Heroes Review: "The Fifth Stage"

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Nathan Petrelli deserved better.

The character - who had the potential throughout Heroes to be the show's most layered, complex character - was misused for seasons on end. The writers could never decide in what direction to point the politician, as they officially killed him off this week in a death NBC hyped across the Internet in order to boost ratings.

Did it do the job? Were you satisfied with the death of Nathan? You gotta at least give Adrian Pasdar credit for doing the best he could with utterly pathetic, cliche-ridden lines during his final scene, such as:

You can do anything.

Tell mom I love her.

Fight the good fight.

Read our detailed review of the episode "The Fifth Stage" and let us know if you share our disappointment in how the show gave Nathan the axe.

Don't Die!

The installment wasn't all bad, however. We dug Claire's interaction with Samuel at the carnival. This really is a girl that's been seeking acceptance her entire life and it makes sense she'd find it there.

Among the questions on our minds after the episode concluded:

  • Hiro, Ando and Mohinder are now on the run? Where did that come from?
  • We know Heroes is hard up for money, but must it shill so blatantly for Sprint?
  • If Lauren's mind, and feelings were erased, why did she flirt so openly with HRG upon first meeting him again?
  • Samuel said Claire isn't the person he's after. To whom do you think he's referring?
  • What the heck happened to Lydia being pissed at Samuel for killing Jacob? Can this show ever maintain consistent storytelling?
  • HRG is a veteran, secret agent... and keeps his files at home, in a box labeled "Primatech." Really?!?
  • Were you happy to have known about Nathan's death for weeks? Or do you wish it had been a surprise?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how loudly do you groan each time Tracy is on screen?

Leave a comment and/our sound off in our Heroes forum about these questions and more!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Samuel said Claire isn't the person he's after. To whom do you think he's referring?
When Samuel states this, the scene changes to him looking starry eyed past Claire to Gretchen backing her car up (tight close up of tire to accentuate the scene) with the reflection of the carnival in the back window (of her Scion XB by the way and now I want one) which mysteriously goes all wavy and then you see her clearly in the car. As she drives away you see the body of the lout who pummeled Samuel in the back of a truck with blood running out of his nose and a large left black eye. Who killed him? Are you sure it was Samuel? Samuel has so far only killed by hitting people with rocks leaving wounds on the upper body. None of his kills looked like this man. Why take all that time showing Gretchen leaving if not as a clue to something sinister about her or at the least a hint that there is more to her (empath?). The way she made herself Claire's friend and just accepted everything about all these people with powers is just too easy to not be more than meets the eye. There have been many clues that have convinced me of this. Guitar hero scene is just one. Come on, this show has been doing these kind of mind games from the beginning. I may be wrong and quite delusional but it just seems to me that this is too good of a story line to not pursue. As for the other points,
No one seems to stay dead, Every TV show and every movie does product placement, Files just lying around so someone could come and steal them of course, how else could Samuel get his hands on them (too easy and lazy), Flash backs for filler instead of coming scenes as maybe there is no new show coming yet since the show is in trouble being on same time as House et al. It is odd to not have a stronger hint to keep fans interest up till next year.

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Hiro, Ando, & Mohinder on the run is a flash back to the plane crash scene....I thought it was pretty obvious?

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* Hiro, Ando and Mohinder are now on the run? Where did that come from?
That, to me, looked like a flashback from Fugitives; just like the scene of Sylar putting on the black baseball cap -- it was canned footage from a previous episode. * We know Heroes is hard up for money, but must it shill so blatantly for Sprint?
If it was the only show that did this, there would be a concern. But let's face it, the bottom line is making money, and they do so by selling ads and/or ad space. This show does the same with Nissan. * Samuel said Claire isn't the person he's after. To whom do you think he's referring?
I like FD's idea that Samuel is hoping to provoke HRG into some reaction that will justify an attack on normal people. It makes sense. The other possibility would be using Claire as bait to get Sylar/Nathan back to the carnival, because I would have to assume he wouldn't know at this point that Nathan's psyche has given up and he is now effectively dead. * What the heck happened to Lydia being pissed at Samuel for killing Jacob? Can this show ever maintain consistent storytelling?
F.D. hit this one bang on. * HRG is a veteran, secret agent... and keeps his files at home, in a box labeled "Primatech." Really?!?
Yes, a little lame. But it's not like he has access to an office or subterranean lair anymore. * Were you happy to have known about Nathan's death for weeks? Or do you wish it had been a surprise?
I do wish the death they teased wasn't such a cop out.

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Hiro, Ando and Mohinder are now on the run? Where did that come from?
- From the previews that we'll obviously get by the end of this month or January? We know Heroes is hard up for money, but must it shill so blatantly for Sprint?
- This is certainly annoying, but if it what it takes to keep the show going… If Lauren's mind, and feelings were erased, why did she flirt so openly with HRG upon first meeting him again?
- Her memory got erased, not her feelings. She just forgot she flirted with him for 2 months. Samuel said Claire isn't the person he's after. To whom do you think he's referring?
- HRG or Peter. HRG because he needs him to openly attack specials in order to declare an all-out war against normal people. Peter because he manifested an obvious interest into empaths for some reason in the beginning of this volume. What the heck happened to Lydia being pissed at Samuel for killing Jacob? Can this show ever maintain consistent storytelling?
- Didn't you watch the episode? She fears Samuel will hurt her daughter. HRG is a veteran, secret agent... and keeps his files at home, in a box labeled "Primatech." Really?!?
- That was certainly retarded. After having Sylar steal this kind of files so many times to get on his hunts, he should've known better. What would be more interesting to know is how the hell did Samuel know he had such a box in his apartment. I admit however that the plot can now take an interesting twist: will Samuel begin to be more aggressive and force people into the carnival in order to boost his ability? Were you happy to have known about Nathan's death for weeks? Or do you wish it had been a surprise?
- I wish it was a surprise. But at least now we know it's for real and don't get into cynical debates on when he'll come back. On a scale of 1-10, how loudly do you groan each time Tracy is on screen?
- Depends whether she wears cloth or not.