Emma and Rebecca expose their pasts, Sylar and Parkman engage in a battle of wits, Bennett does what the script tells him to do, and Gretchen does the one thing most sane people would do in her situation.

Title: “Shadowboxing”

Cast and Crew

Zachary Quinto as Sylar/Parkman
Adrian Pasdar as Sylar/Nathan Petrelli
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Robert Knepper as Samuel Sullivan
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Madeline Zima as Gretchen Berg
Deanne Bray as Emma
Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Jimmy Jean-Louis as Rene the Haitian
Tessa Thompson as Rebecca
Cacho Ribeiro as Lydia

Premises

  • Noah and the Haitian assist Claire’s investigation of Rebecca and the sorority. Gretchen flees; Samuel hatches a plot that seems (at present) needlessly convoluted.
  • Parkman and Sylar continue their personal battle.
  • Peter and Emma bond over a disaster as we learn more about her personal history.
  • Is anyone here watching “Slow Burn?”
  • Sylar awakes as Nathan and flies the coup.

High Point

The battle between Parkman and Sylar kept my interest, even if I must address its finale under “Low Point.”

When the writers aren’t making the characters act according to the plot arc, they can do interesting things, pushing the human element to the forefront. Peter and Emma had several effective scenes together, and her backstory fits what we know about the character.

Low Point

Time travel, super-healing, and inconsistent characterization: all three combine to prevent me from caring about anything that happens. We already know that Sylar/Parkman isn’t dead. Even if he was, it still wouldn’t mean anything.

I realize we’re watching a kinder, gentler Noah Bennett but, honestly, he would have just shot Rebecca when he had the chance. He’s too good at this and he has motive.

Not that it would necessarily mean anything.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 4/6. See “High” and “Low” Points. Rebecca and Emma both have backstories with potential.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 4/6.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 4/6. The episode features some good moments– Claire’s brighter side continuing to grow, Rebecca and Emma’s backstories making some sense– but the show has never really reclaimed its lost momentum from the second and third seasons.

30/42.

Lingering Mysteries

Is it open house at the sorority? Noah and the Haitian wander around very easily, raising few questions.