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57
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Heroes

Heroes is a drama about individuals across the globe suddenly discovering that they have super powers. NBC 2006-2010

80
/100

Episode 10 - Six Months Ago

30 March 2012

Synopsis: As Hiro accidentally jumps back in time by six months, we see what all the other heroes were up to then. Hiro and Charlie fall in love but she tells him she is dying from a blood clot on the brain and he realises he can not change the past. Chandra Suresh is busy contacting the people on his list. He meets watchmaker Gabriel Gray who becomes Sylar when he works out how to look inside peoples brains to see how their powers work. He also contacts Mr Bennet and tells him about Claire. Mr Bennet captures Eden and asks her to make Chandra forget about Claire. We learn that Jessica was Niki’s sister and was killed by her estranged father. Meanwhile lawyer Nathan Petrelli is getting ready to lead a case against Mr Linderman which will expose his own father’s ties to the mob. But Linderman’s men run Nathan’s car off the road, paralysing his wife just as his power of flight kicks in. Finally Matt Parkman’s dyslexia costs him another detectives exam and his self pity begins to affect his marriage.

The Good: This is the best episode of Heroes so far, at least for a hardcore fan. The characterisation is superb as parts of the story which have gone unexplained are given glorious detail.

Nathan is head of the class once more. We learn that before becoming a politician he was a lawyer with a great weight on his shoulders. His job is leading him to take on his own father. A father he claims favoured him and one who he clearly followed in the footsteps of. We can see the dark cloud hanging over him and the little details are very fitting too, as when he immediately asks how much Peter will be paid when he tells him he has become a nurse. The sight of Heidi, out of her wheelchair, tipsy and flirtatious is a revelation as well.

The fact that Nathan already knew of his ability to fly back when Peter first came to him (101) adds a great deal of merit to the story told so far. Now we know that his ability may have cost his wife her mobility. So no wonder he is desperate for Peter to not pursue his new powers. All these revelations make the Petrelli’s seem more real and the tragedy of their situation makes us sympathise with them all the more. Nathan’s overt affection and protection of Peter adds another likeable layer to a complex character.

Speaking of protection we learn that Jessica was Niki’s sister. She protected Niki from their abusive, alcoholic father until the day he apparently killed her. Niki’s inability to remember what her father did gives us an indication of how she has suppressed the memories which Jessica clearly remembers. Of course it makes us sympathetic to Niki but more than that it provides us with a much greater understanding of Jessica’s motivations.

Matt Parkman adds another small detail to his complex persona as well. Although we already knew about his dyslexia and self pity, we now see it from a different perspective. Clearly his wife’s faith in him waned because of his self pity, making it clearer that he was at fault for his marital problems. It reinforces what a real character Parkman is and it’s a delight to see such fully rounded characters being explored.

Mr Bennet continues to use his position to protect Claire as we get a glimpse of the abuses which Eden once put her powers to. Meanwhile Hiro learns the limits of his powers when Charlie tells him she is near having a brain aneurism. Their story is the first time Hiro has really made an emotional connection with the audience beyond amusement. Charlie plays her role well and her tragic story makes us feel sad for Hiro who is learning swiftly what he can’t do. He also has one of the best moments of the series so far (see Best moment).

We finally see Sylar’s face as Chandra Suresh comes to see him full of hope that he will be the first to show the genetic mutations he is looking for. Sylar plays his part pretty well throughout. He effectively moves from sounding hopeful that he might be special, to frustration that he might not be, before finally an almost religious conversion when he sees his gift can take what he is “destined” to have. It gives us a very human impression of the serial killer Sylar. His desperation to become more than his father wanted him to be leads to the delusion that he is meant to take powers from those who have them.

The Bad: Despite his inappropriate anger, you do feel a bit for Niki’s father. He spent two thousand dollars on a lap top which Micah has dismantled!

Sylar’s ability seems to be that he can see how things fit together. He can see it so well, that by looking at someone’s brain he can see how their power has been “activated.” He is then able to activate his own brain so that he develops that power. That summary is my guesswork, it is not made entirely clear how Sylar knows how to make his own brain work the same way as others do. We are also not given quite enough information on why his upbringing would have given him the deluded morality where he can believe killing people is his destiny. Hopefully that will become clearer in the future.

The Unknown: Why did Hiro jump back to Japan and to the present day? Why could he then not use his powers again? Did he fly all the way to the States?

Best Moment: Hiro calls Ando for help but accidentally reaches himself. After quickly hanging up he exclaims “Great Scott.” A very timely allusion to the Back to the Future movies.

Epilogue: Since 24 pioneered the new continuous story arc form of drama, one assumes most TV viewers will know not to jump into a show half way through and expect to know what is going on. And of course if you tuned in for this having missed a few episodes you would be lost. Speaking of Lost, this episode certainly feels like an extended flashback designed to fill in all the details we need to know. Of course Heroes is hardly unique in this as contemporary drama Prison Break did a very similar episode (116) six months before this aired.

Regardless of its influences, this is a great episode. For once the appearance of all the main characters (minus Isaac) is a good thing. We get so many details here and they fit beautifully with what we already know. You get the reassuring feeling that all this information was in place all along and the acting lives up to the revelations. The show presents a cast of believable people who are unaware of how their lives are about to change. It’s an episode for those who have been watching all along and for them this is an ample reward.

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