Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Heroes: Let me pick your brain

I don't ordinarily use vertical pictures on this blog, as they mess with whatever my design aesthetic is, but I'll make an exception for the above because... dude. You can see why. "Heroes" spoilers coming right up...

First of all? Worst. Anticlimax. Ever. "Claire, you have to shoot me! Oh, wait. Nevermind. It's all good, yo." I never got around to reviewing last week's episode, but the entire thing felt like foot-dragging in between Hiro's trip to the future and the inevitable events of the finale. (Sylar and his mom in the life-size snowglobe almost made up for everything else, but not quite.) This one still had to move some pieces around (Sylar stealing Ted's power, Hiro studying under Papa Nakamura), but it felt far more exciting overall as the bodies began to drop.

I think death has become a cheap device in network dramas -- "24" in particular has now conditioned its audience to not care about anyone but the main character, because everyone else is one case of writer's bloc away from catching a bullet -- but these deaths were very well-executed (pardon the pun). HRG putting a bullet in Eric Roberts' brain was awesome, and D.L. putting his fist in Linderman's brain even moreso. D.L. is arguably the least interesting original character left, but if he dies, they gave him a kewl exit. And Sylar beckoning the FBI van to come to him, then stop on a dime, was one of the creepiest demonstrations of his powers yet. I like how his ability (natural or paranormal) to understand how things work tends to make him better with each power than the person he stole it from (and better than Peter's been so far with his borrowed abilities). At the same time, I feel like they have to get rid of Sylar in the finale, or at least find some way to depower him, because he's officially become too powerful for any character but Peter and maybe Hiro to realistically face.

Papa Nakamura showing off his mad katana skills was a highlight -- George Takei had the same gleam in his eyes as he did in that "Star Trek" episode where Sulu was running around the Enterprise shirtless with a fencing sword -- as was the acknowledgement that HRG isn't all warm and cuddly now that we've gotten to know him. I imagine he and Mohinder will come up with some compromise solution about Molly, but HRG's not playing -- he'll kill the girl if it comes to that, even if he has to die himself.

Some pointless speculation on the finale:
  • Like Kensei, Hiro will have to cut out his heart to save the day. Does that mean he'll have to surrender his own innocence, or that he'll have to let Ando die?
  • If D.L. dies from the bullet wound (and he looked alive but still pained in the previews), does that automatically change the future Hiro visited? Because D.L. survived there, at least long enough for Sylar to eat his brain.
  • Can Linderman apply his healing powers to himself, ala Claire and Peter, and bring himself back, or is he kaput? (And if his powers are like Claire's, is there any chance that he and not Pa Petrelli is Nathan's dad? In general, there hasn't been any correlation between the powers of family members, but you never know.)
  • So what does Candice actually look like? The french fry scene suggested she's at least fat. There's a very minor Marvel Comics villain (from "Squadron Supreme") named Moonglow who's a heavyset woman with illusion-casting powers that she uses to turn herself into a hot, skinny blonde.
  • Anybody know who drew the Kensei pictures? I don't read "Lone Wolf & Cub," but it vaguely resembled what I can remember of those covers.
What did everybody else think? Will the explosion be averted, or is Linderman right that it can't be stopped?

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is Moonglow's Wikipedia entry. I knew there ahd to be one.

Taleena said...

I take the Kensai story to mean that Hero will lose his innocence not Ando. Here is how I saw the story parallel:

Kensai having adventures and meeting the dragon = Hiro having adventures and using his powers

Dragon comes for the princess as it's price = Ando dying is the price Future Hiro paid for his "adventure"

Kensai cutting out his heart to save the princess = Hiro losing his innocence in kiling Sylar to save Ando.

I agree that this epi was alot of putting pieces in place, but I thought it was good none the less. They had to get the Heroes there to conform to Peter's prophetic dream.

So, Peter blows up NY to stop Sylar counting on his regen ability from Claire.

Eric said...

After the FBI woman thanked Syler for giving them the tip, did he just melt into the crowd, or has he eaten Claude's brain offscreen?

Jon Delfin said...

Besides wondering about the family trees, I'm curious to know about Hiro's dad's and Mama Petrelli's powers. And why can't Hiro grab Sylar, transport him to the Mariana Trench, and then zap back? (I know, I'm overthinking this.)

J said...

>>I feel like they have to get rid of Sylar in the finale, or at least find some way to depower him, because he's officially become too powerful for any character but Peter and maybe Hiro to realistically face

I vote for depower, temporarily. Don't know who to blame that comic book movie villains always seem to die at the end - Tim Burton/Sam Hamm, is this your fault? But the joy of the well-developed recurring villain is something a TV series (which doesn't have to deal with the same closure issues feature films do) very naturally carries over from the comic world.

At the end, he skulks away to regroup, reappears when least convenient. You don't kill off Magneto/The Joker/etc. Especially not after the first go-round.

Carmichael Harold said...

The previews showed that DL is still alive (though possibly dying), and it looked like Sylar would be in the building with Molly, which is the same building in which DL brain-grabbed Linderman. So I think it's possible that Sylar finds DL and takes his power without the future having to be altered.

Sylar with DL's power may make it awfully tough for Hiro to land the coup de grace (or for Peter to blow up NY to stop Sylar, as taleena suggested).

dez said...

First of all? Worst. Anticlimax. Ever. "Claire, you have to shoot me! Oh, wait. Nevermind. It's all good, yo."

I thought that was hilarious! Although I was hoping someone would at least clock him in the back of the head. It did provide a nice bit of relaxation before the grim doings to come in the rest of the ep (esp. D.L.'s brain grab, ick). Still not sure why D.L. didn't grab Niki and phase them both so the bullets would pass through, though. He's no Kitty Pryde :-)

Talenna, I like your theory about Hiro. I hope that's how it plays out (or at least, that Ando stays alive somehow).

That ep was completely awesome, especially HRG dispatching Thompson so quickly. Next week's looks good, too (and was Parkman bleeding in the preview?).

Jennifer J. said...

I had the thought that maybe DL's wounds will be healed by holding on to Linderman's brain.

I agree with Alan that the Eric Roberts and Linderman deaths were exciting and well-done.

I also agree with the anticlimax of Peter not wanting Claire to shoot him. That was not handled well.

Did anyone else feel that Nathan's wife stood up/walked to Nathan all too quickly. That moment lost all of it's surprise and joy for me by how quicly they passed through it. Not believable at all.

Other than that a great episode. Can't wait for next week.

Anonymous said...

The concept of fate and advance notice thereof is interesting and I think it will be a betrayal of the build-up and themes of inevitability if the bomb is stopped, Ando lives, et cetera. We know what fate has in store for these characters and that's that. It is their journey to their known fate which makes it so interesting.

Besides, is there anything that can be done in the last hour that would not be lame if they somehow prevented everything that we know will happen?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please explain why DL took the bullet for Nikki when all he had to do was reach out and touch her and the bullet could have phased right through her???

Matt Hunter said...

Man, you get all kinds of cool points just for knowing who Moonglow is. Squadron Supreme is one of the great underrated comics ever.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

"Can someone please explain why DL took the bullet for Nikki when all he had to do was reach out and touch her and the bullet could have phased right through her???"

Because he's stupid.

Anonymous said...

anonymous said..."The concept of fate and advance notice thereof is interesting and I think it will be a betrayal of the build-up and themes of inevitability if the bomb is stopped, Ando lives, et cetera. We know what fate has in store for these characters and that's that. It is their journey to their known fate which makes it so interesting."

I must respectfully disagree. I think it will be a betrayal of the build-up and themes of inevitability if the bomb is NOT stopped. That's what our core group of heroes has been working towards. I think HOW the bomb is stopped and by WHOM is the real question.

My guess? Perhaps Nathan has a change of heart (influenced in part by Hiro's accusations of "villain") and does not want his brother nor his new-found daughter nor other innocent people to die. He scoops up Sylar and flies them both out far enough that the detonation is not as catastrophic, making Nathan, who has been in denial and conflicted from the very first episode, a true hero.

M.Chavez said...

My season-finale guess: Peter *absorbs* Sylar's power, cuts his brain open, and that's that. It feeds into future eps in that now Peter ain't so innocent: Sylar is his head/subconscious somewhere.

dez said...

I like what you're saying, m.chavez, but I doubt the Peter-haters want him to be even more emo than he is ;-)

I love the idea that Nathan would nab Sylar and fly him high enough that he wouldn't be able to harm anyone else. I'd hope that he would somehow be able let go of Sylar and fly far away enough to escape the blast radius, too. That could be an awesome cliffhanger: Did Nathan perish with Sylar or escape? Okay, maybe a clich├ęd one, too, but I don't care since I'm a big comic book geek and I live for this sort of thing!

Kristin said...

Did anybody else have a problem with Sylar last week questioning why he would blow up New York and this week with him almost looking forward to it with glee?? Am I supposed to believe that merely by visiting with his mother and being unable to please her, he went over the edge and now hates everyone? I didn't understand the transition.

I like the idea of Nathan snagging Sylar and flying him up into outer space, because I could live with Nathan being dead next season. He has a cool power, but we've really only seen him use it twice (once with the accident and the other time in Vegas).

I am also waiting for Peter to get close enough to Sylar to absorb his powers...I'm still wondering why that wouldn't have happened in Mohinder's apartment a few episodes back...

Alan Sepinwall said...

Am I supposed to believe that merely by visiting with his mother and being unable to please her, he went over the edge and now hates everyone?

He wasn't just unable to please his mother; he killed her. That'd be enough to drive anybody over the edge, especially a mama's boy sociopath like Sylar.

Anonymous said...

Just a thought...

Please correct me if I'm not remembering this correctly, but didn't Isaac put Sylar's death in his last comic book? And could that comic book possibly be one of the ones that Candice gave him? If so, who will read it and when? We're running out of time!

Kristin said...

Yes, I remember that Alan, I failed to mention that as well (I was thinking it, but forgot to type it). But it doesn't explain enough why that would want to make him blow up all of New York. He seemed truly upset that he might last week...very upset and confused.

I would believe it more if Sylar had the plan to become president and had already stolen the shapeshifting or whatever power from Candace. There would be a plan in action. But why blow up New York when there are a whole bunch of heroes there with powers to steal? Wouldn't he want Claire's healing power, mindreading powers, location powers, etc. ? In fact, I think Molly's ability to locate the heroes would be the most important power for him to get first.

Maybe it will make more sense next week.

This episode was not as thrilling for me. I don't know why. There were good moments...like the fist into Malcolm Macdowell's head...but so many things were on hold until next week. It didn't feel like there was even a minor resolution this week.

Nate said...

I think the trigger for Sylar was his mother's constant talk about how he had to be "special." Doing something simple, but doing it well, was portrayed as failure. At the end of the episode you can see the light dawning in Sylar's eyes when he thinks again about the bomb, paints on the floor in his mother's blood, and says something like, "I'll show you how special I can be."

It's like many of the school shooters of the last decade or so ... becoming notorious is SO much better than not being noticed at all. If he can take sole credit for killing millions of people all at once, just think how special that will make him . . .

Kristin said...

Nate, thanks for that comment. I suppose that could work as a motivation for me. It's just a little lacking in complexity for me. I was expecting more of a reason why the city blows up than that, you know?

Anyway, I am still hoping there *is* more to it than that. All this 'save the world' stuff, and it is just some dude who wants to be 'special'?

Oh, and I am wondering...maybe I have the worst memory in the world...but was Linderman in the future episode? Did we see him or hear about him in the future? I would think he would have been integral to getting Nathan elected to the presidency. But maybe not.

dez said...

I am also waiting for Peter to get close enough to Sylar to absorb his powers...I'm still wondering why that wouldn't have happened in Mohinder's apartment a few episodes back...

I think he picked up Sylar's telekinesis.

Ted F. said...

1) Speaking of stupid, why did HRG go through an elaborate scheme to have Claire escape in "Company Man" if, in fact, she has no hope of hiding because of Molly?

2) If Linderman has Clairesque healing powers, then DL screwed them up by scooping out the back of his brain. I think he's gone.

3) "Didn't I throw you out a window?" Heh.

4) One of Hiro's powers is apparently being able to train to samurai level in a few hours.

5) I don't understand why Linderman is being so nonchalant. Isn't he done with Micah?

6) It's nice that Micah's powers to rig an election include being able to do so in such a way that it doesn't appear strangely irregular that Nathan got so many more votes than any other election. Or that exit polls were wrong by 28 points.

7) Nathan's just running for Congress? Who spends millions of dollars on a House seat? Geez, make him Governor or Senator at least.

8) Given the elaborate security around Primatech Paper in Odessa, it's stunning that Linderman has so little security in New York. Perhaps it's just a skeleton crew in anticipation of the bomb.

9) Why doesn't any of Isaac's paintings warn of this utter snafu attack on Linderman?

dez said...

1) Speaking of stupid, why did HRG go through an elaborate scheme to have Claire escape in "Company Man" if, in fact, she has no hope of hiding because of Molly?

He probably knew her powers were on the fritz when he sent Claire away, then decided to take her out once he knew Thompson was trying to heal her. That's my fanwank, anyway.

Jennifer said...

I think Daddy Nakamura's power is to do the insta-learning thing, a la Matrix "I know kung fu." Har.

I think Ando is going to die. It was pretty obvious in 5 Years Gone that he was Future Hiro's heart.

I would bet that Nathan takes off with Peter to save HIM from blowing up, not Sylar. I still think Peter is the exploding man, even if Sylar CAN do it.

Linderman wasn't in the future episode. The words "Linderman Act" were spoken on the television, that was it.

I'm surprised D.L. isn't quite dead yet (a la Locke, I guess). I like the character and would rather see Niki gone than him, but I can understand killing him off. He doesn't get to do much.

I am convinced that Candice is REALLY the fatter older black woman she appeared at at the voting station. Oh, the irony there. I love that she's not really that hot.

Brent McKee said...

Here's a suggestion about Mr. Nakamura's power - he can speed up time in an area surrounding him, so that a short amount of time passes in the real world while he is giving Hiro the extensive samurai training that he needs to face Sylar. He can't freeze time - enough time passes outside the room so that Ando figures Hiro has abandoned his mission but for Hiro and his father a lot of time has passed.

Anonymous said...

As a sidenote, I don't care if she looks like Miss America or my grandma, Candice's death cannot come too soon.

I finally figured out why I don't care about Niki/Jessica: Her powers are dangerously, irresponsibly manifested. Go with me for a moment -- when Hiro wields his sword, or a fighter punches a bag, both are fairly certain that when they hit their targets, their sword or fist won't break. Proportionately, Jessica's tearing people apart with her bare hands shouldn't give her even a hangnail -- strength doesn't only mean affecting matter through your force, it's that the equal and opposite reaction of that matter hitting you back doesn't crumble *your* matter up.

Having said this with the utmost scientific rigor, let me ask this: If Jessica's so frigging tough, why can't she bounce bullets off her chest? Why can she be tranquilized with a shot? D.L. should have hid behind *her*, to be safe! In Hulk mode, her skin should be impenetrable; her knuckles, never bloody, her nails not even chipped. What good is a superpower of strength is your vulnerability is the same as any other human's?

It's to the point that I can't see how she could break through a door, or a wall, without breaking her bones, and with no healing power we know of, Jessica becomes the world's most stupid and homicidal masochist.

Don't. Make. No. Sense. At all.

Anonymous said...

Has Peter already absorbed his mother's power?

BF said...

1) Ditto on HRG knowing Molly was sick (Maybe he infected her? Maybe that's why Syler didn't eat her brain originally?)

7) I can see a Congressional seat in Manhattan costing a million+, especially if it's an open seat.

niffer said...

Re: Jessica/Niki's physical vulnerability vs. super strength:

Good point, but after thinking about some more maybe J/N really is invulnerable a la Superman, but doesn't know it? And neither does DL. Or, since it was Niki, she was vulnerable - maybe Jessica is the personality who can call up super strength but Niki can't? And when the super strength isn't activated neither is physical invulnerability?

Candice really being an overweight black woman: Well, if she's really black, it would explain why she thinks the world is so ugly. I know overweight people are discriminated against, but for some reason hating the world just because you're overweight didn't seem to do enough for me... Then again, I'm not overweight.

Ando: No, Ando! No!!!!!

Claude: I was also wondering if Claude has gone to the Great Beyond, courtesy of Sylar. I hope not.

Sylar: Yes, he needs to be killed or depowered. He's gotten too powerful for anyone other than Peter or Hiro to take him down. At this point, I'm not even sure a total hero pileon would work. Especially since these are not the brightest bumper crop of heroes... Maybe because they don't have a Danger Room to practice in?

Bomb Plot: Do you think Lindermann let Sylar live as Bomb Plot Plan B if the Petrelli Bros didn't cooperate? And I'm bummed that it really was Mama Petrelli last week after all.

Claire talking about doing patrols: I liked the Buffy reference :)

jim treacher said...

Speaking of Kitty Pryde, did you guys notice that the sword guy was named Claremont?

Hiro's dad's power is to make somebody a master swordsman after a single sparring session.

The two big bad guy deaths were AWESOME. Arguably the two biggest stars on the show, too!

dez said...

I caught that, too, Jim. The guy wasn't as pompous as Claremont is, though.

velvetcannibal said...

To the anonymous who said: Has Peter already absorbed his mother's power?

That's definitely my theory. From the comments she's made and the history of Peter's abilities, I think her power is dreaming the future. That's why she seems to have such a great sense of what will and won't happen, and why she claims to know everything better than her sons ever will. I think her ability could extend beyond dreaming the future, perhaps into an ability to hop in and out of other people's dreams.

At the very least, dreaming the future. That's my random prediction.