Monday, January 25, 2010

Heroes episode recap – “The Art of Deception” S4E16 (airdate 01/25/10)

We're going all short and sweet recap-wise again since it worked so well last week.  And really, it's not like I'm skipping over any compelling or eloquent dialogue.  This is Heroes, after all.  Enjoy!

Samuel is persona non grata in the wake of his swallowing the town. He’s a little cranky about it and vows to win his people back.

WHY WON’T PETER CUT HIS HAIR? I miss last season’s Peter-haircut. He wants to find Emma in the wake of a vision-nightmare (from the power he took from his mom) about her.

Sylar poses as an ex-partner of Parkman’s in order to make Janice let him into the house. When Parkman comes home from running errands, they sit down for a bit of a catch-up. (“Are you in my head again?” gasps Parkman. Sylar: “Oh, that was so two months ago.”  Okay, heh.)

Gretchen drives Claire to Benet’s apartment so the two of them can talk but her feelings are hurt when Claire doesn’t want/need her to come with her. Claire is dismayed to find that Benet is still investigating Samuel until Kate (Lauren) shows her footage of the buried town.

Parkman’s all, WTF, Sylar? Sylar wants the other man to go inside his head again and take away all his powers so he can live like a normal person. “How’m I supposed to do that?” squeals Parkman.

Peter goes to see his mother, who is upset, missing Nathan and worried about Peter. She warns him to be wary of Sylar despite the vision-dream that shows him [Sylar] saving Emma and stopping her from killing all those people.

When Claire asks to borrow Gretchen’s car, wanting to head her dad off before he confronts Samuel, Gretchen demurs at first, saying that Benet should handle it – and Claire should try to retake her normal life. Then she caves, telling her indestructible roommate to bring it back with a full gas tank.

At Benet’s apartment, he berates Lauren for letting Claire go off all-hotheaded. Then, rather hotheaded himself, he loads his gun (not a euphemism) and tells her that they’re going to the Carnival.

Here’s the thing: they’re making motions like we’re heading towards a Big Showdown with Samuel and Emma and all our good guys, but there’s no tension or building suspense. It just seems hurried and forced.  And you KNOW they're setting up Sylar to be the big hero.  Again, forced much?

Multiple-Eli overhears Claire try to convince Lydia to get Samuel to turn himself in to Benet when he comes and rats them out to his boss-man. My gawd, does Samuel ever say a line without speechifying? Claire promises that if he turns himself in, Benet won’t harm him.

Meanwhile, Benet and Lauren have high-powered sniper rifles trained on Samuel from the hillside. When Claire calls to offer Samuel’s surrender, Benet is willing to deal. Lauren heads off through the woods to meet Samuel and bring him out. As Samuel makes his goodbye speech, however, shots ring out, hitting Samuel and Claire and sending all the Carnies running for cover. My bet is on Eli, instructed by Samuel to turn the Carnies against Benet.

Parkman has difficulty removing Sylar's powers and Sylar gets pissed, threatening that if Parkman doesn’t get rid of them, he’ll use them all. On Janice and the baby.

Benet finally catches sight of Eli, shooting down into the Carnival but then the multiplier winks out of existence. Another Eli appears behind him and cracks him in the head, knocking him out.

Lauren is shot, and hides in the woods, in too much pain to get a clear shot when Eli walks by carrying Benet back to the Carnival. Lydia is gut-shot and it’s bad: she dies in Samuel’s arms, but not before she learns from his touch that he arranged all this to create a villain worse than him.

Eli drags Benet back into the Carnival and the bespectacled one comes to long enough to tell his daughter that he didn’t do this. She believes him because when the Carnies begin to turn on them, she defends her father ferociously – until Doyle takes control of her body, immobilizing her. "Take her to my trailer," growls Samuel.

To protect his family, Parkman grows a pair and goes back inside Sylar’s head again: this time he pulls a trick like his dad did a couple of seasons ago and traps Sylar in a mind loop, alone. And then he gets all Cask of Amontillado on him and walls the comatose Sylar up in the basement (which is TOTALLY icky if you think it all the way through). Until Peter comes knocking on the door, interrupting him.

Emma wanders through the Carnival, disturbed by all the carnage. She patches Samuel up. He tells her that she’ll help him create a great new world.

Peter shakes Parkman’s hand, copying his power and reading his mind (since when does Angela have that power?) and rushing downstairs to bring Sylar back since his visions tell him he needs the multi-empowered psycho to save Emma and the folks at the Carnival. Parkman warns him that if he goes into Sylar's mind, he might not come back out. Peter forges on ahead and finds himself wandering a deserted NYC.  He flickers in and out, which is how you know it's in Sylar's head.

Lauren, panicked and bleeding, makes a call: to Tracy, as Benet told her to do if anything went wrong. Apparently he did not tell her to give Tracy their location or any details of what just happened which seems inefficient.  Then she staggers to her feet.

Samuel gathers the Carnival around and makes a speech: "The outside world has proven once again that people like us will never be accepted ... [i]t’s time we showed the world what we truly are."

See? Practically painless!

Previously on Heroes / next time on Heroes


  1. Just an addendum to your review.
    When Peter shows up at Matt Parkman's house he shakes Matt's hand, taking his power in the process. He then uses Matt's power against him to learn that Sylar is in the house and where. You allude to thinking that he was still using mama Petrelli's power when he read Matt's mind. Just thought I'd mention it for you...

    This is my first time to your blog. I like it, though I tend to be a bit less cynical about the quality of the show. It's definitely irritating at times and is no where near the quality of the first or second season but it's still pretty entertaining and intriguing.

  2. Two things:

    This is hilarious--
    At Benet’s apartment, he berates Lauren for letting Claire go off all-hotheaded. Then, rather hotheaded himself, he loads his gun (not a euphemism) and tells her that they’re going to the Carnival.

    You are right that Angela doesn't have the power to read minds...but Peter took Parkman's power when he shook his hand and then read his mind. :)

  3. You guys are awesome! I totally flaked on the Peter taking Parkman's power with that handshake (must have been distracted by the bangs) - thanks for reminding me. I'll make the revision to the recap tonight.

    @Carl - I know I'm pretty down on this show, but it could have been so much better. Lost doesn't have any better actors and yet for the most part it's entertaining and pretty smart. Poor Heroes hardly even uses cool effects any more.

    @bp - glad I could provide a chuckle!

  4. This same situation happened to Alias. Some kind of ripples are caused in Hollywood by the writers, actors, or what have you and the show is crippled and eventually just kind of limps across the finish line. I think Alias did a decent job of closing, tbh, but that doesn't disguise the flub in quality.
    Lost had a season or so where it hit that little snag but it has a good pace. Just when I'm about to give up watching it they pull me back in with some awesome story tweaks. I was a bit irritated at all the flashbacks for quite a while but I think they've hit their stride with it.
    Heroes is having quite a bit more trouble with the "hour long show that barely progresses the story" format. It sucks to say it but they are running on fumes. So much potential and they are wheezing through to the finish line.

  5. Who is Benet working for now? Why would he go after Sulivan, and even if he 'caught him' where would he take him?

  6. @Stephen - that's a really good question and one I can't at all answer. I sort of assumed Benet was acting on his own, sort of a vigilante since no one knows more about the Heroes than he does now that Danko is dead ... but you're right: where would he take Samuel? The CIA where Lauren (f/k/a Kate) works maybe? Does anyone else have any theories? 'Cuz I'm at a complete loss.

  7. I assumed he wasn't interested in taking Samuel anywhere, initially. After all, he showed up with a sniper rifle and didn't shoot him for two reasons: First,he realized Claire was there. Second, it might have caused many other problems if he shot him in plain view of so many specials that are partial to him.
    I really think his main goals are to neutralize the threat, in general, of the carnival, aka Samuel, and to keep Claire safe.
    On another note, when is Hiro going to find Peter, tell him what baby Matt Parkman's power is so he can take it, and then have him go around and shut everyone's power off. Seems to me that's a good place to start. Neutralize the threats and only allow people who are responsible with their abilities to have them.
    ~Carl (Something changed and I don't know how to post with my name anymore)