Heroes season 3 episode 13 review

Is ‘Dual’ the worst episode this season? Very possibly...

If you saw me now I’ve got a red mark on my forehead where I’ve been banging my head on the keyboard. That’s how frustrating the latest episode of Heroes is!

In places the ‘Dual’ story is so dumb it made Plan 9 From Outer Space look like a Discovery Channel special on NASA.

Normally, I’d give you a blow-by-blow account of the show, but it blows entirely from beginning to end, so I won’t actually make you suffer trying to follow it. About half way through I started to think that it had been written in the way that David Bowie once admitted writing song lyrics: arbitrary phrases are written on paper strips and then drawn from a hat. Except in this they’ve created unconnected super-happenings, and then put them sequentially together in the vain hope they’d make sense.

They don’t.

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There are three plot lines; Pinehhearst, The Company building and Suresh’s old lab (previously Isaac’s studio). What goes on in each of them is almost entirely unrelated, and often unrelated to the previous scene with that same location. At Pinehearst, it’s the aftermath of Arthur’s death where the Petrelli brothers aren’t getting on well. Nathan has got delusions of following his father’s footsteps while Peter wants to destroy the formula forever. Meanwhile, at the Company building, Angela, Claire, Noah and Meredith are being stalked by Sylar, who’s killed all the non-super people in that facility. If you just went “Meredith?”, then join the gang, because she’s not been about for weeks and now she’s magically here to fulfil a plot point without any explanation of where she’s been or what she’s been doing.

But actually she’s not the stupidest person in this collection. That dubious honour goes to Claire. She’s given a shotgun by Noah and warned she only has six shots! So does she only use them on Sylar? No, she uses one to destroy a phone she’s standing right beside! Sadly, nobody points out you can unplug them if you’re not in the mood for a conversation. The end of the rubbish here is that after terrorising them and turning Meredith into a fire bomb by injecting her with adrenalin, Sylar is killed. He’s monologing with Angela when Claire kills him by sticking something in the back of his head (like this is permanent!). Other minor supers die, like the puppeteer, and Meredith, supposedly, but it could all be undone by a subsequent writer so I wouldn’t take it as real or set in stone.

But where it really goes off the rails is the Hiro subplot. He’s stuck on a flagpole sixteen years back, where Arthur left him. How he gets from there to over the building side requires more imagination than I’ve got, but we see him do it without any powers or explanation. He then decides to destroy the formula, and so fix the future. Except if he’d done that he wouldn’t be there, would he? And he wouldn’t need retrieving either!

So how does he get back? I could say a pixie did it, because that’s slightly more believable than what actually happens. Cute Daphne goes to Pinehearst to find Suresh, except she comes back with a syringe of formula instead. Ando injects himself assuming that his desire to be a time traveller is enough to make that happen. That was a moronic idea, and, thankfully, it doesn’t.

What it does is turns him into a ‘super-charger’, who can amplify another supers’ powers. Err…ok, that’s interesting, but how does it help? Well, according to ‘Einstein’, Parkman tells us that with his help Daphne can now go so fast that she can travel back in time. Like Superman, perhaps?

She goes back and gets Hiro just before his Dad makes Sushi out of him with a Samurai sword for stealing the formula, and brings him back. How she can control this is never explained, and how she can move forward through time also isn’t. In fact, so little is at parts of this story things don’t actually join up at all really.

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I could give you more details but it’s like making a chain link fence with noodles. The upshot of all this rubbish is that Peter gets his powers back, Suresh is cured and the formula is destroyed. Except it was useless anyway, because the Catalyst is lost now as Arthur is dead. Oh, yes they didn’t think about that when they did all these things. And Usutu has his head fitted back on, by some means not worthy of explanation.

If you think what I’ve described sounds poor, the ending of the ‘Villains’ story arc episode thirteen represents, then you have no idea. Because in the final scene Nathan goes to Washington, to sit in a stretched limo with Michael Dorn who is El Presidente, no less! No, a black president wasn’t good enough, now they want a Klingon one! Presumably he took this gig because of a promise of no cranial ridge makeup, or maybe the president has powers and he’ll get ridges then. Anyway, they then rip X-Men off for the millionth time, when Nathan suggests they capture all the special people and put them in a secure facility, but he forgets to mention the giant robots he’ll use for this job.

There are at least five or more WTF moments in this story, but it’s the entirely disjointed nature of what’s presented that’s the biggest issue. In the power dive that season three has so far represented, I think that ripping sound is the wings coming off this recycling opportunity.

Check out our review of episode 12 here.