Heroes Review: “Ink”

We have a brief review this week, as the story heads forwards and we get to know the new characters. Heroes may not be developing quickly this season, but I remain cautiously optimistic.

Of course, this episode also sidesteps the Hiro plot, which has serious sinkhole potential.

Title: “Ink”

Cast and Crew

Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Robert Knepper as Samuel Sullivan
Zachary Quinto as Caprica Sylar
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Madeline Zima as Gretchen
Cacho Ribeiro as Lydia
Deanne Bray as Emma
Christine Rose as Angela Petrelli
Rick Worthy as Parkman’s Partner


  • We learn more about Samuel’s history and powers as he checks out Peter Petrelli. Peter, meanwhile, encounters a new metahuman, hearing-impaired Emma, whose powers connect to mysterious forces at work in this season.
  • Caprica Sylar and Matt Parkman battle it out in Parkman’s head, as the psychic cop investigates a case.
  • Claire bonds with Gretchen, and we’re treated in the final scene to some ambiguous subtext. This is, of course, important, as Xena may be the only fantasy series from the last two decades the season premiere didn’t rip off.
  • Someone hands a forbidden phone to Lydia, who—oh, wait. This isn’t part of the episode. It’s a commercial for the parallel Lydia storyline that will be told in cell-phone webizodes.

High Point

If Sylar had to be a villain yet again, they have come up with an interesting way for him to be evil this time around. I wonder to what degree this is some version of Sylar, and to what degree it is some aspect of Parkman himself, licensing him to use his powers.

Low Point

This isn’t so much a low point as a concern: Samuel’s powers, like Hiro’s, and Sylar’s, seem so great that it may become difficult to write them intelligently. A similar situation applies to Caprica-Sylar with reference to Matt Parkman. It’s difficult to find anything for a human character to do in a world where godlike beings exist.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6.

Effects: 6/6.

Story: 4/6. The story moves more slowly than a season of Mad Men (which gets to be slow because it’s so well-written and acted), but it is clearly going somewhere.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6. The season shows promise, but the mysteries must have meaningful solutions—and there’s still the time travel factor, ignored this week. I also have to wonder if and when Mohinder will return. Still, the writing this season thus far eclipses the last two. The Redemption season title may prove to be more than wishful thinking.


9 replies on “Heroes Review: “Ink””

  1. It’s difficult to find anything for a human character to do in a world where godlike beings exist.

    Hm. I don’t know: surely Iain M. Banks does a damn good job of exactly this in every single Culture novel…

    • The key word here is difficult. A good writer can make any number of things work. Television writers inevitably have their characters act in stupid ways or fail to explore the implications of those abilities. Characters don’t do what they would do because that would too dramatically change the series and its reality.

      I’m not betting on Banks or Gaiman to start writing for Heroes anytime soon.

      • Neil Gaiman on an open-ended TV series (i.e. not a miniseries) would be quite something. Even if it were a show with a 5-year plan, so he could plan out an actual story. (Sort of like Sandman was an “ongoing” comic that really amounted to a 10-volume miniseries.) He probably has no interest in writing for TV, though.

        I’m going to have to look into this Banks fellow. Never read anything by him, but I keep hearing his name come up in connection with epic space stuff… What’s he like? (Besides “really good”, of course.)

        • Iaon Banks writes under two names. Iain M banks is the name he uses for science fiction. Ian Banks books are usually horror and, erm, other stuff. His first book was “The Wasp Factory”. It was voted as one of the top 100 books of the 20th century by some pole in the UK. Kinda raw, though.

  2. The first two episodes captured me again.
    Sadly then this episode came along…

    High Point? Deaf woman who can see sound, the rest of the episode just made me yawn.
    I can’t really see any real use for her ability but it was kinda cool.
    I have a suspicion that Claire is getting VERY close to her new friend.

  3. I’ve made no secret that I bailed on Heroes. But I continue to read the reviews here, and my wife still watches – time delayed, so she won’t miss Monday Night football. (no, Really.)
    Anyway, I was talking with my wife last night after she watched this weeks ep, and I asked her how Heroes was. She’s usually tells me it’s alright, except for XX (what ever the grip of the week is). But last night, she supprised me. She got this just-chewed-a-lemmon look on her face and said, “this eppisode was…. way too gay”
    Since neither of us are homophobes, I certainly wasn’t expecting THAT.

    I guess I’m gonna have to read her the bullit point above about Xena.


    • Well:

      *Conservative Noah is concerned about Claire’s relationship with Gretchen.
      *Claire (who comes out…. about her powers) and Gretchen (clearly written as gay– though, of course, she talks about being ostracized by not-nice girls in high school for other reasons) decide to move in together and bond, in a way that could just be friendly.
      *Gretchen asks Claire to show her…. her powers working.
      *Claire hands Gretchen a pair of, oh sheesh, scissors and says she can penetrate stab her with them.
      *Gretchen says something like, I’ve never done this before.
      *Gretchen is amazed by the quickly-healing gash she leaves.

      Et cetera.

      I suppose your wife could be more homophobic than she lets on, but she could just be having a bad reaction to the cheesiness and obviousness of it.

      I found it amusingly Xenaesque.

  4. Not much chance of the homophobia; we’ve got openly gay friends… but she does have a history of hating on anything that cheezy. It makes more sence in that context. Now that you mention it, I remember her rolling her eyes and mentioning some “my first time” comment. – that must be it.

    BTW: tpyo above… grip of the week should read gripe of the week.

  5. I agree with JD, they all act stupidly because the writers can’t or aren’t allowed to write sensibly.

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