Tuesday, October 16, 2007

HEROES: Kindness of Strangers

Okay then, so what are the odds that evil Sylar with his chest cut open escapes from the mysterious Lost island whereas all the other castaways can't, swims the Pacific Ocean to Mexico where he comes ashore to stumble his way through mountains and desert only to collapse in the middle of the road right as los Gemelos De la Maravilla come driving up in Cheerleader Claire's stolen SUV? Synchronicity and fate are one thing, but when you can see the writers blatantly pulling the strings, bullshit is the only call to be made.

Other than that bit of bone-headed writing, I liked this episode a lot. Turns out that Micah's ability to manipulate machinery isn't limited to inorganic matter. It's a nifty expansion of his abilities, but I sense power "creep" already slipping into the Heroes universe. By "creep" I mean the inclination of writers to amp up a character's special abilities at every turn to make them "more interesting," which is why Superman literally went from leaping tall buildings in a single bound (circa 1938) to playing billiards with the planets (circa 1975). Not a big fan of that, but we'll take a wait-and-see attitude. Interesting that his cousin has the same powers as Marvel's Taskmaster, though. Nice to see the writers ripping off more obscure abilities for a change. The New Orleans setting was awfully ham-fisted, though, but I suppose I have to give the writers credit for going after a non-LA or NY setting. Awfully nice house for a family supposedly so strapped for cash, though.

Nathan Petrelli finally got rid of the worst fake beard in the history of television. Yay! Had it stuck around any longer, I suspected his power would've shifted to befriending grizzly bears and having old codgers call him "Greenhorn" constantly.

Claire's bit of nookie with the creepy stalking flyboy is going well enough, and creating conflict at home which is good for dramatic tension. I like that the writers are humanizing him and showing him as an average(ish) teen, deemphasizing the creepy stalker aspect of his personality. That'll make it all the more powerful when he goes all psycho on Bennett. I can't wait.

Parkman's dad is the big bad guy that makes Sylar and Linderman look like pussycats. Sweet. I think this is a nifty plot development, if sort of contrived, because really, Parkman's the lamest character on the show outside of Niki/Jessica. Only he doesn't have her looks to skirt by on. He needs serious character development since they wrote off his crumbling marriage. And, once you get down to it, he's really gotten short shrift when it comes to powers. Yeah, mind-reading is useful and all that, but he can't control it. His abilities are comparatively weak compared to the other supers' powers. He can't use them for attack, he can't pry out secret knowledge buried deep, he can't do much more than randomly pick up snatches of surface thought. In short, his abilities are an inconsistent plot device. One that gives him nosebleeds and headaches and gets little girls possessed by evil old men.

Now Playing: Clannad Rogha: The Best of Clannad

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