Review - Heroes Chapter 12: The Fifth Stage

We're nearing the end of what has so far been a decent season. The last few episodes have cranked up the story quite a bit and I'm actually getting excited for future episodes. Can the show keep that momentum? Lydia confronts Samuel with the truth, sort of. She simply admits that she knows what Samuel did but that she's thinking about the safety of her daughter so his secret is safe with her. It was sort of a random scene at the beginning that seemed to have been thrown in for the sake of setting up something later. Her admission is interrupted by Multiple Man who is taking Edgar's place as Samuel's right-hand man in his absence. His first task is to break into Noah's apartment and get a box full of files. Noah and Lauren are clearly getting chummy as they hit the town their first time together on a date. Lauren noticed his work and asks him about it and in the middle of his explanation he finds the compass missing; the same compass Claire took in her quest to be her own person. Needless to say, Lauren and Noah's date is put off as they work together to find Claire (Lauren is in the CIA now, which will prove useful). The two of them are crunching the files trying to find any information about the carnival that they might have come across in their past work. Such an intimate work environment leads to the inevitable "bearing of the souls" between Noah and Lauren. Here comes that past continuity... Noah had to convince Lauren that they had a past relationship which Lauren doesn't remember. That would be a convenient time for Noah to tell Lauren that she "Haitianed" herself in the interest of their relationship. Multiple Man shows up in the midst of the conversation and says that they're only there to get what they came for, which happen to be the same files Lauren and Noah were just going over. Claire and Gretchen arrive at the carnival courtesy of the compass. She realizes that maybe she's in over her head (which is a stark contrast to Claire of the past who continued to plow ahead anyway). As the two of them are turning to leave Samuel emerges from the carnival welcoming Claire to the show. Claire is still a little leery as Samuel makes a sales pitch for the two of them to remain and asks that they stay until they finish their popcorn (the best popcorn in the business apparently). Samuel is definitely a smooth and conniving sort that is effective at getting what he wants. It also make sense that the compasses point to him considering he controls earth (and presumably the magnetic poles). Claire first pays a visit to Lydia where she takes her hand and asks why she should be there. What appears is her in cheerleader garb and the title "Indestructable Girl," leading Gretchen to think that there's a projector somewhere. She's running along with a girl that can't die and she doubts the veracity of Lydia's powers? Claire is having slight delusions of grandeur about being able to live out in the open among her brethren. Gretchen is understandably a little unsure about the whole scene, which is expected because she's not a mutant. As they're about to leave Samuel approaches them and offers Claire the chance to see the show "behind the scenes" which Claire wants to see. I really like the dichotomous views between Claire and Gretchen. Claire is pretty keen on the whole show, as the mutants use their powers to "dole out karma." Gretchen is a lot more suspect and thinks that mutants shouldn't be exposing their powers for the sake of profit. Right before Claire is asked by Samuel to tell the kids a story she's approached by Doyle (Puppet Master) who is ecstatic to be in the carnival as himself (and not hiding). He wants to talk to Claire about something and asks that she stays a bit until after his set so they can talk. While Claire's telling her story Gretchen approaches Samuel about toying with Claire and I applaud her having the gumption to go up to him and talk to him about the situation. After the story is told the minor league pitcher who was shafter earlier approaches Samuel and asks for his money back. Rather than swallowing him in a sinkhole Samuel takes a beating to make a point. He wants to use a non-mutants anger as a rallying cry for Claire to step in and, sure enough, she steps in and stops the fight. Samuel can take a punch though, especially when it gives him the opportunity to spit more philosophical rhetoric to woo Claire over to his side. I kind of like how Samuel has a way of getting his way. I mean, he tells Claire to come visit, and then when she's there he tells her to stay until her popcorn is done. Then he offers her to stay a few days to do some soul-searching, which she does as Gretchen faces the 21 hour drive back by herself. Lydia admits to Samuel that Claire won't do what she wants him to do, to which he indicates that it's actually Gretchen he's after. For what reason is unclear at the time, but I'm sure the reason will be made apparent in the near future. In the meantime he's making his pitch for being normal to all of the mutants and Claire is drinking the Kool-Aid. Peter is going after Sylar. How will he stop him you ask? With the Haitian. More specifically, the Haitian's powers which Peter absorbs to aid in his quest to find and stop Sylar. This is after his mom tells him to skip to the fifth and final stage of grief and to accept that Nathan is dead. She went to great lengths to make sure that Nathan lived on in same fashion and now she's quick to admit defeat when Sylar reappears? Doesn't seem very maternal to me. Regardless he takes an elevator ride down with a nurse, who turns out to be Sylar shapeshifted. While in the basement of the hospital Sylar thinks he has the upper hand. He dumps out Peter's bag of sedatives and is basically talking his Sylar talk while Peter runs off. Sylar stalks him and prepares to use his powers when he realizes that his powers don't work. The Haitian is useful as Peter uses his powers to stop Sylar from being all-powerful. An all-out brawl ensues, and you've got to love the irony that the two most powerful mutants in the show have resorted to a fistfight. The fight really gets out of hand (it really escalates) and Peter moves to use a nail gun in his battle to bring Nathan back. Not sure about the crucifixion though. The threats of killing Sylar for Nathan doesn't work. Peter steps up the treatment and decides to absorb everything in Sylar but Nathan, theoretically leaving Nathan and his body intact. The absorption apparently works as it seems that Nathan is now fine, and after the nails have been removed he heals right back up. So Peter pulled Sylar out of the body and now what? I'm guessing that Sylar is still there, whether he be in Nathan still or in Peter. Reminiscing on the rooftop probably isn't the best place for this conversation because it's the perfect time for Sylar to emerge and cause some harm. Sure enough, harm is done, but not in the Sylar way. Nathan is tired of fighting Sylar and decides that it's not worth it anymore, and as he slips from Peters grasp and falls to the street below the two exchange brotherly love. I don't think there's been a moment with that levity on the show in a while. A short-lived levity of course, as upon hitting the car Nathan reverts to Sylar and walks off, healing. This is the last Heroes for about a month, and the show has left us a lot to ponder. What will Sylar do now? Will Claire go with Noah or stay with Samuel? Why does Samuel want Gretchen? Will Parkman have anything left to go after Sylar again? And why was Hiro running with Ando and Mohinder (last we checked he mysteriously disappeared to a time unknown)? All of these questions are great and I'm glad this season is raising them. I've mentioned it before but I'm actually getting intrigued by how the rest of this season picks up. There are only 6 episodes left (I believe this was an 18 episode season) and it doesn't seem like the show will swoon like it has in the past. Color me intrigued.