Season 4 Episode 12

The Fifth Stage

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 30, 2009 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
412 votes

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Episode Summary

Noah gets some unexpected visitors, while Claire arrives at the carnival as Samuel's plans progress. Elsewhere, Peter confronts Sylar and discovers that extreme measures are necessary to stop him.

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  • "I can't hold on anymore Pete." "Yes you can, Nathan. That's why you came and found me." "I found you... because I wanted to crucify you in Times Square"

    They've been killing Nathan each season - or at least trying - but now they finally did it for real. Well, for now, anyway. (Yes, I hope they bring him back somehow, but within reason!)

    While Nathan has been a pain in the ass and poorly written much of the time, his bond with his brother Peter has always been something to look forward to. Even when the times were tough, they somehow managed to find each other in the end (Milo Ventimiglia and Adrian Pasdar are simply amazing when they are on screen together; that chemistry works better than clockwork).

    I think I have never before cried while watching Heroes, but tonight... I cried when the Petrelli brothers said goodbye to each other.

    Nathan: "I love you."

    Peter: "I love you Nathan."

    Those words never get old!

    The scenes with Peter and Sylar were amazing. Especially the elevator scene... a slashers dream... They had such anger and brutality in them, and there was actual emotion in the scenes.

    Anyway, there was a lot more going on than the loss of one of the characters that has been on the show since the very beginning: Noah's plot was kind of boring, although I liked the guy who could multiply himself, and even though Claire seems to have found a new home for herself, those two plotlines just didn't have anything special in themselves compared to the Peter vs. Sylar vs. Nathan.

    It makes me wonder, though... In this episode Samuel said:

    "It's not her I'm after."

    If he is thinking of growing his own power, I keep wondering whom he is really waiting for if Claire was not his target. Sylar, perhaps, but they haven't been after him since he escaped from the carnival. I keep thinking maybe it is Peter: if you're trying to amplify your power, who better for the job than an empath - albeit a broken one? After all, Sylar kills for his power, but Peter merely needs to touch you these days...

    I guess we'll have to wait and see - just like I keep waiting for some ugly truth coming out and shocking Claire out of the happy place she seems to have found for herself.

    (There were some unseen scenes shown to us during Samuel's final speech Hiro, Mohinder and Ando running in a forest, Tracy, and Sylar putting on his cap. Maybe those are from the next episode?)moreless
  • Tim Kring eases us into the winter hiatus with a contemplative episode.

    Tim Kring eases us into the winter hiatus with a contemplative episode that ponders doing things rather than actually doing them; which, to be frank, is no bad thing. There's much to be said for some of the chin-stroking that goes on here, particularly as it provides us with the opportunity to say a decent goodbye to poor Nathan Petrelli, a character who has been thoroughly bastardised over the course of the show's four seasons, flipping allegiances faster than, well, a very fast thing and constantly becoming mired in a shedload of underwhelming narrative developments. When Sylar murdered the poor bastard at the end of season three, while the end result was more than welcome (even if they took it all back seconds later), its suddenness rankled somewhat. We'd spent a good three years with the guy, growing fond of his admittedly rather screwed up relationship with his brother and even coming to love his apparent inability to reconcile his possession of extraordinary abilities with his inherent lust for power and recognition. Put simply, we cared about him and to see him done away in a such an off-hand manner was a little disconcerting.

    Now, however, we've had the chance to watch his culmination in slow motion. It's been on the cards since the first episode of the volume, and with 'The Fifth Stage' we've reached the logical end of a very winding road. Peter gets the chance to say the things that we need him to say, and the pair acknowledge their love for one another, which, for all its cheesiness, is actually rather moving. Ventimiglia thankfully keeps his emotions in check, delivering a relatively composed performance, and Pasdar does an admirable job of conveying Nathan's weariness, his resignation to his fate. It makes for a very compelling sequence, one of the best the show's offered in a long time, so it's a bit of a shame that it's marred somewhat by the horrible slow motion shot of Nathan falling from the top of the Deveaux building. Without the effects budget that they've had in previous years, this fails spectacularly, on so many levels, and really should have been left to the imagination. Oh sure, they wanted to get across the fact that Sylar is still alive, and it was a neat idea (just not execution), but surely this could have been achieved another way? It just looks tacky and really detracts from the emotional impact of the moment.

    Elsewhere, Kring delves into the inner workings of the Carnival, which certainly is good to see. The physical space has become a character of its own over the course of the season, and the insights we get into the day to day routine of the face that the 'specials' put on for the general public are intriguing. Claire's journey is actually rather interesting, breathing new life into her character and opening up a number of possibilities for the future. Perhaps we'll finally be rid of the girl who 'just wants so desperately to be normal'?! Naturally, Robert Knepper makes all of this ten times more engaging by his mere presence (despite his shockingly bad attempt at an Irish accent), and there are some fascinating suggestions regarding the future of his 'enterprise'. It's somewhat unnerving, but also fascinating, to see the character revert to the innocent, almost subservient and apparently wise, persona that he'd adopted in the earlier hours of the season, especially after a few episodes in which his darker side is suggested so prominently. And how about the 'multiplier', eh? Granted, this has its ropey production moments - usually when there's several of the guy on screen - but the concept is strong enough to avoid any major problems. The only other storyline on offer is Bennet's continual dalliance with Lauren which isn't particularly exciting in itself, but at least it's tied up with the arc plot and is kept in its appropriate place as the C-storyline.

    As is the norm for Heroes these days, 'The Fifth Stage' isn't anything exceptional but it does maintain the satisfactory marriage of character development and arc plot progression that we've been treated to in weeks past, and offers a number of well written, memorable scenes that will have a considerable impact on hours to come. Going into the Christmas break, Kring has proved that there's still life in the old dog yet... but exactly how much remains to be seen.moreless
  • Heroes is really becoming boring

    After the great first season heroes started to lose its way. 3rd season was really bad but 4th season is getting more boring and it seems like that there is not much to tell.

    We are watching new heroes over and over again but still 4-5 of them are interesting because the series still based on peter, hiro and cheerleader stuff. 3rd Sylar vs Peter?? Oh no i really would like the producers to go back 2nd season and restart all over again...

    Father figure, the deep releationship between peter and sylar but all is lost and it seems like a soup opera sometimesmoreless
  • I'm not even sure I want to watch Heroes without Nathan.

    Peter took the Haitian's power – that's a first. When we first met Peter, he was the sweet gentle one, the black sheep of the extremely ruthless Petrelli family. He's come a long way since then – I never thought he would torture someone, even if that someone is Sylar. Nathan is actually dead. I may well lose interest now, Peter and Nathan are my favourite characters and their brotherly bond was my favourite thing in the series.

    Of all people to run into at the carnival, there's Doyle. What's with Claire hugging him?! Samuel played Claire and she walked right into it.

    It ends where it begins – with Samuel's speech. He is compelling and very charismatic.

    Adrian Pasdar is actually out of the series – from the interviews, Adrian wasn't even told they were killing Nathan off. That's disgraceful, not to mention he was my favourite character. I say 'was' because I actually am not upset… which says exactly how much they've ruined Nathan's character for me.moreless
  • Change show from HEROES to ZEROES

    Alright folks, If it hasnt already been said, its going to be said now. Unfortunately, this show is showing signs it has lost it. The last 2 seasons were a miserable drudge and at the rate this is going...its going to be the identical third twin. Enough of Sylar, enough of Peters lame powers, enough of Hiro's "A hero must......".That they have to show him stopping time and running to another spot.............. is saying we're too stupid to get it. Enough enough enough.

    Go back to the first season - when no one knew what was going ot happen next, when the more power some one got, the more the story changed for the better. When the storyline actually wasnt stupid.

    My confidence and patience is waning thin. Few episodes and I will otherwise be done.moreless
Carlease Burke

Carlease Burke

Nurse Hammer

Guest Star

Bryan Krasner

Bryan Krasner

Burly Guy

Guest Star

China Anderson

China Anderson

Little Girl

Guest Star

Jimmy Jean-Louis

Jimmy Jean-Louis


Recurring Role

Elisabeth Rohm

Elisabeth Rohm

Lauren Gilmore

Recurring Role

Dawn Olivieri

Dawn Olivieri


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Noah: It's been a long time since I dated. You know, I, uh, kind of skipped right over the Sexual Revolution.
      Lauren: Who said anything about sex?

    • Lauren: Working for the CIA has a few benefits, like waterboarding terrorists and pretty decent bagels, and the ability to triangulate cellphone calls.

    • Claire: Once upon a time... there was a frog. And the frog lived in a far-away land with Mom, Dad, Brother, and a tadpole named Mr. Muggles. And the frog always wanted to be special.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: February 11, 2010 on 7TWO
      UK: March 20, 2010 on BBC2
      Latin America: March 30, 2010 on Universal Channel
      Germany: November 17, 2010 on RTL II
      Czech Republic: February 11, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: April 6, 2011 on Sub

    • James Kyson Lee, Ali Larter, Masi Oka, and Sendhil Ramamurthy are credited at the beginning, but are only seen in reused footage at the end of the episode. David H. Lawrence appears but isn't credited.