Review: Heroes 4×11 – Thanksgiving

Solid, full of stuffing, but no turkey

Heroes - Thanksgiving

In the US: Monday 23rd November 2009, 8pm, NBC
In the UK: Oh, you know, some time round March or April

It’s Thanksgiving in the US right now, where no doubt millions of families are busily having icy conversations and fights amongst each other.

Well, if they have superpowers anyway. Spoilers after the jump.

SAMUEL STARTS TO SEE HIS VISION TAKE SHAPE – H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) is greeted by some unexpected visitors and Samuel’s (Robert Knepper) grand plan begins to come to fruition.

Meanwhile, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) struggles to accept the truth and takes extreme measures to get what he wants. Elsewhere, Claire’s (Hayden Panettiere) journey leads her to an unexpected destination. Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto and Cristine Rose also star.

Jimmy Jean-Louis, David H. Lawrence XVII, Madeline Zima, Dawn Olivieri, Todd Stashwick and Elisabeth Rohm guest star.

Was it any good?
As an episode, Thanksgiving was slowly paced, but was more about character development and reveals than action. Nevertheless, the number of cool moments is definitely on the increase, and while it wasn’t as good as Brother’s Keeper, it was still enjoyable enough.

There were three basic groups at work this week:

Overall, not hugely involving, although there were some good character moments.

HRG and Lauren’s relationship is interesting, if a little strange, particularly given Lauren doesn’t remember much about their history together. Does Lauren not have parents? Brothers? Sisters? Is this what HRG and Tracy would have ended up as if Ali Larter hadn’t gone off to film the new Resident Evil movie? It has a certain “out of nowhere” quality to it, it did look like this is where Tracy and HRG were heading in the season opener and the seemingly family-less Tracy would have been a much better fit for the situation, although who knows how good her cooking skills are.

And can you get a job directly from Primatech and into the CIA? Do they recognise that as a valid undercover occupation?

Nevertheless, I like Elisabeth Röhm and the interplay between her and the other grown ups was enjoyable, even if Sandra’s new partner is a grade A spanner, albeit one well suited to Sandra. Unfortunately, Claire seems to have regressed back to whining again, but fortunately, that was a brief burst.

So Nathan is now sharing Sylar’s body with Sylar. And Nathan knows it. Nothing really advanced here much, beyond that revelation, however, but this was more gripping than the family Bennett, especially when Sylar finally emerged – although Sylar does seem to talk an awful lot more than he used to, these days.

Angela’s confessions did make her behaviour a lot more plausible, but they are being very trusting towards Nathan-Sylar in assuming that Nathan will overcome Sylar. It’s at times like this you wish Peter had his proper powers still, just so there might be a chance of a decent fight scene for once, though.

Hiro and the Carnies
Tracy’s still off on a secret mission in South Africa in graphic novel world, so it’s Hiro all by his lonesome with the Carnies this week. He’s still trying to get Charlie back and he’s starting to sound a lot more like Future Hiro now (thankfully). Lydia, who hasn’t had much to do on-screen beyond take her kit off but has been getting a lot of face time on the webisodes with Edgar and her daughter, here persuades Hiro to take her back in time to the night when Joseph died.

To no one’s surprise, it turns out Samuel killed his brother in a fit of pique. Lydia ain’t too chuffed, and neither’s Edgar when he finds out. Hiro ends up saving Edgar from being killed by Samuel, and newly emboldened, he refuses to do what Samuel wants any more. So Samuel gets the weird memory-guy to play with Hiro’s memories to make him stay, but it all goes a bit Pete Tong and Hiro takes off somewhere.

This was the most enjoyable of all the segments since we got some more details about Samuel and the Carnies, the sub-Carnies got a bit of development, including a split in the ranks, and Hiro got to grow up a bit. Why he never threatened to maroon Samuel in the future, just as was done to Charlie, I don’t know, but maybe he’s not thinking straight.

We also got a few cool time-stopping and speeding up moments, which really are the things other than Tracy’s water powers that are making us still go “Ooh.” It’s certainly not Emma’s powers. And where is Emma these days?

Solid, but not especially inspiring. Slightly dismaying to have Gretchen back again, but c’est la vie, and there are way too many people sitting around rather than doing things.

Next week, things had better get exciting, because it’s the last episode until January.

And here’s a little two minute clip from the next episode as well.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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