Nov 03 2009

Heroes Review: “Once Upon a Time in Texas”

Published by at 9:00 am under Reviews,Television

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When we left off last week, Hiro had traveled back in time once again to save Charlie, the diner waitress from Texas who was murdered by Sylar.  This week’s episode of Heroes – “Once Upon a Time in Texas” – featured time travel, a precarious concept that Heroes has done well but more often than not screws up.  For the first time in a while, though, it worked, and Heroes has now (according to me) been pretty good for three episodes in a row, with “Once Upon a Time in Texas” perhaps being the best of the three.  Keep reading for the full review.

Read last week’s review HERE.

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As part of his mission to travel back in time to “undo” all his wrongs, Hiro had traveled back in time three years so that he could save his love, Charlie.  I just want to nitpick a little bit here – I liked this episode – but why did Hiro all of a sudden become totally love-stricken, head-over-heels for Charlie.  Yeah, he always liked her and maybe even loved her, but if he cared about her this much, why did he not make it his first “mission?”  Maybe seeing her again brought back all those feelings; I guess that’s the simple answer but it doesn’t seem quite right.  Anyway, Hiro travels back to the diner in Texas where he finds Charlie, as well as an old school badass Sylar.

Samuel convinced his time-traveler to send him back to find Hiro, so he’s tagging along.  Noah’s there, too, with a co-worker we haven’t seen before.  Mindful not to change the past and screw up the future, Hiro confronts himself as well as Ando and tells them what to do.   The exchange between the two Hiros was actually pretty well done, with present Hiro tricking past Hiro into traveling back in time.  Anyway, after a bunch of time freezing and a Hiro-Sylar showdown, Hiro strikes a deal with Sylar: fix Charlie’s tumor (Oh, right – Charlie has a brain tumor) via surgical telekinesis, and I’ll tell you all about your future.

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Sylar agrees, fixes Charlie, and Hiro keeps his word.  Sort of.  Hiro tells Sylar that no one will mourn his death and that he’ll die alone, but I think Sylar was looking for information more along the lines of “I’m going to stab you in the chest with a samurai sword.”  I’m not sure why Sylar didn’t try to kill Hiro and Charlie after Hiro’s worthless information, but perhaps “fixing” Charlie softened him up briefly.

Noah’s not-quite-platonic relationship with the woman was mostly uninteresting, except for the fact that it’s never even been hinted at (or has it?  Did I miss this?), and it was essentially filler.  It never even happened, in a sense, since the woman received some Hatianizing.

It turns out that Samuel had been manipulating Hiro the entire time, as he needs a new time traveler to fix his own mistakes.  Samuel convinces his current time traveler to place Charlie somewhere in time, knowing that it will kill the time traveler.  With Samuel the only one who knows Charlie’s whereabouts/whenabouts, Hiro decides to work for Samuel so that he can learn where Charlie is.  We find out the first of Samuel’s past mistakes right before the show ends: eight weeks ago, it appears he killed Mohinder.  That makes me like Samuel even more.

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This episode felt a lot like Season 1, but maybe that was because it basically took place on a Season 1 set with Season 1 characters in a Season 1 storyline.  Still, I was pretty impressed with this episode.  The trend of focusing on just a few characters per episode paid off again, and the result of Samuel controlling Hiro was worth all the minor nitpicky-type flaws.  I’ve stopped trying to find every hole in an episode of Heroes, but it didn’t seem like there were any major ones here.  Maybe the plausibility of not changing the future by messing around with people and events in the past, but without just going with it, Heroes would not be enjoyable.

Three episodes in a row that Heroes has been pretty good.  Granted, my expectations for the show aren’t nearly as high as they once were, but I’m enjoying the show now, which is really all I can ask for.

What did you guys think?





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8 responses so far

  • http://millist.wordpress.com Lorin

    I actually watched this week, based off of your two previous reviews. Hiro had some of his best scenes in this episode. Why wasn’t this season 2 to begin with, I have no idea.

  • Shaun

    I’m still lost in all the time travel bumbling.

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

    Who the hell is that blonde chick? Were we supposed to remember her? That holy HRG plot was a waste of time.

    Charlie’s speech about time travel and Hiro being an idiot was good, until she changed her mind an hour later.

    And Sylar can fix brain injuries now? What?

    Whatever, there have been worse episodes.

  • Madison

    @ Lorin

    Hiro, for once, didn’t act like a 10 year old kid. He was actually pretty good this episode. Thanks for reading!

    @ Paul

    Blonde chick was new and yeah, that story HAD to be filler.

    I thought Sylar fixing the brain injury was great…if he can see how everything works, then why not?

  • http://tobefullofwin.wordpress.com lostty

    I am honestly really impressed with Heroes season 4. It managed to pick itself up after the terrible season 3 (and 2 to be honest). I was actually worried that they were really going to leave the series with a dozen plot holes by going back in time, but as you mentioned, they actually managed to make it work. Bravo Heroes!

  • ne0

    ” 8 weeks ago he killed mohinder”

    oh… how i loved this line!

    (Y)

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  • Jacob

    Charlie didnt have a brian tumor. She had an anyurism in her brian. Hiro had a brian tumor.

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