Review - Heroes Chapter 12: Upon This Rock/Chapter 13: Let It Bleed

Remember last year when Heroes went on hiatus? It wasn't so much planned for ratings reasons as it was mainly the Writer's Strike that deprived us of those glorious storylines. This season so far has proven to be much better than just about any previous season (with the exception of the first) and last night it made it's return. I can happily say that it picked up right where it left off (both story- and production-wise) through a montage. The montage was especially useful because for the most part I had forgotten everything that happened up to the midseason hiatus. Because this week's showing is two episodes, there will be a review of each chapter. Spoilers ahead. Chapter 12: Upon This Rock Claire's stay at the carnival has gone beyond a few days and into servitude as she's picking up trash while Multiple Man (Eli) looks on. I don't buy Tattoo Girl's explanation about Eli being fascinated with new people; inevitably, it will turn into an obsession thing with Claire. In the meantime though Claire stumbles upon Samuel looking through his newly found files stolen from Noah. He tells Claire that he's not content with dwelling on the past but he's pouring through files chronicling the history of mutant tracking? Isn't that slightly contradictory on the part of the supervillain? Little odd that the accents flaunted by Samuel and Joseph as children are thicker than when they become adults. Samuel travels away from the carnival but asks Eli to keep an eye on Claire to prevent her from leaving and reading what's in the files. Is Claire slowly realizing that she's actually being trapped here, despite Samuel's promises of leaving whenever she wants? Meanwhile, Samuel pays a visit to Emma, the seeing sounds mutant who to this point was only a semi-love interest for Peter. I can see why he would want her though, as he can make earthquakes and she can amplify the waves for destruction. What's it like taking orders from yourself? Claire loses Eli and of course she goes to Samuel's trailer to look at the files, meaning that when Eli comes to the first place he's going to look for her is the trailer. Puppet Master gets there first and threatens death so that she won't spoil whatever it is that Samuel has in store for all the mutants. After talking Doyle down Claire goes to Lydia where she learns the truth (she doesn't tell her, but her silence tells all). Kudos to Claire for confronting Samuel about his killing of Joseph and there's got to be some ulterior motive to Samuel so readily copping to the crime. And letting her go just like that? She quickly lost those kudos by being so easily impressed by the burgeoning meadow in front of her. Why is Hiro trapped in a delusion of sci-fi land? In the span of a minute he covers Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica and Highlander while searching for his "sidekick" who I suppose we're to believe is Ando. Hiro seems to think he's looking for Sancho Panza (who actually is Ando), the "sidekick" of sorts to Don Quixote (it would explain why Hiro is attempting to be chivalrous if he's been "hanging out" with Don Quixote). I didn't think that Hiro could piss me off more so than he had, but this whole spiel takes the cake. Is this fanboy lip service? Who knows. His sister is certainly flipping out I know that. The scene at the end of the first hour seemed a little underwhelming. I mean, I know it was supposed to be this dramatic finish to the first half, but because the episode spent all of five minutes on it the scene was emotionally cheapened. And of course, Mrs. Petrelli's complete and utter lack of emotion is probably less a testament to her steely demeanor and more an indication of her being involved somehow. Chapter 13: Let It Bleed Rewind 86 hours. Yep, Peter and Noah arranged the plane crash. And yeah, Angela knew about it. Claire takes two steps back for every one step forward as a character. She goes from brooding, my life is awful, to I love my dad, to I hate my dad, to I love my, dad to I love Samuel and then back to I hate my dad. It seems that now she's in the "mature" phase where she knows all and has the audacity to lecture Noah about Nathan/Sylar. I've got to side with Noah on this one. No matter what he's done, no matter how immoral or moral he's always done the right (and intelligent) thing. Her holier than thou mindset extends to Peter's acts of courage (or stupidity depending on how you look at it). Peter is continuing his quest to kill Sylar with reckless abandon because for some reason he thinks that will make everything ok. When Peter took the bullet I almost expected Claire to not give him her power in an effort to slow him down, but after seeing that her speech was falling on deaf ears she helped him out. The Peter Power Watch currently places his power at: healing. Sylar is alive this time around and he remembers enough to find and confront Samuel. I guess this clears up the whole Nathan/Sylar dichotomy as Nathan should be completely dead at this point and Sylar whole again. I like Sylar's comment that everyone has plans for him but what's most curious is that for all of Sylar's abilities he's seemingly lost the most important one: his ability to kill. Sylar's realization of this is enough of a break for Samuel to whip up a gravelstorm that rips most of the flesh off of Sylar. If you had Edgar waiting for Noah at his apartment please head to the front and collect your prize. If you had Noah expecting it with a taser please collect the other prize. After a spiel about torture being ineffective Noah switches tactics and forms an alliance with Edgar. I like the partnership between the two of them, as it revisits the "one of us, one of them" tactics that Noah used so effectively with the Haitian as a partner. The two of them are setting out to stop Samuel from whatever it is he's working towards. Of course, Edgar only wants to protect his family while Noah wants to get Samuel and reintegrate all the mutants into society so the partnership is short lived. Watching the latter hour made me realize something about the show. It's all about a couple of main characters manipulating everyone around them to move the story along. These characters have built up such "credibility" as their character types that it's next to impossible to see anything they suggest without expecting it to have some other endgame. Angela telling Claire to be a shoulder for Peter, Samuel convincing Lydia to fix Sylar, Lydia using her power to get Sylar to kill Samuel. The show definitely seems to have become more story driven and less character driven, and all the characters are neatly put into place by the actions of a few characters pulling all the strings. Where it goes in these last four chapters is still up in the air. If Samuel's payoff isn't some sort of showdown over at least the last two episodes I'll be sorely disappointed. Sylar seems to need Claire for the zillionth time, Hiro may or may not be clinically insane (although it appears they're going after Mohinder in Arkham Asylum) and Parkman has mysteriously disappeared for the time being. We're in the home stretch here and I believe there are only four episodes left. The show maintained a pretty steady feel throughout the season and didn't suffer the midseason swoon. Let's just hope that midseason swoon isn't displaced to end season.