Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thoughts on HEROES, Season 3, Chapter 11 - The Eclipse, Part 2

The local NBC station's skipping problems continued. In fact, it was worse last night as the signal had black lines running through a blue-tinted, barely visible picture. Hence, I have had to wait until this morning before work to watch the last new episode for 2 months and decide if I truly have had enough.

6:55 - Sponsored by Comcast? Oh gods... is THIS going to crash too?

6:56 - Okay. So The Eclipse depowered everyone, Hiro thinks he's 10, Daphne can't walk without her powers, Claire is dying, Elle and Sylar are still psycho and Peter and Nathan get dragged into a side-quest to recruit the Haitian to their party, with Nathan getting captured by voodoo cultists.

6:58 - "I still want to prove I can be a hero without my powers." THANK YOU! At least Peter is being written on form again.

7:00 - Sandra takes Claire to the hospital. Seems her entire body is infected and Claire honestly never has been sick in her entire life (well, apart from that one stint in the hospital after she survived a car-crash...) Whoops.

7:02 - And... we're back to lovey dovey NON-Psycho Elle and Sylar. You know it's a bad sign when the season has gotten to the point where the most sympathetic characters are two of the villains. Still, you have to admit this line is Metatextual.

Sylar: Scary and unexpected.
Elle: What? Our powers going away or us (getting together)?

7:05 - Okay, Bennet waited until NOW to take the shot. Why? He had a clear one before during the make-out session and it's not like he couldn't snipe from that distance. His nickname in The Company according to the comics was Eagle-Eye. Elle is wounded.

7:15 - Ten-minute break for breakfast following loading problems with the NBC Player (Thank you again, Comcast!) Back now.

7:16 - Hey! Nathan speaks French! And if you didn't need any more proof that a man who named himself after a god of death was a bad guy, he's also a slaver and whoremonger of teenage girls.

7:18 - Am I the only one who thinks it's totally appropriate that Mohinderance - great scientist that he is - appears to be reading from a children's science textbook chapter on Eclipses?

7:20 - "You keep talking, but all I hear is 'blah, blah, blah'." Yeah. I think the writer's frustrations ARE becoming metatextual at this point. And yeah - this is a freaky long-ass eclipse if they expected Mohinderance to have time to study it like this.

7:21 - I love that Flint is trying to menace people with a lighter.

7:23 - Oh, not only is Bennet also an amoral sociopath in his own way... he's also a chronic liar who will lie about anything to the woman he loves. Yes. Okay. We get this. Will you please stop trying to hammer the point home about the only character left who exudes any sense of competence?

7:25 - "What are those?" Looks like Matt is carrying the idiot ball this week if he doesn't know what braces are.

7:26 - Wait! How did she get a track medal if she's never been able to walk? Unless that medal Hiro stole was Special Olympics... aww, now I wanna go back and see if it was!

7:28 - Ladies and Gentleman... I give you the first time ANY plan Mohinderance has put into effect has actually worked! Cheer while you can - it looks like they're bringing Maya back.

7:30 - Okay. Damn me but I did like the Comic Book Guy reference. "Best. Day. Ever." Even if it really has gotten to the point of "We're looking at now, Now. We can't go back to then. We missed it. Just now." and "Wait... let me see the script!"

7:33 - Yeah. Typical Sprawl-Mart. I honestly think you could get a half-naked, wounded Kristen Bell in the door with nobody noticing until one kid walks down the medical supplies aisle. Did anybody else feel the urge to make a Black Friday joke? No? Good.

7:34 - Board to the head! Hey, this is WAY too easy. And how did Matt know to check the comic book store for Hiro? Oh yeah... it's small-town Kansas. I guess you could just ask if anyone saw where the two Japanese guys went.

7:35 - I just love how the guys running the comic book store are smarter than... oh, MOST OF THE REST OF THE CAST regarding how The Eclipse works.

7:36 - "I don't want to grow up!" I'm a Toys R Us Kid!

7:40 - Oh gods... and now we get the preachy "why aren't we doing more for the third world" moment. Don't get me wrong - Nathan gets a good, short speech here... but it's just so out of left field. And apparently he doesn't speak enough French to say something the girl would understand...

7:45 - Another player crash. And Peter is being the most heroic - and most stupid - hero again. I'd complain but this is actually the best we've seen him lately. Nice how all the guards just suddenly disappeared.

7:46 - Heh. Amazing. The make-up people actually managed the impossible and made Hayden look truly awful. Why do I get the feeling Sandra is going to do something very cool/stupid?

7:50 - Okay. If they actually go the way this is going... and is sticks (which I doubt cause it looks like it's sunny outside again) this will be positively Shakespearean. Claire is dying and Bennet missed it because he was busy killing Sylar by slitting his throat after beating the crap out of him. Knowing Bennet, I'm amazed he didn't try cutting his head just a little with the Exacto-Knife. Just for the sake of form, mind you.

7:51 - Okay. Claire is dead. For the moment. Could be that soon as the sun is back up she'll heal again but... hey, I'll play the rube for the moment.

7:52 - I knew it. Of course that means Sylar is going to heal too but... DAMMIT!

7:53 - Her dad didn't look 10-feet past the porch? Seriously...

7:54 - The creepy crazy "why me?" girl shit is getting really tired. Am I right? Daphne kicked so much ass when they introduced her and now she's all whiny emo "I'm a thief and I'm worthless..." and Matt is playing the "I can save you" asshole card to the hilt.

7:56 - Okay. I'm going to nit-pick (like I haven't been already) - how does Peter know how to shoot like that? He's a nurse, a virtual pacifist and we know from the endless "You aren't your brother" comparisons from Season One that he, unlike Nathan, was never in the military.

7:58 - Velocity Damage and Point-Black Mind Control attack at Level 10 for the win. (Sorry. That will only mean something if you've played Silver Age Sentinels)

8:02 - Oh gods... creepy Mohinderance rattler music. And did he just leave a mash note on her doorstep?

8:03 - "You didn't grow up. You read comics and eat junk food."


It wasn't enough to call all the people watching the show live "dips*its" - now they have to go and insult the only demographic the show has left - hard-core comic fans who will watch anything relating to superpowers and comics, no matter how bad it gets.

8:05 - Message! Message coming in for you! All that is missing is someone saying "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility." And... huh. A scene between Hiro and Claire. Yeah, that IS a first.

8:10 - Okay. THAT was awesome. And for those of you playing at home, here is what happens.

* Bennet apologizes for not being there for Claire. She all but tells him to stuff it because she died.
* Bennet puts two and two together and asks where her mom is (huh - no questions about your son?) only to find that Elle and Sylar have taken her hostage.
* Sylar - who is sorely annoyed - pins Bennet to the wall and starts slitting his throat after - surprise surprise - Bennet says (and he's probably telling the truth) that Arthur and Angela were both lying when they said he was their son and that Elle was partly responsible for denying him a normal life.
* Hiro teleports in, grabs Sylar, comes back, grabs Elle, comes back, grabs Claire. "Save the cheerleader." Leaves again.

8:15 - Ha! I knew it! Last issue Isaac had prepared in advance. Take that everyone on TVTropes.org who doubted me!

8:17 - Find the bike-messenger. Find the story. Doesn't have the same ring as "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World." - does it? Of course it does give Daphne and Matt something to do besides - I dunno - ask the time-traveler to go back to Isaac before he died and asked what the hell he saw.

8:20 - Oh hell... another preachy message. Nathan preaching the America is Policeman of the world idea in something that I don't think can be called metaphor at this point since he's proposing giving super-powers to "the right people" and talking about all the poor, third-world countries that are sinkholes even without an invincible man who thinks he's a death god taking over. Peter, quite rightly, thinks this is a dumb idea because he knows damn well that trying to force peace isn't going to work. Annnnnnnnnnnd... this brings us to setting up the alternate future where Peter is a wanted terrorist who blew up the Pinehurst labs and Nathan is a daddy's boy running for high office. And all of this came about because Nathan finally found his heart and it told him to do the exact same thing his dumbass, amoral first-season self would have done. Gag.

8:21 - And - wait a minute - where did Peter's scar go?

8:25 - *face palms* Mohinderance went back to Arthur. WHY?!?! Oh yeah - only hope of cure. Blah blah blah. Monster inside you something you have to take care of. Yada yada yada.

8:30 - Okay. Fine. Sylar finally reasserts himself, says nobody really changes (even though the writers sure jerked him around enough this season) and he kills Elle. And Kristen Bell - god, I love her - but she looks and sounds way too much like she's "enjoying" having her head cut open, if you know what I mean and I think you do.

So yeah... nobody has died so far and nothing has really changed except Elle dies. Suckage.

8:31 - And... Claire gets to see how she was given to her father and... how it really was just an assignment! That's not helping, Hiro!

The Final Verdict - Every character I care about has been rendered meaningless or killed off and the whole effect of the season has been... what? Nothing has changed except Hiro is effectively 10, Nathan is working for the bad guys (again), Peter is powerless in pretty much every since of the word, Matt has a love interest and Elle is dead. They finally crossed the line into bad melodrama.

It seems that Season 3 will actually be a full season this time, despite rumors of Season 4: Fugitives starting in February. If it turns out that the next episode has something to offer and advances the story in some way besides pointless, artificial "Who's My Daddy?" drama and I hear that something good is actually happening... maybe I'll review the second half of the season after the fact.

As it is, the live blogs are over. And I'm done with HEROES.


  1. I spent most of the episode yelling quips at the t.v. Because, gods, was this stupid. A few decent scenes, but so much stupid. And while I love Mohinderance as a nickname, I also think he is Dr. Chump. Because HOW OFTEN has he gone to work for the bad guys, tried to quit, been bullied into staying, found a way to quit and THEN GONE BACK TO WORKING FOR THE BAD GUYS. I have slim hopes that after this stupid, POINTLESS half season ends things might improve. Because Loeb is gone. But then Kring's interview where he mentions why Irish Love Interest will be lost in limbo forever makes me feel its unlikely...

  2. I didn't think it sounded like enjoyment. And I don't think the ending is what you think it is.

  3. What - the ending of the Sylar/Elle scene? Or the scene where Hiro takes Claire to see her adoption?

  4. Yeah. For every moment of brilliance (A powerless Peter standing up to Flint and Knox in the sewer) there are 3-4 moments of unforgivable stupidity. Among many other things that are annoying me...
    1. Remember Tracy? She was barely in last episode, wasn't in the last one and generally hasn't had much to do since the early part of Season 3 when she discovered her powers, nearly killed herself because of them and went off on this epic quest for answers and a cure... suddenly changing into this controlling, manipulative witch who wants to be on the winning team regardless.
    2. Nathan deciding to join with his dad to help stop child slavery. Never mind that he has the authority and power to do a lot about that with his position as a Senator already and... oh yeah... your dad tried to kill your brother and took away his powers!
    3. Matt and... well, what the hell is his place in all this? Nominally he's trying to help the team stopping Arthur, but his focus has been on getting Daphne to fall for him in pretty much every episode for the last two months.
    4. Claire getting the idiot ball and suddenly thinking her dad only views her as an assignment and doesn't care... never mind that way back in Season One, he willingly had his memory erased and took several bullets in order to insure her safety, in order to stop The Company from getting a hold of her.

  5. My understanding is that four is starting next year unless something has changed. Essentially two short "volumes" this year instead of one long one. Though, again, this may have changed. That's just the most recent thing I've heard.
    I'm on the fence at the moment. I still want to love the show, and I do still love some characters, but... I dunno. I get more excited about Chuck sometimes now. And I'm definitely more excited about House. And Top Chef. That's not a good sign for them.

  6. Yeah.
    And Season 4 does start in February. So hopefully SOME of this is getting resolved...
    I miss Kristen Bell though... :(

  7. I miss Kristen Bell though... :(
    Yeah, I really did like her. I think there was a lot of potential in that char. A lot more than in Mohinder or Claire's real mom's brother or even Peter lately. But oh well. They didn't ask the fans, right?
    ...and I'm really starting to think they should.