Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Conversations With Dead People: Arturo v. Heroes 4.11!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

Give credit where it's due: writers Adam Armus and Kay Foster took a premise that could have imploded big-time – Sylar coming unraveled – and turned “I Am Sylar” into a taut, capable lead-in to next week's season finale.

Tying it all together, of course, was the Big Bad's stumbling all over his new power. The story starts 18 hours before the final shot of “1961,” as we see the implausible occur: the Man with the Plan losing himself so badly in his new shape-shifting power, he wakes up wearing the face of a recent victim. Things get so bad for him he actually takes advice from Danko, who wants nothing more than for his heaviest hitter to keep racking up the metahuman notches.

Along the way, though, an equally unlikely voice emerges on Gabriel's other shoulder: the much-missed Micah. Whereas maybe even a few weeks ago, Sylar would have shredded Micah like so much confetti, his state of confusion allows the kid to urge him toward something better. That appeal gets Micah a reprieve and an assist from Gabriel, but it opens up a whole other can of worms.

See, Micah's pep talk seems to lead Sy toward dreaming big – like, Presidency big. It also, however, references Sylar being the one to ultimately stop the superhumans from being hunted. And here, in a very nice touch, is where the Benetrellis rejoin the story, with Nathan promising to stop his newfound doppelganger on his own. So now we face two questions: who's the bigger dead man walking between Nate and Danko, and is there a chance Sylar could (gulp) sincerely want to do the right thing here?

The episode also took promising steps in bringing more of the major players back to the nation's capitol in the name of the right thing: Hiro and Ando, er, the Crimson Arc make their way to Building 26, where they hope to ... uh, it doesn't seem like they even know what they're doing. Worse yet for them, just before they stage their assault or whatever, Hiro's power shorts out, hinting at more than just emotional damage. And seemingly not far behind is new papa Matt, whose sense of duty pulls him back into action, and away from his seemingly reborn family ties.

And not far behind any of them are the rest of the First Family, who are sure to figure in next week's proceedings, for better or worse. The biggest question I had coming out of this episode was: why do we always have to go through 8-9 weeks of mindless chaff with this show before a (usually) passable end to the Volume?

The Racialicious Scorecard:
Micah: Ask and we shall belatedly receive, I guess. The upside to Rebel's sporadic appearances is, he's not around enough to be damaged by the creative team. His breakthrough with Sylar, however implausible, was a feel-good moment and provided a nice counter-balance to the "talks" Gabriel was having with his interpretation of his dead mother.

Hiro & Ando: Another week, another adventure toward couples therapy. This week, we learned that Hiro is apparently “a little fascist.” Well, yeah, the guy is short, but Ando might have been over-swinging there. As Hiro learns (again) to get over Ando's own heroic ambitions, though, his time-freezing power glitches big-time, hinting at deeper problems ahead. Oh yeah, one more thing: can somebody write Hiro to call more people BY THEIR FIRST NAMES?!

Mohinder: Doing the voiceovers and getting shot and captured. Some things just never change.

Next Week: Tim Kring's writing the Volume IV finale! What could go wrong?

Micah & Sylar image courtesy of Comic Book Resources
All other images courtesy of HeroesWiki
Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive


Erica said...

Swapping between Gabriel and Mommy faces was surprisingly well-executed. But my favorite part was somebody, FINALLY, after WEEKS of watching them pass up opportunities, stabbing Sylar in the head. (And of course it didn't kill him. Whoops! Now that he can shapeshift, I guess he stores his brain in his left foot or something.)

And Nathan, as usual, makes his stand and is taken down almost instantly. Our hero.

Hour 42 said...

'My name is Norman Bates- Wait! I am Sylar!'

Creepy cool.

So, we have a forth season coming up. You've got the dude back from Pushing Daisies listed as consulting producer, the dude from BSG listed as consulting producer, and ... Tim Kring.

Thus, I don't know WHAT to think about next season. Sadly, it will probably not be a reboot with new heroes to follow as Kring initially wanted to do.

But do we REALLY care enough about the ones they have on here now?