‘Heroes’: Suddenly Sylar!

courtesy of NBC

Last night’s episode of Heroes posed even more questions: Can Hiro find a way to kill Sylar? Will it be Peter or the Geico Caveman who blows up Manhattan? Can Suresh heal a little girl with a mysterious ailment? When did Heroes turn into House? Whither Peter’s creepy/sexy/uncle vibe with Claire? And what about …

No, we can’t do it. We can’t recap this Heroes as if it were just another episode. Not when it featured the most bewildering Heroes development yet: For a solid twenty minutes, our beloved superhero show became a gritty kitchen-sink drama starring sad little Sylar and his pushy mother. Even more important, Señora Sylar was played by none other than Ellen Greene, better known as the original Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. When Sylar showed up at her door, we expected her to burst into song, complete with those sudden full-octave jumps we remember so well from Little Shop: “Suuu-UUUdenly Sylar … standing beside me!”

So what the heck happened in the Sylar household? Señora Sylar, a nervous, scatterbrained woman, impressed upon Sylar how “special” he could be, all the while merrily making a tuna-fish sandwich. Sylar begged his mom for permission not to be special, frightened by his realization that he might blow up New York. Finally Sylar showed his mother his powers, generating a life-size snow globe for her to dance around in, but the dance became a whirling dance of confusion and his mother freaked out. This was definitely one of the more trippy moments on a network TV show since the golden age of Laugh-In. Then he killed her with sewing shears. All in all, not a banner day in realistic character development, even for a show that traffics in pop-psych character thumbnailing every week.

Meanwhile, Jessica and D.L. head to New York, Micah can’t escape the shapeshifter, Peter gets a case of radioactive hands from the Geico Caveman, and Hiro has yet another crisis of confidence. Man, that Hiro is bipolar! Cheerful and exuberant about saving the world one minute, silent and self-doubting the next. Linderman’s still thinking about destroying New York; given his malevolence and his power to raise plants from the dead, it’d be nice to see another Little Shop alum on Heroes: How about a cameo from Audrey II?

‘Heroes’: Suddenly Sylar!