Sunday, December 09, 2007

From Hero...To Zero


I thought I'd rip open the ol' Heroes wound again, now that the season finale has aired. I give the show four out of five on the meh-o-meter. The show took a lot of time to accomplish exactly nothing. No characters were expanded in any significant way, none of the new characters did anything noteworthy, none of the various and sundry plot threads were engaging.

I never cared about Maya and Alejandro. Their deaths in the last episode had zero impact on me. Their story arch was easily the weakest of the season, never connecting to the main story at all.
For this same reason Sylar was rendered completely pointless. Were we supposed to be frightened that he was going to see Doctor Suresh when he no longer had his powers? I certainly wasn't. And since there is nothing in his character to identify with either, he is an impotent character. Sylar spends so much time laying down the creepy vibe it's a wonder no one around him ever suspects him of being dangerous. It just gets harder and harder to believe that people can trust a guy who consistently has this expression:

Come on, that guy is clearly a supervillain. At the very least, a date rapist.

As for Nikki's apparent death, I give another resounding "meh". Even if she is dead (don't believe it till you see a body), I never really connected to her character. The whole split personality thing was one of my least favorite aspects of season one, but that's really all the character had going for her. Take that away and you have another pointless character. So, let her be dead.

Nathan's death...hmmmm. Again, we never actually see him die. Remember, things didn't look so good for him at the end of season one, either. Besides, any death on this show is no longer meaningful as displayed by Noah Bennet's death and resurrection. As long as Claire is alive and full of sweet, delicious super-blood, no one has to die ever again. Hooray!

Claire's plot thread with flyboy Clark West was an unbearably mawkish, WB-infused affair. I was really hoping immediately after the character's introduction it would be revealed that West worked for The Company. Leave teenage super-romance to Smallville, and quit wasting my time.

It was so nice to see Noah and Claire united at the beginning of the season. I liked Noah's transformation throughout season one from sleazy bad guy to dedicated family man. But immediately in season two both Claire and Noah find reasons to start lying once again, and all the previous character development is for naught. However, Noah did get to have some genuinely cool scenes this time around, particularly when he's kicking Kristin Bell's ass. Although, did anyone else notice that after he neutralizes her with water, when it comes time for the hostage exchange she's completely dry and he's just holding her by the arm? I'm just saying.

Hero finally got back to the future (nyuck) and did some heroing. Peter tossed him around for a while (a bit too easily in my opinion), but he finally took care of Adam. Adam was never an interesting villain to me. He really only succeeded by using other people (first Mr. Nightmare, then Peter). Mr. Nightmare, I think, had much greater potential for super-villainy than Adam. The scene where he ensnared Parkman and Nathan in a nightmare and made them fight each other was one of the season's few great moments. Nothing Adam did ever got to that level. Sure, his plan to release a super-virus is diabolical, but not necessarily thrilling in execution or fun to watch.
I'll admit the scene where he and Peter are busting into the secret basement at Primatech was pretty awesome, but over too quickly. This series, in both seasons, has a rather annoying habit of skimping on the action. I'm thinking of Peter and Sylar's climactic showdown in the flash forward episode in the first season. Most of it happens off screen. This is a show about people with super powers. Where are the epic battles for crying out loud?

Here's my geekiest complaint about the season. It's concerning Peter's Irish girlfriend trapped in the virus apocalypse future. So, Peter keeps saying he needs to stop the virus from being released so he can save her from that fate. Well stop me if I'm wrong, but if he changes the future that she's stuck in, won't she vanish along with it? That's common time travel paradox knowledge.

I know the finale was changed and rushed because of the writer's strike, but I still figured it would be somewhat satisfying. Instead, they just crammed as many shocking moments in as they could. Give us something that turns the Heroes world on its ear, not just promises that next season will be more of the same. I had no reaction to Nathan's assassination attempt at all, because by that time I had completely switched off. By the end of the episode I was no longer interested in this world.

And the Volume 3 teaser? Ugh. Slyar injects himself, force grabs an empty spinach can, and says, "I'm back." It's so tired, and ripped straight from the final shot of X-Men 3.
You know what would have been better? Sylar injects himself, says, "I'm strong to the finish," force grabs the can, "'Cause I eats me spinach." The end.
If you're gonna make a Popeye reference for your big season ending cliff-hanger, then don't beat around the bush. At least I can laugh instead of just rolling my eyes so hard the retinas detach.


Joe said...

Gotta say I'm with you at this point. I started out honestly enjoying many of the things you found annoying or trite, but even my loyalty was tested these last few weeks. Then again, I had not yet completely shut down, so the Nathan assassination was, if not surprising, at least gratifying.

EXCEPT for what you pointed out in your post: no one's really dead. That is horrifyingly lame, and takes all meaning out of a lot of the "future past" idea they spent the whole first season establishing. I mean, in the very second episode Isaac got his head cut open, and sure enough, his head eventually got cut open. AND HE WAS DEAD.

I like Noah and all, but what's the point of the paintings or the strained build-up if it's all undone not five mintues (literally!) afterward?

Ditto on the Irish girl virus paradox, which goes back to my previous point--fouling up the "future past" conceit, which is (or used to be) more or less the backbone of the show. Surely somebody on the team thought of that. Tara and I figured it must be a clever plot device (the instant Peter accidentally flashed back to the warehouse, we exchanged wide-eyed gasps of "Oh no! He left that girl in the future!", all the while in the back of our minds believing it had to be on purpose.) But no.

Sylar's Magneto moment was as ridiculous and forced as Magneto's Magneto moment, and would have been far more satisfying, in my opinion, if his body rejected the infusion and he died, having unwittingly started the outbreak (thus also serving a poetically ironic purpose for surviving last season's defeat).

Ah well. I guess we'll have plenty to look back at and complain about during the next year and a half without writers.

BG said...

Zach complained of the same thing (no one dies) in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. If you are able to just resurrect characters at will, it takes away any sense of danger from the plot. I never thought much of Heroes (or watched it), but the premise felt sort of can't miss. I suppose I'm glad I never watched it, but sorry it turned out so poorly.

Scott said...

It was pointed out to me that I mentioned Elle's death, when in fact I meant Nikki's death. Whoops.


Rachel said...

i'm sorry.

but a guy who has that expression all the time is HOT.