Heroes: "Hysterical Blindness"
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Heroes: "Hysterical Blindness"

You were promised unexpected kiss, you got unexpected KISS.

But no, no unexpected kiss. Just a kiss the show had been building to for weeks, and even not-so-subtly "hinted" at during the preview for tonight's episode. That, I think, is the perfect metaphor for my Heroes viewing experience over the last few years: There's no such thing as a surprise anymore. The show somehow manages to work speed dating into an episode about sorority rush, yet hasn't quite figured out the ancient art known as "withholding information".

So we saw that kiss coming a mile away; that's one promise Heroes failed to deliver on. But what did we have tonight? Winston from Ghostbusters! Blond rushees with massive coldsores! Black Katie Holmes!

You must be wondering, "Did they go to Houlihan's?" No, but it was implied that they wanted to (there was a hunger in Peter's eyes that seemed to be calling out for delicious hot food, friendly waitstaffers, and low, low prices). You must also be wondering, "Lo, but was the deaf girl in this one?" Yes she was, and stop talking like that.

Many of you don't watch anymore and are probably wondering who the deaf girl even is. Please, tell me what it's like to be you.

The rest of you must surely remember a few episodes back, when that girl was introduced, apropos of nothing, and came to realize she could see lights instead of hear sounds. Well, heh, get this: The show is building a story around her. Nay, this entire episode. And here it is, keeping in mind that it not only makes up for the bulk of the action, but it's being told as straightfaced as I can muster:

  • She gets in a fight with one of the doctors at the hospital where she works, because the doctor insists she's suffering from "hysterical blindness" and should be treated. She storms off, and it turns out that doctor is her mother. And this deaf woman "hasn't been the same since Christopher's death." Heroes: exposition isn't just a city in China.
  • She goes out to the streets of New York and is so fascinated by her color thing that she is almost hit by a bus.
  • Good thing Peter was running by at the time! And saves her! Wait, what? How did he…
  • Wait, now Peter has that power, which not only goes against everything we've been led to believe about the way he acquires new abilities—namely, that he has to be conscious of it—but let's call this a massive trade down.
  • Peter now goes to the hospital, where a children's chorus is singing the theme to The Greatest American Hero, poorly. The deaf lady is watching, too. She and Peter lock eyes and immediately arrive at the understanding that they are both seeing INVISIBLE COLOR MIST.
  • The room immediatly clears out, and the two sit next to each other at a piano, and "tickle some ivories," if you know what I mean. Also, they put their hands on the piano keys and push them to produce sound. It's all done with the wooden clumsiness of two animatronic Chuck E Cheese robots serenading a birthday party.
  • Peter asks her out.

(I refuse to look up her name on principle.)

Just when you thought her character was completely worthless (just), we finally figure out that her ability actually does something. She goes home to play the cello, and plays so hard the walls crack. The colory waves do something! Now she can give her enemies The Clap, if you know what I mean. What I mean is, she can clap her hands, and the gentleman's penis will fall off as if it was cut.

Guys, calm down, Claire was in this episode, too. And so was her crazy, googly eyed roommate. She's gotta be a little nuts if she's actually finding Claire's whole "way too smitten with college" thing endearing in any way. "What's with the ear-to-ear, smiley?" she asks Claire. DO TELL. Is it the chocolate milk? The Houlihan's secret menu item finally being released? Some ludes? No way, it's just, like, college. It's so amazing. So many possibilities. A new life. A fresh start. Sighing. Be all that you can be. Normal. College. Looking at things.

But damnit, over comes Wallace's girlfriend from Veronica Mars (aka, Black Katie Holmes, aka BKH as she'll henceforth be called—hey, it worked for HRG and PCBG (photo copy butt guy)) with something shocking. Sorority rush. Get on it. Claire wants in, and Gretchen wants Claire all to herself.

Insert a bunch of dumb parties and at least one speed-dating session where the girls meet each other and Claire recombs her hair before each one. All you need to know are these three things: 1) Gretchen talks about Claire a lot; 2) She has lots of windows open on her computer, like Claire's Facebook photos (all look a lot like NBC's press site) and information on Odessa; and 3) She throws a pointy flag at a girl talking to Claire at a sorority mixer. Claire confronts her, and they kiss. Or rather, Gretchen forces herself on Claire, then confesses her feelings. Then the girls come in and offer both membership into the sorority, which would be great except for I don't care.

But all those crazy things Gretchen did? Well, it was actually BKH the whole time. She's got the power of invisibility, actually, and led Claire to discover the computer stuff, tipped the flag and blamed Gretchen, and, it turns out, killed Claire's roommate. It's all been a plan by the carnies to isolate Claire and get her to come to the other side. Huh. Great, kinda cool. Except, Heroes, why did you do this now? It's way too early. Build some suspense, much?

That's the closest thing we're going to get to a surprise, I guess. And it's not enough.

Stray observations:

  • Oh, that and the last factoid, that the carnival can move really quickly in space apparently, as they pick up Sylar and grab him before the police (Winston and a random British woman) can. More carnies! Please!
  • Sylar spends the entire episode moping around a holding pen, his hair even making its way down his face, fusing with his eyebrows to create the ultimate killing machine. He doesn't know who he is, he just hears the ticking. And, at one point, loses his cool and shoots Winston across the cell. How many times is Sylar going to need to "find" himself in the run of this show?
  • There you have it, Heroes-philes: Proof that even with no Hiro or Ando, no Parkman, no Tracy, hell, no Mohinder, the show can sure suck.
  • Who else is in Chicago and wants to maybe watch this crap together? Maybe at a Houlihan's? There's one I think in the Loop. Only one. Not enough.

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