Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Heroes: Fly me to the boom

Spoilers for the "Heroes" season finale coming right up...

Well that was very good in spots, underwhelming in others.

Among the items on the Very Good side of the ledger:
  • Pretty much every scene between Claire and HRG/Noah (the name suits him, I suppose, but I really want to keep calling HRG), even when they're talking on the phone. Coleman and Panettiere have developed some great chemistry over the past season in a way you don't often see with a father-daughter combo.
  • The moment where Simone's dad says, "I know you're there, Peter."
  • Hiro saving Ando from Sylar and their farewell back at their old cubicles -- particularly Ando telling Hiro he looks bad-ass and Hiro immediately reverting back into geek mode to say, "Really?"
  • Claire jumps out a skyscraper window to get away from Nathan and Ma Petrelli, both a callback to her fall from the pilot and a great example of how to do a showy demonstration of someone's powers with minimal effects.
  • Immediately following that, the Popeye-esque "That's all I can stands, I can't stands no more" look on Nathan's face, signaling his switch back to the good side.
  • Nikki finally figuring out that she's super-strong even without Jessica in charge.
  • Hiro's resigned "Yatta" after taking out Sylar, a deed he had to do even though it brought him no pleasure.
  • Nathan flying in and out to save the day.
  • Hiro in feudal freakin' Japan, caught in the middle of a fight between Kensei (who may or may not be played by George Takei, and I leave it to someone else to make and analyze the screen captures)
  • The chapter title cards, which have looked great all season but which seemed especially gorgeous last night, from the one on Isaac's old palette to the manhole cover to the grass in Hiro's landing spot.
And now the not so good:
  • The final showdown with Sylar did not live up to the hype at all, I'm afraid. After all the build-up, all the talk of how only Peter could stand up to him, all the time establishing the number of powers each man had to offer, we get a sequence where Sylar only uses his telekinesis (and stealing moves from Darth Vader and Neo), while Peter largely relies on the super-strength he picked up five seconds earlier from Nikki. I was cool with the battle in Mohinder's apartment ending quickly, and the fight in the future taking place off-camera, because I was expecting the final battle to really pull out the stops, with multiple displays of power on power, and it... didn't.
  • Similarly, after spending so much time establishing Sylar's mastery of his powers in general and his superhuman reflexes in particular, Hiro just 'ports in, sprints over and runs him through? Basically, this finale felt like the first time where the writers realized how difficult it is to write action sequences when so many powers are involved, and they wimped out and hoped people wouldn't notice. (See also D.L.'s non-answer when Nikki asked him why he didn't just phase through the bullet, since he couldn't say "Because then it would have been much less dramatic when I squeezed Linderman's brain.") I even wondered after: why didn't Peter just fly away on his own? He's been able to fly for most of the season, and the show has never established anything about using multiple powers at once.
  • I actually had to put my DVR on pause and get an angioplasty in the middle of the episode, because Richard Roundtree's "your heart has the power to love unconditionally" was one of the cheesiest things I've ever heard -- and it didn't even really have a bearing on the climax, as it was Nathan's heart that saved the day.
  • After all of last week's hints that Candice's brunette hottie look is just as much of an illusion as anything else she does, Nikki knocks her out and she reverts back to looking like Missy Peregrym. I hope that wasn't just because they were afraid people wouldn't get that "Jessica" was Candice, since I assumed that from the very start of that sequence. (After all, who else would be guarding Micah, and we've seen Candice become Nikki/Jessica before.)
I'm not sure there was any way the finale was going to be wholly satisfying. Between Isaac's paintings, Linderman and Ma Petrelli's speeches and Hiro and Ando's trip to the future, we knew too much about what was supposed to be happening, so even the foiling of said events couldn't be that mind-blowing. "Heroes" has never been an especially deep show, and where it works best is in the jaw-dropping surprise factor: Nathan's the one who can fly, Claire on an autopsy table, President Nathan is really Sylar, etc. I appreciate that they told a complete story in a single season (albeit with some danglers like the fates of Peter, Nathan, Parkman, D.L. and even Sylar, who may or may not have morphed into that cockroach). I just feel a little let-down by the climax -- not nearly enough to stop watching, but enough to make me re-calibrate my expectations for this time next season.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

I think that Tim Kring is a terrible writer and his departure could see a distinctly average but entertaining show shift towards something resembling greatness, but alas that isn't going to happen.

All year it has been a cliched and derivative mess, but one that occasionally has moments of genuinely brilliance. This finale though, was primarily a cliched and derivative mess.

I also worked out why Hiro and Ando's scenes work so much better than anything else, because paraphrasing Harrison Ford, "you can read this crap, but nobody say it".

Anonymous said...

Sorry, "nobody CAN say it"

Anonymous said...

I completely and totally agree. Forty minutes in, they hadn't even started fighting Sylar yet, and I couldn't figure out how they could take him out in so little time and have it be satisfying. It's like they simply ran out of time and had to hurry through the final and most important battle of the show.

I too thought, why didn't Peter simply fly away himself? Or, at least, offer to so that Nathan need not die, essentially, in vain?

I was a bit disappointed with the sudden turnaround of Nathan. I guess I knew in the end he would turn good again out of the blue, but just like the battle with Sylar, this too seem rushed and forced to fit into the last hour. In fact, from a narrative perspective, I wonder if it would have been more interesting if the foiling of the plot and his future presidency would have hardened Nathan into a more evil character for Season 2. But no.

This definitely, definitely did not have the excitement factor of "Company Man" or the Days of Future Past episode.

Jon88 said...

1. D.L. took the bullet to save Nikki. Had he phased, it would have hit her.

2. Didn't occur to me that Sylar was the cockroach, only that he had crawled into the sewers and escaped.

3. We still don't know the powers of Mama Petrelli or Papa Hiro, do we? Add those to the loose-ends list, please.

Anonymous said...

This also means that Isaac could not see the future proper. Some of his predictions came true, but the most significant and important one did not. Further, the future we saw several episodes ago does not now exist as a future. What we had been led to believe was fate in the program is now just chance, which is unfortunate, because until this episode, they had been pretty consistent on the predictions of the future, et cetera.

Paul Gibney said...

I agree that the show left too many holes; but was well worth it overall.

Would have much preferred a massive ending fight, but I got the feeling they had too many loose ends to tie up and that was going to take X amount of time. Whatever was left was the ending fight.

Jon's right aboout D.L. catching the bullet.

Sylar couldn't have turned into the cockroach - he wouldn't have left the trail of blood to the sewer if he had.

Of course, my question is: Did Sylar drag himself to the sewer or did something come and get him? He certainly doesn't need to be dead, Ando isn't despite the comic. But who is the villain who is worse than the boogeyman? And could he be the one who took Sylar?

BF said...

Just because NYC blowing up hasn't happened YET doesn't mean the prediction is false, necessarily. It could just happen later.

The finale also underwhelmed for me. And who isn't looking forward to Micah and Molly's play dates?

BF said...

Let's start guessing about Molly's "No ... there is another".

The Haitian Sensation?

D. Bones said...

Didn't Hiro first witness the nuclear explosion during the daytime? And wasn't Peter's dream of exploding on the street (not the plaza with the red art thingy) during the daytime as well? What gives?

Amen to the first poster's "cliched and derivative mess" assessment. Just about everything could be traced back to better source material. Molly is Cerebro from X-Men. And if next season she is used to track down and extinguish all "heroes," then we all might as well rent the first X-movie.

And the climax was distinctly anti-climactic and lame. Where was the teamwork? Where was the display of multiple powers. Where was the logic in Peter's possible sacrifice?

I liked the volume 2 teaser. But it was a little random. Why not show us something with a little more resonance than the story behind the show's title logo?

Kevin O'Rourke said...

I don't understand why Nikki/Jessica jumped into the fight between Peter and Sylar. Maybe I missed it, but she doesn't know anything about the bomb. DL Micha and N/J have been in their own Linderman-centric world.

Also, Sylar can hear an ant crawling and move heavy objects with his mind but is completely unaware that a blonde is about to grab his parking meter?

Very underwhelming, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I saw the cockroach as a physical embodiment of that idea that the cockroaches will outlive us all/they are the only things that will survive a nuclear explosion. So it was highlighting that it wasn't going to be that easy to kill Sylar (metaphorically he is the cockroach).

I say unfortunately as I would prefer him to be dead. At the very least they should keep him under wraps for a while, preferably into the third season but at least half way through the next.

Blankity-Blank said...

Jon is not right about D.L. Had he just touched Nikki, the bullet wouldn't have hit either of them. Which would have been quicker than stepping around and in front of her. And having Nikki address this without an answer this time does not magically make this show unlazy.

It's as if they've been given certain moments they have to acheive and nobody cares how clumsily or illogically they get to them.

Like Hiro going against his father to go after Ando. Well, if Ando is going after Sylar and you're going after Sylar, you'll probably run into him. There is no issue here. But yet, someone said, have Hiro stand up to his dad, and so here it is.

Or Peter's "shoot me if I start to glow" deal. Twice now we've seen you glow and then stop it on your own. There is absolutely no sense of danger created when Claire (or Mr. Bennett) points their respective guns at you.

And also, we need Sylar to get away. I don't care if he's literally surrounded by a league of people who have assembled to kill him, just have them lose interest and walk away. That's what heroes do.

Not to mention all the idiocy already mentioned.

Anonymous said...

I think the point is that D.L. could have grabbed Nikki and phased them both and the bullet would have passed through them both. But they needed drama.

Really, this series had a kind of a slow build-up with many, many episodes dedicating to setting up the pieces and moving them around. That's what made "Company Man" so good is that it built on what came before. I had hoped we would have a huge final episode that justified the previous 22 hours of set-up, but this fight was something you would see in an earlier episode, not the finale.

Alan, you are totally right on the "All You Need is Love" speech. What was that about?

Danny said...

Conflicting thoughts about last night. At times, cool. At others, dishearteningly lame. There's another big bad? Cool. Sylar's not really dead? Eh.

Also, everyone could have benefited greatly from holding back expectations for the Peter/Sylar showdown.

And, at the very least, that script needed a punch-up. It had parts that were as hollow and lifeless as Heroes has ever been.

Unknown said...

OK, I agree the finale was nowhere near the strongest ep of the season. I did like the use of the "Johnny Sokko's Giant Robot" ending. Maybe this means Nathan will be back when Peter really needs him.
I also wondered why Peter didn't fly away, but was shouted down by the wife/kids who insisted that Pete was obviously in no condition to control his powers. The whole thing did feel rushed, like they had planned to do 2 hrs but weren't allowed to. Alan, can you use your connections to find out if that's the case? There were a lot of what should have been very dramatic moments shoehorned into the last 5 minutes.
I really like the way they took time to set up next season a little bit. I still can't wait to see Hiro fight that dinosaur.
To the fanboys who are calling this the "worst.episode.ever.", I say calm down. Don't you remember the TV incarnations of "Spider Man", "Wonder Woman", "Hulk"? Sure we watched 'em because that's all there was. This is a really good show, and it's "derivations" are all new to the uninitiated. This show is a love letter to comics, not a plagiarism of them. If you guys keep complaining, you'll end up with "Manimal". Is that what you want?

Anonymous said...

Maybe I missed something in a previous episode, but why is the radiation power to hard for Peter to control, yet he seems able to control all the other powers he has absorbed (though arguably doesnt know how to wield them effectively).

Given that. Whats to stop him from blowing up the next day? Or the day after that?

Mapeel said...

Hiro running Sylar through: Did Buffy and Angel teach us nothing? He should have cut off Sylar's head.

Blankity-Blank said...

You didn't miss anything, Ben. Apparently, to enjoy this show you have to be able to not question even the simplest of things.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was a REALLY weak finale. After all that, Hiro just pops up and stabs Sylar? So bascially, his big plan was to do the exact same thing he had tried and failed to do last time?

I also don't understand why Peter didn't fly away. And I don't understand why Claire was so concerned about shooting him. She already knows he can die and come back like she can.

I also think having Peter explode in the sky was dumb. Nuclear explosions leave tons of fallout. Everyone would just die of radiation poisoning instead.

Also, there's no reason to think Peter is dead. The audience knows that in the future episode, he was still alive after exploding. And Claire and HRG know that Ted was still alive after exploding in Texas. And Peter can regenerate on top of that.

Finally, where the hell were the rest of the people in NYC??? Every single street was deserted.

Anonymous said...

For me Heroes consistently succeeds on three levels

1- Characters, in most cases, the more time spent with a character the more layers of personality we discover. There are a number of characters who haven't progressed much (Mohinder) but its stunning to look at some of the early episodes and see how different our understanding of these characters have changed.

2- Heroes does the "Answer a question in a way that raises more questions" principle well (done with plot and characters), this is where Lost should take note... I don't think the problem with Lost was that so damn many answers were unsatisfying that the unanswered ones became more frustrating.

3- TPTB really know how to tune the storylines to take advantage of an actors' strengths. I called that ending a few months ago and dismissed it as too predictable... but when you mix that dumb plot point with the chemistry Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia worked all season, the scene actually had way more impact than it should have.

Just about everything could be traced back to better source material. Molly is Cerebro from X-Men.

Then again, superhero fans have been tracing back a story's inspiration as a way of lessening it for ages, starting at least with the DC fanboys urging National Comics to sue Stan Lee for his blatant copying. IMO, it's all about how you put those familiar pieces together.

As for DL taking that bullet... I think the easiest answer there is just that you're not thinking your most logically when there's a bullet flying at your wife.

And Sylar not stopping Hiro from running him through also worked for me... I figured Sylar didn't stop him because he underestimated Hiro, believing that Hiro would, once again, stop himself and open up another opportunity for Sylar to gloat about his enemies' weakness.

K J Gillenwater said...

I'm so glad most of you were as underwhelmed as I was. The build up was really quite tension-free except for a few moments...my favorite being that there is someone Molly doesn't want to find because he can see her. He sounds creepy!

But the last 10 minutes? I was rolling my eyes. This is the first time, for me, that the dialogue stood out as being completely idiotic (I know many on here have complained before...I never was bothered by it much until now). My least favorite was when Nikki ran into help and Peter said, "I've got this one." And then everyone just sat around watching them?

What??? If they are going to bring all the Heroes (or most of them) together in one location, why not use them? If you're not going to use them what's the point in having them there at all? To just sit around and watch NY blow up?

Even the 'cliffhanger' ending with Hiro in the very distant past did not excite me. I would rather have had something that involved more than one hero. A couple of different little things.

Man, I could keep writing, but it would be too long. I'll still watch next year, but they seriously disappointed me. It would not have been hard to fix a few things to give it a much stronger ending.

Blankity-Blank said...

Lyle, this is called denial. It's the same affliction that allows people to sing the praises of the Star Wars prequels.

It's easy to answer questions when you don't have any allegiance to your characters. If they can't ever act in any way that would prevent them from answering said questions, it isn't going to be a problem.

D.L. has acted quickly with his powers before. Even to save his wife. I suppose you can chalk this up to your character development.

And to be clear, I don't care what Heroes steals from. At this point, I'd like to see them steal more, because this isn't working.

Anonymous said...

The more I think about this episode, the more disappointing it becomes.

The pacing was off. If the entire season has been building up to the face-off between Peter and Sylar, start it before the last act. If Hiro didn't learn to chop of the villian's head from Buffy and Angel, Kring and Co. should have at least watched Whedon to learn how to end a season-long arc and have the last act break with the hero (Peter) in mortal peril. With this show, there was no big raising of the stakes (except for Molly letting us in on the assumed big bad for season 2-- the man worse than the boogeyman.)

What was Linderman's/Ma Petrelli's/Shaft's motivation?

The big reveal about HRG is that his first name is Noah? Was there a Noah character aluded to earlier in the season, or was it just another "Cosmo," but without the funny (or X seasons of not having a first name)?

And ending "Volume I" with another awful, pretentious Mohinder monologue? Really?

David J. Loehr said...

I thought it was all right. Not great, not awful, but all right. Admittedly, I've followed the story from a distance, only watching the show very recently, so I haven't had the same season-long build up.

Some things that jumped out at me...

1. I was okay with D.L. jumping in front of Niki instead of touching her to phase the bullets, because he must have been acting out of reflex. It could have worked if they had let him say that--assuming the writers realized what they had done there. It's less satisfying to assume, but it's not a deal-breaker for me.

2. The whole "loving unconditionally" thing is clearly that Peter's love for Nathan is what brought Nathan back in the end. Again, not very well done, but the groundwork is there.

3. I've thought this about other shows, and I understand it's really a matter of budget, but it always amazes me that there's only 20 people in NYC or Van Nuys or wherever Jack Bauer is working these days. It's not even that nobody's panicking, there's never enough people to panic.

4. I was even okay with Hiro's swordplay, although again, it needed something from Sylar in terms of "you're going to fail again," some taunt that he would be in the midst of when the blade went through. That being said, the whole one-hero-at-a-time approach to attacking him was a little hard to believe.

It seems to me that most everything that happened in the finale happened because it had to. Not through fate, but the writers' decisions that X, Y and Z had to occur, even if it didn't quite make sense.

Anonymous said...

I can live with all this stuff except Peter not flying away on his own. I was really moved by Nathan's sacrifice... until I thought about it. This show is fun but doesn't hold up to any amount of scrutiny. Oh well. It was still fun.

Oh, and Molly herself kind of weirds me out.

Anonymous said...

The Finale did not reach its potential. There is no way around that. A few notes:

1. As every single person here has stated, the final fight was pretty weak. Hiro's actions were anti climactic, and there are lots of holes about how Peter could have dealt with the explosion. Could he have just flown away on his own? That is the most pressing matter here. Obviously the writers have a lot to clear up about Peter and his powers. I don't think we've seen the last of Peter, but I don't think we'll be seeing him next season. Nathan, I presume, is dead.It was also a bit cheesy how all the heroes ended up in Kirby Plaza at the same time, and most everyone got in a shot at Sylar.

2. I've seen a lot of people referencing the future episode as to what will be happening in the later in the series. Since the bomb did not go off in NYC, that future, for the most part is finished. I doubt we'll see Peter and Jessica hooking up in the future.

3. I don't think Sylar is alive,yet. Someone or...(dramatic pause) something, definitely pulled his body into the sewer.

4.The preview of next season looked pretty freakin' cool. I like how Hiro will be the main character who transcends each story line. I'm not sure how I would feel with George Takei playing the Samurai Hero. And what does everyone think about the eclipse? Is it what started this whole story?

All in all, the finale wasn't weak or bad, just didn't live up to the expectations. Expectations that were raised by episodes like "Company Man". Kudos to the writers for not dragging this story on for 2 or more seasons.

Can't wait for Volume 2:Generations!

P.S. You're the man Alan. Love the blog, keep it up

Anonymous said...

This is the first show that Tasia's Mommy and I actually watched while it aired... With the exception of the 30 minute delay on TiVo so we could skip commercials (actually had to watch last week's episode first).
First, like everyone, anticlimactic.

WHY COULDN'T DL DIE? And after being shot (yes why didn't it phase through both of them), how did he jump up and get behind Linderman...

I can justify that peter couldn't fly because he was losing control. It may not have been that he couldn't control multiple powers at once, but this one scared him and his fear kept him from controlling it.
BUT, why didn't claire just shoot him, he dies, the glowing stops.. remove bullet, and "Hi guys" he's back alive.

Just a poorly done episode I feel. It was OK, but it definitely felt rushed.

Unknown said...

That first Roundtree moment was one of those "Oh, wow" things that made you want to go back and re-watch the whole series again. The second -- boy, it's a good thing Peter stood near someone who could Love, Unconditionally, once, so's he could pick up that power -- was one of those moments that made you want to hit the OFF button and go out and play.

I am not Love, Unconditionally Man. This was just an awful awful awful episode. It was pretty obvious what they needed as a finale: A showy action sequence that brought most of the heroes together as a team for the first time, surmounting Sylar's accumulated powers (including his problem-solving capabilities). Instead, we got some ticky-tack, uncoordinated, silly, useless climax. Everyone's command of their powers made me wonder why the show doesn't feature Connie Selleca and an awesome theme song.

And if Peter really could Love, Unconditionally, why didn't he go splody in a more entertaining way? I was hoping for one of those fireworks that looks like a cowboy hat...

Taleena said...

I felt vindicated when Ando did not die.

I think that the finale was OK but the fans (myself included) got so hyped we believed the hype - let that be a lesson to you.

As to the disbelief that they closed out volume one with a stupid Mohinder monologue, why not, it started with one.

Sylar is not dead. Mama Patrelli will nurse him back to health. Mama Patrelli is EEeeevvvilll. Micah Sander inherits Linderman's wealth.

I like Niki ripping the parking meter from Sylar's hand but thought it stupid that she was called back to DL et al. I'm sorry is she a Doctor? Can she do something Mohinder can't?

Parkman getting shot was sweet! Mr. Bennet is Professor X! He always has a plan.

Tim Kring made a mistake making Peter so powerful, there was no tension over his supposed death. I liked it better when Peter could only manifest a power around someone else who had the power, not perminently absorb it. That way Nathan had to be there to fly Peter out, Claire had to be there to impart indestructability to him, and he would have had no handle on how to deal with Radioactivity.

Unknown said...

1. I think Peter had lost control enough to not be able to fly and explode at the same time. Hence the Nathan rescue.

I am annoyed at the ambiguousness with regards to Nathan dying though. Did go "aww" at the brothers, though, couldn't help that.

2. The Sylar ending smacks of "We just thought Zachary Quinto was so kewl we wanted to keep him for next year," which Tim has been saying for a few months now in spoilerville. Yes, he's a kewl actor and all, but he needed to get killed off. It's not like you can't bring him back in flashbacks here.

3. Honestly, this was the worst episode. I'm not even a person who is bothered by Mohinder narration, but it was syrupy enough to bug me. Molly's "Don't die, Mr. Parkman!" made me gag as well.

4. Since when does Peter know Niki in real time? And why's she throwing in to whack some dude she doesn't know? I honestly don't remember them knowing each other before the future episode.

5. Why advertise that lots of people will die when technically by the end of the episode, we can't confirm that ANYONE died? D.L. and Matt appear to be clinging to life, god only knows about the rest.

Anonymous said...

Hee! to M.A.Peel's Buffy comment. Now THAT was a seasion finale to beat all season finales. Time to bust out my Buffy S2 tapes.

Ahem, yes, topic. I enjoyed it... didn't hate it, but wasn't overcome with its greatness. There were a lot of good moments, so I'm happy.

Anonymous said...

I don't think this was about believing (or being duped by) hype. It simply did not live up to what the previous episodes had suggested it would. Too bad for us.

Anonymous said...

i assumed peter couldn't fly because he was too busy trying to keep the nuke under control.

I also figured that the "...save the world" part of "save the cheerleader, save the world" was not referring specifically to the bomb blowing up NYC, but rather, to the aftermath of the bomb blowing up NYC, Nathan/Sylar becoming president and attempting genocide of the heroes--a much more global threat.

while i think it was a nice story arc for nathan to sacrifice himself for the greater good and all that, damnit, Adrian Pasdar is too awesome to kill off. Why can't they just kill Parkman already?

I'm also a little tired of the comic fanboys being all "omg you ripped off xmen and watchmen etc etc etc." Comics have ripped themselves off for years, but now they're canon? And frankly, a good chunk of the Heroes audience doesn't give a hoot about comic books. (and those who do, will probably watch regardless, even whilst complaining)

Woodrow L. Goode, IV said...

I had issues with this episode, but some of the complaints are based on ignorance. Some points:

1. Anyone who cites the show's failure to conform to Isaac's paintings or anyone's dreams missed the theme of the show: The future is changeable.

2. Why doesn't Peter fly away? Because his power is mimicking other people's powers; he can only use one at a time. Heroeswiki.com (the best reference source I've found) doesn't confirm it, but they don't document a single case of him doing two powers simultaneously.

The Sci-Fi channel marathon was running in the background while I was painting, and I didn't notice any cases where he did, so I think the writers got this correct.

3. As many people have said, Candice's power is creating illusions, so that's why Niki saw a dead Micah and Jessica.

4. Ando and Parkman trying to kill Sylar isn't a flaw in the plot. It's stupid behavior on their parts and wasted time in an episode that needed every possible second to tie up all the loose ends.

But it's only only bad writing when their behavior is out of character and if their actions affect change the outcome of the story.

That's also my response to "Why didn't D.L. grab Niki and vaporize?" People make mistakes in real life and characters in a fictional drama should too.

5. This is an informational point: I'm pretty sure the cockroach at the end is just another one of Tim Kring's hideous attempts at poetry.

In the second scene of the pilot, Mohinder is teaching. His excruciating flame concludes with "If God has indeed created himself in his own image, then I submit to you that God is a cockroach."

After the world has been saved, a cockroach appears... The message I took is "God is with us." Not as painful as the rat at the end of The Departed, but still pretty bad.

6. The people wondering why Sylar couldn't hear anyone sneaking up on him have a point. Unlike Peter, he used two powers at once to create the snow globe in his mom's apartment.

It would have been easier to say he was distracted if several people had attacked him at once. That would have been hard to depict-- but they could have tried 24's split-screen tactic.

7. After the meager fight, my biggest complaint with the episode was Peter's detonation:

A. If he can only do one power at a time, then why not try to shut it off by something else?

This is a case where it's not OK to have a character behave stupidly. He's been worried about this for some time, and he should have thought about it.

B. Ted's character went nuclear when anxiety and rage caused him to lose control of his emotions. Shouldn't Peter-- after beating Sylar-- have been calm or elated?

C. Shouldn't Nathan's appearance-- and his willingness to sacrifice himself-- have stopped the blowup? Wasn't that the point of the 1/2-hour flashback with Richard Roundtree (that's how long it seemed)-- "love conquers all"?

8. Why was this episode only an hour? It's not like NBC couldn't spare the airtime-- or didn't know this would be a highly-watched episode.

Given the pace of the episode-- it was rushing to tie up loose ends-- it sure seemed to need it.

9. The rushed pace was unnecessary; this show wasted a lot of time.

I understood the point of showing where Hiro landed (it's what everyone would have been asking). And he's back with the legendary master who was his hero, and probably a lot of season two will be him being taught. So that's not wasted (although I'm not sure I like that direction).

It's reasonable to think Hero would have had control when he tried to teleport in a panic. (Although 330 years is a pretty big error, his previous worst was five.)

As for the recaps, let's be kind and say that it's nice to see a show that tries to keep viewers in the loop (unlike Lost or Jericho)-- although I can't imagine it was necessary.

But both of those-- plus that elongated, mostly-pointless dream sequence-- and a lengthy final bloviation from Mohinder? Not excusable.

10. But, despite the flaws, I must say this was a better season finale than most of the serial shows I've seen. At least they tried to wrap stuff up-- and it wasn't nearly as disappointing at the first six finales of 24.

I'm hoping for better, but the fact that I'm not furious at the denouement is better than most shows manage.

Anonymous said...

Dunno if this has been mentioned yet, and I'm not 100% sure about this, but...

In the previous episode, Hiro's dad raises his sword and we see a quick glimpse at his reflection. I could have sworn there was a different person in the reflection.

Apologies if someone else has said this and if I'm being redundant. It does mesh with Season 2's title, tho. :D

I think the biggest problem is how much they tried to cram into one hour. I think had they been allotted a two-hour finale, the rushed points could have been better developed. Totally agree with this post, but will also say the underwhelming things hasn't disenchanted me. The only 'what the...' moment I had was when Nathan flew off with Peter and, thus, totally threw that sugary lecture Peter was given out the window.

Now, they just need to learn how to write action a bit better; that's all. ;)

Anonymous said...

Anyone who cites the show's failure to conform to Isaac's paintings or anyone's dreams missed the theme of the show: The future is changeable.

I don't know about this. Inevitability was as much of a theme, and the fact that Isaac's paintings kept coming true painting after painting underscored that. Sure, sometimes the scenes in paintings occurred in a different context than we at first thought, but they came true. This was certainly true of Hiro and Ando and the comic book, particularly in the earlier episodes. Part of the fun was seeing how the characters arrived at the scenes depicted in the paintings or comic book.

Thus, fate, and the ability to see the future, were heavily weaved into the narrative. The characters were attempting to fight against fate, but there was no indication that they would prevail, particularly when the episode set five years in the future aired. I think the producers may have flirted with the idea of letting the bomb go off as planned and there is no indication in the episodes leading up to that the future was fluid or unwritten. It wasn't until Claire says the future is not written in stone in last night's episode that the thought was articulated beyond the characters semeingly futile attempts to stop that which was fated to happen. I think they did a bait and switch on that in the finale and it cheapened, for one, most of what Isaac did in the show.

Anonymous said...

Spideygeek: I noticed the same thing with the sword. I just haven't gotten around to rewatching the ep and making sure I saw what I thought I saw.

Anonymous said...

D.L. has acted quickly with his powers before. Even to save his wife. I suppose you can chalk this up to your character development.

Yes, and just because someone can do something once, they can perfectly repeat that action under pressure. And that wasn't something I called "character development" just something I can understand if I put myself in the character's place.

Thanks for deciding to start with an insult instead of deciding just to have an actual discussions on points where we disagree.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Sylar morphed into a cockroach. It was symbolic. Remember the pilot, where Mohinder said if God made anything in his own image, he must look like a cockroach because they'll outlive us all? (Thank you, Sci-Fi Channel marathon.)

Maybe the showdown was unsatisfying on a geek level, but it worked for me on an emotional level. I didn't see "Nathan saves the day" coming. (Speaking of nitpicking, how did he literally jump into Peter and Claire's conversation when he was way up in the sky during it?) If this were, say, Lost? We STILL wouldn't have even seen Sylar's face yet, let alone gotten to watch a big showdown with him. No matter how underwhelming.

"What we had been led to believe was fate in the program is now just chance, which is unfortunate, because until this episode, they had been pretty consistent on the predictions of the future, et cetera."

That's because the characters changed the future. That's kind of the whole point. If everything's just fate, what's the point in anybody doing anything? What's the point in them being... heroes?

Woodrow L. Goode, IV said...

Me: Anyone who cites the show's failure to conform to Isaac's paintings or anyone's dreams missed the theme of the show: The future is changeable.

Anonymous: I don't know about this.

I agree-- you don't know about this. I suggest you visit NBC.com and watch the first minutes of episode five.

That was the one with the catchphrase: "Save the cheerleader-- save the world."

dark tyler said...

So, what would that prove? The fact remains that up to this point nothing at all had changed, and I would have loved it if something underlined a single moment in time where everything changed because apparently that's something very difficult to happen in Heroes-verse.

jim treacher, "Lost" may have been a slow build for the whole of 2006 but a) from February on, stuff happen all the time, and b) whenever the show delivers, it delivers. "Heroes" has failed to do so twice-- first strike was the "Save the cheerleader, Save the world" debacle, second strike this massively underwhelming finale.

Anonymous said...

How quickly they forget... Remember the first-season finale of Lost? The last 30 seconds? I think Heroes did pretty well in comparison. No, they didn't do everything they way I would've liked, but at least they did something.

Paul Levinson said...

I agree with Jim - at the very least, it was indeed satisfying to see the heroes working together - no easy task, given their diversity of powers .... I think finale, and the season in general, are good starts for more to come ... Heroes Volume One Finale

Karen said...

I basically agree with you, Alan. I would add that one other thing I liked was the symbol on Kensei's banner in that final tease--the swirly F that has shown up all season long.

I don't think Sylar was the cockroach, because he would have had to kill Candice in order to be able to morph. And we did not see it.

But the other quibbles--why didn't Peter fly himself up, especially--definitely ring true.

And the death of Sylar was incredibly anti-climactic--simply stupid. If he's dead. We never see the body taken away, and we do see the blood smeak lead to an upended manhole cover.

Oh, well. "Heroes" still did better than most first seasons, and I enjoyed the ride, so I'm OK. I'm not hanging on the edge of my summer for it to return in the Fall, though. Not like with "Ugly Betty"!

Anonymous said...

While I agree that the much-awaited confrontation between Peter and Sylar was underwhelming, when you think about it what other power could have Sylar used besides telekinesis ? Freezing, melting, super-hearing (well that could come handy in a fight but it's not visually spectacular) ? Fact is Peter had all the cool powers (flying, invisibility, super-fast bangs re-growing...)

dark tyler said...

Well, yeah, but the rest of that season finale was pure awesome! This one here was a complete clunker!

Anonymous said...

I agree-- you don't know about this.

I wish I knew as much as you Woodrow Goode. I will make sure my interpretation of the show is in lockstep with your own. Would you mind sending out talking points after each episode airs next season? Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

If Candice only created illusions, then why were those illusions so powerful? She shouldn't have been as strong as Nikki just because others could see her looking like Nikki. If Candice couldn't throw someone across the room, then neither should faux Nikki. Also, if Candice was actually obese, then this reality should have existed in everything she did.

Anonymous said...

Jim, I remember the Lost first season finale. How many episodes did they spend talking about the hatch before they finally did get it open in the season finale?

I agree, too, the finale was much more interesting thanks to that Sci-Fi Channel marathon. (Especially since they contradict, very early in the series, the talke that came later in the season about the future can't be changed when Hiro jumps into the future accidentally and Ando tells the police that Hiro's been missing for weeks.)

Anonymous said...

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe I was just happy to shut my brain off, but I'm surprised to see so much criticism.

However, this was my big question at the end -- Could Shaft Deveaux be next year's big bad? I can't remember if we actually saw his body earlier in the year, but he could otherwise fit. Season two is supposed to tie into everyone's origins, and he was part of Team Lind-Petrel-Naka-Veaux (for lack of a better name). The fact that he saw Peter might mean he would also be able to see Molly, no?

Anonymous said...

"How many episodes did they spend talking about the hatch before they finally did get it open in the season finale?"

12 or 13, I think. Then "Psyche! See you in 3 months, sucker!"

Anonymous said...

I can live with all this stuff except Peter not flying away on his own.

Peter = Daffy Duck!

BTW, what the hell happened to the Haitian Sensation??

If Candice only created illusions, then why were those illusions so powerful? She shouldn't have been as strong as Nikki just because others could see her looking like Nikki.

She wasn't as strong. After she hit Nikki, we saw her shake her hand out because her hand hurt. Nikki never seemed to have that problem.

Unknown said...

I agree with the bulk of you that the episode was a disappointment. I tried to deny this all the way through with the scales of good and bad balanced but after the fight and Adrian Pasdar’s final dialogue I was convinced I was watching sh^te.

A correction – Harrison Ford said, “George, you can type this sh^t, but you sure can't say it."

Anyhow, my thoughts…

With a show like Heroes you just have take leaps of faith and that accept that character actions, like in life, just go on unexplained. Further, that characters, like real people, and writers, make mistakes.

Regardless of my comments these are the points I think relevant.
1. Why Peter didn’t fly? As evidenced by when he was learning to use his powers, Peter requires a degree of concentration to use his powers. Its not a big leap of faith to assume he’s pre-occupied with killing millions of people to be able to go up, up and away.
2. Why didn’t Claire shoot him? A more troubling question. Perhaps because the reaction had already started, if it is out of control even a shot to the head won’t stop it. What really should have happened is HRG should have grabbed some of the juice they injected into Ted in “Company Man” from the building Molly was kept in. When Peter nukes up he gets injected, too easy.
3. I suggest both Nathan and Peter will be back for volume 2, but in minor or guest roles. A lot of marketing has been invested in their images. NBC won’t be happy to see this wasted, not after one season.
4. Better then Peter waking up and Nathan coming out of the shower (ewww) is that as Peter is about to go nova he tells Nathan to fly away, at top speed.
5. Killing characters off is the new thing (thanks to Lost) but as shown in Lost, its best done at mid-season point or close to the end. You get no bang for your buck in the last episode. Next season we’ll be too detached from any sense of emotion.
6. The Sylar option. If we were to really see Sylar as dead they would have left his body there. He is clearly coming back in some form.
7. The Nathan/Peter dialogue at the end reminded me of the Anakin/Padmae dialogue from Eps 2 and 3. Just terrible and it takes you out of that moment of escapism.

There’s a lot of talk about references to comics and comic book techniques. In this vein, I raise the “first character connection principle”. That in most cases we are intrinsically connected to the first main character of comic book and that no matter how hard writers/artists try, we’ll still always favour that first character. Many semi-recent examples of this exist in the mainstream comic world. Superman dies, batman’s back break, spiderman clones, green lantern – parallax, and so on. There’s not too many examples where the replacement has stuck. The same goes for television.

With this in mind, be warned for a contentious season of Heroes ‘generations’ which looks like it will be based on new characters and periphery characters. This will certainly be the case if they kill Peter and/or Nathan off. I just hope they don’t kill the series off by doing this and in turn killing the ratings. Television audiences are much more fickle then comics readers.

K J Gillenwater said...

Tim Kring thinks his audience is full of idiots...how nice. Did anyone else see this snip of an interview on tvguide.com?

Why didn't Peter just fly his explosive self up, up and away, instead of making Nathan take one for the team, as well? Presented by TV Guide with that burning question, series creator Tim Kring pauses before saying, "You know, theoretically you're not supposed to be thinking about that."

When assured that viewers are, Kring confirms that — as many have theorized — radioactive Peter's other powers were "incapacitated" at that pivotal moment, and "somewhere in there is the explanation" for having Nathan grab his bro and do the "flying man!" thing. "But the real explanation is that we wanted Nathan to show up and [save the day]!"

"Yes, I will admit that there’s a very tiny window of logic there," Kring continues with a laugh. "But what can I say? It's requires the proverbial suspension of disbelief."

This guy has absolutely no respect for the audience. That is not very heartening.

John said...

That's a very revealing interview indeed, Kristin, and it does make us fanwankers feel rather stupid. All of the theorizing is for naught--they just threw a bunch of stuff on screen and hoped we'd take it mindlessly. Does reduce my enthusiasm, though I still like the show.

Anonymous said...

Nathan flew Peter away because they thought it would be cool. No other reason. No concern for consistency or audience intelligence. Very Lame.

Heroes has made me a bigger fan of Lost. While Lost is annoying,
I feel like it respects its audience a lot more. It stands up to a lot of analysis. If something happens that is seemingly inexplicable, an intelligent explanation is eventually revealed, even if it is a season later.

I still like Heroes. But I won't spend any time thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

I don't get from that snippet that Kring thinks the audience is full of idiots.

Susan said...

That Kring interview makes me sad, because it really makes it seem like they don't respect the audience, that they didn't write or watch the episode as an audience member would, realizing there would be all of these questions. It seriously would have taken two lines of dialogue to make us understand why Nathan has to sacrifice and it even would have given Nathan's sacrifice more meaning. (Think about it - if he flew in to convince Peter to fly away and blow up, he would have still changed his mind and would have been a good guy. But flying in and then learning he had to sacrifice himself - that would have been a big moment.) Example:

[Nathan flies in]
Nathan: Peter, you have to fly away. You can save the city.
Peter: I can't. I can't control my powers.

That's it. No questions.

Also, as a New Yorker, can I just complain that there seemed to be NO PEOPLE anywhere in NYC in this episode, especially at the end? NYC doesn't look that empty, even at 2 am.

K J Gillenwater said...

That's exactly it, Susan. To fix it would have taken very little effort. It was almost like Tim Kring just did not care. In fact, I almost wonder if he didn't write the ending episode well before the middle ones. And then, we he got close to the end of the series, he was too lazy to fix it and make it better. He just left it alone.

If it weren't for all of the outstanding episodes in the middle, I would be pretty damn annoyed. This interview makes me want to sock this guy in the jaw, though.

waun said...

Like some other people have indicated, I like to think Nathan and DL's actions were based on love :) True, they don't always make sense, but love isn't always about making sense.

The actions people perform based on love are done without the time and high level thought that we as the TV viewer are able to apply after the fact.

Anonymous said...

First of all, this was the first season. We all should have known that the fight wasn't going to be a fantastic one. I thought it was still good, but they are saving the more juicy and well choreographed battles for later episodes/seasons.

The powers not yet seen by Angela Petrelli and Kaito Nakumara have not been seen because next season is going to further involve these characters in their own back stories. That is why season 2 is being titled "Generations". For a whole bunch of you who bash the show, atleast know all the facts.

I'm sure the reason Peter didn't fly away himself was that the radiation was taking away from his other powers, making him too weak to use anything else including fly. I'm sure next season this will be established thoroughly.

I thought the season finale was reasonable. We all knew what was going to happen, but Nathan coming to save the day was a surprise worthwhile. There's nothing better than a villain turning hero for the greater good.

Overall, this season was packed with awesome cliff-hangers and decent fight scenes. Next season will most likely contain a larger budget and more promising fights due to that budget. Don't give up hope "true believers", the show is only just beginnning. (Look at the first season of 24, it wasn't that good, but it got much better)