In this slightly timeshifted liveblog, you may witness my instant impressions of Heroes' latest episode, Pass/Fail, as it unfolds. Think of it as a tragic record of brain melt occurring in real time! Without the aid of carnie powers!

Claire has to figure out the carnies "by herself," or so she tells Gretchen while picking at her food. Can she stop angsting and just kiss Gretchen? After all, Gretchen is "here for her," including offers of hand touching!

Now Sylar is mackin on Gretchen? This explains all of Sylar's lesbian tendencies, actually.

Why doesn't Hiro travel through time, get his old buddy Adam from medieval Japan times to heal his brain, and then return? Instead, he and Ando are teaming up with HRG . . . oh there's Adam! Oh shit it's a horrible, horrible brain-tumor-induced dream scene. "The world vs. Hiro Nakamura" - starring Sulu! I mean, Papa Nakamura. Wow I am filled with an urge to use Bing instead of Google.


OK WTF with Sylar and his chalkboard full of "Why Claire Bennet?" Is that what the writers of this episode were forced to write as punishment for writing this episode?

Samuel is shaving while Vanessa pouts her cylon pout and says "you kidnapped me" for the millionth time. Is there a metaphor that we're aiming at with all these broken record player references that don't lead back to well, the broken record that is Samuel and Vanessa's relationship?

Hiro is trapped in a bad version of the Star Trek: TNG pilot episode. I wish Q would show up and dance around in a funny red outfit. Instead it's just Adam in a suit and Papa Nakamura in his black robes.


"I would love to kill you," says Claire to Sylar. But it's OK because he shows her the picture of her face on his arm and explains their tattoo destiny! "I need a connection - a friend - you're supposed to help me," he whines through his near-beard. Seriously am I watching a scene from Twilight with Edward and Bella? No - it can't be. Because now Sylar is making a chart on the chalkboard showing how they are the same person. "Both of our dads were cold-blooded killers, which is ironic because you and I cannot be killed," points out Sylar. I love that the characters have to explain their own ironies and connections in case somehow we were confused by a careening plot packed with inconsistencies.

Now Sylar is molesting Claire, using "hypererotic" methods. Oh lordy. Luckily we get to see Samuel try to woo Vanessa with strawberry milkshakes, which is almost as painful. Especially when they suck on those straws and go "Mmmmmm." Gross!


My nausea levels remain steady as we return to Hiro's trial. He does deserve autonomy, even though he has no emotions! He isn't the property of the Federation! Wait - I mean he has the right to wear a mobile emitter!

Sylar is doing the usual psycho "you are just like me" routine on Claire. Did anybody else notice the bubble of drool in his mouth when he said Gretchen and Claire's memories of each other are "so ripe with subtext"? Seriously he practically spit on Claire.


I guess I should be glad that Sylar is encouraging Claire to act on her lesbotic leanings, since at least in that respect his character makes perfect sense.

Ohhh, Claire delivers a pencil to the eye! Nice one! Now she's off to consummate her lady feelings with Gretchen! And Sylar is off to testify against Hiro. The phrase "willy nilly" is used by Sylar to describe his murdering mood. Now Hiro is being accused of letting Sylar kill a bunch of people so that he could save Charlie, who is not only lost in time but also lost to a hit show on another network.


So if Samuel has been obsessively in love with Vanessa all these years since college, why hasn't he come to see her before now? She's totally into him, and is wildly impressed by his ability to remember that she once dreamed of having a house surrounded by nature. Sounds like they got together once in college and then he just never came back - even though the carnival can be anywhere, anytime. I'm completely confused. Also, big shock that snobby Yale musician chick doesn't really want to live in nature. Jeezus, Samuel, why do you want to go for the cylon instead of another carnie?

By the way, Sylar stashed Gretchen in the girls' dorm room, tied up under a bed. Very swift. But of course Gretchen and Claire are going to spend all their time thinking about Sylar's "issues" instead of their own. Claire says, "I'm scared and afraid and building walls and I suck at metaphors." Just shut up and KISS!


Does anybody else think it's weird that suddenly Sylar's big issue, according to everybody, is that he'll "be alone for the rest of his life"? Not that he's a mass murderer or a psychotic criminal?

"A girl who happens to have powers" is how Claire prefers to be thought of, OK? Not as a superpowered girl! Get that straight, alright?

Whoa . . . Sylar was hiding in Gretchen's body, bonding with Claire! Now I'm glad they didn't kiss. But here's the real Gretchen, and there's a hug and lots of talk about openly holding hands. "I wanna hold your hand," says Claire. Then she does! OMG and then they walk out of the room holding hands and we see their cute jeans! Apparently Sylar approves of lesbians.


Fuck we have to go back to the awful Hiro trial instead of seeing more lesbian Claire and Gretchen?! I HATE THIS SHOW. We're listening to Hiro talk about how he's a good guy, but did bad things in the service of making the world better. And he's found guilty, even though he quoted Quantum Leap in his "I'm sorry about what a lamer I've been" speech! Look, Hiro is walking into the light! But now he's admitted his guilt and said he wants to die a hero. So Papa gives him back his samurai sword and tells him to "fight for his honor." WTF is going on here? Where are the lesbians?


Sword fight with Adam intercut with tense hospital operating room scene where Ando urges the dying Hiro to fight! Now Hiro has slain Adam! And Mama Nakamura has appeared in an out-of-focus dress to heal her son. Apparently, according to Mama, "some things are more powerful than science - like destiny." Have I mentioned about the hating? And this show? One kiss from mom on the head and he's healed. I'm still stuck on this question of why he couldn't just time travel back to his mom for a quick healing before, or back to Adam, instead of this woo-woo "healed in dreams" crap.

Samuel is pretty pissed off about the whole Vanessa thing, and so he goes back to that cafe where they slurped strawberry shake together. But instead of slurping shake, he yells at the waitress about how "you're all going to live by my rules!" And he uses his earthquake power to shake his shake off the table and shatter it on the floor! OMG it's shakey shake power!!!!


Now some mountains are being sucked into a sinkhole! We're not really sure where or how dangerous it is but the carnies are perturbed! And Samuel comes home looking really cranky.

At least Claire and Gretchen are laughing together, though notably they are NOT YET KISSING WTF. Instead, Hiro and Ando are kissing even though Hiro is still wearing a giant bandage over his brain. And Vanessa is licking the flower that Samuel gave her and regretting that she couldn't live with him in the terraformed paradise.

As the episode ends, Parkman's wife Shorthair is being menaced by near-beardy Sylar. He shows up at the Parkman manse and is like "Hey can I see Matt?" and Shorthair is like, "Have we met before?" And Sylar goes, "Well I did have sex with you while I was controlling your husband's body."


You can try to use that image to scrub away the images of Sylar kissing Claire, Samuel sucking strawberry, Vanessa tonguing a flower, and Hiro getting a special mommy smooch of healingness. Ahhhhh!