Here are some thoughts about Brave New World:
- "The truth is, we're King of the Hill." - No, you're not King of the Hill, Samuel. Nor, despite your claims, are you Family Guy (despite Stewie Doyle mugging in the front row). At a push, you might be Josie and the Pussycats.
- Matt gets slightly confused by the many faces of Eli, most of which have no thoughts of their own. Perhaps to make a post-Carnival living, he can hire himself out to various internet forums as a rent-a-sock-puppet? Great for any flame war or wank storm, although it may all fall to pieces if his brain operates from a single IP address.
- When Matt looks into Sylar's brain, he's plainly quite disturbed by the sheer quantity of fluffy bunnies that now dwell therein. Or perhaps it's the unexpected insight into what exactly Peter was up to in there for five years (five!). But even after all that time, Peter and Sylar are still charmingly besotted with each other. Just look at them. The synchronized "It's a long story"! Wanting to "run off and be superheroes together"! All the gratuitous little touches! Sylar's puppy-like gazes of adoration! Can't they just get a room? (And can I watch?)
- Down in the underground, Bennet and Claire are all set for a bout of tragic father/daughter bonding, although at least they have some novelty Slinkies down there to play with before asphyxiation sets in. For a moment, I did wonder whether Ye Powers That Be would dare to kill Bennet off (albeit in a fairly limp way), but all the "you must promise to hide your powers" whining fell rather flat, since Claire was never going to agree to it in a million years, and pulling the "it's my inconvenient dying wish!" card was tacky in the extreme, and made the hard-as-nails Bennet come across as a petulant old lady whose idea of a good death is one that pisses off as many relatives as possible.
- Far more surprising was their exit route, if only because it involved Tracy actually doing something useful. Whodathunkit? I note that her contract clearly implies that she's not allowed to be on screen at the same time as Lauren, possible because Bennet might then realize that they are not the same person (without his glasses on and with a mind that's permanently distracted by press clippings and supervillain stoppage, one relatively attractive blonde is much like another, n'est-ce pas?).
- The freshly healed Hiro is wondering what to do next when Destiny passes him a note. (Destiny normally calls rather than writes, but perhaps the hospital frowns on cellphone use in the wards?) Anyway, it turns out that the woman in room 1106 is Old!Charlie, and sweetly, she looks so much like young!Charlie that it's quite spooky. (Admittedly, she did NOT look 90 years old, which is roughly what she'd have to be, but we can handwave that.) Sadly Hiro's love life is once again squished, but Charlie had a happy life without him and can't go back in time because then she won't be Clark Kent's mum any more. Somehow this did not push me into lump-in-the-throat territory, but it was all quite endearing.
- Meanwhile, at the Carnival, Emma is sawing away at her cello under the direction of Mr Doyle, while wearing a permanent frowny expression that suggests irritation that her role in the plot never got any more exciting than this. Still, her tune pulls in a crowd and also magically washes away any of the tricky geographic details that might otherwise prevent characters who were in Los Angeles ten minutes ago from turning up in New York. (I'm looking at you, Eli. Peter and Sylar have an excuse: they clearly flew there in each other's arms.)
- Claire pluckily attempts to save the world and win her girl scout speechmaking badge at the same time. As usual, appealing to the better instincts of the Carnivalians is fairly pointless because most of them are only allowed a two-second close-up and a quick mumble, but since it's the series finale, they've been allowed to wear sparkly hats and frilly tutus for a change. Claire, meanwhile, has opted to wear a jacket from the same store Sylar seems to favour: classic styling, hardwearing fabric, and discounts for immortals. Who could ask for more?
- Peter and Samuel's ground-trembling duel was hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Competitive soil-surfing is never going to take off as a spectator sport. And Samuel seems to have totally forgotten that he can throw rocks right through people's flesh, in favour of... trying to make Peter fall over. Hmm. I must admit: the earth didn't move for me.
- We'll handwave the mysterious smallness of the crowd that Hiro was asked to transport, and I shall say only this: Ando's power in actual usefulness shock!
- "Are you a shapeshifter? Is that Dudley Do-Right in there?" - that's a good question, Doyle, and I was inspired to explore it in visual fashion:
Conclusion: I don't think Sylar will ever make a mountie, but he occasionally gets his man (or at least, a man). His much-vaunted bout of heroism turned out to be pretty small change in the end, but I did like the fact that Emma got to kick Doyle's butt in her own way, rather than just passively getting rescued.
- Way back in season 1, I had a theory that Peter's much-feared bout of public explosiveness in Kirby Plaza was all a big metaphor for incontinence. Well, if that was true, then this season finale is all about impotence: Samuel wants to show the world his POWER (or something else with five letters, beginning with P), and then suffers from an embarrassing attack of earthquake dysfunction. Alas, this means that the big climax is almost as limp as Samuel's mojo, but I'm sure the ghost of Sigmund Freud is scribbling notes as we speak.
- "I gotta say, I never liked carnivals." - Well said, Bennet. Let's dismiss this whole sorry storyline and move on to the next volume, shall we?
- A quick continuity query: when speaking to Claire about covering up Samuel's schemes to the press, Bennet mentions "the flying, the rumbling" - we saw the rumbling, but who was flying? Was something cut out of the final script?
- And so dawns a brave new world, one that is marked by powers going public, almost everyone having lost interest in their love interests (again), and the advent of Boy-Scout!Sylar, who is truly madly deeply into being a Nice Person, and isn't just pretending so that muscular young paramedics will sleep with him (hem hem). Let's hope he can squash his urge for self-satisfied speechmaking along with his hunger for BRAINZ. I also note that Peter's still got terrakinesis so there are all sorts of interesting tattoo games he and Sylar could play now. Or if you'd prefer to keep things platonic, I'd personally love to see a Peter and Sylar BFFs vid to the tune of Flight of the Conchords' "Friends" ("I'll scrape you up and reconstruct you...").
- Claire's fall was a nice call back to season 1, so if things do end here, we've come full circle. And if they don't, she's got a new career as the Heroesverse's answer to David Blaine. There's no need to panic, everyone. It's all done with camera tricks and fake limbs!
- So, the six-billion-dollar question is, Is This It? Will we get any more Heroes? To be honest, I think I could manage if this really is the end, and I fear that the remaining pleasures of the show could not withstand being stretched thinly over another twenty-odd episodes. However, I've read some rumours that there might be a half-length final series, which I think would be a decent compromise: give everyone one more trip around the block, give ZQ to whip his shirt off a few more times and Angela a few more chances to scheme everyone into oblivion, and tie everything up in a big bow with sparkles. That'd be enough, I think. But will we get it? In this as in so many things, we'll just have to wait and see...