Oct 06 2009

Heroes Review: “Acceptance”

Published by at 9:00 am under Reviews,Television

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The third episode of Heroes proved to be a slight upgrade from the very disappointing two-hour premiere, so I was cautiously optimistic that the fourth installment would be decent.  Once again, Heroes has let me down.  In fact, “Acceptance” was one of the worst episodes I’ve seen in quite some time, despite the fact that it was written by Bryan Fuller.  I’m starting to think that perhaps even Fuller can’t save this show and that the glory of Season 1 is a distant pipe dream.  Ah well, let’s get on with the review:

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I suppose it’s somewhat appropriate that this episode was entitled “Acceptance,” as I have now pretty much accepted the fact that Heroes is dead.  And it’s not coming back.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still aspects of the show that I enjoy.  It’s just that they’re becoming more and more uncommon, and the parts of the show that I dislike so much seem to become more and more of the show’s focus.

What really happened in this episode?  Well, Claire and Noah had some ridiculous father/daughter bonding (more on that in a bit), Tracy wants to be taken seriously in her career,  Peter is curious about the compass that appeared on his arm, Nathan/Sylar is having trouble coping with “new” memories, and Hiro continues to do childish, Hiro things.  That’s it – that’s all that went down this week.  It was a slow crawl from start to finish, and aside from the Nathan/Sylar story arc, none of it was worth sitting through.

Let’s start with Hiro.  We’re now in the fourth season of this show, and Hiro still hasn’t figured out that traveling back through time is a very, very bad thing.  I just don’t get it.  He declares that he will never travel backward again, only to shift credos at the drop of a hat, making it his stupid mission to go back and try to fix everything he’s ever done wrong.  Not only is this incredibly stupid, but perhaps even worse, it’s just plain lazy.  Really: in the four seasons of this show, has Hiro changed as a character whatsoever?  No, he’s always been like a child, wanting to be a hero and help people.  God forbid he actually becomes the black-clad, samurai-sword-wielding badass from the future at some point.  That wouldn’t be a good direction for his character?  Instead, we’ve got to deal with boneheaded decisions and jokes about making copies of someone’s ass at an office party.  At this point, I’m hoping he dies.

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But Hiro isn’t even the worst of it.  That honor goes to Claire.  The chemistry between Hayden Panettiere and Jack Coleman (Noah) is nonexistent; the father-daughter scenes were painful to watch.  Maybe I’m way off, but daughters don’t talk to their fathers that way.  Like, at all.  Noah has spent a lifetime putting up a front, lying to his family, and bagging and tagging some of the most dangerous people on the planet…and we’re supposed to believe he’s going to have a hard time getting through an interview for a crappy job?  Claire giving Noah the faux interview was bad, but I literally groaned at this exchange:

Claire: You’ve helped lots of people.

Noah: Name one.

Claire: Me.

Awwwwww.  If this is the work of Bryan Fuller, it’s safe to call him overrated.  Never mind Claire’s profound advice that “to know who you want to be, you need to know who you were,” or some other equally trite crap. Great.  Noah repeating his daughter’s statement later in the show made me groan again.  What the hell is the matter with this show?

Meanwhile, Nathan/Sylar continues to freak out over his memories and “new” powers, and Angela is there to try and sweep everything under the rug for a change.  Apparently, Nathan was present when one of his girlfriends was accidentally killed, but Mama Petrelli had his mind wiped.  With Sylar’s ability to tell an object’s past just by touching it, Nathan learns that there was a cover-up and does some investigating.  Turns out he stuck his nose where it didn’t belong, and the lady with the worst facelift I have ever seen called in a hit.  Knife into the neck, buried, and left for dead.

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But it’s not Nathan, it’s really Sylar, and so his healing ability kicks in.  At the end of the episode – and really, the only good part of this episode – a hand emerges from the ground, followed by Sylar.  He’s shifted back to his original form, and it looks like he’s very confused.  This storyline I actually enjoy, although I half-expected Sylar to start breakdancing with a line of zombies after he came out of the ground.  It looks like Sylar will spend the next week or two figuring out who the hell he is while – from next week’s previews – it seems that Claire is finally going to try out some girls.  Whatever.

What did you guys think?  Are you going to abandon a sinking ship?





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18 responses so far

  • ne0

    no thanks, next…

  • http://daedalus.id.au Joel

    Abandon the show? I jumped ship at the end of season two. I find these reviews quite amusing. At least I know I’m not missing anything :)

  • Madison

    @ Joel

    What can I say? I’m a masochist.

  • Cheryl

    Oh Sylar, if it wasn’t for you I would have given up on this show 3 seasons ago. Please be very very angry and badass for the rest of the season.

  • Josh

    Upfront Note: I did not read your review, just giving my thoughts on last night’s episode and Heroes in general.

    First off, I don’t watch it on Monday nights. I much, much, much, much, much prefer House, which is on at the same time. House is, along with Fringe, Dollhouse, and Lost, the best show on network TV right now. I download Heroes during the night and watch it Tuesday mornings.

    Last night’s episode was just… dull. I did find amusement, however, in the Hiro-Tagaskni (or whatever it was) saga. “One second. Hello, Tagaskni. You’re on the roof. You’re going to jump. I’ll be right up.” It was the typical Hiro thing I have come to expect and it did not disappoint.

    As much as I like Ali Larter…. PLEASE GIVE IT UP. This is now her third character on the show. She’s dull and plays the exact same character no matter who she is: Manipulative, naive, vengeful, can’t control her powers, and a downright whore. Kill her off and, this time, LEAVE her dead.

    I was incredibly disappointed not to see more Parkman and Sylar. That was an interesting plotline from episode three.

    That said, I will continue to watch it. They still have the second most interesting character on TV right now in Sylar (behind only Walter on Fringe) as well as the most promising B-list actor in Hollywood in Robert Knepper (whose character evolution and history I REALLY want to see). However, if either of those are done away with, I highly doubt I will continue watching it.

  • Madison

    @ Josh

    I’m a bit confused…you don’t watch the show Monday nights…so did you just watch it this morning?

    Totally agree on Ali Larter’s character(s).

  • Venro

    Hell I’ll just take the 5 minutes to read this instead of wasting 40 some minutes watching it on Hulu.

    I think Heroes issue is that it just ran out of things to do. In season 1 everything was new, all the powers and characters were new and that made it interesting. But while the writers could do new and interesting well, the show got overpopulated and characters got swept under the rug *cough*Micah*cough* so we were left with fan favorites. But since then everyone’s just gotten angsty, or more angsty in Peter’s case. It seems like Sylar continues to be this show’s only redeeming quality.

  • Josh

    @Madison: Yes. The latest episode is usually up for download on sites by 1am EST so I set it up to download while I sleep and then watch it while eating breakfast before class on Tuesday (or after class, depending on if I can wake up before 9:30. lol)

  • Kino

    Agreed. I honestly don’t understand why they are still keeping Claire. I get Tracy. Even though most of the time she is useless she is hot enough to attract the males,her powers are pretty damn good and when needed she could be used as a political tool with her knowledge and connection.

    But freaking Claire? She still looks like 15 year old,she constantly whines and the very moment Sylar got her healing ability she became completely useless and less important then Sylar’s eyebrows.

    Heroes needs some major help. About the only thing that could make it decent would be for Hiro to screw up and blow up time somehow creating a brand new reality inhabited by future badass samurai Hiro, Scar Peter, Stripper Jessica who goes around ripping people and her clothes to pieces,Sylar and a psychotic Noah who seeks revenge for his completely and utterly dead Claire.

  • Madison

    @ Venro

    I don’t know that I agree. There’s lots of new stuff to do – just this season, we’ve seen Nathan/Sylar and Sylar in Nathan’s head. Make certain characters go bad – and keep them bad. Kill people off. Make it unpredictable.

    But you’re right about Sylar – one of the few bright spots for this otherwise dismal show.

    @ Josh

    Nice. Sounds like a much better way to watch the show!

    @ Kino

    I like how you think. Things need to change, and drastically. Claire is the worst.

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    Dear Lord this was one of THE WORST episodes I have ever seen. And for a show made up of about 70% shitty episodes, that’s quite a statement.

    NOTHING happened relating to the central plotline of the show (except for the last few minutes). They introduced problems that never existed before (Hiros’ roof jumper, Nathan’s gf murder) and solved them by the time the episode was over like it was fucking CSI or something.

    It’s the definition of “filler” for a show so desperately on the ropes that can’t afford to take a vacation.

  • Martin

    I stopped watching after the first episode of season 3 when it turned out that mom patrelli was Sylar’s mom. It was worse than a twist in a soap opera. I gave up on this show, but I enjoy reading your reviews to see how bad the show has been since then.

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    @Martin

    If it’s any consolation, it wasn’t true. Though I still have yet to understand why exactly they did that.

  • Madison

    @ Martin

    Dear lord that was bad.

  • Cosmo Newanda

    Can they please kill the cheerleader? I could suffer through more of the show for Sylar if I didn’t have to listen to that twit blather on and on about how she’ll never fit in when she keeps doing stupid things like throwing herself out of windows. Kill her and I might start watching it on Hulu again.

  • Penny

    That wasn’t Sylar’s mother? Good lord, those hacks need to go back to film school. Every one knows mistaken identity plots are a one way trip to hell.

  • matt

    Kill the cheerleader, save us all some time.

  • http://paul@unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    ^^^^^ brilliant

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