Friday, October 31, 2008

It Don't Mean A Thing

Even though this clip is only 8 seconds long, you may lose hours of your life. Why? Because it doesn't get less funny with repetition. At all.

Behold: Charles Barkley's golf swing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Heroes 006: Defenestration Nation

And now, a reading from The Book Of Patreli, Chapter 1, verses 1-8

1 And so it came to pass that the man Sylar didst have serious mommy issues, which verily didst cause him to changeth his piorities and motiviations, and, yea, even his very character at the droppeth of a hat, thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times in an episode. 2 And then Sylar, being mighty in power, did find favor with his brother, but even so when his father did entreat him he did switch, and with his might didst smite his brother Peter and cause him to be thrown from a high place. 3 But lo! Though Peter didst fall, yet he did not die, for his brother Sylar did still love him in secret, though verily not in a gay way (though, letteth us face it, there wast truly an uncomforable amount of hugging and breathing heavily with longing glances far too close and lingering for the comfort of most). 4 And then didst Peter find favor with the LORD and escape with his brother's daughter Claire, who could not feel pain and neither could she act. And then Sylar's father was wroth, and did gnash his teeth, and rent his robe, and smiteth he his right hand man, who causeth nightmares, for very little reason.

5 So the audience was filled with great loathing, and they cursed the writers and swore an oath to them. "May your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, which will make ordering at French restaurants very difficult, and may your contact lenses be very hard to get out at night! You are like unto a goat without a goatherd! Unto the tenth generation I curse you, for truly we say to you the Nightmare Man was interesting to us! So mucheth now for the subplot in which ghost-Lindermaneth was appearing to Senator Patreli, and whateth the helleth was that all abouteth, anyway? 6 Eth you!"

7At that time there were many signs and miracles, and Parkman did getteth played like a punk, and Hiro did eateth of the paste of hyena dung, because he is totally getting hazed by the African seer, and Ando did laugh to himself, and Inky Sue did depart, and there was much rejoicing. 8 Also, verily Mohinder was a stupid prat in the eyes of G-d and man. Amen.

Hey! It's Heroes! It's kind of fun again even though it doesn't make much sense unless you don't think very much about it, which keeps it from being fun. Let's try to keep up here.

Claire and Electro-Loo. I can't quite understand aiport security. I can't bring on bottled water, but a girl who is actually shooting off visible electricity just gets to sit in business class, no problem? Also, superheroes taking a plane? WHERE IS YOUR DUMB FLYING BOYFRIEND WEST? Also, am I the only person who really hoped they would crash on LOST island?

Noah. He's working with Meredith now. I guess the Haitian is busy. That's fine. What's Noah even doing now? He was on Level 5, then there was a jailbreak, and I guess that meant he wasn't dangerous to the company anymore, because they want him to catch the bad guys, because I guess he's their only human operative? Isn't this a big Company with a lot of government funding? Is Noah their only spook? Wasn't the big scene between him and Claire at the end of Season 2 all about how he had rejoined the Company to keep the Company off Claire's back, but he now can never see her again? But now he's back to the house all the time. I'm lying down now.

Meredith. Hey, the show remembered that she and Nathan were a thing once. Good going, show! Way to remember stuff!

Nathan. Man, he's gotten boring. What the dilly-o? He was all full of God for about a minute. Now he's full of cotton swabbing. That said, I hope next week shows him flying in an airplaine to visit his dad. That would be funny.

Hiro and Ando. Hiro is back to not wanting to change the past. Again. Yawn. Somebody hit this guy with a shovel a third time, quick.

Daddy Powersuck. I like him, I'm rooting for him. I don't really know what else to say. He's got something going on beneath the surface. It's probably just that Robert Forster can act and he hasn't been around enough to become a totally different person seven times.

Nightmare Man. Snap, crackle, buh-bye.

Mohinder. There's something I've noticed about the lines that are written for him. They take the maximum amount of words to convey the most simple ideas. They are repetitive, they are redundant phrases, they are on some kind of recursive loop, they say the same thing over and over but each iteration in one of his interminable sentences is more abstract and more pointless and melodramatic, it's almost as if he just wants a drink of water, but they don't have him say, "Water please," but rather they have him say, "I am seeking water, something wet and moist that I can drink, the very giver of life that seeps from the earth and covers us and in fact makes up every part of us, that very essential element which is one of the four that poets have long sung of and which flows even in our very blood, and I'm a spider sometimes EEEAAAAAUUUGHA BOOGLE VOICEOVER!!!!" Essentially, he is what Seinfeld said about Newman. "No, there's not more to him than meets the eye. There's less."

My point is, I think that he thinks that he's narrating all the time. I'd like to see more of this. I'd like to see him eating a slice of pizza, intoning, ". . .the pizza of life is mysterious, some of us prefer the peperoni of certainty, other enjoy the pinapple of confusion . . . " and so on.

For next week's episode, I want to see Hiro get drunk and try to seduce Parkman's turtle. But then . . . he kills the turtle!!!!! Comercial break!!!! We're back aaaaaaand . . . it wasn't the turtle at all, it was just a pillow and Hiro was dreaming. Then Matt shoots him, shoots him dead!!! Comercial break!!!!

It's Going To Be OK

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Education of Julius Goat

A brief warning: Unless you are actually interested in my writing process, this is going to be as dull as fifty bad beat stories. Razz bad beat stories. Feel free to seek distraction elsewhere.

If you're still with me, then thanks for your interest. I will be your best friend as this whole world, as my older daughters would say.

I've been at this novel thing for about four months solid now, and at the beginning of this month, I actually started writing it. I think I've already mentioned in this space that there was so much inventory to take, and so many choices about what to keep in, what to leave out, what new directions to discover, and all the difficult work of actually crafting a story, that it took me through the better part of three months. It was fun and excruciating. It made all my hair fall out and then grow back in again. My eyebrows still have not returned, and were last seen on safari somewhere west of Nairobi.

Pretty much twice a weekend, I sit down at my desk, call up a jazz/classical playlist, pour a fine beer, and try to fall into that old groove. If I do a good job, I look over three or four hours later and the beer is only half drunk. If I'm procrastinating, I open a second beer.

There have been more two beer nights than half beer nights, sad to say. I am easily distracted. But I'm getting better, and closer, as I clear the debris out of my writin' groove and write fiction regularly for the first time in eight years.

Here's what I'm learning.

The Internets are a writer's greatest friend. The other day I found myself unexpectedly having to know more than I currently do about bowling balls. For example, what are they made of? In the past, this would have required work, and, let's face it, work is for total losers. Now? The answer is at my fingertips. I am probably the poker blogger who knows the most about how bowling balls are made.

The Internets are a writer's worst enemy. You do realize that, instead of writing, I can play poker, right? Like, whenever I want? Or I can read blogs, as many blogs as I want. Or I can fire up the IM and see who's around for a chat. Or I can play one of the 100,000 free Flash Games that are available. I mean, sure, one could write what one hopes is an engaging and meaningful novel . . . but how far can you make the Yeti smack the penguin this time? Put it this way: While I was writing this very paragraph, I checked my bloglines.

Have a framework and stick to it. Whenever I write a blog post or a short story, or pretty much anything, I just start with a general idea and then let it rip. After a quick read-through and polish, it's done. That's worked OK for me, but what became clear from my first abortive attempt at Subject to Infinite Change was that this method just wasn't going to hack it. I'd make things up as I went along, but when I went back to read it again, I found that either characters were acting on motivations that hadn't been properly explained (or even hastily sketched out), and that plot points were just popping out of nowhere in highly contrived fashion. Why, I could have written for Heroes! To have cut out the parts of the story that aren't story, and made firm decisions about what parts are, and how they are supposed to roll out, is freeing beyond words. Long fiction demands this kind of scrutiny; you just can't fake it. Or, at least, I can't.

Do not stick to the framework. Having said that, I've discovered that the freeway to dull, pedantic writing is to just take the plot and write it, or just take the themes and put them in your character's mouth. You have to start around the edges, make the reader see something very vividly, move them into the moment, before you can get the action going. If your narrative is nothing more than Character did Thing and then Thing and then Thing, you may as well be posting hand histories. Good writing comes in through the side door.

Writing is like poker. Once you have the framework, it's just a case of keeping your eye right in front of you. You aren't writing yesterday's pages, or tomorrow's. You aren't done, and you never will be unless you make the next sentence an interesting and useful sentence. And then the next. And then the next. Word by word, sentence by sentence, your choices need to be good and unpredictable.

Writing is nothing at all like poker. No cards. Duh.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Setting The Record Straight

Enough with the innuendo and heresay. A few Obama rumors debunked. Just doing my part.

Obama Facts: Truth or Smear? -- powered by

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Lines

Tonight's the night that this madness is happening:

I may be playing or I may not -- who knows? More to the point, who cares?

Here's my betting lines:

Chances of Fuel berating somebody: Yes.

Percentage of one-outers hit: 87%

Head explosions from the unfairness of it all in the first hour: 4

Percentage of Players Playing Tight on the Bubble: 76%

Low Money Prize: $1.70

Total Elapsed Time: 5 hours

First Prize: $18.90

Percentage of Players Inebriated: I love you, man!

Number of "BOOOOM"s: 5,890

Number of "ROAR"s: You're dumb.

Percent represented by this statistic: 59%

Percent representing the rest of it: 43%

Margin of error: 2%

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Heroes 005: All We Are Is Dust In The Wind, Dude

Whoo hooo hoo!!!

Adam is dead! It sure looks permanent! Peter lost all his powers! Just like I asked! Hiro got hit with a shovel! Hiro got hit again with a shovel! Hiro is funny again in a way that derives from his character instead of pointless stupidity! Let's rewind and watch Hiro get hit with a shovel again!

Well, now what do I do? Seriously, I'm asking. the first few seasons of this season were dragging Season 2 around like a corpse that had been chained to them, but now they've found a hacksaw, and now they are just weighed down by the chain and the amputated stump of one leg. I'm honestly at a loss when it comes to writing about a "Heroes" that doesn't just suck out loud. It's hard to know now if something has been left out because it is yet to be revealed or because the writers are just making it up. This was easier when I was giving them no credit at all (and with good reason). So, what am I left with? Q-Tip? You have any answers?

What is Elmer if he ain't got Fudd?
What is Paul if he ain't got no Rudd?
What is a belly dance if it don't shake?
What is a birthday party wit' no party cake?
What is a runner who can't jump no hurdles?
What is Parkman without his turtle?
What is this show without a voiceover?
What's Sesame Street if it ain't got Grover?
Nadda nadda nadda, not a damn thing.
How does Nathan fly without any wings?
Does he have a wife if she's never on the show?
What about Micah, where did he go?
What is Heroes if it doesn't suck?
What is Adam if he's dead as a duck?
What's a creator who's not creating?
What is Goat
If he ain't hating
On the Heroes writers?
What's a crimefighter?
What is Mohinder if he ain't a damn spider?
What's a Jabba if he dosn't have a Hutt?
What's a bad show if it's out of its rut?
What is a what is a what is a WHUT??

Never mind, Tip. Thanks anyway.

Random Thoughts

* Peter losing his powers to his dad is a great development. Something to note: A hero with unstoppable powers is boring. A villain with the same powers. Awesome. The difference is the tension that comes from real danger. Something at stake, something to lose. Glad to see they fixed this, not a week after I asked for it, either. Big question: Did Peter merely lose all the powers he's picked up, or did he lose the power to pick up powers? Any way you slice it, I love it.

* So, Pa-Trelli can get all the powers, and he steals them. Peter just gets them from proximity. Sylar gets them by killing. I don't know what it means, except to say this: Sylar being Peter's brother is idiotic. Good to get that off my chest.

* The next step that they need to take is to get us to care about these people again. Remember that episode that focused on Bennett, from the moment he joined the company to the moment he betrayed it to save his daughter? That's the reason we care so much about Bennett. We went deeply into what makes him tick. On the other hand, Adam just got turned to dust and I could care less. He was a likeable actor and did the best he could with what he had, but I have no idea who he was as a person, what made him tick, and I don't have any sense that the creators do, either. He was a piece that moved around the board to get Plot Point A from Area Q to Area R, and now that piece is captured and off the board. But I'm encouraged; they still could make a heavy investment in character development and exploration, and let the stories flow from that. If they did, I could even start forgiving the fact that they have 30+ episodes that just don't work if you think about them at all.

* Hold on, let's go back a few episodes. Remember Nikki in her coffin? Didn't she BURN TO DEATH? She was remarkably well-preserved. Just a quibble.

* Mohinder is better as a bad guy. He's still horribly stupid (really? let the lady who you KNOW can kill with a freezing touch to touch you?), but at least you can explain it by saying he's distracted by being a bug. Also, Maya is incapacitated. That is so cool. I like the idea of his trying to convince friends that he totally has a girlfriend that they've never met. Not in the Niagra area, just webbed up in a cocoon on his ceiling. "No, totally, she's real! She's into me!"

* I don't believe that Area 5 is actually a maximum security prison. It's easier to get a bad guy out of there than it is to get Pringles out of those tennis-ball cans.

* The bad guy with the blue fire hands looks a lot like Joe the Plumber.

* Parkman is going to be so bummed when he goes back to the apartment and Mohinder eats his turtle.

* Did I mention that Hiro got hit with a shovel? I think they've been reading my mail.

* The scene with the puppetmaster was fantastic. Uber-creepy, worked with tensions that already existed between Claire and her two moms, allowing Mama Bennett to be awesome and the actor playing puppetmaster to make us all feel deeply uncomfortable. Also, what's with the cool new ideas for powers? Agreed, vortex-man was a great power. Puppetmaster is a really cool one, too. Fear-eater isn't bad. More innovation when thinking of powers, please. Here's a few I'd like to see:

- Arousal Man, the man who arouses whomever he's around.
- Shark Hands. Nobody messes with shark hands.
- Prehensile Hair Boy. This would make puberty difficult, but nevertheless . . .
- Multiple Man, the man who can make copies of himself.
- Two-Dimensional Lass. Good for mailing yourself.
- The Aroma-nator. I would like to see somebody who just smells really good, and that's it.
- Density control. Actually a very strong power.
- Super barfing. This would be best if it allowed you to propel yourself through the air.
- Super stretchy. A classic.
- Super lucky. Always good for Vegas, but I'd like to see somebody whose power is simply stumbling around and things just always break right for him.
- Flesh molder. This person could make permanent changes to your body with his hands, as though you were modeling clay. This would make that "got your nose!" game a lot more intense.
- Super sweaty. This person can actually fill a room with his own sweat in minutes. In our world, we call such a man "Patrick Ewing."

"Heroes" may come back from the dead yet. Keep hope alive.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday Appreciation

Just was thinking about how many of my PoBloSphere buddies are Canucks, eh?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Heroes 004: Bad Guy In A Coma, I Know, I Know, It's Serious

It has finally happened. An episode of Heroes that didn't make me want to vomit my brains. Not that it wasn't stupid in places (it was), but there is actually a story shaping up that has a shot at being coherent. I don't think it has a chance of synching up with previous story arcs to make a seamless whole, but at least this story itself might work a little bit on it's own terms, if you don't think too much about it.

How's that for faint praise? The problem with this development is it takes away the hate, but fails to replace it with enthusiasm. Without my hate, I have nothing - nothing!

Oh well, let's give this a try.

What We Know:

* Linderman's "ghost" is actually being generated by Matt Parkman's spooky mind-control dad, who seems to have escaped the mind trap that Matt constructed for him back in Season 2. We haven't seen how he was able to get out, but I think it is fair to assume that Hiro let him out after being told not to.

* Spook Dad is himself being controlled by this season's apparent Big Bad. He's ventilated in a hospital bed, but mindreader can still communicate with him. He's played by Robert Forster, which is sweet, and his super powers are super paralysis and super big-eyed glower. There may be more. The previews seemed to indicate that this was the long-gone, suspiciously demised, Pa Patreli. If so, very nice. I was waiting all Season One for the allegedly deceased Patreli Familius to pop up. Remember, this is the guy who was Linderman's lawyer, a charter member of the Evil Parent's club, and one of the guys that crusading attorney and congressional candidate Nathan was going to bring down for crimes against everybody. Oh, by the way, remember when Nathan had a wife and two boys whom he loved? You do? It doesn't seem like Nathan does! Oh well, what the hell.

* The puppetmaster is creepy, and probably about to join up with the Big Bad, given the paralysis/lack of body control Ma Patreli experienced in her dream.

* A group of villains is being constructed that includes Knox, Daphne, Matt, Hiro, and Adam. Their intent is to bore us. I mean, get the virus. I mean, the formula. Wait, they already got that. I guess it's to distribute the formula? The idea is to give everybody powers, which we already know will destroy the world.

* Hiro is an idiot. Also, please don't think for a second that he actually killed Ando. It was a cool unexpected moment, though. I'm guessing whatever time-bending slight of hand allowed him to prove his friend-killing badassedness will further alienate him from Ando, but I don't think he just stabbed his friend in cold blood. If he did, then "Heroes" has fully committed to its total lack of attention to character, and you can approach each episode as an improvisational session with the same actors rather than an ongoing series. Also, what kind of test is that? "I want to prove that I can trust you. So kill your friend. Then I'll know I don't have to keep my eye on you." That only works if you are worried that your new team member is a cop, you know. It is less effective in a superhero setting. Also, Hiro is an idiot. Also, Hiro is an idiot.

* Mohinder is a spider. So it's NOTHING like "The Fly." At all. Like a spider, he climbs walls and spins a sticky sort of substance that he uses to imprison victims. Also like a spider, he has a simple ganglion in his lower abdomen, rather than a more highly-developed brain. I think this is supposed to be read as his descent into evil, but he is on his way to killing Inky Sue, which I think will garner him a Nobel Prize.

A Major Quibble

They need to decide if the virus/cure/Honduran getaway in Season Deuce caused Syalr to lose all the powers he'd picked up in Season 1. It certainly seemed this way in the first episode this year, but we've since seen him paint the future and we've seen him use his telekenesis. And, if he has those old powers, then . . . HE HAS SUPER HEARING. He would be able to hear everything everything everything that HornRim was saying to Vore-tex. Just make a spreadsheet of powers, people.

Oh, and don't forget that Peter came into contact with Sylar when Sylar had the super hearing, so let's remember that Peter has super hearing, too. I'm sure that if you remember this, it will pay off by annoying you with the inconsistency later in the season. Like all the times Peter would be able to hear vital information but doesn't. Yes, my gift to you is shared annoyance. Welcome to my life.

A Potential Unifying Theory (Or How I'd Fix The Show)

I've already gone on ad infinitum on how the show is off the tracks. My first steps if I ran the show would be to wipe Peter's powers with a kind of a perma-Haitian, and then make him have to slowly learn each one back. Make him earn it. Then, I'd make Sylar scary again. Then, I would destroy this plot thread that has Claire's blood bringing the dead back to life. No death to any character means anything as long as that's riding. There is no suspense that I can buy. It is definitely the moment that the show totally lost me. Let's just pretend it could only happen the one time, because of the mumble mumble mumble, and move on.

Then, I would write scenes that would force the actor playing Mohinder to have a huge range. Lots of laughing and crying and different accents and prosthesis and stuff. That would just be for funnies, like when Keanu Reeves tries to do a period epic. Mohinder would become a parallel part of the show who never had anything to do with the show but would just try (and fail) to emote. Also, I would make him try to talk like Bootsie Collins. "Hey bah-bah, I gots this crazy skin fallin' off an' a taste fo' human flesh, but I just keep funkin' anyhow, bah-bah." This should happen.

Then I would have a shocker to shake things up. Take out a major character. I'd probably kill off Hiro. This would have the dual effect of taking time shifting out of the equation and mercy-killing a once great character who has turned into a retarded Manga labrador retreiver.

Finally, and this is a big one, I'd try to fix the Company. They have a different motive from episode to episode and even from scene to scene. Just try following the Haitian's loyalties from the beginning to now, and you'll see what I mean. It's time to make some sense of that. All these futures need to be tied together in some way, and we need to have some kind of explanation regarding why this group seems bent on saving the world but also on ending the world. Why they want to catch Claire and also protect Claire from their own operatives. Why they keep so many horrible formulas and viruses and what have you instead of just destroying them. My preference would be to reveal that the reason they chose to orchestrate the New York explosion was that it was the best future that Ma Patreli (and other paint/dream the future types -- remember Shaft himself was in the first season and had some kind of foresight) could find.

In other words, a nuclear explosion destroying New York actually was the good future. And now they've ruined it, and are now fighting even worse alternative. The Heroes have to try to find a new one, a better one.

Now there is a unifying plot.

Um, and the reason they don't just destroy the formula and the virus and the other things that are bringing these apocalypses about?

Sigh. Because they're stupid. We're back to that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's Going To Be OK

Just thought we could all use a little chill-out.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


This is an eye-opener for any poker player who thinks they are able to count outs or stay totally observant at the table. Keep your eye sharp and see if you can pass the test.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heroes 003: Pete Patreli Picked A Peck Of Painful Plot Holes

Presently, Peter Patreli poses a peck of power problems. Four years in the future he has been branded a terrorist, given a sweet scar and a reservoir full of brylcream, and the ability to:

Read minds, fly, go nuclear, be invisible, walk through walls, control time, teleport, blue flamehands, paint the future, dream the future, that shouty-thing, ultra-fast, indescructible, immortal, turn fear into strength, and anything else I may be forgetting or that he may have run across in the time between present-day Peter and future Peter.

In short, Peter Patrelli controls time, space, and matter, knows the future, and cannot be killed. He is a God. This is because Peter Patrelli has the power to absorb all other powers simply by coming into brief contact with the possessor of the power. Stand next to him in the subway? He'll getcher power. You were his waitress? He's gotcher power. Power power power power power power power. Peter Patrelli.

So, Peter Patrelli presents a potent pickle, plotwise. To wit: How do you create tension when your main character is God?

Answer? Make him as dumb as a stale crouton. And not one of them fancy herbed croutons, neither. Those things are just loaded with flavor, no way he can compete with that kind of crouton.

Here is the story of Season three, so far, and I'll leave out all the ways that it flatly contradicts things we know about previous seasons. There is a formula which gives people powers that the Evil Parent Holding Company knows about and keeps laminated in two pieces, rather than destroying. The formula allows anybody to have powers. Mix formula, inject, done, you got powers. This gets out because Hiro is as dumb as bacon bits, everybody is going to get powers, as a result the world's population, unable to handle the new abilities, gets unstable and eventually splits the entire planet in half.

A scientist named Mohinder developed a version of the formula independently, and immediately tested it on himself, because he is as dumb as the rest of the salad. It gave him the power to be spider man for a day, then it gave him the power to have sex once, then it gave him the power to be a dick, and then it gave him the power to be Gollum. Join us next week for That's Our Mohinder! Wa, wa wa.

It's all drawn on rocks by a guy in Africa with a Universal Studios t-shirt on. He's read Carl Jung, but he's dumb enough to think that somebody would know Brittney Spears just because they were from the United States. Fun.


So here's what Peter does when he is confronted with the knowledge that the planet is doomed, doooooooomed! He goes back and time and tries to fix it. So far, so good. That's what you'd expect a guy with limitless power to do. But the problem is, Peter is as dumb as a crouton, so he keeps messing up. This is (we suppose) what makes him public enemy number one in the future. His final act is to go back in time to try to stop his brother from spilling the beans about super powers, which he as a person with godlike powers does by shooting him with a gun.

A crouton, folks. A stale one.

So, realizing that he has terrible judgment, Peter decides to get help. Somebody who will make better decisions than him. He goes and gets . . . himself. I would like to repeat this as though my name were Joe Biden. Peter Patreli realizes he has made awful mistakes in the past, so he passes the mission on to his past self. Who is the one person he KNOWS will make awful mistakes. Past Peter is also dumb as a stale crouton, but at least unlike Future Peter, he doesn't have the first clue what's going on!

The last thing that Future Scarred Peter tells Past Side-part Peter before getting gunned down is that the only way to stop what is coming is to visit Sylar and get his powers.

Now . . .Sylar's power is to absorb people's power. Just like Peter. The only difference is that Sylar does it by poking around in people's brains, while Peter does it just by standing next to you for a second. Not only that, but Peter has been in proximity with Sylar before, and thus already HAS Sylar's powers. It just hasn't mattered, because Sylar's power is the same as Peter's except scarier and grosser and, you know worse. Suckier. A suckier version of the exact same power. Like Window Vista. Of course, this is Future Peter's grand scheme.

In other words, the only thing that taking Sylar's power will give Peter is to make him a psycho. Which, of course, makes it more likely that HE is the one to blow up the world again. This is just a matter of record, my friends. And in this dangerous story, we need to look at record, not rhetoric.

So Peter goes to a rehabilitated future Sylar, who is doting on his son with an unspecified mother (I'm guessing it is Mohinder). But this week, we are pretending that Peter has to ACTIVELY absorb a power, and that people have a choice as to whether or not to give it to him, though we've seen this isn't the case in, oh, I don't know, every other episode.

Then the bad (good) guys -- that would be Claire and Speedy Gonz-crosseye and Fear Dude, show up to stop the good (bad) guys -- that would be Crouton and the Brain, and they have a showdown, which would be VERY dramatic if it weren't for the fact that Peter CAN CONTROL TIME HE CAN CONTROL TIME HE CAN STOP TIME HE IS INDESTRUCTIBLE AND SO IS SYLAR THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO EITHER OF THEM OH MY GOD OH MY GOD MY BRAIN IT HURTS SSXXXXXBGGGLEZZZZZ.

Luckily for the story, Peter forgets he can do this. Sylar's kid is killed. And Sylar goes nuclear. This does not kill Claire or Peter, because, you know, they are immortal, which makes me wonder yet again why Claire keeps pointing a gun and Unca Pete. The blast kills millions and convinces the population that super-powers are a menace. The government decides that the answer to the super power menace is to give a whole ARMY of people super powers, because NOBODY is more stupid than the U.S. government. This is the most realistic moment in the episode.

Poor Peter Patreli, punk'd by painted prescience.

Other notes as I soak my brain in ice water:

* Cool nuclear blast! Seriously. That rocked the casbah.

* The scene where Nathan flies up and catches ForgetHerNameIceLady is the worst-looking special effect the series has ever done.

* No way Future Peter is dead. They just have to dig the bullets out of him. I'd assume everybody knows that but, then, this is "Heroes."

* So now we know. Hiro actually is mentally challenged and operating at a high-functioning ten-year-old level, and Ando is in fact his hired nurse, whose main job is to keep him from swallowing his own tongue. Hiro just dug up Kinsei/Adam to get the key he needed, and let him out, despite the fact that (at the risk of sounding like a broken record) HE CONTROLS TIME AND THUS CAN DIG HIM UP AND GET THE KEY AND BURY HIM AGAIN MY GOD HOW STUPID IS THIS GOING TO GET?

* So, Adam is free again. I guess he'll be continuing his horrifying campaign of not dying.

* The scene between Future Peter and Past Peter. Wow, I never realized it before, but these are the two worst actors in the show.

* Ha, Parkman fell asleep and while he was out, his new African friend painted on his face. I had friends like that in college too. He's just lucky he doesn't have a big FAG written across his cheek in Sharpie.

* How does Future Parkman get to stay in Mohinder's dad's apartment, anyway? Why would he? Doesn't his speedster lady make decent kwan as a superhero government operative? Where is his wife? Where is his unborn baby?

As in last night's debates, common sense and sobriety are the true losers.