HEROES 4.14: Close… But No Cigar

So here I am, tuning in to HEROES “one last time,” giving it one last chance to save itself before I cancel it forever. And the first thing I notice is that Noah is delivering the hated pompous voice-over. Not fair, HEROES. You know how much I hate the narration – and how much I like H.R.G. We’ll call the opening a draw. As for the rest of the episode, dubbed “Close to You”… close, but not quite.

Sadly this was yet another boring, glacially paced episode. (Is Ali Larter’s Tracy Strauss directing episodes?) And, worse, we learn that Hiro’s “Dr. Watson” is actually Suresh. I’m not exactly sure how Hiro (Masi Oka) knew Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) was locked in a sanitarium in rural Florida, but… And, okay, I have to admit, the bit with Ando (James Kyson Lee) and the meds was pretty funny. Hiro and Ando work best – hell, only really work at all – as a team.

Oh, look, it’s BATTLESTAR GALACTICA’s own Ellen Tigh, Kate Vernon, playing Vanessa Wheeler, the gal Samuel grew up in love with, and the cause of all this strife. Lady, if you didn’t dump the son of the hired help, all this could have been avoided.

Far and away the best part of this episode was seeing H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) at his wit’s end. He screwed up and put civilian Vanessa in danger by using her as bait. But he cannot walk away from the world of “specials” because he’s afraid that staying out of it means being a coward. But Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) made a dramatic point: Is Noah afraid of the real world? Scared to confront his “mundane” life. “Go home,” Matt counseled. “Hug your little girl” Shockingly, Noah did just that. He went to visit Claire (Hayden Panettiere), and he even apologized, in his own way. However, she still wasn’t ready to talk to him, meaning this was no magical fix for HRG. (like, say, having Ando shock Hiro’s brain with his Crimson Arc power.) But it wasn’t all bad news for Noah: Lauren (Elisabeth Röhm) came back. “I think I care for you more than I want to admit,” Noah…er, admitted. Then he kissed her.

Leaving aside the return of Mohinder, the biggest disappointment had to be HEROES sliding back into the rut of the apocalyptic future. Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) absorbed his mother’s power in order to see a future in which a special causes mass casualties with an out-of-control power. Does this sound familiar? Yes, yes it does. Zzzzzzz. Only this time it’s “Death by Cello.” How do you stop a strumming woman? I’d suggest changing the channel.

But wait — George Takei is coming back next week? And Sylar is kissing Claire? Damn you, HEROES!

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