Heroes season 3 episode 22 review

The show about super-powers becomes very character driven in the twilight stories of season three...

Last week I wasn’t exactly riveted by Heroes, yet I accepted that the show needed to experience some healing, from a character and narrative perspective. This story, Turn And Face The Strange, is a continuation of that process where characters must be true to their given nature before they can move forward. One of those characters set adrift by the previous writers in this season was Noah, who had pretty much undermined everyone he knew at some point, but his purpose had become clouded and confused.

Working with Nathan and Denko while keeping a foot in the other camp with Angela was an impossible balancing act and this week the wheels come off that trolley entirely. Why this didn’t happen earlier, I’ve no idea, but it was overdue.

Noah is amazed that Denko had apparently killed Sylar, to the point of disbelief. But Denko is supremely confident in his abilities, possibly more than normal. This scene is a precursor to a reveal where we’re shown that it’s actually shape-shifting Sylar and not Denko strutting around with Noah. Almost everyone that Noah meets in this episode is Sylar, disappointingly, even when he thinks it’s his wife Sandra.

I hope Sylar loses this power soon, because the messing around with people that Sylar does in this story to destroy Noah could become very tiresome if overplayed. This is the same way that Hiro’s and Peter’s time travel became a major bore, and Daphne’s power had a similar issue, incidentally. Once you introduce powers like that they can be used to solve almost any problem, predictably.

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By the time that Sylar is done with Noah here his marriage is pretty much done, as is his job and he’s hunted for killing someone he didn’t shoot. Knowing the character, this is his opportunity to come back smarter and invigorated, hopefully.

Another person with issues is Matt Parkman, determined to share some of his grief with the person responsible, Denko.

He puts the thought in Denko’s head that he’s worried about the most important person in his life, and then follows him to a girlfriend who has no idea who he really is. This was actually a rather good sequence, even if we knew from the outset that Matt Parkman isn’t likely to shoot an innocent person, whatever he’s trying to communicate.

At one level it’s a twist on the ‘even henchmen have families’ pitch of Austin Powers, but the way that Parkman destroys Denko’s relationship, by showing Alena who the man she loves really is, works very well, even if he needs to be saved by time-freezing Hiro in the end. They never actually explain how Hiro and Ando find Parkman, which, considering Parkman presumably read his mind to find his apartment, didn’t actually make much sense.

Anyway, they turn up and present him with Baby Parkman, an event he’s surprisingly short of questions about. The build up to this for Ando and Hiro was the least successful element for me, having them take a road trip where, if Baby Parkman got upset, the car wouldn’t work. Having Ando and Hiro make silly faces in an attempt to make the child laugh seemed dumb, on a number of levels. The only redeeming aspect to this was that, when Parkman did eventually pick the baby up, it clearly liked him, for whatever reason.

So what of the other characters? Mohinder returned to his father’s apartment, which had been cleared out, but the landlord had forgotten to tell Denko’s people about all the paperwork he’d left in storage. This is a link to what Angela, Nathan, Peter and Claire are up to in the desert. Angela asks them to converge on a desolate desert location called Coyote Sands. When they all arrive she gives them shovels and tells them to dig for answers, and soon at least three skeletons appear all of which appear to have been shot in the head. They’re admiring their archaeological skills when Noah arrives just before the white writing on a black background…”to be continued”.

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On the good side of the coin, the character interaction is far superior now to what it was five or six episodes ago, and mistakes now have real consequences. What I’m more concerned about is that there are three episodes left, and I don’t want to see the next two consumed entirely with character development, before we get something really amazing happening that makes us tune in next year. Perhaps I’m thinking a bit too much, like those responsible for the horrendous Arthur story arc earlier in the season are still in control, and I genuinely hope it will exceed those expectations.

Check out our review of episode 21 here.