'Heroes' recap: Oh Mohinder, You've Done It Again!

It was recycling day at the Sullivan Bros. circus, and it was recycling day in the writers’ room. Another volume of Heroes, another flashback episode that finally explains the main villain’s mysterious motivation after half a season of plot-tease hints. (See also: Arthur Petrelli in “Villains” and Adam Monroe in “Four Months Ago”, both pale imitations of Season One’s Sylar Origin Story, “Six Month Ago.”) Also, someone’s powers were freaking out for no apparent reason, and the worst character in TV history was resurrected. But before we get all dreary, here’s three reasons why last night’s episode, Brother’s Keeper, was not the worst episode of Heroes ever:
1)    The whole gang was here. Every regular cast member appeared last night (okay, minus Ando.) No bi-curious roomies, no synesthetic crushes, no extremely inappropriate old bosses played by Babylon 5 alumni who need to get a better agent. I truly think that every main character who’s not a triplet has some essentially fascinating emotional core, but for most of this season the main characters have been walled into their own lame subplots. The dialogue between Tracy and Claire near the end of the episode was ridiculous (“I’m running off to join the circus!”), but it was nice to see the two characters actually talking about what it’s like having powers, and not complaining about how much they miss having a normal life.
2)    Adrian Pasdar was back, finally. He’s one of those mesmerizing TV actors who adds to every line of dialogue fed to him. Nathan Petrelli is a complete mess of a character now, but Pasdar managed to find deep reserves of sadness, confusion, anger, and weariness after learning his true nature last night. “I’m just some random thoughts in a mass murderer’s head,” he said, making every ridiculous word sting. If there’s any character left on the show who deserves his own “Company Man”-style single-character episode, it’s Petrelli. Come on, writers!
3)    For every embarrassingly stupid thing the show does with superpowers, every now and then there’s an indelible image straight out of a Grant Morrison comic. We didn’t actually witness the birth of a massively-powerful terrakinetic baby boy, but we did hear his mother’s screams, and we did see the whole building seem to come down around them while the earth moved. Mothers everywhere winced; that’s a tough labor.
Unfortunately, this is Heroes we’re talking about, and every good thing has a counterbalancing dozen bad things. Here’s three reasons “Brother’s Keeper” was the worst episode of Heroes, and maybe of narrative television, ever:
1)    Mohinder Suresh. There may be some big Mohinder fans out there, and I urge you to raise your hand so I can fire a rubber band in your direction. Mohinder’s whole character arc is based on doing stupid illogical things and then suffering from the totally natural consequences. See season 3: “Hmm, I wonder what will happen when I inject myself with this highly unstable superpower potion? Oh no, I’m becoming a monster! Who could’ve guessed?” Last night, Mohinder’s plot was even simpler: “I shouldn’t watch this film. I’m watching this film! Boy, I wish I hadn’t watched that film.” Yes, it turns out that Mohinder turned Samuel Sullivan totally crazy with power lust (or something), thereby creating the season’s Big Bad. If Samuel Sullivan has the amazing power to always lurk around the exact right corner, Mohinder Suresh has the equally amazing power to do something totally stupid and then be surprised when it turns out badly. And now he’s alive again.
2)    No one’s superpowers made any sense at all. Tracy’s freezing power was out of control, because she was really nervous. Hiro wasn’t sure that he could travel back in time and across space (fortunately for the plot, his brain tumor is in remission), but he managed to travel back eight weeks to one particular hotel room just by looking at a map and thinking really hard. You may remember that Brain Sylar first took over Matt’s body when he was asleep, but this time he just stuck his magic fingers into Matt’s Brain, and Boom! Sylar-Parkman lives! Oh, and then Sylar’s mental imprint got passed back to his old, Petrelli-enhanced body by touching fingers. Except that Nathan was still apparently in control, for some/no reason.
I’m not trying to be an ass, here, but all great science-fiction follows a certain set of rules intrinsic to the particular story. Heroes seems to just make up the rules as it goes along. When Peter touched Nathan’s hand, why did he absorb his flying power? How come he didn’t get the shapeshifting, or the sense-memory? Heck, I was kind of disappointed that he didn’t also absorb Brain Sylar, because then Peter and Nathan could both talk to their own Brain Sylar and the show would turn into a weird avant-garde one-act.
3)    The big reveal of the night came when Peter and Nathan discovered real-Nathan’s body. The body was being kept in yet another one of those Heroes storage-factory sets that looks exactly like the Facility level on Goldeneye 64. Why in the name of heaven would they have kept real-Nathan’s body? Who would have wanted there to be even the slightest tiny chance that fake-Nathan would discover his true nature? In a night full of plot holes (Mohinder apparently followed his compass from India all the way to Texas; Hiro put Mohinder in an insane asylum to keep him out of sight for two months, instead of just transporting him forward in time), this one particular plot point was enough to make you throw your TV to the sidewalk.

What’d you think, viewers? Am I being too grumpy demanding that the plot and the characters make sense? Did you enjoy how Robert Knepper played Samuel Sullivan as a completely different person (kind of an angry-young-man, as opposed to the patriarchal mastermind we’ve gotten used to) in the flashback sequences? Did anyone else think that Claire and Tracy were going to kiss? Do you agree with me that Adrian Pasdar could make the phone book sound existential? Is anyone else sick of Hiro saying the words “Evil Butterfly Man?”

Comments (185 total) Add your comment
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  • Maserda

    I like Nathan Petrelli. Keep him on the show, please????

    At least Parkman FINALLY has Sylar out of his head. That storyline was getting a bit dull for me.

    • E

      Agreed. I think they’re making an incredibly bad decision getting rid of Adrian Pasdar.

      • PHD

        agreed

      • EL

        Are they getting rid of Adrian Pasdar or he is getting rid of them?

      • Dave

        EL – good point!

    • Tina

      I thought it was, finally, a great episode

    • Tina

      I thought …FINALLY a great episode!!

    • hopie

      I’m with you guys I don’t want Adrian to leave…he brings so much to the show I really wasn’t enjoying this season so much when he wasn’t on I knew something was missing and it was him I love him

  • Andy

    No you are not grumpy and i gave up on this show a long time ago. The writing is horrible, the plot is out of control and stupid.

    • Tina

      Yes, thats true but at least SOME parts of last nite started to congeal for me. Getting to know that Samuel is as obessed with power as Sylar sets up an intersting dilemma.

      • Sarah

        An interesting dilema for WHAT? To have a Sylar 2.0? No, thanks, one is more than enough. I like Samuel as a complex character, with understandable motivations even if he uses the wrong ways to achieve it, they completely changed the character with this past version!… If he’s now going to go all ‘muahaha! I’m gonna destroy the world cuz I want power, power and more power!’ I’m so outta here… I actually should be already, but there’s too much male prettiness to enjoy every week. Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit that’s mostly the reason I keep tunning in to this ridiculous plot. Hopefully, they’ll kill Sylar off finally, and without ZQ on the show I’m free :D

      • coco-b

        I have visions of super-powered Samuel being able to move the moon in front of the sun…. hence, the eclipse at the beginning of every episode.

        That would be an extraordinarily lame explanation of the eclipse!

    • JW

      Agreed, awful episode, sloppy storytelling. Another story flaw…when Hiro saved the girl, he couldn’t mess with the timeline, but he can save Mohinder and that doesn’t mess with the timeline? What the…?

      • Sarah

        Not just that… Hiro is once again acting like a selfish moron, he didn’t even stop to listen why was so important to prevent Samuel from watching that tape, even if that means screwing the whole world… because it’s his Charlie… meh, they were doing great in the lastest eppies, but it seem like Vol.3 Hiro is baaack :/

      • Fredro

        I just don’t understand why Hiro didn’t time travel to before Mohinder saw Samuel and tell him not to go?

      • Anna

        Because that would mean he has to use his brain for a chance I guess LOL. He could also time-travel back in time before Samuel caught Charlie and he’ll save himself so much more troubles… but that would require thinking

      • emrod

        because hiro can only change really small things, if he told mohinder not to go then Samuel would have never found out and everything would change, instead he made samuel think he killed mohinder then hid mohinder away until hiro gets charlie back, so that samuel wouldnt find out that hiro saved him, its really simple if YOU use your brain

      • Meredith44

        @emrod. Wait, Hiro can only change really small things? Since when? I realize that I gave up on the show during the third season, but are you forgetting the pivotal “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” plot of the first season? I sort of think Hiro going back in time to Peter to tell him some rather important stuff wouldn’t qualify as smaller than telling Mohinder some rather important stuff. I may be missing something, but it really seems like TPTB are changing the rules yet again. (Which is why I quit watching in the first place. I can accept an alternate world in which people have superpowers, but I need consistency within that world once it has been established. That may just be me, though.)

  • Sgerbil

    The guy who plays Mohiner must have some serious dirt on the writers to keep himself around.

    • Tina

      He’s only in 3 episodes this whole season.

      • MeMyself&I

        Maybe he only has a little dirt under his fingernails on the writers, that’s why only 3 episodes.

  • Rich

    Any reason why you guys STILL recap a show that’s been lousy for three seasons now… but no one writes anything about Flash Forward??

    • AA

      Good question Rich. I think Flashforward could do well with a TV Watch. It helps (at least me) to have us EWers decoding clues on show like that.

    • jmo

      Because FF is lame, no elaboration needed. Besides it’s fun to rip on a show that has devolved into the worst example of sci-fi on network TV. I watch the show like a rubberneck passing a car accident. CANT TURN AWAY

      • MeMyself&I

        FlashForward LAME? I bet you’ve either never watched it,or perhaps have trouble keeping up with the different storylines.For the rest of us, we shall continue to enjoy FF and hope that the writers have mapped out the entire series(unlike Heroes)so we can have a series that stays cohesive until the end.

      • Fredro

        The problem with FF, is it is only a one season show. Whats next season Flash Back, Lost style? Pass

      • Marcus

        I think thats what’s really interesting about it. Once the season ends you’ll be left asking “what the hell are they gonna do now?” and i think that’s what’s gonna pull me into next season.

      • JB

        Yup, lame. Every episode is about “I saw it in my flash forward, but can the future be changed?” Every. Friggin’. Episode.

      • Dave

        Puh-leaze. FF is fine. All you naysayers can go watch Leno – that is the future when you attention-challenged viewers give up on good shows. How much longer until some network brings on “The Dane Cook Variety Hour”….

  • Jason

    I gave up on the show a few weeks ago finally after continuing to watch it even though I didn’t really like it any more. I’d just had enough. Reading the recaps at least convinces me that I made the right move!

    • Mary

      Ditto. I hung on because I like a lot of the actors, but I just lost interest in the show. I still like reading the recaps to know who lives and who dies, but I don’t care enough to actually watch it.

    • DR

      Same here. Once they started the rehashing of Season One arc, I said to myself, “I have put up with enough from this show, I’m done”. Somehow it died at the start of season two, and I’m not sure we can blame the writer’s strike any more, the show just keeps getting worse.

  • Al

    Here’s my prescription for fixing the show. First, get rid of time travel. It makes everything changeable. Any death or mistake can be reversed so nothing has any serious impact. You could keep Hiro but when they remove his tumor it can leave the ability to stop time and to teleport but not to time-travel.

    Second, get rid of Sylar. Can you really take Samuel seriously as a villain knowing that Sylar could waive his hand and destroy him and everyone in his Carnival?

    • justin b

      But Samuel is powerful too….especially around a lot of people with abilities. I am hoping there is a MAJOR battle to the death and ONE of the 2 villains dies FOR GOOD

    • Harry

      i kinda wanna get rid of Sylar just because he’s so overused. He’s not even threatening anymore, just boring.

  • Jake

    what? This crappy ass show is still around?? I stopped watching it towards the end of last season..

  • John

    Every problem on the show could be solved by Hiro…all he needs to do is go back in time to when the villians (Sylar, Samuel etc) were concieved and throw a condom on their dads…

    • Gina

      Lol!Good one.

    • EL

      I still wonder whatever happened to awesome future Hiro from season 1.

      • blanco112

        I think since they saved the world, normal hiro had no reason to turn into awesome Hiro. It’s a shame. As much as they complain about how Mohinder is the worst character, Hiro makes him look like a genius.

  • hope

    I loved seeing the Petrelli boys together. That scene when Nathan finds his real body just broke my heart it won’t be long now='( I liked Hiro immensly last night he’s really becoming badass. looking forward to next week

    • Fredro

      Where was the badass part? Him wiping his nose when it was bleeding, or him hiding under Mohinders bed? He seems whipped for a girl he barely kissed. He’d rather end the world just so he can kiss Charlie again.

      • hopie

        did I ask you to reply so you could be insulting? you can take your insulting sarastic comments elsewhere to someone who is like you

      • JB

        Lame “hopie”, lame. The commenter didn’t insult you or your post. He disagreed. Maybe YOU should take your fragile little self someplace else, where the big bad people on the interwebs don’t threaten you with all their dangerous sarcasm.

      • hope

        I beg to differ JB you think he was disagreeing? Ok fine I’ll buy that, but when I read it it was about the parts I wasn’t talking about at all. And DON’T think that I’m a fragile girl I’m not I have my weaknesses and my strengths just like everyone else. I guess we agree to disagree

  • Kristi

    Are you serious!? I can’t wait for Pasdar to be off the show. His mesmerizing acting skills?! Really!? I feel like I’m in a weekend update skit right now, Really Darren really!?

  • Georgia Peach

    Sorry guys….I’m still a fan. Looks like Sylar is in Peter….Oh Dear!

    • hope

      you mean Nathan

      • Edz

        No, Peter. When Pete took Nathan’s hand, pass off. Didn’t you notice the smirk on Pete’s face during last scene?

      • hope

        I watched it again and my answer, no I didn’t see a trace of a smierk I know it when I see it and the look Peter had I guess looked like denial, thoughtful, reluctant sort of

    • Fredro

      Why would Sylar go through so much trouble to find his body, if he was just going to take over Peter. I think Sylar is in his body, it will just take time for him to manifest again, like next week?

      • Phil

        To complicate matters for the writers FURTHER Pete technically had that healing power & touched Nathan/Sylar a bunch of times. How come he didn’t ‘heal” Sylar’s fractured mind and revert him to his natural self long before Nathan/Sylar even touched Sylar/Parkman. Its a bit of a stretch, but totally could have happened.
        And the recapper is completely wrong, the biggest player & maaster manipulator in the series, Christine Rose was completely absent from last night’s episode, and had she shown up, she could have prevented Peter & nathan from even going to find Nathan’s dead body. I enjoyed last night’s episode, but the writering in my opinion was completely off. Christine Rose is a freakin’ precog! How could she not have known that Sylar/Nathan would return to Washington WITH Peter and not be there waiting!? HORRIBLE WRITING! But I am still watching & I’m a fan..SIGH…

  • Fido

    Maybe not kiss, but I thought we’d at least get some groping :)

    • EL

      That would be much better to watch than Claire and her not so attractive roommate.

      • Carla in Houston

        That’s cold, El. It’s also accurate, but cold.

      • smart alan

        What! But she really looks just like she did on The Nanny, just way taller.

      • Carla

        Concur! If they were going to get Claire together with a college buddy…the one that got pushed out the window would’ve been a better (re:hotter) choice.

      • emrod

        she got an ugly face but if you watch californication youd see that she has a pretty damn nice body

  • vader1013

    is this show still on the air? good grief. it hasn’t been any good since season 2.

    • Tim

      Just wanted to congratulate you on an entirely original post that was clearly well worth your time.

  • Deb

    “the worst character in TV history was resurrected.”
    When did Horatio Caine join Heroes?

    • Sarah

      I second that!!!! Amen, sister.

      • slirp

        LMAO!!!!! You got that right!!!

    • Jer

      funny!!

  • Bryan

    I thought it was a solid episode. I must agree that Hiro needs to quit using certain juvenile phrases. To have such a wonderful power and be so childish is absolutely crazy. Mohinder didn’t upset me like he usually does. And, maybe it’s because the show was so horrible in seasons 2 and 3, but this season seems to be doing much better. By no means is it a ‘Lost’ or ‘Fringe’, but it’s better than it used to be.

    • justin b

      Mohinder was as stupid as usual. Marching in to the main villain’s lair and announcing, loudly, how he was gonna stop him! DUHHHHHH

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