Heroes Review: "The Art of Deception"

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This week's episode of Heroes focused on one undeniable fact: Every character is a complete and utter moron.

We'll review "The Art of Deception" by pointing out the reasons why:

Parkman traps Sylar inside his biggest nightmare... and then buries him behind a brick wall IN HIS OWN BASEMENT! Really? This was the best plan Parkman could conceive? You have a little boy and a wife at home and you decide to wall up the world's biggest villain a few feet from where they do laundry. Nice plan, dude.

Peter tries to rescue his nemesis... all because of some hazy dream. Really? You have no hesitation whatsoever about sending Sylar out into the world simply because you had a dream where maybe, possibly, he helped saved lives? There's been no real build-up to this storyline, nothing remotely related to anything else going on. It's simply been Angela randomly telling Peter she had a dream about Emma; Peter taking his mother's ability; and then Peter going on a rogue mission to free Sylar.

This didn't work, of course, due to Parkman's nightmare spell. So now Peter has pulled a Hiro and is stuck inside some strange, alternate universe. Why does this show continue to think it makes for good television to have its characters trapped in other dimensions or timelines?

Aim Taking

HRG takes aim at the carnival... for reasons unknown. Yes, Samuel destroyed an entire village last week. But HRG was attempting to take down the carnival long before that, though it's unclear why. As we've asked all season long, what has been Samuel's grand plan? What makes him such an evil force in the world? This question has NEVER been answered! Seriously, think about it:

Why did he recruit Claire? Why did he summon Hiro and trap Charlie? Why has Samuel been featured at all this season? Yes, he's become one angry dude after getting rejected by his long lost love a week ago - but that's a new development, one entirely unrelated to anything he did or said for 15 episodes prior to that.

We'll give the episode one positive critique: at least HRG and Claire have been apprehended by the carnival. At least someone is actually in danger for a change.

Lauren got shot... and phoned Tracy for help. Good call! No doubt she'll come swooping in and be as useful as she's been all season. Wouldn't you have loved to have been in the writers' room when this storyline was mapped out?
We'll have Lauren call someone, and it will turn out to be Tracy! Imagine the look of excited shock of viewers' faces when they see her return!!!

Sylar suddenly wants to be 100% ability-free? Really? Really?!? This could easily be considered the biggest development in show history and it received zero build-up after just one conversation with Claire.

Finally, no rundown of moronic characters would be complete with including Claire. She learns that Samuel has killed over 200 people and that her father is out to take him down. Does she help him? Of course not. She runs to a group of people to warn them... about what, exactly? That her dad wants to eliminate their evil leader? Did she think he has a nuclear weapon and would take out the entire carnival somehow?

There's never been any logic to any of Claire's decisions. One second, she wants to be normal; the next second, she wants to bond with people like her. If the show were written well, this might come across as your typical, confused teenager. Instead, it's simply an example of a character's actions conforming to whatever moves the story along.

One final question: How did Emma even get to the carnival? Lydia is dead, so who contacted her? How did she find it? Are we really meant to believe there's been no doctor on staff there? AHHHH!!!!

Check out the NBC promo for next week's episode and chime in with your thoughts on "The Art of Deception" in our Comments section below and/or Heroes forum.


Editor Rating: 1.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (12 Votes)

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


I really love the tv show ( HEROES) I didnt get to watch this when it first aired, but I did finally got too. I love every episode, every episode made it to where i wanted to watch the next. I couldn't wait to watch it. So when i finally seen the last one i was so upset and blown away on how it ended. I couldn't believe NBC shut down the show. It was one of the most exciting tv shows in decades. The cast was one of the best suited cast since the tv show called (Mash) so i am asking please return Heroes back to us, please bring back the old cast. Some one please pick the show up and put it back on the air. NBC was wrong on dropping the show.


One final question: How did Emma even get to the carnival? Lydia is dead, so who contacted her? How did she find it? Are we really meant to believe there's been no doctor on staff there? AHHHH!!!! I thought Samuel gave her a compass when he went to visit her.


I like how the reviewer never replied to the faults found in his review.


Wasn't this a short story by Edgar Allen Poe or somebody?


ML House, have you been hit on the head? Have you not paid attention to what's been going on this season? Are you deliberately obfuscating the truth to serve your ends? Samuel's grand plan is one of extermination of "no rmals" - with his power, he can destroy cities. He will bend governments and people to his will, don't you see that? He is power-hungry... You try taking around a catatonic man and putting him somewhere he can't be found in the middle of California - and putting him in his own house means he can deal with it if he ever gets out of his trap. Have you heard of unreliable narrator? Angela's (and indeed all precogs) have this in common - they provide potential stories which are not always fulfilled because the strands of time are changed. Hiro is especially important to this end - his ability is crucial to fixing the problems Samuel had in the past - hence his recruitment (by abducting Charlie). Now, Sylar's so-called "sudden" change of heart was telegraphed for a while now, and it's come to the point where he has had his fill of abilities which have taken away his humanity. Are you mental? Do you not see this, ML House? He was once human, he is no longer human - think about that... What that would do to you. I honestly hope you're not paid for this writing - as it speaks to your lack of attention to detail - it's as if you watched the show stoned or something... FFS...


The art of deception i think finally portrayed season one quality. I agree with most of you who said that it was smart for Matt to put Sylar behind a wall in his basement. When he did that I was like whoa! is that a plot twist? *shocked face* As for Peter going in guns blazing to save sylar, we all have to remember that he's extremely compassionate and that when things involve the safety of the world he will stop at nothing to save it; even if he has to save the man who killed his brother to do it. samuel is now a a full blown-out villain now and everything is starting to tie up. Claire and Noah are his prisoners and the reason why i think claire got the most screen time this season was so that it could lead to the big finale this season. She's been talking about having a normal life forever and everybody keeps complaining about it which makes me think that she's going to blow the horn on this whole thing by revealing her ability to the world. it makes for a great possible season five plot and the writers get to basically flip us off when it turns out that claire's storyline actually had meaning behind it all along. All of you who keep complaining about claire will finally get what u want. she's going to stop complaining about being normal and finally act. Sylar, for once, has a chance to get his REDEMPTION and save emma and the rest of the world. Everything else is still a mystery and that's good because it makes us wanting to know what's going to happen next. As for the Hiro and Charlie storyline, i saw the preview for the countdown to the finale I saw Hiro at the hospital sitting next to Charlie who ends up being an old woman. No more time traveling for Hiro this season which is what you wanted and they dont leave charlie hanging like they did Caitlin. As for Matt, i think he's now g2g2 even greater lengths to keep his family safe and perhaps act more evil. Peter, of course, will most likely have a big role in what happens in the finale. Perhaps he'll end up being the leader or mentor for all specials when claire ends up blowing the whole thing. I hope Heroes gets renewed for a fifth season because if all of that does happen, then the next season could be amazing when the whole world is aware that people with abilities exist. so until then try not to bag on Heroes so much. Just be patient until after the finale airs and then go nuts that way your critiques actually become valid.


i actually REALLY enjoyed this episode. it was finally interesting and i love the part about trapping sylar in his own worst nightmare. not to sound like a little girl, but i actually cried at that part. And Heroes needed not to show the build up to sylar's decision, they just needed to get it over with, unlike Claire's decision on whether to go to college or stay. Come on, that's the whole reason to the show; it's to not be normal. that's why everyone hated this season. but FINALLY a good one.


M.L. House, why did you change your name from A. Hero? That was a good handle. What's the significance of M.L. House? Also, were there genuinely three people doing the Heroes Roundtable? Thank you for your time.


*Sigh* Your comment about how Emma got to the carnival just goes to show that bitter reviewers like you just like to bitch and moan for the hell of it and most likely don't really pay attention to the show they are bitching and moaning about. How do they all get to the carnival??? Samuel gave Emma a compass a awhile ago. This was a good episode, you obviously stopped enjoying the series some time ago and now as mentioned before you barely pay attention to it but rather pick it apart and LOOK (unsuccessfully) for things that are wrong with it. Why wouldn't Lauren call Tracy...she has a compass and she's been portrayed as a strong woman capable of taking care of herself, she'll be able to locate them, and possibly call Peter and whoever else for help. Sylar want's to be ability free. He's a psychopath and unstable, and warring with 2 personalities (Gabriel and Sylar) possibly three if you want to include whatever is left of Nathan. Sylar last struggled with an urge to be "good" in season 3 the fact that this is emerging again after what happened to him with Nathan isn't really that far fetched. You seem very impatient that the secrets of the season haven't been revealed to you yet. My suggestion, like the rest of us, just watch the episodes, pretty sure like most shows things will be revealed during the season finale...and if you hate it so much quit watching, and quit spitting out your garbage reviews.

Matt richenthal

I hate to break it to you, Chuck, but I was A. Hiro. My reviews were positive because the episodes were great.
I sincerely appreciate all the feedback on my reviews, but do sometimes wonder where the vitriol comes from. Here's a challenge for readers: Find one positive review of the show online. One. From any respected critic.
Again, I very much appreciate your responses and enthusiasm for Heroes. But the show did also receive the lowest ratings for any network drama in five years this week - please don't make it sound like I'm the only person that has turned on it.

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