The teaser is a slight rewind from the end of last episode, just to bring us up to speed: Down in the buried trailer, Claire and her dad consider their options. There don’t seem to be many seeing how Lauren is standing right on top of where they’re buried and still can’t hear their cries for help. At Parkman’s house, Multiple-Eli threatens Parkman as well as Sylar and Peter. At the Carnival’s new Central Park location, Samuel speechifies once again, rallying the troops and saying that tonight, his Carnies can reveal themselves for the fabulous beings they really are, thus gaining the normals’ respect. Pretty much everyone seems excited about this; Edgar alone appears to be reserving judgment – but Ray Park’s not that good an actor so maybe that’s supposed to be his supportive face.
Multiple-Eli comes very close to stabbing Parkman to death but Sylar and Peter manage to incapacitate the main Eli, rendering the rest of them moot. Parkman is not that grateful: “What the hell is [Sylar] doing here?” He refuses to read Eli’s mind to find out what Samuel’s plan is so Peter swipes his power and does it himself. When Peter and Sylar turn to leave, Parkman manage to use his mind powers to convince Sylar that he doesn’t want to go.
At the Carnival, Samuel asks Emma to use her gift to bring the normals into the Carnival but for some reason she suddenly decides he’s a bad man and doesn’t want anything to do with him any longer. Luckily for Samuel, Doyle takes control of Emma’s body and makes her play the cello, drawing in the marks.
At the hospital, Hiro is ready to kick ass and take names, now that his ghost mom healed his brain tumor a couple of episodes ago. A nurse brings him a note and an origami crane from a patient down the hall. When he runs to the patient’s room, he finds a little old lady with red hair and a Texan accent. It’s Charlie, aged 67 years. Oops.
Benet tells Claire to stop trying to dig her way out: they’ll run out of air before they break free and then she’ll have to watch her father die right before her eyes. She refuses to believe that her father doesn’t have a plan but he wants to talk. He tells her that he can’t protect her anymore, not after the big reveal that Samuel is planning. I take it back, what I said up at the top: DON’T KILL BENET.
Sylar says that he knows what it takes to be a good person after having been inside Parkman’s head; he begs Parkman to look inside his and see if he hasn’t changed. Grudgingly, Parkman takes a look and finally, reluctantly, tells them to get out of his home. Then he turns his attention to unconscious Eli, mind-saying that he is about to do exactly what Parkman tells him to do.
Samuel is quite pleased at the crowd Emma has brought him. “Tonight changes everything, for all of us.” Edgar seems skeptical. I think.
At the hospital, Charlie explains that Samuel sent her back to 1944 and she had to live out all those years. Hiro takes her hand, apologizing. She doesn’t seem that upset about it, actually, saying that her aneurysm disappeared and she had a good life. Hiro ignores what she’s saying and insists that he can fix everything – go back to 1944 and then bring her back to the correct time. Ando pulls him aside and tells him not to do this: he would only be doing this for selfish reasons.
Benet is starting to pant and slur, telling his daughter how much he loves her and asking for her forgiveness. She cries. He asks her to promise to hide her abilities from the world to stay safe. It’s his “dying wish.” Seriously, now: do not kill the only decent character/actor on this damn show. Frantic, Claire scrabbles at the dirt and then steps back, startled as a wave of muddy water pours into the trailer. The water coalesces into Tracy who grabs the Benets, telling them that they’ve got to get out through 30 feet of dirt. “Hope you can swim,” she quips, reaching a watery hand into the dirt.
Because the special effects would cost too much, we don’t see how Tracy turns the buried trailer into a pond, allowing Benet and Claire to swim to the surface. Tracy herself does not reappear, sending the message with Claire that Benet owes her one. Lauren is there too and she’s brought a helicopter that whisks the Benets off to Central Park. They split up, searching for the bad guys. Soon enough, Edgar has a knife to Benet’s throat.
Peter and Sylar – having gotten to NYC from L.A. awfully quickly (this show does play fast and loose with spatial travel, especially now that Superspeedy Daphne and Flyboy Nathan are dead) – also split up: Peter to find Samuel and Sylar to stop/save Emma. He finds her in the House of Mirrors, fingers shredded and bloody from the rampant cello-ing. When he tries to take the instrument away from her, Puppermaster Doyle is there and ready for him.
Claire finds the Carnies and begs them to get away from Samuel, that their coming out party will in fact be a massacre of the normals. Funnily enough, the Carnies no longer seem to care. Meanwhile, Edgar tells Benet that he actually wants to stop Samuel as well: what’s Benet’s plan?
Hiro brushes Ando off and offers his rescue plan to Charlie. She thanks him for the offer, but reiterates that she already had a life, a wonderful life with a husband and four children and a whole passel of grandkids. Charlie tells Hiro that she doesn’t want to lose her family and her memories of her life, which would happen if she went back with him. Luckily, Hiro actually listens to and hears what she’s saying. And then Ando rushes in saying he’s heard from Benet and that their help is needed in Central Park. Hiro and Ando teleport away. Cutely, Charlie does get a misty look as Hiro pops out of her life.
Doyle taunts Sylar and Emma takes advantage of his distraction to smack him with a burst of sonic energy (?), knocking him across the room. Sylar then TKs a choke hold onto Doyle’s throat. When Doyle flails about, confused because Sylar is supposed to be like him – a bad guy - Sylar snarls, “No – I’m a Hero.” Oh, whatever. Next week, if there was a next week, you’d be back to killing innocent people again.
Claire explains to the Carnies that Samuel takes his power from them – that is why Joseph had kept their family small, to restrain his brother … and then Samuel killed Joseph in retaliation. Edgar and Benet show up to back her up, and then Multiple Eli also appears, on Parkman’s errand (and, again, having gotten from California to New York amazingly quickly), and confirms that Samuel ordered him to kill Lydia and make it look like Benet did it. The Carnies start to wander away, muttering. Samuel is WILD and quickly runs out in front of the crowd of normals. Proclaiming that “this is the greatest show on earth,” he starts to flex his earth-shattering power, pulling strength from the Carnies since they haven’t yet gotten out of range. People scream and run; Carnival rides start to topple. Edgar comes flying from out of nowhere and knocks Samuel off the stage and into Peter. So then Samuel and Peter have a standoff, facing each other from about twenty feet away and shoving the earth at each other while grimacing. It’s kind of silly.
Claire and her dad find Hiro and Ando, telling Hiro that he needs to teleport all the Carnies away from Samuel. He’s like, it’s too many! So Ando says he’ll supercharge his buddy. They all hold hands and it works, everyone winking out of existence. Suddenly, Samuel is completely powerless and Peter punches him right in the face. Samuel staggers to his feet, screaming, nearly incoherent, then falls to his knees and it’s over.
End of Volume Five / Start of Volume Six
Peter finds Emma who tells him that Sylar saved her. When they go to check on them, Sylar has Doyle tied up with light cords. Peter sort of rolls his eyes. Lauren calls in some favors and some old Company contacts take Samuel away. Claire complains that they can’t keep hiding the Heroes away from the world and, over her father’s protests, instructs the reporters (who had been gathered by Emma’s cello-playing) to watch her. Then she climbs up a Ferris wheel tower. Everyone – Benet, Lauren, Hiro, Ando, Peter – stare at her in horror, realizing that she’s about to change everything. Sylar seems okay with it but her dad looks as though his heart is breaking. Claire throws herself off the Ferris wheel and plummets to the earth. The reporters gasp, and then gasp again as she stands up and puts her shoulder back in place, a smug smile on her face.
See, here’s the thing. Heroes seems to spend so much time spinning its wheels and building up to the Big Finale … and then when it happens, it’s a big let-down. I mean, we get to see Samuel and Peter push some dirt at each other? What’s exciting about that? And my memory is foggy, but hasn’t it been like that even from S1? All of us all excited about the big Sylar vs. Everyone showdown and then pffft. Zippo. For all the build-up, no one actually loses anything – not like Buffy, when somebody lost something serious in pretty much every season ender, or BSG or Torchwood even. It’s hard to care when nothing’s actually at stake.
Do I care if this foolish show gets renewed? No, I don’t. I hope it doesn’t. They’ve ended this season pretty well, wrapping up the biggest loose-ends and leaving it in a place where viewers (if there are any left) can imagine just what comes next, now that Claire’s outed herself. To have it limp along for another season, rudderless and spineless … yeesh. But if it does come back – and if so, it better be Mohinderless as well – I promise you I’ll be right here to
Previously on Heroes / next time (if there is a next time) on Heroes