Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Tune in, pass out

You know, many shows would have second thoughts about putting the word "fail" in an episode title, but Heroes is the show that either knows no fear, or does know fear but jumps off tall buildings straight into a big steaming pile of it.

So did Pass/Fail pass or fail? Read on to find out:

  • Hiro and Friends: Trial and Retro Allusions

  • First off, Mohinder announces he's going to wander off aimlessly. Oh, all right then. Nobody seems very distraught, perhaps since they hadn't noticed his absence in the first place. And since he's going back to his demanding put-those-secret-files-away-NOW girlfriend, he may well return at any moment, begging to join Bennet's "women don't understand me" club.

  • Speaking of Bennet, I notice that Lauren was conspicuous by her absence, so yet another romantic failure to add to the long list. If he doesn't get any action soon, I fear that people will soon start calling him No Nookie Noah.

  • But Bennet's love life will have to wait, because Hiro has collapsed and found himself in his own private remake of A Matter of Life and Death. Sadly, it contains Adam (boo!), who always makes my heart sink and my ears flinch, but on the plus side, it's got added Kaito (yay!), banging a sugar shaker and doing his SRS BZNS face.

  • Darn, Dream!Sylar is a sexy bitch, all blithe excuses ("Willy nilly...") and gratuitously unbuttoned shirt. If I were Hiro, I'd examine my subconscious closely and see if there are any yearnings there that require further exploration. (Although, best not tell Ando: he might get jealous.)

  • However, despite providing a couple of minor amusements, such as the Quantum Leap reference, this whole subplot tasted like filler to me. At no point did I ever believe Hiro's life was ever in real danger, so it was just a matter of watching him flail around in his own mental cul-de-sac and waiting for whichever bolted-on solution would save him (answer: medical handwaving in the general brain area, accompanied by a subconscious dash of mother-kissing-it-better). Still, the field's now clear for a climactic bout of rescuing Charlie from wherever she's gone. (And since the answer to that question is "Glee", I hope that Hiro and Ando can work up a suitably spectacular musical number to save the day.)

  • Samuel and Vanessa: My Milkshake Doesn't Bring All the Girls to the Valley

  • Oh dear, this is a very damp plotline indeed, and could best be entitled "Samuel skips and jumps and lurves flowers, he is utterly wet and a weed". But I shall endeavour to find a few things to say about it anyway.

  • I noticed that, at one point, Vanessa graphically demonstrates why she split up with Samuel in the first place:

    Hmm, all the megalomaniacal earthmoving makes a lot more sense now. He's compensating for something.

  • Undaunted by this insinuation, Samuel reveals his amazing surprise: he's making a TV show called Extreme Valley Makeover and she's the first lucky contestant! As usual, it's Samuel's job to bullshit loudly while most of the work has been done by his unseen co-hosts, who are the plant-growing guy and presumably some folk with architectural planning and interior design powers. But the show's researchers have made a boo-boo, and based Vanessa's dream house on out-of-date information, delivered twenty years ago while drunk on tequila. Now she's older and wiser, she's no longer willing to give up all those modern-day conveniences, like proximity to Starbucks, and having friends and a career and stuff.

  • Unfortunately, these perfectly reasonable demands drive Samuel into a cardboard villain rage so severe that not even a self-indulgent mope in an ice-cream parlour while listening to Ricky Nelson can cure it. Instead, he has to go all HULK SMASH! SAMUEL STOMP! GRRR! DESTROY EVIL ICE CREAM EMPORIUM! NOBODY LOVES MEEEEEEE! Oh, pull yourself together, man. I know milkshake-based insanity won Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar, but you're not him. And besides, I bet you're just overreacting because you're embarrassed about the frolicking earlier.

  • Anyway, this hissy fit leads to another Extreme Valley Makeover (and also a hugely unfortunate coincidence, in the light of recent world events, but I guess it was sadly unavoidable). It also provides another answer to the "where is the Carnival?" mystery: it's next to a bloody great hole in the ground, that's where. Maybe the geographical ramifications of this will be explored next week, but I find it hard to care all that much.

  • Claire and Sylar Get Some Therapy

  • By the looks of things, college food hasn't improved since my own student days. Yum, sickly brown slop in a bowl.

  • Ah, Sylar with a chalkboard! I love it when characters draw tables and diagrams, and I can't really explain why. (Two of my favourite examples of this trope: "Bret vs. Tape" from Flight of the Conchords, and the list of Things That Don't Exist from Father Ted.)

  • I also note that the lovely Zach Quinto, who is officially left-handed, was using his right hand to write on the board. In fact, he appears to be reasonably ambidextrous: when I glimpsed him in the flesh last year, I noticed he was signing autographs with both hands, which is a pretty nifty trick.

  • The Sylar/Claire kiss was entirely unerotic and almost totally unnecessary, especially since they'd already smoothed over any rape anxieties with the "I just want you to listen to my problems" speech. True, Sylar does like grossing people out, but that's more old-school chaos-loving Sylar, and not what Claire describes as "the emo apologist version". Still, the eyeball-meets-pencil was even more revolting so we'll call it evens for now.

  • Sylar's psychoanalytical meta-musings were great fun, though: it really is all in the significant pauses: "All these moments, so ripe with subtext." You know we'll be reminding you of this insight the next time you meet Peter, right? Good, just checking.

  • "Maybe that's his answer. In order to become human again, he has to get rid of all his powers." - Foreshadowing: your clue to quality drama! I take it that this is where the series finale is heading, but I'm now wondering how this elimination of powers can be achieved, given that Arthur Petrelli is no more and that Mohinder never did manage to come up with a handwavey-science cure. I suppose Sylar could handcuff himself to René the Haitian, that might work for a while. Well, until Sylar drove René crazy with his incessant sarcastic banter, that is.

  • So startlingly, Sylar ends the day with a big tick in the "teenage lesbian matchmaker" box. A positive achievement! Claire and Gretchen celebrate this by sharing a giggle but they don't actually kiss or anything. Are they saving that for the big finale?

  • Oh, why do our heroes never bother to tell their loved ones, "BTW, if you ever meet a dark-haired guy with huge eyebrows, BE AFRAID"? I know, I know: because then there'd be no story, that's why. Anyway, Janice, you haven't met Sylar officially, but he once bit one of your apples when your husband wasn't around.

  • What does Sylar want from Matt, anyway? Is he hoping to get a telepathic power block installed in his head, or is he now on a mission to sort out the issues of everyone in the Heroesverse and Matt's simply the next in line?

  • In conclusion: looking back on the three main threads, I'd mark them fail, fail, pass, but since Hiro's resolution does set him up for a heroic finish and I enjoyed Sylar's stuff so much, it didn't feel like too much of a torture. Plus there are only three episodes left now, so I've got to grab my pleasures where I can....
Tags: heroes
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