Heroes: The Art of Deception Review (Mania.com)

By:Kent Ninomiya
Review Date: Tuesday, January 26, 2010


It is counter intuitive to believe that a person who spent most of his life in the blind pursuit of power has suddenly decided to rid himself of power forever. However, that is exactly what the writers and producers of Heroes are trying to convince the fans. After a brief chat with Claire in the closet last episode, Sylar suddenly realized that the only way for him to be happy was to not be tempted by his powers. To do this, Sylar looks up Matt Parkman and asks him to block his powers. Really? If it was that easy, we could have just skipped the last three seasons!
However if you are willing to accept Sylar's sudden change of heart, you will be treated to a highly entertaining twist in the Heroes epic. Parkman has no idea how to do what Sylar wants, so he goes old school Medieval on his ass. In fact, he goes downright Edgar Allen Poe on him. It would seem that trapping Sylar in Hell would be a fitting end, but it can't be that easy. Peter Petrelli decides to drop by the same day, steal Parkman's power and jump into Sylar's head. Peter believes that Sylar is the only one who can save his cello playing friend Emma. He selfishly decides to unleash a serial killer back into the world because he feels bad about smashing her cello. This is pretty stupid and a departure from the do-gooder image we are used to. Peter has been power raping a lot of people lately. It should be a crime.
A second story line in this episode follows Samuel Sullivan and his carnival. No one there trusts him after he destroyed a town in a fit of rage last episode. It was ignited by his long lost love rejecting his invitation to live in his mutant utopia. The outburst revealed what we were all waiting for, the silver tongued devil unleashing his horns. Samuel doesn't know what to do until he gets help from an unlikely source, Noah Bennet.
Is it me or does Noah's new girlfriend Lauren look eerily like a slightly older Claire? I'm just sayin'. We get to see them side by side when Claire drops by her father's apartment only to find Lauren. It is obvious from things lying around that Lauren and Noah are planning an attack on the carnival.
By the way, did you notice the blatant product placement by Sprint when Lauren was telling Claire about Samuel destroying the town? This wouldn't be so annoying if Sprint didn't constantly remind us through its commercials that they are milking their product placement on Heroes. Enough is enough! Tone it down Sprint or you just might inspire an organized boycott headed by Heroes fans.
Claire's loyalties are torn. She now sees that Samuel is a villain, but she doesn't want others at the carnival hurt. So Claire decides to be a rebellious teenager and go to the carnival to warn them that Daddy is coming and that he is pissed. She manages to convince Samuel to surrender so that no one at the carnival is accidentally harmed.
The Noah Bennet character has always been one of the best on Heroes. He is loyal, motivated and cool. However, Noah has no powers and he takes on people with powers all the time. He doesn't even have special Batman tools. It is strange that Samuel, who can bury and entire town with a thought, would be afraid of a lone gunman on a hill when he knows he is there. Samuel could have the hill eat Noah without getting his hands dirty. We soon learn why Samuel didn't.
Let's just say the surrender didn't go well. A lot of people get shot and a regular character dies. We also get to see the depth of Samuel's evil genius. This part is well written, well crafted, and well acted. The writers also leave us with some eery foreshadowing as Samuel announces that it is time to let the world know what they can do. Could this be a mutant versus human war ala X-Men The Last Stand? We all know that this stuff isn't completely original, but we still love watching it.

Mania Grade: B+
TV Series: Heroes
Episode: The Art of Deception
Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Jack Coleman, Robert Knepper, Zachary Quinto, Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, Hayden Panettiere, Christine Rose
Written By: Mark Verheiden, Misha Green
Directed By: SJ Clarkson
Network: NBC
Series: Heroes