The cast of ‘Heroes’ is on the cover of the most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. Inside, there is an article listing the five ways ‘Heroes’ can save itself, and become worthy of being called one of NBC’s biggest shows. I will go over those points in detail, in my next blog, since ‘Fringe’, the other show I cover, is a repeat this week. For now, here is a brief rundown of what happened in tonight’s yawner of an episode entitled “ERIS QUOD SUM” :
DAPHNE AND PARKMAN: Maybe the lovable lug, Parkman, is getting to Daphne. Daphne returns to the Pinehearst Company, with her tail between her legs. She has to give Arthur Petrelli the bad news that she was unable to convert Parkman over to their cause. Arthur won’t stand for this, and sends Daphne back, telling her she has no choice but to kill Parkman. The Nightmare Man a.k.a Parkman’s dad happens to be in the room when Arthur gives the order. Nightmare Man stands up to Arthur, but is easily killed by the Petrelli Patriarch. Knowing that Arthur means business, Daphne zooms back to Parkman’s apartment, with a gun, ready to kill him. At the last second, she realizes she cannot take his life. Knox is there as back up, though. (Hey did anyone else notice that it is really easy for certain characters to get from one side of the country to the next, but it takes a long time for others?) Daphne and Parkman face down Knox, who clotheslines Daphne, “killing her” and then punches a whole through Parkman, “killing him”. I put all of the killing within quotation marks, because at this point in the third season of ‘Heroes’ we know that dying is completely inconsequential. None of the major characters really ever kick the bucket, only the minor ones. It turns out Parkman just planted the idea that Knox killed him and Daphne into Knox’s head. Both Parkman and Daphne are still alive, though a quick phone call to Arthur Petrelli at the end of the episode suggests that Daphne might still be on the side of the bad guys.
TRACY, NATHAN, H.R.G- When we last saw Tracy and Nathan, they were about to duke it out with Saccade powered Mohinder. Mohinder realizes that he is outclassed, grabs a cocooned Maya and leaps through the skylight in his apartment. Tracy attempts to free some of the other people who have been cocooned in Mohinder’s apartment. One of them wakes up and attacks her, but is subdued when H.R.G. shows up and zaps him with a tazer. H.R.G. has brought along Claire’s hottie of a real mom (both literally and figuratively). There is a little awkwardness when Claire’s mom sees Nathan again. Is it me or does she look a lot better than she did in Season 1? In the end of the episode, Nathan is reunited with Peter. Peter explains what has been going on with the Pinehearst Company. Nathan then makes the sort of pigheaded decision that he normally makes, and says that he is going to go after Arthur, the father he thought was dead.
MOHINDER AND MAYA- Now, for a third season in a row, Mohinder is going to work for the bad guys. In this case, he is working for Arthur Patrelli. At first, Mohinder questions why Arthur wants to develop the formula that will grant everyone super powers. Like the other times Arthur’s actions are questioned this episode, he gives an extremely vague, almost non-answer. Arthur is able to bring Mohinder over to his side, if not for the simple fact that he might be able to use his research to cure himself. Arthur is able to grant Maya what she has wanted for two seasons now, when he takes away her abilities and keeps them for himself.
ELLE AND CLAIRE- Claire and her adoptive mother return to their house in California, after their encounter with the Puppet Man. Something is amiss at the Bennet Home, however. Insider, they find Claire’s brother stunned. His hair is standing up (rather comically) on end, and all the lights are flickering in the house. Elle is there, waiting for Claire, her powers are completely on the fritz. At first the two blonde’s duke it out, in a super powered cat fight. Elle realizes she cannot hurt Claire, oh yeah and Claire’s brother throws water on Elle, causing her to short out. Elle and Claire have a heart to heart, realizing that both of their powers are out of control, and that they need to find help. The Pinehearst Company seems to be their best option. The duo travel by air, which I thought was (please excuse this) a rather “blonde” idea, considering that Elle’s electrical powers were out of control. Yeah, the best place for her to be is on a passenger airliner. Before her powers cause the plane to crash (which would have been extremely distasteful, even though September 11th was seven years ago),Claire is able to calm Elle down. They make it to the Pinehearst Company just as Peter falls out a window. Which brings us to…..
PETER AND SYLAR- Peter is a prisoner of the Pinehearst Company by this point. He is reunited with Mohinder, but not in a very pleasant way. Mohinder believes that Peter, now without his natural abilities, will be the perfect guinea pig to test his version of the formula on. Before Mohinder can inject him, Sylar shows up. There is a super powered showdown between Sylar, Mohinder, Peter and Arthur Petrelli. Mohinder smashes the shit out of Sylar’s head, on the ground, while Peter escapes into the compound. There is a scene very reminiscent of the weakest of the “Star Wars” movies, “Attack of the Clones”, where Arthur Petrelli tries to convince Sylar of his cause, while Sylar is being held prisoner levitating above the floor. Just substitute Sylar for Obi-Wan and Arthur for Count Dooku. Later on, Peter is able to get to Sylar and tells him to kick Arthur’s ass (he literally said that). Sylar, has a different plan. He uses his telekinetic power to throw Peter out a seventh story window. Miraculously, Peter survives the fall. Wait, is it a miracle, or did Sylar slow down Peter as he fell? Peter runs into Claire, who takes him to safety. They meet up with the rest of the Heroes.
HIRO, ANDO, and AFRICAN VERSION OF ISAAC- Nothing much happened here. Remember, I said this episode was a yawner. The African guy gives Hiro the same substance he gave Parkman a few episodes back. The episode ends on a rather limp cliffhanger, as Hiro passes out, after eating the substance. His eyes are white like Parkman’s was.
Back in the old days, when comic books were saturated with clichés, most issues would end with a “to be continued“, where it looked like the hero might have been killed off. Everyone knew the hero didn’t die, because then why would they continue to publish his or her book. Luckily, for us nerds, comics have evolved past that point. I wish ‘Heroes’ would too.
It was shocking to see Knox’s fist go through Parkman. Right after that moment, they cut to a commercial. For a split second, I thought, “Ok, Ando keeps telling Hiro to go back in time. Maybe what Hiro does in the past will prevent Parkman from dying.” I knew he couldn’t be dead. When they came back from the break, I realized that was a bit of a stretch to think. After all, Parkman could just use his ability to plant the idea that he was dead, into Knox’s mind. That is the problem with this show, there is no tension, since no one freaking dies. Not even a half hour later, we see Sylar throw Peter Petrelli out of a window. Is he dead, since he no longer has his ability to heal? Of course not. Sylar decreased the speed of his fall.
You can argue with me, and say that most shows that are sci-fi or fantasy based cut to commercials, at moments where it looks like the main characters are killed. That happens in any ‘Star Trek‘ series, ‘Lost’ or any other genre type show. What is the difference though? On shows like ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, there is a monster of the week, or some new planet to discover. There is something exciting and new amongst all of the action, for us to wrap our heads around, each episode.
“Heroes” follows a different format, since it is serialized. It isn’t a new story every week. It is the same story, just broken up into a few month’s worth of episodes. Look at tonight’s episode. Were we introduced to a new ability? Was there a new threat? Nope for both questions. Just a lot of stuff we have seen before, to fill up fifty minutes. The only exciting moments were when the two main characters, in this case Parkman and Peter, appeared to be killed. Unfortunately, we are so used to the idea of main characters not dying that for those two moments, instead of audience members screaming out “Holy Shit! I can’t believe they did that!” they most likely yawned and said “Hey, when is Lost coming back on?”. At least, that’s what I did.