Nov 17 2009

Heroes Review: “Brother’s Keeper”

Published by at 10:00 am under Television

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I’m a fan of Heroes again.  I acknowledge that the show will never benefit from incredible writing, but the latest string of episodes have been entertaining and, for the most part, original.

When we left off last week, Matt Parkman had tricked a bunch of cops into thinking that he had a gun.  The cops opened fire on Parkman, filling him with bullets and causing him to drop to the ground a dead, bloody mess.  As a result of Matt’s death, Sylar, who had been inhabiting Matt’s mind and manipulating him, faded from existence, presumably dead as well.  We all knew that of course Sylar – or at least his consciousness/identity – couldn’t really be dead, thanks in large part to a spoiler-ific preview of this week’s episode, “Brother’s Keeper.”  Keep reading for the full review.  As always, there will be spoilers.

Read last week’s review HERE.

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Like Heroes has done in the past, parts of this week’s episode took place in the past, spanning from nine to eight weeks ago.  As the only person in the world with knowledge of where Charlie is, Samuel has leverage over Hiro and can order him around for a bit.  The reason Samuel sends Hiro back in time is to retrieve a tape in Mohinder’s possession, the contents of which hold the key to Samuel learning just how powerful he can become.  Back in time, we learn a lot about Samuel.  It turns out that – as if we didn’t already know – he’s a power-hungry man who manipulates others around him.  His brother Joseph – whose funeral we witnessed in the opening scene of this season – seemed to have been a pretty rational guy who did what he could to keep his creepy, disturbed brother under control.  With Joseph dead and out of the way, Samuel can do as he pleases in the Carnival and finally obtain the tape his brother tried to keep him away from.  With the help of a time-traveler, of course.

When we saw a dead Mohinder last week (or was it the week before), we knew that he had been killed by Samuel.  Now we now that it was because of the tape, and kudos to the writers for tying Mohinder into the show in an quick and organic way while adding depth to Samuel’s character.  I can’t decide whether it’s sad or impressive that in less than one full season, Samuel’s got more history, depth, and personality than more than half the cast.  I still couldn’t really tell more than a handful of things about Claire.

Anyway, Hiro does indeed retrieve the tape, sparing Mohinder’s life in the process (I really liked the fact that Hiro mentioned he had to try twice, since he screwed up on the first go-round).  It’s discovered that being surrounded by others with abilities amplifies Samuel’s power, making him more powerful than just about everyone except for Sylar, a pissed-off Parkman, and possibly the Haitian.  By the way, did anyone else think the pebble-bullets were bad ass?

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Speaking of the Haitian, he tracks down Peter to not-quite-tell-him that, uh, his brother Nathan is really a brainwashed Sylar.  Instead of just, you know, telling him, he gives Peter a slip of paper with a number on it and tells him to go alone.  So of course, Peter brings Nathan, reasoning that Nathan is someone he can trust.  Really?  He’s screwed you over how many times, Peter?  Peter and Nathan travel to a vault where they find…Nathan’s body.  The effect on Nathan is understandably shocking, but why is there a body to begin with?  If Noah and Angela are going to go to all the trouble of trying to turn Sylar into Nathan, don’t you think they’d want to destroy Nathan’s body?  I don’t get it.

When Nathan touches his own corpse, he (or rather, Sylar) sees its history, which includes Matt Parkman.  Using his Senator powers, Nathan tracks down Matt with Peter.  Peter uses his healing ability to heal Matt, and Sylar’s back from the dead.  Sylar and Matt struggles to gain power of Nathan, as they both know that should Nathan touch Matt/Sylar, Sylar will get back into his old body, complete with his abilities.  Using his ability of intuition, Sylar is able to overpower Matt and coerce Nathan into approaching him.  Outside interference prevents any substantial contact, though, and it looks as though Nathan’s hand just grazes Matt.  Sylar’s gone from Matt, but where is he?  Likely in back in his old body, just unable to resurface.  Yet, at least.

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I have to say, the Matt/Sylar/Nathan/Peter scene was maybe the best of the season.  Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Claire didn’t do much this episode except for listen to Tracy complain about not being able to control her power.  Tracy, it seems, is going to join up with Samuel’s carnival.  Oh, and it looks like Claire’s healing factor is pretty strong – she done grew another foot!

Overall, “Brother’s Keeper” was a very intense and entertaining episode.  I can trust that Heroes is a good (or at least, watchable) show once again.  I’m looking forward to next week and hoping that Sylar fully emerges.

What did you guys think?





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13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Heroes Review: “Brother’s Keeper””

  1. Alexon 17 Nov 2009 at 10:30 am

    A great episode. I am loving the extent to which Samuel has trained his power. From manipulating ink to actually using pebbles as a bullets it seems that apart from Sylar nobody else has refined their powers to such a degree. I wonder if he would become almost elemental like Tracy when he reaches his full potential. And I can’t help but wonder why he wanted Sylar. Is it possible that it’s not simply the number of people but also their power level which contributes to Samuel’s powers?

    As always Claire was the low point of the show. Maybe it’s just me but I really fail to see why they are still keeping her. She has no real interesting storyline,her powers were only useful as a tool for Sylar to get more powerful,the actress has no real acting skill and any attempts to make her look sexy don’t seem to work. She still looks like some 14 year old. I hate the writers for giving us hope that Tracy could have offed her by accident. This would have been so good

    I love that we get to see a bit more of Hiro’s ruthless side. We already saw that he can be quite badass when he buried Adam alive and putting Mohinder in the loony bin was a nice stroke

    I can’t wait for the next episode. I think it’s about time for Sylar to come back in full.

  2. Warrenon 17 Nov 2009 at 10:30 am

    I liked the episode as well. It looked to me like Nathan/Sylar’s hand phased through Matt’s so who knows where Sylar really is. Certainly he won’t be gone for long.

    As for the Claire foot thing I really don’t understand why you would just leave your frozen severed foot on the coffee table even if you had grown a new one. I just find that to be terribly strange and creepy.

  3. Madisonon 17 Nov 2009 at 11:43 am

    @ Alex

    Totally agree on Claire. She simply doesn’t add anything to the show. I’d love to see her somehow killed off and its effect on Noah. Maybe send him on a rampage.

    Hiro seems a lot more adult in just the past couple of episodes. it’s about time.

    And I think that you may be right – Samuel becomes more powerful from being around people with abilities, and his amplification is proportional to how powerful those people are.

    @ Warren

    I am guessing they showed the severed foot to show that Claire can totally regenerate missing limbs.

  4. Robon 17 Nov 2009 at 12:46 pm

    They probably kept Nathan’s body incase they met someone who could bring people back to life or something…wonder if Peter could of if he thought to do it. I’m sure they would of done that by now if so though…

    Why would Matt tell him the truth anyways? Why didn’t he just keep his mouth shut about Nathan dying and just say Sylar is making shit up about him to possess him since he’s more powerful than Parkman.

    And couldn’t Mohinder’s super strength get him out of that Straight Jacket?

  5. Madisonon 17 Nov 2009 at 12:49 pm

    @ Rob

    That makes sense, and I considered that. Maybe Noah or Angela will say as much.

    I think Matt was scared to death of Sylar and realized he can’t control him anymore, so he was pretty much pleading with Peter to help him.

    And yes, a straight jacket should have been no trouble for Mohinder.

  6. Joshon 17 Nov 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I didn’t get the chance to read your review, but does anyone know if Peter is the one with Sylar in him and not Nathan? When Nathan brushes Parkman’s hand, their hands glow. When Peter touched Nathan to take his ability to fly, Peter’s hand glowed. I’ve never noticed this before and I’m worried that Sylar is now in Peter and not his own body (because, let’s face it, we need Sylar back in full force. Besides House and Walter from Fringe, there is no better character on TV)

  7. Lauraon 17 Nov 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Damnit. I freaking quit Heroes this year after dedicating my time and energy to the series after the downfall that was the past 2 seasons. I gave up after 3 episodes this year, and now I hear good things??? This would happen to me.

  8. Madisonon 17 Nov 2009 at 7:01 pm

    @ Josh

    It all happened pretty fast, but I think Sylar got back into Nathan. That’d be pretty cool if he ended up in Peter, though.

    @ Laura

    Ha, things got better right around the 4th episode. Crappy luck. Catch up on Hulu!

  9. Joshon 17 Nov 2009 at 7:07 pm

    @Madison: Myself and a few of my friends are convinced that Syler’s mind is now inside Peter. None of us can remember Peter’s hand ever glowing like that when he took a power before. Pretty sure that was Sylar jumping again.

  10. Paul Tassion 17 Nov 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Wait, why is it that Samuel’s powers get multiplied when he’s near other people with abilities, and this doesn’t happen to anyone else? Why did he send Hiro back to get that reel if he already knows this fact? Hasn’t he been trying to “grow his family” with more powerful people every damn episode so far?

  11. Madisonon 17 Nov 2009 at 8:22 pm

    @ Paul

    It has to do with Mohinder’s dad’s research – something about people with abilities giving off some type of measurable force…Samuel’s power allows him to harness that force. I think it’s pretty cool, actually.

    Anyway, I think he has some idea that being around others with abilities makes his ability more powerful, but the secret to why – and presumably how – lies on that tape.

  12. Berton 18 Nov 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Even if Peter didn’t absorb Sylar at the end of the show, does his touching “Nathan” (and clearly absorbing his flight ability) mean that he now has ALL the powers Sylar used to have? Or did he just pick up flight?

  13. Review of Heroes Thanksgiving |on 24 Nov 2009 at 10:00 am

    [...] Read last week’s review HERE. [...]

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