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Heroes Commentary 4x08 - Once Upon A Time In Texas

Everything happened. And yet nothing changed. Whee?



This week, we have the Last Temptation of Noah Bennet. While managing to not advance the plot in any way, we learn all about a partner we never knew and Jack Coleman does some damn fine acting and brings a sixth dimension to his character (whereas some of the characters are sadly stuck having only or two dimensions). Noah Bennet went well past three-dimensional in the first season, because he’s just that cool.

Small point, wasn’t it Company policy to have “one of us, one of them?” So why was Lauren practically hanging onto Noah’s arm all the time? Yes, I’d expect the agents to have some interaction, but why is Lauren being so damn clingy? And pushy? Strangely enough Lauren, it’s possibly for a man and a woman to enjoy each other’s company WITHOUT sex getting into it! You damn well know Noah’s married, so why the huge push to get him into your hotel room? Back the fuck off!

While intellectually I understand that Lauren wants some happiness without having to lie to someone about what she does, her initial embarrassment and joking about Haitianing Noah (that’s an awesome verb, BTW) gives way to all but shoving a motel key in Noah’s hand. Way to be subtle there, girl. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that Noah not only shut her down, but gave her a solid explanation that she couldn’t attempt to bypass. And from all this we learn… Noah Bennet is a good family man, I suppose. I do hope he remembers about Lyle at some point. That’d be awesome.

Ok, admit it. When you saw Santiago Cabrera’s name in the credits, you squealed like a schoolgirl. It’s ok, I did too. Damn, did that man get prettier since the last time I saw him? Seriously, I saw him with his wrappings around his arms and his pretty soft hair and just went “aww!” I want my own post-junkie artistic Isaac-bear!

Noah’s appeal to Isaac to find Sylar’s face so he could save Claire was really wonderfully heartfelt. I loved that in so many ways.

Noah is a drama geek?! That’s awesome on a stick squared and deep fried in bacon grease! Finally, a potential new job for Noah when he no longer needs to bag and tag. I would love to see him teaching at some really tough high school, ala Dangerous Minds. No one would dare fuck with him. “Kid, you can’t scare me with your death threats and gang affiliations. I used to capture super-powered serial killers as a hobby. Now turn to scene one of Midsummer’s Night Dream and start reading the prologue. With feeling.”

When Hiro was taking to the Cowboy Kid and mentioned his true love Charlie, I cringed and prepared for an explosion. I know I’m stereotyping here, but considering what happened last episode with Jeremy, I was terrified the kid was going to assume Hiro was in a homosexual relationship and go get his dad to beat him up or something. Scarier shit has happened on this show.

Luckily, such disasters don’t happen, and we get some clean, old-fashioned Western fun as we learn about White Hats/Black Hats. Yes Sylar, we’re labeling you again. Hope you don’t mind!

Hmm, while I appreciate Sylar trying to get a solid handle on Charlie’s ability by quizzing her, could he be just a few dozen decibels more creepy by talking about her aneurysm? What was Charlie supposed to think? How the hell could he have known about that in a normal way? Were I her, I’d quickly take the rest of the day off and call the police about a crazy stalker.

(Sylar Field Edition, hee! 40% more rugged than the regular Sylar, waterproof to 30 feet, comes in a shatterproof case with a stylish black band!)

Hiro gets cleverer with the dolly in trying to send Sylar on a cross-country bus trip so he can save Charlie. All the amusements of shoving him into a cargo area aside, why in the world did Hiro think Sylar was going to stay there? With his powers, all it would take is just a moment’s thought to free himself. Which he does.

Ok, the Western standoff in the alley was funny. Sylar doesn’t like it when his prey moves. Zach and Masi must have had a lot of fun doing this scene!

Hmm, Hiro makes a deal with the devil, trading Sylar’s future for Charlie’s. There was something fantastically tense and creepy about Sylar messing around in Charlie’s brain (“I prefer a more… invasive method.” Hee!) while Hiro tries to calm her.

If I were Sylar, I would have demanded a lot more detail from Hiro for sparing Charlie. Like… who do I kill? What powers do I gain? Who, precisely, bands together to stop me? Who, exactly, kills me, and how? If Hiro had mentioned that Sylar’s path led him to kill his own mother, I wonder if that might have stopped Sylar in his tracks? Sylar seemed to really get the short end of the stick in this deal, and I was fairly surprised when he just seemed to accept that and walk away.

Ya know, I think Charlie should have been shilling waffles instead of pancakes in this episode, because she does a lot of waffling. We go from her wanting to be with Hiro, to her berating him for the manner of her saving, to wanting to be with him again. Sigh.

Don’t get me wrong, I sort of like her ambiguous response. It’s realistic that someone who’s already accepted dying actually being angry at having to redefine their entire worldview again. And yes, Hiro did not try to stop Sylar from killing anyone else, apparently, and that’s a perfectly logical reason to be mad. But then finding the genuine gratitude again? Eh… I could see how she’d come around, and be able to express all of these things, it just happened in too short a time frame for it to work for me. If they’d been able to sit down and talk through this over the course of several hours, or had Charlie think about it for a few days, I would have bought the story better.

I was seriously worried Hiro was going to fuck up this past trip even more than he did. (And he did, no lie.) Luckily between a few hints from Samuel and some actual thought on Hiro’s point (Forethought! Holy crap, something rarely seen on this show!), Hiro manages to avoid talking about his sword as he sends his past selves on their paths. I think he avoided immediate horrible repercussions, but I still think there’s going to be very bad consequences down the line.

Samuel… you’re starting to both bore me and creep me the fuck out at the same time. We’re eight episodes in, I’d like to get a slightly more solid explanation as to why you’re collecting people, other than just your stated purpose of giving them a home. Because it’s clear you hold some power over almost everyone at your carnival.

I’d also like to know what other powers you’re capable of using and/or who else is using powers on your behalf, because you seem to be able to not only teleport, but pull other fancy stuff whenever you feel like it. Yeah, I know Arnold the dying man was taking you back through time, but still, you’ve managed a whole lot of crazy shit at random times, and it’s kind of irritating.

I’m wondering if Lydia is subtly angling for Samuel’s downfall, because she keeps giving him so many options that I think eventually he’s going to make a wrong choice. And that choice is going to make the other carnies tear him apart. I think (and hope) she’s giving him just enough rope to hang himself high.

Mentioning about all the other butterflies Hiro has to keep from trampling on might have been fairly useful, I’ll give you that Samuel, but you’re still a creepy, manipulative bastard. Marooning Charlie in time so you can force Hiro to use his last dying days to fix your mistakes? That’s a shitty thing to do. At least Peter did that to Caitlin out of ignorance and incompetence, rather than on purpose. And having the other carnies close in around Hiro like a pack of zombies? Freaky, creepy, not conductive to a healthy working relationship, and just flat-out fucking weird.

Oh my God, you killed Mohinder! You bastard!
Tags: commentary, heroes_meta
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