Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Heroes: He's my Hiro

"Studio 60" coming late this morning, most likely, as I chose sleep over Sorkin last night. Spoilers for "Heroes" just as soon as I binge on some aspirin...

Whole lotta plot in the latest episode: Niki regains control of her body long enough to turn herself into the law (not that I expect a jail cell to hold Jessica for very long), Claire's dad sics The Haitian on her brother and best friend (and despite what HRG told her about things he did that he wasn't proud of, Claire doesn't connect the dots until The Haitian visits her, speaks for the first time, and disobeys HRG for the sake of the world), Isaac meets Hiro and discovers he can draw the future without shooting up, Eden tries to kill Sylar and instead has to blow her own brains out to keep him from stealing her power as he escapes from his lame prison, Peter and Matt have dueling telepathy (Ding-a-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding), and Peter's dream power shows him that he's the one who's going to blow up New York.

And yet what I found myself discussing with Marian when the show ended was how important Hiro is to my enjoyment of the show. So let me turn that around to the rest of you. It's obvious that, to most viewers, Hiro is their favorite character, but how watchable would "Heroes" as a whole be without the guy? How much does his enthusiasm and humor counterbalance the pretentious characters like Peter and Mohinder?

Some more specific questions:
  • At what point is it going to occur to D.L. to just stay phased through a fight except for when he wants to throw a punch?
  • Is the show's FX budget high enough to show Hiro's prophesied battle with the dinosaur/dragon, or will this take place off-screen?
  • If Isaac wrote and drew the 9th Wonder comic book -- even while high -- why is he so surprised when Hiro tells him about events that appear in the book?
  • Does HRG know that The Haitian can talk? And, outside of mind-wiping and power-dampening, can he do anything else?
  • Does it seem to anyone else like more than two weeks have passed since the pilot? I suppose that makes sense given the length of Hiro and Ando's road trip and all the cliffhangers, but I've never felt like this was happening over such a compressed period.
  • Getting back to the issue of how much Hiro adds to the show, is there any regular character who adds less than Simone?
Take it away, folks.

31 comments:

Adam C. said...

I'll turn that last (mostly rhetorical) question around a bit, Alan -- does Simone's presence in Peter's dream with the rest of the Heroes suggest that she has powers too? (And if not that, what about Tawny Cypress's presence at the Macy's parade telecast, with Maso and Ali?) Perhaps she has inherited something from the late ComaShaft?

I thought all the Matt Parkman stuff was good this week -- but it figures, because we didn't see his wife at all. I find her to be the weakest link among the supporting cast (and relatedly, I thought Clea Duvall was significantly improved last night).

Anonymous said...

I was a little confused by that ending. First of all, it seemed like the reason Peter blew up was because he took on too many powers at once. Did anyone else think that? I'm not sure how that could be the case since he took on all of Sylar's powers last week and was fine. My only other theory was that maybe Ted had something to do with it, but we didn't see him at the explosion.

Also, why was Sylar suddenly able to use his powers in the room when Eden came in? Maybe there was something in the room that she had to shut off so she could use her own powers? That was the only thing I could think of, but they never showed her turning anything off that I recall.

Eric said...

I thought Isaac hadn't written 9th Wonder yet - Hiro brought it back from the future.

(I have a feeling trying to figure out an exact timeline between "6 Months ago" and the Nuke will eventually make your head hurt worse than Parkman's.)

Kristin said...

My husband had an interesting theory about why Peter is going to go nuclear. What if the other nuclear guy is there somewhere in the scene? Obviously, Peter would get the same power. And when you put two nuclear powers like that together, it might be something like creating a singularity. Apart, they are reasonably safe, but together, it makes for this massive, uncontrollable release of power.

I can't remember much about how a singularity works, but my hubby read a book about it once, and thought this sounded familiar.

The only way they are going to be able to 'save the world' with the help of the cheerleader is to somehow have her destroy the radiation dude - since she can regenerate herself - so that Peter can't absorb his powers.

I also like the idea that Peter takes on all the powers at once and it's too much to handle. So far, Peter has never been in the presence of more than one Hero at a time (with the exception of the Homecoming event...but he and Claire were close together at one point...and then he and Sylar).

I still don't quite understand Peter because he has multiple powers...the absorption thing and the dreaming. Does he not realize the dreaming thing is his own, unique power?

Another thing, why was Peter behaving like he was sick in the prison cell and outside? He was coughing and seemed really weak. Is this somehow related to his dream power? or something else?

Anonymous said...

One more thought on the flash-forward: If Nathan is near Peter, couldn't Peter just fly away and go boom away from anyone else? Please?

BF said...

Dings? I got that the Peter/Matt scene was full of feedback, which makes sense.

My theory about Peter going thermonuclear is that he gets too close to someone whose power involves nukes/heat (the guy who picked up by Homeland Security only to blow up the transport from a few episodes ago?) and Peter simply can't contain this particular power. But again, just a guess.

Wil Sylar still get Eden's power even if she offed herself? I guess only if she shot herself in the brain, but we couldn't exactly see that thanks to Standards & Practices.

And I too noticed Peter coming down with something during the episode. Maybe it's a byproduct of absorbing Claire's power.

I'm holding out hope for Hiro's battle with Godzilla. I suspect that (like Galactica) they'll bank a few episodes with diminished budgets in order to blow it out in one episode.

Kim Cosmopolitan said...

In keeping with the idea that perhaps Peter blows up b/c he's got too many powers going on at once -- he spent this episode near Parkman, the Haitian (sorta), Claire, and Nathan, seeming to get progressively sicker. So perhaps the illness was a by-product of too many powers flowing in at once? Query, though, why Sylar doesn't have the same problem.

Adam C. said...

Kim, maybe it's because Sylar knows (or thinks he knows) how to rewire himself -- to "fix" himself -- to accomodate all of the different powers he has assumed. Peter clearly doesn't -- it's completely out of his control, at least to this point.

Lindy said...

Alan, I think that without Hiro "Heroes" would be watchable, but would lose its sense of fun. Like most comic book characters, the "Heroes" characters seem very tortured about their abilities and what they're meant to do. It's really nice to have at least one guy who thinks that being chosen to save the world is cool -- it's an original touch and does help counterbalance the show's tendency towards pretention. (Although Mohinder was much less annoying than usual this week now that he's got something to do besides agonize and pontificate.)

Anonymous said...

Haitian who doesn't talk = MuteHaitian = Mutation!!!!

Caitie said...

Although I do really like Hiro, I don't find him to be my favorite character. Mostly because I watch the show on an itty bitty television and I can barely read the subtitles, so I hardly have any idea what's going on between Ando and Hiro.

Dan Coyle said...

I think Peter blows up out of embarassment that he's appearing in Rocky Balboa. ;-) I noticed ads for that film are now playing up Ventimiglia's involvement more.

Would I watch the show without Hiro? Good question. Mr. Bennet is the most interesting character besides Hiro IMO, but then that would turn the show into Taken, wouldn't it? Of course Mr. Bennet isn't nearly as ruthless as Owen Crawford, but he's more driven than any of the characters save Hiro.

Someone get D.L. a collection of X-Men comics with Kitty Pryde in them quick!

J said...

Dinosaur!

That is all.

dez said...

Someone get D.L. a collection of X-Men comics with Kitty Pryde in them quick!

I don't know if it's a conscious thing or a coincidence (because there are already so many superheroes out there in Comicsland with so many powers), but many of the heroes have analogs to the X-Men: DL to Kitty (phasing), Claire to Wolverine (self-healing), Peter to Rogue (absorbing powers), Nathan to all the X-men who can fly (or any superhero who can fly--but not Superman because Superman is super-nice), Hiro to Nightcrawler (teleporting), the Haitian to Leech (dampening powers). HRG and Mohinder seem like the Magneto/Professor X analogs in terms of leadership, not powers, since we don't know if HRG has powers and we haven't gotten a clear handle on what Mohinder's power is, if any (and like Magneto, HRG seems to oscillate between good and bad deeds, though his seem way more motivated by protection of Claire than self-interest). Of course, they all have their other quirks that differentiate them from being full-on X-Men (Hiro can also time travel, which Nightcrawler didn't do last time I read an X-men comic), and Sylar is the amalgamation of all superheroes--and btw, did anyone else notice that he looks a lot like an evil Clark Kent when he wears his glasses?--but I kinda like thinking of them as the X-Men before they met Charles and started training to be a team.

I would still like the show without Hiro (and Ando--they're a team!), but I agree that it wouldn't be nearly as fun. I definitely appreciate that Hiro has a sense of what a superhero is supposed to do & that he tries his powers to do different things so he learn his limitations, plus I think he can train the others in using their powers instead of fearing them. If Future Hiro is an indication, he's going to be a helluva leader.

Favorite Hiro moment last night (paraphrase): "I've got to find that sword!" (then he can go to LOST and slay the Smoke Monster, too)

Hiro grabbed the book in the future, as already pointed out, so of course Isaac doesn't know he's drawn it. BUT: does he have to draw it now that he's already got a copy? :-)

I'm still not sure it's Peter who will blow up. Last week, he was dreaming about Nathan's car accident as it was happening, and he seemed to be acting out Nathan's part in the accident as he awoke. Maybe he inserts himself into the dream as the "main character"? So it's not really him but Radiation Man who's exploding?

I don't doubt that HRG knows the Haitian can talk. Would be pretty funny if he didn't, though. And good for Eden for choosing self-sacrifice once she realized her mistake in trying to manipulate Sylar, but DAMMIT! I was just starting to really like that her character was a bit ambiguous like HRG. Oh, well. I'm pretty sure she turned off whatever was dampening Sylar's powers, but there's always the possibility that he figured out what made the dampening contraption work using his other powers and then destroyed it himself.

Devin McCullen said...

I thought Isaac said something about that issue not having even been sent to the printers yet, so I think he's already drawn it. (They really are abusing that trick though. I thought one episode showed the book ending as they left Vegas or L.A., but this time they seemed to show Isaac and H&A meeting, although it was vague.)

I really thought Isaac had a good episode, and I liked Claire's scene with Peter.

Dan Coyle said...

Dez: Actually, show writer Jeph Loeb has had a flourishing comics career for the past 16 years, and he's about to start a brief run on Wolverine next month. I think to some degree there's a big influence, just like Joss Whedon was inspired, both good and bad, by X-Men legend Chris Claremont on Buffy.

If any of you are curious about Loeb's comic work, you should probably just read Challengers of the Unknown Must Die!. Everything else is, well... he's never struck me as a writer with much faith in reader intelligence.

Toby said...

I've seen this posted elsewhere, but I think Sylar was able to attack Eden because she came into the room with something he could use to his advantage - he pulled the gun in her hand towards him with such force that her body smashed the glass.

She should have just gone in there carrying nothing and told him to bash his head against the wall until he died.

Anybody else getting the feeling that HRG might be working for Linderman? That guy's like Moriarty - he's involved in the lives of so many other of characters (Niki, Isaac, the Petrellis....)

Taleena said...

Even without Hiro the show would be watchable because of Mr. Bennet. I was intrigued to learn that not only does Mr. Bennet have a boss (well duh) but he defers to this boss against his better judgement (not killing Sylar).

I think that Peter is not actually going to explode, but rather is interposing himself in the place of the main character. I think the dream indicates that Simone has a power (pointless angsting? that's a power?) as well as Ando although I would thing that Ando is an enhancer/focuser. Notice how much better Hiro and Isaac could control thier gifts in Ando's presence?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Taleena, that's a good point. Peter dreamed about himself being able to fly when it was really Nathan who could do it. Wouldn't shock me to discover that he was doing the same here with Radioactive Man.

jim treacher said...

At first I thought the Haitian was going around erasing everybody's memory without HRG's knowledge, and he was pulling some kind of double-cross. As it is, I'm not even going to try to guess and just sit back and enjoy it.

The Peter/Matt telepathy moment was great. Psychic feedback! But the dream/vision at the end... How was Peter able to see that? Did he absorb some of Isaac's power again somehow? Or is it not meant to be literal? The whole city looks evacuated, Parkman is in his LAPD uniform, Claire's in her cheerleader outfit, and somehow the whole cast is on the same city block. Maybe it's supposed to be symbolic somehow? (And is it just me, or is Milo gradually learning to act? He didn't annoy me nearly this much this week.)

"If Isaac wrote and drew the 9th Wonder comic book -- even while high -- why is he so surprised when Hiro tells him about events that appear in the book?"

Good point... He said it hadn't even gone to the printer yet, which implies he'd already written and drawn it. Maybe he was just so high he doesn't remember? Another nitpicky comics nerd nitpick: He shows them sketches for the next issue and says, "I painted this the other day." Well, no, he DREW it.

P.S. What Dan said about Jeph Loeb.

jim treacher said...

And am I wrong, or in the vision is Peter wearing Sylar's watch? And watching it again, the city's not evacuated; it's like everybody just disappeared into thin air. Everybody except the regulars, of course.

KP said...

Re: how Sylar was able to attack Eden. I think HRG, not the Haitian is actually the one with the power-dampening power...

1) Parkman first noticed the static from the bar when they were interviewing the Bennetts. And, he wasn't able to get a read on either person's thoughts.

2) He noticed it again when the Haitian and Mr. Bennett were talking.

3) Mr. Bennett could walk into the room with Sylar without being attacked because he was able to block all of Sylars powers.

4) Eden thought that her power would be enough to neutralize Sylar like she had done outside of the Homecoming because he wasn't expecting it at the time, but once he figured it out wasn't quite as susceptible.

Just a theory...what do you all think?

The Peter being sick thing is what I can't figure out and what about him seeing Sylar in Nathan's place at the beginning of the episode?

Anonymous said...

Peter isn't sick. He's still injured from the fall at homecoming. Claire was only beside him for a short time, long enough to repair the external damage but not long enough to fix his internal injuries. When she ran off, he lost the power to completely heal himself.

RE: Peter's vision. I believe that Peter was seeing himself in the future exploding, not Sylar or the radioactive man from L.A. After all, Claire was approaching him and said 'sorry' and ran off, as if she couldn't return the favor of saving him. She probably wouldn't say 'sorry' to the radioactive man or Sylar. I doubt that his exploding has anything to do with Peter having too many powers. Nothing like that has been suggested. I would venture to guess it might have something to do with Peter trying to keep powers permanently.

RE: Hiro and the dinosaur. It'll probably end up being lame like a dinosaur statue at the natural history museum or something like that. After all, Isaac sees the future and there aren't dinosaurs in the future. OR ARE THERE?!?!

filmcricket said...

KP, I think Parkman couldn't get a read on the Bennets because the Haitian was right around the corner while Matt was trying to "listen" through the window. I'm assuming that whenever Bennet was talking to Sylar, the Haitian was also nearby, even if we couldn't see him, and that's why Sylar couldn't use his powers, although I also like the idea that he was able to use the gun as a focal point to get to Eden. (I wasn't sure she sacrificed herself; Sylar tried to get Clea Duvall to shoot herself with her own gun, too. But then I realized he would want Eden's powers, so you guys are probably right about. Btw, what happened to that little girl Clea and Matt rescued?)

I assumed Peter's sickness was his internal injuries, too. I do think that his dream isn't really about him, though, unless he winds up absorbing Radioactive Man's powers and going nuclear by accident.

I don't find Peter pretentious, by the way, nor do I find Milo V. all that annoying (not when Duvall is around for comparison). I'm definitely not interested in the Parkman's marital struggles and I'm growing bored of the Niki/DL/Micah storyline too, but the only one that severely bugs is Mohinder's. I love looking at Sendhil Ramamurthy, but Mohinder is so far behind everyone else in terms of the plot, I wonder why he's even part of the story anymore. But yeah, Hiro's my favourite character, too.

I've been enjoying Mr. Bennet's character arc quite a bit, but after he took Zach away from Claire I've gone back to hating him. How can he expect her to have a normal life if he's just going to keep wiping the brains of everyone she cares about?

Anonymous said...

Hiro is to "Heroes" what Adam Brody as Seth Cohen was to "The OC" in season one.

He makes an ordinary show, extraordinary through his performance alone. As I've said, I'd love to see him get a Best Supporting Actor nod for last week's episode where he falls in love with and ultimately loses Charlie.

The ending of that episode where he tells Ando that he loved her is the most emotionally affecting scene the series has had thus far.

They give Peter and Mohinder those kinds of scenes, but they ring false and melodramatic with them. It feels like I'm watching an emo song come to life at times. But with Hiro, that scene came across as poignant.

His character which was added as an afterthought is the most essential character in the series, just like Brody's was the most essential to make the OC not into Laguna Beach, North Shores, or any of those other Fox shows that were cancelled by the end of their first season.

I hope Ali Larter leaves this show sooner than later. I like DL, but God, the mother and daughter in this family annoy the hell out of me.

I would love to see Hiro battle a dragon or dinosaur, but not if it's low budget.

I definitely think it was a bad idea to tell us it's only been 2 weeks since the pilot. I'd buy four, three pushing it, but two? I'm willing to bet if we were to go through each episode and count how many days have passed, there have been more than 14, but maybe I'm wrong.

A character that adds less than Simone? Sure. Jessica. This show would run so much smoother without her.

By the way, having Nora Zehtner blow her brains out as the first major casualty of the series?

Awesome.

The Evacuee said...

How to enjoy this show and its occasionally slow arcs without Nora Zehetner? I guess it's a good thing I own Brick on DVD.

Anonymous said...

Well, I would still watch Heroes without Hiro in it, because, while Hiro is a great character and a very good comic relief, I find other heroes much more interesting.

Right now, I feel that I'm starting to develop a not so healthy crush on Peter, so they better not make him explode, dammit.

Mase said...

KP wrote:

Re: how Sylar was able to attack Eden. I think HRG, not the Haitian is actually the one with the power-dampening power...


You beat me to the punch. I agree that HRG is the one with the power-dampening ability. To add to your list:

1) The flashback with Eden first coming into contact with HRG and the Haitian had HRG telling her that her power would not work on him.

2) HRG went into the Sylar lockup room alone and Sylar could not do anything; when Eden went it, she got mind-grabbed through the window.

As for Peter being the cause of the explosion, I agree with the theory that Peter was putting himself in the dream in the place of the radioactive dude (Ted?).

Taleena said...

HRG has power dampening abilities?

Let's assume so. This would explain why HRG has Eden supervising Isaac's painting in the Paper Fortress of Solitude.

It would also explain HRG leaving Peter to the cops so coolly.

I don't think he does though. I think that the Haitian's powers work only on those powers which effect the mind. Eden's, some of Sylar's, and Parkman's, all have to do with the mind. Nathan Petrelli zoomed away from them easily enough because his power is not mind based.

dez said...

Peter dreamed about himself being able to fly when it was really Nathan who could do it. Wouldn't shock me to discover that he was doing the same here with Radioactive Man.

Heh, I said something similar earlier in the thread. Keep up with your own blog, man ;-)

Taleena, that's a great point about the Haitian's dampening powers only working on mind-based powers. Perhaps HRG's power is that he's immune to being mind-manipulated?

Taleena said...

Perhaps HRG's power is that he's immune to being mind-manipulated?

Right Dez, I gotcha. It would explain why HRG is the field point man; that, and He is a ruthless SOB.