Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Heroes: Let Hiro be Hiro

"Heroes" spoilers coming right up...

Kind of a dud episode last night, particularly the ongoing waste of Hiro. Hiro's one of only a couple of characters to be in every episode (contrary to what I wrote last week, Peter's not one of the others, and I'm not even sure Niki's been in all of them), so the producers clearly recognize his popularity and storytelling usefulness. Unfortunately, ever since he came back from the past with his powers gone, much of what makes him such a unique, entertaining character is gone. Enthusiastic, giddy, time-stopping Hiro? Awesome. Glum, adrift, powerless Hiro? Not so much. I realize they need to give him something to do between now and the final showdown with Sylar and/or Radioactive Man, and I also realize that he was running the risk of being too powerful and making the other characters superfluous, but there had to be a better, more Hiro-appropriate way to handle both of those issues. Even if his full powers don't come back right away, I want him to get the sword already and get back to being the main reason I watch this show.

At the moment, surprisingly, that designation falls to Niki/Jessica. Actors always talk about how evil is more fun to play than good, and Ali Larter is having a lot of fun playing Jessica. An entire subplot in which she beats on Parkman and makes him look foolish? Sign me up, please.

Some other random thoughts:
  • I didn't miss Peter by himself, but I missed Claude and I missed Peter learning how to use his powers. Again, that's one of the things unique to this show, and something I'd rather they focus on than wacky Vegas hijinks.
  • I'm looking forward to HRG's reaction to his wife's Haitian-induced senility. As I've said, he can justify a lot of what he's done as protecting his family, but that excuse is about to fly the coop.
  • Some nice acting by Hayden However-You-Spell-It and Adrian Pasdar in the final scenes, even though they never played off each other.
  • Sylar and Mohinder, eh? Too bad Suresh the elder didn't bother putting photographs in his files. Also, while melting stuff is a semi-useful power, I wonder if Sylar's ever run acrosss someone with an ability so lame that he just leaves the guy (and his brain) alone.
What did everybody else think?

7 comments:

CM said...

The episode was exciting even if not much happened, plotwise. Poor Parkman can't catch a break.

A bunch of things bothered me about the Sylar subplot: since Mohinder and Zane talked on the phone, didn't Zane realize that Mohinder had a British accent and Sylar didn't? Didn't Mohinder realize that Zane had a Southern accent and Sylar didn't? Why did Mohinder keep staring at the half-melted phone, and if it was because it raised suspicions then why did he seem so enthusiastic talking to Sylar? Didn't HRG bother to check on Sylar's body after shooting him? (And am I taking this way too seriously?)

Kristin said...

I thought it was a very good episode. Hiro's plot was less than entertaining. But I still like him and his side-kick, Ando. Just wish they had moved their own quest forward rather than help a fake damsel-in-distress. I didn't quite understand why she was crying in the kitchen. If she wanted to attract someone to con, wouldn't it be better to do it out in the places where tourists and single men are likely to be walking around?

Parkman vs. Jessica was awesome. That he could hear her thoughts and assumed it was two people rather than one. Very cool. I wonder what Jessica thinks of that? And Parkman had a job to do, rather than just sit around gabbing with his wife.

Mohinder and Sylar hooking up was cool.

Plus, the mother having brain damage of some kind was excellent.

Not sure why you didn't like this episode! Even the super-daddy/super-daughter scene was well-played. Nathan clearly wants to know more about his daughter, but is trying to stop himself from getting emotionally involved.

Did anyone else think Nathan's mom was overly sinister? Plus, why did they keep focusing in on her wedding ring and Nathan's class ring?

dez said...

HRG couldn't check on Sylar after he shot him because Sylar got away.

Claire's mom's senility is making me really sad, possibly because it's too close to home (this past weekend was the first time where I could tell my grandmother didn't recognize me), but since it's a comic-book story, I'm hoping there's something or someone who can reverse the damage.

I can hardly wait until Parkman is face-to-face with Jessica again and "hears" Niki. I was bummed it didn't happen this time, but it has to at some point. And shouldn't we see more of Parkman learning to "filter" the thoughts he hears? It must be overwhelming for him sometimes. Maybe he can hook up with Claude, too!

I can also hardly wait until Nathan and Claire meet again. I wonder if he'll break down and tell her the truth? I missed the thing with the rings, too, darn it. It's very interesting that Nathan's mom can be so cold; maybe she's hooking up with Linderman or has in the past.

Sylar showing up at Zane's was the second time that night that a TV show made me gasp (the other being during "24"). I really didn't expect him to be there.

All in all, I thought it was a great ep, even though Hiro & Ando's plot didn't move forward. Anything they do is fine with me, though, since I love the characters so much.

Marsha said...

Good, not great episode, but I disagree that Hiro and Ando didn't move forward. Hiro and Ando have been separated, and Hiro is now meeting someone interesting. It'll be interesting to see if Ando continues to play into the story without Hiro, and how much Hiro relied on having someone with him to bounce ideas off of, and who believed him. They've been connecting a lot of people so that they have a trusted friend, and it's an interesting choice.

I think Heroes is unfairly criticized for not being able to keep everything as exciting as it was at first. Shows like this have to have a middle. It'll never be as fresh as the beginning, nor as exciting/satisfying as the end. But there has the be a middle as we move towards the conclusion. This is it, and they're doing the middle pretty well. I don't have the feeling that it's all filler to make the necessary 22 eps, like I did with season 1 of Prison Break. It feels well plotted.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Marsha, for the most part it has been well-plotted. It's really only the Hiro storyline that feels particularly middle-y, and I think that's largely because the producers (wisely) want him in every episode, where they can pace other characters' stories better by using them only when needed.

Anon said...

Alan,

Looked at as a Hiro story, it wasn't that interesting; looked at as an Ando story, it wasn't bad. I thought it was fair for Ando to ask "Why can't we do what _I_ want some of the time?" Like Kristin, I thought they should have run into Missi Pyle in a more prominent place (like the casino floor, rather than the kitchen), and I also don't see the point of hiding a bag under a bed if you're going to keep your shotgun in an open closet, but Ando's earned the storyline. Of all the reasons to delay a Linderman reveal, "Ando does something stupid for a beautiful girl" seems pretty plausible.

Anon

Ted F. said...

Missi Pyle is almost certainly in the kitchen, rather than the casino floor, for budgetary reasons.

I need to stop watching previews, because this episode was spoiled by the shot of Parkman flying out the window.