Why Sylar Needs to Die for ‘Heroes’ to Succeed

When NBC released promotional images for Heroes’ second season this weekend in preparation for Comic Con, there was something about them that bothered me. Ever since the first season ended, I have been hoping against hope that producers would not be stupid enough to sustain the life of the evil villain who was thwarted at the end of the show’s first season. Alas, it appears that they’ve made the decision: Zachary Quinto and his character, Sylar, will be around for Season Two. And this, my friends, basically kills any of the resolution of the show’s first season. These are the reasons why Sylar must die for this series to continue with any level of quality.

The First Season Won’t Matter

A lot of great things happened in the first season, but paramount amongst them was all of the Heroes coming together in the end to defeat Sylar. If Sylar doesn’t die, then this would have basically all been for nothing: Hiro’s training and resolve wouldn’t have resulted in his murder of Sylar, but rather just a life-threatening injury. This emasculates everything Peter, Claire, Hiro and everyone else went through if he just slinks off into the sewers. They stopped the bomb, sure, but the evil serial killer who threatened their livelihood? He just got hurt a little.

Hindsight is 20/20

In retrospect, Sylar’s death was handled terribly: how could someone with all of those superpowers possibly not be able to stop Hiro from stabbing him with that sword? He went out a pussy, basically, and I think that now producers want to resurrect him to give him a more badass sendoff later. This sets a terrible precedent: just because the producers screwed the pooch shouldn’t mean that they can just manipulate their series in contrived fashions to make up for it.

Sylar is no longer a Mystery

Sylar was a character born out of his mysterious history and the development of his need and hunger for powers. I actually think they botched much of this back story in the first season (Especially compared to the great back story for Mr. Bennet), but there is no doubt that they basically solved every major question. We know where he came from, how he got his powers, and the torment that it caused him. They tried to turn him into a tragic figure, and yet still treated him as an uber-villain: in both senses, he’s been played out. There’s nowhere else to take him except…

Sylar would be a really lame Good guy

Let’s face it, this is where they’re going: Sylar will be dragged into the sewers, lose his powers to a new evil villain, and then find himself forced to team with his own arch-nemeses against this Boogeyman. He’ll be constantly trying to fight for his own initiatives, but then he’ll find himself drawn to helping his new friends too. Conflicted about his feelings and emotions, he will withdraw himself at a key moment, but then return in time to save the day. See all that there? Boring tripe, all of it. Sylar was interesting as a mad man, as a conflicted hero I don’t see the character’s appeal.

The Show Doesn’t Need Another Hero

As it stands, the show struggled to find balance last season with its characters: some were critically underdeveloped, while other more annoying ones got more screen time (Like Niki/Jessica). The show’s episodes often felt like sensory overload, and the show was at its best when it slowed down and let character drama take over. If you add yet another character into the mix, you’re just going to make this problem even worse. It’s as if Heroes’ producers are considering their ratings success an indication that there was nothing wrong with the first season, and that’s a terrible stance to take on a horribly uneven freshman year.

The Spock Factor

As you may know, Zachary Quinto is confirmed to be playing Spock in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Trek film to be released next Christmas. This means that Quinto will be busy shooting that film while he should be on Heroes. This means that any role he might play in the second season will be limited. However, if this is the case, then why bother bringing him back? No justice can be done to his character in a shortened time frame, and it will just be a last ditch effort to salvage a character they royally screwed over last season.

And I, for one, don’t think they should have that second chance. Sylar might have had his good qualities, but with the end of the first season comes the end of Sylar’s usefulness. These heroes need to move on, having defeated their nemesis this time around, for there to be any future in this series. My faith in Tim Kring is damaged enough as it is considering the weakness of the show’s first season finale: this is going nothing to repair that damage.

12 Comments

Filed under Heroes, NBC, Television

12 responses to “Why Sylar Needs to Die for ‘Heroes’ to Succeed

  1. I like his character on the show and i’m glad they are bringing him back. But what show did they say he actually eats the brains? If that’s how I had to gain superpower I think I would pass on that deal.

  2. The Onge

    Speak for yourself Ryan. Bring on the brains!!

    Big fan of your blog Myles. My two cents is that Heroes was disappointing and I’ve lost all excitement for its second season. I was also a Jericho fan, but again with lack of excitement for more episodes. The only show I’m looking forward this year is Lost, which blew my mind away the last half of this season.

  3. Pingback: Heroes - “Kindred” « Cultural Learnings

  4. HA

    Sylar is a badass hero

  5. Ezra

    Sylar is an incredibly overrated jackass. I really can’t stand him anymore.

    The truth is that they are keeping Sylar on just to please the whining fanboys, not because he brings anything to the show. The show has been damaged, in part, because of Sylar’s pointless prescence.

    The show might have remained gold if Kring had went ahead with his original plan to replace the cast with each new season, instead of keeping dead weight like Sylar.

    • Marty

      Sylar needs to go, I have to agree. It will end the Heroes story, however. Without him, there is no greater evil for the goodies to take on. As it stands, that’s why the carnies are looking to recruit him…

      He wanted a family for a while, but I feel he’s motivated only by power now. No more about acceptance… He wants to be the ONLY one.

      He’ll kill Samuel.

  6. Francisco

    «…how could someone with all of those superpowers possibly not be able to stop Hiro from stabbing him with that sword?»

    Hiro stopped time before doing it. Watch the scene again

  7. Jay<3

    I love sylar he’s my favourite character!!!

  8. Destiel

    Sylar is my favorite character on the show, he is the firework of the show 😀

  9. Dave

    Hindsight is 20/20. The author is right. Sylar needed to die in Season 1. He didn’t and the series just kept getting worse and worse each season. The heroes had only 1 big objective in season 1 and the writers robbed them of it.

    • He definitely needed to die much earlier than he did, but I wouldn’t say he should have been stopped at Season 1. One of the reasons I loved Sylar’s character was because he really wasn’t all that evil. I mean, he was terrifying, “the boogeyman” but not EVIL. I also loved that there was no redemption for him, not really. His character served as a sort of mirror for the other Heroes. Revealing their inner darkness. Everyone (sans Hiro, maybe) hated Sylar, despite the fact that compared to people such as Angela, his mechanisms were tame. No one gave him a chance to change, no one believed in him, in the end he was almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I did like that his end came at the hands of Peter.
      Perhaps the overall arcs would have been better, had Sylar met his maker Season 1. But I don’t think Peter’s fall from grace would have been as poetic as it was without Sylar their, acting as his foil.

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