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Heroes: Genesis

Peter: "Did you ever get the feeling like you were meant to do something... extraordinary?"
Mohinder: "I'm driving a cab. You may have noticed."

I wasn't wildly impressed with this pilot episode. I was confused about what was going on, and a little disappointed that it was all origin and little story.

So let's talk origin, then.

Madras, India: A gorgeous young Indian professor guy named Mohinder Suresh started chasing his dead father's wild goose. Except it didn't seem to be a wild goose, after all. Teleportation, levitation, tissue regeneration, new gateway to evolution? Forget the technical explanation. What we have are emerging X-Men-ish mutants, and Mohinder's father was the one to discover that it was happening. And it didn't seem to be gradual and random, either. Five people seemed to be discovering that it was happening at exactly the same time. Which means it was caused by something specific. Right?

Odessa, Texas: Claire Bennett was the only one who was actually heroic in this pilot episode, dashing into a fire and rescuing someone. Yes, she was doing it as the latest in a progression of freaky tests intended to explore the limits of her invulnerability, but she still gets points for heroism. Her cheerleader outfit even resembled a superhero costume. Her dad, the shady guy with the big glasses, could quite possibly be a supervillain. He obviously knows what the hell is going on. Which we do not.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Niki is an internet stripper with an interesting set of problems: a brilliant, troubled son named Micah, a huge debt owed to the Mob, and a very interesting reflection that just killed two mob guys. Altered mirrors are always creepy, anyway, but a homicidal reflection? Exceptionally creepy.

Tokyo, Japan: Hiro, an office worker, appeared to have the power to bend space and time. He was definitely the most enjoyable character in the story; you gotta love him. In the end, he teleported himself from Tokyo to Times Square. That was a good trick. How is he going to get back in time for work?

New York City appeared to be the Heroes nexus. We had a politician named Nathan Petrelli who could fly, and his brother Peter, who thought he can fly but couldn't. That was sort of a bummer, since Peter is a sweetheart and Nathan seemed to be a jerk. Why was Peter dreaming he could fly if he can't? Why was Isaac's painting of Peter instead of Nathan? Isaac, the artist, thought the pictures he was painting of the future were evil. Maybe it was because he painted them when he was stoned.

Which led us to our big problem, foreshadowed by Isaac's painting: New York is going to explode. Yes, that could be bad.

What do I like about Heroes?

I immediately liked Hiro and Claire. Maybe because Claire was saving a man's life, and Hiro was teleporting himself into the ladies' room. The sci-fi geek in me related to the sci-fi geek in Hiro, in a big way. I particularly loved Hiro explaining the rules of becoming a superhero to his friend, Ando.

I liked that it was international. This was beautifully illustrated by all of them, all over the world, watching the solar eclipse at the same time. Suresh Senior's map had push-pins all over the world. How many mutants are there, or are there going to be?

And I liked that the incipient superheroes appeared to be connected: Hiro's friend Ando was looking at Niki's sex site; Mohinder, the new cab driver, picked up Peter as well as Claire's father; Peter and Isaac appeared to share a love interest, Simone, whose father was dying. At least Simone wasn't blonde. Did you notice that what we got were a bunch of dark-haired, dark-eyed guys, and two blondes? What was it, coincidence? Was it a cartoon thing?

So we had five people with brand new, special gifts: Claire, Niki, Hiro, Nathan, and Isaac. They were all reacting to it differently. Claire was depressed and introspective. Niki was terrified. Isaac believed that it was evil. Hiro was totally thrilled. We don't know yet about Nathan.

Bits and pieces:

-- Peter is a nurse, a gifted one. He said that he lives for other people. Nathan hinted that the Petrelli family had other secrets in their past.

-- Nathan was talking on the phone to someone named Linderman. Niki borrowed money from someone named Linderman. Ergo, Nathan has Mob connections?

-- Nathan and Peter's mother was arrested for shoplifting. Claire's mother raises show dogs.

-- Mohinder's lecture early on about the exceptional survival characteristics of the lowly cockroach was a hint about the exceptional survival characteristics that were starting to develop in certain people. Later, in his father's New York apartment, Mohinder stamped one out.

-- "Patient Zero" was in Queens, New York. Who is Patient Zero?

-- What happened to Chandra Suresh's computer?

-- Niki doesn't appear to be a good decision-maker. Anyone who's ever been to the movies knows you don't borrow money from the Mob.

-- Simone loves Isaac but appears to be drawn to Peter.

-- Claire doesn't seem to feel pain.

-- Before Hiro teleported, the clock behind him on the subway speeded up.


Hiro: "Yes, I have discovered powers beyond any mere mortal."
Ando: "Right. You and Spock."

Ando: "Use your 'death grip', Spock!"
Of course, all true Star Trek fans know that there is no Vulcan death grip. :)

Ando: "Let's say you really do have this power. What do you do with it? Join the circus? No one ever got laid by stopping the second hand of a clock."

Hiro: "Every ten year old wishes he had super powers. And I got them. Me, of all people. Last in my class. Last on the sports field. I'm not a loser any more."

Bennet: "Probably lots of Sureshes where you're from. Like Smith, or Anderson."
Little reference to The Matrix, there?

I usually don't rate pilot episodes, so no rating this time,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard so much about this how through the years that I decided to watch the pilot to see what it was all about. Very, very interesting.

    I agree that the plot was a bit confusing, but I loved how the stories were all interconnected. Nathan being able to fly and Claire's dad being (what I assume will be) the Big Bad were fantastic twists.

    I'm certainly intrigued enough to keep going.


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