'Heroes' recap: On to the next chapter | EW.com

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'Heroes' recap: On to the next chapter

As the "Villains" chapter comes to an end, the brothers Petrelli are firmly on opposite sides of the table, Sylar is vanquished, and Hiro attempts to set things right

(Adam Taylor /NBC)

‘Heroes’ recap: On to the next chapter

”I could’ve been a nobody, instead of the monster I became.” Villains are?difficult. From a creative standpoint, they’re a bear. Your Big Bad needs to be smart-brutal-powerful enough to pose a legitimate threat to your hero, and yet he or she also needs to be saddled with some kind of fatal flaw that the hero can exploit to emerge victorious. They need to have depth of character, some can even be sympathetic, but you shouldn’t ever forget that they are antagonists. They are the obstacle.

Villains have been hard for Heroes. On the one hand, you’ve got Sylar who — for all of the liberties the producers have taken with him this year, from rehabbed father figure to Company stooge to wronged ”son” — still carries an authentic menace. (And, really, that’s because Zachary Quinto has never given up on Sylar, even when he’s been forced to do silly things like, you know, argue with his ”girlfriend” at a rental car joint.) And on the other hand, you’ve got a series of disposable threats like Knox, Flint, Daphne, and the crazy puppetmaster dude. Even Arthur Petrelli was kind of an empty hat; he was granted too much power and not enough smarts to be entirely effective. (Wouldn’t a smart man have just ”pushed” Nathan into dropping any official investigation into Linderman? That way, Arthur would never have had to push Angela to forget the attempt on her son’s life, and she, in turn, never would have poisoned Arthur in the first place. The shortest hop from point A to point B is usually the best.)

And so this third volume, ”Villains” comes to a close; not with a bang, not with a whimper, just kind of an ”eh.” Even when Heroes was on the money, back in the first season, it still didn’t know how to stick the landing. Remember Kirby Plaza? The whole season built up to a fight that just kind of sat there; a couple of punches and blowed up Petrelli brothers. And this half-season ended with — hey! — a couple of punches and blowed up Petrelli brothers.

But before it ended, we got to spend some time in Sylar’s House of Horrors. See, after offing Arthur Petrelli, Sylar went over to Primatech — which always feels like it’s across the street — to execute the second half of Operation Fake Parent Trap. Through the cunning use of cordless phones and circuit boards — and, yes, murder — Sylar trapped Claire, Noah, Angela, and hot-bio-mom Meredith in the Company’s compound. His plan: Turn them all into monsters, just like him. How? By stealing a page from Jigsaw’s handbook and going all death-trap on Meredith and Noah. First, Sylar pumped Meredith full of adrenaline. Then he trapped the supernova-ing Meredith in a fireproof, bulletproof Level 5 cell with Noah?who had only one round left in his gun. Does he shoot Meredith before she flames on and save himself? Does he spare Meredith and commit suicide? Can Claire do anything but watch? That was a legitimately interesting moral dilemma?too bad neither person actually did much to get themselves out of it.

NEXT: Brothers in arms…against each other