Heroes season 3 episode 25 review: the season finale

The season finale brings Heroes to a close for this year….thank goodness...

When a season comes to an end it’s usually good to reflect on the progression of the series, and see where the various plots have lead us. But after watching the season finale The Invisible Thread I’ve no wish to become that depressed.

Where has Heroes gone this year? To places it didn’t want to go, in ways it didn’t want to travel and with all the inherent style of a Chaplin pratfall.

I’d hoped that the final story would somehow glue things back together, fuse the dismembered logic of this show into a solid platform for season 4. It doesn’t. What this story represents is all the things that have gone wrong over the season synthesised into a single easy to barf serving.

It didn’t take long for me to get annoyed by this story, because in the opening minutes we’re given a quick recap as to where everyone was at the end of the previous story. Except they’d left out a bit where Claire and Angela got out of the car before it was stopped by Denko’s people – so they weren’t captured. This reminded me of those terrible cliff-hanger series where you saw the truck go over the cliff at the end of one story, and somehow it gets stopped before that happens in the next.

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Then we are given the end of the scene where Denko tried to kill Sylar and failed. My assumption was that Denko was dead, but no. Sylar keeps him alive so he can monologue to him outlining his cunning but obvious plan, before shooting a bunch of people while in his form and getting him arrested by his own people. They drag him back to Building 26 where they stick him in a cell with Noah, which makes no sense, as neither of them have any powers.

Claire and Angela split up, because Angela’s had a dream where Matt Parkman saves Nathan and she needs to find him. Claire decides to go see ‘daddy’, except she actually meets Sylar impersonating her father and together they go to a hotel where the President is giving a speech.

Ando and his pal are outside Building 26 where a nosebleed has disabled Hiro. Each time he uses the ability to stop time it hurts him more, yet they still proceed to invade Building 26 and let all the gifted people go. There’s a discussion when they release Mohinder about Hiro ‘rejecting’ his powers which makes no sense whatsoever. Hiro’s father had a power, which if you have the DVD boxset you will know was a Spock-like ability to analyze the probabilities of a situation and determine the outcome. So Hiro’s powers are genetic, so how can he reject them?

He and Ando save everyone in Building 26 and disable Denko before he completely breaks, and in these whole proceedings I’m not sure what use Ando is other than to carry people around for Hiro.

Claire realises that the Nathan she’s with isn’t real, but she hasn’t got any offensive powers other than sneering and petulance, so it’s not like he’s worried she knows. They have a cosy glass of Pinot, where Sylar does his we-could-rule-the-universe-together speech on her. But the cavalry is on its way, in the form of Nathan and Peter. The build up to their confrontation with Sylar was good, but the actual event was a huge letdown.

The walk up to the doors of the hotel suite which then open and Claire flies out and hits the wall, they fly in and the doors shut. The fight is never seen, only heard, which given that this show costs more per episode than any other was quite shocking. The wire-work with Sylar in the next scene was also abysmal. When the doors do open, Sylar and Nathan are gone, but Peter is there. He can’t fly after them, because he’s taken Sylar’s other powers (which also includes flying….doh). What he didn’t take either was the ability to heal, as he’s bleeding.

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Nathan is fired into another hotel room by Sylar, who then slits his throat and, after a little more monologue, he’s dead. Sylar takes his form and goes to shake hands with the President. I just hope Michael Dorn didn’t buy anything based on the work he’d get out of Heroes, because he was seen once last year and now again here. He gets just one line in the show, where Sylar, imitating his security detail,goes to shake his hand inside the limo. Except the power than Peter took from Sylar was to shape-shift (a really useful power in a fight…), and it’s not the President! This twist was entirely telegraphed, and I groaned at this point. But my displeasure was about to be elevated by what they came up with next!

Angela and Parkman find the body of Nathan, which upsets and confuses her because she’s dreamt that Parkman would save him. She then concocts the dumbest plan that Heroes has pushed since all the ideas Arthur had. Parkman will convince Sylar that he’s Nathan, and then he won’t really be dead. No really, that’s the plan. Wouldn’t it just be simpler to inject Claire’s blood into the lifeless Nathan, as they did with Noah previously? No, that makes way too much sense.

At this point I couldn’t really believe what was happening, and then to top it all, once this trick was done they got the original shapeshifter’s body out of cold storage and burned it Darth Vader style so everyone thinks he’s dead, apart from Parkman, Angela and Noah who know the truth. That ends volume four, and we begin volume 5 ‘Redemption’. It’s not the characters in this show that need redemption, it’s Tim Kring!

Before the show wraps we then have two more bits of rubbish to contend with. The first is the appearance of the third Niki/Tracy clone who can turn herself into water. Or is it Tracy, very possibly? The effects are lovely, but it doesn’t really contribute anything other than to see a digital reproduction of Ali Larter’s cute backside. And then we have the totally predictable scene where ‘Nathan’ starts exhibiting Sylars inherent ability and clock obsession, yawn. What a horrible way to end the season.

I’d already guessed before it started that Nathan would die, and that with the success of Star Trek the Sylar character would need to be changed, but the means by which they killed both these birds with one stone was diabolical. I’d great hopes for this show when Bryan Fuller returned, and his penned Cold Snap episode was brilliant, but other than better dialogue, the rest of Heroes isn’t fixed or even close to being so. I think for the next season show runner Tim Kring needs to be sent on holiday and someone else needs to take control, because for me season 3 has been an unmitigated disaster.

This show needs a complete reset now, as I’m not sure I can face any more episodes like this one.

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Check out our review of episode 24 here.