Review: Heroes 4×12-4×13 – Upon This Rock/Let it Bleed

Oh FFS. What were they thinking?

Heroes 4x12-4x13

In the US: Monday 4th January, 8pm, NBC
In the UK: Some time in April on BBC2 by my reckoning

So it’s back after the Christmas break. It’s got a special two-hour premiere to launch itself back into everyone’s hearts, before returning to its 9pm time slot next week. House isn’t on (although the Fiesta Super Bowl is for the second half).

Surely the producers and writers are going to give us two hours of kick-arse goodness designed to make us all want to watch the rest of the season. There’ll be effects, great use of characters, coolness aplenty. It’ll zip past in no time and the ratings will go through the roof.

No. Wait. It’s another dull two-parter where not much really happens. Sigh.


As Claire (Hayden Panettiere) becomes immersed in the world of the Carnival, she becomes increasingly suspicious of Samuel’s (Robert Knepper) motives. Hiro (Masi Oka) is on a mission to rescue one of his own, but has difficulty communicating his intentions to Ando (James Kyson Lee). Samuel has his sights set on Emma (guest star Deanne Bray) and her ability to complete his master plan. Meanwhile, Sylar (Zachary Quinto) returns to the Carnival in search of answers and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) continues to struggle with the loss of his brother. Elsewhere, H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) sets his plan in motion to take down the carnival.

Cristine Rose also stars. Todd Stashwick, Saemi Nakamura, Sasha Pieterse and Dawn Lyen Gardner also guest star

Was it any good?
I was perhaps a little unfair earlier, since a reasonable amount happens and there are some good character moments. Unfortunately, these were almost all in the second part, so we had to sit through quite a lot of dull to get there.

So Hiro’s brain’s gone all fanboy and he’s talking in fanboy code to Ando all of a sudden. Odd that that means talking about Cervantes and Don Quixote a lot. Really? You think they teach Cervantes in Tokyo schools now? That many fanboys know about Don Quixote?


Implausible as that is, Hiro’s codetalking enables Ando to work out that Hiro has ditched Mohinder in a mental asylum in Florida and that they have to go find him. So they do – cue next episode.

This was on the borderline between good and bad, and crossed to both sides at various points. On the whole, more bad than good, though, which is a shame, but it was good to see Ando getting a chance to shine

This worked better as the exiled Edgar comes after HRG, gets captured and tortured, before legging it back home again. It didn’t advance the plot much, but was a nice character piece for all involved, and the contrasts and similarities between Lauren and HRG showed that HRG wasn’t that unusual for a Primatech agent.

Good to know there is a point to Emma after all, but why does everyone trust Samuel so quickly? Quite a twee, slow-moving segment this one.

Some good touches – Samuel taking down Sylar was especially good – but please. Not again. Do we keep having to try to make Sylar good every season, before making him evil again later on?

Just everywhere and bitching about HRG again, but she’s maturing at least. And can fly, judging by the speed with which she caught up with Peter. The West bit was a nice shout-out to fans, too.

Some good, emotional moments for him and although the “one power” only limitation is really starting to feel confining, the writers are using it about as well as they can.

No Tracy, so clearly that’s going to mark it down in my book (although I’m not holding out much hope she’s going to be back before the season finale), but episode one dragged, we’re not really any closer to knowing Samuel’s scheme, unless we believe he really does just want to make things grow, and Sylar’s neutering was just plain tedious. He really just wants to be loved, everyone, FFS.

Good to see the producers sticking to their guns on characterisation and there were some good moments – those trademark start-of-episode and end-of-episode cliffhangers are starting to return – but the show’s lost so much dynamism, even I am wondering why I’m watching it anymore. The ubiquity of flip-flopping Claire is wearing, the constant diversions and side-tracking away from the main plot is getting even more wearing. There’s no humour, except for Hiro and Ando who are now just comic relief, the characters are hard to care about, there’s no pacing.

I’m losing hope here.

But the next episode looks good, at least, and maybe Mohinder will make things cool again. I’m crazy to think it, but there you go.


  • 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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