Thankfully, Heroes was much better this week, delivering the best episode of the season so far. While I hate to damn the show with faint praise, it was refreshing to see Heroes provide some quality entertainment once again. Despite this meagre compliment, the show really needs to include more action, but this episode was a step in the right direction.
Once again, the story focusing on Sylar (Zachary Quinto) was the best of the night. After digging himself out of his shallow grave, Sylar wanders aimlessly with no memories or sense of identity. He gets picked up by the police, who eventually learn who he is. Of course he is able to escape when his random bursts of powers conveniently come back when needed. With the help of a very foolish psychiatrist, Sylar manages to escape into the circus while being beckoned by none other than Samuel Sullivan(Robert Knepper). When the cops arrive, the circus is nowhere to be foundâ€”only Sylar can see it.
Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) meets Emma again, and, after saving her from getting hit by a bus, absorbs her power of viewing sound as color. Little of importance happens with this story, but near the end of the episode, she uses sound to break pictures on a wall, and even the wall itself. It looks to be a pretty intriguing power after all.
Claires (Hayden Panettiere) story this week was also quite good. Claire suspects that Gretchen (Madeline Zima) is weird (a realization viewers came two weeks ago) when she sees a computer full of images and files on Claire. Apparently, Gretchen has been looking into Claires past and, for a short time, viewers are led to believe that Gretchen may have pushed Claires first roommate Annie out the window. Gretchen simply serves as a red herringâ€”her obsession with Claire is nothing more than a romantic crush.
The big revelation is the sorority girl Becky (Tessa Thompson), who recruited Claire, is part of Sullivans Circus. Her mission is to isolate Claire from others in the hopes that she will turn to the circus for comfort. Or something like that. It wasnt terribly straightforward. Nevertheless, she is revealed as the one who, with her powers of invisibility, killed Annie (Rachel Melvin) and started to turn Claire away from Gretchen.
While this episode was much better than its season four predecessors, the focus of the season is still quite unclear. Still, this episode was a refreshing change from the others, and gives me hope that Heroes might be saved after all.
Despite being sparse on action, the episode maintained a decent pace and the stories blended together quite well. I was especially pleased that the identity of Annies killer was revealed. She was on the show such a brief time, dragging this out for a better part of the season would have been pointless. Shes a character everyone will forget about very soon, so it was important to resolve her killing, at least for the viewers, sooner rather than later. Of course Claire still does not know what really happened, keeping the mystery at least somewhat alive.
What Didnt Work
Sylar has amnesia. This plot device is so incredibly tired, old, and worn out, even for Heroes. As you may recall, Peter had amnesia in season two. Perhaps the writers were hoping the viewers had forgotten.
After all the hype, the kissbetween Claire and Gretchen was relatively uneventful. I hope this is being included as a meaningful plot piece and not as a ratings gimmick, tossed out there to generate buzz and hopefully pull in viewers. I dont care for exploitation, but if it is handled properly, and with sensitivity, that is fine.
Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due
“Heroes” stars Jack Coleman, Hayden Panettiere, Ali Larter, Adrian Pasdar, Masi Oka, and Milo Ventimiglia. Hysterical Blindness was written by Joe Pokaski and directed by S. J. Clarkson.
“Heroes” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.