Heroes 3.25 – Lives Come Together, They Fade Apart

Here are now, at the finale of another season of “Heroes.” Entertain us…or, at the very least, leave us happy ’til the beginning of the next season, right? With the return of Bryan Fuller to the fold, the show has been working its way slowly but surely out of the creative doledrums in which it had found itself, but does anyone even care anymore?

It’s a fair question, particularly when you look back at how few people are commenting on this blog nowadays. Once upon a time, we actually used to get a discussion going about the episode of the week, but if you look back over the course of the past several weeks, we’ve been averaging no more than 2 or 3 comments per ep, with one week receiving absolutely no comments! I figured Fuller’s return would kickstart the blog, but has it really reached a point where even the return of one of the show’s seminal writers (if, indeed, a show only in its third season can be said to have such a thing) can’t stir much in the way of conversation? I’m not even taking it personally anymore. I’m really just surprised.

Frankly, I feel like the show’s been relatively strong in recent weeks. Are there really so few people who feel the same way?

Last week ended with Zeljko looking darned surprised about Sylar surviving a knife blade to the back of the skull, but given the amount of shapeshifting Sylar had been doing, I wasn’t terribly shocked. Since he’s now able to move his size and shape around in a rather dramatic fashion, I figured his Achilles’ heel might not be where we last left it. I was, however, wondering whether we’d see Sylar slaughter Zeljko immediately or if he’d toy with him for awhile first. Nice touch, taking on his form to discredit him, ruin his reputation, and get him thrown into prison with…HRG?

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Heroes 3.23 – It’s Like 1961 All Over Again

Now this felt like a comic book.

I know I’ve said that before about episodes of “Heroes,” but those who frequent this blog on a regular basis are hopefully aware that I don’t say it very often. Unfortunately, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not really a good thing, since, y’know, this is a show about people with superhuman abilities. As such, you’d like to think that just about every episode would feel more or less like a comic book…but they don’t.

Shall we once again chalk this up to the return of Bryan Fuller?

Oh, what the hell. We might as well, right? I mean, after all, it might’ve been written by Aron Eli Coleite, but Fuller’s influence is all over this episode, from the flashback structure to the use of one of his regular players: Diana Scarwid, who was a regular on “Wonderfalls” (Karen Tyler) and popped up on “Pushing Daisies” on more than a few occasions as well (as Mother Mary Mary Superior).

Last week ended with the Petrelli family literally digging up skeletons from Mama’s past as they scoured the now-desolate area known as Coyote Flats. Why? To find Mama’s long lost sister, Alice. So let’s cue up the flashbacks and drop into black and white mode, shall we?

It was cool to see some well-established characters in their younger years: Charles Deveaux, Daniel Linderman, Bob(by) Bishop, and, of course, Mohinder’s pops. The references to the Nazis – specifically, Mengele – and the Jews were almost inevitable. It’s focusing on a camp filled with people who have been deemed different in some way, and it’s filmed in black and white. Even people who’ve never seen “Schindler’s List” were thinking of that movie from the moment the color faded away…and, somehow, I can’t imagine the comparison wasn’t completely and totally intentional. There were several nice uses of music in this episode, with Santo and Johnny’s “Sleepwalk” definitely being among the highlights, but my personal favorite moment was the transition between the last 1961 flashback sequence and the present, with Roy Orbison’s original version of “Crying” segueing seamlessly into k.d. lang’s cover. That was some sweet, sweet stuff right there, my friends.

The only problem with the flashback sequences being so good, however, was that the present-day bits needed to be exciting enough that you didn’t keep thinking, “Geez, I wish they’d flip back to 1961 already!” The storm surges served that purpose nicely, since we weren’t entirely sure if indeed Alice was still alive or not. I certainly didn’t think she was controlling the winds from beyond the grave or anything, but I wasn’t sure how they were going to handle it.

As it turned out, she ended up looking suspiciously like the Cat Lady from “The Simpsons,” but I didn’t think about the point of comparison until afterwards. While I was actually watching the episode, I was far more focused on the interaction between Scarwid and Cristine Rose, which was a lot of fun to watch. Wow, so Mama Petrelli lied to her sister outright. Yeah, that’s a pretty big secret to carry with you for that many years, though it had to at least be a little bit of a load off to learn that Alice was actually still alive, what with having believed her dead for 48 years. I dare say we haven’t seen the last of her in the “Heroes” saga.

All told, a very, very solid episode for those who enjoy a well-told bit of back story…and since I count myself among that number, you may color me pleased. The last few moments, however, definitely left me chomping at the bit for next week. Clearly, the future isn’t going to turn out exactly as it was foretold in previous episodes, but with Sylar doing his best Nathan impression, there are definitely some seriously dark clouds on the horizon.

In closing, don’t forget to check out my interview with Greg Grunberg over at Bullz-Eye, part of our latest TV Power Rankings festivities.

  

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Heroes 3.22 – Here I Stand and Face the Strange

Tonight’s “Heroes” was one of intertwined stories bound with ridiculous coincidences and total mindfucks…which is to say that there was tension to be had, but there were also a couple of moments where the Plot Police should have been called in to charge the writers with including events which were just waaaaaaayyyyyyy too convenient.

Between Zeljko and Sylar, it was clear from early on that HRG’s mind was going to seriously played with tonight, but as I observed last week, HRG’s been around the block way too many times with Sylar to just accept his death as a given without checking into it a bit…and, of course, it didn’t take long before he’d confirmed that, indeed, the body that looked like Sylar actually wasn’t Sylar. What he didn’t realize at that point, however, was that he’d already had an encounter with the now-shapeshifting villain. When Sandra first turned up, my first thought was that it was Sylar pretending to be her…until it turned into the tale of two Zeljkos.

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Heroes 3.17 – Let’s do right or let’s just say we’re through…

Last week’s “Heroes” ended with HRG taking a swig of his drink and, at least to the untrained eye (i.e., mine), his sudden wooziness made it appear that he’d been slipped a fast-acting mickey. Maybe he had been drugged…or, then again, maybe he was under the influence of Matt Parkman’s heavy-duty mental powers. It was hard to tell at the time. Whichever the case, the result was the same: the guy went down, and he went down hard. The next thing you know, he’s being dragged out by Parkman, Mohinder, and Peter Petrelli.

What we learn at the beginning of this week’s episode, however, is how this plan came into being. Unsurprisingly, it’s Matt who’s the mastermind of the goings-on…and, of course, I say “unsurprisingly” because he’s clearly royally pissed off about Daphne being taken down a few episodes ago. I had to laugh at how typically wishy-washy Pete was, though. First, he’s wondering about the issue of drugging him, asking Matt uncertainly, “Can’t you just read his mind and get what we need that way?” But ten seconds later, when Mohinder chimes in about his own issues with the kidnapping aspects, Pete confidently counters, “I don’t like it, either, but this way it gives us answers.” Damn, Petrelli, I’ve heard of getting with the plan, but that’s gotta be some kind of record!

In short, these three stooges (Mohinder, Larry, and Curly?) spiked HRG’s Scotch with a pharmaceutical agent that would enable Parkman’s abilities to penetrate all of Noah’s psychological training and get the answers they want about what’s going on with Nathan’s big governmental crackdown on America’s heroes.

What do they discover? Only the best chapter of the “Fugitives” saga to date…and, I feel comfortable arguing, the most impressive episode we’ve gotten in Season 3, period.

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Heroes 3.16 – I Hate People When They’re Not Polite

Really? They had to start the episode by reminding me about the plotline that loathe the most…?

Fair enough, let’s drive right into the Claire storyline. She’s continuing to get text messages from the mysterious rebel while lying to her mother and being shitty to her father, while HRG continues to offer up threats which are clearly pointless, since we all know that she’s going to ignore orders and do whatever she wants to do, anyway. Well, at least Zeljko is clearly pissed off about it. (We can only hope and pray that he actually acts on it.) By using another comic book store as a set piece, I couldn’t help but feel like the producers were saying, “Okay, let’s keep playing to the diehard geeks, ’cause if we lose them, we’re really screwed.” The sequences of Claire trying to save the life of Comic Book Guy were well-executed, but, again, it all came back to the issue of Claire being totally uncontrollable. If this had been a real government operation, she would’ve been imprisoned (at the very least) long ago, no matter who her father and stepfather were. And now she’s unnecessarily telling her mother what’s going on, knowing full well what effect that could have on her and, worse, leading to a touchy-feely scene at the end with Claire and HRG…? (The only redeeming moment of that sequence was having Comic Book Guy step out of the shadows.)

Dear “Heroes” producers: KILL THE CHEERLEADER, SAVE THE SHOW.

It felt a little too on-the-nose to have “Born to be Wild” playing on the stereo as Sylar set forth on his road trip with his new little buddy, Luke, but that was about my only complaint about their storyline this episode. The relationship between the two of them remains the most interesting thing about this new series, with Sylar doling out examples of his power and being flummoxed by Luke proving more fascinated than scared. The scene at the diner was also really well done, with Luke being irresponsible with his abilities and Sylar actually opening up to Luke about what he wants out of his encounter with his father. I thought sure we were going to see the end of Luke after he made the mistake of trying to be a nice guy by giving Sylar his dad’s address, but then Zeljko’s men invaded, and the end of the scene was…well, how did you feel about it? I’m sure Luke thought that Sylar had betrayed him by leaving him to be captured, but I felt like Sylar imagined that he’d given Luke a bit of a thank-you gift by not just killing him outright. In the end, of course, Sylar clearly felt like he really did owe it to Luke to save his ass, and the sequence in the paddywagon was awesome…almost as awesome as having the two of them drive off into the night to the strains of “Psycho Killer.”

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