Heroes season 3 episode 3 review

'One of Us, One of Them' is the latest Heroes episode. And is it all getting a bit too messy, Billy wonders?

I’m starting to think that Tim Kring, the man behind the Heroes, is suffering from the same issues that Suresh has when he first gets super-powers, in that his ego has taken control. While I like some things in the new episodes, I’m also starting to question some of his stranger choices. And, the logic being applied to some characters – or more pointedly lack of it on occasions.

Take Angela Petrelli, who for the previous two seasons has been presented as an acerbic personality, but hardly lethal. In the space of the first five minutes she’s transformed into a narcissistic sociopath, feeding her ‘son’ Sylar another victim and another power.

Which brings me to my other bugbear: powers. When each character had one or maybe two powers then seeing how they fitted into the overall jigsaw wasn’t too difficult, but now we’ve got people running around with time travelling invincibility with a cherry on top. It’s the old argument about why Superman isn’t as interesting a superhero as say Batman or Spider-man, because he’s pretty much indestructible and infinitely powered and they’re not. I’ve forgotten half the powers Sylar and Peter have between them, which isn’t good for following what’s going on.

But back to this episode, entitled “One of Us, One of Them”.

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What I did like was how they represented that ‘present’ Peter’s mind was trapped in the body of another. When the camera looked directly at him we saw Peter, but in reflections we saw the body he’s inhabiting. This was cool even if the logic of putting him in a super-powered villain seems the dumbest thing that ‘future’ Peter did so far. Surely any incarcerated person would have done? He’s now part of a bank robbery with three other super-villains, while Noah and Sylar are dispatched to get them all back. Noah seems stunned by this teaming, and I was too, as credibility took another kicking. Which is a shame, because their subsequent arrival at the scene of the bank robbery is one of the most enjoyable scenes in Heroes possibly since seasonone.

But before we get to enjoy the conclusion of that, we’re whisked away to Louisiana where Tracy Strauss comes across the funeral of identical Niki Saunders, and the now very confused Micah. This was a scene where Tim Kring’s geek-ness got the better of him, a little. Micah helps Tracy Strauss find the connection between his dead mother and herself using his computing powers, and they discover that the doctor that delivered them both was Dr. Zimmerman, referencing multiple Star Trek shows. And if it turned out to be Robert Picardo I’d have laughed my socks off.

Future Peter turns up and takes himself out of the body he left him and teleports him to who knows where, before Noah and Sylar resolve the bank heist sorta.

There is so much that I haven’t mentioned, like the ongoing Hiro and Ando knock-about comedy interludes, and Parkman’s spirit-walk in the desert, and the impact of Claire’s biological mother’s arrival on the Bennett household. But these are all pot boilers this week, subservient to the Sylar threads.

Kring desperately needs to find some structure in all this, because it’s unfocused and fragmented. There are just too many characters, plotlines and motivations. It might work in his head, but for mere none super-humans it’s overload.

This show has lost the definition it had in season 1, and I’m not sure how it gets it back.

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Check out our review of episode 2 here.