Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Heroes: Toe-tally awesome!

Spoilers for "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I apologize for that post title...

Based on the comments, I think I felt warmer towards the premiere than a lot of you did, but I also thought this was quite a bit better than that.

We're still at the point where most of the characters are off in their own storylines (though the murder of Papa Nakamura has Parkman crossing paths with Ando, Nathan and Ma Petrelli), so it's easier to judge the episode in pieces than as a whole.

Claire's flying emo tool of a would-be love interest is annoying, but I really liked the scene at Copy Kingdom where she starts discussing the limits of her powers with an unhappy HRG. It's about time somebody on this show thought about the larger implications of their abilities -- both how they work and how they can be used -- and though I was squirming when she reached for the scissors, it was pretty damn cool. I just hope this doesn't turn out to be a Wolverine situation where eventually her healing factor becomes so potent that she can be regenerated from a single drop of blood.

And speaking of healing factors -- and power limits -- does Kensei have the same ability as Claire, or did Hiro do some kind of time reversal with the arrows? I'm inclined to assume the former, but the writers have been inconsistent in the past about how Hiro's powers work (notably him putting the bullet back in the gun during that silly Missi Pyle storyline), and I wouldn't be stunned if they decide that Hiro can suddenly reverse the flow of time in only one very localized place like a human body.

Either way, I'm enjoying the hell out of Hiro's time trip -- aside from Hiro being so far behind the rest of us in terms of realizing that he was destined to take Kensei's place -- particularly his casually potent power display during The Battle of Twelve Swords (and, more importantly, the little shrug he gave after recognizing a job well done) and the look on Masi Oka's face as he pulled off the mask. The stunt with the cherry blossoms is similar to something he did for Charlie the waitress (involving paper cranes, right?), but I like that Hiro has only a limited number of romantic moves right now.

Speaking of impressive power displays, Hiro's defeat of the 11 swordsmen was followed immediately by Peter having his way with the Lucky Charms gang's archrivals, showing off abilities borrowed from D.L. (phasing out of the ropes), Nikki (punching the guy across the room) and, I think, Sylar (the blue telekinetic energy bolts, though I don't recall Sylar's looking like that, which could mean Peter encountered more powered people during the same stint where he went to Supercuts). I doubt Peter's ever going to be interesting as an actual character whose behavior and emotions I'm supposed to care about, but I hope episodes like this one and "Five Years Later" are evidence that the writers realize how kewl he can be with all his powers, even in brief spurts.

(Also, given the amount of time Milo Ventimiglia obviously spent in the gym on hiatus, I'm sure shirtless, sweating and bound Peter wasn't an unpleasant experience for a certain segment of the audience. After all the Nikki webcam scenes from early last year, it seems only fair.)

I loved the look of pure joy on HRG's face when he reunited with The Haitian, but I had some problems with other segments of that story. For one, the revelation that this was Mohinder's patient was only surprising if you don't know enough geography to know where Port Au Prince is. (Then again, knowing the state of American schools, I'm betting that most of the audience didn't know that.) Also, the revelation that Mohinder and The Haitian were secretly in cahoots needed some kind of line about how HRG was convinced The Company had surveillance on the place, because otherwise all of Mohinder and The Haitian's bickering was just for the audience's benefit, which is dumb.

Not yet invested in Maya and Alejandro, but it's interesting to have yet another power like Radioactive Ted's that's far more curse than blessing, and I'm not going to be that invested in the murder mystery arc until the writers start giving us some suspects.

Still, I felt this episode moved better than last week's, and there were fewer moments that had me groaning.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

The energy bolts are electricity, right? I've heard rumors about a character with electrical powers, but I don't want to be spoiley...

Loved the moment when Mama Petrelli realized Parkman was reading her mind and "yelled" at him. Glad she's not dead! Yet.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Loved the moment when Mama Petrelli realized Parkman was reading her mind and "yelled" at him.

Yeah, that was a nice gag that I forgot to mention.

Anonymous said...

I also thought it was better than the premiere and I enjoyed it a lot. The one thing that bugged me, though, was watching Peter get dragged into the Irish gang war for no good reason. I kept waiting for him to use his powers to get the box back, say "bite me, you kept me tied up in a back room, no way am I helping you" and walk out ... sadly no. I know the writers don't want to make Peter too powerful too quickly, but it was annoying to watch him take down two thugs in one scene and then be unable to recover a box from a single thug in the next scene.

I loved the interview with Ma Petrelli. I kind of hope she's the villain this season and she's misleading everyone with the photo and the attack in the NYPD.

dark tyler said...

Definitely better than the boring premiere. Plus, when a random fight sequence in a random episode is more inventive and exciting than the climax of the first season, well, actually that could be a good thing because they are learning how to work with what they have.

Suspects... Hmmm... I guess Claire's stalker could be a suspect. He could also be Syler. :P

memphish said...

This was much more enjoyable than last week's lets move the people around the globe and have them talk a lot episode. I watch Heroes to see powers and I got them in spades with this one. And another bonus -- still no Nikki.

There are still tons of little niggling details like how Mohinder conveniently traveled with a microscope powerful enough to see a teeny tiny virus not to mention that the ramshackle hut had such a reliable power supply. Peter's amnesia and lack of understanding of his powers has the potential to get old very fast. Just telekinetically grab the box doofus.

I'm glad we have Isaac's paintings back. Visually they are much more interesting than the insistence of shooting in such low light that I can't tell if its The Haitian or a Haitian.

All in all very enjoyable and a certain car while referenced at least wasn't referenced by make and model. And Mr. Muggles reliving his glory days. Great touch.

Anonymous said...

I was kinda confused about the Mohindar /Hatian thing. Were they planning that all along, or did they do Mohinder realize who he was while there? I guess HRG had been looking for the Hatian? And I feel dirty calling him that, so the guy needs a name.

Didn't Parkman meet Ando last year? And Parkman was at the showdown at the end of last year, so wouldn't he know Nathan has powers?

I liked it though. Although, I hope Claire remembers to pick up her old toe.

Anonymous said...

Not feeling the Heroes love this season. It's missing the magic of S1 that had me hooked. I'm definitely not giving up on it, but so far I'm bored.

Robin said...

Definitely an improvement over the premiere. I think Heroes will consistently be a show that starts the storyline(s) out slow.

I too loved the "get out of my head!" moment with Parkman. And it freaked him the hell out. Did I mention how I still hate Parkman??

I hope the magic box will quickly jar Peter's memories and we don't have to deal with amnesia-Peter for very long. Agree that I wanted him to just TK the box and tell the Irish mafia to f- off.

Although I love Hiro, I am totally bored with the Kensei storyline. I just can't see this going anywhere that's not completely predictable, and I want him to reunite with Ando.

Claire/HRG, as always, the stars of the show. The interaction between the Bennet family seemed much better this week too. Good to know that Mrs. Bennet can even laugh about Claire's abilities now.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The one thing that bugged me, though, was watching Peter get dragged into the Irish gang war for no good reason.

Yeah, it definitely reminds me of the aforementioned Missi Pyle storyline. Unless the rival gang leader turns out to be some kind of Irish Linderman, it seems like this is just a stalling tactic to keep Peter off the board until they're ready to use him for something involving the murder mystery.

Also, I can't believe I failed to make a "Big Lebowski" joke in either the post title or elsewhere, so now I'll just say, "You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me... Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon -- with nail polish."

The toe really tied the story together, man.

BF said...

Is there a moratorium on "It's my (soul/essence/memory) in a box!" jokes?

There are only 8 Issac paintings left? You'd think there are dozens/hundreds more in the Linderman vault. (Is the Nathan-in-the-Oval-Office painting one of the 8 since it, in this timeline, hasn't come to fruition yet?)

Syler or Darth Hoodie or Scary-Eyed-Monster-Guy really needs to show up in a hurry. Heroes really hit it's stride last year when Syler went to Homecoming and the heroes had to stop navel gazing and start ass-kicking. Even though the wheel-spinning has been semi-enjoyable so far this season, it's still just wheel spinning.

Jon88 said...

Predicting a future cliffhanger (it's not a spoiler, as I'm making this up from whole cloth): Peter is close enough to Maya to acquire her power, and Alejandro is nowhere to be found.

So, Alan, would your newspaper print the photo of the corpse on the ground? (Rhetorical question.)

Greg said...

How long before a cutting advocacy group protests Heroes over Claire's continual testing of her powers? I'd like to think we're years past "KID JUMPS OFF GARAGE, THOUGHT HE COULD FLY" paranoia, but you never know.

Anonymous said...

Either Isaac's painting tell the future or they don't. The writers need to pick a theory of prophecy. As we discussed last year, the writers spent the first half (or more) of season 1 telling us that Isaac's paintings were true depictions of events yet to occur (although, often, the context of the events depicted is what was yet to be revealed). That changed with the finale in which Isaac's paintings did not come true (without the writers providing any meaningful explanation other than that it would be bad to blow up NYC and good guys must win). Now, we are back again with paintings that actually do come true?

I'm not a fan of the amnesia Peter, either. That's tired. Plus, he can take out the other gang members but can't take a box of items from a single man? Give me a break.

The writers like to build up and build up but they have there be no consequences to the long arcs. If they were far more bold storytellers, NYC would be toast and/or Peter and Nathan would be dead.

K J Gillenwater said...

Claire's emo friend is going to turn out to be bad. I just know it. She hasn't said a word about him to her dad yet...and she probably won't. Which means a relationship could develop without dad's knowledge and she could be drawn in by this guy who is a lot like her (super)...and then it would be too late when she finds out he is bad.

Like the Peter thing. Love the new haircut. I'm going with the belief that Peter hasn't quite figured out how to control his powers on a whim yet. He must be very driven to use them--like when the girl was in serious trouble. However, I thought it was odd that the Irish dude was not concerned about Peter messing with him.

I will go with the idea that Peter will be 'bad' for awhile...becoming some kind of thief/thug and using his powers. I'm so curious to find out how he ended up in the box and why he has no memory. Haitian?  Or someone else?

As for the Japanese history lesson...I have a thing for David Anders, so he can stick around as long as he likes!

Anonymous said...

MUCH stronger, with the WHATTA TWIST moments coming fast and furious- thank you, Michael Green- and if you liked this episode, he's doing arcs on Batman Confidential right now and Superman/Batman in December! On sale at your local comics shop!


Like Treacher, I am glad Mama Petrelli wasn't killed off. Cristine Rose is magnificently defiant. There was also a very sad moment when Nathan says, "I'm all she has left."

McCallany's accent was better, thankfully, but you're right, why doesn't Peter just punch him in the face and take the box? And why can't I think up a decent "Dick in the box" reference?

The twist with the Haitian I didn't see coming because I completely forgot what the actor's name was. The reunion with Mr. Bennett was unexpectedly touching- they may not have always been on the same side, but they've known each other for so long it doesn't matter.

The twins- So, they're part of the black oil hybrid experiments? Will they be running into Gibson Praise? Somebody tell Mulder!

Anonymous said...

I loved the "GET OUT OF MY HEAD" moment, it just so subtly reminded us that even though she's in a position of weakness, Mama Petrelli has years of experience in dealing with superpowers.

Matter-Eater Lad said...

The twins are Nikki and Paolo 2.0.

Our DVR cut out after Claire's toe grew back. Did we miss anything?

Anonymous said...

I think it was that there were 8 paintings that haven't been seen. The ones Linderman had are "known"

I got it....HRG found out that Hayden Pent(not trying to spell it) and Milo Ventii (again, not trying) are dating in real life so he arranged for Peter's memory to be erased.

Anonymous said...

matter-eater lad, Flying Emo Boy saw Claire's toe-growing ability through the window; she noticed and ran after him, but he flew off and Mr. Muggles' barking up at the sky didn't seem to tip her off where to look. He left her Mohinder's dad's book to discover, however.

And Mr. Muggles reliving his glory days. Great touch.

That was hilarious and sorta true to life (my cats have been known to stare at the TV while I'm watching animal shows with big cats and with birds).

Anonymous said...

The box is full of Claire's little toes, which the Haitian has made her forget she keeps cutting off. And the flying boy is another illegitimate Petrelli kid. (Hey, why not?)

I thought Parkman knew Ando too, but maybe they were never properly introduced. And yeah, Parkman knows some people who can fly, but he can't very well tell his new boss that, can he?

Leee said...

I hope no one's really demanding consistent continuity from Heroes (either with real-life science or its internal plot), because then the show's manic and breathless fun would be subjugated to the autocracy of backstory. The show would become Lost (pun!), and who'd want that?

Andrew Dignan said...

I just had a thought:

Which is to say, not a spoiler, but entirely my speculation:

What if the dude in the unibomber sweatshirt who killed Hiro's father is...


If they're establishing that he can't be killed, then perhaps he's immortal. That would explain how he fell over the side of the building with Sulu and walked away. Hiro can't realistically stay in feudal times forever so it would allow the show to retain David Anders for the present day scenes, would allow the "villain" to be a younger actor in case they need to do any badass stunts (otherwise wouldn't the actor have to be an age-appropriate contemporary of McDowell, Rose and Takei?) and think of the confrontation between Hero and "Kensei" when he discovers who's responsible for his father's death.

Of course there's the small issue of no motive and there appears to be a big "if" regarding whether regeneration = immortal (Claire certainly has aged so it would have to be a different mutation) and there's still a ton of ground (about 400 years or so) to cover but it would be an interesting twist.

Not sure how the latest attack on Ma Petrelli (sounds like a character from the Goonies doesn't it?) factors into the theory though.

Any thoughts?

Leee said...

Good speculation -- I'd add that Kensei is probably Claire's antecedent as well, given the shared regeneration powers. Even though the show has established that the powers algebra is arbitrary (Hot Mom + Flying Man = Indestructible Girl), giving Kensei the same power as Claire (supposedly) is no mistake.

dark tyler said...

Myself, I'm hoping they're going to reveal that only one person per generation can have a certain power, so in order for Claire to have it now, Kensei has to be dead.

If they don't do that, then how are we to accept that so far we've not met two Heroes with the same powers? Of course, it's "Heroes" we're talking about, and their laziness has never failed to surprise me, but still.

Andrew Dignan said...

dark tyler:

it would appear that Claire's crush has the same power as her birth father. Just sayin'...

Davy said...

Still enjoying the show much, which is good considering how disappointed I was with the finale last year.

I very much thought the same thing as Andrew D. -- if Kensei is immortal and the killer, then it lends a certain dramatic weight when Hiro returns to the present and has to deal with the man who killed his dad, the same man Hiro "trained/set up" as a hero in the past. It also, sadly, feels pretty cliche, so I'll wait to see how it plays out.

Alan, you're exactly right about Milo's new look. He's been working out, and is sweaty and tied up. Sexy! I also think it's kinda hot that Parkman and Mohinder (who also had an in-between-seasons hotness makeover) seem to be acting as a couple raising Molly. That's a cute odd couple.

But I wish they'd go ahead and quickly explain the "ebola twins" so we can get on with their story. They're going to annoy me quickly -- oh wait, they already have.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The twins are Nikki and Paolo 2.0.

While they're kinda dull, that comparison's not entirely fair. Sure, they're both very attractive people of Latin descent, but what viewers hated most about Nikki and Paulo was how they were inserted into the universe in a way that demanded that the other characters -- and therefore the audience -- pretend like they had always been there.

Anonymous said...

Everyone else covered my initial thoughts of the ep, e.g., dude, TK the box from the bloke w/ the crappy accent.

So, here's a thught for storytelling: If Hiro is a time traveller, then why not show one of his plotlines non-linerarly? Wouldn't it be conceivable that hespends a year or two in feudal Japan, only to zip back to the present one or two days after he disappeared? You could have fun with it - sho Hiro acting one way in present day, and another way in the past, with the feudal Japan story filling in the present day story dring sweeps.

Of course, that could be a logistical nightmare if the set for Japan isn't very close to the set for the rest of the show. And it would take some nifty weaving byt the writers to make it all work. But, it'd be way cool.

dark tyler said...

it would appear that Claire's crush has the same power as her birth father. Just sayin'...

Indeed. I meant the first season, basically. We'd been running around for 23 episodes and not seen one instance of duplicate powers, which is statistically impossible (or ridiculously improbable) except if there are no duplicate powers. That's why I'd expect Claire's Stalker to be Sylar, or at least have a different power in a way that's not obvious yet.

Of course, I fully expect Tim Kring to just say "Erm, what? We just hadn't seen something like that before!" the same way Isaac's painting of the New York disaster just didn't come true!

Anonymous said...

I just want to know when Krychek's going to show up to get Maya and Alejandro across the border and up to Quantico.

it would appear that Claire's crush has the same power as her birth father.

True, but they manifest it differently. I don't recall seeing Nathan ever just hovering in mid-air, and what's-his-face, when flying, looks like Peter Pan, as opposed to Nathan's awesome super-sonic takeoff.

Unknown said...

That's why I'd expect Claire's Stalker to be Sylar, or at least have a different power in a way that's not obvious yet.

Two geek cents: Sylar can only fly in the vision-of-the-future episode from last season--he only has the powers of the brains he's snatched.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I don't recall seeing Nathan ever just hovering in mid-air

He did in the episode that flashed back to the first display of his powers, in the car crash that left his wife paralyzed.

Anonymous said...

In comics, lots of superheroes have similar or overlapping powers, and Flying Emo Boy, as filmcricket pointed out, doesn't seem to have Nathan's super-sonic blasts, so he's a little different, at least.

At least until they prove me wrong and show him taking off the same way Nathan does...!

XWL said...

I think that the Lucky Charms gang leader's little sister is the blue sparker that Peter absorbs his power from.

She seemed to be playing it as freaked out that somebody else could do that, not that someone could do that at all.

I could be very wrong about that, though.

But this show has managed to 'mate' a bunch of folks with powers up with each other.

Also, niffer said, "Of course, that could be a logistical nightmare if the set for Japan isn't very close to the set for the rest of the show."

That part of Japan looks an awful lot like Santa Clarita, so I'm thinking it's not more than 25 miles from the main sets at the Universal lot.

Stef said...

Does it make anyone else laugh that buffed-up Peter Petrelli's bad-a@@ Fergie tattoos have magically (cosmetically) disappeared over the summer? :-) I giggled every time I saw that video - hard to imagine either Jess OR Petrelli with that look!

Andrew Dignan said...

"I think that the Lucky Charms gang leader's little sister is the blue sparker that Peter absorbs his power from."

My memory's a bit hazy but didn't Pete do this trick last week in the cargo hold? I think they actually mentioned it during last night's episode as well.

"...doesn't seem to have Nathan's super-sonic blasts, so he's a little different, at least."

Incidentally, these sort of semantics debates are by and large why I don't read comics. Sometimes flying just means flying. (no offense intended dez)

Anonymous said...

A couple of things. How did it end? My DVR cut off as Claire's toe was growing back.

Also, to paraphrase Beavis and Butthead if I wanted to read I'd go to school. I have had enough with the subtitles.

Anonymous said...

Hiro de Bergerac in feudal Japan -- I love it! And I think Andrew is on to something regarding Kensei. Assuming that Hiro won't be stuck in the past forever and David Anders is part of the cast, there must be some kind of mechanism to get him into the present. Since Hiro can transport other people through time with him (he took Ando to the future), maybe he'll bring Kensei to the present. It could be because Kensei has to go somewhere after they save the day, or by accident, or any other number of reasons.

The other storylines are mixed bags, though. I still don't know how Mohinder can fool the Company, unless they somehow think he wasn't complicit in Molly Walker's escape. I'm afraid the Irish woman is going to fall for Peter in about two episodes. Claire's interest in exploring her powers was welcome but how is she going to realistically befriend this kid if he knows her ability because he was a peeping tom? And while I love the show's diversity, they have to be careful how they treat other cultures -- the twins storyline, with not one but two other people hysterically calling Maya the devil, was pretty cringe-inducing.

Finally, there were some great touches, like the disorienting instant transition from the Haitian to the Company man from Mohinder's point of view, the way Hiro disarmed the bandits, and the cherry blossoms.

Anonymous said...

Just want to chime in and suggest that the power emo boy (love that name btw) could have is telekinesis. Instead of flying like Nathan, he simply lifts himself into the air with his mind. He could also move people or objects with his mind too.

Art said...

Or maybe he controls the wind. Certainly would explain the name (although that could just be a coincidence). And wasn't there a small breeze around while he was outside Claire's window?

Kevin O'Rourke said...

The minor but, I think, significant revelation that Ma Petrelli and Hiro's Dad were at one point sleeping together will result in a big plot twist at some point. So, who is the spawn of that pairing? Hiro? or a player to be named later?

Anonymous said...

Number Five said, "I'm afraid the Irish woman is going to fall for Peter in about two episodes."

Me, too. My first thought when she came on the scene was, "I hope they don't become an item. Then I'll be stuck listening to a crappy Irish accent for the rest of the season." Unless they kill her off like Simone.

Anonymous said...

Shirtless, sweaty Peter was definitely the best part of the show :-D I hope we get to see that more regularly! I also hope that Nikki falls off a building and goes SPLAT 5 minutes after she re-appears, and Micah can go live with the girl in Mohinder & Parkman's little improvised family. But I understand audience titillation too well to expect that to happen. As long as we keep getting equal time on Peter's body :-D

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, these sort of semantics debates are by and large why I don't read comics. Sometimes flying just means flying. (no offense intended dez)

None taken. I'm not exactly Comic Book Guy-level in my nitpicking, but I do have fun with it :-) And I like the telekinesis guess, too!

Davy said...

I think both emo boy and Kensei have duplicate powers of others regulars -- emo boy flies and now Kensei seems to regenrate. I don't think it's a coincidence that we've now seen two seemingly duplicate powers, I think it's a theme, related to Claire's search. "Do the powers make the hero, or does the person make the hero?"

And as for Kensei, if he can regenerate, will that make him immortal? Perhaps he won't need Hiro to get to the future; perhaps he'll just live that long.

Anonymous said...

I like the Carp nickname Kensei gave Hiro, "You look like a fish when you talk. A giant carp."

Anonymous said...

Just catching up - one thing that nobody mentioned was Mama Petrelli's admission that she and Hiro's dad were old, um, friends, if you know what I mean. That could mean that someone has more brothers than he realizes.

My guess would be Nathan, because you could in theory construct a genetic line Kensei--(several generations)--Sulu--Nathan--Claire. OTOH, the idea of Kensei still being around today makes a lot of sense as well.

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