The first five minutes of this week’s Heroes I watched through the gaps in between my fingers, given the utter junk that the previous story floated for us. In retrospect I should have kept those fingers closed, and stuffed something sound-absorbing into my ears.
The writers chose this week to run four sub-plots which each outlined various weaknesses in the Heroes story model as presented by season three. As such it’s difficult to know where to make my first incision in the mutant carcass this show now represents. But it starts with Bennet household, so I’ll dive in there.
Things aren’t exactly like the Brady Bunch with the Bennets, given that Noah is going around capturing gifted people and Claire is through her silence something of an accomplice. Those who like disappearing/reappearing characters will be glad to know that both Sandra and Lyle Bennet make a return, as does the ker-pow pomeranian, Mr. Muggles. Sadly Mr. Muggles’ super power is as yet unexplored, another missed opportunity I fear.
The Bennets take up plenty of this episode, mostly with meaningless bickering, which they’re all expert at. Noah expects a teenage girl to do what he says, demonstrating just how silly he can be.
While Claire goes to save another super person who lives only a few blocks away from being dragged off by Nathan’s thugs. This kid is called Alex, works in a comic store and is related to the man from Atlantis, apparently. She helps him to escape, although her plan of keeping him in her closet seems a little flawed, if you ask me. Things come to a head when Sandra chucks Noah out for being the complicit liar he’s been since we first met him.
Not much joy there for Heroes fans, and it doesn’t get any better when we get to Sylar and his really irritating new side-kick microwave-boy, Luke. They’re driving across America, hoping the show will turn into It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, or find Sylar’s real dad whichever you fancy. Luke gets on Sylar��s nerves to the point where you want him to demonstrate his Pez-dispensing trick on him, but he doesn’t. No, instead, when the swat guys turn up, Sylar escapes and then comes back for the poor schmuck. I can see a scenario developing here, where like with the second Boy Wonder in Batman, the fans demand he’s topped.
This aspect is thinly connected to Nathan and a curious woman from Homeland Security that turns up and tells him that his operation is now under her control, and that she’s shutting it down for him. She doesn’t believe in super-people, which demonstrates just how well she was briefed before they gave her the responsibility. It works out, not accidentally, that the only super person they have escapes and shows the threat is real. It’s Tracy who does her human-to-slush-puppy trick, using up most of the effects budget this week.
That just leaves the most annoying sub-plot, which involves that once great comedy duo now hit rock bottom – Hiro and Ando. They go to India, and meet some amazingly stereotyped Asian people who are about to get married for the wrong reasons. It’s for Ando or is it Hiro to stop the marriage, although at the end of the story why seems entirely moot. Hiro comes to the conclusion that being a hero is about doing heroic things, and not powers. Which is good because he’s got none, and he’s also forgotten he came to the same conclusion in season one if I’m not mistaken. Ando shows the true value of his power when he’s disabled with a frying pan, which sums up things nicely.
In two words this episode is a, horrible mess. They try desperately to resurrect things in the last few seconds by having Mohinder, Parkman and Peter turn up and abduct Noah from the hotel he’s now living, but the damage is already done.
I’ve no idea where all this is going, and I’m rapidly getting beyond caring. I didn’t even work out where the title ‘Building 26’ came into the story, and I’m definitely not sitting through it again to catch the connection if it exists.
That leaves just one question, where is Bryan Fuller when you need him most?
Check out our review of episode 15 here.