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Heroes: The Eclipse, Part 2

Sylar: "A chance to reinvent ourselves, free of powers or parents."
Elle: "Scary."

I didn't think I'd be happy with a reset button. But I was. It was good to see everyone getting their powers back. Except I was sort of hoping Peter... ah, well. And why did Mohinder have to get scaly again?

Okay, so lied; I'm not happy. I kept putting off writing this review, a sure sign that the episode didn't work for me. What are they doing? What is this "volume" about? Heroes becoming villains, villains becoming heroes. But Sylar, after trying to become a better person and sacrificing himself to save Elle, went back to his old, evil, serial-killing self and took Elle's head off. So it was about a villain becoming a hero becoming a villain.

(Of course, we didn't actually see Elle dead with the top of her head removed and practically nobody really dies on this show, so I'm going to hold off getting really mad about Elle's death until it's confirmed. I truly hope the producers aren't stupid enough to write Kristen Bell out of the show.)

At least, Noah told Sylar that he wasn't a Petrelli after all, that Angela and Arthur were just manipulating him. Yes! Thank you! Make it so. Sylar being Peter and Nathan's brother just never worked for me in the worst, worst way.

And I did like the two comic book store guys realizing that their comic book heroes were real. "Best. Day. Ever." Apparently, the Isaac Mendez comics are pretty well known (Seth Green knew who Matt Parkman was before he walked in the door). And I was wondering if they'd ever get back to Isaac giving his notebook to the bike messenger right before Sylar crucified him with his paint brushes. I bet that final issue holds the answer to why the earth splits in two, so finding it could be a good thing. Or maybe it's about Claire dying and losing her catalyst thing. Who knows.

But frankly, the cool comic book stuff and the drug store scene (which I loved) and Sylar maybe not being a Petrelli wasn't enough. As I said last week, a big two-part story about all of our superheroes losing and regaining their powers should have been a lot better.

What do you think? Am I wrong? Am I just a rotten reviewer? Is it that I just don't "get" Heroes any more? Are we just going through a bad patch? Now that they're bringing new writers on board, will things get better? Or is Heroes a flash in the pan that has finished flashing?

Bits and pieces:

-- Nathan has apparently bought into Arthur's plan to "save the world." Nathan, have you learned nothing from your mother wanting to blow up New York?

-- Sylar got his throat cut, but he got better. Claire died because she had no immune system whatsoever, and she recovered. What did the Haitian do to Baron Samedi? Is he really dead? We didn't see his body decomposing on the jungle floor, did we?

-- Claire's psychotic Uncle Flint did yet another stupid thing and got Mohinder mad at him, and now Flint is in a coma. Stupid Flint.

-- Why was Mohinder going to visit Maya? Was he checking to make certain she didn't get her powers back? Or was it just a booty call?

-- The whole eclipse thing reminded me of Superman and his relationship to the yellow sun.

-- Daphne has cerebral palsy.

-- Daphne called her scarecrow Ray. In the classic movie The Wizard of Oz, the Scarecrow was played by Ray Bolger. There was definitely a parallel to the movie, which was about people going to the Wizard to ask for something special that they already had. Maybe Baron Samedi was the Wizard. He thought he was all powerful but in truth, he was nothing.

Quotes:

Peter: "I needed to know I could be a hero without my powers." And yet, there wasn't much about Peter. I miss Peter having powers. I miss Peter having air time.

Ando: "He doesn't want to grow up."
Seth Green: "Everyone has to grow up, dude."
Ando: "He says, you guys didn't grow up. You read comic books and eat junk food."

Noah: "You're not their son. They're just leveraging your mommy issues to turn you into their weapon."

Seth Green: "There's a legend I heard from a guy at a convention, who heard it from a dude, who heard it from another dude, that one more Ninth Wonder story exists."

Quick postscript: our own Paul Kelly has reviewed the four chapters of the Heroes webisode, "Destiny" -- right here.

I don't know what to rate this episode. I feel like Heroes is losing me. I don't want Heroes to be losing me. Talk to me, folks. What did you think?

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

11 comments:

  1. I know what you mean Billie. Heroes is going to and fro, back and forth, all the time. Just the fact that you and I (and I suspect many others) are not at all sure what to feel about Heroes these days and what this season is about should be a huge indication of that the show isn't working.
    I always have trouble with characters that don't learn from their mistakes and so far - barely none of the main characters have learned from their experiences.
    Nathan, going bad? Sylar, going bad - again? And so on. The characters need to not make the same mistakes over and over again. Only then can they, and the show, progress.

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  2. Hi Billie, you're definitely not a rotten reviewer, I feel pretty much the same way - about this episode at least.

    The thing is, unlike a lot of people I've been actually enjoying this season of Heroes so far. There has been a sense of direction, it looked like things were heading somewhere. This sense of direction went away completely in the Eclipse double episode, especially in the second part.

    There were a couple of good things, you mentioned most of them in your review. I actually liked one more thing - Matt and Daphne, because they at least seemed to make some (albeit small) progress, as opposed to the rest of the characters who seemed to be mostly running in circles.

    And Nathan joining Arthur? That literally made me go "What the [bleep]?" Giving people powers will make the world a safer place? That must be one of the flimsiest arguments I've ever heard on television or pretty much anywhere.

    I really, honestly hope that this whole episode was some sort of fluke. They are bringing in new writers and producers, maybe they'll put Heroes back on track. Plus now that Pushing Daisies is cancelled, maybe Bryan Fuller will come back. (Here's me keeping my fingers crossed!)

    As for the other questions in your review:
    I think Mohinder visiting Maya was a booty call. As in "Look, I no longer have my messed up 'powers', therefore I don't have to be evil any more!"
    And what the Haitian did to his brother was probably erasing his memory. It's one of his powers although it hasn't been used much recently. If Baron Samedi's whole mind is gone, he's useless as an evil overlord I guess.

    Anyway, I'm still looking forward to the future Heroes reviews, although now with a small but growing sense of dread.

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  3. Oops, wanted to say I'm looking forward to future Heroes episodes. Although I'm of course looking forward to future reviews as well :-)

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  4. You are not a rotten reviewer, your dissapointment in the show is not a big as it should be given the quality of Heroes this season.

    Season 2 was hailed as a mistake but i really enjoyes it more then this season maybe because the 2nd time you see the same thing is better then the 3rd time. :)

    But of course the writers decided to wipe out season 2 from existance, they killed or put on a bus every single character from season 2 exept from the most deservingm annoying, useless Maya. See, they even make mistakes with this! Elle, Adam and even Bob were far more interesting and worth keeping... As for wirting out K-Bell: yes i think the writers are that stupid.

    I also notice that some writers hate the thing they are writing, Sylar exclaiming: I hate Heroes. is the writers talking. Look at all the discontinuity. Eclipse giving/taking power, Sylar's hunger, Moving events from the ep Six months ago to be right before the pilot.

    One example: Sylar killed the telekinesis guy before he killed Chandra Suresh, but in Villains it seems that Mohinder was in NY (driving Bennet to JFK) just after Sylar decided to be evil after killing the TK guy... (so Chandra would still be alive and Sylar wouldn't have any data on other Heroes stolen from Chandra) And the death of Chandra was the sole reason More-Hinder-Then-Help is in NY. Plus of course HRG couldn't work with Elle because: 1. he was wirking with Eden and the Haitian and 2. Elle was said in S2 that her chasing Peter was her 1st field assignment in years...

    And as for the writers: those eps are still from the batch the fired guys wrote. I think the entire volume was written by them. So don't expect any chage yet. Maybe in volume 4. (and problaby last, i smell cancellation)

    And one thing: Heroes is so unpredictable, but not in a good way. Some predictability is good because it makes show believable.

    Spoiler for DEX: Look at Dexter 3x10. I though that Miguel in 3x09 made a deal with the skinner to go after Dex, and viola, next ep it's confirmed. :) That's an example of good predictability. Because it was foreshadowed and made sense in the story. Is there such an example in Heroes???

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  5. Hi Billie,

    Heroes has been losing me too of late. I'll admit to being disappointed by Season Two. But we had the writer's strike to blame for that. Season Three appeared at first to be a return to form. But I'm not that keen on what they've done to everyone. I don't like it that Peter's lost his powers. I really didn't like them offing Elle. Mohinder's been getting on my nerves from Season One, and is still managing to cheese me off (maybe his accent grinds with me...what with me being English and all). Arthur doesn't appeal to me either. He seems to have no redeeming features whatsoever, which is making it difficult for me to relate/sympathize/like him much at all. And I don't like what they've done to Elle and Sylar. I'll admit we got some decent chuckles from the Sylar turning good plot line. But I can't help but feel that he's lost his impact as a baddie now.

    Still some good stuff though. I'm enjoying the Daphne/Matt storyline (now they've finally extricated Matt from that dire "spiritwalk" story). And I like Claire's current storyline. She's on a pretty decent journey I think. I was enjoying the Hiro stuff too....until he became a ten year old. And it was nice seeing Linderman again. He's always entertaining.

    Maybe the new writers will reinvigorate the show and drag it out of the doldrums.

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  6. Dear Tim Kring,

    You may have already realized that many people believe your show has bween going downhill ever since season 2, and could well be cancelled if you don't make any drastic changes soon. Fortunaly, you may have found the solution for your problem without even realizing it. And with this I mean:
    Make Seth Green a cast regular. Now. Give him a cool superpower.
    And I promisse you the ratings will go up in a second.
    Also, kill Maia.

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  7. "Also, kill Maia." Thanks so much. You made me laugh out loud. :)

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  8. Actually, that's the perplexing thing about Heroes. During the second season, Tim Kring went on record as saying that they'd made mistakes in the pacing of the show. And now half way through season three, the writers are getting a kicking again. Isn't this kind of public acknowledgement that things are a bit duff distressing for the fans?

    Whatever happened to things being rubbish...but pretending everything's rosy? Instead of saying "We got the pace wrong", say something like "we chose to built tension throughtout the first half of the season by gradully introducing new elements designed to deepen and enrich the current Heroes lore". For goodness sakes, no one wants to hear the creator of the show say "You're right, it is a bit crap. We made a mistake". It's enough to make even the sturdiest of knees knock (and mine are whacking out a Samba as we speak).

    More lies, less truth please. I'd prefer to live under the delusion that the shows producers actually know what they're doing.

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  9. Anonymous said: "Also, kill Maia".

    Lol....Amen to that. Maya is a total nightmare. All we got last season was Alejandro bellowing out "Maaaaaaayyyyyaaaaa", and Maya responding with "Aleeeeeejaaaaandrooo"....virtually every time they were on screen!!!

    If Mohinder starts with any kind of "Maaaaayaaaaa" nonsense, and Maya starts developing some kind of a "Moooooohinnndeeeer" response, Kring won't have to kill her. I'll do it myself.

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  10. I was never a huge Heroes fan to begin with, although I did enjoy season one to a certain degree. However, I totally agree with all the people saying there is no development. Every season the world is going to explode, split in two, or be completely destroyed in some other way. On Buffy there were certainly plenty of apocalypses, but they didn't all seem the same... variety is the spice of life. Also, I think they should take a page out of another ensemble drama's book: Lost. Both have huge casts, but Lost made the incredibly smart move of focusing on one or two characters per episode. Not that the others don't get screen time when it's not their token episode, but with certain characters highlighted it seems much more coherent and relatable. Okay. Vent over. Carry on.

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  11. Anonymous is right about the show format. Illustrating how Lost is doing things better is the episode Company Man from season 1. It was the best episode of the entire series to date (and seeing how volume 3 is playing out it will stay that way), not only because it was written by Bryan Fuller, but also by focusing on HRG just like an Lost episode frocuses on one of the characters. With time travel-free flashbacks, no wasting of resources to show anyone who wasn't in Odessa at the time.

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