Monday, November 17, 2008

Heroes 007: No No No No No

Sorry, I promised a Heroes post last week and just didn't get to it. It's pain aversion. I just don't know how much longer I can take this. I have so much hatred in me now. To their credit, the show runners seem to have realized with this nearly hour-long flashback that we've set up so many different threads, we'll need to go back a bit to try to unravel them. Sadly, they completely botched it. Last week's episode was an intriguing, generally well-acted little story about completely different people with the same names, and played by the same actors.

Unless the title card "Villains" (which replaced "Heroes") indicates that we are in an alternate universe having no impact upon the show we've been watching, and in which everybody is slightly different, then we have lost whatever tenuous grasp on chronology and consistency we once had. And, if we are in an alternate dimenison, then it is equally meaningless. Frankly, I'd welcome life in a dimension in which Heroes ended after Season 1. Maybe next week the title will be "Idiots." That would be fun. And accurate.

Just a few of the many, many reasons that I am losing my strength when it comes to this show.

* Eighteen months ago, Bennett was working with Elle. How interesting! Cool pairing! Too bad we already know that Elle wasn't let out of the Company's fortress until she went looking for Pete-reli in Ireland last season. And that Bennett was working with the Haitian. Other than that, though, tight plotting.

* Eighteen months ago, Bennett was monitoring Sylar and basically turning him into a serial killer by encouraging him to give into "his hunger" (TM 3 weeks ago). What a reveal! It would be SO compelling . . . except that we have memories. In Season 1, Bennett didn't know who Sylar was, or what he looked like, or what motivated him. We also know that Bennett's view of the Company's policy was to keep tabs on ALL paranormals and to imprison them as soon as they manifested. I will say it's nice that they remembered that Bennett used to be a ruthless company man. Too bad they forgot . . . oh, everything else.

* Eighteen months ago, Elle was very conflicted about what they were doing to Sylar. Except that we know that in Season 2 she was a totally unhinged psychopath who was pretty likely to burn you to death and enjoy it. When did she get all Sarah McLachlan? Where have all the psychopaths gone?

* Dummy McBlueHands: "An invisible guy tackled me." You mean the invisible guy who started helping paranormals escape the Company? Who got caught? Whom Bennett shot and went into hiding and therefore was not working for the Company? That invisible man? ARRRRGH.

* Eighteen months ago, Bennett got into a cab that Mohinder was driving. But we already know that Mohinder doesn't have a brain but rather a complex ganglion of nerve endings in his lower back, and therefore lacks the requisite motor skills to wipe spittle off his chin, much less drive in Manhattan. Oh, actually that sounds like a Manhattan cab driver. Never mind.

* Eighteen months ago, Peter had bangs in his face. Now I want to drown myself whenever I watch this show.

It's not over, I suppose. When we leave off, Pa-trelli is killing Hiro in the African desert, and that's a step in the right direction. Pete-treli is a much more interesting character now that he has limitations besides plot-demanded stupidity. And LOST has shown us that flashbacks can be employed to mind-bending effect. But a flashback should tell us something new, shouldn't it? Couldn't we have gotten something compelling about Pa-trelli's motivations? All we learned is Ma-trelli put Pa-trelli into that coma, that Firebug worked for the Company for about a minute, and also she's the sister of that other guy with the blueflame hands, because everybody in this universe needs to be related. We also learned things we already knew: that Bennett used to be an unquestioning foot soldier, that Linderman worked for Pa-trelli, that Pa-trelli is evil and willing (almost eager) to kill his own sons, that Sylar becomes a demon because of "the hunger", and that it's funny watching a slack-jawed goth guy get thrown into some furniture. Everything else we are shown flatly contradicts key plot and character points. Why am I even surprised by this?

I guess the next flashback will show us that Mohinder is a scientist, Parkman is the long-lost brother of his turtle, Sylar was Claire's violin teacher for a spell, Hiro can teleport and is childlike in his love of comic books, and Ando rarely blinks.

(Oh and for future reference, it's Pa-trelli, Ma-trelli, Pete-trelli, and Law-trelli for Nathan. Long lost Sylar will be referenced as Faux-trelli whenever his connection to the clan is being made explicit. Good? Good.)

Right. And also, "finger gun" is the dumbest power ever. It even beats "paint the future." It would have been better if Sylar had killed him and then just left his power alone, like the crowd at baseball games throwing back an opponent's home run ball. "Finger gun? Um . . . yeah, that's great. No, no . . that's OK. I've, um . . . I've absorbed all the powers I can."

Oh and while I am whining like a mule, are Arthur's only powers the mind control thing? Why is that, if he can steal powers? If he is as power-hungry and evil as he's shown, wouldn't it make sense that he's having the Company gather up super-people to steal their powers? Wouldn't he have snagged a heal power, or an invulnerable power, or a poison-power at some point? It wouldn't have helped as long as the Haitian was around so he'd have still gotten poisoned, but at least then he wouldn't have been bed-ridden for so long. And since I'm here, if Linderman and Ma-trelli had such a problem with Arthur, why are they moving forward with the plot to blow up New York? In a normal show I'd assume these questions would be answered. In a normal show.

I guess the only thing to do is to sign off with the only thing on video that is now dumber than Heroes. May I present SpeedFit, the moving treadmill? This thing is real, y'all:

Invest now!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go drive on the sidewalk until I feel better about all this.


Astin said...

Poor Goat, so very wrong about the show.

See, you're seeing this as a SERIAL TV show, not the EPISODIC one that it is. It's like Friends or Seinfeld, except not funny. Sometimes past episodes come into play, or they have a small arc, but generally each is a stand-alone.

I stopped nitpicking 4 episodes ago. If you ignore things like continuity, then you can totally make up excuses for everything.

Claude - He went into hiding the next day. I mean, when can you tell if an invisible man is hiding?

Elle - She was used as the cute bait for Sylar. Of course, Sylar wasn't looking for her to have powers, so he didn't know.

The Haitian erased Bennett's Sylar memories after this incident because he Noah obviously went all apeshit when he realized what he'd done.

Same thing with Elle, except it had the side effect of making her psychotic.

The Mohinder cab scene is from an early episode, so he probably hadn't developed full-blown stupiditis yet.

Bangs are very emo fro emo-nurse Peter.

Oh, and you're right about the reveals in this week's episode. Mohinder is a scientist, Hiro can teleport and likes comics, etc.. For serious.

Arthur probably didn't steal powers because the healers were Linderman and Adam, both of whom were useful to him. Also, they probably didn't come up with this whole Arthur is alive thing until 3 months ago. In the comics, he was portrayed as powerless when he met Linderman in Vietnam, but well-connected, so Linderman came to him to start the Company. Of course, he could have had the powers added later via formula.

A theory my friend had - Linderman is Nathan's father, not Arthur. It explains his reluctance to kill Nathan, and his affection for Ma Petrelli. It also explains why Claire, Nathan's daughter, is self-healing (a mutation of Linderman's power).

See how much fun it is to make excuses?

Katitude said...

1) When I watch Heroes now, I get the feeling it's like watching an inevitable car crash... can't look away even though I know it will all end in tears.

2) Ok the treadmill thing..yeesh. Isn't that like, oh, I dunno, WALKING??!?!

I have no wheels so driving on the sidewalk will have to be replaced by drinking heavily.

Oh, and the word verification is hummer. I shit you not.

SilverVW said...

Great write up. I also thought that episode of "Chuck" sucked.

1Queens Up1 said...

Alright look here Goat, although your Heros recaps are always right on, i take MAJOR umbrage at this passage:

When did she get all Sarah McLachlan? Where have all the psychopaths gone?

Clearly you are insuinating that Sarah McLaclan sang "Where have all the Cowboys Gone?"

Ho Ho, my good man this is not the case! Paula Cole (armpits of bushy fury)sang this song!

I except a full apology tomorrow in your next review, thank you!!!

Julius_Goat said...


I suppose I could apologize, but instead I think I'll make fun of you for caring so much about adult-contemporary vocal female performance artists.

Please remand your heterosexuality to the nearest Man Office for review by the end of the year.

1Queens Up1 said...

I apologize Goat, Dawson Leery made me do it.

Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Does he really know Dawson's last name?