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.

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


Come on everybody....lets face it. This show is no longer good because it has transitioned from one of suspense/action/mystery (ala LOST), to one of emotions/relationships/moral dilemmas (ala DYNASTY). This show is nothing more than a late night soap opera, an ugly cousin to the daytime soap PASSIONS (which also focused on the supernatural and love). It is so painful seeing a show that once left you begging for Monday to come faster, to a show that clogs up your DVR until you can find the patience to be disappointed again. RIP Heroes. Great premise. May another show come along that actually fulfills the promise you once displayed.


Perhaps this episode can best be viewed as an analog of the network debate to justify another season. The main weaknesses I see with this series is a lack of character growth, perhaps enforced by fixed sets of writing guidelines for each character, and an over-emphasis on the unfailing moral corruption of absolute power -- this seems to give the series the atmosphere of a never ending war that is gradually being lost. I think we need to see some signs of progress toward a better life with each episode. Perhaps Clare needs to meet West Rosen again as he seemed to fill in the gaps in her characterization. There was a hint that he might, like 'The Shadow,' be able to selectively cloud men's minds so they would not see him.


@ Dave: “which is why Claire couldn’t heal properly after being at the carnival, why Samuel’s power has grown and why sylar was weak?
Yes Samuel Powers do get stronger by having more people with ability around him. Claire not been able to heal after been at the Carnival was because Peter had the Haitian ability that was stopping her from healing; please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. However you do have a good point there, if their ability get weaken by been around Samuel, That where Ando come in and help then recharge hopefully some power evolvement would be nice too.


This show goes everywhere and nowhere. I have kept thinking season after season that this show was actually going to go somewhere or end at least 1 plot line. Nope. I'm so frustrated. This show could really have been good. I love some of the characters. Oh well.


A few weeks ago i finally saw my first episode of hero. i fell in love and bought all three seasons and hulu season four to catch up. i am very disappointed at the progression of this show. Ok this is what i was hoping would happen in this week's episode but didn't happen : as a hero claire should try to stop a psycho like sylar given the chance (after all what she wants to do is to save the world) by showing some sympathy towards him and try to change him not behave the way she did. I love the old hiro and like that they kept him.. Hiro is the only one gungho about saving the world and the only comic relief. However i hope the season ends like this : I want them to bring back Angela's sister the one that control the weather to have a show down with Samuel as he controls the earth ... and then have it turn out to be a little world where Matt has trap them but reality it didn't happen...


I was soooo frustrated with last night's episode. I am annoyed with the Claire/Gretchen storyline because honestly it is pointless and doesn't add much to the show. Is Claire seriously wanting to take things to the next level?? I don't even think they have that much chemistry. Gretchen irritates me. And if they wanted to waste that much time on Syler/Claire they should have had something meaningful happen between them. For real. What's the point of bringing it up and then having Claire run to Gretchen? Soo frustrating. And the whole Hiro situation felt pointless. I love Heroes. Really, I do, but I just want some action...good action. Or at least a good storyline.


just to add to/alter my last comment, it probably makes more sense for peter to stop emma killing everyone, and sylar to stop samuel, the chemistry between characters is better that way...


this is my first ever comment about heroes so apologies if at any point im stating the obvious...after season 1 heroes was always going to struggle, and i agree that the storylines have been incredibly poor since then, this season being no exception. but if i can find some positive areas i will. we at least now know that samuel is basically mad, and incredibly powerful - am i right in saying that he draws his power from other heroes - which is why claire couldnt heal properly after being at the carnival, why samuel's power has grown and why sylar was weak? this means that for the last few episodes we at least have a main bad guy, which leads up to a good finale. predictions: sylar needs to get rid of his powers to become a normal guy? sylar's original power allows him to take other heroes power without killing them - when he empathises with them, surely this is perfect for peter, he would be able to become powerful again as he is an empath and could have anyones power if he stays with them long enough. any chance that being an empath peter could take sylars powers from him for good? in the same way that peters dad used to... my guess is that sylar is there to stop emma from killing everyone, peter takes sylars powers, and uses them to stop samuel, peter then runs the carnival, and sylar is left to walk off into the distance as a normal fella - if people enjoy sylars character like i do, then like me theyl be hoping he does it keiser soze style!


At the end of the episode he took out a town. Enough said


Have to agree with M.L. House completely
Although Heroes aired one of the best 1st seasons ever, it has been going steadily downhill from there. I see hints about a plot from time to time, but then the storyline seems to change, and leave me with no sense of direction. Kring has taken a lot of potential, and turned it into a giant mess.. I'm not into cliches, but to captivate your audience, you need to set up a plot, reveal bits and pieces throughout the season for the plot to thicken, and then have a big finish, and Heroes, I'm sad to say, have had none of that since the 1st season. Having a bunch of interesting characters that worked so well for the 1st season because they all seemed connected, is destroying it at the moment, characters just come and go on a whim of the writers. Kudos M.L. House

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