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Monday, October 27, 2008

Heroes 3x06: Dying of the Light

Villain: Adam's death
Killing Adam off was lame because:
A. Adam was a cool character, with lots of potential and ties to several characters the writers never bothered to explore.
B. The old "having the new villain attack/kill the old one to prove how much more badass the new villain is" trick was hackneyed by the time Stan Lee finished using it and ridiculously transparent by now.
(And didn't Ma Petrelli see Adam in her vision of the future, joining in the attack on the Company? Or are her visions more metaphoric rather than literal? Ah well, that vision's specificity has probably already been erased by the Peters' future shenanigans two episodes ago.)

Hero: Pa Petrelli's power
That a man who fathered two people with powers that both involve the taking of other powers in some way would have a cruder form of that power makes so much sense that I'm embarrassed I never thought of the possibility.

Villain: Stupidity is hereditary AND learned
After Meredith rushed off last week to face the Puppet Master, knowing full well her fire power would do dick against someone who could physically control her, this week Claire and Sandra rushed off to rescue her, knowing full well that super healing and motherhood would do dick against someone who could physically control them (either Claire and Sandra are morons, or else the Company's file lack specifics regarding people's powers. In which case, they're morons.). Even assuming that Claire and Sandra went charging in well aware of Doyle's abilities, believing the old "distract the creepy guy with talks of a little boy's party while someone else tasers him from behind" trick would work, success is predicated on the one with the taser, who knows the target can control people's bodies, not giving the target a chance to surrender instead of just tasering him! This is why your dad won't let you be a super hero Claire.

Hero: Russian Roulette
Once again, Heroes pulls the old "bad setup, good execution" routine at Claire's expense by following up her thoroughly moronic capture at Doyle's hands by having the four sit down for a rousing game of Russian Roulette. I loved how Doyle thought Meredith was the fun aunt, and that when Sandra shot Claire she fired until Claire was hit, rather than having her one shot miraculously be the loaded one.

Hero: African Isaac does the viewers a solid
Clanking Hiro on the head (twice)? Yup, this viewer has certainly wanted to do that a few times this season. Telling Hiro he relies on his power too much? That's another thing we've wanted to tell Hiro. Commenting that instead of blindly going down the path laid before him, Hiro could choose his own course? Man, its almost like African Isaac was winking at the audience by the end there. Hopefully Hiro listens to him.

I also enjoyed the "One Minute Before Hiro Got Hit" timestamp. Nice to see the show not take itself too seriously.

Hero: Formula clarification

Thanks to Daphne's recruitment of Mohinder we learned that the formula she stole from Kaito and Angela is essentially the refined, side effect free, version of the formula Moronder independantly stumbled upon and with which he injected himself. A little detail, but an important and needed clarification when a plot built around a formula is tossing around two instances of such.

Hero: The turtle
"High five, turtle." Parkman always seems to end up in the lamest plot threads and consistently written so as to battle Mohinder for the idiot crown, but damn it all if he doesn't remain a loveable doofus. I loved that he brought the turtle back with him and was talking to it. His determination to save Daphne, a woman he only knows from future visions, and his subsequent vigil at the airport, even his uber-sappy "what does your heart say" line were all enjoyable in that doofy Parkman way.

Hero: Sylar and Peter's brawl
Heroes draws ever closer to that full-on, no-holds-barred, powers extraordinaire battle royal that's been implicity promised since Peter was revealed to be a powers sponge back in season one. This fight was almost there, falling a bit short considering Sylar basically just took what Peter was dishing out rather than fighting back much (which I chalk up to Sylar being essentially the "good guy" in that fight) but it was nice to see Peter utilize more than one power in a fight: Nathan's little-used flight, Elle's electricity (a Peter favorite) and, presumably, Niki's strength (when he was pummeling Sylar). I also liked that the writers didn't forget Peter's invisibility when he entered the Pinehearst building, showing that when Peter is thinking he can remember the broad range of his assorted powers (the writers' pat response to questions of "why didn't Peter use such-and-such power instead of this one" is that Peter is very emotional, and people don't always think as clearly when they're emotional).

Hero: Peter Powerless
Hopefully when Peter eventually regains his/a power (presumably synthetically, from the formula) the writers do what they should have done from the beginning and establish some kind of limitation on it. I like the villain being uber-powerful a lot more than the hero.

And Pa Petrelli's pilfering of Peter's power raises all kinds of fun questions regarding the overarching plot: Does Pa Petrelli now have the Hunger? Is that why Future Peter wanted Peter to activate Sylar's power, because he knew that Pa Petrelli was going to take Peter's powers and giving him the hunger makes it more likely that Pa Petrelli will cut down his allies in Hunger-fueled murder? Or because Sylar's power is more sticky, which means Peter might be able to rebound against his dad in a way Sylar-less Future Peter couldn't?

Also, I wonder if he can steal a power more than once? Like, could he take Claire's healing power now that he has Adam's?

Huh. A lot more "heroes" than "villains" this week. I did like this episode a lot. The last few have the show on a bit of a roll. Let's hope they keep it up, and maybe even step it up.

Also, check out this article from Entertainment Weekly featuring five ways to save Heroes. I really like ideas 1 (especially the idea of more "Company Man"-esque episodes), 2, and 4 (I don't mind the time travel but some new sets would be nice).

#3 doesn't do much for me, as the "ordinary people" portion of "ordinary people with extraordinary abilities" bores me to tears so I'm perfectly happy if the show wants to become even more like a televised comic book. Put 'em costume and give 'em a headquarters, for all I care. Similarily, #5 doesn't seem like a needed fix. "Big vision" is certainly okay, but setting an end date doesn't seem as necessary for Heroes as it does a show like Lost. As long as they aren't afraid to rotate the cast and remove characters, Heroes can withstand being a long running serial (again, like a comic book).

1 comment:

  1. The show does seem to be getting better as it goes along. I haven't watched this weeks yet but I am looking forward to it.

    There are definitely some changes that the creators are going to need to make if they want the show to last long term. I agree with a few of them on that list and I am curious to see what the new season that starts early next year looks like. According to that article it is going to be very different than what we have seen previously.


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