Monday, December 03, 2007

Heroes: A fate worse than death?

Spoilers for the "Heroes" "volume finale" (or season finale, or pre-strike finale, or whatever you want to call it) coming up just as soon as I figure out why one of my heating vents has a flashing red light behind it...

To quote the great George Costanza, that's it for me!

Probably.

My willpower is about as weak as Elle's ambush strategy (hint: calling out your target's name before you throw the first lightning zap is a very bad idea), so I have a feeling I'll wind up tuning into "Heroes" volume 3, whenever it debuts, but I won't be happy with myself for doing it.

You tune into a show like "Heroes" -- a heavily-serialized, heavily-mythologized, heavily-pretentious drama -- for the payoffs, and we're now 0-for-2 on that score. Season one built up to Peter hitting Sylar with a parking meter while everyone else stood around and watched. The close to "Generations" wasn't quite as lame -- more characters got more things to do, and at least one story thread (Hiro vs. Kensei) came to something of an interesting conclusion -- but it still wasn't remotely exciting enough to justify the time I put into this mess of a half-season.

There have been interesting ideas in these 11 episodes, but the plotting and pacing has been so haphazard that none of them came close to realizing their potential. Why devote all that time to Monica's mimicking powers and then structure the climax to her storyline in such a way that prevents her from using them? Why waste all that time on Peter and the lassie from Cork and not even address what happened to her after Peter nuked the virus? Why keep Niki and Nathan on the sidelines for virtually the entire arc and then make their deaths the big stunners? (It's almost as if Kring couldn't bring himself to kill off two major characters until he had made them as irrelevant as Simone or Alejandro.)

Nathan was one of the few characters who rarely seemed paper thin (and I think that's as much a credit to Adrian Pasdar as it is to anything in the scripts), and so I guess I'll miss him (but no moreso than when he would be absent for long stretches this year). But the character's death -- I'm guessing at the hands of HRG, though the silhouette of the assassin could have been anybody -- is going to make it easier for me to cut the cord with "Heroes" (assuming I have the intestinal fortitude to do so). When Pasdar, or Jack Coleman, or Kristen Bell, or Masi Oka or a few of the guest stars is on screen, I can fool myself into thinking that "Heroes" is something deeper and better-constructed than it actually is. The fewer actors there are like that, the harder that illusion is to create.

I'd like to give Kring and company a mulligan, based on the difficulty of getting these episodes done before the strike. For all I know, there may have been a much more elaborate plan for "Generations" and its denouement that got ruined in the rush to provide any kind of closure at all. But there was no such rush involved with season one, and I'm inclined to think that no matter how much planning time was involved, "Generations" would have come to an underwhelming end.

Some specific thoughts on "Powerless":

-Given that Nathan can fly but isn't super-strong, and that Parkman ain't the lightest bowling ball in the alley, I was wondering how they would deal with them having to fly together to Odessa; the "let's never speak of this again" approach was genuinely funny. (Also funny, for tradition's sake: "Flying man!")

-I was really hoping that Monroe was going to try to break open the vial, only to discover that Hiro had, in the middle of their conversation, stopped time and taken it out of his hand. Ah, well; would've robbed us of a non-suspenseful act-out with the finally non-gullible Peter running for the vault.

-Speaking of things I was hoping for but didn't get: that Sylar would regain his ability to steal other people's powers but not the powers he had already stolen. Seemed a more interesting journey to take the character on -- plus deals with the usual problem of him being too much for anybody but Peter to handle (preferably with parking meter in hand).

-One reason to be very glad that "Generations" is over: we'll never again have to hear Ma Petrelli or anyone else utter that nebulous "We thought we were going to save the world" line again. And I still have no clearer an idea of what The Company is all about than I did at the start of the arc.

-Anyone actually going to miss Niki? Other than guys who think Ali Larter's hot?

-What purpose does Maya serve going forward? Or is she there to compensate for the loss of Larter with the horndog demographic?

What did everybody else think?

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

Can't they fire Kring like they fire football coaches at the end of a bad season? This was one of the more boring episodes of the entire series, first or second season.

Jenn said...

So is Nathan really dead? Doesn't he still have Kensei's blood running through him? I don't keep up with cast announcements, so I have no idea if Adrian Pasdar is off the show or not. If he is, I'm done. Maybe. Until next season bores me to tears.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank God you didn't like it either. I was really worried I was going to log on and see that I was in the minority in thinking it was lame.

I agree that the deaths seemed really anti-climactic after Larter and Pasdar had so little to do all season. And it seems especially pointless now that we've already done the Micah loses a parent and has to adjust to life with extended family storyline. Part of me was hoping that Monica and Maya would bite the dust for good, but I guess after having spent so much time with them it would be nicce if their characters eventually did serve a purpose. But this whole season really has me doubting we'll ever get one.

Also, too many of the major plot points just felt plain silly. Do we really think that Elle has never tried to read her own file? And how convenient that she just happened to log on as Sylar was on camera. And what the hell was that plan to kill Monica? It was like the thugs thought “easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death” line from Austin Powers was actually meant as a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how exactly did Sylar get the virus? That was totally unexplained? But, either way, he's a totally played out villain.

Chris Littmann said...

Alan, while I certainly agree this season didn't live up to expectations, I thought it was righting itself, but a premature ending thanks to the WGA strike didn't help matters.

I'll miss Adam Monroe. I enjoyed when Adam and Peter took control of Primatech. Reminded me of some scenes from the future episode in Season One.

Plus, the Sylar comeback is welcome.

But the whole "blood can heal" thing bothers me. It's like a get out of jail card for everyone. I already had a comic book menality that no one is dead until they're buried, but now it's even worse.

Chris Littmann said...

Oh, and how exactly did Sylar get the virus? That was totally unexplained? But, either way, he's a totally played out villain.

I believe that was the open to Season 2, where he was with the shape shifter -- I already forget her name.

Henry said...

Such a disappointment. Granted, that ending was a cliffhanger and Nathan probably wasn't even dead (people in real life have been shot and they survive). But if Nathan is dead, I'm done with this show. Adrian Pasdar is a talented actor whose career I'll follow. This show, on the other hand? Has been sucking non-stop this season. Without Nathan in it, I may as well get out now.

jim treacher said...

They should give Jack Coleman and Kristen Bell their own spinoff.

dez said...

Sylar appears to have been injected by The Company, so he'll be coming after them at some point...again...bah.

Other than that, I liked the finale. I was bummed that Hiro took such a dark turn with his final solution for Kensei, but that does leave the door open to bring the character back.

And I don't think either Nathan and/or Niki are really dead. This is comic-book storytelling, after all, and like soaps, characters that die in comics aren't necessarily truly dead :-)

Rae Mendez said...

What's the purpose of killing Nathan? He's actually one of the few interesting characters in this show. And the actor is also one of the few who can actually act.

I think the writers have lost their mind or something. I hope this is just a fake-out or else I'd lose interest in this show. Not that will be hard to do considering how bad this season has been so far.

Sara Endellman said...

I really hate this season but I especially hate the fact that the writers had the audacity of using Nathan as their cliffhanger after giving him so little to do this season. If there's a good reason to stop watching the show, Nathan not being on the show will be it.

BigTed said...

You can get a form of mad cow disease from eating squirrels' brains. So maybe Sylar caught the mystery virus from eating heroes' brains. (Does he actually eat them? I was never sure.)

It was incredibly anticlimactic to create a world of good and evil and vast powers, and then have two characters cut down by a gunshot and a random gangbanger's house fire. On "Buffy," when characters died in normal ways -- such as when Buffy's mom had an aneurysm or Tara was shot -- the idea was to create a contrast between the show's "magic" world and everyday mortality, and those episodes were incredibly moving. Here, it just seemed lazy.

How come everyone in the show suddenly got the idea to "tell the world" about their powers, as if that would make things better for them rather than worse? Haven't any of them seen the "X-Men" movies?

I agree that Jack Coleman and Kristen Bell (and Masi Oka too) are blowing everyone else out of the water. The cheerleader seems extra-dull when compared to Sparky, especially now that their stories have begun to seem so similar.

But as much as we may complain about this show, I think most of that comes from having high expectations. It's still better than the majority of what's on TV -- and we'll miss it when there's nothing left but "American Gladiators."

tivo queen said...

I wonder if the show's recent recovery from the dull finale would have kept an upswing if not for the strike.

I also have no faith in Nathan's "death" since HRG and Maya's deaths didn't really take, either.

I could almost excuse the lazy storytelling if I could just get some decent Hero to Hero action!!! Why put superstar powers against each other if they end in lame conflicts?

XWL said...

When Sylar shot Maya, my first thought was, "Yeah Sylar!".

But then they brought that horribly written and annoying character back to life.

Oh well.

Having Sylar healed, but once again powerless would seem to have made more sense, and even dumbass Peter Petrelli might figure out that his blood should have healing properties just like Adam and Claire's, so Nathan's probably only dead for the first 3 or 4 episodes once they relaunch after the strike.

(though in the LAT there was a puff piece on Pasdar's work co-directing a musical he wrote at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, so maybe he's decided to quit the show, in which case Nathan is a Norwegian Blue pining for the fjords)

Brandon said...

Adrian Pasdar was my favorite actor on this show, and if he's gone (not likely given the, by now, incredibly lame and repetitious fake-out "deaths"), I will hopefully have the will power to stop. I honestly haven't liked this show all season, but I have a hard time giving up on shows (which turned out well when I powered through the OC season 3 to get through the greatness of season 4).

I'm gay, so it's not about her looks, but I will miss Niki. Well, not so much Niki (and certainly not Jessica, or the other one...wasn't there a third personality?), I guess, since her story is always the most inconsequential to the grand scheme, but I always thought Ali Larter was pretty good. Am I alone on this? On the other hand, if she's dead after all, maybe we can just scrap the entire New Orleans crew (except Uhura, please) and continue with more interesting characters.

Lastly, Sylar got his powers back, only we all know he's leaving to go play Spock. So what purpose that little coda served is beyond me. Of course, it's probably beyond Kring and co. as well at this point. Heroes should put to rest the idea that the Lost writers are winging it. This is what flying by the seat of your pants looks like.

jim treacher said...

"What's the purpose of killing Nathan?"

Same as when they "killed" him last season, I guess. Drama. Are you feeling the drama? Yeah.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The reason I'm guessing Nathan is dead for real this time is that the NBC promos boasted that two heroes would die, and the promo people have never lied to us before, have they?

Oh, wait...

Lis Riba said...

Re: the assassin's identity, I saw another blog speculate it could be the Haitian, since mind-reading Matt was so blind to his presence.

I did like the revelation that Sylar's season-long powerlessness was the first example of the virus we saw. I hadn't picked that up, and it felt like a forehead-slapping "oh!" when it was revealed.

That said, I kept thinking that combining the virus/antivirus with various bloods that convey immortality was the true mutation that would spread the disease outside the lab.

And whoah! to the Hiro/Adam conclusion. I was figuring that given the sword, a beheading was the traditional means of ending the immortal, but this was, if anything, more cruel.

Kristin said...

Lord, what a waste of a 1/2 season. I agree with most everyone on here. Black oil girl and St. Joan wannabe had absolutely NO reason to be added at all. What did they add to the show as a whole? Nothing. They didn't help with this whole virus thing, they just existed in their own little worlds...and poor St. Joan never even got out of New Orleans.

The only parts I liked were Hiro's solution for 'getting rid' of Kensei (that was a cool idea) and the killing of Nathan. Because it did surprise me. And with his mom being the one ordering or deciding he needed to be killed was especially poignant. I go with the idea it was his own father who shot him. He is supposed to be dead, but we know he probably isn't.

I will miss Nikki, but only because when she *did* have her power, she was scary and disturbing. Ripping people apart with her bare hands was pretty cool.

I hope Tim Kring thinks long and hard during the strike and figures out how to finally deliver on his promises.

Christy said...

My only addition is that lesbians also think Ali Larter is hot.

Other than that, you're right on.

Homertojeebus said...

I agree, very lame finale. They started way too many plates spinning, which made the first part of the season suck, then rushed through the conclusion.
I liked Hiro's solution to the Kensei problem, because it begins to show the transformation into the Hiro that accosts Peter on the subway in season 1.
I didn't like Hiro's invocation of revenge, it's out of character, and slightly undercuts the powerful image of a shattered Hiro at the end, telling Ando that Kensei won't hurt anybody again.
I will watch this show again, hoping that the producers realize that we watch the show to see the characters and their powers, not for the convoluted plot. Keep it simple.
I thought Maya was just starting to get interesting when she joined with Sylar, it would have been much better if she'd stayed with him even after finding out his intentions.

J said...

Hated myself for leaving the tube on after Chuck, won't make that mistake again. Really, this time. This is just a bad show with an exciting concept.

Everyone who loved Pasdar's acting should put Profit in their Netflix queues right now. Recently rewatched it and, despite some dated computer stuff, that series really holds up.

BH said...

I think the worse part of the whole episode was the end...Do we really need Sylar to be the "big bad" again? Are the writers not creative enough to come up with anything else?

I guess I'm just ready for Lost to come back on.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the above: "Bad show, exciting concept." That's how it's always been for me. It's always underwhelmed me in dialogue, characterization, execution, but people (including me) kept watching in hopes for more. I don't know how it's managed to fool people into thinking it was once good. The concept was squandered.

Meridith said...

By far, my favorite part of the finale was the exasperated look on Sylar's face when Maya starts in with her "You killed my brother" speech. My husband and I both laughed out loud at that one.

Anonymous said...

The writers shouldn't be allowed to use the looming strike as an excuse for their work. The show's writing was terrible this entire season.

I have at least two questions:
- Why would you schedule your press conference regarding your ability to fly indoors?
- If the virus were an airborne contaminant (as suggested by the slow-mo falling vial), wouldn't the virus have been released the minute Elle caused Sylar to bleed?

Anonymous said...

Oy.

Peter can walk through walls. He could have just entered the safe and destroyed the virus. I'm not obsessive about pointing out character stupidity but this was over the top. Maybe if we hadn't seen him use that exact power to help Adam escape a few episodes ago.

The entire last scene between HRG and his family just played wrong. I was looking for some clue that he was a fake or under some kind of mind control, but I guess we were supposed to take that at face value? Poor acting and directing by all involved. But I guess this sets up an HRG/Veronica Mars combo for the next volume. That could be interesting even if its only another play on "HRG tries to bring down the company from the inside." But that most likely means long drawn out scenes with Claire & company that don't include HRG.

Nikki isn't dead of course. Wish it were true though. The show could use some thinning.

I still loved the season on the whole. I chalk up most of the criticisms to the typical season 2/2nd album/sequel backlash that is a natural occurrence in pop culture.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the highlight for me was Sylar finally getting annoyed enough to kill Maya. Too bad they immediately backed out of her death.

Also, is there any reason they gave that I might have missed as to why Peter and Adam couldn't have just phased through the vault door? It certainly worked enough to get them out of the prison...

AndyW said...

Alan - "The reason I'm guessing Nathan is dead for real this time is that the NBC promos boasted that two heroes would die, and the promo people have never lied to us before, have they?"

No, the promos promised "two heroes will fall." It was an obvious out.

That Nikki and Monica denouement would have been embarrassing on "All My Children," much less a primetime series. Sylar getting away was as predictable as the tides, and far less interesting. Nathan rambling for half an hour before getting to his point? I wanted to shoot him, too.

Nothing ever happens on this show. Ever! I'm not sure there's ever been a series in the history of television that spun its wheels as obviously and as futilely as this steaming pile of poo.

Dave said...

I think Ma Patrelli fired the gun. I think her outfit at the end matched the assassin's outfit.

Impressive that so many news teams could be gathered for a press conference in a police station in a matter of minutes. More impressive that Nathan had to sum everything up for us so that we had to endure flashbacks to the rest of the season - flashbacks that only served to remind me how awful this season was - instead of getting to the point.

Why didn't Peter stop time or something? At least he could've seen who the killer was. And why didn't Parkman & Nathan walk in the hallway at the same time? Clearly Nathan was standing right outside if he knew "He was on the wrong side too." Wouldn't Nathan be more compelling to Peter in the first place?

Clearly Elle is now a hero, potentially rogue. I have no idea why they would have Noah start working for them again. He's clearly a threat.

And how did Hiro and Parkman never meet before? And how was Molly sleeping when Sylar called Mohinder, and still sleeping by the time Mohinder finished his flight from Texas to New York. Or was he in New York in the first place?

I hate this show. I'll most likely keep watching though.

Susan said...

What a crappy episode. And they killed two of my favorite characters.

Yup, I'm going to miss Niki. Her story was often ridiculous, but I liked her anyway. I liked that she had a real heart (her love for D.L. and Micah), other than some of the other Heroes we were initially introduced to. I loved her internal struggle, and that in the beginning, she was one of the only heroes who had a power that didn't seem "cool," it was destructive to her and the people she loved. (Remember, it was her murders that got D.L. sent to prison.) She really had to struggle with who she was and whether she could control her powers and control herself. It was more complex than Hiro's giddiness with time travel or Claire's experiments with healing. Niki was mostly wasted this season, but I was hopeful that the show would eventually explore what it meant to have Niki use her super strength without the influence of Jessica. One of the few moments I liked last night was watching Niki fight off the bad guy without super strength, just using her own natural strength and smarts, which she had all along. But to have her die because two kids (three, counting the gang arsonist guy) decided to be stupid? Wasn't worthy of her.

In fact, I think I liked Nathan for similar reasons - his complexity. While Hiro and Peter had no jobs or seemingly no responsibilities other than playing around with their powers, Nathan had to decide whether he would be a politician and family man, or whether he would accept who he was and align himself with others like him.

But I also don't understand the sudden interest in outing themselves to the world. In my mind, that just leads to more hunting, more experimentation, more being looked at like freaks. I can't see Nathan wanting any of that.

So Niki and Nathan die (presumably)... and stupid Maya gets to live? Although if HRG can be brought back from a gunshot wound to the head with Claire's blood, I don't see why Nathan can't.

Like you, Alan, I hoped - in fact, I assumed - that when Sylar got his powers back, he'd have to start from scratch. That would have been far more interesting. His power is the ability to acquire powers, so losing his powers would seem to have wiped out everything he acquired. But I guess not.

And I also didn't want to see Sylar be the Big Bad again. Give me more of the Company, give me more of the Previous Generation (or what's left of it), but please, no more Sylar. I'm bored of him.

Robin said...

Agree, agree, agree. I'll still watch, because I always stick it out with tv shows longer than I should, but I'm also happy this arc is over.

If Niki is dead, I will miss her. Like one of the other commenters, I enjoyed her relationship with Micah (much better than the Molly/Parkman/Mohinder triangle), and I liked her struggle with her unwanted power. For a while last season, her and DL's story was the only one I really liked.

And I'll be pissed if they really kill off Nathan. Although, I'm also getting tired of the whole "no, he's not really dead" thing that they keep doing...so I will have to give grudging kudos if they REALLY kill off such a popular character. Better Nathan than HRG I suppose. But really...why can't we kill Peter? The boy just gets on my last nerve with his stupidity.

Hiro's dispatch of Adam - awesome. And for the first time, I finally understand why people love Kristen Bell so much. She was quite good last night and I hope she sticks around.

Finally - boo to Mohinder for saving Maya. I had just finished my dance of joy after Sylar shot her.

Tom said...

The press conference really bothered me, a lazy excuse for Nathan to A.) make a speech that could sort of sum up the "theme" of this season/storyline and B.) get into a public place where he could get shot. Would all of those news organizations (including MSNBC) turn out for a press conference held by a former New York congressman?

Also anonymous said...

Only one thing to add: watch out, Popeye! Looks like Sylar is considering your super-strength-from-eating-spinach schtick...

Vic DiGital said...

I have to say that this writer's strike couldn't have happened at a better time, not just for Heroes, but for just about every show on TV right now. I've been thoroughly disappointed with every one of my favorite shows this season, but Heroes is right at the top of the disappointment list.

My apologies if someone's already made this point, but outside of all the lame plots, writing, and acting, there's one thing that sums up everything that was wrong with Heroes this season. Stupidity.
I'm not talking about the production of the show, but the characters.

Follow along with me. Just about EVERY plot thread from this season hinged on one or more of our heroes being utterly gullible and duped by someone else.

Peter: fooled first by Elle, then by Adam
Matt: fooled by his dad
HRG: fooled by Claire
Mohinder: fooled by Bob/The Company
Maya and Alejandro: Fooled by Sylar
Kensei/Princess: Fooled by Hiro
Elle: fooled by her dad
Monica: fooled by Bob
DL: Fooled by Nikki

I'm sure I'm leaving out more.

But can't these people figure something out BEFORE it's too late?

This Volume shouldn't have been called "Generations". It should have been called "Gullible"


And while I liked Sylar last season, I've grown weary of his "dripping with delicious evil" delivery of just about every line from this season. Did he do that last year?

This season of Heroes was a total disaster. But I'll give them a couple of episodes next season (whenever that is) to see if they got it back on track.

ugh.

Mase said...

One thing I'm hoping/wondering: Can the Mohinder/Claire super-blood heal Sylar's mental illness? Turning him, in effect, into one of the good guys?

Would definitely be a comicbook-y thing to happen. But I think the show enjoys him being evil too much.

Matty said...

For a "Volume" titled "Generations", what exactly did we learn about the past generation of heroes? Anything other than Parkman and his dad having powers of mind control? We still don't know the powers of the Petrellis, Hiro's dad, Uhura, Joanna Cassidy's character, Bob, Simone's dad, or Linderman? We went absolutely nowhere with the old generation.

Also, Zachary Quinto has to be the worst actor on any show I watch. He's been one of the most annoying cast members in 24 history (and that's saying a lot), while Sylar makes me want to slap him instead of scaring me. I don't understand the appeal.

Overall I don't have much to add other than it's been a disappointing fall for this show. I'm gonna have a hard time mustering up the energy to watch it anymore.

BigTed said...

If Nathan had been able to make his entire speech, I think it would have gone something like this:

"Thanks for coming, everyone. I thought you all knew that the world is full of genetic mutant freaks with superpowers. But don't worry -- while some of us use those powers for evil, most of us use them for good! Although we don't always agree on what 'good' is. Like my policeman friend here, the one who's projecting his thoughts into your minds so you'll believe everything I'm saying? He's a really nice guy, but not too bright, you know? I mean, people are fooling him all the time. Or my brother, who thinks he's helping destroy a deadly virus when he's really helping to release it. Oh, yeah, the virus. It seems there's a new virus around -- but don't worry, it only affects us! Well, except for the version that affects everyone, and has been foreseen destroying most of the world's population. But don't worry, my brother got rid of it! By, um, creating a nuclear reaction between his hands in a public place. No, see, the REALLY bad guys are part of this secret paper company that's trying to stop us from using our powers. Why shouldn't they? Because they're the bad guys and we're the good guys, see? We always do the right thing! Usually. As long as we can figure out what that is. Um, guys? Where are you going? No, no, everything's fine! Maybe I'm not telling this right. Um, can somebody get the back-in-time guy? I think I'd like to start this whole thing over."

BigTed said...

Whoops. Should say, "I thought you all should know...."

Mo Ryan said...

Unkilling Maya -- the moment I got off the bus.

Also, as soon as Nathan said he was giving a speech, I said to Dave, "He's going to get shot."

Then, when Nathan was giving the speech, I said, "Here's the moment he gets shot -- five, four, three, two..."

the moment i said "one" the shots rang out.

Not that it was predictable or anything.

Gaaaah. Word to whoever said in another Heroes post here -- Company Man was the one exception in a show that otherwise has trouble achieving mediocrity.

Farewell, Nathan. You managed not to be a total moron a good chunk of the time. So you had to die.

The only entertaining part of the episode came from the fact that every time Hiro was onscreen with the sword, Dave said, "You killed my father. Prepare to die!"

J said...

I think Vic DiGital might be on to something, here: Is it possible that, while their genetic mutation gives them superhuman powers, it also makes them really freakin' dumb? (Also, unable to act?) They're simultaneously evolving and devolving?

This would totally explain why HRG is the most compelling character on the show.

Karen said...

I agree with you, Alan, about the failure to use Monica's power to effect her escape. When she was grappling in her back pocket, I thought she was looking for the PDA Bob gave her with skills to absorb, so she could use on to get out of this mess--some sort of Houdini escape. When it turned out to be a cellphone, that was a huge letdown.

And the yell of glee I let out when Maya was shot was exceeded only by the yell of horror I let out when she was revived. I suppose she HAD to be revived, otherwise there would be even less point to the introduction of the twins than there's seemed to be. Still, a letdown. I was really looking forward to her being GONE.

I still don't understand the point of this "volume." Any more than I understood the last, I guess. In volume 1, we were hit over the head with "save the cheerleader, save the world," but that never made sense until volume 2, when we learned that her blood could cure the virus that wipes out 93% of the world. But the gun introduced in Act 1 really does need to go off in Act 3, not in the sequel. That was just bad plotting.

And in volume 2, we were supposed to understand the motivations of the elders. Well, did we? They created the company to save the world--how exactly? The company seems to have been formed to find heroes and experiment on them to find a way to strip them of their power. How was that supposed to save the world? It's all just so...sloppy.

I agree with also anonymous on the Popeye reference, though--that was also my first thought when I saw the can of spinach in Sylar's hand.

Number Five said...

We'll have to see how they handle the aftermath of Nathan getting shot, but I have to say the assassination plan seemed pretty stupid. Kill the flying guy, but ignore the telepath and man with 12 different powers standing next to him? If they want to get the word out, they can easily do it without Nathan. But, hey, Ma Petrelli has to win "Mother of the Year" after this.

Sylar, the next great TV character example of diminishing returns. It's T-Bag from Prison Break all over again.

If this is it for Niki, Ali Larter did a good job, especially transitioning between personalities. I think the problems with Niki really had to do with the way she was written. Also, her death (and her storyline with Monica and Micah) should have happened last week. I like Monica, but her kidnapping at the hands of gangsters paled in comparison to the question of whether a virus that would destroy humanity would be released. Plus, then they could have devoted the entire finale to the virus plotlines, instead of rushing through it.

A very disappointing fall run...here's hoping there's a recovery ahead.

dez said...

Would all of those news organizations (including MSNBC) turn out for a press conference held by a former New York congressman?


They would if Parkman told them to come with his mind control powers, which is what he did, I thought.

Anonymous said...

Has Kring reacted to what seems to be universal criticism? Didn't he say this was the best set of episodes ever? How can he be so out of touch?

filmcricket said...

Sylar having to regain all his lost powers would have meant yet another loss of momentum for the show. Sylar's been next to useless without them (Quinto's not that interesting an actor; I liked the character a lot better when we didn't know so much about him). The only interesting thing he's done is kill the twins and one of them still came back. I love the idea that the blood transfusion could turn him into one of the good guys, but other than that, I have no interest in watching yet another retread of a plotline from last year.

@Matty: we did actually learn Bob's power: turning base metal into gold. Not that he's done much with it, aside from, I guess, keeping The Company afloat, since paper sales wouldn't pay for all that fancy equipment.

Anyway. I agree with many of the criticisms here and fervently hope Nathan's not dead, just because Pasdar's compelling to watch, but I still enjoyed this episode more than many this season. At least stuff happened.

Tragic Christian said...

I agree with many of the postings here, but one thing that's made me less-than-happy watching this series is its core unoriginality. The concept and atmosphere basically is taken (without acknowledgement) from M. Night Shaymalan's "Unbreakable." And the end of Kensei's story was exactly the end of Arvin Sloan on "Alias" -- the immortal character is buried alive. Feh!

Kenrick said...

Is it wrong to watch the show now just so I can make snide remarks and how dumb the characters act sometimes? I don't really have any interest in volume 3... at all.

Sylar has overstayed his welcome. Can someone remind me why Sylar was saved at the end of season one, if there was a reason? When Maya was "killed" I was like... yay, the twins are finally gone, and noooo, why was their storyline so utterly pointless? But I guess she's still alive... so there may still be a point to be made.

I couldn't believe the climax to Monica's storyline was her getting captured so Niki would die - what a waste. Nathan is one of the better characters, too bad he got capped. Kristen Bell needs her own show again, or turn the show into "Elle and Her Somewhat Amazing Friends." I don't know how much of this can be contributed to the writer's strike, but season two of Heroes really let me down like season two of Lost. The good thing about Lost, is that it didn't feel as pretentious as Heroes does.

cgeye said...

So, Monroe's buried alive.

Like this is the first time that's happened to him.

Like he didn't visit Pai Mei and learn how to punch through wood and steel, for the eventual funerals he had to suffer, being IMMORTAL and all that, breaking his bones every time, patiently waiting for himself to heal until finally, after years, he punches through and escapes? He has centuries of memories to entertain him, so he wouldn't go mad. He's done it before, and will do it again.

Doesn't matter if he has concrete on top of steel in the vault; if the Bride in KILL BILL can break free, Monroe certainly will, and Hiro will turn out in this timeline to be the pussy he was always meant to be.

He turned away from his lady love, even after betraying a legend, and he turned away from taking on the guilt of honorably dispatching his father's killer. One slice would have done it, and he didn't have the guts to face his thirst for revenge honestly. Also, he knows that this man twice tried to destroy humankind, thus letting him live was as irresponsible as letting that vial of virus exist.

Damn, this episode pulled its punches because it mixed up its spiritual desires for peace and human expansion of potential with the practical outcomes of what people would do with such gifts: Rapine, pillage, world domination, snarky dialogue and snappy dressing. HEROES wants to feed us tofu and oatmeal, but we want the steak it uses as garnish. I think they think Mohinder's voiceovers are the best writing that they do.

Confidential to the writers' room: It's the worst. Really, it is. We don't want lectures on how wonderful expanded humans could be; we want to know how to survive our lives, right now, in the maelstrom of change.

(sorry for the crankiness; just finished watching TIN MAN, and I want to slap Azkedelia and her writers in the mouth, she was so lifeless and unnuanced...)

Anonymous said...

Maybe Kring just recycled one of his old "Misfits of Science" scripts and that's why it was so bad? I can't think of any other explanation.

Bix said...

Not only did Alias bury an immortal dude alive before Heroes did, Angel did it before Alias with Matthias Pavayne.

jim treacher said...

And Rod Serling gave an immortal guy life in prison before that. And other people probably did something similar before that. It's kind of the obvious choice. Which is of course why they went with it on Heroes.

Anonymous said...

Wow - all this well-written commentary seems to indicate what a striking writer does when they're not on a picket line...

I found Heroes unbelievable and entertaining, but the writing would benefit from some of the interesting ideas in this blog. Be careful, though, because at some point it becomes an oxymoron, doesn't it?

nevadasmith said...

No one is ever really dead on this show so who knws. I am one of those who think Ali Larter is one of the hottest's "actors" on TV right know and it would bw a shame to lose her for that alone. This show was never really that gtreat to begin with (including last season) and know all you lovers of season 1 are seeing the show for what it is-a grade D comic book. Now maybe we can get back to interesting fantasy when "Lost" comes back.

Say said...

Does anyone actually know what Ma Petrelli's power is? Coz i've been wondering about that for two seasons now, and I do hope it's not to make really annoying cryptic sentences.

Also, compare the acting of Ali Larter and Maya whatshername. killing Nicky = not logical. Ali larter is a really good actress and I enjoyed thoroughly all her appearances.

As with peter... aaah... they should have kept coming with naked shots of him to make me forget how annoying it can be for me to scream "Run peter run! how can you not see adam is a bad guy ohmygod!"

Dan said...

Don't compare Heroes s2 to Lost s2. People forget that Lost's second season managed to deepen the whole show by adding the DHARMA aspect. Before that, it was just a weird island survival drama.

Los's season 2 proved there was a direction and logic behind all surface weirdness -- payoff and answers, but also more questions. It kept you interested and involve in the show... and is a textbook example of how to expand a series. Its only flaw was that the "hatch" thing kept many characters holed up underground for too long.

Heroes didn't have a hatch this year, basically. Just a vague notion that there was something to be squeezed out of the older generation's "sins", via a convoluted virus plot, meandering subplots, wasted old characters (Ando!), poorly developed new characters, and the interminable Company (who are good or bad depending on what a particular episode requires you to think...)

Ben said...

I second Alan's points about Heroes' generally wasted potential for greatness, but I've stuck with it anyway hoping for better. Kring and co. have succeeded at putting a comic book on TV, but with many comics' biggest flaws (shallowness and plot, plot, plot at the expense of character development and realistic, non-catchphrase dialogue).

As hot as Ali Larter is (and is she), her acting is wooden, her character is constantly stuck in one-note family crisis mode, and her son's character is irritatingly sanctimonious. We got more than enough "wise beyond his years" kid acting in the Haley Joel Osment era, thank you. I forward past their scenes.

George Takei and Kristen Bell have been welcome additions to the cast, but "Season" 2 has been a muddle. The Mexican brother and sister story has been a waste of time, the Company plotline a confusing mess, and the arcs of favorite characters like the Petrellis and Parkman have been uneven, or worse, irrelevant.

Here's hoping for better in 2008.

Analogy said...

Maya was in the show for as far as I believe one purpose. To bring Sylar back to everyone. Otherwise there would have been no bargaining means for Sylar when he went to get 'healed' if that was what he intended, but Maya definetely brought Sylar back to reality, and they have already killed off 1/2 of the dreadfully acting duo, why not finish them soon? I think they will.