Heroes: Season 4, Episode 3 “Ink” (D-)
Well, this is no good. After a less awful start to the season than usual, this second week is hardly a vote of confidence for the series. There are so many reasons that it doesn’t work, so I’ll start with the positive. Samuel is an intriguing character, and he may actually make Peter interesting. His ability to “inscribe” himself into one of Peter’s photos is pretty cool, though his razing of his old home and its inhabitants is a bit reminiscent of Robert Knepper’s former character on “Prison Break” and his proclivity for murdering and pillaging. The idea that Samuel may not be a full-fledged villain (like Noah, for instance) is pretty awesome, though I worry that he’ll turn out more than Sylar, incapable of being a hero, though the possibility would be incredible and really enhance the show. Nathan, Traci/Nikki/whoever, and Hiro are both missing in action this episode, which may not be the worst thing. Unfortunately, Sylar is still very present, and it’s not working at all. Sylar talking with the bunny voice was a real low, and the fact that he’s so concerned with getting back in his body is completely distracting and annoying. It would be okay for Matt to be haunted by occasional thoughts of Sylar, but to be so completely dominant and have Matt’s hallucinations playing out in real life as if he’s talking with real people is just dumb. As I stressed last week, Matt has never been a good character, and now he’s just spiraling down the train. The worst moment of Matt’s storyline was Sylar showing off and bragging that he used Matt’s own power against him. The constant uttering of the overused phrase “today is the first day of the rest of your life” is tired from the start. Unfortunately, that’s not the worst part of the episode. Anything involving Claire has become absolutely stupefying in its stupidity. Noah’s casual tossing off of the fact that Claire’s roommate committed suicide is completely senseless. Even with all of the skull-destroying violence the Bennetts have seen, it’s still unfathomable that Claire’s parents wouldn’t speedily rush to her side to comfort her after her roommate killed herself. This newfound relationship between Noah and Claire is pretty unbelievable also considering their past strained history. Claire’s conversations with Gretchen are even more tragically regrettable. Her sneaky sharing of the “napkin trick” makes her seem like a two-year-old, and the designated driver and bulimia jokes are painful. This show was headed for greatness, or at least decency, when it was trying to unite all its characters. Samuel wants to do that, but I think he’d be better off if he forgot about Claire and Matt. The show would do well to do the same.