Heroes Double Review: “Upon This Rock” and “Let it Bleed”


After a little over a month, Heroes has returned from hiatus with back-to-back episodes to bring in the new year.  I won’t go as far as to say that I’ve missed Heroes while it’s been away, but I am happy about the show’s return.  I have been enjoying this season quite a bit, and I’d venture to say it’s the best one since the first.

When we last left off, Nathan Petrelli was dead for good (which is really saying something in the Heroes universe), Sylar had regained control of his body and is fully back, and Claire went to join Samuel’s carnival.  You can get all caught up on the last episode before the break by clicking HERE.

Alrighty – two episodes back-to-back means we’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it.


Claire’s still pissed at Noah and is hanging out at Samuel’s carnival.  She and Samuel have a conversation about freedom – Claire quotes Sartre, Samuel quotes Janis Joplin – and yes, it was as ridiculous as it sounds. But it turns out, of course, that Samuel is manipulating care and freedom is the one thing she doesn’t have.  Samuel’s crony, Eli the Multiple Man, follows her around like a creepy old guy in a college bar, right into the ever-so-cliched and absurd House of Mirrors.  Claire is able to turn the tables on Eli, as the mirrors create multiple images of her and…you know, it’s really pretty stupid.  I mean, for one, how the hell would Claire know exactly where to stand so as to create multiple, indistinguishable images of herself?  And if the Multiple Man is in the House of Mirrors, doesn’t it follow that he could create about a zillion copies and images of himself?  It’s stupid and cliched.  I can deal with Claire’s healing herself, but for some reason her ability to totally own a House of Mirrors pisses me off.

Claire eventually finds Samuel’s files that he had stolen from Noah, which for some reason pisses off Doyle, the puppet master.  He control Claire’s body, but she’s somehow able to talk him out of hurting her.  Isn’t this like the third time he’s threatened to kill Claire?  And is she going to greet him with a kiss on the cheek and a hug again nest time, too?  I know I say it every week, but Heroes would be much better off without Claire.


Despite her learning that Samuel killed his brother, Claire eventually accompanies Samuel to a big open valley, the future Genosha home for all the Carnival folk.  Samuel had used Emma and her music (it was Samuel that sent her the cello) to lure out a homeless guy in Central Park whose special ability seems to be to recreate the ending to The Fountain, as moss and various forms of plant life can grow just from his touch.  Using the homeless guy, Samuel can make the open valley fertile and suitable for land.  Even though Samuel is manipulative and has ulterior motives, you have to admit that he really is the best option for a lot of people with abilities.  Of course, they’ll all get burned in the end for following him, but you gotta credit the man for thinking big.

Meanwhile, the press has now learned of Nathan’s death, except that it was because of…a plane crash, staged by Noah and Peter.  Amazingly, Angela wasn’t involved.  Peter wants more than anything to kill Sylar to avenge his brother’s death, but Claire pleads with him not to do it.  In fact, after a bizarre and absurd sequence in which Peter stops a man from shooting up an office building (seriously, what?), Claire holds out on giving a wounded Peter her healing ability in an attempt toget him to stop trying to be so heroic.  Claire eventually caves, but it has to make you wonder what type of person is so willing to forgive a guy like Doyle but hesitant to heal her dying uncle.


Hiro still isn’t acting normal, which shouldn’t surprise anyone – he’s either lost in time, convinced he’s 10, or speaking in gibberish.  This week, he seems to think he’s stuck in a movie or a Sherlock Holmes story, but Ando is able to “translate” Hiro’s nerd ramblings thanks to Hiro’s extensive comic book collection.  I’m glad to see Ando and Hiro back together again, but something has got to be done with Hiro’s character.  He’s often very brave, but he hasn’t changed one bit since the first season.  The whole “child in awe of his powers” act is really starting to wear on me.  Anyway, I’m sure Hiro will be traveling back in time with Ando by his side in future episodes.

So what exactly is Hiro’s deal?  He got his brain scrambled by the guy with the dreads at the Carnival, and he speaks in science fiction riddles?  I’m not sure I get it.

Even though Sylar’s got his body back, for some reason he lacks the killer instinct that made him so efficient in the past.  In a standoff with Samuel, Sylar can’t bring himself to pull the telekinesis triggers, and his hesitation results in half of his face ripped off by one of Samuel’s sandstorms.  Pretty sweet.  Anyhow, why the eff do the writers once again have to hold back Sylar?  First it was mommy issues, then daddy issues, then an identity crisis that came along with his shapeshifting, and now, as Lydia put it, Sylar is impotent.  So he’s haunted by the fact that he’s going to die alone and needs love in his life…this isn’t the Sylar I want.  In any event, Sylar stole Lydia’s power (right?  didn’t he absorb it via empathy?), and once again, he will be looking for Claire.


Finally, after torturing Edgar (Ray Park) to find out Samuel’s whereabouts, Noah makes the mistake of letting Edgar escape.  I can’t really say I blame Edgar for not wanting to team up with Noah.  After all, Noah beat the hell out of him and stereotyped him as liking tea since he’s British.  By the way, if you didn’t know that torture doesn’t work, Lauren made that loud and clear while yelling at Noah.

So, where does that leave us?  Hiro is speaking in nerd riddle, Peter wants revenge, Samuel is setting up a homeland, and impotent Sylar is seeking out Claire.  I probably sound as if I didn’t really care for these episodes, and truth be told, they were somewhat disappointing.  Maybe it was the fact that Heroes kind of got away from its formula of focusing on just a few characters each episode.  I’m not real pumped for where the season is heading, but then again, I’ve liked this season quite a bit so far.  We’ll see what happens.

What did you guys think?

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  1. I agree, those episodes were boring and unexciting. No wonder they aired both at the same time.

    And I’m still not sure where this season actually wants us to lead to? There is no real goal in sight, no actual villain besides shady Samuel. Who – in all respect – doesn’t make much of a threat to me.
    Once the rest of the carnival people learns of his betrayal they will kick the cr@p out of him.

  2. It’s finally clear to me that Claire is the Kim Bauer of Heroes. Cute blonde actress with an ineffective character who exists just so that she can get into trouble.

  3. What the hell is wrong with wanting to create a nice land for mutants to hang out and live together? Seems like a pretty legit idea to me.

    I’m surprised he’s not making it an island that he just rises out of the ocean though.

  4. @ Kaeyne

    I actually like Samuel a lot, and the reason is that despite him being a “bad guy,” there seems to be some real good in him. He’s like a civil rights leader for mutants, but his thirst for power will trump any of his altruistic feelings.

    @ Bert

    Great call. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    @ Paul

    Yeah, I figured he’d do that, too. Maybe he still will, once everyone’s on the fertile valley.

  5. I am growing more and more convinced that the actress playing Claire is sleeping with the writers. I just don’t see any reason why they would still keep her utterly boring character on the show

  6. @Alex:
    My guess is that she’s supposed to be the angsty teenager that the younger viewers shall identify themselves with. *shrug*

    And yes – Samuel is pretty much the most accuarate Magneto-esque character so far. xD

  7. As much as I hate to see the writers give Sylar another mental road block I think they had to do it to avoid the obvious ‘Sylar is going to kill everyone at the carnival and take their powers’ scenario. If he’s just an evil bad ass then he just wipes out the carnival and moves on. I would much rather they had given him something else to distract him form the carnival for a while.

    It seems to me that the season is likely building to a Sylar/Samuel show down since supposedly Samuel will be powerful enough to take him on when he gets enough people, or the right people to the Carnival.

    I’m really hoping that the rest of the season doesn’t disappoint.

  8. I finally took Heroes off my DVR so I’d stop watching it. It sounds like I’ve made the correct decision. I’ll keep reading your reviews and if it sounds like the writing is getting better I’ll give it a second chance.

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