Heroes Review – “Close to You”

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Last week’s double whammy of Heroes action didn’t do too much to progress the story and both episodes failed to live up to the generally pretty good standard set by Season Four.  Instead of focusing on just a few characters, the show instead rammed as much as possible down our throats, with many of the scenes being silly or even useless.  Granted, Heroes had been on hiatus for about a month and I suspect that this was NBC’s way of getting everyone back on board, but last week’s episodes were certainly a regression in terms of quality.  Hiro was speaking in nerd-riddles, Peter vowed revenge on an impotent Sylar, and Claire did stupid Claire stuff as usual.

This week’s episode – “Close to You” – thankfully returned to the formula of featuring just a few characters from the Heroes universe.  Keep reading for the full review.  As always, there will be spoilers.

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“Close to Me” started with Noah and Lauren hanging out and trying to find out where Samuel is.  Noah, for some reason, is convinced that Samuel is the most evil guy in the world, and so his search has turned into something of an obsession.  Of course, Noah could go to Claire and get the compass she stole from him (which would lead him right to the carnival), but since he and his daughter are understandably on terrible terms, he refuses to reach out to her.  Lauren and Noah find out somehow that Samuel’s obsession, Vanessa Wheeler (the girl he’s been drawing over and over like some deranged stalker), actually grew up with Samuel.  Before heading out to California to find her, though, Noah stops by Matt Parkman’s to ask for his help.

In true Matt Parkman form, Matt’s decided to stay home and cook Ratatouille while his wife goes out into the world and works.  I guess that Matt’s character has some depth and complexity to him, but it always pissed me off that the guy with the best power (because let’s face it, telepathy trumps just about anything besides multiple powers) is the biggest pushover in the world.  I always thought he’d be a great villain.  Maybe have Samuel kill his kid or something so that he’s filled with rage and turns to the dark side, so to speak.

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Anyway, with the help of Parkman’s mind control, Noah convinces Vanessa to spill her guts about Samuel.  They knew each other when they were younger, and Vanessa went through a phase where she really dug bad boys (what girl doesn’t?).  Vanessa helps Parkman and Noah set up a sting to catch Samuel – during which multiple man makes an appearance and gets tazed – but Samuel is ultimately able to escape by throwing a crap load of earth in Noah’s direction.  Why didn’t Samuel kill Noah?  He could kill his own brother, but not a guy pointing a gun in his face?

As for Vanessa, she ends up at the carnival, held against her will.

Meanwhile, brain-scrambled Hiro is checked into a mental hospital by Ando as part of a plot to rescue “Dr. Watson.”  Watson turns out to be Suresh, who is locked in a straight jacket in a cell because, well, that’s where Hiro put him so that he wouldn’t mess up the future by changing things in the past.  For once, Hiro demonstrates some thoughtfulness.  Ando manages to switch Suresh’s meds with aspirin, but in doing so swallows the meds himself.  Without the effects of the meds, Suresh is able to break free from his straight jacket and cell (but somehow has a hard time dragging Ando around – WTF?), and the three friends escape to the woods.

Oh yeah, Ando is busting electronic locks left and right with his red lightning power…but wasn’t that supposed to supercharge others’ powers?  Later, he uses it on Hiro’s head and totally de-scrambles everything – so Hiro is back, I guess – but where the eff did that come from?  It seems as though Ando’s red lightning can do whatever the writers think is convenient.  With Hiro in his right mind once again, the three teleport to Noah’s place, just as he’s a about to start messing around with Lauren.  Great timing, a-holes.

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The last storyline this episode featured Emma who – using Samuel’s teachings – was able to lure Peter to her place by playing the cello.  Peter’s compass tattoo had been acting up thanks to Lydia “calling on him,” and so he freaked the eff out when he saw the same design on Emma’s cello.  Angela somehow shows up and she, too, freaks the eff out at the sight of Emma.  It turns out that Angela dreamed that Emma would kill thousands of people, and because he wanted to see the dream for himself, Peter steals Angela’s power.

In the dream, Emma is playing her cello at the carnival while screams of agony surround her.  Soon, Sylar shows up and tells Emma that he’s there to save her.  Could Sylar be after Emma’s power of luring others with powers?  Because that’d be great if he got it.  After awakening, Peter goes to Emma’s and smashes her cello to bits, and a pissed off Emma tells Peter to go away.

Nothing spectacular this week, but I was glad to see Heroes was back to the pacing and structure that it had abandoned last week.  Things are finally starting to come together, as everyone seems to somehow be a part of Samuel’s plan.  We’ll see where it goes, but I’m particularly interested in how Sylar plays into all of this.