Heroes Review: Hysterical Blindness

This week’s episode features strong performances and some very well-paced storytelling—and also a few signs the show, yet again, may be about to nuke a fridge over a shark.

Warning: gratuitous lesbian content.

Title: “Hysterical Blindness”

Cast and Crew

Writer: Joe Pokaski
Director: SJ Clarkson

Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Deanne Bray as Emma
Zachary Quinto as Sylar
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Madeline Zima as Gretchen Berg
Christine Rose as Angela Petrelli
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
Robert Knepper as Samuel Sullivan
Cacho Ribeiro as Lydia
Tessa Thompson as Rebecca
Christine Adams as Madeline Gibson
Louise Fletcher as Doctor



  • Sylar digs himself out of trouble, only to have the police pick him up. He has his familiar body back, but doesn’t know who he is.
  • Claire grows suspicious of her roommate, as the audience becomes aware of a hidden adversary.
  • Peter tries to help Emma deal with her ability, as they realize she has real power.
  • An ailing Hiro arrives in New York.

High Point

Quinto, Bray, and several others put in memorable performances. The show avoided running too many plots in one episode, and (until a somewhat confusing ending) kept the pacing strong. In terms of structure and character, this remains the strongest season since the first.

Low Point

They continued to do interesting things with Sylar. I was willing to overlook the fact that they had brought him back, yet again, in a move which lacks originality and risks ruining (further) a memorable character. The conclusion and the preview, however, clearly indicate that Samuel is simply going to reactivate the “real” Sylar. They were killing off Hiro, which, unfortunately, needs to happen. Well, maybe not—there’s a metahuman healer on the horizon. They introduced Gretchen as a real character and friend (or more) of Claire’s—well, actually, it appears they’re eliminating her, thus reducing her character to cheap lesbian exploitation and reviving the offensive old pulp/pop-fiction convention that lesbian associates of female protagonists must end tragically. The confusing ending holds out some hope—but the actress appears to be slated for five episodes only, and next week’s appearance looks to be her last. Of course, they may surprise me.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6. Heroes continues to repeat what happened last week on Heroes, and throws in a few more derivative elements. Quick-healing guy with memory loss, anyone?

Effects: 6/6. Love those power colours!

Story: 5/6.

Acting: 5/6. This show features some standout performances, mentioned under “High Points”

Emotional Response: 4/6 My admiration for some aspects of this episode were undercut by the overall direction they seem to indicate. However, time will tell.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6.


Lingering Mysteries

How did Sylar get to the Carnival? What is its true nature?

2 replies on “Heroes Review: Hysterical Blindness”

  1. Other reviewers seem more optimistic that Gretchen will remain; perhaps my information and interpretation is flawed. This would be fine, but the story arc needs to become meaningful, and not just a tacked-on ratings grab. That woudl be better, however, than a ratings grab that quickly ends in tragedy, though.

    On another note– I can’t believe I forgot to mention the kids singing the theme from “The Greatest American Hero.” Great throwaway gag.

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