nice little turn between Kate Vernon and Robert Knepper, who act their tiny socks off with every passing scene in order to present the impression of a couple with a tonne of history. Their dialogue, interactions and nuances make the whole thing lift off the page with a delectable sparkle, disguising the fact that the story is distinctly conventional. By hour's end, when Vernon snubs T-Bag as he presents her with his fantasy, you actually feel resca shred of empathy for this dangerously manipulative character... and then he goes and levels an entire town and ruins it all. The episode's other strand, Sylar's quest to understand what draws him to Claire, is passable but nothing particularly spectacular. We've been here before (for a great deal of season three, it should be noted) and while, once again, Zachary Quinto is absolutely marvellous, delivering each line with just the right level of quiet menace, the whole story feels distinctly inconsequential. Still, Claire gets a nice go at Sylar's eye and we get the chance to witness the Heroes writing staff's desperate attempt to channel the ghost of Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (come on... Claire and Gretchen want to be Willow and Tara so badly, it's bloody embarrassing). Oh, and that Quantum Leap reference made my year.
  • I drink your milkshake

    8.0
    Heroes is at its strongest when they really buckle down and focus on the story rather than the powers. I think this episode was a great example of that.

    Pass/Fail was all about Pacing/Character Development.
    I thought all three plots were equally fascinating and emotionally solid.

    Samuel is still keeping his old flame Vanessa in his, *ahem* company. I refuse to call her a hostage or this a kidnapping because of how everything played out. Robert Knepper has done a fantastic job as Samuel Sullivan this season, and I truly believe he's given us the most dynamic character ever on this show, hero or villain. I really liked everything about this story. Vanessa's shift from reluctant to enamored is completely believable, with the subtle, yet persistent way Sam woos her. Starting with a simple milkshake, and ending with a genuinely sweet dream come true, We can understand why she would fall for Samuel's charm. Sam's strikes me as a snake-charmer type. Like Bill from the Kill Bill movies. At the end, Vanessa's rejection is understandable, but it breaks Sam's heart and drives him to rage out. Excellent.

    Sylar made his visit to Claire and gave her a little 'We're the Same 101' lecture. I could understand why this might have been a putt-off for some viewers; both of these characters are over-exposed on this show (where's the hell is Peter?). But I still liked what they were trying to say and where the story took us. I can't deny that Zachary Quinto and Hayden P have great chemistry together, and in some ways, this entire saga is about the two of their journeys. Emulating moments for the beginning of Season 3, Sylar once again 'forced himself' on Claire, and took something from her. This time just information, though. The clever twist with what he did with Gretchen was what I really liked. This drove Claire to finally open up the The Gretch and this capped with another sweet moment of the two girls holding hands. Expect to see the couple in a tree "I-N-G-ing" sometime soon.

    Hiro's story was the oddest, yet somehow, even this worked for me too. Mostly because ADAM'S BACK! The only good thing about Season 2, made a welcome return as a prosecutor in a sort of judgment trial for Hiro's crimes against the space/time continuum. Ando was the defense attorney. Yeah,I know it sounds stupid on paper, but this turned out to be interesting because of how it played out. Characters of yesteryear are mentioned or appeared (like pops as the judge), and for a show that is infamous for ignoring its own history, this was pleasure. The case itself against Hiro was also interesting, as Adam pointed out the morally questionable decisions Hiro has made throughout the years. Hiro fought back with his noble intentions, but guilty was the verdict, and on his death-bed, Hiro faced one last challenge before moving on to the great hereafter. A final sword fight with Takeo Kensei! finish with a(nother) sweet scene with Mommy, and more than anything, this wraps up the tumor storyline and gets Hiro healthy and back on track. (Like anyone actually thought he would die?)
  • A fascinating Sylar episode.

    9.0
    Good to see Adam again, even if it is only a dream. The 'charge' is perfectly fair – Hiro has been running around using his powers for personal gain. Sylar is the best example of that – Hiro could have stopped Sylar before he became immortal and he selfishly kept Charlie alive, letting Sylar go to continue killing. Never liked Charlie and she was utterly pointless, except to Hiro, and Hiro let dozens more die. Hiro got off his path about two years ago and it no longer the hero he likes to believe he is.

    Claire is so rude to Sylar – he's practically family, he was even a Petrelli for a while. Which means that hot kiss was practically incest. Sylar has a good point – they do have a lot in common, in the future Claire was a killer too. She's quite a hypocrite. Liked Sylar pretending to be Gretchen – that was shockingly subtle for Sylar, powers on the fritz or not. Who knew Sylar would be such a cupid?

    So Hiro is the other character that was supposed to die – to be honest, he hasn't been anything but comic relief since season 1. He's adorable and I've always liked him but he isn't remotely important to the story.

    Vanessa was the only thing keeping Samuel human – without her, he will become the monster.
  • Overall, a good one..

    9.5
    I agree that Heroes went downhill since season 2 but I strongly deffend this season has been a good one. Taking Heroes back to its drama roots with strong built episodes and focusing less on the powers and more on the characters.

    Nathan is dead, Angela is getting less and less screen time. The deaf girl storyline is the one you know it'll be Maya like (which means one season only with possible death in the future).
    The show is focusing a lot on Hiro and Claire at the moment. Which is fine, Claire has gone a long way since her cheerleading times..

    Hiro's fantasy trial thing was clearly to wrap up his doubts and get him back on his feet, tumor free.

    I see Sam like that hunter guy. A strong villain but someone to fill in the spot while Sylar goes on a sidequest (road trip to find his dad in last season). Someone who makes waves and shake up the Heroes franchise but with a set up expiration date.

    Waiting for the next episode. Noah against Sam & buds. Gotta love it!

    Cheers!
  • I feel like this season started off on a different pace while remaining still very interesting. However there were a couple slower episodes in the middle. Then they came back with this episode and the 2 prior to it. EXCELLENT MOVE!

    10
    I really feel like Heroes is genuinely making solid strides in a good direction! These past 3 episodes kept me up till 4 or 5am because I couldn't stop watching...like the Heroes that we all know and love! Anyways, for those of you who feel like this season was slow for a few episodes don't lose hope! This show has proved time and time again that it's just setting up the plot for the intensity to come... kinda like Empire Strikes Back. =) It was nice to see Ando back in action as well! Hiro and Ando have always been 2 of my favorite characters. Also, not sure what's up with Peter but I get the feeling that he's gonna play an important role with Samuel and what not..

    Bravo Heroes! Sigue echandole ganas!
  • Objection your honour, he's reciting the opening to Quantum Leap :D

    10
    Fantastic episode, loved every minute of it.

    I was wondering if they were going to pursue the good sylar they portrayed in the first episode of season 3, looks like they are.

    But this whole idea of taking away his powers will end up a failure as it is part of who he is, i doubt even matt could revert him back to an older self or suppress his powers forever, the ticking will eventually take over again.

    Nope, sylar will eventually have to come to terms with who he is and live in harmony with his powers and trust me he will need his powers to survive the wrath of Peter as i doubt he has forgiven him that easily.

    I do like the way they kept a bit of Nathan in sylar which has resulted in this whole awakening of Gabrielle, he has been lost for so long and it's nice to know Nathan's death wasn't completely in vein.

    lol at continuing claire's lesbian story arch, at least it makes her useful, it's just a shame that Gretchen isn't hot, but it still does the job :P

    I'm really looking forward to the next episode and in fact the rest of the season to see how it all pans out.

    Welcome back heroes, please don't go ever go back to season 2 standards again!
  • one from the best episodes of the show till now

    10
    no doubt that's one from the best episodes this season if not one from the best of all season.
    i like the fantsy court that ran in hero's brain and how dramatic was it .
    sylar looks nice and makes the show more good when he is acting good but as sylar we wait for that good acting to end . we liked it but not for too long , the show can't be run by good heroes only .
    samuel makes me feel him weired in the show while the show runs in a good way he comes and destroy what the episode is building in your feelings but in a good way.
    finally i have to admit that this season is getting better after and after .
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