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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heroes begins a brave new chapter

     Last night NBC's Heroes completed their fourth season, fifth volume.  While it was a good ending to Samuel's (Robert Knepper, Prison Break) carnival, the most interesting parts of the episode had nothing to do with this season's new characters.  Instead, Heroes will continue to fuel a new creative resurgence by making its core characters interesting again.  For example, Hiro (Masi Oka) also got a bittersweet ending to his quest, finding his beloved Charlie (Jayma Mays, Glee) had already lived a full life without him. She helped Hiro understand what Ando (James Kyson-Lee) had been hinting at, that Hiro would only interfere more with her for him own sake, not hers.

     Sylar (Zachary Quinto, Star Trek) appears to finally be ready to make amends and become a full fledged hero.  This plot has been toyed with before on the show, but the writer's threw circumstances and obstacles at him to drag him back down.  Despite some bad choices (his plot for the entire first half of the season), leaving him and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia, Gilmore Girls) alone in a mind trap for five years, to their perspective, led to acceptance and forgiveness I never thought possible.  It allowed Sylar the time, free from distractions, to come to grips with who he is versus who he'd like to be, something he was already grappling with before his entrapment.  And Peter, who is often dull, got to deal with the death of his brother, and proved that he is a real hero in how he relates to others.

     The best part of the episode, however, though I never expected to write these words, was Claire (Hayden Panettiere).  She came to terms with the dark side of her father, Noah (Jack Coleman, Dynasty) and grew up enough to make her own life choice.  In fact, this development made the Volume Six teaser at the end not only Heroes's most exciting one, but also more stunning than the actual Volume Five finale.  Deciding to reveal who she was to the world at large, and that there are people with gifts walking among us will rock the Heroes universe in a way that no other plot twist has.  Again, this direction was played with earlier in the series, but abandoned.  It's nice to see it embraced.

     Sadly, there was no similar fitting revelations or triumphs for one my favorite actors, Greg Grunberg, (Alias) who plays the character of Matt Parkman, and seems to have run his course at present.  Hopefully, that will be corrected early next season.  Heroes will likely return to NBC in the fall, though the decision to renew it is not yet final.  However, if this was the end, a lot of fans will be very angry at the giant cliffhanger and enormous potential left untapped.

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