Heroes Review: This Must Be a Joke

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That's it, we finally get it Heroes: this entire season has been a joke, right? You've been Punking us all along, no?

There's simply no way Ashton Kutcher doesn't come jumping out from behind our computer screens, not after an episode that accomplished positively nothing, just one week prior to the season four finale.

As a change from our usual critique of what went down on Heroes, here's a look at what did NOT happen on "The Wall."

  • We didn't see Tracy, a week after the show randomly included her in a three-second scene.
  • We didn't see Hiro, who viewers are supposed to be invested in because someone -  what's her name? It's been so long since they've mentioned her... hmmm... ah, Charlie! - he cares about is in danger.
  • We didn't see Emma act as any believable, rational individual. As a person in any way, shape or form. She's nothing but a plot device meant to create tension because - gasp! - Angela saw her in a dream.
  • We didn't see Lauren escape. The show was literally too lazy to even bother finishing off that storyline.
  • We didn't see Samuel do anything about his plan for world domination because he decided to take an episode-long break in order to prove to Claire that her dad was a bad dude. Why? No one knows.
  • Peter and Sylar didn't escape from the latter's mind for 58 minutes, the duration of which they spent yammering back and forth about nothing that played any role in any central plot whatsoever.
  • We didn't see any Hero interact with a single human being in present time. Think about that: How can this season have a single ounce of suspense to it when the Heroes deal with no one outside their own universe?!?
Peter and Sylar

Seriously, fans, are we supposed to feel anxious about Samuel's grand plans because he randomly said he was taking the carnival to New York City? Are we supposed to worry about Emma killing thousands of people because Angela saw it in a dream?

Those are the two main storylines heading into next week's finale: developments that weren't built up to in any well-paced manner at all. They were just tossed out there haphazardly. A four-year old could write the Emma storyline:

We'll have someone fantasize that she's a killer and... that's it. No need to explain or show anything beyond that. It's genius!

The most painful aspects of this utterly inane, torturous hour? It was a reminder of how incredible a show Heroes used to be. Remember when such tension was built up toward a Peter/Sylar showdown that you could barely wait for the next Monday night to arrive?

Remember when a flashback to HRG's past was actually enlightening and useful, not just a time-killer that led to the 417th argument between father and daughter?

As readers of this site know, I've been awfully critical of this series for over a season now. But I can still say, unequivocally, that this was the worst episode of any show I've ever seen. Last week's installment concluded with Samuel making a big speech about coming together as a family and showing the world what the carnival was capable of. This week?

He told one person at the end that they were going to Central Park. Great follow-up, brainless writers!

It was such an awful hour of television that it's hard not to wonder if the show wasn't winking at its audience and acknowledging how illogical it's become. Didn't the entire Peter/Sylar storyline feel like a joke?

They stumbled around an imaginary world, they commented that they had no idea how much time had gone on, a wall randomly showed up, they eventually broke free because they made amends - apparently Sylar's nightmares are chock full of inspiring messages! - and they were quickly confronted by a mean dude from the carnival without any explanation of how he knew they were there, how he arrived there, why he'd be any match for Sylar's abilities, or where the heck Parkman has gone.

It made so little sense, and had such little direction, we legitimately wonder if NBC is just playing with us at this point. Either that, or it can only afford to hire third graders as writers after paying Conan O'Brien so much money. The episode also included this Sylar quote:

I can't bring Nathan back Peter, but I can sure as Hell swing a sledgehammer.

Yes, this is what the once-great villain has been reduced to: a guy that can do nothing but swing a hammer inside a pointless dream.

There. I feel better getting all that off my chest now. Anyone care to agree or - somehow, in some incomprehensible way - disagree with this assessment? I'd love to hear from you!


Editor Rating: 0.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0 (94 Votes)

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


I liked watching this show, but I just finished it and I liked it a lot all the way until after the exploding man, the show kinda drove away from that. After it they kept adding new heroes and it wasn't that interesting. They didn't really finish the show either, they should have had another volume called "Reactions" or something to see the future and how the people reacted to what Claire did in the end.


You know what? I actually liked your rant. You really hit the nail on the head about this episode. Sure it haphazardly tied up some loose ends, but seriously, these are pointless story-lines that have just been dragging on. What happened to the 'hero' aspect in Heroes? It would be better suited if there was more of a tension between characters, or if as we see Sylar become goodmaybe Hiro becomes bad, or something like that. It's the same problem Smallville has wrestled with. Inserting nonsensical plotlines are hard to finish because in the first instance they don't make much sense anyways. Here's hoping that this season finale has some substance.


Multiplying guy is not useless...watch this... Sylar and/or Peter take the multiplying power. Since Peter can only take one power at a time, he can multiply himself and take a different power for each clone.




I have to agree.. Ever since they got rid of the ORIGINAL WRITERS for this show...IT has sucked more n more thru these past 2 years> i stopped WATCHING. I mean it's that Bad. i mean u make Sylar a good guy, You Kill one of the BEST Heroes, Nathan. Whatever happened to to plot.U start to bring back old heroes from past show's for a quick minute then you don't re-cap. Don't even get me started on the Carnival folks!!!!!!!!! Upset n Confused.


Heroes sucks, these reviews suck and these fanboys suck. Suck my fucking dick!

Matt richenthal

@pihatro: Thank you for your comment. My replies:
1. Yes, I said I wanted episodes to focus more on each character instead of trying to cram everyone in each week. But you can't introduce a character again out of nowhere (Tracy) one week, especially when she's supposedly being called to help someone in immediate danger, and then not use her the following week.
Also, how can the show expect us to care about Hiro and Charlie when that storyline hasn't been mentioned in WEEKS?
2. Hayden really can't act. She's terrible.
3. Do you realize how utterly asinine the brick wall/sledgehammer/Sylar's dream storyline is? It's just made up. The writers tossed Peter and Sylar in there together to accomplish absolutely nothing but to kill an hour. These were the two strongest specials on the show, they have every reason to despise each other... and instead they're randomly tossed into an imaginary universe with no rules (let's have the brick wall represent the obstacle in their relationship! let's make Sylar an avid reader!), no relation to any other storyline and no logical conclusion: Now they're friends, determined to stop Emma from killing thousands, which is only an issue because it was seen in a dream?!?
How lazy can the writers get? Anything can just be dreamed and magically made into a storyline? It's as uncreative as anything on television.


In reply to @pihatro
Quote: to fill a "plot hole." sylar and peter were using sledgehammers on the wall because they were powerless in parkman's dreamworld. i thought that was rather obvious when sylar didn't use any powers and peter couldn't get them out. I know that they were powerless at that point. I guess my dry British sense of humour is hard to understand sometimes. I was just been sarcastic.


By one-sided, i mean that we should have more than just one person (m.l. house) writing reviews. the old heroesfanatic.com had three people that would debate over what was going on, now we only have one. even if all three people hated the episode, at least there would be more than just one viewpoint on it. i disagree with m.l. house on most points in most of his reviews. that is probably the only reason why i keep coming back to this site. to pick a fight and to see what kind of crud is being said about one of my favorite shows.
to fill a "plot hole." sylar and peter were using sledgehammers on the wall because they were powerless in parkman's dreamworld. i thought that was rather obvious when sylar didn't use any powers and peter couldn't get them out.
@m.l. house, you have said that there are some crappy actors. i recall you said one time that hayden panettiere couldn't act. i don't feel like searching through all of the old reviews, but yeah. you said it. and you are the one that said you wanted more focused storylines for each episode. now you want everyone is the same episode all at once. they ummmm, which do you want?
oh yeah, one more thing. i thought that the worst line in heroes history came out of this episode. something that sylar said about not being able to bring nathan back, but being able to swing a sledgehammer or something. that was just absolutely horrible.



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