« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

'Heroes': Sylar kills on 'An Invisible Thread'

This is the kind of stuff we want from "Heroes": an on-the-edge-of-your-seat anticipation because you know what is going to happen, enough misdirection and twists to throw those preconceptions out of the window, and an end to the saga or volume that makes you want to come back for more.

So, the finale airs and for those who've continued to watch, it's like admonishing a kid who achieves something great for not applying themselves all the time. Not saying that this was the best thing "Heroes" has ever done, but it might be the best ending so far. I'd venture to say it's better than the Hiro-Sylar is-suddenly-in-feudal-Japan, Sylar-turns-into-a-roach-and-crawls-down-a-manhole-cover ending from Season 1.  I won't even mention Season 2.

The basics:

Sylar (Zachary Quinto) continues being Sylar, joining Dexter as the thinking man's serial killer. He sets up Danko (Zeljko Ivanek) and assumes Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar) identity.  His menace and smugness surface after he kidnaps Claire (Hayden Panettiere) and lets her dad know that he has her -- sniffing her hair, he utters, "Oh, God.  This is fun." Yes, it was for us too. Sylar is still the engine, or at least the strongest piston, that drives this show.

Hirobleed While Sylar is doing what's in his nature, his polar opposite -- Hiro (Masi Oka), not Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) -- was doing his duty too.  Using his time-stopping power to rescue Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and the other captives and take down Building 26 and save HRG (Jack Coleman) from Danko were big feats.  Doing it while knowing that he was physically harming himself made Hiro jump from funny side story to an actual big-time player again.  Hiro and Ando (James Kyson Lee) had been comedy relief, which is fine at times, but took away from his (their) effectiveness.  Adding the element of life-threatening heroism to his overly developed sense of justice makes them more compelling characters.  Yatta, indeed.

Angelap The Petrellis also got back into the hero business.  No more fighting each other -- just taking down the bad guy with big ambitions.  Sylar wasn't just trying to get powers, he wanted real power by taking out the president.  A lot to fight for, and though we, like Claire, had to watch most of it through a slot in the door, they at least staged it as a great battle.  But, there wasn't much of a chance ... for them.  After Claire and Peter run out of the room to join the fight (look out of the window!), it happens.  A hero falls after Sylar slits Nathan's throat telekinetically.  Angela Petrelli's (Cristine Rose) reaction was great, and brought the moment home.

The epilogue to Nathan's death is what I was excited about.  First, the switcheroo.  Sylar deftly made his way to the president's car, posing as his chief of staff.  He'd done it.  It was over.  One handshake and ... Peter.  He'd taken one ability from Sylar: shapeshifting.  Perfect, and the needle going right into Sylar while he sat there a bit dazed was great.

Enter Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg).  Reluctantly, he was tasked with wiping Sylar's mind, and making Sylar think that he was Nathan, even causing him to use his shapeshifting ability to become Nathan.  HRG and Angela say it's for the best to keep Nathan around and keep their secret, but it's definitely lighting a fuse to a huge pile of dynamite.  Sylar's power, which was not taken away but suppressed, is to figure things out.  The ticking clocks, people -- not just taking powers.  So this will gnaw at Nathan/Sylar until, by his nature, he figures it out.  Then, boom.

The other explosive point was Tracy Strauss' (Ali Larter) murderously naked return.  This might be debated, or no one cares, but her controlling the temperature and being able to transform into water seem like totally different abilities.  I suppose it could've always been water-based -- maybe Mohinder will explain it later.  I doubt it.


The show is not exactly on the bubble, having been promised another season, though it hasn't been officially announced yet.  Volume 5's Redemption arc?  Who knows, but having Sylar lurking at all times, suppressed or not, should be fun to watch.  It's evident by now that the writers know (or should) what their core audience wants.  As much as some of us like the show and will continue to watch, with all of the critics and backlash and even the network's backing possibly hanging in the balance, redemption may not just be the story arc, but the overall goal for "Heroes."

What's your assessment of the episode, and the show's possible direction next season?  If you've stopped watching ('cause many of you still seem to check in), what needs to be done to bring you back?

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos, from top: Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy), Hiro (Masi Oka), and Ando (James Kyson Lee). Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) and Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar). Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia). Credit: NBC

Comments () | Archives (18)

I really enjoyed maybe 6 or 7 episodes from this season, this one included. Most were promising, but a let-down in the end. They need to go back to the magic of season 1, and quite frankly that means Peter Petrelli gets his multi-power absorbing ability back. The writers need to face this fact, it seems so obvious! That is what everyone has been waiting for. It seems almost suicidal to the makers of the show to keep up these shenanigans. Peter and Hiro with their amazing abilities were what made Season 1. Like it or not they need to be the main part, not some side show every few episodes.

tracy is 1 of 3 wev seen niky and tracy now its barbaras turn! !

the water girl at the end is barbara she is nikey and tracys triplet

Ali Larter plays triplets, remember? It's probably the 3rd sister.

Water girl might be the real, original Jessica, the only one of the triplets not really dead.


Heroes' lost me a long time ago in the mid point in season 3. This show is a has been joke. It had potential to be great but the ending of season one an the garbage plot of season two. Forgetting about a characters or just ending them with no conclusion. I haven't heard anything good happen for me to come back. I read this to see if heroes' has redeem it self, but it seems it hasn't.

Is my memory correct or are we watching a different series, but isn't Ali Larter's character a triplet, or did i miss hear that in an earlier episode :)

I agree with you about the episode. But wanted to let you know that you are mistaken about
Tracy Strauss' (Ali Larter) , that is the thrid copy of her that was alluded to early in the last volume. Remember, this season's character was a different person with a different power. And at one point she was told that there was another version of herself.

Ali Larter is playing the 3rd version created. She is a different person from Tracy Strauss' , it was mentioned in the last volume that there were 3 identical versions of her.

Maybe this Nathan/Sylar character will help explain how Nathan healed back in the premiere of season 3. It's great that Hiro is being given a more serious role. It was pretty ridiculous how he was just a comedy relief when he is quite possibly one of the most powerful characters. Isn't it funny his unique power is the only one Sylar hasn't gone after? Even Peter had that power.

I can't stand Ali Larter and I'm upset that she is back. I will miss Nathan so much! The show needs more Micah and I miss Linderman, Bob, and Michah's dad.

It's not Barbara, it's Tracy. Both the producers and Ali Larter herself have said it's Tracy, that they're going to follow Tracy's personal journey because of the events in Cold Snap and that there are no plans to introduce Barbara at the moment. Plus she acts like Tracy and doesn't have Barbara's hairstyle!

i'm pretty sure the heroes execs have said that ali's vol 5 character is still tracy, not barbara. i feel like i've read that a couple of times, maybe they were interviews with her?.... i think they figured they'd pushed the boundaries of what people will put up with enough with her roles. why would barbara go after the building 26 guys? and it doesn't take suresh to figure out the power; she can freeze people because she can control water molecules - which is different than controlling the temperature.

I'm not happy with the finale. Sylar should have died, regardless of whether or not Nathan survived. I am so sick of Sylar and his identity/Mommy/Daddy issues eating the show and taking away from the development of the other characters. He's boring. Instead of the show going in a new direction for the characters with new villains to fight, instead we're going to get a lather/rinse/repeat season of more Sylar issues/tantrums taking center stage and another everyone-has-to-team-up-to-fight-Sylar plot.

Actually, the person Ali Larter appeared as is actually Tracey. She said Tracey is back with a new twist to her power.

Bryan Fuller also said she was the one returning.

I disagree with the sentiment that Sylar drives the show. Because of the focus on his character all the other characters are sidelined. When a show is called 'Heroes' I want to see characters doing heroic things, I want to see heroes and not a glorified, psychotic serial killer.

What needs to be done?

Back to the roots. The things that made Heroes incredible was the fight between normal lives and powers. That's the core of the show. When they lost Bryan Fuller, they lost that. But his return (and i'm sure everyone would agree that "Cold Snap" (3x20) was the BEST episode of the season. It started out great and got bogged down with pointlessness. They need to regain a focus, which for everyone should be the balance and for Nathan/Sylar the balance of who's in control, and perhaps throw his wife in there again.

I loved Nathan but i loved even more that they killed him, It was a good progression. Interesting. I think Hiro needs to be fixed b/c he's been ignored and lessened since season 2 and Claire needs to be in the front again. Mohinder could just die for all care b/c his character is purposeless as he is currently on the show. They also need to rework 2/3 into what they do b/c they feel like something random and pointless thrown in OR they need to completely erase all that--which i feel like they have done. It'd be nice to have Elle back also.

I have stuck w/Heroes b/c i love the characters. I know that the writers are going to do something amazing next season.

hows it going, Appears like this is a really grea board. I thought I'd make this first thread an introduction I'm hoping to know all of you during my stay here =)


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: