The fact that this week’s episode of Heroes was Sylar-heavy and Claire-light may have a lot to do with it, but I actually liked it. A lot. “Tabula Rasa” wasn’t perfect by any means, but it was the best one to air in quite some time. For the most part, we were spared any Claire scenes, the central storyline involved the two most interesting characters on the show, and we even got some violence. Keep reading for the full review. Spoilers ahead.
Read last week’s review HERE.
Last week, Sylar ended up escaping from Ernie Hudson and finding his way to Samuel’s carnival. The entire carnival disappeared (did we ever find out how? or did I miss that?), and Samuel began his “recruitment” of Sylar. Tabula rasa – the concept that a person is born as a blank slate, and that personality is shaped by experience – must be something in which Samuel believes. He, along with Lydia and Edgar (Ray Park), recognize that something – or someone – has screwed him up big time, and Lydia comments that it’s as though there are two aspects to Sylar, warring within. It’s a dangerous game to get mixed up in, but if they play their cards right, it looks as though Samuel and Co. will have themselves there very own Sylar. Not that I’m expecting this will end well for them.
I will commend Heroes for actually planning in advance. There wasn’t much action in this week’s episode, but it is clear that the show started to develop some intriguing storylines that will last for a while. Sylar didn’t go from a mind-erased blank slate back to the old Sylar right away. In fact, he’s still not back to his old self, as he didn’t have the heart (or cruelty) to kill an unarmed and terrified Ernie Hudson. Edgar had the honors of doing that, and it was nice to finally see death and blood on a show that claims to feature some of the most of the most dangerous people on the planet. Samuel’s recruitment process of Sylar is methodical: he became familiar with Sylar, earned his trust, showed him his old memories via a very unique telepath of some kind who was able to project Sylar’s memories onto mirrors, he baptized Sylar, and finally, welcomed him into the carnival family.
Noah, in the meantime, could be in the process of recruiting, too. After last week’s episode, Peter had the ability to teleport. In an attempt to save Hiro, Noah and Peter teleport to the home of a disturbed kid named Jeremy, who supposedly has the power to heal. Naturally, Noah has a file on him from his days of bagging and tagging and knows everything there is to know about Jeremy. It turns out that somewhere around puberty, Jeremy’s healing power turned into something like Omega Red’s death factor, and everything he touches dies – including his parents. The kid is obviously a wreck and when confronted by Noah and Peter, opens fire with a shotgun. Noah and Peter are able to subdue Jeremy, but not before Peter – in a pretty cool sequence, I have to admit – takes a shotgun blast to the chest.
I thought the show was a bit cheesy at this point – hey, this is Heroes we’re talking about – but it wasn’t too egregious. I mean, did anyone think Peter would die? And did anyone think that Noah wouldn’t talk Jeremy into digging deep down and finding the power to heal Peter? I thought it was obvious. Anyhow, I hope that Jeremy becomes a regular character – there are many creative directions you can go with a troubled kid who has the ability to heal or destroy anything he touches. If he’s joining up with Noah, and Samuel is in the business of recruiting, too, perhaps we’re headed for an awesome battle by the season’s end. That’s what I’m hoping for, and maybe Heroes will finally get something right.
Peter had to drive back home from Jeremy’s house, so I am guessing his teleportation powers are gone, replaced instead with Jeremy’s ability to heal. Will Peter also be able to kill simply by touching? It’d be interesting for a character with Peter’s empathy to wield that ability. Also, kudos to the writers for actually addressing the possibility of using Claire’s blood to heal Hiro and why it was impractical.
Like I mentioned earlier, there was very little Claire this episode, which is always a good thing (although the previews for next week’s episode make it look like a horrible horror movie starring Claire and her sorority sisters – ugh). Hiro was toned down quite a bit and served as a mentor for Emma, showing her that her powers are a beautiful thing that make her unique and that they should be cherished, not despised. After his lesson, though, Hiro jumped back into the past once again, this time to save Charlie. And that’s where we’re left hanging.
This wasn’t a perfect episode of Heroes, but it’s the best that has aired in a long, long time. I enjoyed it, and it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to say that. The story seemed carefully planned, and it looks as though the writers are focusing more on character development and on fewer characters, which should serve to give the show the depth it has been lacking since Season 1. The previews for next week’s episode make me think it’ll be a real groaner, but at least “Tabula Rasa” is a sign that all hope is not lost, and that maybe this season of Heroes will right itself after all.
What did you guys think?