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!
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?