Are You On the List?
I know this isn't probably the image you think of when you think of "Heroes," but the geek ass in me had to put old man Sulu up there. I just couldn't resist. I have to say I really like this show quite a bit; for creator Tim Kring to have no real love for comics going into this, he hits what all of us former (like myself) or present day comic book collectors love about the artform right on the fucking noggin. However, after watching last night's episode, something KW said in an earlier comment to one of Chris's posts came back to me. He made the point that "Heroe's" is a good show, but it has it's flaws for sure. I'm paraphrasing, but last night's episode was an indication of the wrong turn this show could take if not handled correctly.
The fact is, up until last night, I hadn't disliked an episode of the series which is pretty damn amazing for a brand new show especially when you factor in as much television as I watch and have watched since I was itty bitty. Every show, even the great ones, have their learning curves initially, and when you look back at most of your favorite shows they usually start really resonating with you from the second half of the first season on, or until they reach their peak and join Fonzie in jumping that ever present "shark" that most shows can't seem to steer themselves away from. "Heroes," however was so strong in the first half that I was worried it might take a bit of a downslide in the latter part of the season, and judging from last night that's not entirely improbable.
The complaint most people have had about "Lost" lately, and I can see it to a point (although, I still think "Lost" is running on a very high level) is that a lot of the episodes have felt like filler. It's as if the creators know where they want their story to go, but aren't sure right now how to get there, so a lot of episodes don't really move the story along, but just kind of make it stall. I don't see that with "Lost," but I saw that most definately last night with "Heroes."
Take the Sylar story for instance. He breaks out and traps "Horn Rimmed Glasses" (A really retarted name made up by the fans) at the office. He then proceeds to take HRG's wife hostage and talk a lot about how he wants to hurt her daughter. HRG shows up in the nick of time, takes out Sylar, and then his Haitian buddy erases the wife's memory of everything that happened. I have a couple problems with this. One is simply there is no point. As much as I love Star Trek in all of it's incarnations, the one problem I had with it was it liked to wrap up all of it's problems in the 47 minutes that the episode ran. The same problem exists here on a show that has so far had no problem leaving a lot of doors open. But since he's been captured again, and the wife remembers nothing of the encounter, basically nothing happened. And therefore, we sat there for twenty minutes or so of the episode for no reason at all. The other problem I have was the direction with Sylar. Zachary Quinto has done an excellent job in the role of Sylar, and along with the great writers has created a very multi dimensional and extremely creepy villain. But forcing the fake southern accent and all of the villanious charm that goes with it in this episode he turns into your typical Hollywood serial killer.
And the same can be said for all of the characters focused on last night. It almost feels like everyone turned to cardboard for an hour; maybe that's a power they decided to explore. Look, we also have the ability to all be very uninteresting for an hour; enjoy. Ali Larter (Niki) has been wooden from the start, and also has the least interesting storyline going on right now, so having a lot of the show dedicated to her plight didn't help matters. And the usually engaging Masi Oka (Hiro) gets stuck in an airport hangar for the entire episode playing mind games with his father (Takei) so he doesn't have to go back home, and did anyone else think the resolution to that confrontation felt tacked on and unintelligible?
As for Peter and the Invisible man (Christopher Eccleston) in their training sessions, well, I don't know what to make of it. Since they really didn't seem to accomplish anything except talk and piss each other off, not a whole lot came of that either. I'm not saying the show sucks all of a sudden, and I'm not saying that some of these plot threads might actually pop up later and make this very interesting in the long run. Although, if they would just kill Niki off, I can't say I, nor a lot of other fans, would be dissapointed. And I will say this. Even though after it was all said and done, I felt a little cheated, I did not feel that way while watching it. Even when there's absolutely nothing of interest happening, Kring and company make you feel like you're watching something important and of interest. That is a compliment to how well the creative team has set the mood thus far. However, if it starts going in this direction, that's not a good omen. And for those who haven't seen it, I won't give away the identity of Claire's father, which was the big zinger at the end. But I will say this, I knew what the answer would be after watching last week's episode. Mostly, because it's the only answer that made any sense, and would actually have greater complications for the rest of the season. Not too say that's a bad thing; at least the story moves in a logical direction, and it's not turning into "Prison Break." We can all be thankful of that.