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Heroes S4E15: Close to You

The Story So Far: I don’t know what’s keeping me on Heroes, but a week has passed after that horrible start to 2010, and I’m actually hoping things pick up a little. Here’s what I’m hoping for: more Samuel goodness – he’s really the only shining light left. At least, unless Sylar can regain his throne as the defining character of the show.

Afterthoughts: Roxann Dawson as director of this episode has its perks. I don’t know if I’m biased because of the fact that she played the hottest Klingon on Star Trek. There’s a deeper sense of the characters, delving into each of them in a way that hasn’t been seen for a long time in this series. I mean, this episode actually left me with a smile on my face and a feeling of hope. This will be the second episode Roxann Dawson has directed for the season, and the third for the series, and she has proven that one only gets better at the job. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Rob Fresco writing for this episode. Rob has proven in the past that he can deal with several character storylines especially in the episodes “Tabula Rasa” and “Brother’s Keeper”, two of the better ones this season. Even most of the actors themselves seem eager to get into their roles, bringing with them an energy that’s been lacking in the previous episodes.

In an episode entitled “Close to You”, it finally felt like the Heroes I loved had started becoming affectionate once again.

Firstly, it was good to have Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) back in the game. He’s been so underused so far that I actually pray they’ll be able to use his “Joe Fixit” brains and brawn combination in some non-contrived way by the end of the season. No bonus points if you figured out my reference, since Hiro (Masi Oka) already did quite a good job of mentioning the not-so-jolly green giant. (Check out this week’s Big Bang Theory for more gamma goodness!) Mohinder’s character seemed a little odd though, when he lost his temper and snapped at the still mis-firing Hiro, but then again, who can blame him? He was locked up in an asylum and consistently sedated, and he has Hiro to thank for that.

On the other hand, an emo Greg Grunberg doesn’t work for me. It didn’t help that Lisa Lackey, who plays his wife Janice, had a horrible, horrible hairstyle that seriously aged her beyond her years. She was gorgeous in Season One and now simply looks like Matt Parkman’s MOTHER. (Well, technically, she is baby Matt Parkman’s mother, but you get what I mean.) But Greg Grunberg doesn’t do emo well, unfortunately. He was just really depressing in this episode.

Equally depressing was the general lack of Samuel (Robert Knepper) and Sylar (Zachary Quinto), both of whom had practically cameo appearances here. Worse still, Samuel seemed to suffer from sheer impotence in the presence of his obsession, Vanessa (Kate Vernon). He barely schemes at all, his usually sympathetic side is absent and though he has proven his ability to level buildings and split the earth, when face to face with his nemesis Bennet, all he chose to do is release his power’s version of a noisy fart. I mean, seriously? Why even have them meet face to face, especially after all of Bennet’s obsessing during the episode?

Speaking of Bennet, however, I thought Jack Coleman did a superb job elevating this episode. Having had the unenviable task of carrying much of the plot and move it along, he did so with enough emotion to draw the audience in, but never too much to turn them off. I thought his interaction with Elisabeth Röhm (who plays Lauren), though lacking in chemisty, more than made up for it with how genuine Bennet seems to be when he’s around her. Their kiss at the end seemed forced at first, but it played off well with the surprise arrival of Hiro, Ando (James Kyson Lee) and Mohinder. Their surprised and earnest reactions were priceless and I couldn’t help but grin madly when Bennet goes “Hello boys”.

So it seems like the task force against Samuel is slowly but surely being formed, but I’m curious to know if the writers are going to cop out and fall back on Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) as the leader of the Heroes, or if they’re ready to take a chance and have the Heroes led by Noah Bennet. Either way, I hope this means I’ll have something good to look forward to next week!

Blade Grade: B+

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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