Heroes: Pass/Fail Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010
It is always a treat to see a legend like George Takei on television again. This episode of Heroes is full of treats for fans who have faithfully followed the timeline since the first season. Hiro suddenly loses consciousness and finds himself in Charlie's diner. However, it is being used as a courtroom and it is full of dead Heroes characters. Chief among them is Hiro's father, Kaito Nakamura played by George Takei, who is the judge. The prosecutor is Adam Monroe AKA Takezo Kensei who disintegrated when Papa Petrelli absorbed his indestructability power. Hiro's alleged crime is breaking the hero's code and altering the timeline for personal gain. This is all happening in the afterlife, another dimension of time and space, or Hiro's imagination. It is never explained. Wherever it is, it is a fun way to enjoy beloved Heroes characters we thought we would never see again. It also gives us a chance to reflect on everything Hiro has been doing with his time travel ability since he got the brain tumor.
In another storyline, Sylar visits Claire at college asking for her help to get his mojo back. Apparently he lost it while he thought he was Nathan, Claire's biological father. When Claire refuses, Sylar gets creative using a new power he picked up from Lydia at the carnival. In a truly disturbing scene, Sylar and Claire share an intimate moment. You read that right. Sylar and Claire share spit. If the intent was to shock the audience, it worked, but that was just the beginning of the surprises. There is a very strong suggestion about the direction of Claire's sexuality followed by an unexpected flurry of violence. Claire isn't our little cheerleader anymore.
This interaction between Sylar and Claire produces significant development for both characters. Sylar realizes that he needs to get rid of all his powers in order to feel human again. He actually seems receptive to this despite the fact that the only motivation the character has ever had was acquiring more powers. It leaves us wondering if this is another swing from bad guy to good guy for Sylar. Claire realizes that she will turn out alone like Sylar if she does not allow people to get close to her. She suddenly steps up her “special” relationship with her roommate Gretchen. After all, college is a time for experimentation.
The third storyline follows Samuel as he woos his long lost love Vanessa played by Kate Vernon of Battlestar Galactica fame. This storyline with relatively new characters seemed out of place alongside the other two. It was difficult to care about the teenage love of Samuel and Vanessa when we just met her last episode. When Vanessa refuses Samuel's advances, he loses it. This presumably is the catalyst that releases Samuel's inner super villain. We have been waiting all season for this to happen, and it's a bit disappointing how they handled it. You would think that the writers would have come up with a more compelling trigger.
The episode comes full circle with Hiro's conviction and a samurai showdown to the death. Despite all the convoluted plot twists that got us to this point, it is obvious that the resolution is a basic battle between good and evil. This is the essence of what Heroes is about, and it is played out with clanging katanas by the show's purest character Hiro. When everything is on the line, the hero Hiro does not give up and is rewarded for his efforts. This episode also rewards fans who stuck with the show through an eternity of mediocre mid-season episodes.
Mania Grade: A
TV Series: Heroes
Starring: Jack Coleman, Robert Knepper, James Kyson Lee, Masi Oka, Zachary Quinto, Hayden Panettiere, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Robert Knepper, David Anders, George Takei
Written By: Oliver Grigsby
Directed By: Michael Nankin