Hey Heroes, here's my true confession: THIS EPISODE MADE ME WANT TO DIE.
What exactly made it so horrific and disastrous and impossible to watch without feeling sick? Let's run down the list:
1. Claire and Gretchen and Sorority Life
The sorority legacy system. The jealous best friend. Who turns out to actually be a creepy stalker-murderer. Who turns out to actually be a lesbian with horrible taste. I don't watch Lifetime movies, but I'm willing to bet that this episode of Heroes ripped off at least a couple of them. It was a violent struggle to stop myself from changing the channel during Claire and Gretchen's ultimate confrontation. And as if this plot wasn't already enough of a train wreck, it turns out that the whole fiasco has been orchestrated by Samuel Sullivan by way of an excessively perky sorority sister who can turn invisible and likes to push things. Claire's storylines have never been good, but I think this episode hit an all-time low.
2. Petrelli Family Angst
Yes. We get it. They've got issues. But did we really need to spend even five minutes replaying the whole Angela-"Oh, I'm so worried about my Nathankins!" Peter-"Why can't you pay attention to me! ANGST!" scenario? Thank god that didn't last long.
3. Speaking of Peter, Emma and the Greatest Wtf of All
When the new character was introduced, I was worried. When she started seeing sounds as colors in a way that presented them like a Heroes ability, I was confused. When she and Peter crossed paths in a significant way, I was grim.
Skip ahead to this episode: When it turned out the older lady doctor was her mother, I sighed heavily. When Peter did some excessive touching during the ability transfer, I rolled my eyes. When the child choir showed up, I started banging my head on the table. When Emma and Peter started exchanging sickeningly adorable glances through the haze of colored lights, I tried to gouge my eyes out. When they sat together and played the piano, my soul shriveled and died.
This is by far the most dreadful thing that has ever happened on Heroes. And I am including Maya AND the New Orleans plotline, which are my two favorite go-to examples of how low Heroes can go. The only (barely qualifying) positives in this corner of the universe were that a) it was explained that seeing colors doesn't make you spontaneously able to play the cello and b) it actually IS a power...but I still don't get it and really don't see why this entire thing had to happen at all.
4. Samuel and Company
So remember how I was proclaiming Samuel was the best thing to happen to Heroes in a long, long time? Well, that was before the writer's took his slightly twisted family man demeanor and turned him into a religious cult leader. Who happens to live at and direct a carnival. Which can apparently appear out of thin air. And this is all filmed through a mysterious mirage/haze that I think is supposed to be dust but more closely resembles a film effect commonly used in drug trip sequences. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TO ME? I REALLY want it to make sense. But I'm starting to lose hope that it ever will.
5. Sylar/Nathan...Sylar? Gabriel? What?
Not even much respite here. Once we finally got to the point - which is that Gabriel Gray has been born anew and has the potential to maybe not become Sylar - I was already bored. It was nice to have the clock ticking back. And, as an actor, I appreciate seeing the very talented Zachary Quinto go through the steps of a classic acting exercise - seeing the world with completely fresh and innocent eyes. But he's already wandered into the hands of Samuel Sullivan, it looks like he's going to be getting all his self-awareness back, and any hope of a new direction has been sufficiently crushed.
On the plus side, next week looks fairly epic. Hiro and HRG are back in the spotlight, Sylar and Samuel are sharing scenes, and it looks like there should be little-to-no time with Claire or Tracy. *fingers crossed*
(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)
EDIT: This episode is actually entitled "Hysterical Blindness." I don't know how I got so completely off-track. Call it a brainfart. Or just an inability to read my SideReel schedule properly, combined with the fact that I didn't quite catch the title as I was watching the episode. Apologies.