There can be only... nine, or ten, or maybe a dozen, I dunno...

5/17/2007 -- Now UPDATED with yet more nonsense nobody will read or respond to, at the bottom!

More or less random reactions to last night's Heroes ep:

* Credit where due -- last week, or maybe two weeks ago, I can't remember, Superwife turned to me as we watched this show and said "Linderman is going to use Micah to control the electronic voting machines and throw the election to Nathan."

* More credit where due -- months and months ago I advised that the only way various story elements in this show could ever make sense would be if it turned out that Linderman was part of some conspiracy to track and covertly control superhumans. That's the only way things like Nathan fathering Claire on yet another superhuman, and Nikki and DL getting married and having their own super-child, could feasibly be explained. At least one other, much higher profile than me, blogger pooh-poohed the idea, but, well, here we are.

Mind you, I wanted a 'mind controlling Machiavelli' who was jerking everyone's chains, and it turns out, Linderman simply employs the most old fashioned forms of mind control known to man -- threats and/or bribery.

Nonetheless, I will say this -- I wish Tim Kring would stop stealing ideas from me and just offer me a job. Or, if that's impractical, then at least cut me a check.

* "Is this the only way to get out of the city?" winsome, perky cheerleader Claire asks her Uncle Peter as they find themselves stuck in Manhattan gridlock.

"No, but it's the fastest," Peter says, grimly. (Peter says nearly everything grimly. I guess that's what happens when your hot black fuck buddy gets shot by her junkie ex boyfriend while you're leaping invisibly around the room taunting him.)

Well, here's a thought -- when you're trying to get somewhere FAST, and you have the ability to fly at supersonic velocities while carrying someone else --

But, no. Best dawdle. Otherwise, you might not be around when the seemingly inevitable nuclear blast that you know is coming Real Soon Now renders the entire city around you into radioactive goo.

* The big cliffhanger -- Will Sylar Blow Up New York City, Now That He Has Ted's Powers? After 2.7 picoseconds of thought, I realized: Well, no, because he still hasn't managed to get Claire's ability to regenerate himself, which would mean he won't survive any nuclear explosion he initiates.

* Not that I believe anyone, even with Claire's powers, can actually regenerate after being at the center of a nuclear explosion.

* Nathan is down by 5 percent in the exit polls, and suddenly takes 64% of the vote? You'd think a control freak like Linderman would have given Micah and/or Princess Projectra more intelligent, explicit instructions than this.

* There is a tremendous lapse of internal logic in the presumption that nobody can prevent one particular event that hasn't occurred yet, but once that event DOES occur, a wise elite can then exert near total control over how the future unfolds from that point on. I'm not saying Linderman wouldn't argue this way, because he's a a douchebag and it's expected of him, but someone as intelligent as Nathan should see through this dumbass scam in a heartbeat.

* So Princess Projectra (Candice) is really very fat? I understand that fat people can be very bitter about how the world treats them, but honestly, I think this motivation for her behavior is childishly oversimplified.

* I enjoyed the opening, where all the various diverse 'heroes' found themselves coming together for the first time in one place, to meet and interact and form alliances. It's a classic vibe from superhero comics, reminiscent of, say, the Avengers and Defenders getting together to talk through their differences in Defenders #10, or all those fabulous Avengers/JLA social gatherings we saw in JLA/Avengers #3 (which now, presumably, never actually happened, if 'actually happened' means anything in fictional metaverses).

* It occurs to me that Season One of Heroes could, essentially, be seen as a very protracted, 22 chapter long origin sequence for whatever more 'organized' heroic force or structured superhuman 'society' will emerge sometime in Season 2. Foundation stones seem to be being laid for this in Claire's brief conversation with Peter about 'when all this is finished, I may go on patrol... jumping in front of bullets, hauling people out of burning buildings', in response to which, Peter scoffs at the notion of wearing a cape, or zipping around with his underwear on over his pants.

* Rene Sofer really deserves a bigger part in a better show than this. Or, barring that, some super powers of her own.

* Kirby Plaza? A swordmaker named Claremont? Cute stuff. They should have named Linderman 'Mr. Byrne'.

* Hiro's father is a superhero! His codename should have 'Dragon' in it somewhere.

* It's worth noting that nobody can have any clear idea just how long Hiro actually spent being trained by his father in that classic cinematic empowerment montage. Hiro's dad advises that Hiro has 'come a long way in a short time', but in point of fact, we've seen Hiro's control of time occur without him being consciously aware of it prior to this (when he saved his life by shoving a bullet back into a gun without being aware he'd done so). Hiro's subconscious might very well have created a bubble of distorted entropy around himself and his father, and they might have been in there months, or even years, especially if their own metabolic processes were somehow effected by Hiro's powers as well. In the intensely focused state both of them were in, they would have had no conscious awareness of the passage of time.

* Hiro's confrontation with Nathan is as good a set up as I've ever seen for Nathan to have a last minute change of heart leading to a heroic redemption of himself. Someone on some blog somewhere predicted that Nathan would grab whatever it was that was about to explode and carry it off at supersonic speed, which would be as good a heroic note to end the first season on as any.

* Where did Ando get thousands of dollars to buy a functional samurai sword with? And wouldn't it have been smarter for him to buy a gun?

* It's absolutely beautiful that Nathan's campaign theme song is Roxy Music's "All Right Now". One presumes that whoever djs for him has specific instructions to only ever play the chorus, and never let the crowd hear the rest of the lyrics, which detail how a slick hustler works his seductive wiles on an initially wary but later compliant target: I took her home to my place/watching every move on her face / she said Look, what's your game? / Are you trying to put me in shame? / I said Slow! Don't go so fast! Don't you think that love can last? / She said Love? Lord above! Now he's tryin to trick me with love!

* Was it good for you when Horned Rimmed Glasses guy blew Eric Roberts' head off? "What am I thinking now, Parkman?" "Your last thought --" BLAM-BLAM! Fuck, that rocked. But I'm left wondering -- Roberts knew Parkman was there with H.R.G., and presumably, he knew which one of them was the most dangerous. You know all that, and you turn a corner and you don't see the really dangerous one, how smart are you to get right up close to the one who can read your mind? When you could just shoot him from thirty feet down the hall and then continue searching for the other guy? I suppose I can see making that kind of mistake -- I mean, I sure would -- but I'm not a veteran spook who supposedly sees every angle, either.

* I straight out don't believe Linderman was ever going to let Micah go. That kid is waaaaaaay too useful. And with Princess Projectra under his thumb, he could pretty much make Micah believe anything, anyway.

* If Linderman can heal himself, he could also heal DL. I can't see any reason why he'd do the latter, but I merely point out, the potential is there, so I wouldn't necessarily write off either of them just yet. Linderman is much too good a long range villain to just drop him, unless Malcolm MacDowell doesn't want to continue with the part.

* People may not believe in miracles, but they would certainly believe that Nathan's wife had been arduously pursuing rigorous physical therapy in private for the last several months and they had waited until the night of his election to announce her full recovery. There's no way she has to stay in that wheelchair.

* I'm disappointed that Parkman didn't recognize the little girl he rescued from Sylar -- not that he had a lot of chance to, before Mohinder knocked him out. Still, I was looking forward to that scene, where the two of them saw each other for the second time ever.

I'm also somewhat annoyed that Parkman's powers only work when the plot requires them to -- he can hear Eric Roberts planning to shoot H.R.G., but he can't hear Mohinder hiding behind a door with a lug wrench. But that's been such a thing in this show to date that at this point, I merely shrug and say it's no longer a problem, it's a feature.

Update, 5/17/07

From a comment thread at Jim Henley's blog, selectively edited, of course, to make myself look as good as possible:


Comment by Doc Nebula —
May 15, 2007 @ 2:27 pm

For what little they’re worth (exactly zero, by the latest market reports, actually) my rather disjointed comments on this latest episode are here.[there was a link buried there back to this very blog entry -- wow! confusing time dilation stuff!]

As I’ve pointed out there, not only can Sylar not shapeshift yet, but he also can’t regenerate yet, so I really doubt that he’s going to blow up New York City prior to stealing Claire’s brain.


Comment by Alex Knapp —
May 15, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

As I’ve pointed out there, not only can Sylar not shapeshift yet, but he also can’t regenerate yet, so I really doubt that he’s going to blow up New York City prior to stealing Claire’s brain.

Well, I’m still not convinced that he NEEDS to regenerate. Ted seemed to be able to handle the effects of his powers without any side effects to himself, so it’s not completely unbelievable that he could set off “the bomb” without any harm to himself. Remember, what sets Sylar apart from Peter is that Sylar seems to instantly understand other people’s powers and how they work.


Comment by Gary Farber —
May 15, 2007 @ 8:21 pm

“As I’ve pointed out there, not only can Sylar not shapeshift yet, but he also can’t regenerate yet, so I really doubt that he’s going to blow up New York City prior to stealing Claire’s brain.”

I wasn’t entirely clear that he wasn’t now psycho enough to care whether it was suicide or not, but again, maybe that’s just an error on my part.

“Ted seemed to be able to handle the effects of his powers without any side effects to himself, so it’s not completely unbelievable that he could set off ‘the bomb’ without any harm to himself.”

That, too.

Comment by Doc Nebula —
May 16, 2007 @ 3:07 pm

Um… well… er… okay, my presumption had been that Sylar would need to have some power that would allow him to survive being at ground zero of a 10 meg nuclear explosion, before the explosion took place.

But, no, that’s silly. While it’s ridiculous that ANY power short of Silver Age Superman style invulnerability would let anyone survive an atomic detonation they set off themselves millimeters from their fingertips, this show is nothing if not ridiculous.

Certainly, the audience to date has demonstrated no inability to swallow nonsense; presumably, should NYC blow sky high, and then Sylar should stroll out of the ruins whistling cheerfully with his hands in his pockets, the script won’t even have to provide an explanation, because endless viewers will be perfectly ready to step up and opine weightily on how Ted seemed to be able to handle the effects of his powers without any side effects to himself, so it’s not completely unbelievable that somehow or another Sylar can not only blithely shrug off the heat and secondary radiation of a nuclear blast, but can just as casually ignore the kinetic energy that should have rendered him into goo and spread him in a thin film across several hundred square miles of irradiated terrain.

So, yeah, I concur… they’ve established enough mindbending stupidity in this series in the past that they could go for this one, too.

I’d been thinking that Sylar needed to have other pieces of the Dark Future in place before he detonates, too… like possessing DL’s phasing abilities, and Candice’s illusion projection / shapeshifting… but I guess it’s not necessary that he have those powers prior to blowing up New York, he could get them afterwards, as well… and if not from DL and Candice, then from other superhumans we don’t necessarily ever have to see onscreen.

And I’d also been assuming that Sylar would replace Nathan very soon after the bomb went off, but that’s not necessary, either. He might not kill Nathan and take his place until years later, after Nathan has become President.

My prediction, for what it’s worth — the ‘Heroes’ will prevent the detonation, and therefore, the Dark Future itself, and the second season of this show will follow the formation of a hyperrealistic, grim n’ gritty superhero tv show equivalent of a superhero team. No melodramatic codenames (for team or ‘heroes’) and no costumes, but Claire, Peter, Parkman, and Hiro, at the very least, will form some kind of cohesive unit that, backed by either the government or a wealthy individual, will exist to deal with threats like Sylar.

I can see DL and Micah being team members, too. Nikki/Jessica doesn’t strike me as a character well suited to a team, but I could be wrong. Nathan I have pegged for a heroic sacrifice/redemption next episode. And then in addition we’ll have whatever new character emerges from the ORIGINS spin off six parter this summer.

I’m presuming this because HEROES is a huge success as it is, and as it is, it’s a show set in our world, but with covert superhumans existing among us. If they let the bomb go off and the Dark Future take shape, this turns into a science fiction show set in a very different reality than ours, and as such, a very different series than it has been to date.

That might not be bad, but I find it wildly unlikely that any network bigwig anywhere would renew a hit show if that show was going to abruptly deviate so much from the proven formula in its second season.

To all this, I would only add belatedly that I can easily envision Candice, the woman with the illusion powers, being a member of the second season super-team, as well. And, if he actually does regenerate himself, I could even see Linderman backing such a team... although it would have to be for his own shadowy reasons.

Yes, of course I realize no one is reading this, or, at the very least, offering much in the way of comments on it, but, hey, if that stopped me from ranting and raving at great and tedious length, the Internet would be short several million words of ranting and raving right now.

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