Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heroes, "Dying of the Light": Sucks to be him

Spoilers for Monday night's "Heroes" coming up just as soon as I hit the novelty shop...

If nothing else, I have to give the "Heroes" writers some attaboys for having Papa Petrelli siphon away all of Peter's powers (including, I'm assuming, the ability to copy other people's). Not only does it (temporarily) solve the problem of how to deal with one character being more powerful than everyone else on the show combined (and in a better way than the usual "Let's just make Peter an imbecile" approach), but it places them in the hands of one of the better actors the show's ever featured in Robert Forster. As I wrote about last week, the "Heroes" writing is never really going to get much better than it is, but when you give material to guys like Forster, Adrian Pasdar and Jack Coleman, they have the superpower to make it seem better than it actually is.

(It's just a shame that Peter hadn't used his borrowed healing powers to live for several centuries the way Adam Monroe had, or else he also would've crumbled to dust and we would have been rid of him forever.)

As for the non-Forster portions of the episode? Eh. Not as good as last week, not as awful as some of the earlier parts of the season, and a perfectly acceptable time waster while doing other things. I even laughed a few times at things that were supposed to be funny, like Hiro repeatedly getting hit with the shovel right after looking at a painting of it happening. Things are finally beginning to happen in the present instead of the future, and even the really stupid stuff -- like the completely inconsistent nature of the power-dampening capabilities of Level 5 -- just makes me roll my eyes instead of angering me these days.

I guess what I'm saying is that I've exhausted all my "Heroes" hate. It's a profoundly stupid show, but there are just enough good things going on to keep my inner fanboy interested in watching. And if they can bring in any more "Wire" alums (or, for that matter, give Jamie Hector something to do), so much the better.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

The last two episodes have been significantly better. I was thisclose to giving up, but for now I'm happy with the way the show is going. I still wish they'd explain about Sylar being a Petrelli. Why was he given up? Right now it still seems like a totally ludicrous twist done only for shock value and not something remotely believable.

Anonymous said...

I thought the scenes with the puppet man were really creepy and scary. I almost forgot about Claire not being able to die, and then she says, "Mom, it's still me. Pull the trigger." Very cool...loved that.

Scenes like that are why I keep watching.

Mark Jones said...

This was the first episode this season that I actually liked. Seeing Papa Petrelli pwn both Adam AND Peter was worth the price of admission all on its own. Seeing Hiro get knocked unconscious twice was also highly satisfying.

Tracy quickly and accurately assessing Mohinder's primary weakness (his brain) and using her ice powers to effect an escape was a long-needed and long overdue example of basic competence--and this from a rookie with four whole days of knowing about her powers. Would that the long-time characters could think as clearly and quickly. Ditto for Daphne, who actually successfully escaped Mohinder's lair--it's sad that such a simple, basic example of self-preservation is remarkable, but it is.

Did I mention I was overjoyed to see Adam killed and Peter rendered a POWERLESS emo idiot for a change? I was, oh I was!

Bobman said...

Arguably the best episode this season, and I was still bored to death so I just deleted it from my DVR. I waste too much time on TV as it is, I'm not going to spend any more time watching things I don't really enjoy but WANT to enjoy.

Oh well, au revoir Heroes.

Anonymous said...

I was less forgiving than you, Alan. I thought that if Hiro is willing to go back in time and tell Ando he's going to "kill" him later, why not just go back in time & tell past-Hiro to not open the safe, etc. The inconsistencies of this show are numbing.

Of course, I still watched it. All about being part of the conversation.

Sleepyhead said...

I'm with Bobman. It was the best so far this season, but I still fast-forwarded through major chunks, and I don't have the time or inclination to struggle through this show anymore. My eyes can't take the rolling. Tivo Season Pass deleted.

Anonymous said...

As I watched the first half of the show, I wondered why I enjoyed it more than ususal... then seeing Peter make his first appearance half way through and it all made sense

Anonymous said...

I thought the scene with the puppet master was far too drawn out for what seemed like an obvious ending. The Russian Roulette didn't seem to stem from anything other than "this would be a cool scene". But I seemed obvious what would happen and, after an unnecessarily drawn out seen, it did in fact happen.

Tom O'Keefe said...

What’s wrong with this show was neatly summed up with Hiro’s “killing” of Ando: Time Travel. They need to figure a way to eliminate (or reduce the ease) of time travel on this show. While I never for a second believe that Hiro had actually killed him, it’s become blatantly obvious that writers use time travel as a crutch. Whenever they paint themselves into a corner, they just whip out time travel. Therefore we know that characters are never in peril. Even when we watch them get shot in the head. With the exception of Mohindir’s father, has there ever been a character that’s been killed that didn’t come back? They’ve jumped through time so much that I honestly don’t know how much of the show that we’ve seen take place has actually happened.

That being said, I loved the bit with the PreCog where no matter what Hiro did, the PreCog was there waiting to hit him with a shovel. And the scene with Claire’s Two Mom’s (this Fall on NBC) and Russian roulette was cool but misplayed. Why did the stage the scene like there was any real tension there. Once the gun got to someone other than Claire they were out of danger. Granted, it would be rough to shoot your own child even if you did know that they were immortal. But it seemed like the scene was played as if we didn’t know she wouldn’t be hurt by the gun and we’re somehow supposed to be surprised when, in reality, we were in on the plan from the get-go.

Anonymous said...

I thought Claire had read Doyle's file- I guess she glossed over what his power was to think that threatening him with a taser would work.

I also like how Parkman was able to get an African turtle through customs without wildlife smuggling charges. Although I suppose he could have used his mind persuasion powers on airport security.

I wonder if Pops Petrelli's power only works on those who were born with powers?

Anonymous said...

I had absolutely no problem watching MNF (even though it was a rout) with Heroes in the PIP and understanding everything that was going on. Yeah, I get it, he controls people like puppets and there's a gun involved and your real mom or your adopted mom is going to get shot. The writing gets better when you don't have to listen to any of the dialogue. Kind of like, "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" except with less recipes involved.

BF said...

So Papa Patrelli is a power stealer.
Peter is a power inheritor.
Syler is a power stealer.

Are we going to find out that Nathan can obtain new powers as well? If this whole thing is based on genetics, why is he the only male in the family who can't add to his collection?

Unknown said...

I started the episode saying "the only character on this show I remotely care about is Adam," so about five minutes it I finally decided to break up with Heroes for good.

It's not me, Heroes, it's you.

Anonymous said...

I think they made Sylar a Petrelli just to put Christine Rose and Zachary Quinto in scenes together. The only thing I've really liked about this season is how they're handling Sylar. I'm more interested in his storyline than I've been in a while.

J said...

You know what helps this show? Missing several episodes. If you only watch it once a month, you spend enough time playing catch-up that you sort of breeze over the stupider stuff. It's my own superpower, perhaps, the application of time-shifted plotgap momentum.

I would watch a spinoff where Hiro gets hit in the head with a shovel for 23 minutes a week. Schedule that one up, NBC.

Anonymous said...

I don't like the direction they're taking with Sylar since it seems so... out of the blue.

But the puppetman needed to be mentioned as he was quite interesting and I agree on how the few good actors elevate the show.

I also am very mad at Forester for killing off the single cool and pinnacle Season 2 character like that. Very mad.

But even if all the character I actually like are killed off, I still will probably watch the show just to grumble.

Stef said...

I'm mad that they went to the trouble of bringing David Anders back just to kill him again. Sark deserves better!

I am definitely liking Tracy a lot better than Nikki, and like Alan I was glad to see her be a smart character for a change. (At least smart-ish. Relativity counts.)

Anonymous said...

NBC/Heroes writers need to understand that superheroes are fun to watch when they're *smart*, angsty, and definitely sneakier than their enemies. I'm ready to give up on the show, the Claire storyline is ridiculous (she didn't learn anything from what happened after she went after Vortex-man without a plan? C'mon!!!), especially given the fact that her three parents are all acting like she really saved the day. Hiro's naivete is no longer sweet & endearing, it makes ME want to hit him with a shovel several times over. Bleh, all the "heroes" are acting like their brain function decreases exponentially to the amount of superpowers they exert.

I loved the first season, was patient with the 2nd season as I figured the strike would pose a challenge... but this season? Just. NO!

Anonymous said...

I come to really enjoy how cheesy and predictable this show is. Its so bad, its good. Its craptastic! I knew one of Claire's mothers would shoot her and thereby save the day, but I enjoyed that scene while I waited for it to happen. Every once in a while they do surprise me, like Papa Petrelli killing Adam.

This was a better than usual episode simply because so many of the characters were using their powers. Thats all I ask for anymore. Let them use their powers as often as possible and limit the boring melodramatic scenes. In that sense, season 3 has been pretty decent because characters like Mohinder have gained powers, Mama Petrelli's ability has been revealed, Claire uses her power to actually do things now, and so on. Plus they've added a bunch of new bad guys with more new abilities. Not to mention evil versions of the main characters in the future.

There are plenty of soap operas on TV, but very few involve superpowers. I'm sticking around for sure.

Anonymous said...

With the exception of Mohindir’s father, has there ever been a character that’s been killed that didn’t come back?

Isaac and Alejandro are both dead and not coming back. Nikki's dead, but they keep giving her identical sisters. Everyone Sylar's disassembled except Claire is dead. I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting right now.

I enjoyed this ep, especially when Pa Petrelli siphoned Peter's powers away, although I'm sure Peter will get some or all of his powers back eventually. I'm bummed that Adam is gone, though--I wanted to see a little bit more of him vs. Hiro.

If this whole thing is based on genetics, why is he the only male in the family who can't add to his collection?

Nathan wasn't born with powers; he was engineered to have them, a la Tracy.

Hiro not being able to change the outcome of getting hit on the head with a shovel was a great way to prove that time travel isn't the end-all, be-all :-)

Anonymous said...

I've already dropped a couple of shows this week (My Name is Earl and Life on Mars), this one may go next. I'm taking it weak to week.

Anonymous said...

Agree this was one of the better episodes, and I still prefer this fast paced slightly dumb season to series 2 which just dragged without really going anywhere. There were a few stupid moments though as usual which did annoy,
1 - Why after stating that she read the guys file did Claire come to rescue her mother and not realise she was frozen! Plus all the racket she made 'sneaking' through. Then she tries to hold the guy hostage with a taser? Why not knock him out whilst he was talking to her other mum? Or just taser him then?
2 - Hiro's story, I liked how his time travel didn't work but surely he can STOP TIME! So when he clearly knew he was about to get shovelled why didn’t he just freeze time and grab it out of the guys hands or something! Also the bit at the end about how after not using his powers he learned to use his mind and captured the guy - what was that about? First he's a pre-cog so it shouldn't matter if you use powers or not and second Hiro’s amazing bit of thinking was to wait outside for a few hours. Genius! This really felt like it needed a clever bit of writing but either got forgotten or they realised they couldn't think of anything.
3 – Peter, oh Peter, why give your clearly evil dad a hug as soon as you see him? Again it just felt a but like lazy writing making characters act certain ways for the sake of the plot, not as they really would.
Still it’s fun to moan but I did enjoy it and unlike a lot of the last season am intrigued as to where it will go from here and what the company’s ultimate aims are.

K J Gillenwater said...

I am free! I was about to watch Monday's episode, but when they did the stuff from 'last week,' I thought, why am I wasting my time with this show?

I went right to the Season passes on the Tivo and deleted it. Ah, it feels good.

Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I really liked this episode, and last week's nearly made me quit. Hiro vs. The Shovel! Ando not coldly dead! The Tortoise and the Hare! Peter getting power-sucked finally! All good things.

Pamela Jaye said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela Jaye said...

ignore last post. posted to wrong thread.