Review - Heroes Chapter 7: Once Upon a Time in Texas

If the cheap lesbian angle, traveling circus or alcoholism weren't enough to scare you away from Heroes during the week of Halloween then great. Last week's episode had some decent building blocks that could really pan out for the remainder of the season. Did the writers keep that momentum up this week? Or do I wish I stopped after last week? Read on. Spoilers ahead. We're treated (?) to an endearing flashback/montage where Hiro highlights his brief encounter with Charlie. And good guys wear white hats while bad guys wear black hats (oh the words from the mouths of babes). This would be an appropriate time for Sylar of three years ago to arrive at the diner wearing a black hat. Sylar realizes that Charlie has really good memory and it's one that he wants (of course). I may be wrong, but I think they got a different actress to play Charlie. This Charlie seems a lot more loquacious and outgoing than I remember. Everyone is converging at this point in history. Bennett is there with Lauren, a blond chick that doesn't look familiar as well as Hiro and Ando of three years ago. Lauren is his partner apparently and the two of them are there to stop Sylar. Am I missing something? Did the writers work in this new angle in this three years ago scene where Bennett is flirting with said blond? Bennett has been a staunch family man the entire run of the show and now all of a sudden he shows a chink in his faith armor? This is why you don't mess with the past. Unless you've got an ironclad story going things get way too convoluted. Unless of course she really was there and this actually happened (in which case I claim memory loss of that angle). Bennett reveals to Isaac (at the paper factory) that the cheerleader is his daughter. He also mentions that he and his wife couldn't conceive which is why they adopted. The blond partner overhears the conversation and offers her shoulder for him to cry on; better yet, she kisses him. Immediate regret and awkwardness ensues. He wants to go see Claire at homecoming since he's never done it, and what happens next is weird. I don't remember this whole thing because it was first season so I'm assuming they've re-written thing for the episode. But it seems like they've worked in Claire's desire to be close to her dad that's been prevalent this season in the past. I don't think this was ever there to begin with, and it feels kind of forced. Like the writers are trying to force this new past into the continuity. I understand the butterfly effect and it's possible that Hiro getting Sylar to help Charlie is already having an effect. Bennett also decides to visit Lauren in the hotel room and has a drink with her. He tries to tell her it won't work because of his family and she pulls the whole "you care about me" angle. It's more than just sex because they really care about each other. Hooray workplace romance! Bennett walks away, and she lets him know that she had the Haitian wipe her memory of their awkward advances in the interest of his family. I feel like Samuel has a mutant counterpart for just about everyone we've met so far. Maybe through his persuasive conversations he replaces those that have died? He knows about Charlie through his tattoo storytelling; just like he knows about Bennett, Claire and Sylar all being connected to her. For some reason Samuel wants Hiro to fix the past, so he's using another time traveler (a dying Arnold) to send him back to convince Hiro to help. Why doesn't he just fix it himself? Samuel has gone back and is trying to stop Hiro from saving Charlie. After he told Hiro to go back in time and right all his wrongs. His convincing isn't quite working though as Hiro still thinks saving Charlie is worth the risk. Right as Sylar is about to do his thing and take Charlie's power Hiro stops time and loads him on a bus in the luggage compartment. So he's still going to get to Odessa so that Peter can save Claire and the future will be back on track. Amazing that he can hold time this long without having a nosebleed. While evaluating the moral quandary that he's just stumbled upon. If Charlie doesn't die Hiro never goes back in the first place to save her, meaning they don't fall in love. He's wiped from the picture. This episode might be my favorite one EVER for one reason. Future Hiro is trying to convince Past Hiro to go further into the past (six months) to save Charlie so that he'll be in the picture. He makes the comparison of Charlie and him to "MJ to Peter Parker," to which Past Hiro says "Marle to my Chrono." Holy shit! They went there! They went to Chrono Trigger, quite possibly the greatest RPG ever made. Mad, mad, mad kudos for that one line which was epic in it's awesomeness. And outs me as a true geek but whatever. Awesome. Back to the review. Hiro visits with Charlie to boast his happiness with her and offers to whisk her away to anywhere in the world. The interesting thing though is that Charlie's power begins to manifest itself in a new way. She begins reciting all the facts that she's stored in her head because the aneurysm is rupturing. See, she's dying anyway. Hiro thinks of another way to fix things by going back to the bus station to get Sylar (most likely to have him look at Charlie to see the blood clot). It should go without saying that a duct tape and a dolly won't keep Sylar detained for too long. And he's pissed, showing it by slamming Hiro into the side of the bus with his telekinesis. Hiro stops time to get away. I think this is the first time the two them have actually crossed paths. Sylar keeps trying to stop Hiro to get his power but Hiro keeps stopping time to get away from him. Hiro offers to tell Sylar everything about his future if he helps him save Charlie. It's an interesting proposition. Sylar decides that his future is much more valuable than her memory, so he helps her to remove the aneurysm. Hiro is going to great lengths to save Charlie and I've got to think that this is going to have MASSIVE repercussions down the road. Hopefully. Is that a moment of compassion on the face of Sylar as he takes in the loving moment between Charlie and Hiro? Hiro holds up his end of the deal and tells Sylar his future. Collecting powers, becoming near unstoppable and being killed by a united front. He also tells him that no one will mourn him or cry for him, which leads to a moment of levity for Sylar. He seems to have realized that all the powers really may not mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Hiro then sets him back on his path which he's called his "fate." So at some point Sylar will be in one of his situations and will do something crazy to completely change things again. Charlie doesn't really like being healed as she was willing to accept her fate. Big surprise that she all of a sudden doesn't want to be with him. And love is just a selfish reason for her to live. As he's drowning his sorrows in root beer Bennett strikes up a conversation with him (thinking that he knows him) in Japanese, which I didn't know Bennett knew (apparently everyone knew Japanese three years ago). Charlie comes back in and tells Hiro she does love him. As the two of them begin to leave together Samuel appears to tell him that he's taking her to the present day carnival. A trap to get Samuel back to the present and to show Hiro the time traveling effects of Arnold. Samuel had Arnold trap Charlie somewhere in time. It of course killed him to do it, and Samuel uses that as leverage to keep Hiro with the carnival. So, Samuel has gone from just flat out making things happen to manipulation? This has got to be a ruse on his part. A ruse to fix his past apparently (a groveling ruse it seems). Hiro is of course now on board to help Samuel in order to save Charlie. The help? Eight weeks ago, Samuel killed Mohinder with what appears to be a shotgun blast to the chest. For an episode that was all about Hiro there was A LOT that happened. I feel like there going to be all sorts of anachronistic storylines that will most likely be contradictory. The writers essentially rewrote the entire history of the show in this one episode and you can imagine that things may be getting discombobulated down the road. Hiro saved Charlie by using Sylar. Bennett almost has an affair with Lauren but is best friends with Claire. Samuel killed Mohinder and needs Hiro to fix it. The episode fits better in the current continuity of course, but that's really only because the writers forced it to work. I haven't begun to talk about what possible impacts this will have on the overall history of the show. Sylar has encountered Hiro and knows his fate, so what's going to stop him from altering his path? Sure he's supposed to kill Claire but what if he doesn't want to? And will the modern day Sylar/Parkman hybrid demonstrate the newfound past where he met Hiro? Will Claire find out about her dad's possible marital transgression? And how does Hiro use his powers so much within one day without feeling the effects of the tumor? Sure he showed some ill effects but nothing major. I'm not sure how to evaluate this week's episode. On the one hand they set up a lot of stuff to work into the continuity. That's also the problem though. Rewriting the past is playing with fire, and if the continuity is disrupted without maintaining the new past things are going to get confusing and possibly even outlandish. I appreciate the amount of story that's in this episode, but this could be a turning point for the season. From here, things can either capitalize on this new past or the season will just become one confusing mess (even more so than past seasons). I feel like the episode was solid as long as this becomes the new canon for the show's universe. Stay tuned. Overall score: 70 out of 100