Heroes: Lizards

by Paul William Tenny

heroes-2x02.jpg Was it good? Yes. Better than the premier? Perhaps. Are there developing problems? Definitely. Will they stop you from watching? Hell no.

I love this show but I'm still struggling here. I know some people didn't care for the first season finale, but it left me in a state that few shows ever do (in a good way) and it's hard to come back down from that to enjoy the next marathon. Everything I felt from the premier was familiar just now, it was thrilling and disappointing and I can easily explain why without giving anything away if you haven't seen it yet.

First and foremost one of the great benefits of having a large cast of good actors who are mostly different is that it gives your infinitely large audience at least one character to identify with. It doesn't have to be logical, it just has to be there.

With Firefly, I identified with Simon. With Heroes, it's Peter. I don't consider myself like those two characters, but I feel for them and pull for them and care about what happens to them - that's natural. Unfortunately the downside is that you get pretty bored with stories that focus on other characters.

The two bright moments in the premier for me were the little girls nightmares (because it moved the overall plot) and the very last scene which, for obvious reasons, was probably a high point for most everyone. Going into episode number two, that's all I wanted to see, and I fear my singular interest is going to be shared, and is going to grow.

It wasn't so bad in the first season because we didn't know what Peters fate was, what he would become, if he would even survive. Now we know that we've got a bona fide super human here that can do practically anything. How can any other character with a single ability compare?

Hiro can because he's just that cool, but everyone else seems downright trite these days. I think it's going to be hard not to gravitate towards Peter-centric stories this year, especially with the departure of Bryan Fuller, possibly their most talented writer who has since departed for deader pastures (Pushing Daisies is his new show.)

Additionally, I am already sick of following the journey of our South American heroes who, like Nikki, seem less to be Heroes and more like accidental murderers. Watching them reminds me way too much of Prison Break's second season (that's a really bad thing) and I feared they would get stuck with the odd ducklings for a second time, and they have.

24 had its odd ducks in the first few seasons and finally realized that two independent story lines that only come together in the finale only works once - they dumped Kim and everything was good again (for one season anyway.) I was consistently frustrated with Nikki's story being so detached from everyone else's during the first season that I grew annoyed every time I saw her.

Now that it is happening all over again, I'm bummed. I don't care about these people because I've not been given a reason to care by the writers, and thus far, there hasn't been any passable substitute in compelling action or intrigue. I just want them to get to America, or get run over by a bus, and I really couldn't care less which it is right now.

That said, those are some pretty minor problems that can easily be overlooked by the remaining positives, and there's plenty of time to fix them as well.

Lizards was underwhelming on a couple of fronts and very satisfying on one other one, the one that currently is the only one I really care about. That'll change, hopefully, but for now, it's all about Peter, you know? Maybe that's the way it should be.

As will be the case all season long, you can watch new episodes of Heroes streaming online, with each episode becoming available on NBC's website one day after it airs, right up until the next episode airs when they swap. At least on my local station, new episodes repeat on the following Saturday evening at 8PM EDT, so check your local listings if you want to catch up on TV instead.
in Television


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