Heroes Volume Four, Chapter Twelve: An Invisible Thread

We kick off with a particularly meandering Mohinderlogue about how there’s nearly seven billion people on this planet, and he’s going to tell us about each and every one of them. Mohinder, babe, I’m really sorry your role on the series has been reduced to this, but could you maybe start wrapping it up? It’s the season finale, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.

Bennet, Angela and Claire drive into Washington D.C. Angela has a prophetic dream about Nathan, right about the time Bennet realizes the roadblock they’re approaching is a trap. While Claire and Angela scurry to safety, Bennet lets himself get apprehended by Danko’s goons.

Sylar pins Danko to the wall and explains how he came back to life after getting stabbed in the head. You know that microscopic part of his brain that must be destroyed in order for him to die? He used his shape-shifting ability to move it to a different area of his brain. This was very forward-thinking of him. Considerably less forward-thinking is the way he then proceeds to spill the details of his diabolical plan to Danko: he’s going to absorb all of Nathan’s memories, shake President Worf’s hand, steal his DNA, and assume his identity. Instead of killing Danko outright, Sylar shifts into his form, then murders a whole bunch of agents and has Danko arrested for it. God, Sylar. Why do you have to make everything so complicated?

Claire and Angela arrive at the Capitol. Angela tells Claire to find Nathan, then takes off, explaining that, per her dream, she needs to find Matt to get him to save Nathan’s life. Sylar shifts into Nathan’s form again and greets Claire. Claire is suspicious, but Sylar does some fast talking and manages to flimflam her into believing he’s really Nathan. Sylar takes Claire with him to the hotel where President Worf is staying. Peter finds the real Nathan, and they head off after Sylar.

Danko is thrown into a cell with Bennet. Danko whines that he’s not as good at controlling super-powered people as Bennet, then Bennet makes Danko feel guilty for having messing things up so royally: “And then you got into bed with Sylar.” Sheesh, I wish. Now that would have really perked up this volume.

Hiro stops time and, with Ando’s help, invades Building 26. They burst into the human storage room and rescue Mohinder, who has one of those damn tubes stuffed up his nose. Third time this volume. I’m just saying. Worse, his curls are slicked back with too much gunk again. Since his hair was looking particularly lush and vibrant at the time of his capture, I can only conclude that Danko’s goons subsequently mucked up his locks as some cruel form of torture. When Hiro’s ear starts bleeding, Mohinder once again forgets he’s not really a medical doctor and gives him a spontaneous examination and diagnosis: Hiro’s body is rejecting his powers.

Danko and Bennet escape from their cell. Danko sneakily tries to stick Bennet with a hypo of drugs, but Hiro stop time again, saves Bennet, and sticks Danko. Hiro then collapses in pain. While Mohinder attends to Hiro, Bennet rushes off to stop Sylar. When Bennet calls Claire to make sure she’s all right, Sylar answers the phone.

Aw, jeez. Yuck. Sylar forces Claire to serve him wine, talks about how her whole family’s going to die (“What’s your brother’s name again? Larry?”), yammers on about how they’re both immortal, then lays the groundwork for seducing her. Yeah, Heroes, you know what? Let’s not do this. This is gross.

Nathan and Peter arrive at the hotel. Nathan has a big confessional scene where he demonstrates his flying ability to the President’s aide and admits he was wrong for wanting to imprison all super-powered people. Nathan and Peter bond, then they converge on Sylar’s hotel room. Claire gets to watch the epic battle between Sylar and the Petrelli boys by peeking through the closed door. The viewing audience is not so fortunate. Heroes, it’s the season finale. Maybe you should consider having some of the fight scenes happen onscreen? Claire bursts into the room and finds only Peter -- Sylar and Nathan went out the window.

Sylar and Nathan crash into another hotel room. Sylar slits Nathan’s throat and kills him.

Matt arrives in D.C. (sans baby, sans Janice) and is shanghaied by Angela, who tells him he has to save Nathan. Matt and Angela go to the hotel and find Nathan’s bloody corpse. Hysterics ensue.

Sylar makes a run on President Worf as he’s being smuggled out of the building by Secret Service. Sylar tries to shift into the President, but his powers malfunction -- it turns out Worf is actually Peter, who absorbed Sylar’s shape-shifting ability during their battle. Peter knocks out Sylar.

Bennet and Angela convince Matt to use his mental powers to convince Sylar he’s really Nathan. Matt thinks this idea is idiotic and doomed to failure, but he does it anyway.

And then there’s a closing Mohinderlogue. The full cast stands around while Sylar-as-Nathan burns the corpse of Martin, the original shape-shifter who died in Sylar’s form, whom everyone except for Matt, Angela, and Bennet believes is the real Sylar. Bennet and Sylar-as-Nathan exposit about how the President agreed to have Bennet head up a brand spanking new version of the Company.

Six weeks later, a former Building 26 agent gets murdered by Tracy, who is: a) naked, and b) alive. Meanwhile, Sylar-as-Nathan is already starting to get squirrelly: he sees a clock and determines it’s running a minute and a half fast…


Leon Basin said…
This looks interesting. I will definitely check it out! Thank you...
Jason Gilman said…
Not exactly an epic battle with Sylar, but I actually liked the way that off screen battle set up the twist with the President at the end. I also liked the way they've managed to kill off a character (or not) through a forced merger. The question I have now is what happens to Nathan the first time he accidentally cuts himself. Anyway more later, I need to watch Chuck now.
Lou said…
Great recap Morgan! Am I alone in thinking this finale was ermmm not very good?

It didnt feel to me like there was a big climactic moment. Yeah I know Nathan is dead, but then hes not really. Kind of. And the battle was off screen which felt a tad cheap. Its the finale NBC. I know there's a credit crunch on, but push the boat out a bit more.

I did like the fact Peter did something useful at least.

Sylathan or Nathlar (whichever you prefer) could be interesting but it would be a shame not to see Quinto eyebrows magnifico on the show. I guess he has bigger movie fish to fry these days.

Mo was about as useful as a fish with a bicycle this week and to make it worse nasty hair. Im guessing he'll be back to Company scientist role next volume. I hope they give him a decent haircut and stop him diagnosing people. That is indeed worrying.

Hopefully Hiro & Ando wandered off to get Hiro some medical attention cos the boy looks like he's having a brain hemorrhage
Ingrid Richter said…
Hmm, wouldn't this have been a great time to use Claire's Magic Blood_TM to bring Nathan back to life?

I just don't see how having Sylar think he's Nathan is going to work. Is Matt going to hang around Nathlar the entire time? Sheesh, Angela, grow up.

I did like Peter's double-cross of Sylar. Nicely played!
levitatethis said…
For the most part I actually liked this finale. Then again, given how this season started (the dreaded Volume 3) I'm just happy that it ended in a way that has me interested in Volume 5.

Poor Mohinder. Still absolutely no storyline. Then again, it also meant he got to stay in character again, so I'll keep my complaints to a minimum. Of course taking into account the ending I'm going to assume he'll be working the research end of this new government run Company thingamajig.

I was dreading the Sylar/Claire scenes based on the preview but felt the show (rightfully?) played up the absolute creep factor. I prefer to think that Sylar going on about her being his "First Lady" was more a way to fuck with her and manipulate her than a legitimate come on. I still hold to my first season reading of Sylar as asexual.

I really liked the Danko/Bennet scene where Bennet was going on about how Claire is what stopped him from being in the same position as Danko and Danko points out, "hey dude, you're totally in the same place as me."

Why couldn't Mohinder have been the one to stick that needle in Danko? We all know Mohinder is aces with the needle...and it would have given him something to do this episode.

Angela, Bennet, and Matt...What the hell are you thinking? This can only end very, very badly.

I'm not crazy about Tracy coming back because: 1. she got a good "death" scene and 2. we need to see that when people die on this show they actually die (I'm not counting Daphne since we hardly knew her). In a way I'm cool with the Nathan death because as messed up as what Angela and Bennet are doing it's not something farfetched for them.

It feels like we're still heading towards a sort of 5 Years Gone verse so I do feel like there are elements that make sense.
Morgan Richter said…
I'm still sort of trying to process my reaction. Killing Nathan off and having Sylar replace him opens up some cool short-term plot possibilities (it's going to be a barrel of monkeys when Peter puts it together, for example), but in the long run, is getting rid of Nathan the best thing for the show? I don't see how it could be.

Like Lou, I was a little thrown by how anticlimactic it seemed. I'm not sure the twelve-episode volume concept is the best format for the show -- or if it is, then the show hasn't been paced well enough to pull it off. It didn't seem like we built to enough of a dramatic climax.

So in the "Previously on..." at the start of the episode, they showed that clip of Mohinder earnestly telling Peter he's not ready to forgive himself, which then proved to not be relevant to the episode in any conceivable way. Poor Mo. I'm hoping a deleted scene crops up on the DVD in which Danko's goons hold him down and smear handfuls of styling gel in his hair while he struggles mightily. He could use the extra screen time.

I still hold to my first season reading of Sylar as asexual.

Levitatethis, you might know the answer to this: which clever person online first dubbed Sylar as "asexual with Mohinder tendencies"? Because that was a fairly brilliant first-season interpretation of him, and I want to give proper credit where credit it due. Of course, since then, Sylar has been demonstrably horny and straight, so that kind of killed that idea.
levitatethis said…
Morgan - the "Sylar is asexual with Mohinder tendencies" came up at TWoP in a discussion between a handful of us. But I honestly can't remember who first used the phrase. Given that I've had issues with a lot of his characterization in later seasons I still tend to hold to the theory. With Maya he was manipulating her...With Elle, well, I ignore that volume because no one seemed to be in character. I think he knows how to use sexual behaviour to his advantage but I still don't view him as a sexual being (if that makes sense in any way).

I'm curious to see how it will play out with Sylar as Nathan.

It's interesting that some felt the anticlimatic ending didn't work whereas for me in the past the attempts at big endings didn't work for me (they always ended up falling flat). I, surprisingly, preferred this one.
Morgan Richter said…
I liked the volume one finale pretty well, even if it fell short of the epic buildup. I thought the mutual brother sacrifice was lovely, Hiro impaling Sylar, Matt getting riddled with bullets, everyone gathering on Kirby Plaza... it worked for me. Volumes two and three, I really don't remember much about their finales, which is probably not a great sign.

With this one, something important happened to Nathan and Sylar, and to Matt, Angela, and Bennet by association, but for now, the rest were pretty much unaffected. Hiro's got his new health problems, but apart from that, Hiro and Ando and Mohinder didn't serve any purpose in the episode at all, probably because their stories never were building up to anything significant in the first place.

If Nathan's ultimate fate was in the creative staff's heads at the beginning of Volume Three when Sylar first gained the ability to learn the history of an object by touching it, I will be duly impressed. I really hope they know what they're doing with this, and that they've got a solid direction for Nathlar already charted.
levitatethis said…
I really hope they know what they're doing with this, and that they've got a solid direction for Nathlar already charted.Normally I would say I doubt it. But with Fuller back I'm not so sure. They might actually have a plan. Is that wishful thinking? Maybe.

I was expecting more from the Season 1 finale than what we got but I didn't hate it. I ended up being more indifferent to it. With Season two it was shortened right? The only thing I really remember was Mohinder and Sylar which made me happy but the rest...didn't Adam try to release the virus?

I guess my point is that even though there were still obvious issues with Volume 4 (and the lack of proper storyline for Mohinder, Hiro, Ando was notable) I felt like overall it was more on track and drew me in enough to want to see what Volume 5 will be like.
Morgan Richter said…
I guess they've set some interesting things up for next volume -- or at least things we haven't seen before which might turn out to be interesting. Cautiously optimistic. It'll be a shorter season (NBC ordered 18 eps), and I think the plan right now is to have it launch later in the year (even as late as November or December), so we're going to be entering a long Heroes-free zone. Was the setup to Volume Five tantalizing enough to sustain my interest for seven months or so? Right now, I'm not sure.

A haiku for Dan:

Sylar is Nathan.
Will this be a disaster?
Only time will tell.
Patrick said…
Like Morgan I am still working out what I thought about the episode. I really liked some bits, and was disappointed by others.

To disagree with Morgan, I thought that Hiro's story was done very well. In this episode we saw the Hiro that we loved in season one, the hero who was prepared to sacrifice his own life to do what needed to be done. When Hiro froze time to save HRG, even though he had been warned by 'Dr. Suresh' against using his power, it showed real guts, and fair play to Hiro.

Other developments were disappointing. I'd prefer if Volume 5 had the new Company solving different mysteries every week, rather than returning to old storylines like Tracy. I'm sure it won't take HRG long to work that one out. Four men from Building 26 drowned in their homes, and all of them died with smiles on their faces. He'll think, hmm, I bet Tracy appeared naked in front of them, and then killed them.

The Sylar and Claire scenes were misjudged, especially as he was using the same puppet power that we had seen before with Claire's mother. It was out of place given that Sylar had never previously shown that kind of interest in Claire. And I agree with the comments above about Sylar's sexuality. He is at his best when he is a scarily camp villain, not the same as every other sicko.

Can't believe no one killed Danko. He better not return next volume. His time is up.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Morgan for bringing us all together. Her hard work and stylish recaps have given us hours of fun on this blog, and some might say more fun than the episodes themselves. Thank you.
Morgan Richter said…
Good point about Hiro, Patrick. To be fair, yes, he showed a good deal of nobility in freezing time to save Bennet even though he knew it could hurt or kill him. And it was a relief that his plotline (for once) wasn't wacky in any sense. I'm just not sure where they're going to go with him from here. Soul-searching about not being able to use his power? Doesn't seem like the best use for this character. I hope they've got a plan.

Yeah, I could do without Sexual Predator Sylar leering at the jailbait whilst twirling his moustache in a sinister manner. It just didn't gel with what we know of him. Plus, I'm cool with Claire in small doses, but if I were Sylar, the prospect of spending eternity with her would make me start gouging out that special microscopic portion of my brain with a soup spoon. I can't see him actively seeking to establish a relationship with her.

However, as levitatethis pointed out, they were definitely playing up the creepy, mindfuckery aspects of it. Which I suppose is a better choice than playing up the "Sylar + Claire = hott!!!" aspects of it.
Ingrid Richter said…
On a completely different note, I was pleased to see Matt channeling Doctor Who with his Psychic Wallet...

Still have no idea why Danko's alive either, Patrick. I thought for sure the finale would open with Danko's splayed corpse a la Silence of the Lambs.

Er, not to get too gory (too late), but couldn't Danko have killed Sylar by throwing his brain into a blender? Live and learn, Danko...
Morgan Richter said…
Loved Matt's Doctor Who moment with getting past the Secret Service agents.

Y'know, using your shapeshifting ability to move a part of your brain to a different area is one of those things that sounds like kind of a cool idea, but the more you think about it, the more you start to go, "Hey, wait a minute..." I suppose if Sylar used both his intuitive ability (figuring out how all the parts in his brain fit together) and his healing ability (brain automatically fixing itself when he turns himself into a vegetable from smooshing things around too much), it could work...

Big points for Peter stealing Sylar's ability and turning himself into President Worf. When Sylar's shape-shifting ability started to go wonky, I was genuinely surprised (I'm ashamed to say my first thought was, "Hey, President Worf is super-powered!"). Then they kind of lost some ground by using The One And Only Drug That Could Knock Sylar Out, about which we'd never heard anything prior to this episode. Sort of lame.
Dan said…
When I'm a father (as I hope to be some day) and am out on a Sunday drive, I plan to suddenly stop the car and say:

"Get out of the car now. That roadside worker wasn't real. Walk two miles north and I'll meet you there."

Then drive off, nodding wisely and asserting that I 'have a plan'.

Because child obesity? That's a problem my kid's not going to suffer from.

Hmmm? The episode? Engh. It was okay. I'm sure I'll think of something else to say later on. In which case, I'll pipe up then.

(And, no, Morgan, despite your provocative sally, I shall not be engaging in haiku war... Nicely done, however. And I second Patrick - your recaps have been awesome all year. Gracias and well done - speaking from bitter Smallvillean experience, I know such things can tend to become a chore, but you've provided much merriment and it's much appreciated.)
Patrick said…
I'm embarassed to say I didn't consciously think 'Doctor Who' when Matt produced his wallet. I did think 'psychic paper' and was momentarily confused, but was too slow to continue in my thinking.

Should we have more of these kinds of references? Just before Sylar killed Nathan, should he have said 'Live long and prosper!' and then slit his throat? Maybe not.

It would have been very easy for Peter to pretend to be Nathan at the end of the episode if a cover-up was all they wanted. I can understand Angela trying to save her son, but HRG should have had more sense. And what was with the Viking funeral for Sylar? He was their enemy, right? I half expected to see Yoda, Ben and young Anakin appear in the sky looking down happily.
Morgan Richter said…
Thanks for the kind words, Patrick and Dan. And thank you to everyone who has helped keep these lunatic episode discussions fueled every week.

Ha! Patrick, I came veryveryclose to throwing in a Return of the Jedi joke about the ending and only pulled myself back because I'd used the very same joke in a recent Battlestar Galactica recap. Let's see.... Here it is:

"A weirded-out Starbuck builds a funeral pyre and burns her own corpse. The ghosts of Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Yoda smile beatifically in the background."

Great minds think alike. Or at least drink at the same fountain of pop culture references...
Patrick said…
I have to admit that I immediately guessed that President Worf was Peter - you don't catch me out that easily!

I say that just to put into context my other predictions on this blog:

1. Luke was Sylar's father.
2. HRG was Rebel.
3. The Big Reel Of Plot would prove significant at the end.
4. Sylar would be on the side of good next year.

and so on...

What the hell was the point of the Big Box Of Plot and the BROP? Are these ever going to be used next volume? If not, why bother? Is Mohinder going to go back to Coyote Sands and find the reel and then find somewhere to watch it? Or has he picked up enough from holding it to the light?

I love the way politics is done in Heroes (for example, senators can go missing for weeks on end). They can abuse the president on national television and still be greeted as friends when they arrange to meet. I think any chief of staff worth his salary would have been at least a little aggressive to Nathan in the hotel, even if they had been in college together.

I suppose what I am getting at is that the stories seemed to be made up from week to week depending on who was involved that week. Even down to HRG getting Angela and Claire out of the car before the roadblock, even though that had clearly not been shown the week before.
Morgan Richter said…
I still maintain that in real life Senator Petrelli would be world-famous just for his colorful history:

1. He won the election in a surprise (and highly fishy) landslide victory. At the same time, his paralyzed wife made a miraculous full recovery.
2. He was burned over almost his entire body in a mysterious accident that also supposedly claimed the life of his brother on the same night as a mysterious explosion on the New York skyline.
3. He mysteriously made a complete recovery from his grievous injuries.
4. He resigned from the Senate, divorced his wife, and became an alcoholic.
5. His presumed-dead brother turned up alive with no explanation.
6. He got shot mid-emergency press conference on national TV and was pronounced dead at the hospital. His attacker was never found, and the subject of his press conference was never revealed.
7. He came back to life on the operating table.
8. He found God and was once again appointed to the Senate.
9. He formed a committee to round up and imprison people with special powers.

This is all tabloid gold. Even if the Petrellis used their influence to keep as much of this contained as possible, something would leak out.

As to the BROP and the BBOP, here are my theories:
1. These will be the foundation of Mohinder's plotline next volume, or:
2. The producers threw them in there after Sendhil started making tentative queries about why he wasn't getting much to do this volume: "See, Sendhil? You've got a whole Big Reel of Plot! It'll give you lots to do in the future! It's going to be really important, you'll see." The Big Box of Plot and the Big Reel of Plot will never be mentioned again.

I tend to lean toward #2, myself.
levitatethis said…
I think that film reel has disappeared. Which is fine with me since I disliked the whole "Chandra was working with powered people for the US government thereby rendering what we told you about him in Volume 1 useless" storyline anyway. Then again I hate when things are introduced and then dropped suddenly. This show is constantly doing that.

Senator Petrelli needs his own "E True Hollywood Story".
Morgan Richter said…
A couple days later, and I'm still not sure whether I liked the finale. I think my ultimate opinion will hinge on next season: if it's obvious they had some awesome long-term plan in mind when they came up with this Sylthan business, great. I will say, I like the idea of two people -- blood enemies, no less -- occupying the same body. Like Niki/Jessica, only more satisfying. Was anyone else disappointed back in season one when we found out that "Jessica" had nothing to do with Niki's special ability -- Niki just had multiple personality disorder and her ability was just boring old super-strength? Because it sure seemed like they were building to something much creepier and cooler than that (i.e. some kind of wholly separate super-powered being was living inside Niki).

In any case, a war for dominance between Sylar and Nathan could be great. I'm just not sure it's the kind of thing that can be sustained for very long, and if we lose either Nathan or Sylar permanently at the end of that plot, that'll be a bad blow.

I've been crabby about the writing lately. I feel bad about that, because I know the Heroes staff writers get subjected to a lot of pressures and scrutiny, and of course they can't please everybody. But here's the thing: there's no consensus on what makes a good story, obviously (I might think Sylar seducing Claire is a ruinous plot idea, but I recognize that it's only my opinion, and opinions will vary). There is, however, a consensus about ground rules in writing for television, and it bugs me that Heroes either doesn't know or doesn't think it has to to follow these rules (Tim Kring and I graduated from the same film school, so he has no excuse). Retconning past events, having characters behave in inexplicably inconsistent ways, introducing plot ideas and then abruptly dropping them or reversing them... They shouldn't be doing this sort of thing, because it weakens the show.

All of which is my long-winded way of saying this: that Big Reel of Plot better show up somehow, in some context, at some point. They made a point of introducing it; now they need to make it pay off. Even if it just turns out to be a reel of Chandra's homemade fetish porn.
levitatethis said…
As icky as that sounds I totally want it to be Chandra's homemade fetish porn!

I don't know why this show breaks so many rules so consistently. To give the writers credit (because I'm not sure if it's them so much as Kring telling them what to do) it may be just as frustrating for them to have to make sense of, well, the nonsensical. Of course as a viewer it makes for a very trying experience. The thing is, when the show gets it right, it can really be great. I think that's why when it fails it fails spectacularly.

The worst offense on this show for me (so far...I reserve the right to change my mind if I remember something more apt) has been the retconning of characterizations and storylines we were told in Volume 1. For me those are canon and referring back to them is one thing but rewriting them so that they are unimportant is unacceptable, particularly if it's for reasons that seem highly questionable and not at all serving to the overall direction/story of the show.

At the moment I'm looking at the positive side of the Nathan/Sylar sharing one body storyline. But, as you pointed out, it really hinges on what happens in Volume 5.

Is there anyone who thinks Sylar "seducing" Claire was a good thing? I hated it but it worked for me in terms of the disgusting factor. But depending on what it might mean in Volume 5 I could end up outright despising it in retrospect.

My wish for Volume 5 is that Mohinder actually gets a good storyline. Seriously, I'm not asking for a whole lot, just some respect for characters who got tossed around recklessly.
Morgan Richter said…
Somehow I imagine Chandra's homemade porn to involve lots of 1960s housewives in sexy nurse uniforms wielding oversize hypodermic needles and enema bags.

(And just imagine Mohinder's resulting daddy issues after sitting through that. I'm picturing Mohinder sitting in his darkened apartment, eyes glazed, hugging his knees to his chest, the film finished and flapping about wildly on the still-running projector...)

Hell, Kring thought Sylar's mock-seduction of Claire was a good enough idea to write it, shoot it, and air it. It takes all kinds.

My wish for Volume 5 is that Mohinder actually gets a good storyline.

Amen to that. This past season has been terrible to him. In Volume 3 he got stuck with the icky and unlovable plotline, and in Volume 4 he was wallpaper. He deserves better.
Dan said…
Senator Petrelli needs his own "E True Hollywood StoryOr, at the very least, a regular 8-page backup feature in Isaac's 10th Wonder comic.

Is there anyone who thinks Sylar "seducing" Claire was a good thing?Ummm.... (raises hand tentatively)

I thought it was an absolute hoot (in, yes, a wonderfully creepy way). In fact, I thought Sylar was in rare form in the finale. And by 'rare form', I mean, of course, 'Nathan's form'. Boom-tish.
Dan said…
Oh, I almost forgot.

My other favourite moment of this episode was right at the beginning when HRG sent Claire-Bear off on her impromptu jog with her grandmother through the forest.

Claire-Bear starts to protest and initiate some kind of squabble with HRG (because, heck, that's what the two of them do, right?). Then Angela just taps her on the shoulder and says 'Zip it!'

And a little cheer went out throughout the Liebke household.
Morgan Richter said…
(Sorry that italics are still squooshing together with the following non-italicized text. I'm not sure what's going on with that. I've been getting around it by hitting return and getting the break in before closing the italics. Seems to work.)

I'll accept Sylar putting the moves on Claire as a (creepy) one-shot. If in Volume Five he's still yammering about wanting to make her his First Lady, I'll cry. I'm just having nightmarish visions of Sylar calling Claire his angel and Claire baking Sylar a pie. Because let's face it: a precedent has been set for having Sylar do terribly goopy and out-of-character things in the name of lurve.

Ooo, Grunberg is having dinner with Sendhil right now in London! He's posting photos to Twitpic. Twitter takes all the challenge out of stalking.
Dan said…
If in Volume Five he's still yammering about wanting to make her his First Lady, I'll cry.
Oh, dear God, yes. It's only funny if he's doing it to freak her out (which was my initial interpretation). I hadn't even considered he might start baking her pies. I just assumed he wanted to make her go "Ewwww! Grody! Sylar wants me to have his bushy-eyebrowed babies!! Ewwwwwwwwwww!!!! I'm gonna hurl!!!"

And since she didn't, he'll think of some new way to mess with her.
Morgan Richter said…
It probably says something about my tremendous loss of faith in Heroes that I'm sort of assuming this whole Sylar-romantically-pursues-Claire malarkey will be elaborated upon next volume. I sure do hope I'm wrong, because it seems just preposterous and nauseating, but look, I'll put this in Smallville terms: remember when Lex married Lana?
Dan said…
I'll put this in Smallville terms: remember when Lex married Lana?

Ha ha ha! Oh Morgan. That never happened. Because that would have totally sucked and sent the show into a downward spiral from which it would never recover.

No. I remember Lex drunkenly chasing Lana into the path of a bus, immediately killing her and driving a wedge between Lex and Clark that would never heal and which thereby set up an epic lifelong rivalry of good and evil. What an awesome way to end the show that was.
Dan said…
I'm sort of assuming this whole Sylar-romantically-pursues-Claire malarkey will be elaborated upon next volume. I sure do hope I'm wrong, because it seems just preposterous and nauseating

Especially if Sylar retains Nathan's form while doing so.

Actually... I'll allow Sylar to bring up the 'Claire-Bear as First Lady' thing once more on the proviso that it's in Nathan's form. And if that doesn't creep her out and make her go 'Ewwwwww', then he has to drop it, because nothing's going to get her.
Morgan Richter said…
I have to hand it to Claire: she handled Lecherous Sylar pretty well, everything considered. I don't think I would have blamed her if her reaction really had been, "Ewwwwww!!!!"

By the way, I didn't question this too much because there are several possible reasons for it, and I might have missed something, but did they explain why the President of the United States was in Washington D.C. staying at a hotel instead of, um, at his house? Were they putting in new carpets or something?
Morgan Richter said…
Sigh. Back-to-back crap answers to viewer questions from the writers in this week's Behind the Eclipse:“I am very excited to see the interaction between Sylar and Claire, will this story arc continue into next season or will it be a one episode thing?”

It will not go away. That was kind of Sylar’s point. Lovers or not, these two are certainly star-crossed.

“Since Angela is the only surviving Founder she seems to be the only one with all the answers now-a-days. She finally disclosed information in ‘1961’ but there are still many unanswered questions that only she could truly answer. Can we expect to see another Angela Episode?”

We have plans to bring the adorable company teens back into action for an episode next season. Hopefully we can see them again.

Yeah... no. Sylar/Claire? More Company Teens? Look, Heroes writers, are you deliberately trying to make Volume 5 sound as off-putting as possible? If so, you're doing a bang-up job of it.
Patrick said…
Volume 5 could indeed be terrible. So many possibilities for bad stories. I fear that we will have Danko working for the Company, even though his character lacked any credibility.

When I thought that Sylar would be redeemed next season I wondered if he would end up in a relationship with Claire. I was thinking of that possible future when Sylar was the awesome waffle-making dad and lived at Costa Verde with a son called Noah. And Peter was 'Uncle Peter'. At the time they were following the storyline that Peter and Sylar were brothers, but since that is now gone the timeline could still happen if Claire married Sylar, had a child called Noah, as Peter would still be 'Uncle Peter'.

It could have worked if Sylar had been redeemed, but now it would be a terrible storyline, especially after how he treated Claire in the season finale. And now that he is living as Nathan it would just be incredibly icky for anything to happen between them, no matter how far in the future, and even if he had erased all the Nathan stuff.
Morgan Richter said…
As a general rule, it's never a good idea to start any kind of romantic relationship with the dude who cut off the top of your head and prodded in your brains. Exceptions if he's a neurologist performing life-saving surgery, which Sylar, as far as I know, is not.

Actually, I'm not worried about Claire reciprocating Sylar's advances. My bigger fear is that we'll see a lot of Sylar stalking/mooning over her, and that would suck aplenty. Even still, I'm not at all sure that's the direction they're going to take. I refuse to get worked up about any Volume 5 rumors that start circulating before the new season is even in production. Easier said than done, perhaps, but that's my goal.
levitatethis said…
If in Volume Five he's still yammering about wanting to make her his First Lady, I'll cry.
Oh, dear God, yes. It's only funny if he's doing it to freak her out (which was my initial interpretation). I hadn't even considered he might start baking her pies.
Creepy is good. Romantic, not so much. And now based on that answer about Sylar/Claire as possible star-crossed whatevers my high from the finale is starting to crash.

Please if this gets touched on again let it me for the creepiness factor. If the writers go the romantic route I will actually demand all their heads on a platter. He's a serial killer. He has assaulted her and tried to kill her. There's nothing sweet about it. If fanfic writers want to go that route, that's one thing. But within the context of the show? Absolutely not.

Not only would it be out of character for Sylar (well, in character if you accept Volume 3 as canon which I don't) but it would seriously kill my opinion of Claire.
Morgan Richter said…
I really don't see them going there, for all the reasons you mention, levitatethis. They have to know it would be a huge blunder -- and we've seen nothing to indicate that hooking up with Sylar would in any way, under any circumstances, be something Claire would ever consider. I think the Behind the Eclipse comment shouldn't be scrutinized too closely or taken too literally -- they might just mean "star-crossed" in the sense that Sylar and Claire, being immortal, are doomed to cross each other's paths for eternity.

Then again, Lana/Lex, Buffy/Spike... there's certainly a history of godawful, ill-advised, show-destroying hero/foe romantic pairings on television. So it's not as though it's never been done... but I don't think they'll do it in this case (please?). I think at most we'll get a few more instances of Sylar being creepy and lecherous and Claire being grossed out.

(Note to self: Stop reading Behind the Eclipse. Almost every time, I end up getting worked up or ticked off at something that I'm probably blowing out of proportion. My life would be better, for example, if I'd never read in BTE how they originally wrote a scene where Mohinder betrays Molly to Arthur Petrelli. Argh. Ignorance is bliss.)
levitatethis said…
I'm with you Morgan -- try not to put too much stock into the Behind the Eclipse answers.

Oh man, to this day I still cringe at the thought of Buffy/Spike. I had such hate for that.

I remember someone mentioning the comment about Mohinder betraying Molly to Arthur -- excuse me? How did that even get tossed about as a potentially good idea? Were they trying to completely destroy the character of Mohinder for the sake of drama?
Morgan Richter said…
Levitatethis, if you haven't read it, the BTE where they talk about Mo betraying Molly is here. Their comments are, ahem, interesting.

Ah, well. In any case, the Molly plotline in Volume Three was scrapped, thankfully, probably because they realized it would do some grievous damage to Mo's character. And as we discussed at length before, Mo was pretty consistently great this volume, if largely absent. It's a good sign that they're committed to a better course for him in the future.
levitatethis said…
If by interesting you mean head scratching, idiotic and without regard to the character at all...

Their reaction the question and the way they speak of Mohinder is just so...flippant. I'm happy that that particular storyline got cut and that as far as canon is concerned Molly is still out there somewhere, where Mohinder thinks she's protected.

It's answers like that that really make you wonder about what the writers think and/or know about their own characters.
Morgan Richter said…
I've made my peace with their comments about Mo in BTE by reminding myself that Pokaski and Coleite are just staying true to the tone of their column and to the tone of Comic Book Resources, which hosts it. Pokaski and Coleite have strong comic book ties, and BTE was originally for the benefit of comic readers who happened to be Heroes fans. The readership has burgeoned out considerably from that, but those are the roots. And in that context, their remarks are very much in keeping with the wiseacre, jackassy tone of much comic-related media (back when Ingrid and I used to collect comics, we'd regularly wade through a morass of fart jokes in Wizard magazine to get to their pricing guide). So while my initial reading of their comments was, "Wow, those Heroes writers really fucking hate Mohinder," I have since mellowed. If this was a column that ran in, I dunno, Entertainment Weekly, I imagine they'd be considerably less flippant.

(Alternate theory: The Heroes writers really fucking hate Mohinder. And I still can't come up with a decent explanation as to why they'd dream up a Mohinder-betrays-Molly plot in the first place...)
Ingrid Richter said…
Speaking of Wizard magazine, looks like tomorrow is Free Comic Book Day. Hooray!
Morgan Richter said…
(Has anyone been having trouble posting comments today? I swear, that's not my passive-aggressive way of saying people should comment more -- Ingrid just emailed me to say she'd been having difficulties this morning.)

Totally off-topic, but Dan, I watched Smallville last night for the first time in, oh, two seasons, and you know what? It did not suck. It did not suck at all. Did I like it better than the Heroes finale? Yes, I did. Weird world, huh?
Dan said…
I watched Smallville last night for the first time in, oh, two seasons, and you know what? It did not suck

Yes. I keep hearing Season Eight is very, very good. To which I sigh a lot. I sat through the idiocy of Seasons Four through Seven and one episode after I stop watching, it starts getting good again?


You know if I start watching again, it'll return to drek form.
Dan said…
PS Apparently no problems at all with commenting.
Morgan Richter said…
It looks like Blogger did some slight (very slight -- if you're logged into Blogger, the "choose an identity" option looks different) reformatting of the comments layout today, which presumably caused Ingrid's problems earlier. Hey, mebbe they fixed that business with the italics, huh?

My reaction to Smallville probably benefitted from my very low expectations. But it was big and bright and fast-paced, and there was nothing soul-crushingly awful about it (goodbye, Lana!), and hey, that Green Arrow is sure a fetching creature, isn't he? I enjoyed it muchly. Whereas I'm still feeling vaguely thrown off-kilter by the Heroes finale.

Crikey! With Heroes done for the season, I'm going to have to find a new purpose for this blog over the summer. Suggestions welcomed.
Ingrid Richter said…
Sadly, I think I'm getting addicted to Gossip Girl (damn you, Netflix, and your sneaky suggestions). Wouldn't want to foist that on everyone else, though. So very trashy.
Morgan Richter said…
Netflix keeps thinking I'm really going to like "Stargate: Atlantis". They may be right, but I'm not all that interested in finding out.

I've been thinking back to Season Three as a whole (i.e. Vols 3 & 4) and trying to decide what they did right and what was all wrong. Least favorite episode: I thought it would be "Villains" (Vol 3, Ch. 8) by a landslide, because it featured Elle baking Sylar a pie and Sylar calling Elle his angel, and it doesn't get any more baffling and vomit-inducing than that. However, the sheer wretchedness of "1961" (Vol 4, Ch. 10) snuck up there at the end and snatched the booby prize.

Most favorite: Yes, I know, the obvious answer is Fuller's justly heralded return in "Cold Snap" (Vol 4, Ch. 7), and that was indeed an awesome episode, but my heart belongs to the nitwitty hijinks of Matt, Mohinder and Peter in "Cold Wars" (Vol. 4, Ch. 4). The least competent band of kidnappers ever. Loved them to bits. Added bonus: wet, shackled Mohinder!

I think Volume 4 was stronger overall, and everyone was more in character, but it had some pretty deep lows (the Indian wedding, the flashbacks to 1961, the sudden unlikeability of Angela Petrelli). However, at no point in Volume 4 did Mohinder turn into an evil bug-man, so I'm giving it the victory just for that.
Patrick said…
I was trying to come up with suggestions for what Morgan can do with this blog over the summer (as she requested). To help with that, I started reading some of the older posts. There's a great one which goes through every single episode of season one of Heroes. I was a bit confused when I read the bit about Nikki meeting her father. You may remember there was something about him having killed her sister Jessica (and then Jessica took over and beat him up). But wait a minute, Nikki's two sisters are Tracy and the still unseen Barbara and weren't they were created by someone or other? It's not like Heroes to contradict something from a future episode! It would make for a good drinking game - watching season one and having to do a shot every time we see something that has subsequently been contradicted or retconned.

As for the blog - we can't do movies, as everyone will see them at different times.

We can't do existing TV shows as everyone will be at different stages. So even if we copied Ingrid and devloped a Gossip Girls addiction we'd still be posting all over the place about Blake Lively and her travelling pants or whatever it is. Although I've always planned on getting into it!

I still think Lost is the perfect show for this kind of analysis, but the same problem applies as above. [For Dan: in last week's episode I was convinced that a certain person would end up becoming his own father!]

One thing we could do is monitor the NEW shows that are starting in the fall and rate/analyse them as potential shows worth blogging about. I always love the EW discussions of the new shows in July-August, so that could be good. Or do any new shows start in the summer that could be worth following?
Morgan Richter said…
If anyone hears about any promising-sounding new shows, particularly any that are launching this summer, let me know. NBC just announced today that Heroes has been officially picked up for next season (they'd already said it was more or less a done deal, but now we have confirmation). So come fall, we'll definitely have Heroes to kick around some more.

Love your idea of the first-season drinking game, Patrick. Yeah, Niki has too many sisters and too much contradictory backstory. They've got to ease off this business of giving all their characters huge dramatic pasts, particularly when it conflicts with the huge dramatic past already in place. If you've established that Niki had an alcoholic father who murdered her sister, for God's sake don't turn around and make her one of a set of genetically-enhanced triplets as well. It ends up negating the already established backstory and weakening her character.

(Look, there are relatively few things I can do with my screenwriting degree. Picking apart flaws in Heroes is one of those things. Fish in a barrel.)
Dan said…
[For Dan: in last week's episode I was convinced that a certain person would end up becoming his own father!]

Heh, Patrick. I wasn't particularly worried about that, because I'm hopeful there are boundaries that even Lost won't cross. And, to paraphrase BSG, motherfrakking should be one.

Having said that, the actual 'THUD' end moment was surprising enough for me. She knew?? The whole time? Huh.

(And if you would like to discuss this in a less oblique and spoiler-free way, feel more than completely free to wander over to the Lost Analysis on my web site and comment. (Not that I want to steal commenters from you, Morgan, but, heck, if there's one show that shouldn't be spoiled for people who haven't seen a particular episode, it's Lost. (And Gossip Girl, obviously.)))
Ingrid Richter said…
Well, I'm only one DVD into Gossip Girl, but I will tell you that *someone* finds their $200,000 trust fund entirely zeroed out...

I need to start cramming seasons of Lost. I am, for lack of a better word, kind of lost...

BTW, has anyone else seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine? I thought it was delightfully cheesy (lost my heart to Gambit and Agent Zero)...
Dan said…
BTW, has anyone else seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine?Aye. Saw it last night. I thought it was a beautiful tale of a man who'd lost everything (his humanity, his girlfriend, his brother, his shirt), but in exchange got some kick-ass adamantium claws! Seemed a fair enough trade to me.
Morgan Richter said…
I thought it was a beautiful tale of a man who'd lost everything (his humanity, his girlfriend, his brother, his shirt)

Well, I don't know what version you saw, Dan, but when I saw it, Logan lost more than his shirt. The poor man was forced to scamper buck-naked through waterfalls! Oh, the humanity! Note to Stryker: next time, try erasing your test subject's memories before turning him into an invincible super-soldier. Tends to go much smoother that way.

I second Ingrid's opinion. Gambit and Agent Zero were lookers. I saw the movie about five hours ago, and it has already pretty much released its hold on my brain cells, but... yeah, Gambit. Didn't have the black-and-red eyes, but he had pretty hair and he wielded a mean quarterstaff, so I will forgive that oversight.
Dan said…
Logan lost more than his shirt

True. But he seemed to recover the lower half of his clothing reasonably quickly. His shirt problems seemed to last most of the movie.

And, yes, I'm fully aware that very few womenfolk consider a shirtless Huge Jackman a 'problem'.
levitatethis said…
Re: Heroes

I agree that overall Volume 4 was much better than Volume 3, but Volume 4 still suffered from some serious lows. Again, the upside is that Mohinder was recognizable.

Season 3 in general was pretty uneven. With that said, the episode that actually broke my brain was "Villains". Up until that point I was willing to fanwank a whole lot of things so that certain storylines made sense (such as Mohinder turning into The Fly) but then "Villains" came along and it was honestly a game over moment for me. I was done with Volume 3. It offended me as someone who had invested in the show/storylines/characters in Volume 1 because what "Villains" said was that that was bullshit...all so I could watch Sylar pine over Elle (who was suddenly not off her rocker) who baked him a pie and taught him about true love. HATE.

I'm happy for the show coming back if only because I love reading this blog and all the comments. Whether I like an episode or not this has turned into an awesome place for me to turn to. Thank you!

Re: Smallville
I don't know why I'm still watching this show. At this point I think it's because I like Chloe and Davis.

Re: Wolverine
It was pretty much what I thought it would be--no more, no less. I thought Gambit would have a bigger part. I'm happy to see Taylor Kitsch doing well though (he's really come along way on "Friday Night Lights").
Morgan Richter said…
Adding an extra layer of awfulness to Sylar/Elle: it was a pairing that could have worked. If they'd kept Elle as a crazy loose cannon, if they'd kept Sylar as a homicidal rat bastard, if Sylar had never killed Bob, if they'd eliminated any trace of that ghastly flashback to their pre-series pie-baking romance... hey, two crazy, sexy, murderous kids in love! It could have been pretty entertaining in a Natural Born Killers kind of way. Instead, it wasn't fun to watch, it seemed preposterous, AND a whole lot of backstory had to be rewritten to have it make any kind of sense in the first place.

(It also didn't help that Quinto and Bell were a vortex of unsexiness together. Still not sure how that happened: individually, they're both hot, they're both good actors, they're good friends in real life, they've each displayed sparkling chemistry with other cast members, and yet together... nothing.)

Re: Smallville: When I watched last week, I giggled to see that Allison Mack, in a phenomenal display of long-term credit-crawling, is now the second-billed cast member, just by hanging in there and being a consummate team player. You go, Chloe! Anyway, while it seems very wrong to continue Smallville without Lex and Lionel, at least they've got both Green Arrow and an Ashmore twin running around. It's not the same, but it's something.
Dan said…
I giggled to see that Allison Mack, in a phenomenal display of long-term credit-crawling, is now the second-billed cast member Heh. Morgan, didn't we once define this phenomenon as 'Credit Buoyancy'? Good ol' Allison. Presumably she just has the boofhead to knock off now. That'll be tough, but it's not beyond her.
Morgan Richter said…
Heh. Yes, we did have that discussion, Dan. Amazing display of credit buoyancy from Mack. Welling better watch his back around her. Actually, Welling sort of seems like he's long over the show and is counting down the days until he can return to his prior career as a construction worker and/or male model, so maybe he'd be just as happy if next season (what are we up to? Eight? Nine?) saw the show renamed and rebranded as "Chloe and Friends."

Hmm. You know, what with Lionel turning out to be Sylar's father and all, maybe next season Heroes and Smallville should pool their casts and their resources and merge into one big, messy conglomerate. Either it'd be eyeball-scaldingly bad, or it would be the most gloriously entertaining thing ever to grace network television screens. Either way, I'd totally watch it.
Dan said…
Either way, I'd totally watch it

Me too. Especially if Lex and Arthur Petrelli returned with some kind of evil team-up.

Also, Green Arrow could try and shoehorn all the Heroes into his nascent Justice League. That'd annoy all the DC fanboys. (I mean, even more than having Green Freakin' Arrow found the Justice League.)
Morgan Richter said…
I think this could really work. Clark and Peter could stare off into distances while tossing their hair out of their eyes and looking soulful, Claire and Lana could bitch about how it's so very hard being so pretty and so special, and Mohinder and Green Arrow could... well, quite frankly, I'm not at all sure what they could do, but it doesn't really matter, because they'd both be so freaking hot while doing it. Gratuitous shirtlessness would have to be involved.
levitatethis said…
Adding an extra layer of awfulness to Sylar/Elle: it was a pairing that could have worked. If they'd kept Elle as a crazy loose cannon, if they'd kept Sylar as a homicidal rat bastard, if Sylar had never killed Bob, if they'd eliminated any trace of that ghastly flashback to their pre-series pie-baking romance... hey, two crazy, sexy, murderous kids in love! It could have been pretty entertaining in a Natural Born Killers kind of way.This I could have gone for. It would have kept them in character and could have been this disturbingly dark (and amusing) storyline. Instead we got the Care Bears. Ugh. And the lack of sexual chemistry was bizarre...though only somewhat. I've noticed it before with pairings where, individually the characters/actors are incredibly appealing, but they seem to override it when they're together and it turns into bad, bad, bad.

If I could have a crossover scene with Green Arrow, Mohinder and Davis I would be incredibly happy :-)

Welling does seem over it though, doesn't he? Many times when I'm watching him in a scene I imagine what's actually going through his mind...like he can't believe the words he has to say. Props to Mack though for working her way up that credit line.

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