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Heroes Commentary 3x09: It's Coming


I am Jaune Chat’s inconsolable rage.

 

I am also Jaune Chat’s incredible glee.

 

 

This show does the difficult task of both making me love every single particle about some scenes and then wanting to smack the writers, directors, producer, and actors silly for other scenes in a single episode. This show induces schizophrenia in me every Monday night.

 

First off, the inconsolable rage. HIRO! I am starting to become convinced that when it comes to some characters, the writers are just at a loss on how to develop their personalities over time. Hiro is one of them. Hiro started out as the comic-loving geek that whole-heartedly believed in his powers, showing the childlike joy that any true nerd would express if they discovered they were the masters of the space-time continuum. And every time he’d started to stray from that path into the path of at least mild respectability and responsibility, he’s somehow bitch-slapped back into his early S1 role. 

 

S2 they tried to do something different with Hiro, giving him a love interest and having him run some hard-core semi-inadvertent betrayal. Granted it didn’t turn out that great, but by gum the writers were trying! Then in S3 they have him sitting around his father’s office looking for a purpose, like a spoiled rich brat who’d destroy their car just for something to do. Though in Hiro’s case he usually tries to save the world for something to do, but that’s semantics.

 

So they disregard the slightly more serious Hiro who had understood the consequences of using his abilities of S2 for this rootless dilettante in S3, who then, when finally in a position to DO something about Arthur the Season-Destroying Monster, gets reverted to a 10-year-old mentality. Jesus H. Christ. Now we get to go through scene after scene of what happens when you give a child the power to change the world (do stupid pranks and eat junk food). 

 

Let Hiro better his life! Let Hiro learn and grow! Don’t just keep reining back his character development every time he gets the tiniest bit complex! You’ve done wonderful things with Sylar/Gabriel, and even Peter has changed somewhat (not in a direction I totally approve, but he’s changed). Nathan has changed, Ando had character development, Claire, Matt, Daphne, Angela, damn near the entire cast has shown that they’ve learned and changed from their life experiences.

 

But Hiro keeps getting slammed down, neutered, and generally negated. He changed beautifully in S1 from totally carefree Hiro to a man who was willing to kill Sylar to save the world. He fell in love with Charlie, couldn’t save her, learned how to use his powers in the face of adversity, and generally grew as a person. He grew more in S2, learned more… and then they threw it all away in this season. Let him grow dammit! I don’t know where all you writers live, but I will shake my fist in your general direction!

 

Ando’s ability to take this all in stride, to try to help Hiro both regain his memories and learn to use his powers again, makes him cooler than Hiro. Ando’s changed from the guy who was willing to use Hiro’s powers to cheat in Vegas, to the guy who wants to save the world. He’s a better man than Hiro. 

 

My predictions for why Future!Super!Ando killed Future!Hiro; child!Hiro gets manipulated by someone into being a villain, and responsible Ando has to eventually gain powers and kill him to keep Hiro from destroying the world. Poor Ando. Goes along for the ride, and ends up being the only person with any kind of sense left in this crazy world.

 

Dear Mohinder, I know you’ve always sought approval, recognition, and fame for your work, mostly because you have daddy issues, but this mad scientist bent of yours is really rubbing my chitinous plates the wrong way. I don’t care how angsty you look bent over the beds of your latest experimental test subjects, the cheekbone currency only goes so far in my country. You’ve reached your spending limit Mo.

 

What cracks me up about the scenes with Angela, Matt, and Daphne is that the two latter say, out loud, that the place is a ghost town. Yet one or the other of them leaves no less than three times to “find a doctor/nurse.” You’ve already established that no one’s there! Unless you’re going to fucking call 911, no one’s going to magically appear. Well, I mean Peter did eventually, but the writers like to forget that he ever had medical training. And he’s an idiot.

 

Where the hell IS everyone at that Company facility though? I thought this was the one closest to the highest concentration of Elder Heroes. Wouldn’t there be quite a few people? Wouldn’t the other Company facilities get just a tiny bit anxious when all their calls don’t get answered? Did they all abandon their posts? Were Knox and Flint out terrorizing lab assistants, computer techs, security guards, medical personnel, and secretaries in their free time so they wouldn’t go to work? (Well, I wouldn’t put it past those two.) I think the writers just enjoy making the characters go through motions of attempted normality before screwing with them some more. 

 

I can’t help but wonder though, if Matt’s attempt to rescue Angela didn’t really do much other than force Daphne’s confession of her affection. I bet Arthur just has bigger fish to fry than concentrating on keeping Angela in a coma. 

 

Ah, then we have Peter and Claire trying to be clever when confronted by Knox and Flint. Oh, that’s not going to go well. Claire’s version of clever is throwing herself out a window, and Peter’s version of clever is to stare at a picture on a wall that he’s already seen before. I think the Petrelli genes carry the pretty and also the foolhardy courage, but the intelligence has clearly skipped several generations.

 

Oh, and they’re going to hide in a sewer? Fuggin’ brilliant. Let’s go down into an enclosed space where we have no idea of the layout and then stand there in the open while Peter attempts to do some therapy on Claire. I like that he’s making an attempt to save someone from their future that doesn’t involve killing, but he doesn’t bother to explain the details very well though. Well, the puppy gets a biscuit for effort, but the attempt wasn’t that great. In the words of Claude, “Is that what you want on your tombstone? ‘Here lies Peter Petrelli, he TRIED.’”

 

Another thing I love about that lovely sewer escape attempt was the fact that Peter and Claire just STOOD there when they could have been walking and attempting therapy at the same time. There ARE two guys up there they were trying to capture you, you know. I know it’s easier for blocking if the two actors just stand, but if the West Wing guys can pedaconference, so can you two! Move your cute little buns, Petrelli-spawn!

 

But no. Claire gets more stupid and stands around without even picking up a stick to defend herself. I know she can’t die, and can’t really feel pain, but I’m guessing at least Knox could think of several other extremely unpleasant things to do to her. 

 

Peter’s brilliant plan to save Claire was kinda not so clever. Yes, let’s set a gas line on fire when we’re all in a small, enclosed area and only Claire could survive the explosion. Please, let’s possibly blow up a city block and cause hardship and danger for the utility workers. Where are this boy’s manners? I think he left them singing in a barbershop quartet with his bangs, his mind, and his wits. I haven’t seen THEM in a while either. 

 

The Elle/Sylar scene however was possibly one of the best scenes of this entire show. I don’t care if the whole timeline for Elle’s prior relationship with Sylar was messed up, I don’t care if Elle’s entire known personality was randomly rewritten for this relationship to be established. What I do care was how much Zachary Quinto and Kristen Bell were acting the living hell out of that scene.

 

Sylar’s ability to gain remorse and ask for the forgiveness he denied himself for so long, then give it to Elle too was just fantastically done. That he was willing to stand there and take whatever Elle needed to give him was beautifully self-sacrificing, even if he knew he couldn’t die. In that scene he was taking not only all of Elle’s pain, but all the pain of all the victims he’d ever killed. Poor Bridgett, the women with pyschometry that he killed at the beginning of the season, actually served a purpose, because that let him see the pain he’d cause Claire, and started him on his road to redemption.

 

The fact that Sylar ended up shirtless and sweaty on the floor? Bonus.

 

Absorbing Elle’s power and her pain (there’s some power semantics there that I’ll just hand wave away, because I’m enjoying this scene too much) was lovely. It’s a potent bonding moment, and Sylar’s joy that he can actually share powers with someone is great. For once he can actually get into someone’s head without actually getting INTO someone’s head. Watching Elle trying to teach him all her tricks was adorable. She’s suddenly more all right than she probably has been in years, and it’s all thanks to him. And Sylar knows he’s turned a corner, and isn’t going to be shaken into evil again. Or at least not random evil. Now it will only be deliberate evil!

 

At least we can hope. I just pray this doesn’t bond Sylar even more firmly into the Arthur Petrelli camp. Arthur has done a single good turn on this show, and that was setting up this scene. He can die now with his purpose fulfilled, and that would be just fine with me. I’m just afraid Sylar will be too eternally grateful to his father for setting that situation up. I am very much hoping that Sylar has the strength of personality to avoid being caught in Arthur’s spell. 

 

While I’m thrilled that Nathan wasn’t going to give his dad an inch, considering what’s happened, could he have broadcast his intentions any more clearly? Being Arthur’s enemy is very, very, very bad. The last time Arthur tried to warn Nathan to not oppose him, Nathan’s wife nearly died. Nathan isn’t too clever.

 

However, Tracy is very clever. I was starting to wonder why she was trailing Nathan around like a stray cat from place to place, and now I know why.  She was gathering intel.  Before she discovered her powers, she was a high-powered political wrangler, a mover and shaker with confidence and panache, essentially a self-made woman in a man’s world. You don’t get there without being willing to crush a few toes. Despite the week’s worth of powers, suicide attempts, rescue sex, and mad experimentation by cockroach-men, her fundamental outlook on life hasn’t changed. 

 

I think Tracy’s seen the writing on the wall when it comes to where Nathan’s sex partners have ended up. Meredith, bore his daughter, spent the rest of her life on the run from the Company before having to work for them. Heidi, bore two of his sons, got paralyzed by his father, and eventually abandoned. Niki, died.   Tracy would like choice E, none of these above. She would like to keep some semblance of semi-normalcy, thank you. And if that means smacking her casual lay into shape, then that’s just peachy. She may be a back-stabbing ice queen, but this is one Heroes woman who won’t take this plot lying down! You go girl!

 

Now, about that damn formula. They apparently were able to give people synthetic abilities without side effects well before Claire came along, as evidenced by Tracy. So why does Claire need to be the catalyst? Unless they were using Adam for it, which I doubt, or why would Arthur have just killed him? This freaking formula makes no sense, and neither does Arthur’s whole very vague plan to save the world.

 

The previews for next week had me screaming at the TV, “WHY? WHY???????” Mein Got, you have a whole show about people HAVING THESE POWERS and how they deal with them; without them you just have a soap opera. After going to all this trouble to establish people’s personalities in conjunction with how they liked/disliked/dealt with their powers, why take them away? I can only hope this is an extremely temporary situation to both take down Arthur and re-prettify Mohinder or I will be throwing things at my TV. 

 

Shows without powers can be interesting, but I watch this show for the extra dimension of complication that powers bring. How would the Elle/Sylar scene have been without their abilities? The whole Matt/Angela/Daphne scene would have been infinitely less compelling with only some kind of bedside confession. The list obviously goes on and on. And let me tell you, I don’t love these characters so much that I would watch more than an episode with the entire premise of the show gone. 

 

Not to mention that the eclipse did not, in any way, trigger these people’s powers. Peter was having prophetic dreams for weeks before the eclipse. Isaac Mendez was drawing for weeks and months before the eclipse. Claire was healing, Flint and Meredith were burning, Arthur and Angela were psyching, Sylar was murdering with telekinesis…   GET YOUR CANON AND TIMELINE STRAIGHT SHOW, FOR THE LOVE OF LITTLE APPLES!

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
brighteyed_jill
Nov. 24th, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
You, my friend, are hi-larious!

You’ve already established that no one’s there! Unless you’re going to fucking call 911, no one’s going to magically appear. Well, I mean Peter did eventually, but the writers like to forget that he ever had medical training. And he’s an idiot. Well, yes, Peter is. And he hasn't done anything nurse-y in forever. Like, seriously since Season 1. Even when Nathan got shot he did nothing vaguely helpful medically. Dumbass.

The fact that Sylar ended up shirtless and sweaty on the floor? Bonus. Amen. I really enjoyed that scene, as much as I know Kristen and Zach were giggling like school girls afterwords. BTW, have you started watching Veronica Mars? Because if not, you are missing a world of awesome.

I think Tracy’s seen the writing on the wall when it comes to where Nathan’s sex partners have ended up. Meredith, bore his daughter, spent the rest of her life on the run from the Company before having to work for them. Heidi, bore two of his sons, got paralyzed by his father, and eventually abandoned [Not to mention completely forgotten by the writers, but that's neither here nor there]. Niki, died. Tracy would like choice E, none of these above.

Not to mention that the eclipse did not, in any way, trigger these people’s powers. Timeline fail. Epic fail. In every way. I think they're not even trying anymore. This show must be really fun for people who haven't seen previous seasons and so can take this bullshit at face value. As for the loyal fans, we can only fanwank so much, y'know show?



Edited at 2008-11-24 10:53 pm (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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