Heroes Season 4, Episode 7: "Strange Attractors" Review - Featured

In this episode of Heroes, Matt goes to drastic measures to rid his mind of Sylar's presence once and for all. Meanwhile, HRG calls in Tracy to help him bust healer/killer Jeremy Greer out of a Georgia sheriff's station.

Tracy, however, receives an equally enticing offer from carnival leader Samuel. And when Claire and Gretchen take part in a slaughterhouse scavenger hunt for sorority Hell Week, the girls soon learn that they could end up being slaughtered. Let's get to it.

I know it's popular to beat up on this show, and for the most part, I've tried to stay as neutral as possible, especially this season, which has offered some serious improvement, if not returning the show to its former glory. But this episode, while not flawed in the ways of many episodes of the past, felt like blatant filler meant to just coast along until sweeps starts next week. The high point, thanks to some actual emotion, came from Jeremy's story. So let's start there.

Can we ever be invisible?

That's the question Tracy Strauss asks of HRG after Samuel gives her a tour of his magical carnival that appears and vanishes at his bidding. His notion is that the carnival is home to those with abilities - no one has to hide there because they're already hidden. Samuel, knowing that Tracy has been called into help HRG spring Jeremy from custody, begs her to bring the boy to the carnival.

Tracy, who gets through to Jeremy by sharing her own experience of losing control of her abilities, fails to take Jeremy to Samuel, however. Instead, she goes along with HRG's plan to move him to Washington for a fresh, lonely start. But as soon as Jeremy steps outside the station, hecklers get the best of him, and he kills again. One of the deputies takes Jeremy outside the station and chains him to the bumper of his vehicle. "You're not normal," the deputy says before brutally dragging Jeremy through the streets to his death.

Tracy is disgusted that she couldn't save Jeremy and blames HRG, who admits he made a mistake. HRG really should know better by now. He's already been down on himself for not helping people all these years, and even though it's tough to pile on more pain to a guy who's already down, he needs to figure out a new method. When HRG admits that "after today" he doesn't think people with powers can be invisible, Tracy sets the compass Samuel gave her toward finding the carnival.

A very Heroes Halloween

I suppose the only heroes who can be invisible are those with the power of invisibility. Take sorority leader Becky, for instance. She sets up an elaborate scavenger hunt to kick off Hell Week, but begins to use the slaughterhouse setting to raise some real hell. Much of this plot was played for would-be chills, when it should have been played for laughs. (Just because it's almost Halloween doesn't mean that Heroes is going to scare us senseless with some blood.)

The high point here was Gretchen and Claire semi-dealing with the awkwardness between them after the impromptu girl-on-girl kiss. While Claire certainly doesn't think she's into girls, she also sees the value in Gretchen as a friend and confidante. Claire likes having a "strange attractor" who understands that she's trying to escape her life in Texas. But it's because Gretchen has gotten close to her that Claire begins to think whoever is haunting the slaughterhouse is trying to kill Gretchen. (And since it's Becky, we know Claire is right. She did kill Annie after all.)

When Becky chokes Gretchen with a meat hook (yes, chokes, not stabs), Claire fights back. Pretty soon, Claire finds herself run through with some spikes, but she injures invisible Becky enough to make her reappear. The other sorority girls not only witness Becky running away while turning invisible yet again, but they also see Claire heal herself. So much for Claire's "hiding in plain sight" routine.

Drinking kills (the audience's brain cells)

Now that Sylar is living and breathing in Samuel's carnival, the show really needs to wrap up the Sylar-invades-Parkman's-mind storyline. Unfortunately, they don't seem to be planning on that. The episode begins with Matt and Janice getting BIZ-AY, but we soon learn that it's really Sylar, who, having taken over Matt's body, is pleasing Parkman's wife. "That's the second Parkman I've made scream today," Sylar later quips when Parkman yells at him.

Matt, fearing that Sylar will gain full control over his body, sends Janice away so he can work out his demons. When he realizes that boozing it up weakens Sylar (really?), he knocks back a whole bottle of tequila. Although Sylar is gone, Janice returns home with Parkman's partner-sponsor to find Matt just before he passes out. When he wakes up, he realizes that Sylar isn't gone. No, Sylar actually used Parkman's plan against him. Now Sylar is in control of the body and Parkman is locked away in the mind. Confused? Yes. Interested? Negative. Even worse, Parkman called Mohinder for help. Just when I thought we'd gotten rid of him!

Again, the episode was far from the worst, but other than Jeremy's needless death, the whole episode just felt like a waste for me. It's too bad, because the show has made progress, and I felt it was building nicely. Here's hoping the Hiro-Charlie reunion next week will get the show back on track.

What did you think of the episode?

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Oct 27, 2009 2:59PM EDT

This show really has too much clare. This episode for me was definately brought down by her uninteresting character and the uninteresting plot developing around her (seriously it made sense in the begining and second season why she was important but all the rest?) and also the her power is never kept secret for long periods of time
Plus I only just realised that she used the meat hook to strangle not stab someone wtf
The Tracy story was good and bad it was good because it was good showing the difference of attitude of HRG and Tracy also that HRG is lost even though he is trying his best he is not sure of how exactly to help powered people. I found it bad because as soon as I see someone promising "A safer place where you can just be yourself without any fear" In my head warning bells would go off thinking cult cult CULT. I just wonder why the heroes with all the stuff they go through dont show any precaution or wariness
I found the Sylar part to be the best but then again I am a major Sylar fan. Obviously he was playing Matt from the get go but it was excuted great in my opinion I do wonder if Matt's wife has/will clock on or just think that it is just Matt going crazy. But knowing Sylar he would probably tell her once she starts getting scared so he is accredited

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Oct 27, 2009 6:24PM EDT

I actually really liked the episode; although it has been my favorite show since the pilot. The only thing I thought It was missing was Peter. Where is he in all of this?

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Oct 27, 2009 11:09PM EDT

She didn't strangle her with the hook. It was a leather strap that would have connected a hook to the ceiling.Otherwise, I agree with most of what you said. I don't think it was complete filler, but it did seem like fluff when it comes to long term story lines.I think Tracy's story this week was great, but the others were lackluster when they could have been better. Claire's was especially lackluster, but her story lines tend to be. It's not much of a wonder why other fans seem to hate her so much. I personally think she could have far more epic stories with her abilities...
Ultimately, I'm a die hard Heroes fan, so I liked it, but there have been better episodes.

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Oct 28, 2009 8:02PM EDT

How can you put down Surresh? Dr. Surresh was awesome IMO, He was the bridge between the normal people and the special people. And was almost like a mentor to them as well. Although he probably is now in some back country ditch morphed into a swamp mutant creature...
ALSO, my FAVORITE part of this episode was when matt went to call surresh. Sylar said the funniest thing in an indian-english accent 'He's probably still working on his father research' just made me crack up.

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