Heroes: The Art of Deception Review - Mania.com

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  • 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

Heroes: The Art of Deception Review

Pay Attention or Be Deceived

By Kent Ninomiya     January 26, 2010

© NBC/Bob Trate


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.


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sammyboy102889 1/26/2010 2:58:33 AM


noahbody 1/26/2010 6:19:30 AM

Product placement has been in this show for a long, long time. I think it first started with Nissan three years ago.  We can expect, and have seen, more product placement in the future due to DVRs and  time shifting shows.

Get rid of Sylar, been there done that.





I liked the Tell Tale Heart bit until Peter showed up. Some things they need to let sit awhile

I am interested to see where they take the carnies, now that they sided with Samual.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 1/26/2010 9:13:05 AM

It's more of Count of Monte Cristo, though isn't it?  So, it'd be more Dumas than Poe, I would think.

As for Peter - Peter knows or thinks that Samuel is going to lure people using cello woman to the carnival and suck them up into the earth or whatever.  It's not because he feels bad.  And he's going to need Sylar because Samuel is on powerful son of a gun.


As for Sylar suddenly wanting to change; loneliness is a bitch and will turn your ass around sometime for better or worse.

KentNinomiya 1/26/2010 9:48:02 AM

I had no idea that you guys were so well read. I was afraid that the literary reference might not be appreciated. Please keep the comments coming. I agree that Sylar should have sat behind that wall for a while. By the way, would you wall up a serial killer with super powers in your own basement? Don't you think Parkman could have found someplace a little more appropriate. Also, who keeps all that brick and mortar lying around? At least they bothered to explain that baby Parkman was at daycare this time. Doesn't that kid have powers too? They must have one hell of a super nanny. Yet another plotline uncerimoniously dropped by Heroes.

DaForce1 1/26/2010 10:11:06 AM

Yeah, I was wondering why Parkman just didn't weigh Sylar's a$$ down with lead weights and dump him far, far, far off shore. It seemed fairly stupid for a former cop (and even more briefly a former FBI agent) to wall up a body in their own house.

The whole Samuel/Magneto storyline is just too tired for words. Wasn't there supposed to be something Mohinder knew about that was going to stop Samuel? Wasn't that the whole reason for Hiro putting Mohinder on ice?

Honestly, this season's storyline could have been told by a competent writer in just three episodes. Unfortunately, we have to suffer through the melodrama of emo-Peter, faux-lesbian Claire, mood-swinging Sylar, cowardly-lion Matt, the comic relief stylings of Hiro, Ando and Mohinder, obsessive-complusive Noah, and scene-chewing Teabag...er, um....Magneto...er, um....Samuel.

I think I really just need to accept that this series is done, and will never live up to the potential it could have had if the idea was actually planned out over a five year arc. Instead, we're left with the worst part of  a bad comic book, the soapy melodrama that is put in place of action or story.

gauleyboy420 1/26/2010 10:29:12 AM

@Mr. JBE I think it is Poe, The Cask of Amontillado to be exact. But Dumas is a good read to with the Count of Monte Cristo....

KENT! Of course we're well read, we're Sci-fi geeks!

This episode was better than the last few episodes.. I like Sylar as a Bad guy, BUT am I the only one who enjoyed seeing him as a good guy in season 2? Lets make Samuel the focus... And I don’t think Samuel was ever afraid of HRG, he started formulating his plan as soon as he overheard Claire and Lydia talking.

Things are definitely picking up speed, I just hope for ONCE, the first time, Heroes can avoid slamming into a brick wall in the finale. (as had happened for the last 3 seasons, with lackluster finales)

I really wanna like Parkman, but they write him like such a little bitc#. WHY he is so powerful, and should use his powers to at least make his life less stressful. I hate his wife, because I hate cheaters, yeah I’m bitter so what< but why after she screws him over does he bow to her every wish (referencing earlier this year when he tried to give up using his powers)

I guess he’s emotional, but he makes really DUMB choices. He should’ve just done what sylar asked, he would have been rid of him forever, NOW Sylar is gonna want revenge (again) on Parkman for “trapping” him in his mind...and basement.

Parkman referenced he was working on projects in the basement earlier, I just never imagined he was working on masonry projects in the basement. AND YEAH , I wouldn’t trap an all powerful psycho who routinely escapes and kills beneath my family home...
Parkman I want to like you , but you’re so stupid

redhairs99 1/26/2010 12:58:42 PM

Yes I was wondering when did Parkman become a stone mason?  Any why would anyone in their right mind bury a psycho who has attempted to kill you and your family on numerous occasions in your freakin' basement!

And Gauley, I think it was the first part of season 3 where Sylar was a good guy.  Season 2, he was too busy dickin' around with the mexican wonder twins trying to get his powers back.  Now he wants them gone, oh the irony!

Also, since when has any of Mama Petrelli's "major" nightmare predictions come to life that Peter just blindly moves ahead full steam to make those dreams not happen or even happen.  First, Emma kills a bunch of people with her amazing cello playing...PETE SMASH!!! Now, Emma's murderous celloing (Is that a word) can only be stopped by the guy who killed Pete's big bro and countless others, so what does Peter do?  He finds Sylar and is knowingly going to unleashed a power-hungry (literally) killer back into the world.  So what was the point in having Matt put Sylar under anyway if a week later you're going to undo everything again?

And here's one example of just how bad this show has gotten and how dumb some of the characters are i.e., Peter.  This show actually made the thought go through my head, "Is Peter really trying to call a deaf girl on the PHONE!"  Thankfully, he was just trying to locate her and was actually dumb enough to think he could talk to her over the phone.

As for the Samuel/Noah/Shooting sequences, I think it would have played much better had the writers, or maybe it's was a director decision, had the scene where the Madrox rip-off eavesdropping on Claire's conversionation with the Tattooed chick.  Then there might have been a little bit of "oh, no! Noah's gone crazy and started killing everyone" from the audience's POV.  Instead there was no suspense because we knew all along that it was the Multiple Man.  One aside to this scene, what happened to Claire's blood healing all wounds?  She could have easily saved the hot tattooed chick with her blood.  Same thing with Nathan died last season.  Claire was right outside the door and first thing to pop into everyone's mind was "Let's make Sylar think he's Nathan instead of just using Claire's blood to save her father's life...AGAIN!"

And Kent, yes, Elizabeth Rhom does look a little like a slightly older Claire, but I still think she's hotter than Hayden.  I've always liked her ever since her days on Angel.  Hayden just has that "I know I'm hot and I'm totally out of your league" look to her.

gauleyboy420 1/26/2010 7:34:29 PM

Claires blood treats wounds? I frget all about that....

ultrazilla2000 1/26/2010 7:51:44 PM

I agree with the whole Parkman is an idiot theme...I just don't understand why he would want Sylar captured within his own home with his loved one's so close by.  If Sylar was to find a way out on his own, wouldn't he be a tad bit pissed and looking for some retribution? 


And what's up with Claire and her roommate?  Are they seriously going the lesbian route with this?   That whole thing just seems so forced.

doublec 1/26/2010 10:11:25 PM

Zilla, a friend of mine actually said Monday morning, "So, are we gonna see Claire and Gretchen march in a Gay Pride march tonight?"

I liked the whole Parkman getting medieval on Sylar's ass thing--until he walls him off in his basement. HUH?

So the stage is set for yet another confrontation between Peter and Sylar, this time in Sylar's mind. Here's a thought: How about we ramp both of them up to full power, them have them blast the snot out of each other IN THE OPEN, WITH NO CLOSED DOORS?!?

And I thought the whole carnival thing was actually Heroes best moment of the year, truly riveting and suspenseful. I have two quibbles, though:

1. (SPOILER?)  Where was Lydia's clingy daughter while she was being MURDERED?



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