Apr 282009

HeroesWhile I’m not as ass-deep in the story as I was during Season One I’m still watching Heroes regularly.  I may not catch it when it’s first on the air but I’m usually caught up within a week thanks to either the DVR or Hulu.com.  Last night I actually managed to catch the final episode of season three right after it went off the air (because watching it on the DVR keeps me from having to watch commercials, naturally).  That being the case, I wanted to jot down some thoughts I have on the series so far, the resolution of season three, and where the series might go from here.

Beware the cut tag, for there be spoilers below!

I actually got most of my desire to discuss the series out in a back-and-forth with the esteemed Ned Snell over on Facebook earlier this morning, but I figured I’d go ahead and throw some of my thoughts out here anyway.

  • I’m really bummed they didn’t use Michael Dorn more.  Two brief cameos over the course of a whole season is so not enough.
  • I do not understand at all why Sylar didn’t kill Nathan and Danko when he had the chance.  I understand the whole point of keeping the story going, but I’m really lost on this one.
  • While I get that the X-Men story “Days of Future Past” was a big inspiration for the series, I really hope they get away from the “we’ve seen the horrible future and we must change it” story telling in season four.  That said, it is interesting to me to see that Sylar is in a position to become the President as Nathan Petrelli again.
  • The fact that Sylar keeps getting “killed” only to pop up again doesn’t bother me at all.  It’s a series inspired by comic books, and if there is one thing that carries through most comic books it’s that major characters seldom stay dead – especially your villains.  In order for a hero to be great he or she has to have an equally vile foil, and it’s hard to establish someone as being that nasty if you have to keep killing them off.   This fact alone has been the biggest failure in almost every super hero movie franchise to date.  The X-Men series got it right by not killing off Magneto and the Brotherhood, and the new Batman franchise STARTED to get it right by establishing the connection between the Joker and Batman.  Unfortunately that kinda got kicked in the nuts by that whole “the guy who played this character like he was born to do it died” thing.
  • On the whole Sylar thing – Ned pointed out a HUGE problem with the plan that Noah and Angela forced on Matt at the end of the season (“erasing” Sylar and making him believe he was Nathan Petrelli).  They could have used Claire’s blood to bring Nathan back from the dead. They can’t even claim to have not known this was a possibility becuase it was done to Noah and Angela worked for the Company when it was done.  After Ned pointed that out I thought about it, and other than the very real possibility that the writers simply screwed the pooch I came up with the following:  The ONLY thing that I could possibly explain that one away with (if they even thought of it) is that Noah and Angela, despite seeming to have good intentions, are still Company people by heart. The possibility of having Sylar’s abilities with a malleable personality like Nathan’s was just too much to pass up (because, really, Nathan is a serious puppet tool). She’s proven she was willing to sacrifice her beloved children in the past. Why wouldn’t she do it again? Hell, that whole freak out could have been for Parkman’s benefit. Anyway, we already know this isn’t going to stick.  The preview for the upcoming season made it pretty clear that Sylar is regaining at least some of his memories, and they’ve shown a few times that brain wipes are “damage” that can be healed (Peter healed his erased memories and Linderman did the same for Angela).
  • Another point Ned made that I disagreed with was that it made no sense for Tracy to suddenly reappear and start going on a killing spree after never showing homicidal tendencies in the past.  Two things to that.  One, it’s a very common trope in the comic world for characters who have the ability to re-form themselves take a very long time to do so the first time (See Marvel’s Sandman or Dr. Manhattan for reference).  It’s also pretty common that the process of doing so tends to mess with the higher brain functions.  I mean, think about it, you’re consciousness gets spread among billions of individual particles and you have to be able to sort that whole mess out and re-create yourself from scratch.  That tends to make people cranky.
  • I really enjoyed the fact that by the end of the season Sylar had fully embraced the “psychotic bastard” persona.  That last exchange of his with Claire was downright creepy.
  • I desperately want Parkman to wave his hands in front of someone and say “These are not the droids you are looking for.”

Ah well.  Ned has given up on the show, but I’m still enjoying it.  Mind you, it’s the only show I’m watching these days so I can afford to be forgiving since I’m not splitting my television time with anything else.

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  2 Responses to “Heroes Season Three Thoughts”

  1. Thanks for the plug, Mike, and sorry for stalking you over here from FB. 🙂

    But I wanted to clarify; Tracy (or whatever the hell she is called now) coming back doesn’t bother me (any more than everybody in this show always coming back so death has no meaning). My reference was to a scene earlier in the season when (with nathan’s help) she very briefly escaped, and in a standoff in the hall with Danko’s guys, she held a redshirt hostage and then freeze-broke him–even though doing so a) Gave up her only ticket out, and b) Completely undermined her efforts to convince Danko that she was not a killer. It seemed that the writers had an exciting effect to show, and did not bother addressing why her actions made no sense.

    Even in comic books, impossible things happen but the action arises from character and logic. Batman does not suddenly take off his mask on TV for no explained reason. Superman isn’t hurt by Kryptonite in one episode and then carrying some around in his pocket in another (without explanation). The writers of Heroes would give us such illogical scenes in order to get to a cool effect or get around a plot problem. They lack the imagination to take the story where it needs to go without throwing logic and characterization out the window. They are lazy. They are so lazy they put last night’s season-end, climatic battle OFF SCREEN.

    Nathan started the season rounding up mutants and hiding his powers. Why would he do that? It was never explained. Noah, who has made it pretty clear that he’d sacrifice anything (except Clair) to kill Sylar for the greater good suddenly and inexplicably leaves him alive — not for any plausible reason, but because the writers could not come up with a more imaginative resolution. Angela natters on about how her dreams are always true and she can’t change anything, even though a whole recent arc revolved around efforts to avoid a future she had dreamed. Matt Parkman is heartbroken over Daphne’s death, then almost immediately gets gooey over his ex-wife, then thinks he can just go about his life as if Danko weren’t out there, then decides to fix it all — all within about two episodes. (He’d get whiplash.) The characters have no consistency or integrity. Their personalities are completely adaptable to the story, when the story should DERIVE FROM their characters.

    Anyway, I just don’t think they’re even trying. And I think they think we won’t notice. That’s what bugs me.

    BTW, nice entry.

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