Heroes Season 4, Episode 3 Reaction Time: "Ink" - Featured

I really am going to cry if Heroes gets canceled. And, for those of you who aren't huge tvgeeks and therefore don't keep up with Nielsen ratings, that is starting to look like a very real possibility.



And, honestly, after the last two seasons it isn't hard to believe that a lot of Heroes' originally fairly impressive audience has dropped off. So we may be reaching the end. Which is a damned shame, because the show is finding its stride again.


This week: some good times and more puzzling times, all directed by Roxann Dawson.


Starting from the bottom: Emma. Played by Deanne Bray, this character is an interesting addition, but I must admit that I am very, very confused. It's good that Heroes is reaching out and continuing the trend of creating characters who use languages other than English regularly (Hiro/Ando, Maya/Alejandro, etc). But I just do not understand why she has been created. Because, as far as I can tell right now, she's just a hospital employee with a tenuous connection to Peter and synesthesia, which is definitely not a superpower. Explanation please?


Moving on, Samuel Sullivan is making steady progress toward becoming my new favorite character. Forgive me for not having a better word, but Robert Knepper's performance is delicious. He has some serious creeper charisma and it is fantastic. What I'm not enjoying so much about him is that he represents one aspect of Heroes which needs some work: choosing powers for characters. I get that he moves earth. That's cool. What I'm not understanding so well is the ink and the compass. Hopefully a satisfactory explanation is coming so that my confusion doesn't evolve into massive displeasure (see: Maya).


Solidly in the good times category for this episode, Matt Parkman and his special friend. (Seriously, the only thing I don't like about this storyline is the fact that his partner's last role was as a Cylon, which kind of creeps me out.)


Parkman and Sylar are having crazy mind games - and it's still not completely clear whether or not it's actually Sylar or just an unfortunate side-effect of Parkman's powers turning his guilt/stress and full mental knowledge of Sylar into an enemy he can't get rid of. I personally vote for that to be the way of things. But I'd also support it actually being Sylar messing with him. Because I always support Sylar/Zachary Quinto. Why? "It's because I ooze charm."


This episode was not explosive by any definition, but it was exceedingly well-done. The manipulations this season are already insane, and it's only the third episode. Samuel Sullivan is pulling a lot of strings, but not quite all of them. I think this is the first time since the first season the story has been quite as crafty. Some of the storylines are obviously connected, but some of them don't seem to be linked up at all...at the moment (because they definitely will be at some point, it's how Heroes rolls). There's such a satisfying sense of untangling that comes from watching a show like this. I am so incredibly happy to have that back.


Final note: Judging from the preview, next week's episode looks killer.


(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)

Comments

9 comments

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Sep 29, 2009 3:42AM EDT

I think you offer a valid opinion but sadly the show suffers from a speed problem. I think more should have happened. I think the old characters are losing their place, getting replaced and those are the ones i miss. I'm glad to see new characters but its almost an entirely new show. When I watch almost any show I know there are a few main set of characters and over a great period of time they might change but the rate of everything changing in heroes is just too fast in some parts and too slow in others. The characters have to connect more , there has to be a thread linking them. Its only the beginning of the season so I still have some hope. Lets go Heroes!

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Sep 29, 2009 8:46AM EDT

I fully agree with you splitlenz. For example, as happy I am that Claire is actually making her own decision with a bit of backbone, she started trusting Gretchen too quickly. We needed to see them become closer friends before they are close friends.

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Sep 29, 2009 1:17PM EDT

Great review! Your insight actually made me like the episode better with your focus on the cool stuff happening with Matt and Sylar as opposed to the Claire and Gretchen part which got way too much time. Can we guess here though that Gretchen's going to be that lesbian experience for Claire we've heard rumors about for this season? Gretchen's a little creepy, so I'd much rather see her end up evil and manipulating Claire than jumping into bed with her.
But that said, I get the feeling that it's the real Sylar coming out to haunt Matt. It's a little confusing since it's in Matt's head, but I think maybe a part of Sylar's soul or what have you is stuck in Matt's head since he's the one who trapped Sylar wherever he is beyond in Matt's head... I've just confused myself more, but hopefully you get the idea! Thoughts?

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Sep 30, 2009 1:12PM EDT

@ kouou: you wouldnt happen to have a website for next weeks preview would u?
true, this episode didnt have anything special, although sylar and samuel give the episode a little more kick in my opinion xD.
and i agree with kendra, its simple really, we know where sylar's body is, and his consciousness is trapped in Matt's mind.
and yes, Gretchen is creepy, even the name itself says so xD. and im getting the feeling shes behind the girls 'suicide', her power or whatever. in the panel the Heroes cast had, the actor that plays Gretchen didnt exactly describe what she can do (if she does anything anyway), so she might be surprising us later.
and i dont get lydias power, does she have a power or does samuel just feed ink into her??

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Sep 30, 2009 4:04PM EDT

@ chinabb: The preview is here on the NBC website.
If I could pitch into this Gretchen conversation for a moment, I honestly hadn't even considered her being creepy until you guys brought it up. (Maybe I just have really weird friends or something.) I do, however, like the sound of this evil manipulative angle.
As to the Lydia thing, I do not know the answer. If I had to guess, I'd guess her power is something akin to Molly (little girl who could find things, Season 1)'s - Samuel can feed the ink into her and when it forms the face of someone she can somehow psychically access information about them (whether she or Samuel forms the images I have no idea).
...actually, now I think of it, that information might be getting passed on via the Sprint Mobile-fueled webisodes.

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Oct 1, 2009 3:46AM EDT

I reeeaaaallly hope the Claire/Gretchen thing doesn't happen. If it's a choice between that and evil - I pick evil.
As for Emma, I'm actually interested to see how her story goes. Maybe she has "enhanced" synesthesia or something. Either way, the cello scene was really amazing. It was almost like season 1 when the heroes were just discovering their powers.
Lydia - maybe she does have a molly-like power. Though there were whispers before that it's a form of empathy.
Samuel - strange guy. i'm not sure if he's a villain or a good guy with a twisted morality.
It really would be sad to see Heroes end. Ink was one of the better episodes since season 1. The plus side this season is that they have more time (not like the last two seasons that were either cut short or divided into two volumes). This means they have a better shot of working up the story into something really good.

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Oct 2, 2009 8:41PM EDT

Regarding Samuel, he has the ability to move earth and all minerals associated with it. Essentially the ink is filled with said minerals/metals, which allows him control of it. I do not think compass is a regular compass and somehow may only be attuned to those with powers.
However, it is still really slow, and only a little catching my attention.The Sylar stuff seems tired, unless he somehow fights Sullivan. I'm still disappointed that the great showdown between super Peter (pre-loss powers) and Sylar never happened

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Oct 4, 2009 12:23AM EDT

As much as i love Heroes, i think it should end while it still has its dignity. I think the show is just doing loops around the same basic story line: Some outside "bad guy" coming in making things difficult, and Sylar resuscitating from whatever hole he was in and wrecking havoc all over again. There are just no surprises in the show anymore. I am willing to bet $1000 dollars that Parkman finally breaks down to Sylar, Hiro wont die because he is either going to save himself or some other super is going to save him(Claire's blood anyone?), and that gretchen is really evil(she has some manipulation power that killed off claire's roommate).
And is just me, or does anyone think that it is really lame how none of the main actors really lose their jobs? If its not through some lost triplet, its through some mental manifestation. If someone dies, it has to real, not some halfass shit so that an actor stays on the show.

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Oct 4, 2009 7:09AM EDT

i totally agree that Gretchen should be a bad guy she totally gives off the psycho vibe i would know (we can tell our own lol)
and it i hope that is Sylar cuz he was awesomely evil and i loved it
i dono how i feel about Emma but i look forward 2 c what she does with her powers
i dont agree with JoelC if thats true about heroes its true about at least 90% of movies especially horror/thriller since there is always bad people and good guys always win without the main characters dying the movies that dont do this are few and far between Stephen King is 1 of the only people who i can think of that makes a point of breaking that rule most of the time that's y i love his work i mean lats face it if there was no outside bad guy coming in than this would be more like a drama show or even a soap opera now thats a scary/horrible thought
and with Peter i wonder what would happen if he had Ando amp his power and someone else`s power then while he does that have peter take the power if he cant do 2 people than amp peter (maybe that will make Peters power go back to the way it used 2 be) if not it should at least make the power he takes a lot stronger thats something 2 think about

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