Season 4 Episode 18

The Wall

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 01, 2010 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
407 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

While Peter tries to save Sylar based on his precognitive vision of Emma, Lauren goes after Samuel and Claire learns the dark secrets of Noah's past.

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  • hjjfg

  • With serious apologies to Pink Floyd

    Perhaps because of the scheduling, which has involved fewer and shorter breaks, this season has seemed to be cut down to the bone. In reality, it is only a few episodes short of the average network television season. It occurs to me that the slower pace has also made it feel like the season is shorter, because in an overall sense, less ground has been covered.

    The pace has been a mixed blessing. In many cases, it actually allowed for character exploration, which is one of those things that always fell short in earlier seasons. Some characters motivations have been a lot more defined as a result. On the other hand, many of the characters have already long since worn out their welcome, and what begins as deliberation can devolve into stagnation.

    As the penultimate chapter for this season (and quite possibly, the series), this felt a bit like writers' room navel-gazing. For all the build-up in the previous episode, this seemed to take what could have been five minutes of a typical hour and stretched it to the breaking point. That it largely focused on everything that has been wrong with this season is both appropriate and unfortunate.

    I'll start with the Sylar/Peter plot thread. It appears I was wrong about the body swap that was suggested at the end of the previous episode. Instead, the writers went for the notion that time seems to pass much more quickly in Sylar's dream-world, thus forcing the two enemies to spend years in isolation. The notion being thus: if Peter can eventually come to terms with Sylar's professed restored humanity, then Sylar can be redeemed.

    In essence, it's a cheat. It's a way to skip over the actual hard part of redeeming a character. And maybe we shouldn't be surprised by that choice; the writers already played at having Sylar abandon his evil ways, and then completely undermined it in the third season. Even taking into account in internal influence of Nathan and Matt on Sylar's psychological state, Sylar's tortured character journey makes any attempt at redemption hard to swallow.

    At this point, however, it's still possible for the writers to do this right. They could have Sylar make the effort to do the right thing, realize that his impulses are still overwhelming his desire to change, and sacrifice himself to take down Samuel. It wouldn't be redemption by any means, but it would give the character a chance to go out on a high note.

    Though, to the eternal damnation of the writers, it would also mean that the oft-promised throwdown between Peter and Sylar would be negated by, literally, years of talking it out. And since the writers have done everything to avoid that scenario since the first season finale, the downfall of "Heroes" still traces right back to that decision to soften the ending, let Sylar live, and abandon the original intention of replacing the cast every season to keep the series fresh.

    That might have long since eliminated the frustrations with Noah and Claire. Claire's character arc has been more tolerable this season, if only because it was connected to Samuel's plot arc, which has been the season's saving grace. Noah, on the other hand, has been all over the map. Did we really need to tack on more information about how he came to work with the Company? Noah has already lost his edge in several ways, and these flashbacks only serve to further water him down. Instead of a character that embraced a world that is morally gray, Noah is now someone who was led astray by his grief and anger.

    Even Samuel's arc is pointing towards disappointment. I understand the argument that Samuel's "earthquake" ability, taken to the extremes allowed by focusing the energy of his "family", would probably be uncomfortable for many viewers in the wake of the tragedy in Haiti. And if the episodes were coming later in the spring, having been written after Haiti's decimation, I would agree that the changes would be understandable and perhaps even justified.

    But that's not the case. These episodes were already in the can before the Haiti disaster, so it accurately reflects what the writers thought was a good resolution to the plot. They honestly felt that it would be a better payoff to replace a threat to destroy a major city by shaking it to the ground (the logical progression of Samuel's escalating instability) with the Classical Music Concert of Doom. Apparently Samuel thinks that nothing will strike fear into the hearts of New Yorkers than thousands of people dying because of out-of-tune music. (There's a joke about American Idol auditions or country/western singers in there somewhere.)

    The fact that Emma was introduced very early suggests that the writers had something like this in mind from the start. So as the writers build Samuel up to be more and more powerful, and outright foreshadow that he could destroy cities in the Coyote Sands video and through his destruction of a small town, they know that they will never deliver! It's the same formula that has plagued "Heroes" in each and every volume: build up the story towards a climax, and then undercut it as severely as possible…and then complain that the criticism from genre fans is unfair.moreless
  • This episode proves that the writers are going out with a bang. I loved every minute. Here is my in-depth (big time) summary.

    This is my review/summary.

    We start off with Peter's failed attempt to teleport out of Sylar's mind where 1 hour, equals 1 year in torment. Sylar is baffled by Peter's cooperativeness, stating that he killed his own brother and should not be trusted, he is a murderer. Peter just wants to save Emma from killing thousands. I still don't see why he going through all of this just for her, then again he is a hero.

    On Claire/Samuel/Noah's part we get to see Noah's past revealed through Damian's house of mirrors. Pre-Company Noah (a used cars salesman), was once married to an attractive black woman, who reveals that she is "pregers". Excited, they suddenly face an unfamiliar Chinese-food deliverman. He uses telekinesis to pin Noah againsts a wall to steal his money. Kate (his wife) are truly confused about these powers. In an attempt to save Noah, Kate runs to the man, but he flings her into a glass coffee table, killing her. Noah is entirely confused.

    Back to Sylar/Peter's storyline. They have been avoiding each other for months (possibly seconds in real time). Sylar is now content in his nightmare, but Peter resists. They soon find themselves against a large brick wall. Peter notices its the wall in Matt's basement. They have to get past it to break free.

    Next, we find Lauren being healed by Emma, when Samuel walks in. Emma is all like "She said your a bad guy." Samuel is all like "No I ain't!"

    At this point with Noah, you would think he joined the Company because of his wife murder, its actually kind of true. Noah was really searching for his wife's murderer killing another special in the process. A special the Company was looking for. Blah,blah,blah, Thompson from the Company finally recruits him. Later Noah and Thompson have a dinner (at the diner Sandra worked in), and Noah mentions feeling uncomfortable around the invisible Claude. Nice touch.

    SURPRISE! We find that Noah and Sandra have been put into an arranged marriage. Claire is totally disappointed. Noah says that he married Sandra because he loves her... hmmm.. Claire also learns that Noah threatened Gretchen with good ole Rene.

    Back to Peter and Sylar. After slege hammering the wall, they are truly ticked at each other. Sylar has been using Nathan's memories against Peter; Peter pimp slaps Sylar. Smile!

    While talking to Lauren, Samuel is inturrupted

    by Eli the cloning man, saying that Claire and Noah escaped. As Claire unties Noah in an old carnival trailer, Samuel totally buries them underground.

    Sylar and Peter have been trapped in the city for years, Peter tosses Sylar a birthday present, a book. After years together, Sylar admits he's changed and is surprised Peter hasn't killed him. Peter doesn't want to lose the last true bit of Nathan that lives in Sylar. With a new brotherly hate/love, the two finally destroy the wall. Peter finds himself in Matt's basement, and Sylar destroys the wall that he was trapped behind. As they leave the basement, Eli surrounds them with clones. Ha! He doesn't know who he's dealing with!

    The Wall ends as Noah and Claire navigate the underground.

  • Excellent episode with a few laughable storyline flaws

    This is what heroes is all about, i can't wait to see the show down between Sylar/Peter and Samuel.

    Samuel is the perfect bad guy for them as his power grows with the more specials around him, so having Sylar and Peter close to him will make his powers Godlike and i believe he will be a bit of challenge to take down.

    Always love to see more insights into Noel, i predicted everything that was going to happen except the arranged marriage thing, lol

    A few mistakes that kept this episode from being perfect:

    1) What the hell, Matt finished making the wall after Peter interrupted him?

    2) Where the hell did Matt go?, he just left Peter in his basement and f*ked off, lol

    The real Matt would of at least tried to help Peter by using his powers, i doubt Matt has turned into that much of a coward.moreless
  • An OK episode , with a little bit of a cliffhanger.

    I don't like Peter and Sylar bonding . It's just not ment to be , those two are supposed to be nemesis since season 1. I hope that at least it leads to a final showdown with Samuel. I think that Noah's past storyline was a litte bit forced and I am not quiet sure if it fits the timeline. I don't like Heroes episodes that lack action an this was one of them , nevertheless the writers managed to create some kind of expectation for the next episde. It's not breaking news to say that Heroes finales are not the best. There is lot of expectation and then it comes down to nothing and that's what creates frustation and dissapointment with the fans. This is Heroes last chances to prove that it can come back. All the pieces are in their places , now it's time for the final showdown between specials and normal people , I hope that they do it well this time and then Heroes can have some chance of " Redemption "moreless
Kenneth Colom

Kenneth Colom


Guest Star

Meghan McCaig

Meghan McCaig


Guest Star

Justin Dray

Justin Dray

Uniformed Man

Guest Star

Madeline Zima

Madeline Zima

Gretchen Berg

Recurring Role

Jimmy Jean-Louis

Jimmy Jean-Louis

The Haitian

Recurring Role

Harry Perry

Harry Perry


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Towards the end of the episode, where Claire is talking to Samuel, there's a patch of blood that appears and disappears from Claire's neck.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Sylar: You want to know something weird? Every time you pick that thing up, I think you're gonna hit me with it really hard.
      Peter: That is weird, because every time I pick it up, I feel like I'm gonna hit you with it too... really hard.

    • Sylar: I might not be able to bring Nathan back, but I can sure as hell swing a sledgehammer.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: March 24, 2010 on 7TWO
      United Kingdom: April 25, 2010 on BBC3
      Latin America: May 18, 2010 on Universal Channel
      Germany: December 9, 2010 on RTL II
      Czech Republic: March 25, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: May 18, 2011 on Sub