Heroes: Once Upon a Time in Texas - Mania.com

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  • TV Series: Heroes
  • Episode: Once Upon a Time in Texas
  • Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Masi Oka, Ali Larter, Milo Ventimiglia, Jack Coleman, Leonard Roberts, Greg Grunberg, Adrian Pasdar
  • Written By: Aron Eli Coleite, Aury Wallington
  • Directed By: Nate Goodman
  • Network: NBC
  • Series: Heroes

Heroes: Once Upon a Time in Texas

Haven't we been here before?

By Stephen Lackey     November 03, 2009

Heroes Review
© NBC/Bob Trate


This week Heroes harkens back to the early days of the series, and dredges up what was most irritating about those days. There’s so much about this episode that either doesn’t make sense or is just a waste of time that it’s hard to mention it all. Hiro is dying and he wants to make sure and complete a few tasks before his demise. One of those tasks is to save Charlie, his one true love, from death at the hands of Sylar, or as he calls him, the “brain man”. So at the end of last week’s episode Hiro blinks out and this week its three years ago and Hiro is at the greasy spoon where Charlie works as a waitress. If you don’t remember Charlie has the ability to remember everything and soak up information like a Sham Wow! At this point in Heroes history, Sylar is still bouncing around the country stealing abilities from other special individuals by slicing the tops of their heads off. Sylar meets Charlie in the diner and she compares herself to Wikipedia, a joke that’s very of the now, not so much three years ago when this is supposed to have occurred.
Hiro knows that he can’t succeed at saving Charlie because he’s tried many times before. Why do it again? Is he really that stupid? With some prodding from Samuel, he does make the attempt and as much as he thinks he hasn’t affected the past he has changed things. In this part of the past, a secondary story involving HRG, Claire, and another company agent is the secondary story of the episode and it is completely uninteresting and unnecessary. Things change, yes, but the things that do change simply don’t matter and if they do, they are sure to negate everything we’ve seen so far. The problem with time travel in this show is that the writers tell the same story over and over again with a few tweaks. It was frustrating in Season One and it is sleep inducing now. Heroes has finally become too similar to current comic books. The two major comic book companies have rebooted much of their universes and they are now taking advantage of that reboot to retell some of their greatest stories with tweaks to make those stories more modern. Marvel is the worst offender by far. Now instead of breaking new ground, Heroes is going back to the early days.
Sure, there’s more to this episode than a simple Hiro changes the past again. There’s a cliffhanger and that cliffhanger and everything else that happened in this episode totally destroys the emotional beats that were hit between Hiro, Charlie and Sylar in Season One. Much of Hiro’s motivation in Season One, outside of his desire to simply be a super hero, is negated now. The worst thing about this episode of all is some of the fat that was trimmed from the show seems to be returning as part of the cliffhanger ending of the episode. One of the most uninteresting characters in the history of Heroes appears to be making his triumphant return and it couldn’t be more disappointing. This is without a doubt the worst episode of the season and the pace that it sets is extremely disheartening. Now we’ll have to see more about the changes Hiro made to the past and how that changes this story arc and that one. What about a completely new story? What a novel idea!
This season of Heroes started with so much potential. The bloated ensemble was trimmed back the remaining characters were getting better development. Now the show seems to have taken several steps back into the murky mistakes of previous seasons. There were a few good scenes between Sylar and Hiro, but they weren’t nearly interesting enough to save the episode. I just can’t wait to see Sylar of three years ago go after the cheerleader again, or at least see what changes have happened since Hiro made his adjustments to the past!


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JDK008 11/3/2009 2:21:13 PM

By far the worst review I've seen in a long time.  You're personal opinion gets in the way of you being objective.  You're just as bad as Rob Vaux was.  Please quit wasting our time writing these shi**y reviews and go color or something.  This episode was a solid "B" for sure.  Get Joe to review this show... someone who at least has some logical sense in their brain.  What do you want the writers to do??  What possibly can they do to please you?  You seem to be blinded by your own agenda for the show.  Alright enough said.. I'm done.  Hope the other maniacs on the show can understand where I'm coming from....

okonomiyaki4000 11/3/2009 2:25:20 PM

 F? This was by far the best episode of the season and better than any episode from last season. I know there are a lot of Hiro haters out there but come on. This episode not only took us back to the good old days of Season 1 when this show didn't suck, it also gave Hiro a mission and Noah a secret past which is sure to come back into play soon. It also didn't have any Matt Parkman or bi-curious Claire. What more do you want, really?

lister 11/3/2009 3:26:08 PM

Oh man. Everything after Season 3 has been so bad that it retroactively makes me embarrassed for enjoying the frist three chapters. It's just so bad. Can't watch any more.

noahbody 11/3/2009 4:11:44 PM

Sorry not an F episode, but only a C.

Time will tell how it will play out. I liked how Hiro had to get all "serious" when talking to people in the past and his comments about the sword.

You know that was directed at you right?

You know who you are!

banddsupreme 11/3/2009 4:53:03 PM

 I'd have to agree with the reviewer this time out.  This was a pretty dismal episode.  I've been quite happy with this season so far.  Everything was very low-key and small and slow-paced, much like the first season, and it has been great.  But this episode..this was the first one that while watching, I'm sitting there thinking how bad this is.  

Ok, first of all...the whole Claire, Noah Bennett, other unimportant person thing..utterly unimportant, unnecessary, and damaging to the characters before.  Who cares about this other partner and possible relationship with Bennett?  What were we supposed to learn about Bennett from these scenes?  And..at this time,  the company is a one of us, one of them and Noah was working with the Haitian.  So who is this girl, and why are they working together and why are we supposed to care?  And the most important thing here they did wrong was the relationship between Noah and Claire.   In the beginning of the season 1, Noah was very strict and standoffish and secretive about everything and did not have a very good relationship with Claire.  She hated him as he was "being too protective and all that other parenting stuff".  They were not nearly as buddy buddy as they are now.  It wasn't until Homecoming where their relationship really started to change and it took until the end of the season, after Company Man, before Claire started to really understand and like Noah.  In this episode, before all that development was supposed to have happened, they disregarded all that continuity and acted like they do now.  And I seem to remember Noah not allowing Claire to go to Homecoming, and grounding her, and she escaped out the window without his permission.  Then he finds out, gets upset, and chases after her.  This was my main problem with the episode.  This  completely unnecessary storyline wasn't even done respectfully towards the characters.

The problems I had with the Charlie, Hiro, Sylar thing are whatever.  They seemed to try really hard to make it all fit with what happened before but I just didn't care for it.  Hiro already tried a million different ways to save Charlie in Season 1 as evidenced by the montage and exposition done...and none of them worked.  That was the whole point.  Hiro realizing that fact and that he can't change anything.  So why would he try now..and presumably he's already tried every conceivable thing.  I also noticed and perked up at the Wikipedia reference.  Really out of place.   Her death shaped what Hiro became in the rest of Season 1 and now all that is changed.  What..old Hiro will continue to think Charlie is dead and act the same because he was convinced by new Hiro?  The whole thing just felt corny and done bad.  Have Hiro have the last few moments with Charlie gracefully and then move on with his death.  

If the writers want to do time travel correctly or with some thought-provoking they should take some inspiration from films like Primer or Timecrimes.  Those movies handled looping and consequences pretty consistently.

I was glad Mohinder hasn't been in this season so far and Tracy was very limited.  We don't need these characters anymore.  Trim down the show.  But..apparently..not going to happen.  




PimpD 11/3/2009 5:25:06 PM

One of the best reviews I read in sometime, I joined just to respond. Clearly you are a fair and honest person, this epidsode sucked BIG-TIME and I just glad someone is honest enough to say it

DayDrumFour 11/3/2009 6:30:48 PM

The writers of this show have no concept of what a plothole is.

I don't have to free up DVR space yet, still looking for new shows. And it won't be V either.

MrJawbreakingEquilibrium 11/3/2009 7:28:26 PM

What the hell is an honest review? A review is an opinion, you moron.

dawntreader 11/3/2009 8:47:21 PM


The best episode of the season, so far, and it gets an F.

so i guess that you didnt like back to the future 2 as well? i thought they fit things nicely within a time frame that was open to new things and managed not only to leave the original situation intact, but created a situation that will give Hiro a reason to be in the show again.

i must say that i could have done without the HRG and Blonde thing. although i think it worked and brings up the question of what ever happened to that blonde? will they use her again? it seemed that HRG being the head of this part of the company had many partners. the haitian, eden and this blonde. i bet the policy was 1 of us, 1 of them, from a pool of thems. it seems that maybe depending on what was needed they were given the choice of which powers they needed.

hopefully the next episode will deal a little with the repercussions of what Hiro has done.

PAGE 11/4/2009 1:00:23 AM

I also agree with the review. This episode was horrible and even Joe would have given it an F. I would rather have watched the twins from season 2 than this episode. The writers need to step up their game.

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