I Am Sylar...Which Means What, Exactly?


Tim Kring, Bryan Fuller, and the rest of the Heroes crew have always spoken openly about their show as an investigation of identity. Characters who discover they have superhuman abilities in turn must discover what it means to be human. It's easy to see this theme played out throughout the series, but last night's episode, "I Am Sylar," was about as explicit as we could get an exploration of what makes a person, as Sylar struggled against losing himself to his shapeshifting ability.


I've never quite come down on either side of the fence when it comes to Sylar. On the one hand, I have always appreciated the depth of his character's past and his twisted motivations, as well as Zachary Quinto's almost spotless portrayal throughout. He commands every scene, and is still capable of giving me shivers three seasons in.


On the other, however, his intensity as a character and range of powers has a way of overpowering the series at times. When he's truly Bad, I love to hate him, and when he's showing his human side, I love to root for his redemption, even though I'm always sure I won't see it happen. But sometimes I just want to see Sylar go away, so the other characters can stretch out a little and find their own ranges, without the constant fear of their limbs getting chopped off. Sylar has a way of doing that to everyone he comes across.


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