Heroes: Fight or Flight

by Paul William Tenny

heroes-2x05.jpgThings are starting to feel a little more cohesive now that I think most of the major introductions have taken place, culminating in the appearance of much-hyped netlet star Kristen Bell. If you go back and watch the first few episodes of the first season, the quality has clearly taken a hit with the loss of Bryan Fuller and I don't think they will ever get the magic back.

It can still be good, and based on the teaser for 2x06 the show is on the verge of picking up some steam. Peter will leave Ireland, Matt Parkman and Nathan have set flight after Parkman's evil daddy who is no where near as scary as we were lead to believe - I'm continually disappointed about that. What we saw in Fight or Flight as actually well crafted and a great pleasure to see, yet kind of mundane now.

Continuing my style from before, I'll simply call out the things that bothered me rather than give you a recap which you can find dozens of all over the web all throughout the week.
Monica - Is still boring. Her whole family is boring. The only question I have at this point is her ability to instantly do whatever she sees somebody else do also apply to other Heroes? If so, that might lead somewhere interesting and yet also crowd things up a bit since we already have somebody who can do much the same thing in Peter.

If not, who cares if she can wrestle and make tomato flowers? I don't judge the heroes based on how much I like them and their abilities so much as I ask myself, are they tasty? Would Sylar eat their brains to get their powers? If the answer is no, they are going to be relegated to background noise I'm afraid.

Beyond all of that, it has been long past time for her to get involved in the larger arc. The entire first season consisted of people discovering they can do things nobody else can do (and yet we somehow have ended up with no less than 3 different people who can fly and heal from just about anything) and then watching them be drawn together to some inevitable mysterious fate that was pretty darn satisfying.

Now we know from Parkman's father that the story was essentially the same for the elder generation of heroes, which was already intimated at for us by the show's producers when they named season two "Generations."

Well played, I like that, that's something we can explore. What is the story of the elder generation? What did they do when they all came together and how is that different than what is happening with our guys?

The Hondurans - I've read that these two critters are actually Honduran, if anybody cares. They were nowhere to be seen and even though that meant no Sylar, I was ecstatic about it. And yet here again the problem of overcrowding is expressed. There just isn't room in a one-hour drama (42 minutes without commercials) for this many people and this many story lines.

Stephen King has written that when things seem to get bogged down, too complex, and you just don't know where to go next, the problem can be universally solved by killing off people.

Can I have some chilli-fried Hondurans please, with a side of Monica-in-a-doggie-bag? Thanks. Crispy Irishy Guy makes a nice desert.

Peter - Being hunted by a midget-like Kristen Bell is not terribly interesting. What is she going to do, shock him? And that is going to hurt Peter how?

Seeing him paint was cool, if not just because it's cool to see whenever it happens. The eyes going white even if they are a cheap effect still let you see something instead of watching actors just wince a lot when they do their thing.

I really miss Issac.

Parkman's Daddy - What a mean old coot, eh? If this is the big bad that terrified us along with Molly, I'm hugely disappointed. That was some pure unseen skin crawling evil that was better left untouched. Still, at least we know Sylar is still the big bad.

They better use him wisely.

Monica - She's still boring, even all the way this far down on the page, and I'm not getting any younger.

Hiro - Getting pinched out of the episode for more Monica: bad. Getting pinched for more Parkman/Nathan: fine, but don't do it again. Getting pinched out for the Hondurans: would have resulted in Samuel L. Jackson.

It was inevitable that we'd reject the newbies in favor of the old guard purely out of instinct, it's just human nature fall back on what makes you comfortable, and we're already comfortable with what we've got. I think bringing in new people should have been pushed all the way back to after Origins airs.

I think Origins is going to look a lot worse now that we've seen how mundane and downright annoying the newbies can be, and all Origins will do is make more of them.

heroes-1x04.jpgHave I mentioned how much I miss Bryan Fuller?

Looking through the writing credits for season two, I'm noticing that only Tim Kring and Michael Green are the only two writers that have written for both seasons. I think perhaps a big reason for the drop off this year is what appears to be a big turnover in the staff of Heroes.

Anyway, "The Line" looks like the point where things start to pick up, which is only really one episode later than "Collision" in season one (a Bryan Fuller ep) when future-Hiro warns Peter on the train to "save the cheerleader, save the world."

Season two needs that moment, and needs it bad.
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Yea, my much awaited Heroes article! Thank you very much. So let's go, shall we?
Agreements first, there are way too many irons in the fire starting out this season. I could be wrong but I remember new characters being added slowly as we got attached to main characters last season. This season we already have established story and characters so they just throw fifty million (okay, exageration) newbies at us. I'm looking for a few of these characters to get killed before too long, most preferably the Honduran Twins and Flyboy. While we didn't have to suffer through the "flight" from Honduras through latin America via Mexico, I'm still thoroughly disgusted with how long this trip is taking. Could they not have had them hide in a freakin cargo plane smack dab up against Syler's cargo box?? Much less time consuming and psycho mary madonna could have killed a couple flight attendants (or the pilot which would have been much more edge of the seat interesting than some no account american) to give us a glimpse of her "power" and I use that term loosely. Old Tar eyes of St. Catherines isn't very heroic in good or evil plot terms.
This season is definately screaming for "the moment" and some direction and tie ins.
And now, to disagree:
While Parkman's Dad is not the big Nasty that we thought we would be getting, I think there two things to consider...maybe three. We were looking at the big evil from a child's mind's perspective which amplifies what we as adults would view as scary. While this is a beyond gifted child, she is still a child and still harbors that naive innocent quality. Second, I think there is more to this guy then we have seen so far. How evil do you have to be to kill your own child? Pretty damn evil. Plus, the fact that another photograph of the head of the new clinic with the marking was found in his apartment which leads me personally to the belief that he may be the one behind the killings and that the picture he showed Parkman was a coverup for his actual doings...although if he really is the killer of the other powerhouses, it's a bit of a let down seeing as how looks like the only power he should be wielding is a heavy brewsky in a backwoods bowling alley somewhere. This point has led to much debate in my household already..but the one area we do agree on over here is that he atleasts is opening up the door to increasing Parkman's power.
Monica....sweet tragic monica. I still disagree with you on her. I say keep her. Her power's are not the most impressive, no. But they give her more of an edge then the average human would have and yet make the viewers able to envy and relate to her the most. She is more humanized then the rest of the powers. While I don't believe she will be able to mimic other Heroe's powers because then it would be too close to Peter's I think she will be an interesting development. Plus she will be a better suited complement as a team mate to Mica then his psycho mother. Still don't understand how she is considered a hero...mental hospitals everywhere are probably tuning in every monday saying "see our patients really arent' sick".
Hiro, Hiro, Hiro. Another area of disention in my house. I'm so bored with Hiro, I could scream. I really don't care that he's making a legend come true or that Ando is getting messages from living history. Blah blah and more blah. Get to the freakin point already or send him home. My husband however loves the story line but as usual, I think he's wrong.
Last but not least, I disagree with your hypothesis of sticking to our original characters. I believe that staying in our "comfort" zone would deteriorate the store line faster then bringing in the new characters and we would all be bored with the same old thing. What was new and exciting was the blending and meshing of all these seperate stories to a clencher....and to do that again with the same characters would be redundant. To not do that at all would let down all the fans. It's not as smooth as first season with the lack of Fuller but they are still attempting it and its not too bad. Plus then we wouldn't have anything to Bitch about or speculate on and keep us coming back for more. Last weeks episode had me ready to not watch again, this weeks episode atleast has me anticipating next weeks. If you are correct, and I hope you are, and they present that "MOMENT" next week, we may be in for a pretty good season after all, which in my opinion, fall of 2007 desperately needs.
OH and by the way, I am reserving comments and opinions on Kristin Bell. I'm not sure if I like her or not. I'm thinking her character is a little too close to Claire. Young, petite blonde whose daddy is knee deep into the "company". Except this time, she's a bad guy.....ahhhh...we'll see what happens.
I agree with you on the Honduras kids (so very boring). I wonder if they are trying to pull in some of the hispanic population watchers by including these characters? Hiro is the best character on this show and definately the most amusing! Get rid of Monica and Kristin Bell. The are dragging this show down! Flyboy can stay, for now, only because I think Claire needs a "love intrest".

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