October 8th, 2007
Heroes gets off the ground with two story threads that were left hanging for its opening two episodes: Niki and Micah Sanders, the fate of their patriarch up in the air, and Sylar, dragged into the sewers after last year’s finale. Before the first scenes come to a close we get our answers: D.L. is dead, and Sylar lives. Neither of these are surprising, but the latter in particular is quite frustrating.
My view on Sylar’s resurrection can be found here, remaining unchanged since that post was written, but this episode could have made up for that. It could have used his return to chart a new path for his character, and a new path for the series. Instead, we get a complete ripoff of every superhero origin story inhistory (And Three Men and a Baby) which Sylar makes a single appearance in the opening half hour. And that? Results in yet another extremely frustrating episode of Heroes.
Peter as Spider-Man
He shares the first name, but he also shares the exact same “coming to terms with one powers” sequence. Peter realizes that his powers, as he learns how to wield them, cannot be used at will: he even attempts to command them, much as Peter tries to force out his webbing in Spider-Man with various vocal phrases. Peter is able to use his powers during the heist at the betting center, and his new mind reading capability comes in handy at reminding him of this. Like Spider-Man, he needs to learn how to use his powers for good…or snogging the Irish bartend while his tattoo takes the form of Godsend.
Hiro as Obi-Wan Kenobi
Okay, so it isn’t a superhero story, but Hiro plays Ben to Kensei’s Luke, turning him from a degenerate youth into a hardened warrior within the span of forty-five minutes. However, unlike in that case, I think Kenobi spiked the water, drugging our Luke into a passive state: how the hell did this storyline nearly wrap up? Nothing actually happened in the storyline outside of some teleporting and some expositing, so any resolution would have been entirely undeserved.
West as Superman
Worst. Storyline. Ever. West literally picks up Claire after they have an incredibly frustrating classroom experience and flies away with her. It’s a total “homage” to Superman and Lois’ first flight, but it’s also entirely unsatisfying and “lame.” That storyline needs to do something and quickly. Sure, Superman and Lois didn’t have an incredibly lame beachside rendezvous where there was a great deal of overacting, but it was essentially the same premise.
We also learn that Noah was responsible for tracking West at his old location, while working for the company, which could finally make this story interesting…if there had been enough time in this episode for it to matter. As it stands, we got only mere snippets of the story: it ends with the reveal that Noah will soon be dead while Claire makes out with a shadowy figure in the 8th painting. This is yet another tacked on cliffhanger that doesn’t actually tell us anything: these need to end, and soon.
Sylar as the Flip-Flopper
He’s the villain who turns into a good guy based entirely on the audience’s reception: Sylar was deemed “cool” by the show’s first season viewers, and the producers have listened. Sylar starts off this week, in only two scenes, by murdering “Candice” in her new form, regaining her power. This is supposed to be a conflicted act: he’s still a murderer, but now he’s fighting the company too.
But Sylar’s return need to be more impactful: I could have done with an episode full of Sylar instead of only three scenes. If they’re going to make this characterization stick, we need to see a whole lot more of it. The revelations that Sylar is in a dense jungle and can’t have powers anymore are not equally important, but it at least provides a question…that I would have liked answered in this episode.
And there’s the real deal here: Heroes is refusing to close a single storyline, choosing instead to stab at each one for a few scenes a week until they reach a conclusion. At this rate, the conclusion better be good if I’m sitting through this tripe to get there. I mean, I didn’t even get to the Twins’ redundant adventure, or Niki’s three scenes (Where Micah was left with Uhura! And Niki wants cured by the Company! And D.L. is dead!), or Mohinder’s boring scenes. Why? Because I don’t think the show cares about them, so why should I?
- “If you get me my box, I’ll give you yours” was one of the worst lines ever.
- Peter is much too overpowered: he has Parkman’s power, Claire’s power, new powers…it’s just far too great a threat to everyone out there.
- Candice is officially an illusionist, and is going by Michelle: an easy way of adjusting to Missy Peregrym being cast on Reaper.
- Mohinder and Parkman are literally an old married couple. And that’s not even a metaphorical comment, I think they might have actually gotten married. Also, dialogue in this scene was back to dreadful levels.
- Ando is back to work for Hiro’s father’s company, despite his apparent death only days earlier. They let someone who witnessed a murder leave the country?!
- Did we really need an intra-episode recap of Hiro’s story for Ando? We already saw all of this.
- Claire and West’s Superman moment was, perhaps, the corniest thing ever.
- Mohinder literally inherits Isaac Mendez’s apartment, which is a tiny bit creepy.
- Peter’s body barfing up a bullet was entirely unnecessary, but also somewhat cool.
- Sylar’s monologue, while structurally important, was rather poorly acted. It did confirm, however, that Candice was the fat girl from the internet comics.
- If Noah actually dies when the paintings come to life, I’m going to have a lot less to stick around for.