Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Heroes, "Our Father": The mother and child reunions

I had to take about an hour to sort through a mountain of paperwork on my desk this morning, and watching "Heroes" on Hulu to help pass the time seemed like an appropriate combination of drudgery and a show that deserves a whole lot less than my full attention. Some brief thoughts coming up just as soon as I eat some birthday cake...

So, it's still unimaginably stupid. We have to just take that as a given, along with the arbitrary shifts in allegiance, the stilted dialogue, wooden acting, etc. All the usual problems remain. I want to talk about two specific things in this episode, one good and one bad.

First, the good: Hiro's reunion with his dying mother, and, to a lesser extent, Claire getting to hang with younger versions of HRG and her mom. On the emotionally simplistic scale in which this show works, those sequences were very effective, and well-played by the actors, even the usually-problematic Hayden Panettiere. Nothing ground-breaking, but grown-up Hiro being the one to cry over his mother (because, of course, he knows what it's like to miss her for so long) was a nice human moment, the sort the show rarely pulls off anymore.

Now, the bad: now Sylar's the funny super serial killer? Really? This is the direction they want to take that character? Campy, quippy imitation Hannibal Lecter? Oy.

Beyond that, I got nothing. One more episode left in this "volume," then a hiatus until February, and we can't even rely on Bryan Fuller to save the day since he won't be coming back on the show until around episode 20 of this season.

What did everybody else think?

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Since I don't get paid to watch Heroes ;^), I've decided the only time I can spare to follow the show is to read your entries. And so far, I haven't been swayed to begin watching it for real.

A part of me wonders if there is still a chance the show can still be salvaged - it's the only thing that makes me keep up with the overarching storylines. Otherwise I'd be doing what I do for Grey's Anatomy, which is only to read the reviews when there's some to laugh at.

Anyway, I remember when I was so close to giving up on Lost. And then the show came back big time, and I was glad to have stuck with it. I'm kinda hoping the Heroes creative team has it them, though I have to say they've strayed much farther than the Lost team did.

Josh said...

Add this to the hundreds of questionable decisions of the characters...but since he's there, why wouldn't Sylar go ahead and take Pa Petrelli's power? That one appears to be of some value.

I was actually 'into' the ep last night, rather than the typical complaining to my wife to just watch it in fast-forward...so I guess relative to the rest of the season, it was pretty decent

Anonymous said...

I agree the scenes in the past were sweet and effective though simple.

But I thought the writers had said they weren't going to use time travel as a device anymore. Because thinking about all of the issues created by Hiro and Claire's trip to the past makes my head hurt. I also don't understand why Sylar's powers worked around the Haitian (The Haitian was "concentrating" on Arthur? Since when is that how it works? I always thought it was just his mere presence and it affected everyone) or why Arthur didn't heal as soon as the Haitian left (some have said it's because the bullet went into his brain, thus destroying his powers, but I still think that should have been addressed.) I had to laugh, though, when Mrs. Petrelli said something to Peter about Nathan switching his allegiance. I was like "Yeah, why did he do that again?" Because, frankly, it makes no sense. But neither does Sylar going between good and bad depending on the week. Though I'm not sure what the writers think will be gained from making him bad again since his storyline now is just a rehash of the first season. I also laughed when Sylar found out he wasn't really a Petrelli. Since NO explanation was ever given (like say, WHY he was given up for adoption) it's not that hard to believe...but it just seems like REALLY lazy writing and another case of changing the facts to fit whatever story they feel like telling that week.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

I lived through the early 1990s, and I don't remember it being quite that blue and hazy.

Mrglass said...

I have some hope left for this show if Bryan Fuller plays a big role when he comes back. He is the writer of 'Company Man', the best episode of the series in my opinion.

Hard to believe such a brilliant hour of television was followed by the current trainwreck.

shara says said...

I liked everything involving Hiro and Claire. Both those storylines worked well, and I was left wondering if HRG knew that Claire was the same person as BabyClaire. It looked like something had clicked and he had caught on, but I wasn't sure.

I am officially NOT a fan of the Sylar storyline anymore. They took what had been an interesting (to me, anyway) character evolution and basically just took it back to square one - I thought that was the stupidest move the series has made thus far - making all the crap that got us to this point in the Sylar storyline also pointless.

I really did enjoy the episode as a whole, though, a LOT. It moved the plot forward, gave us some good Hiro/Claire character focus, blew my mind about how young Claire's mom looked, and had some really funny and really touching moments.

Steve said...

The ending of my DVR cut off. The Marine was in the middle of having a seizure after the injection.

What happened? What was his power?

BF said...

Steve,
the Marine picked up the chair he was sitting in and threw it out of his containment box. It broke the glass and embedded itself into the outside wall. Cut to marine: "Cool". End of Episode.

Sorry Heroes, but LOST already did the "build an army" thing. They realized how silly it was and dropped it. You should too.

dez said...

The parts with Hiro and Claire in the past were excellent, IMHO, especially Hiro's interactions with his mother. I hope when Bryan Fuller comes back, he can steer them towards more of that type of moment vs. the other crap they normally do.

I guess Elle is really most sincerely dead. What a waste! Also, I'm bummed that Pa Petrelli is gone, as Robert Forster rocks. Crud. As for Sylar and Nathan's latest turns of character: Ho-hum. Must drive the actors nuts not to know what their characters' motivations are from week to week.

BTW, wouldn't Time-Traveling Claire still have the Catalyst in her? If not, shouldn't we have seen it disappear from her body? This stuff makes my head hurt.

Lizbeth said...

What's the difference between 10-year-old Hiro and adult hero? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

They've continued to make Hiro the most simplistic character on the show. They went through all the bs of Hiro saying he was worthy of being the catalyst only to prove he wasn't worthy in about 2 seconds. What a waste of time that was.

Meanwhile every Petrelli has essentially tried to killed every other Petrelli. What a murderous bunch of whiners. Not that any of them ever remain dead unfortunately.

lungfish said...

I find it hard to believe that Daphne can somehow transport 2 adult men from Kansas to New York with her super speed by pushing? They should have at least shown Ando and Parkman with rollerblades on or something.

Josh said...

any thoughts about last week's pushing daisies?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Haven't finished it yet. That's one I like to watch with my wife, and it's hard to find time together, especially when other shows keep jumping the queue for one reason or another.

Mrglass said...

And I know that there are about 100 other problems with the show's logic, but whatever happened to Nathan becoming a religious leader?

Dean Winchester said...

Exactly which power was Robert Forrester using when he prevented Hiro from teleporting away? I can't come up with a plausible explanation for which of his powers would be able to "grab" Hiro and hold him in that moment.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I can't come up with a plausible explanation for which of his powers would be able to "grab" Hiro and hold him in that moment.

He has all of Peter's powers, which means he has Hiro's power to control time and space.

dez said...

What's the difference between 10-year-old Hiro and adult hero? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

For one thing, 10-y.o. Hiro called his mom "Mommy," and adult Hiro called her "Mother" :-D

Alan, you guys are in for a treat with the last PD, particularly where Emerson is concerned :-)

joshjs said...

My question: Why wouldn't Sylar kill the Haitian while the latter's powers were drained?

Generally, though, I still like this show. In fact, it kind of bothers me that everyone hates it now, because I'm not so clear on what makes Lost, for instance, all that much better.

joshjs said...

To clarify, the part that bothers me is that *I* don't think it's bad. Like there's something that makes it bad, and I don't recognize it.

BF said...

He has all of Peter's powers, which means he has Hiro's power to control time and space.

Just because Arthur can jump through time and space doesn't mean he can prevent others from doing so. What SHOULD have happened is some sort of inter-dimensional Catch Me If You Can which would have been VASTLY more interesting than the final product.

The ONLY plausible theory I can come up with is that Arthur used Syler's telekenisis to "hold" Hiro's eyes open to prevent him from blinking.

Peter said...

Anyone find it ironic they gave the shot to a cast member from The 4400. The other show about giving people abilities with a shot?

Brandon Laraby said...

I've been in a near-constant state of facepalm since Season 2. Why I continued to watch this show instead of Pushing Daisies... it will haunt my soul for years to come.

This show needs a cast overhaul and stat. The whole Petrelli blood-line/Dynasty crap is just done. It's painful to watch. Throw in the cheerleader too. Sure, not being able to die is cool, but she can't fight or even defend herself. Add in the asinine 'I can't FEEL anything' story and I just throw up my hands.

Here's how I'd 'fix' the show:

New Heroes. Hell, they should've (and I heard they wanted to) moved on after the crapfest finale of Season 1. I'm sorry but I'm still bitter about that - moving all those pieces into place only to have Peter steal all their powers and defeat Sylar on his own? Ugh...

Anyways, I digress.

Keep HRG, Keep the company. New Heroes. And for Gawd sakes will someone show me why HRG is still alive? I love the character, but come on, that dude should be street meat by now.

Also: Stop saving the world. Save each other. Where's the Luke and Darth moment that just needs to be there? Where's the fun? Why are these characters all so damn aimless?

Okay, I better stop now. But dammit, this show just breaks my geeky lil' heart.

Lori said...

i've been cutting the show a lot of slack lately, and there are still a lot of parts that i like. but seriously, the whole sections with Claire and Hiro in the past? didn't it seem like their parents accepted too easily?

Hiro told his mother that he was adult Hiro, and there was no "what? how is that possible? that's insane!" it was just ..."oh, Hiro!" Hugs!

and HRG goes from being all "Oh my God a Stranger in my house near the BABY!" (which is understandable, considering his line of work) to "Oh, okay, I won't answer the phone call simply because you said so and, yes, I'm going to call this girl my the nickname that you suggested" in like two seconds.

and Hiro is all "I can handle being the catalyst" and two minutes later..."help, I'm hanging from a building!" awfully convenient of that flagpole to just show up there.

and don't you have to shoot someone with healing powers in the back of the head in order to kill them? Petrelli was clearly shot in the front.

otherwise, i agree that the acting in those scenes was actually not horrible, considering that it quite easily could have been.

John said...

I've watched heroes since day one. I also watched the 4400 since it's first episode. It's sad that the one show that actually made the "giving everyone powers" storyline have some sense and purpose has been canceled and Heroes steals both the plot and one of the main characters and makes both of them suck. SMH.

Ingrid said...

They've continued to make Hiro the most simplistic character on the show. They went through all the bs of Hiro saying he was worthy of being the catalyst only to prove he wasn't worthy in about 2 seconds. What a waste of time that was

My thoughts exactly. The taking of the catalyst was so rushed and anticlimactic that it ruined whatever was good about the scene between Hiro and his mother.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else wonder where exactly Sylar got the lighter fluid in the first scene?

Anonymous said...

Anyone else wonder where exactly Sylar got the lighter fluid in the first scene?

Graeleight said...

Hiro told his mother that he was adult Hiro, and there was no "what? how is that possible? that's insane!" it was just ..."oh, Hiro!" Hugs!

A mother knows her son.

Anonymous said...

Hiro is the worst defender of light, ever.

luis said...

why are they doing such a big deal about giving people powers?
they've done it already with nathan and NOT-nikki.... all that nonsense about needing the catalyst is stupid, since we know they already can give people "synthetic" powers...... as with nathan...

Chip said...

The stupidity of this show knows no bounds...I was thinking back to how promising the beginning of the season was and just thought of something. If that wasn't really Linderman and just a figment created by Parkman Sr, how the hell did Nathan come back to life??

David said...

This show is no longer on my Tivo season pass. I'm so over it.

Anonymous said...

maybe NBC will put Jay Leno on Heroes

Tracey said...

During the first season, Hiro and Ando were my favorite parts of the show. Much as I still like them as characters... sheesh, did you notice that the two of them are single-handedly (OK, double-handedly) responsible for ALL THREE of the parts of the formula getting into the hands of the bad guy? First Hiro takes it out of the safe, defying his father's direct orders, which allows Daphne to steal part 1. Then Hiro and Ando intercept a transfer to the Haitian (who is a good guy, or at least opposed to the guy who got the first half), knocking out the Haitian and allowing Daphne to get the second half. Then Hiro talks his mother into giving him the light and promptly gives it up to the bad guy. OY!!! STOP HELPING!!!

What exactly was supposed to be the point of giving the light to Hiro instead of to Claire? I mean, I know that Claire didn't want it, but that's no reason to take it away from her and give it to someone who has already blown it twice.

And what is "the light" anyway? We'll probably never know; the writers probably don't know. Now that the Petrelli has obtained it (way too easily) and used it to fix the formula (way too easily), it will never be mentioned again. No payoff at all. This has been a problem with this series from the beginning: long, drawn-out setups, then a fizzle at the end.

And while we're on the subject of fizzle... a superpowered army to take over the world? Really? We've waded through the morass of this season for this cliche? The only reason I didn't see this one coming is because it is so lame that I didn't think even the Heroes writing staff would be stupid enough to go there.

So Arthur Petrelli is not Gabriel/Sylar's father? Then why did future-nice-Sylar think Peter was his brother? Perhaps Angela is Sylar's mother by another man (thus Peter's half-brother)? Or are they just pulling ideas out of their butts with no regard for continuity whatsoever? Sadly, from what I've seen this season, it's probably the latter.

And this is really more last week than this week, but... why did Sylar cut open Elle's head when he already had her power? Just for fun?

Ugh. Of course, I have only myself to blame. TV feeds us this crap because people like me continue to watch it. And I am a fool to expect anything better at this point.

Matthew L said...

I've watched heroes since day one. I also watched the 4400 since it's first episode. It's sad that the one show that actually made the "giving everyone powers" storyline have some sense and purpose has been canceled and Heroes steals both the plot and one of the main characters and makes both of them suck.

I had forgotteen that when they announced Heroes, I read the description and immediately thought it sounded like a rip-off of The 4400. Oh that this show could be that good. The 4400 was by no means perfect, but it was involving, well-made, and actually felt like they were building towards something, and they knew where they were going. Sigh.

If that wasn't really Linderman and just a figment created by Parkman Sr, how the hell did Nathan come back to life??

Future Petrelli Sr used Hiro's powers to travel back in time, take past Petrelli Sr to the room where Linderman was when he died, a split second before Linderman died, future Petrelli Sr froze time, allowing past Petrelli Sr to take Linderman's powers before they were lost with Linderman's death. Petrelli Sr then healed Nathan with Parkman Sr making them think it was Linderman.

That's the only way I can think of that it could possibly happen - although most likely the writers forgot they had Linderman actually do anything that would require that it actually be Linderman.

-------------

The thing that bothered me most about the episode - Ando's strange certainty that if he takes the formula, of all the possible powers that he could get, he will get the power of time travel. Have we had any explanation for that?

Lori said...

supposedly, with the formula the new powers won't be random, but they can scientifically engineer which powers they want which person to have.

they say. they haven't explained how this has happened, nor do they seem to have demonstrated it. it seemed as though Mohinder, Tracy, and Nathan were pretty astonished by the powers the marine dude exhibited.

so, in theory, that's how Ando would be able to ensure that he'd get the time traveling power.

James said...

I thought it was Adam's blood that healed Nathan...

Matthew L said...

supposedly, with the formula the new powers won't be random, but they can scientifically engineer which powers they want which person to have.

I apparently missed that fact. Thanks.