Hosted by Arturo R. Garcia
As Heroes continues to crawl out from under its’ own wreckage — both on-screen and creatively — we turn to our Roundtable of fans to see how the latest reclamation projects are going.
[Writer's Note:As we head deeper into the season, I continue to be surprised at the controversy surrounding Claire's apparent wig, mostly because I never notice it. Rest assured, there will be a reckoning with this hairpiece.]
Anyway, on to this week’s topics!
The thing that bugged me the most this week was Hiro’s behavior. Dude kept talking about “warrior” this and “hero” that, even moreso than usual. He sounded almost sycophantic this week. What’d you all make of that?
Hexy: It used to fit his character, or at least the story arc his character was going through. I’m not sure if it’s writer laziness, or a badly done attempt to refer back to previous characterisation to show that he’s going through a completely new search for his role. Either way, I found it stilted and annoying.
Clara: I just rolled my eyes because I was kind of expecting this sort of dialogue from him. Perhaps Hiro feels the need to compensate for his lack of powers. I would like to see more variety in his lines though, because the destiny/hero/warrior stuff is getting a little old. Plus, Hiro IS CEO of his own company, in Japan too. He has plenty of resources to draw from, but I guess the writers forgot about that again.
Erica: All the dialogue between Hiro, Mohinder, and Matt was very, very uninspired. “I am a hero.” “This isn’t your fight.” “MATT FIND DAPHNE!” Really? Here’s a tip, Heroes — in addition to interesting new plots, you should have some deep conversations. Speculate on their fear, conflicted emotions, confusion, anger, and all that. If I can predict what each character will say, I’m not entertained. Hiro’s “I am a warrior” variations were just plain bad writing.
Now, I actually dug the little bits of gray they shaded onto Nathan and Noah. It wasn’t done quite so melodramatically as in years past (even though we did get yet another Pete/Nate argument). But, I can also see why people would be upset at the show “taking back” Nate’s Big Bad status. Your take on this?
Clara: Nathan did the “oh making decisions is so hard” puppy eyed look a lot this episode, I noticed. I’m actually happy for the shades of gray in Nathan. I thought the transition from good to bad was very abrupt, and this treatment is smoothing some edges out at least.
I’m kind of annoyed by Noah’s “It’s more complicated than you think, and you’re just a little girl so you wouldn’t understand, so go back to being a little girl” speech. It’s the same excuse he gives to Claire every time she (rightly) quesitons his actions. She’s a big girl now! I think she and her blonde wig can understand whatever “complications” there are.
Erica: I found them surprising, because those moments were fairly well done while everything else was just awkward. It’s odd that Nathan seems to want to be very hands-on with this project, rather than simply setting it in motion. (I realize that’s so there’s all this dramatic tension about “will Nasty Hunter Man learn Nathan can fly”, but it just feels implausible. Rather like kidnapping Hiro in Japan.)
Hexy: I think it’s fairly clear that they aren’t trying to make Nathan ANY big bad… they’re trying to build a Magneto. You know, clearly reprehensible actions, but morally grey rather than pure evil when looked at in the context of his intentions and experiences? He’s supposed to genuinely feel that what he’s doing is the best thing for the world, and to eventually go through a process of revelation and horror when he realises what he’s actually been doing.
Of course, I expect them to f-ck it up, and just have a sort of waffly big bad who occasionally demonstrates in a very clumsy fashion that he still has good in him. Also, while I don’t think the tension is being set up very effectively, I do find myself looking forward to the inevitable show down when “the Hunter” finally decides to check out why all the mutants keep yelling “He’s one of us, ffs!” when Nathan has then tortured in vans.
Maybe part of the reason I didn’t mind Nate and Mr. Bennet was, the clear positioning of “The Hunter” as a real Big Bad. What’d you make of the silent revelation that he was involved in war crimes in Angola?
Hexy: Again, clumsily done. With the excellent work they did building HRG as a clear baddie in season one, and then slowly revealing his complexity as a character, they set themselves a high benchmark for villains. Though we haven’t seen much thus far, I consider the fact that they’ve placed this character alongside HRG a lot to be a big mistake. We can’t help but compare the two, and HRG makes the Hunter look like a wooden caricature of a villain. They better rescue this guy with some hidden depth soon, and “war crimes! see, total baddie!” is not the way to do that.
Clara: I confess, I completely missed the reference… oops. Well, I’m glad that the whole operation isn’t a smooth ride for Nathan, becacuse that would have been too easy. I get the feeling that although Danko the Hunter is being positioned as the One True Bad Guy, there’s actually a more sinister entity behind him. Another company? (Please no.)
Erica: Shooting mosquitos with bazookas. It’s like they squished together a bunch of nasty characteristics and decided, Bad temper! Can’t be handled! Angolan war crimes! Very Obvious Bad Guy! — subtle character development, just in case there was any sympathy from the audience. With what we’ve seen from the character so far, a bigger surprise would be “not ever involved in war crimes before”.
Clara: I actually really liked the Sylar scenes with Luke and his mother. I guess I really missed the evil Sylar, because when he’s evil, he can be awfully slick (unlike other characters in this show). I really enjoyed watching Sylar when he’s getting his EVIL VILLAIN on. Although I guess there are only so many ways the writers can have Sylar plotting and killing people alone, hence the addition of a sidekick. So for once, I actually like this decision from the writers. Although if the kid is actually named Luke as a reference to Luke Skywalker then… Can we say, BRING THE CHEESE!
Erica: Guh, Luke was silly and annoying. “Oh I’m conflicted and angsty, whoops I killed a man, I know I’ll run off with this obviously deranged stranger!” Just as long as there are no sexy sidekick scenes like with Elle …
Hexy: I think it’s likely. I also think it’s not the best idea. This is, what, the THIRD major swing in the “was sylar always bad or not?” debacle? Now he’s being given a mirror who is a disturbed teen happy to kill and mess with pacemakers? In emphasising his similarities to this kid, aren’t they undoing all that “I was a good person and you made me this way” stuff from the last volume?
Erica: I’m still confused and annoyed by the treatment of Claire’s college decisions. Her mom supports making a decision based on how good a sorority party was? Her mom supports just ditching college altogether to have her “close to home”, rather than advocating community college? Bah.
Matt’s reactions to Daphne’s death bother me. Even when shocked and horrified, would the upright cop make soldiers shoot each other (rather than, say, making them fall asleep, which would be safer for EVERYONE?) Would he really not rush to her side and she if she’s ok, perhaps crying a bit, rather than running off and being all MATT ANGRY GRRR?
Clara: Over all, I rather liked this episode. I’m looking forward to the unveiling of Claire’s new text buddy. I predict that it’ll be Micah, who would certainly be able to send an unanonymous text with his abilities. Or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking of having Micah back on the show.
Hexy: I hated the torture scene with Tracy. It wasn’t edgy, it was just sh-t. I also thought Matt’s reaction to Daphne’s death was out of character, especially as we were shown in a future shot exactly what his reaction to her death was likely to be. Worst case scenario, he might have made that soldier shoot out the other soldier’s knees, or make the one who actually shot her shoot himself. I just can’t see Matt slaughtering that many people, even in grief. And yes, she’s totally coming back.
I’m surprised Ando didn’t use his power on ANY of the people there. You can only do one thing, dude, and you were whinging earlier that you couldn’t do it without other heroes around. Now there’s a whole plane-crash full of them! Go on, do your thing!
I also agree with everyone that Claire’s refusal to tell her father to f-ck off when she not only finds out he’s lied to their whole family and gone back to the thing that A: he swore was in the past and B: keeps getting them all nearly killed, but when his response to being busted is to launch into the treating-her-like-a-child crap she spent the entire last season rebelling against was just… stupid.