Heroes Review: The Biggest Cop Out in TV History

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Congratulations are in order for Heroes.

Despite the show's low ratings and rumored cancelation, it went into the record books this week for airing the most manipulative, cop-out of a storyline in TV history. Well done, terrible series!

After dragging viewers through Hiro's brain tumor all season, the episode "Pass/Fail" dealt with it as follows:

Hiro passed out. He had afterlife-like visions of a trial in which Adam Monroe accused him of using his time-traveling abilities for selfish reasons. His father (the judge) then found him guilty of this charge and sentenced him to a sword fight with Monroe. Hiro won, and was cured of his tumor with a kiss from his dead mother.

We're not making this up. That's how the show actually resolved one of its main season four storylines, which left us with two questions:

  1. Was Heroes actually being ironic? Most of the episode was dedicated to depicting how much of a waste Hiro has become. It's hard not to think the series was almost winking at viewers with this self-aware plot.
  2. Was Heroes going for such a religious theme? It was impossible to not view the diner as purgatory, while Hiro's mom left him with the unusual message that "destiny is stronger than science." Does that mean one should ignore modern medicine and just rely on... fate?
Return of Adam Monroe

Other questions/points to make from the episode:

  • What, exactly, is our reaction supposed to be toward Sylar at this point? The cliffhanger from a few weeks ago of him hanging outside Claire's window resulted in... a conversation between this pair. So should viewers have left this week's episode with fear that Sylar wants to - gasp! - talk to Parkman, too?
  • Apparently, Samuel's grand plan has been to recruit people with abilities in order to build a dream home for Vanessa.
  • Really?
  • Really?!?
  • How does that even make sense?
  • We're so glad the show spent so long on Mohinder's rescue last week. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been free to immediately leave again.

We'd love to leave readers with something positive from this week's episode. But we got nothing. Please leave comments or sound off in our Heroes forum with a reason why viewers should be excited for the final three hours of the season.

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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i just really want adam monroe to return even if it mean he get killed off again but hopefully not so quickly, like even if they do it at the end of series 4 or as a surprise at the start of series 5 if there going to be one .


the only thing I really do during Heroes is drool over Zachary Quinto and make fun of it with my friends, yet for some reason (despite Emma with her stupid power and eyebrows that are way too dark for her hair, and Samuel with his OBVIOUS addiction to crystal meth) I still love the show. I think you guys are taking your fandoms too seriously, but maybe my tolerance for bullshit is really high because I used to watch One Tree Hill? Anyway, my suggestion is kicking back and smoking a joint, because it's much more enjoyable that way (or at very least funnier). ALSO, how gay is Matt Parkman? I miss him and Mohinder together.
His wife is totally a beard (and looks like Rachel Maddow with her haircut -- no offense to Rachel Maddow).


I could take a guess and the Samuel thing and say that he's a "smart" guy. He knew he would be rejected and may have already been rejected by her once and/or by other people. So he was already preparing to take revenge on this reality, even though it technically didn't fully happen yet. And the Hiro dying dream was a bit of a stretch. And there 3 identical triplets so, yeah, they would all be blond. And yeah, Matt Parkman should just flip out like Samuel, lol.


Well first of all, Sam is getting people together because he is apparently "different" as to the more people with abilities that are around him, the more power he has. look at Dr. Surreshes lost footage when you get a chance and tell me if it dont seem that way.. Second of all, i personally was hoping that all the shadyness of the series (forgotten storylines, characters, etc.) would be explained by Hiro messing with the time space cont. and altering the fabric of time itself. However, as it seems, Hiro will be around for at least the rest of the season, so lets wait thoses last 3 episodes out. I am thinking that Sylar will have to keep his powers to stop Sam and then (hopefully) Peter will come in to stop sylar, who just gained Sams abilities, along with the fact that the more PWA he is around, the sronger he is, and once he is around Peter, who just got sylars powers, an amazing fight will occur!!! cheers to hoping! anyway, without getting carried away, Peter will loose because of some path they took so Hiro needs to alter time one last time to save the world for the third time. Thanks again hiro! you have proved your destiny!(this is not what i know its what i think so if this happens dont think this is a spoiler, merely a prediction)


What a frustrating episode. And confusing! Am I on drugs when I'm watching this show? I can't remember what's happened to any of the leading characters anymore. Mohinder is back? Really? We've hardly seen him all season. And what happened to the blond (as someone else pointed out, too many damn blonds) who was one character, got killed off and then played the Senate aide who turned stuff to ice? (Which was the beginning of these writers really testing our patience.) I am sooooo tired of Noah betraying Claire's trust. Every season they use this damn lame story line. Noah lies to Claire; Claire finds out, hates him for two episodes; Noah is repentant and eventually wins Claire back. Real character development would be Claire forgiving her father but cutting him out of her life because she wants to actually be able to trust people. (By the way, did something happen to Mrs. Bennet? Is she dead now?) And here's an original plotline: Matt Parkman is quietly living the idyllic life, when all of a sudden, he hears the call of the hero. EVERY DAMN SEASON! Leave the man alone already. I don't care about Matt Parkman anymore. If there were a season five, we need to lose some characters and get some new ones: Noah can just be written out. You need someone ruthless? Use Sylar.
Leave Matt Parkman the hell alone already. Write his happy ending and send him on his way.
Hiro is annoying now. He has not progressed in any way since he learned to use the sword. (He's never been my favorite.) Maybe a there was a healer nearby when he died. Could be a new character there. Perhaps the tumor cost him his powers. Dare I dream If Peter does join the circus, which I doubt, it would be a great way to introduce new characters and let Peter save others, be of service. A reluctant leader would be a nice change for him. Claire... I don`t know what to do with Claire other than the above character development. Most of that was just a rant. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I want to keep giving this show a chance, but this latest episode has left me ready to give up. The mother healing Hiro was the absolute worst. Unless there is a ready explanation next episode, it may just be the last straw for me.


I know that I am on the minority side here but I actually enjoyed this episode quite a lot actually. I found the court room stuff, especially the scenes with Sylar and the cheerleader he killed to be quite funny. Sylar stumbling over Ted Spragues' name was awesome. While I have never been a fan of the Hiro's dying storyline, the way that I took the whole mom "healing him" meant that she was her healing his will to live because he has a greater destiny. Hiro had clearly given up on his life and was ready to die, hence the reason he made his bucket list. And all we saw of that operating room was Hiro flatlining, then coming back after his mom "healed him" and then Ando and Hiro in the recovery room after the surgery. Having the will to live, while corny as it may be, can be a huge factor in dealing with serious health problems and I am thinking / hoping that is what happened here. Also, any time we can get Hiro looking bad ass with his sword, always a good thing. As for the Sylar/Claire stuff, again, I enjoyed it. I think we all like our Sylar to be completely bad ass, but he has been messed with this season with his internal struggle in his mind with Nathan, Samuel trying to bend him to his will, etc..... This seemed like a natural progression of his storyline this season and was well done. As for Claire, all I ever read on this site is for Claire to stop crying and start moving on with her life. Ummm, am I the only one who saw that progression in this episode??? She finally gave into Gretchen and is letting her into her World completely. Is it a lesbian relationship, I don't know, nor do I really care. All last season all that I remember reading was complaints about no character development. Now this season has been a lot of character development, and all I read are complaints about too much character development, it being too drawn out........ Talk about damned if you do, and damned if you don't.


I've been optimistic up to the last episode before the hiatus. But since January, the storyline barely moved. There was no action NOR character development, just redundant soapy dialogues. Kring promised us character development since they had their budget cut-off, and I was fine with that. But we're at the end of the season and HRG is still lost, Claire still whines (and they take a great care at making sure she takes about half of an episode's screen time doing so), Peter still sucks, Matt is a loser again - back to season one, Hiro still has to grow up, Ando is still a sidekick despite having his "Lightning bolt of convenience" that can do anything up to fixing a brain to opening electronic doors. It is slowly but surely getting to a point where this season will be a disaster no matter how awesome the finale is. The first half was compelling, mostly because the Sylar/Matt/Nathan storyline. But after 5-6 episodes of Samuel teasing us about his grand scheme, the dangling carrot-on-stick started to appear less tasty every week. I'm still anticipating (hoping) that writers planned this season as slowly building up to a climax. But just like a guy can grow impatient if his wife forces him into 3hours of preliminaries, a lot of viewers just go "nevermind I'll take care of myself". This season should've lasted only 13-14 episodes. This crawling pace is simply frustrating.


also the whole HIRO getting healed thing won't bother me so much if he becomes badass and actually ends this season with a bang!!!! but I agree that it was a "waste of time storyline" and the mohinder crap just befuddles me?? how can a guy that is a main character be on tv less than replication man or even Lydia's daughter...GEEZUS....either kill him or use him enough of this coming and going CRAP


the parts with Samuel and Vanessa should have started the season off and this would have been alot better. to make it even better they could have Sylar's dad team with Samuel, although Samuel still needs Sylar but soon I think we will see Gabriel return for good. I like the thought of Peter becoming the leader of people with abilities and starting a team that fights evil. We need to see a better use of power in these episodes. Yeah Samuel bringing down the town was great and all and realizing that Sylar was blowing out the windows while he was shapeshifted as Gretchen was alright but I wanna see epic battles that make us excited or sick leading up to a war. the last time HRG had a sniper rifle the ending was predictable and it looks like this time will result the same, non-shocking way. My guess is that Parkman will somehow turn off Sylar's power or accidently turn it all back on...


I can't believe I'm going to say this, but the crappy writing job since the hiatus is proving M.L. House right. We have had our differences of opinion about this show -- frankly me arguing we have to wait to see the season in its entirety to make a fair assessment. But since Christmas this show has tanked, and this episode was just the latest anchor drawing it down. Samuel was in such a good place as a villain, now he's a jilted lovebird. It is a complete BS storyline that never should have been concocted. It's very disappointing because I still feel the beginning of this season held great promise. But all the shortcomings have come to fruition. It's almost like they have let George Lucas in to write some of this drek -- jumpy storyline, gaping plotholes, no continuity and love stories that are so mundane they make you want to take a spoon to your eyeballs.