Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Heroes, "The Second Coming"/"The Butterfly Effect": The greatest American popsicle?

Spoilers for the "Heroes" season three premiere coming up just as soon as I quote Dan Fogelberg...

I made my feelings on "The Second Coming" half of this episode pretty clear in yesterday's column, and nothing in "The Butterfly Effect" changed that opinion. For every cool moment like Daphne's frozen speed lines or Mohinder casually doing a Spider-Man impression (two of the better FX sequences the show has ever done), there were a half-dozen moments that had me questioning the intelligence of the characters, the script, or both.

Since some people already started talking about the episodes in the original review post, I'm just going to make some random observations:

• Just when I thought Mohinder and Peter were so far ahead of the pack in the "Heroes" Stupid-Off that no other character could catch up, Hiro has to go and open the safe, when the only thing his dad asked him to do was to not open the thing. He doesn't want to be a sentinel? Fine: use your powers to bury the safe in an underground bunker no one else can access, then go on with your adventuring life. For someone who's read as many superhero comics as Hiro has (and I did enjoy the Batman/Catwoman/Robin banter with Ando), he seems to not grasp how this stuff works.

• Which isn't to say that Mohinder isn't still an idiot (albeit one in a comic book mad scientist vein, ala Curt Connors), or that Peter, past or present, isn't. I did love Ma Petrelli calling out Future Peter for never being as smart as he thought he was, vis a vis the butterfly effect. But at the same time, I don't see how this time travel escapade led to Claire being assaulted and Sylar stealing (or, rather, duplicating) her powers. Yes, Future Peter told her not to come to Odessa, but if he hadn't traveled back in time and shot Nathan in the first place, she would have had no reason to go there, blah blah blah.

• I had forgotten how stilted Zachary Quinto's attempt to be creepy could be sometimes. We reached the point of diminishing returns with Sylar a while back, and though giving him Claire's powers finally takes away the "Why doesn't someone just kill him?" problem that ran through parts of the first two seasons, it also means we're going to be stuck with him for the run of the show.

• Fair is fair: I'm at least vaguely intrigued by the Niki/Tracy thing, and about whether Linderman is a ghost, an angel or just a figment of Nathan's imagination. Vaguely.

• Really? They hired William Katt (aka The Greatest American Hero, aka the man with the greatest theme song of all time, aka the man whose theme song led to the greatest outgoing answering machine message of all time) so he could pop up twice in a parking garage and get frozen to death?

• Is it me, or did Future Claire's line about always loving Future Peter sound like it was in a non-uncle way?

• Where's my Bubbles at? Jamie Hector (aka Marlo from the greatest drama ever) popped up briefly as one of the escaped supervillains, but after I saw fellow "Wire" alum Andre Royo's name in the guest credits for the second hour, I kept on waiting and waiting and waiting, and... nothing.

• Daphne's apartment lived up to Roger Ebert's rule that every fictional building in Paris must have a view of the Eiffel Tower.

• I'm glad Adrian Pasdar, one of the few genuinely strong actors in the cast, is getting a lot to do this year after being sidelined last year, but there didn't seem to be an emotional throughline between Holy Nathan of the first hour and the much more normal Nathan (who could crack a joke about knowing Niki/Tracy "Biblically") in the second.

• Fair is fair, part two: Elle tossing HRG a gun to go after Sylar was also a nice moment. But how are people getting back and forth to Claire's house in California from either New York (Sylar) or Texas (HRG) so quickly? Are we supposed to assume the scenes aren't all taking place in chronological order (especially when you factor in things like Mohinder randomly putting Molly on a plane to some new life outside the country), or just that the writers are lazy?

• Ando with powers? Boo! Ando's whole role is to be the normal guy, the one who brings real world logic to superhero problems -- or, on occasion, vice versa, like his suggestion that Future Ando was a robot or shapeshifter. I only hope that's true.

• Is this them writing out Elle, or will she now get a storyline about the struggles of being a super trying to live in the real world? They rarely used Kristen Bell well last season, but she's still one of that handful of good actors on the show, and I'd hate to see that number diminish.

• Speaking of "Veronica Mars" alums, is Francis Capra now going to be reduced to a "Quantum Leap" reflection for the rest of this storyline?

• Unlike Papa Nakamura, they bothered to finally reveal Ma Petrelli's power while she's still alive. But I don't like the "Sylar, I am your mother" twist at all.

What did everybody else think?


Matter-Eater Lad said...

They did diminish the number of good actors, by killing off Stephen Tobolowsky.

The Nathan/Niki-Tracy scene was shocking, in that it had glimmers of humor and Nathan spoke like an actual human being. Not sure how that happened -- this show tends toward the overblown declaration rather than having characters genuinely interact.

Francis Capra looks like hell.

How did Peter not notice that his fellow escapees were trashing a gas station and setting people on fire while he was on the phone? Peter's stupid, but is he really THAT stupid?

On a related note, it's very clear why he was once cast as Sylvester Stallone's son. That, of course, is not a compliment.

K J Gillenwater said...

My first thought was: why didn't Hiro rewind time, get the formula back, and put it in the safe? That was just plain DUMB. I also thought the same thing later when she had the knife to Ando's throat. Rewind! Rewind!

When they show Hiro doing that at the very beginning--playing with the clock--it just makes the fact they DIDN'T have him use his powers even more stupid.

I'm still trying to figure out if Sylar has a power of his own...because he isn't *taking* or *eating* brain parts. He seems to just be touching them. So he is kind of similar to his brother (!) Peter....they both can absorb and use many different powers. But Sylar has to do it in a much more invasive way.

I like that Mohinder joined those with powers, because he was pretty boring as a regular guy. Looking forward to seeing him morph into something crazy bad. Were those scales???

Would someone explain to me how future Peter put modern day Peter physically INSIDE another human being. I mean, there is a modern day Peter BODY. Where did that go???? That was pretty dopey.

Is there a shell of Peter somewhere without any consciousness? That part just did not make sense at all.

Karen said...

God, that was CRAP.

The notion that Hiro wouldn't simply go 15 minutes into the past, to before he opened the safe, is simply ludicrous. It's hardly the same as going back to 17th-century Japan.

Mohinder has got to go--the Yeats reading was painful.

Every character on this show is an idiot. The notion that it would be beneficial if every human being on earth had powers--that that would cure all the world's ills--shows a fundamental misunderstanding of human nature. No one makes a single good decision on the show--they just get stupider and stupider.

So tiresome. I'm not sure that even the sight of Francis Capra screaming to Kristen Bell for help (sigh!) will be enough to keep me here....

Anonymous said...

A whole lot of stupid things happened, and yet it moved VERY quickly, which puts it at clear advantage over Season 2.

Anonymous said...

I actually liked it and didn't have nearly the issues with it you did. Of course, I'm pretty easy to please.

That said, it's definitely the writers being lazy on the back and forth to California issue. The show has consistently had timeline issues since season 1 and never fails to take me out of the story. I try and convince myself that the stories are not necssarily happening concurrently even if we're seeing them that way. That is, until two characters who should be on different timelines meet and I'm forced to admit it's just lazy storytelling.

Alyssa said...

You know what this show needed? To be even more ponderous. Oh and Biblical allusions.

Anonymous said...

They did diminish the number of good actors, by killing off Stephen Tobolowsky.

And diminished the number of interesting powers, for that matter. Ned "Midas" Ryerson had a unique ability on a show where everybody else has the power to travel through time, see the future in dreams/paint the future in images (what, again?), heal from any wound no matter how fatal, copy other people's powers, or--god help us--all of the above.

The good news is, since seemingly any character can come back from the dead at any time, we might see Tobolowsky again.

And I thought this show couldn't get any dumber after season two.

Anonymous said...

Mohinder is an idiot. Seriously, an idiot.

I thought the same thing about it not making sense that Peter caused Sylar to attack Claire. That is just lazy writing.

And Tracey IS Nicki, right? Or just a doppelganger. Cause wasn't Nicki trapped in a burning building last time we saw her?

Anonymous said...

No, I believe she was trapped in a refrigerator.


Anonymous said...

There was some nice creepy stuff (Claire decapitated) and other effects going on(Mohinder's powers), but they wasted "The Greatest American Hero" and that was an outrage. LOL.

Also, I found myself bored the second hour and actually began surfing the web, only half paying attention. Not exactly a nail biter.

Like everyone else, I'm tired of how stupid these heroes seem to be. I would purge half the cast and stick with a couple of people who we actually care about.

Not sure how I feel about the "Sylar, you are my son" reveal. Not the most original and shocking plot development. But at least Ma Petrelli is nasty and unpredictable and fun to watch -- unlike the mopey Peter.

Bobman said...

Yeah, I found myself playing solitaire on my phone through some of the second hour. It really can be an INTERESTING show, but it is SO lazy (for example, I'm glad to see so many other complaining about Hiro not just going back 15 minutes to reclaim the paper from Flash). And honestly, I'm ashamed to admit that I hadn't even considered all of the cross-country travel going on instantaneously, though it had come to mind last season with a lot of the New York to Texas travel.

And Mohinder! How can someone really sit down and write a character THAT dumb?! The funny part is, just tossing a syringe of magical fluid into the ocean wouldn't have exactly been a smart choice either. Not as colossally dumb as injecting yourSELF with it, of course.

I can usually forgive ONE bad element of a show. Lazy writing is usually tolerable if the show is well-acted and otherwise interesting. Bad acting is sometimes tolerable if the story is good enough. But this show is like a perfect storm of lots of bad acting, horribly lazy writing and a story that doesn't even seem to ever go anywhere. I feel like I'm just watching because it looks pretty and has such a cool concept, and Ali Larter sometimes shows up in her underwear.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think its a little sad that the most interesting characters have turned out to be the PARENTS of the main characters? I'd so much rather watch a show with Cristine Rose, Stephen Toblowsky, George Takei, etc. than spend another second with Maya or Parkman. And at least the older actors can actually act!

Anonymous said...

I did enjoy Nakamura Sr's second video, though: "I told you not to open the safe!" I was thus hoping for more posthumous abuse inside the envelope itself, but it was not to be.

Unknown said...

Pretty weak 2 hours though as someone else said it did move fast at least. What I really couldn't get passed was all the blatant rip-offs of other shows- The Second-Coming (Sopranos) playing chess with a ghost (Lost- and by the way who didn't see that coming a mile away) and the most blatant of all - The Fly (Mohinderfly). I'd have to back and watch it again but I think Mohinders bathroom was even the same as Brundles.

Grunt said...

I really hope that Elle and trapped-Peter end up going to San Diego and solving crimes.

I also want to know where Maya was staying and where she got so much money for conditioner. I mean there is a difference between looking beautiful, yet of reality and looking like you just stepped off the runway at a beachwear fashion show (really, WTF with the Farrah hair).

Also, as someone who hasn't seen the show for 9 months I kept going 'isn't Lindermann dead?' so I was glad to discover he was a figment.

Austin said...

Grunt: Don't you mean Neptune?

I'd say it was about 98% lame and 2% cool.

It's starting to look like Grey's Anatomy where every conceivable pairing up of characters is going to happen sooner or later. I mean, Sylar and HRG teaming up? Really?

Maybe an Elle/Claire teamwork is going to happen next.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Mrs. Petrelli understands the concept of "the butterfly effect."

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how I made it into even the first act of the second hour. I wouldn't mind watching a show that insulted my intelligence this much if it was at least entertaining. But if I'm fast forwarding through so many scenes with characters who make Lost's Nikki and Paulo seem well thought-out and fully developed, why bother watching the show at all? I want to like this show, so I keep giving it up and trying again, but it's more aggravating than it is entertaining.

Kenji Fujishima said...

So Andre Royo definitely wasn't the African Parkman encounters in the desert?

Nicole said...

I can't believe they wasted William Katt for such a silly role. I hope he comes back in some way. The camera kept focusing on the drain and so I thought maybe he would pull a terminator and reassemble or something. Otherwise, I kinda didn't care about a lot of the show. Surprising it was Tracey that most interested me, and I didn't care so much about her as Niki.

SJ said...

I just want to know one thing...will Jamie Hector show up more or not? Because he looked menacing in that dream.

This show is so full of holes and idiotry it's laughable at times.

Anonymous said...

The only super thing about this episode was that it was super bad (and not in a good Superbad way). What I would honestly find more interesting than watching another episode of this show (which I won't be doing), is to have someone explain to me how a show can go from being so good to being so so so so bad. And it didn't start getting bad in S2 - the S1 finale was a debacle.

Alan said:
Is it me, or did Future Claire's line about always loving Future Peter sound like it was in a non-uncle way?

That was ewwww. Even if they weren't dating IRL, I think the creepy vibe still would have been there.

I think you can add Claire to the list of stupid boobs on this show after her "I'll hide from Sylar in this flimsy closet because that worked so well for Jamie Lee Curtis in 'Halloween'!" move. Ai yi yi.

On the plus side, I know have a free hour every Monday night.

Hal Incandenza said...

Only on Heroes would an incredibly dangerous document (formula, secret, whatever), split in two, that could destroy the world even exist. Why? Why?? Why wouldn't both (or, hell, even one of the) parties destroy it? What good could possibly come of its continued existence? I'll twentieth the whole laziness thing.

That said, I kinda dug the time travel stuff (though Hiro refusing to go back in time is such a ridiculous contrivance)...and am semi-hopeful this season will be at least watchable.

Anonymous said...

Re: Peter not causing Clair to be a victim

But now Peter knows he was directly involved. Before he was simply ignorant, now he had a chance and didn't take it. He was so into changing one thing, he didn't consider the ripples at all.

Re: Killing Sylar
Once again the best part of HRG- he got that gun and slammed bullets like there was no tomorrow into Sylar.

Niki & Linderman intrigue- ditto! I also wonder if there's any real connection between Katt saying "Ice Princess" and THEN being frozen to death?

I realize what I loved about Heroes was all the interconnection of threads and heroes and how ultimately they come together to make it work and do something useful. They started with that potential at the end of season 1, and then season 2 had us starting all over again, with no real lessons learned at all. Claire is STILL just an angsty teenager who gets pouty because life isn't fair.

I also call foul on Maya going from innocent Latin younger sister into casual Mohinder lover in a single day. If she wasn't a virgin, she definitely was not a casual sex thing.

Just plain amazing how Hiro can't even consider that by acting like such a dork to Ando NOW, he could be directly causing the rift between them and forcing Ando to go to drastic measures to get through to him in the future?

I really hope these villains are more than just "Hey lets kill people randomly for no reason cuz we can and that makes us evil" gang bangers.

Alan Sepinwall said...

is to have someone explain to me how a show can go from being so good to being so so so so bad. And it didn't start getting bad in S2 - the S1 finale was a debacle.

Other people have argued the point with me, but my feeling is that the show wasn't even that good in season 1, outside of a handful of episodes ("Five Years Later," "Company Man"), but the novelty of it, the cliffhangers, and our misguided belief that this was all going somewhere fooled us into thinking "Heroes" was better than it actually was. Once we got the season one finale, and especially once we got season two, the blinders came off and we realized the emperor has no clothes, and probably never did.

Anonymous said...

Let me just start by saying THANK YOU!!! to Tim Kring for making it abundantly clear that Sylar does NOT EAT BRAINS! I was so sick and tired of every fan site assuming that he eats brains.

My understanding of Sylar's powers, based on the ep where Mohinder's father first meets him, was that Sylar has the power to understand how things work and to fix things. He gains other people's powers by cutting open their heads, "learning" how their brains work, and "fixing" his own brain to work the way that theirs does. Certainly, what they showed between Sylar and Claire seems to follow that notion. I was THRILLED to see Sylar dismiss the idea of eating brains.

As for Hiro being stupid to not go back in time: I thought he addressed that. He learned from past seasons that you can't go back in time and try to change things. It's an ongoing theme in this episode: Peter also comes back from the future, changes something and messes everything up. Yes, he can pop back and forth and look at his clock with no consequences, but if he changes past events, it could cause problems.

And frankly, I laughed out loud when Hiro opened the safe, and the envelope said "Press Play" and the video said, "OK, now that you've disobeyed my instructions..." If Kaito didn't expect him to open the safe, he wouldn't have made it so easy.

As for Nathan's recovery... I thought it might be the lingering effects of his transfusion from Claire at the beginning of last season, that he has acquired some degree of her healing ability. I thought Linderman was a figment of Nathan's imagination -- Nathan had delusions last season too. But that's just my theory; you're welcome to disagree.

Glad that they finally revealed Angela's power and very glad to see that it went a long way toward explaining why she was willing to do some of the things she did in the previous two seasons. She presumably had visions indicating that Peter blowing up NYC would lead to the best possible future, and was willing to sacrifice her own son to accomplish it if necessary. Of course, this doesn't explain why Nathan was willing to go along with it without knowing about her power...

I watched this ep with a friend who has a master's degree in biology, and she completely flipped out about all the pseudoscience. The slide had a bubble in it; the things seen on the slide weren't what he said they were, etc., etc. And of course, let's not get into Mohinder's completely idiotic, though admittedly classic, experimentation on himself.

Why is Peter tagging along with all the villains? Now that he's out of the company, why doesn't he just go off on his own?

I like the insight that Hiro showed when he tried to find the one thing in Daphne's apartment that would most persuade her: it was her trophy, the thing she earned rather than stole.

Total waste of William "Ralph Hinkley... er Hanley... er Mr. H" Katt. I can only hope that he's got some kind of self-reassembly power!

So far... not thrilled, but I'll stick with it for now. But if they leave Parkman in a disconnected story in Africa for half the season they way they left Hiro in Japan last year, I'm outie.

Andrew Dignan said...

My Tracy/Nikki theory:

Nikki was an identical twin and her schizophrenia in s1 was a result of some childhood trauma to her twin sister Jessica. Something involving their creepy dad who she believes killed Jessica. However, while she believed Jessica was dead, in reality Jessica was actually sent away and raised by another family, completely unconnected and over time unaware of Nikki and her former life.

So, while Nikki in fact died last season, Jessica (now Tracy) is alive and has been tapped into the political pipeline for years. And as we learn, siblings always have different superpowers.

Now that that's out of the way, can anyone who paid better attention in civics class than me explain whether a governor can just appoint a new senator. I didn't think it worked that way.

Anonymous said...

Actually that was one of the only events of the entire two hours that did make sense. When a Senator leaves office midterm, the Governor gets to appoint a replacement, at least until a special election is held. Rules vary based on state, but it comes up fairly often with picking sitting Senators for VP. You don't elevate someone if their governor is the opposite party, since you're losing a seat.

Anonymous said...

Kevin's dead-on here with the civics lesson. I remember it being an issue when Biden was tapped to be Gore's VP: he was up for reelection as Senator in the same election, and he continued to run for Senate while running for VP. This upset a lot of democrats, partly because it showed no faith in his VP chances, and partly because, if he did in fact win VP, the governor (who was a Republican) would be able to appoint a Republican senator, potentially altering the majority.

Anonymous said...


When Senate seats become vacant (usually due to the death of the sitting Senator), the governor of the state appoints someone to serve until a special run-off election can be held.

This has happened a few times in the last ten years, most notably in the case of Zell Miller, who was appointed by Georgia Governor Roy Barnes to take Paul Coverdell's seat after his death.

Drew said...

Poor Francis Capra.

At first, I didn't even realise it was him. I said to myself: "Hey, new-Pete looks sort of like Francis Capra" and then upon further scenes I figured it wasn't him. This was just a random overweight, goateed biker.

But checking imdb now proves my initial thinking to be true. He has really let himself go. I thought he was looking a little chunky on FNL, but this is...yikes. A total shame, because he's really a pretty good actor. Makes me think they'd use him more as a pretty-alternative to Milo if he was back in his ruffian, bad-boy V-Mars days.

Also, another TV-show where Marlo doesn't smile. Imagine him being cast in a rom-com. That sound? The world ending.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you, Alan. Outside of a few episodes I don't think the show was ever as good as its hype. I think it had a lot of potential, though, and people kept waiting for the show to start clicking. And it just never did.

One of the big problems it that the powers they've given people have basically made everything that happens inconsequential. Something bad happens? Peter or Hiro goes back in time to change it. Someone dies? Claire's blood or Linderman brings them back. Someone does something out of character? It was probably a future version of them or a shapeshifter. ENOUGH!

Also, how did Daphne know to appear at the EXACT moment Hiro opened the safe? And when a senator dies does the state's governor really appoint a new one? (Not necessarily a criticism, I just legitimately have no idea.)

Anonymous said...

Heroes turns into The 4400 more and more every episode. A shot that can give anyone a random power? Promison anyone? At least in the 4400 the shot had an interesting side effect. It was a 50/50 chance you'd either get a power or you'd die. Hopefully the Heroes version will also come with an interesting side effect other than just melting off some of your back skin.

Bert said...

Did they cut Andre Royo?

Before the season started, they had a photo of him with the other "villains" from level 5.

1. we didn't see him in his cell, 2. we didn't see him escape
3. he wasn't in the villain SUV at the end...

All that tells me that maybe he was cut?

I'm hoping that he shows up later, but it seems unlikely, as the other villains have been (somewhat tediously) established.

That really sucks, especially since he's a friend and a producer on a script of mine.

Hopefully I'm wrong.

K J Gillenwater said...


Personally, I found that explanation about Hiro's time travel to be so stupid. Going back 2 minutes in time to save a formula (that is supposed to be so terrible in the 'wrong hands') would not be like going back centuries. It would change only something very minor--taking a paper out of a safe--in order to keep really, really bad things from happening (as evidenced from his future transport). So that logic does not work for me.

Putting a paper back in a safe doesn't ruin anything. In fact, it does something very good.

**But I could also play devil's advocate here...why wouldn't Ms. Fast just steal the remote, cut off Hiro's thumb, and take the formula half? Weakest 'hidden secret formula' spot I've ever seen.**

Boricua in Texas said...

So what was up with the stolen Galactica plot twist? I am glad to see Linderman back, as he is much more interesting than a lot of the yahoos on screen, but could they not have come with an original way to bring him back?

Anonymous said...

Kristin: It's not just a matter of making things worse. He also learned from his attempts to save Charlie in the first season that he can't make things better.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and how could we forget to mention: the appallingly self-indulgent "countdown" special. Silly me, I thought it was going to be something like the Farscape special, where they caught you up on the complicated back-story. After such a long hiatus, I could really have used a reminder of who did what to whom in the first two years. But no, they spent most of the time patting themselves on the back, and seemed to jumble up flashbacks with spoilers. We didn't want to get spoiled, so we watched the Phillies game instead (Go Phils!)

Stef said...

Did anyone else completely not recognize Bruce Boxleitner? Ah, Scarecrow, it's been a long time. I was glad to recognize Weevil, though why he's got current-Pete stuck inside him I couldn't say.

I eighty-second all the criticisms above me. I kinda hate this show, and I really don't want to watch... but I still might just to stay tuned in to the idiocy.

Anonymous said...

You're totally right, Tracey. I was originally going to watch the first hour when I thought it was a recap. But then when I heard it was a behind the scenes special I decided against it. At the very least I expected they'd have a long "previously on Heroes" intro. But there was NOTHING. What were they thinking? I don't care how devoted a fan you are, it's been nearly a year. Would it have killed them to do a recap to catch us all back up to speed?

Anonymous said...

Last night's premiere got 9.9 million viewers. That probably makes it one of the higher rated shows on NBC's pitiful schedule, but that's down almost 5 MILLION from last season's premiere. Ouch! It's amazing to think that only a year ago this was considered NBC's biggest show. If it was on CBS that kind of drop would see it sent to the curb. Just ask Joan of Arcadia.

Anonymous said...

I have a question! (i stopped watching after season 2 beginning)
That molly girl saw that big thread/villain whatever, what was that? (If that can be explained succintly).

Alan Sepinwall said...

That molly girl saw that big thread/villain whatever, what was that? (If that can be explained succintly).

Succinctly? That was Parkman's dad. Beyond that, not worth going into any more than anything else from season two is.

(Which, frankly, is why I suspect they avoided doing an extended season two recap: they didn't want to remind people of how bad last year was.)

Amy said...

For everyone mentioning Weevil's appearance: Francis Capra was sick towards the end of V.Mars and required steroids for treatment, I am not sure if he still is having related problems?

I am glad to be able to have a forum where we don't have to pretend Heroes makes sense any more. I agree that in Season One it seemed there was a story arc, a plan, a show bible that guided character development, plot points and twists, etc. I enjoyed it. Now, they just keep writing themselves into corners and solve all their problems w/ "time travel - ah ha!" "oh he didn't REALLY die" and "well that was one way it could have gone" etc etc.

I think I can follow some pretty deep, mysterious shows. I'll spend days thinking about single lines uttered on Mad Men thinking about if they were a clue for something coming or a reveal on something we saw in the past. This makes me think that Heroes has no idea what it is doing because I can't follow any of it.

And I am very close to not even wanting to.

Why would I care if someone dies when I know at any moment they will pop back up elsewhere or someone else will travel in time and change things?

Alan you are right, I am starting to question what I thought was great about Season One.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is they keep going back to the same structure as season 1, and the thing is, you can only do that kind of story once in a while. Every year doing it gets tired.

I think it's time to get rid of Parkman. Nothing against Grunberg, who's trying his best, but the character seems even more useless than Maya at this point. MAYA!

J-bone said...

Yeesh, why do I keep watching this crap? I usually poke around on the internet while i'm watching, but I'm starting to wonder if paying attention that much is even worth it. Every time Mohinder's incompetent ass pops up on screen I want to slap him, he's like the Bizarro Sayid. And he makes Jack from Lost look like Churchill.

I'll second the thoughts that Season 1 was terrible too. I started watching when a friend of mine said he liked it better than Lost because the acting was much better, and the writers actually knew what they were doing. I'll never trust his opinion again.

Anonymous said...

I agree Parkman is useless at this point. And I actually find him annoying, which I never used to. I'm just glad Sylar finally got Claire's power. I mean, I think last night was about the 87th time we've seen him go after her. At least we never have to sit through it again. Although that whole "save the cheerleader, save the world" thing seems more than a little overstated now, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I thought I remembered (from this blog actually?) that there are certain guild rules when it comes to opening credits with guest stars. I thought it was in the Lost discussions about Harold Perrineau's name being in the credits long before he showed up on screen. It essentially ruined a surprise there and piqued my interest here but alas no Bubbles yet. The last thing anyone needs is for Marlo to have super powers. You might as well take Baltimore off the map.

Anonymous said...

I've been one of the few who has thought this show was bad from the beginning. Stilted acting and super-pretentious. Plus it's a ripoff of X-Men and what does it say when a comic book has more memorable, well-developed characters than a TV show?

Anonymous said...

Well, they didn't have "last week on Heroes" recap, but they did have that little "Who shot J.R.?" moment at the beginning... yikes. I was worried that was going to be the plotline for the entire season, and while I am relieved they didn't drag it out, they resolved it a bit too quickly and easily relative to the build-up.

Anonymous said...

Alan, in one of your Wire posts you mentioned how deeply disturbing it is to see one of the actors doing something other than living their life in Baltimore - I think you were talking about Kima's girlfriend's being in a medical ad. I'm having that problem with Marlo. It might ruin Heroes for me. I keep saying to my husband -- why is Marlo in a straight jacket?

Karen said...

what does it say when a comic book has more memorable, well-developed characters than a TV show?

Jeff, maybe you need to read more comic books. I'd say that's the rule rather than the exception.

Anonymous said...

This show is so effing stupid.

I thought I'd give them another shot after Kring admitted many of his mistakes in season 2 but I'm done.

You are correct. The emperor has no clothes and never did.

Anonymous said...

Too late now, but the subtitle of Alan's review should have been "How I Met My Mother". (Too confusing? The devil take the hindmost!)

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to re-think watching the series as well. Mohinder becomes Jeff Goldblum as The Fly? Get the fk outta here!

Anonymous said...

The Greatest American Subzero!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I thought the episode was lackluster. However, it wasn't a red meat episode written for the fan base. It was for the nubes.

- Mohinder w/o his shirt
- Hayden in all black
- Damsels in distress
- Hirando comic relief
- ... and IMHO the best effects the show has had ever

So sure the episode was dripping w/ sci-fi cliches (time travel, no one dies, etc.) I will say the commonly expressed criticisms here are misplaced. Hiro is learning how and when to effect history on the fly (get it? :) And all his scenes were pure comedy. Mohinder has no common sense -- get used to it already it's been 3 seasons. Future Pete put Present Pete in Level 5 b/c to him that's the safest place to put someone of his power discretely. This season is about the villians and toeing the line between good & evil. That's a theme that's rarely focused on in sci-fi for extended tracts. Right now, all the heroes are dabbling on the "dark side" for lack of a better expression.

Best moments?
- HRG emptying a clip into Sylar. He always does what the fans want him to ... act logically & directly
- "Thank you Mr. Turtle!"
- Claire starting down the path of being a fighter, instead of the blonde that falls and breaks something every episode.
- "[Eat your brain?] That's disgusting."

PS This isn't the last you'll see of William Katt on Heroes. Promise.

Heroes was only down 2 million viewers vs. last year. And this year it was up against Terminator.

I take offense at the comparison to Joan of Arcadia. *shudder*

That's just low.

Alan Sepinwall said...

And this year it was up against Terminator.

No, it was against Prison Break (and CBS comedies and Dancing with the Stars), and then against CSI: Miami and Boston Legal. The clip show was on against Terminator.

Sarah D. Bunting said...

I liked JoA. It had some of the same muddly issues when it hadn't worked out its own internal deity logic, but the acting was about a thousand times better, and the writing was funnier. The attempts at humor in the Hiro scenes fall flat for me; they're too cutesy.

halojones-fan said...

Killing Sylar? Well, they killed him at the end of Season One. But then he got better.

halojones-fan said...

Also, if you're worried about Hiro time-travelling to fix things, he could time-travel back to the beginning of Season One and say:

"Hey, Past Hiro! I'm Future Hiro. Listen, time travel is a really bad idea. Don't do it."

That way nobody gets buried alive, nobody goes crazy, nobody forms The Company in an effort to wipe out the human race...

Anonymous said...

Killing Sylar? Well, they killed him at the end of Season One. But then he got better.

Will they turn him into a newt next?

I didn't used to think the dumb parts of this show were that dumb until I started reading this blog. Now when I watch, I cringe whenever Mohinder shows up (never liked Maya, so the two of them together = deadly boredom for me), whereas before, I was happy to see his pretty face. Damn you, hatahs! :-D

Hiro and Ando continue to rock my socks; their scenes are the most fun of the show. I'm also one of the people who did not recognize Francis Capra, although now that we know Peter's inside, are we only going to get to see Francis in the mirror? 'Cuz I'd much rather see him performing as Trapped In a Dumb Lox Peter than Milo at this point.

fishsauce said...

I bet future Ando injects himself with Mohinder's magic potion in order to gain super powers. I believe that fits in with his character. Like Hiro, he wants to be a hero, but Ando's physical setbacks always cut him off from actually DOING anything.

Plus, doesn't future Hiro seem a bit more sinister? Perhaps it is future Ando who is trying to confiscate the formula sheet from an evil Hiro...

Michael Cowgill said...

• Where's my Bubbles at? Jamie Hector (aka Marlo from the greatest drama ever) popped up briefly as one of the escaped supervillains, but after I saw fellow "Wire" alum Andre Royo's name in the guest credits for the second hour, I kept on waiting and waiting and waiting, and... nothing.

I had the same reaction or distraction, which can't be good when some of your audience spends the whole episode waiting for a guest star to show.

By the way, Greg Beeman has a picture of the prisoners had his blog, and you can see Royo and another guy in it with the ones who definitely showed.