Heroes Volume Five, Chapter Seven: Strange Attractors

In the totally made-up small town of Cainan, Georgia (you can tell it’s evil, because it has “Cain” in the name), Noah Bennet watches while Jeremy, the kid who killed his parents last episode, is booked on suspicion of, y’know, killing his parents. The sheriff is being a dickwad to Noah, who (unconvincingly) tries to pass himself off as a family friend, but honestly, the sheriff shouldn’t go about releasing newly-orphaned teens into the custody of unrelated strangers. Noah calls Tracy for help, and she speeds into town in her cute car, and they exchange the de rigueur “I can get a latte here, right?” banter of all television city folk stranded in a backwater town. Noah persuades Tracy to pretend to be Jeremy’s aunt. Tracy is initially reluctant, because nobody involved with this show has sorted her motivations out yet and she can’t remember if she’s supposed to be good or evil this week, but she eventually agrees.

Tracy introduces herself to Jeremy and bonds with him over how much it sucks when you accidentally kill someone with your way-cool super-power. Noah tries to get the sheriff to release Jeremy to Tracy, but the sheriff is hell-bent on keeping him in custody. Tracy calls someone named “Dennis” to ask for a favor and is then interrupted by the sudden appearance of Samuel, who slinks around and introduces himself. He transports her to the carnival, and when Tracy asks where she is, Samuel replies, yep, “Home.”

Samuel shows Tracy around, rambling on about his whole one-big-family thing, then passes her off to Lydia. As Tracy departs with Lydia, Sylar approaches Samuel and tells him he remembers Tracy… but it’s Nathan’s memory of Tracy, not Sylar’s.

Tracy returns to Cainan, where she and Noah arrange for Jeremy’s release. Noah has set up a new identity for Jeremy in Georgetown, and Tracy will be on hand to help him control his ability. They try to escort him out of the sheriff station and to the car, but there’s a lynch mob waiting outside. When they get physical, Jeremy kills someone with his touch. Noah tries to get Jeremy to use his ability to bring him back to life, but Jeremy refuses and walks back into the police station instead.

Later, the sheriff discovers his deputies have secretly removed Jeremy from the prison. They wrap chains around his legs and drag him to his death behind a pickup truck.

No, Heroes. You don’t get to do that crap. You don’t get to evoke the horrific racially-motivated lynching traditions of the deep south (including the more contemporary dragging death of James Byrd, Jr.) in the service of your half-assed little show. Drawing parallels between made-up characters with made-up super-powers and horrific real-world hate crimes doesn’t give your show more depth, because... there's no parallel that can be drawn.

Tracy and Noah find Jeremy’s body, and Noah kicks himself for not being able to protect him like he promised. Tracy heads off to her car, and Noah slouches off in the opposite direction, and… I guess they just leave Jeremy lying in the middle of the road? Tracy pulls out a spinning compass, obviously given to her by Samuel, and looks at it.

Samuel stands in the middle of the road and waves his arms. The sheriff station crumbles into dust.

Arlington University: Claire and Gretchen discuss the World’s Least Erotic and Most Over-Hyped Kiss. Claire says she doesn’t want to mess up her only chance at an ordinary life by dabbling in lesbianism. Hey, Claire? Get over yourself. A bunch of masked strangers burst into the room, and Claire starts beating them up, but it’s just Becky and her sorority sisters, kidnapping them for the start of rush.

While being driven to an undisclosed location, Claire and Gretchen are crammed into the trunk of a car together. The show gamely tries to manufacture some erotic tension from the predicament, but all attempts are thwarted by the crippling lack of chemistry between these two. Claire and Gretchen are taken to an abandoned slaughterhouse with the rest of the pledges (all two of them. For a total pledge class of… four. Popular sorority, eh?) Becky tells them the drill: It’s the start of Hell Week, and it’s kicking off with a Screaming Scavenger Hunt. There’s a treasure hidden somewhere in the slaughterhouse, and whoever finds it first gets to sit out the rest of Hell Week.

The girls split up off into pairs, following clues in search of the treasure. Off on their own, Claire and Gretchen debate Gretchen’s lesbianism and Claire’s virginity. So help me, I never want to hear anything further about Claire’s sex life. I never want to hear anything more about Claire, actually, but I’ll settle for what I can get. A random meat hook comes flying out of nowhere and almost impales Gretchen, which gives Claire a chance to dramatically intone, “I'm starting to think this isn’t a game.”

The two other girls join up with them to scream for a bit, and then they split up again in the very next scene, which seems a little pointless, but probably no more pointless than the whole concept of a “sorority girls trapped in a slaughterhouse” plotline on a show about people with super-powers. Claire and Gretchen discuss their non-affair some more, until Invisible Becky flings a meat hook at Gretchen to get them to stop. The MVP award for this episode goes to Becky, in a landslide. Becky tries to strangle Gretchen with a chain, Claire fights Becky off, Claire gets impaled on a meat hook, Becky stops being invisible, and the other two sorority girls rush in just in time to see Becky scurrying away and Claire being totally, like, alive after getting impaled.

Los Angeles: Janice Parkman boinks Matt in front of a roaring fire. A lit fireplace? In Los Angeles? Look, it’s the week of Halloween, and it hit the low nineties today. It’s ten at night, and I’m wearing shorts and sitting in front of the fan while typing this. We don’t do roaring fireplaces here, romantic or not. Anyway, it’s not really Matt who’s boinking Janice, it’s the psychic manifestation of Sylar, who has taken over Matt’s body while Matt was off napping. When Matt comes to his senses, Sylar munches an apple (evilly) and talks about forbidden fruit.

Sylar taunts Matt, nastily, about boinking Janice, and after last week’s exploration of sensitive, damaged emo-Sylar, it’s mighty nice to see the fangs come out. Matt explains to Janice about Sylar being stuck in his head. At Matt’s urging, Janice takes the baby away with her to some undisclosed location safe from Sylar.

Matt calls Mohinder and leaves him a message, wondering where he’s gone off to. Yeah, you too, Matt? Delighted you remembered he exists, at least. Puts you one step ahead of everybody else. Sylar mimics Mohinder’s accent, poorly, and how sad is it that this is the best thing that’s happened this entire season? While pounding back a few brews, Matt notices that Sylar gets vague and distracted by his drinking. Matt concludes that getting plastered is the way to get Sylar to go away for good. Well, Matt’s never been the brainy one on this show, has he? Matt swills tequila and Sylar gamely plays along, pretending to recoil in agony with every swallow. Matt drains the bottle, and the apparition of Sylar disappears.

Janice returns, with Simon the Cylon in tow, just as Matt drunkenly passes out. When Matt wakes up, Simon the Cylon gives him a new sobriety chip and tells him they’re starting over from the beginning. Matt slumps off to take a shower, and we can see that Sylar is in control of Matt’s body, while Matt is trapped is his mind.

Sylar smirks and evilly munches another apple. Because that’s his new thing.

Comments

Dan said…
Matt’s never been the brainy one on this show, has he?

No, that would be, uh... Well, not Peter that's for sure. And it's sure not Claire-Bear. Or Hiro.

And Ando spent a season reading a sword, so we can probably cross him off. Maybe Ali Larter's character of the week's smart. Maybe not. Who can possibly tell?

Nathan's got a kind of rat cunning, I suppose, but he's hardly what I'd call 'brainy'. Mohinder's no longer on the show apart from in screencaps on this site, so he can't be counted.

Sylar eats a lot of brains (oh, come on, of course he eats them... don't try and spin it otherwise), which I suppose sort of counts. But not really.

Angela has a similar rat cunning to her eldest son, but she also spends her spare time stealing socks. Which isn't all that bright, as far as I'm concerned.

HRG wears glasses and would have, therefore, once upon a time, been my nominee for brainiest cast member. But he seemingly can't do his own laundry, which must lose him points somewhere.

No... I think there's only one candidate remaining for brainiest cast member. And it's surely everybody's favourite turticular hero, Skulky The Turtle Wonder.

So brainy, he no longer appears on this stupid show.
levitatethis said…
I think this may be your best photoshop job yet. I actually did a double take at the first photo while thinking, “wait, Mohinder wasn’t there” :-)

and they exchange the de rigueur “I can get a latte here, right?” banter of all television city folk stranded in a backwater town.

How amusing that you should mention this in your recap given I had nearly the exact same eye rolling experience over the weekend while stuck at home with the worse cold ever watching “New In Town” in which Renee “I never met a lemon I didn’t suck” Zellweger has to go to a small town to close down a plant. It reminded me of all the things I hate in movies like that where the big city person is cold and disconnected from the universe except when worshipping at the alter of money and she learns through the homogenous (re: completely lacking in any diversity) town folk what love and life is really about.

But I digress.

No, Heroes. You don’t get to do that crap. You don’t get to invoke the horrific racially-motivated lynching traditions of the deep south (including the more contemporary dragging death of James Byrd, Jr.) in the service of your half-assed little show.

I still can’t believe they went there. Not this show. I have nothing else to say.

Love your coining of the World’s Least Erotic and Most Over-Hyped Kiss. Watching them interact this episode I was at least happy for the fact that Claire seemed confused but I have to say these two have absolutely NO romantic chemistry whatsoever. If the show is going to go the friend route that’s one thing but these two do not vibe at all beyond that. And so yet again this show gets it wrong with a romantic pairing (the best ones on this show are the unexpected/unintentional ones probably because the chemistry feels natural, not forced).

Claire and Gretchen in the back of the truck was, I think, supposed to be like Jennifer Lopez/George Clooney in the only movie I’ve ever liked Lopez in (and the same one where I finally got the sex factor to Mr. Clooney), “Out of Sight”. But where Lopez/Clooney had mad chemistry these two are like oil and water to me.

Argh, I hate this storyline so I’m moving on.

Sylar taunts Matt, nastily, about boinking Janice, and after last week’s exploration of sensitive, damaged emo-Sylar, it’s mighty nice to see the fangs come out.

I still can’t believe I’m liking this storyline as much as I am. In theory I hate the idea of a part of Sylar being stuck in Matt’s brain, but this version of Sylar is so wonderfully manipulative and cunning (on Season 1 Sylar, why did you ever go away?) that I find the scenes fun and interesting to watch.

Matt calls Mohinder and leaves him a message, wondering where he’s gone off to. Yeah, you too, Matt? Delighted you remembered he exists, at least. Puts you one step ahead of everybody else. Sylar mimics Mohinder’s accent, poorly, and how sad is it that this is the best thing that’s happened this entire season?

This five seconds was not only the highlight of the episode/season for me but it turned my LJ flist into an online party. Not only do we get a “where the hell is Mohinder?” question from Matt but we get Sylar mentioning him and then doing the most awful imitation of his accent. I loved it! I know it’s sad to admit it but that brief hint of Mohinder/Sylar will actually carry me through this week with a small smile on my face. Seriously, it’s sad but true.

And, yes, the turtle is the brainiest character on this show.
Jason Gilman said…
Another entertaining recap Morgan. Thanks for sparing me the task of actually having to watch this show. Maybe I'll come back if/when Mohinder ever does.
Ingrid Richter said…
Excellent review, Morgan! I'm incredibly pissed-off at Heroes for the lynching scene.

On the plus side, I loved Sylar's evil apple-muching (a Prayer of the Rollerboys homage!) Did Matt really think drinking and letting down his guard was the best way to repel Sylar? (shakes head sadly)

And my vote goes to the Haitian for the brainiest Heroes member. Maybe the Haitian and Skulky could form a crime-fighting team?
Morgan Richter said…
How about Claude? Claude had the great sense to appear in a handful of the show's very best episodes and hasn't been seen since. So I think that automatically makes him the brainiest character.

I thought in some ways, despite the calamitous misstep of Jeremy's murder, the show was a step up in quality from the season thus far -- the Sylar-Matt scenes were actually, like, good, mostly because they're letting Sylar be the vicious, venomous rat-bastard we all liked so much in the good old days. (Pointless point to ponder: Is Quinto unable to convincingly fake Mohinder's accent, or did Quinto make a conscientous acting choice by deciding that Sylar would be unable to convincingly fake Mohinder's accent?)

And so yet again this show gets it wrong with a romantic pairing (the best ones on this show are the unexpected/unintentional ones probably because the chemistry feels natural, not forced).

Yep. It's sort of painful to watch Gretchen and Claire indulge in romantic banter, because there's no connection between them -- in fact, they don't seem to like each other very much. It's making this already-tedious sorority plotline even worse.
levitatethis said…
Pointless point to ponder: Is Quinto unable to convincingly fake Mohinder's accent, or did Quinto make a conscientous acting choice by deciding that Sylar would be unable to convincingly fake Mohinder's accent?

I'd like to think this was a case of Quinto purposely mucking up the imitation by doing the most over-the-top version of an English accent. It's type I might do if I'm goofing around rather than trying to sound English (taking into account that there are lots of different English accents). In any case it cracked me up.

Fair enough -- Skulky the Turtle Wonder, The Haitian and Claude are the smartest characters so far on this show. Who are we missing? These guys should have a spin-off.
Morgan Richter said…
If the episode had been nothing more than forty-two minutes of Sylar imitating Mohinder, I would have been happy.

I continue to be baffled by the amount of time we're spending on Claire's lazy, lazy plotline. Okay, granted, a "sorority girls trapped in a slaughterhouse" would never be my choice anyway, but if you're going to do it, commit, dammit.

I could be wrong, but isn't the main point of sorority-girl plotlines to show some gratuitous T&A? So if you have a bunch of sorority girls running around in baggy sweats, isn't that automatically defeating the point? And it was just so damn half-assed, what with the other pair of girls who kept sort of aimlessly wandering through scenes at random intervals... Considering how much time is being sucked up this season by Claire, her scenes shouldn't be this sloppy.
averys said…
Sylar/Matt storyline is a joy to watch, IMO, it saved this episode. If they manage to actually include Mohinder there, I'll be happy.

Off on their own, Claire and Gretchen debate Gretchen’s lesbianism and Claire’s virginity.

I'm surprised Gretchen didn't proceed to asking about virginity and RCR. I guess it's a thing to be discussed (or examined) in future episodes.

I agree with opinions on lack of chemistry between Claire and Gretchen. Gretchen is supposed to have a crush on her, and it doesn't feel like that. Even as friends, they're not really convincing.

How did Samuel transfer Tracy to the Carnival? First I thought it was an illusion, but then they showed Sylar recognizing Tracy, so it was real... I'm not ready to accept "magic!" explanation yet.
Morgan Richter said…
How did Samuel transfer Tracy to the Carnival?

I guess in the same way they tranported the entire carnival when Sylar was being pursued by Ernie Hudson? I wish I had more faith that they'd eventually explain things. I'm tired of having to fill gaps with wild guesses just to make the plot make sense.

I wish the rest of the show could be up to the level of the Sylar-Matt scenes. They're hitting just the right balance of nasty and effective.
levitatethis said…
I keep wondering if it's a different writer who is writing the Sylar-Matt scenes because, as you noted, they seem to be striking the right balance...something noticeably missing from other scenes (generally speaking) on the show.
Morgan Richter said…
There's a significant difference in tone between the Sylar-Matt scenes and all the other plotlines, isn't there? The Sylar-Matt plot is the one that comes closest to having some lasting resonance (I like the carnival gang, and I still think the plot has of potential, but it hasn't been terribly well-executed thus far. Look how far we are into the season, and look how little we know about them). If it's a different writer, I wish they'd let whomever it is tackle more plotlines, because the tone is exactly where it should be. It skirts the line of being offensive(Sylar boinking Janice -- there was that interview with Grunberg a while ago where he described it as "rough sex", and if that's how they shot it, I'm sure glad they dialed it back) without going over, it's creepy, it's nasty, it's fairly unpredictable (not that anyone thought that Matt's drinking binge really got rid of Sylar), and it's a lot fresher than whatever the hell Claire's been up to lately. I know I keep bagging on Claire's plot, but it's been nothing but a string of college cliches, one after the other, without building toward anything larger. It's just wasting time.
Ingrid Richter said…
How did Samuel transfer Tracy to the Carnival?

I'm working on the theory that the carnival can disappear and reappear from the powers of that one carnival guy who showed off to Sylar. Maybe they moved the carnival really, really fast when they were invisible (from the D.C. area down to Georgia)?

Aw, hell, we all know the carnival is magic, right? It's the Black Pearl...
Morgan Richter said…
Me, I'm still wondering how this small-time low-rent carnival managed to travel to Tokyo fourteen years ago, back when Ando dumped the damn slushy on Kimiko. I think sooner or later, we're all going to have to embrace the "magic" option. It'll be simplest that way.
Dan said…
... isn't the main point of sorority-girl plotlines to show some gratuitous T&A?

Main point of sororities, as I understand them.

(Granted, my understanding of sororities primarily comes from movies such as Old School, but I'm sure those documentaries are accurate. Speaking of which, when are we going to see the crusty old Dean?)

I think sooner or later, we're all going to have to embrace the "magic" option. It'll be simplest that way.

I'm sure Mohinder will return next week, explaining how he's spent the last seven episodes studying his father's research into Darwin's sorely misunderstood sorcery gene.
Morgan Richter said…
It seems pretty clear that the reason movies and television shows about sorority girls have a built-in viewership is not because sorority girls are so fascinating by themselves, but because there's always an audience (granted, not the most sophisticated audience) for watching a gaggle of leggy and scantily-clad co-eds do nothing of interest. And yet Heroes has opted to do a sorority-rush plotline (a misguided choice for this show already) stripped of all sex appeal (and no, Claire and Gretchen's lame banter does not constitute sex appeal). So basically, this is a plotline with a target audience of... no one. Flubbed it all around, Heroes.

I'm sure Mohinder will return next week, explaining how he's spent the last seven episodes studying his father's research into Darwin's sorely misunderstood sorcery gene.

At this point? I'll take it. I just want Mohinder back. He's pretty.
averys said…
I've re-watched the scene of Tracy's transfer to the Carnival, and now it confuses me even more. One second they stand in broad daylight, the next second it's about midnight. And then Tracy follows Lydia to somehow leave the Carnival (by bus, taxy, train, plane?). Turns out it's one-way magic? A bit lame.

I'm positive Mohinder returns with some info about the Carnival, 'cause it still counts as "a new threat" due to the dragging plot. Maybe he'll explain how those compasses actually work. And an update on his father's research would be great too.
averys said…
As an afterthought: how did Sylar take control of Matt's body for the first time? Apparently, Parkman fell asleep during sex. What a shame! No wonder Janice told him "Can you be more like this all the time?"; it must be frustrating when your husband suddenly starts snoring on top of you :( Janice the cheater -> Janice the poor chronically unsatisfied woman.
Morgan Richter said…
Apparently, Parkman fell asleep during sex.

Yes, Janice is a lucky woman. I know it's been established that Janice is a cheating cheater who cheats, but still, I can't help thinking Matt's getting the better end of the bargain with their relationship. I hate to say it, because I love Grunberg, but Matt has been pretty unlikeable for the past couple of volumes, particularly in terms of his love life. I hated how critical and naggy he was with Daphne, and I hated his weird irrational jealousy about the water delivery guy. He's stumbled into the Heroes pitfall wherein once-awesome characters (Angela, Peter, HRG) become fairly loathesome.

I'm positive Mohinder returns with some info about the Carnival, 'cause it still counts as "a new threat" due to the dragging plot.

You're probably right, and this disappoints me. I've been hoping Mohinder's "new threat" would be something new, because it seems like the carnival has been pretty well covered from all directions. I just want Mohinder to have something cool and pivotal to do. I doubt he will, but that's my wish.
averys said…
He's stumbled into the Heroes pitfall wherein once-awesome characters (Angela, Peter, HRG) become fairly loathesome.

I agree. Angela and Bennet do not pass as "morally gray", they are dark characters. "Greater good" and "I just want to protect my family" are just excuses.
For example, HRG's interaction with the Vortex Guy that resulted in the suicide of the latter. Sylar was no longer a threat to Claire, in fact, he'd just saved her life. But HRG can't look at him without thinking how hard he failed at protecting his family, so let's force the Vortex Guy to kill Sylar (right in front of Claire, totally not traumatizing). It's not about Claire or Sylar, it's about HRG feeling bad about himself and acting under same old "I'm just protecting my family!" motto. HRG had a lot of other "moments", but this one made me genuinely loathe him.

Okay, granted, a "sorority girls trapped in a slaughterhouse" would never be my choice anyway, but if you're going to do it, commit, dammit.

If not gratuitous T&A, they could have played the horror card for Claire-Gretchen storyline by preparing more nasty surprises to make their little walk scarier. Instead, all sexiness went to Sylar-Matt, the horror component was given to Noah-Tracy, and Claire-Gretchen were left with lameness. The only good thing about the storyline is that now the sorority stuff seems to be over. Claire has to turn to HRG for help, which increases his chances to clash with the Carnival and become "the major Heroes spoiler".
Dan said…
I finally watched this episode last night so can probably make sensible comments now. (Y'know, in theory)

But, alas, the only point I want to make is that I'm pretty sure Gretchen's definition of 'Strange Attractor' was, like, totally wrong.

At least, I think so. There may be some definition in Physics that lines up with what she's saying, but by far the most common interpretation of 'strange attractor' is one involving fractal paths through dynamical systems.

Now, I know she's just a first year student and the whole 'strange attractor' thing was just a pick-up line, but it still bugged me a lot. Particularly since it was the title of the episode.

And I think it rules Gretchen out of the 'brainy' candidates, too.

</nerd>
Morgan Richter said…
Heck, they biffed the definition of "hysterical blindness", which was a recent episode title, so there's no reason why they should raise their game with "strange attractors."

The only good thing about the storyline is that now the sorority stuff seems to be over

I sure hope so. The description for the episode after next ("Claire is determined to get to the bottom of the attacks") sounds like we might still be mired in sororityville still, but hopefully it'll just be a brief wrap-up. "Lame" is probably an overused word, but that's the best way I can describe this sorority plot.
Red Haired Stranger said…
I'm going to be honest, I couldn't stand to watch the whole episode, just the Sylar-Matt bits and parts of the Jeremy incident (Lynching? Do you really wanna go there, Heroes?)

But being the person I am, the only other thing I took of note, along with the wonderfully nasty banter with Matt, was the transition of PaulBunyan!Sylar to Sailor!Sylar. Seriously, what's with this man's wardrobe?

It's Sylar the Sailor Man...
Morgan Richter said…
the only other thing I took of note, along with the wonderfully nasty banter with Matt, was the transition of PaulBunyan!Sylar to Sailor!Sylar. Seriously, what's with this man's wardrobe?

Heh, yeah, that was a pretty bizarre outfit. The brief appearance of PaulBunyan!Sailor!Emo!Sylar, in stark contrast to the nasty rat bastard Sylar who was causing so much happy chaos in Matt's head, just reiterated for me how much more I like nasty Sylar than the fragile, damaged version of Sylar at the carnival.

I try not to wish ill on anybody, even Heroes writers. But this current season makes me wish NBC Universal would hire a high-powered, brutal efficiency expert to interview the writing staff: "Okay, which of you was responsible for the sorority plotline? Show of hands. You and you -- you're out of here. Pack up your desks and go. Who thought the lynching was a good idea? You? You're gone. You wrote the Matt and Sylar scenes? You can stay. You're writing next week's episode." And so on, down the line, until they have a lean, mean writing staff. (I know TV episodes are largely the result of groupthink, but someone is contributing a lot of crap ideas, and it'd be nice to get them out of there.)
Ingrid Richter said…
Maybe Gretchen was thinking of strange quarks and antiquarks? In any event, it's a seriously convoluted pick-up line.

Sailor Sylar also had a porkpie hat! Carnival fashion works for some - others, not so much.
levitatethis said…
What is with Sylar's wardrobe? Manipulative Sylar at least has the "go to" black attire (although that floppy hair is making me want to grab for scissors) but PaulBunyan!Sylar and Sailor!Sylar? That's where I draw the line.

Morgan - I joked with co-workers about that very idea of rounding up the writers like they're in firing squad and forcing them to admit who wrote what and then firing or keeping them on accordingly. In fact there are a few shows I want to do that with. "Heroes" just happens to be at the top of the list right now.

No "Glee" last night has made me moody today. Remembering Sylar's atrocious wardrobe and thinking about more of the sorority storyline is not helping.
Morgan Richter said…
I imagine Samuel put Edgar in charge of finding clothes for Sylar, and Edgar decided to mess with him in vengeance for dumping him in that random wheelbarrow of wet cement a couple episodes back. Can't say I blame Edgar.

Fun poll: What's the worst plotline thus far this season?
a) Claire rushing a sorority.
b) Fragile emo!Sylar
c) Lynching a kid.
d) Peter and Emma's never-ending Skittles commercial.
e) Hiro tries to prevent someone from xeroxing his ass.
Morgan Richter said…
I joked with co-workers about that very idea of rounding up the writers like they're in firing squad and forcing them to admit who wrote what and then firing or keeping them on accordingly.

At this point, after so many wretched plotlines, I'd like to see some accountability. The writers should get a chance to explain their side: Was there originally supposed to be more to the Indian dinner scene, for example? Was there some planned clever twist that got dropped because of time or budget constraints, or did a sound original idea end up getting dumbed-down after it had been through several different writers' hands? If there's no decent explanation ("I just thought having Claire mock Indian food would be funny!"), get rid of the responsible party, because they've done great damage to the show.

Wow, Heroes makes me grim and humorless.
averys said…
Fun poll: What's the worst plotline thus far this season?
a) Claire rushing a sorority.
b) Fragile emo!Sylar
c) Lynching a kid.
d) Peter and Emma's never-ending Skittles commercial.
e) Hiro tries to prevent someone from xeroxing his ass.


I'll try to choose:
a) makes me constantly cringe
b) makes me wince from time to time
c) makes me regret I can't unsee it
d) makes me yawn and roll my eyes
e) makes me annoyed
So, "c" wins hands down.

Now I get why Oliver Grigsby was so "Sylar! Sylar! Sylar!" on Twitter. They know they did a good job with that storyline... and that's it. There's simply nothing else to hype.
Morgan Richter said…
a) is a low-grade Saved by the Bell: The College Years episode.
b) makes me glum to think of how cool and scary Sylar used to be.
c) shocked me by how inappropriate and clueless it was.
d) bores the snot out of me.
e) raises the issue yet again of why the show feels the need to treat Hiro as a sub-human mascot instead of a living, breathing character.

So... I'm going to have to go with "c" as well.
levitatethis said…
The poll is too difficult. I can't choose one to be the worst:

a) Is a Lifetime movie of the week but there's an invisible chick trying to kill someone instead of hazing gone wrong or a rape at a frat house. In a nutshell: boring.

b) Reminds me how far this show has fallen. I remember when Sylar was considered one of the better bad guys on TV back in season 1 and now he's just this pathetic shadow of himself. This is an exercise in what not to do when trying to write a multi-layered character. In a nutshell: makes me want to throw things at my tv while pulling out season 1 dvds to back me up.

c) Brazen and so inappropriate that I actually shouldn't be shocked that the show went there. On a good show (well written, acted and directed) social/political statements can be made metaphorically and force the viewer to think and (re)consider where they stand on issues. This is not that show. That they dared to use an absolutely horrific attack for their own misguided purposes is a reflection on the disconnect behind the scenes...a disconnect from anything remotely intelligent. In a nutshell: oh no they didn't.

d) It's like I'm watching a bad commercial on repeat. In a nutshell: bathroom break.

e) Ah yes, nothing like reducing the only person of colour who is still a regular to comic relief. And not funny comic relief at that. It's a lose-lose situation. Well done show. In a nutshell: fuck you.

Final answer: they all suck but some suck more than others.
Morgan Richter said…
On a good show (well written, acted and directed) social/political statements can be made metaphorically and force the viewer to think and (re)consider where they stand on issues. This is not that show. That they dared to use an absolutely horrific attack for their own misguided purposes is a reflection on the disconnect behind the scenes.

Really well said. I gave the show a bit of a pass at the start of last volume when they drew blatant parallels between rounding up everyone with super-powers and the inmates at Guantanamo, orange jumpsuits and all, even though I really don't like it when light-entertainment TV shows/movies/comics try to give themselves instant gravitas this way (remember how the first X-Men movie opened at a concentration camp?). Last volume, it still seemed possible that Heroes could get themselves on track enough to pull it off and maybe -- maybe -- establish some thought-provoking parallels between the two situations. This season, though... No. Apart from the setting (the rural deep South), the context of Jeremy's murder bore no relation to real-life racially-motivated lynchings or dragging deaths, so why on earth would they nudge viewers to compare one to the other? A bad misstep.
Morgan Richter said…
Oh: here's a new rumor that this will be the last season for Heroes.

Just a rumor, of course, but I don't see any way this won't be the last season. It has neither the viewers nor the critical acclaim of that first year. It has simply become just another bad show, and bad shows get canceled. Would it be a shame? Yes. Would it be a relief? At this point, also yes.
Morgan Richter said…
Okay, that link is deliriously, hilariously wrong. (I am currently writing a Very Important eHow article on Moisture Control). Try this instead.
Patrick said…
In Ireland we have a lot of moisture, so that second last link has proven very useful for me! Tempted to watch this episode to see just how funny things have become.

Would disagree slightly on the X-Men opening - I thought that worked brilliantly. It showed that this wasn't your usual superhero comic-book film, and it also gave a very strong motivation for why Magneto never trusted humans. I loved X-Men 2 even more, and then the tragedy of the terrible number 3 (which I was watching again on tv last night).
Anna said…
Best news/rumour ever.

And it makes me sad to say this. I fell in love with Heroes hard and fast and for like... one beautiful summer at least, it was my life. :)

Now I just want it dead. But the main reason is that I still love some of the people involved in this (not anybody in the writers room, though!) and I want them to do something worthwhile and fun instead of wasting their time on a crap show... I hate out of love. :D
Morgan Richter said…
Big X-Men fan, and X2 is my favorite superhero movie ever, but still, that opening sequence of the first one makes me cringe a bit.

Thinking it over: at this point, I would be happy if Heroes were cancelled, and I don't think there's any/much Schadenfreude behind that wish: I would vasty prefer that Heroes fulfill the potential of that very promising first season, but at this point, I don't think there's any chance of that happening, under any logical circumstances. And thus, I'd like to see all these actors, who have been so supportive of a show that has not treated them well these past couple of years, move on to projects that let them regain a little dignity.
averys said…
I'm fairly calm about this rumor. Ratings stabilized at a low level, but the rest of NBC's shows is doing no better. Only The Office and 30 Rock are getting higher numbers in demo than Heroes. So far, I don't get a feeling this is the last season. But if it is, it's OK with me.
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, a huge point in Heroes' favor is NBC's continued last-place status. They don't have anything with which they could easily replace it, and as bad as the ratings are, they're still better than much of the rest of NBC's lineup. Still, I think NBC Universal has to be frustrated and annoyed: it's a very expensive show, and it's become something of an embarassment. NBC had a lot of faith in the show -- remember last season's poster campaign? And the hour-long promo that aired before the two-hour third-season premiere? -- which wasn't repaid. They've slashed the budget, they laid off key staff members (entirely the wrong staff members, in my opinion), and the show is currently as bad as it's ever been. There have been big shake-ups in the top management of NBC Universal in recent weeks, and it wouldn't surprise me if they axed Heroes as part of an overall attempt to raise their game.

If I were president of NBC, would I cancel Heroes right now? No. I'd uncover the root cause of the incredible downturn in script quality, and I'd fix it.
averys said…
If I were president of NBC, would I cancel Heroes right now? No. I'd uncover the root cause of the incredible downturn in script quality, and I'd fix it.

Yes. The maddening thing is that the show is able to deliver (good dialogue + beautiful cinematography = even people who are not fans of Sylar or Matt admit their scenes rocked), but there is too much sloppiness. This season has only 19 hours, yet the writers allow it to drag like a sleepy snail. The Carnival and its "major new mythology" gets lost behind musical visions and housekeeping.
Dan said…
Maybe Gretchen was thinking of strange quarks and antiquarks? In any event, it's a seriously convoluted pick-up line

Yeah, that's what I assume they intended. Just more sloppy writing in general. I mean, at some point, whoever wrote that must have looked up what a strange attractor actually was and discovered it wasn't what they thought it was.

And then, presumably, went 'ah, screw it. Nobody will know'.

If I were president of NBC, would I cancel Heroes right now? No. I'd uncover the root cause of the incredible downturn in script quality, and I'd fix it.

I still say we go with the original plan and get Morgan to oversee this awesome spin-off show everybody's talking about. Heroes proper is unsalvageable at this point. Heroes Spin-Off will be a ratings smash!

(I can't remember whether or not Patrick signed on to our writing team, but if he didn't, can we, at the very least, get him to be some kind of logic supervisor - after his Palin catch on last week's FlashForward, he needs to be working for us, not against us)
Morgan Richter said…
Nothing I'd like better than to head up a Heroes spinoff (working title: Heroes: Aftermath), where there's an intense focus on great, tight scripts with strong, consistent, interesting characterizations and lots of cool stuff happening. It's not hard to do, honest.

And yes, we absolutely need Patrick on the payroll to catch things like the FlashForward Palin gaffe.
Anna said…
Is it too late for the "It was all just a dream" solution? D:

Wow, maybe Mohinder's scene in Season 4 will actually be at the end:
India, same time as 1x08/09. Mohinder has fallen asleep at his father's computer. The message: "Do you really want to quit?" is displayed in big letters on the screen. Mohinder wakes up, and remembers the wild and weird dream he had about travelling to America and finding his father's theories real. Time-travelling nerds who spoke Japanese, a nuclear explosion in the sky above New York, being best friends with the American president in a post-apocalyptic future, and hunting a serial killer who ate brains. Adopting a little girl. Mutating into a cockroach monster and getting hunted by the military. An evil carnival and surprisingly long periods of generic high school scenes. A crazy dream.
Mohinder looks at the computer screen again. "Do you really want to quit?"
He selects "Yes".
And the credits roll.
Dan said…
Anna, that's an awesome solution. Particularly if they Wizard of Oz it and all our nitwit heroes were just his co-workers or students or Sylar the janitor.

"And you were there, and you were there, and you!"

That would be awesome.
Morgan Richter said…
Anna, I think that's the only way to end this series with grace and dignity, and if this doesn't come about, I will be very disappointed.

Particularly if they Wizard of Oz it and all our nitwit heroes were just his co-workers or students or Sylar the janitor.

Yes. I feel very strongly that this should happen. Even if it doesn't, I think I'm going to pretend it does: "Yeah, Heroes? It got cancelled. It had a couple of shaky seasons there at the end, but man, the finale was great!"
Morgan Richter said…
It... it's beautiful! Dan, that brings tears to my eyes. There really is no place like home.
levitatethis said…
Not only do I love that ending, but that picture is now officially one of my favourites. I'll never be able to watch "The Wizard of Oz" again without expecting to see that.

A part of me wants the show to end with some sort of time travel back to the night at Kirby Plaza. We finally see the fight that should have been at the end of season 1, we have all our characters there, and the show still ends with Sylar's body mysteriously dragged away...Credits roll. This way the integrity of season 1 remains untouched and I can ignore and dismiss (which I already do) everything that came after. That means the retconning is gone, the characters never implode due to shitty writing, and I can imagine my own version of what comes next.
Morgan Richter said…
I think Heroes is one of the few shows where pulling an "It was all a dream!" reveal (or a time-travel back to Kirby Plaza to eliminate everything that happened after the battle) would be seen as a step in the right direction instead of a great big copout.

So, next episode: Hiro's going to be trying to save Charlie. Y'know, again. We'll see some shameless retconning of HRG's past (they've released promo clips already). Mean dead cheerleader Jackie will somehow make an appearance. And the episode will (somehow) possibly/probably involve the much-heralded (on this site, at least) Return of Mohinder.

Question: Is there any way this won't be a big, sloppy disaster? Discuss.
Dan said…
Question: Is there any way this won't be a big, sloppy disaster? Discuss.

We could avoid big, sloppy disaster if Hiro's time-travel does not merely take him back to that time period, but also somehow takes him back to that time period's writing staff.

So, to answer your question, no.
Morgan Richter said…
That's what I kind of thought, Dan. I see no way good things can come from this.

By accident or design, NBC's promo materials for next episode list Sendhil in the credits. So there's a good chance Mo will be back, but... how? At the time of Charlie's murder, Mo was back in India, getting caught up on his beauty sleep. Assuming Anna's awesome series-end scenario doesn't take place, how are they going to wedge Mohinder into the episode? If they alter past events to show that Mohinder really was in Texas at that time, I will cry. And cry and cry and cry.
Morgan Richter said…
(I mean, the Volume Three flashback episode "Villains" showed that Mohinder was driving a cab in New York before his father was ever murdered or, indeed, before Chandra had ever met Sylar, so hey, it's possible that Mohinder will be in Texas during Charlie's murder, right?)
Dan said…
It's obvious that there are multiple Mohinders possibly from alternative timelines or realities. Perhaps these multiple Mohinders will reveal that each new volume has taken place on a different plane of reality and that steps must be taken to avoid the ever-increasing stupidity of these altered realities from becoming chronic and irreversible.

And that's why he's back on the Season One reality. To sort this shit out.
Morgan Richter said…
I would be delighted if it turns out that's Mohinder's whole purpose in this volume: To sort this shit out.

Here's how I want this to go down: Hiro travels back to Texas and tries to save Charlie. Some muddled and sloppy plotting ensues, established continuity is ruined, and we all waste 41 minutes of our lives wondering while we're still watching this crap. Hiro returns to the present, dejected and demoralized. As are we.

Final minute of the show: Mohinder, sporting his new monstrous beard, kicks down Hiro's door.

HIRO: Doctor Suresh! You are back!
MOHINDER: That's right, Hiro. And I'm going to sort all this shit out.

Chyron: "TO BE CONTINUED"

And then in the next episode, Mohinder explains how Time Itself has gone horribly, horribly wrong, and it's up to them to fix all these alternate realities that should never have taken place. The remainder of the season consists of Hiro and Mohinder traveling through time and fixing ass-backward plotlines in a thoroughly competent and awesome manner. They stop Evil Alternate Future Peter from shooting Nathan. They talk one of the Mohinders out of turning himself into a crazy bug-man. They disrupt Elle and Sylar's stupid pie-and-ziti date. And so on. By the end of the season, they'll have systematically eliminated all these stupid alternate planes of existence, leaving only one way-cool reality where all the characters are internally consistent and all events are a perfectly logical response to previous events.
Dan said…
Now, that's a show!
Morgan Richter said…
I know! Can you believe NBC hasn't asked me to write for them yet?

The very last time we see Claire, she's finally gotten her wish: She's a normal college student! Leading a normal life! Possibly dating Gretchen, possibly not. Doesn't matter. Point is, we never see her again, because there's no room for someone who just wants to lead a normal life on this totally awesome show about awesome people with awesome powers. And the show continues on for eight more seasons of increasing awesomeness.

In the season finale, Hiro (who, naturally, never develops a brain tumor, because that whole silly plotline has been eliminated) and Mohinder commiserate that there's just one thing they were unable to fix, no matter how hard they tried: Sylar is still a vicious, ruthless, sadistic (awesome) rat bastard, and always will be.
Red Haired Stranger said…
Final minute of the show: Mohinder, sporting his new monstrous beard, kicks down Hiro's door.

HIRO: Doctor Suresh! You are back!
MOHINDER: That's right, Hiro. And I'm going to sort all this shit out.

Chyron: "TO BE CONTINUED"

You have absolutely no idea how many cackles this produced out of me. Must be Halloween fever. Combined with the image of Monster Beard Mo and previous conversations concerning lumberjacks, I'm imagining a scenario of crazy plaid madness with much swinging of axes and time traveling.

This is *gold*
Morgan Richter said…
I'm imagining a scenario of crazy plaid madness with much swinging of axes and time traveling.

Oh, yes. And I think when Mo returns he needs to be ultra-competent, slightly bonkers, and full of withering scorn for how stupid everyone has been in his absence ("Your brother is missing, Peter. A moving tattoo has mysteriously appeared on your arm. Did you really think this was the ideal time to star in your own personal Skittles commercial with Emma?" "Come now, Matt, really. Drinking yourself unconscious? How, exactly, is that supposed to stop Sylar?" "Oh, for the love of... Just pick a side, Tracy. Evil or good. It's not that difficult. Flip a coin, if you must."). I'm just picturing a whole lot of awesomeness.
levitatethis said…
Great. This is just what I need, Morgan -- a version of the show I would actually watch and be excited about. Your scenario will now only serve to distract and upset me when the real show continues to go downhill.

But what I wouldn't give to have Mohinder show up and say, "That's right, Hiro. And I'm going to sort all this shit out."

I think it's a pipe dream to hope that Mohinder, when he appears on this show in its current form, will be written as intelligent and on the mark. The writers clearly hate him. They've forgotten who he was in season 1.

("Your brother is missing, Peter. A moving tattoo has mysteriously appeared on your arm. Did you really think this was the ideal time to star in your own personal Skittles commercial with Emma?" "Come now, Matt, really. Drinking yourself unconscious? How, exactly, is that supposed to stop Sylar?" "Oh, for the love of... Just pick a side, Tracy. Evil or good. It's not that difficult. Flip a coin, if you must."

That's it! I don't care that Mohinder will never get to say this on the show. My personal canon now includes it.

Sadly I agree with Dan that unless Hiro's time travel includes getting back to season 1's writers there's little hope that the upcoming episode will be worth our time.
Morgan Richter said…
I have little doubt that Mohinder's return will be disappointing, unsatisfying, and anticlimactic. At this point, I'm just hoping it won't be actively offensive. But wouldn't it be great if Mo returned as the sole voice of reason? If, as rumor has it, most of Mohinder's scenes are going to be with Hiro, I hope there's a scene where they hit a bar and get blisteringly drunk while commiserating about their marginal status ("Jokes about people xeroxing their asses, Hiro? That's what they've reduced you to? Great merciful Zeus, man, you're dying, and they still can't be bothered to treat you with grace and dignity?"). Granted, that starts to get a little meta, what with breaking down the barrier between the show and real life, but those barriers started crumbling around the time the writers started routinely altering past events to suit the plot idea of the moment.
Dan said…
I would like 'by Mohinder's monster beard' to become somebody's new exclamatory catch-phrase.

"By Mohinder's monster beard, we will rescue that Irish girl Peter forgot about."
Morgan Richter said…
Yeah, but you just know it's going to be HRG saying something like, "By Mohinder's monster beard, my Claire-Bear will pass her Algebra placement test yet!" or Claire saying, "By Mohinder's monster beard, I swear I'll sort out my sexual orientation before midterms!", or Peter saying, "By Mohinder's monster beard, I'll break through Emma's frosty exterior and win her heart!", and who needs that?

Granted, nobody knows anything concrete about Mohinder's plotline. But there's been some astute speculation that when he reappears, he might not even have the monstrous lumberjack beard after all (Sendhil has been clean-shaven for months now, and all the episodes shot during his super-furry stage have already aired). Ergo: Did Heroes make Sendhil grow a monstrous furry beard just to mess with him? Were scenes with Mohinder, The World's Most Fetching Lumberjack shot and scrapped (which would fit with vague rumors that he was supposed to appear earlier in the season), and if so, where can I send my sternly-worded letter of disapproval?
levitatethis said…
I read that post today suggesting that the scenes Sendhil grew his beard for may have been cut. By Mohinder's monster beard, what the fuck is going on? If the scenes we do see him in are only with Hiro then I insist he be the voice of reason lamenting angrily about bad storylines and offensive characterizations. The least the writers of the show can do is let him go out on a high note.
Morgan Richter said…
"Hey, Sendhil, sorry about making you wear that ugly, uncomfortable beard. I guess it kinda sucks that we're not using those scenes, huh? Oh, FYI -- we had to fire the studio janitor. Budget cuts, you know. If you could just clean the bathrooms twice a day -- run a mop around, restock paper towels, scrub the toilets, replace the urinal cakes, that kind of thing -- that'd be awesome. Hmm? No, I think if you look at the fine print, you'll see that it is, in fact, in your contract. Pays to plan ahead, you know."
levitatethis said…
"Also Sendhil, if you'd paid attention you would have noticed how we systematically killed/wrote off characters of colour on a regular basis. No matter how interesting they could and should have been. After all who wants to see Maya learn to control her power and possibly go after Sylar when they can watch Claire moan about wanting to live a normal life? Hell, we're only keeping Hiro on as a token nod to diversity but we're not sure what we're doing with him. Have you seen the xerox/time travel storyline? When you're done with the washrooms check out the craft service area. The fridge has been smelling rank lately and could use a good cleaning."
Morgan Richter said…
"Oh, hey, by the way, we've got this totally awesome new idea for Mohinder that we might or might not work into a script at some point, but it's going to require removing all your hair. You don't mind, do you? There's a bottle of Nair for you in the mens room -- just go ahead and get yourself bald after you tidy up in there. Eyebrows too!"
levitatethis said…
"Hey Sendhil. Although we appreciate your commitment to the character -- and you do manage to retain the pretty despite being as bald as a baby right now -- it turns out the storyline we had planned is getting shelved. Between Sylar's emo breakdown, Claire's non-story and HRG retconning, we just don't have time for anyone else. I'm sure you understand. Along that line we've decided that we're going to simply ignore Mohinder all together. We've written him so badly already that we've managed to turn most of the remaining fans of the show against him. As for your newly hairless look...well I'm sure there are plenty of good roles for misused and abused Indian men...There's a Mr. Clean commercial shooting next door? We're sure being on this show will help you get your foot in the door."
Morgan Richter said…
On the plus side, Sendhil really would look pretty fabulous bald. The bone structure fairies were out in full force at his birth.

I'd really like to be pleasantly surprised by how Mohinder's return is handled. It's about time I was pleasantly surprised by Heroes. There's only so many episodes in a row that I can be glumly resigned to mediocrity before it starts getting old.
Anna said…
Oh, concerning that lynching scene, apparantly, there's something here: http://themightyfoz.tumblr.com/post/230223781/2-things-about-last-weeks-heroes-episode

Very surprised we heard nothing from the crazy people in the south saying something about the “lideral elitist Hollywood” poking fun at them.

Not sure if this means the scene was meant to be funny, or if the writers thought that the only people who could be offended by it would be... right-wing conservatives from the south? I don' know, I'm not qualified to comment on this. You tell me.
Morgan Richter said…
What an utterly bizarre comment from him. I don't know that I'd say Heroes was poking fun at the deep South, since there was nothing fun about that plotline (the townspeople weren't portrayed as buffoons -- they were portrayed as a vicious lynch mob who murdered a kid). I would say that, among other problems with the lynching plotline, it presented a view of the deep South which I deeply suspect was unsupported by anyone's personal experience and which drew loosely upon vague things they'd heard about or maybe seen on some other television show. That doesn't have anything to do with the liberal media elite; it has to do with lazy, complacent scripts.

Heroes tends to offend -- making fun of Indian food, turning Hiro and Ando into tame, sexless mascots, marginalizing nonwhite characters, portraying rural Southerners as bloodthirsty lynch mobs -- because not much consideration goes into the writing, not because it's deliberately trying to make any kind of point, political or otherwise. That's nothing the Heroes staffers need to feel smug about.
Morgan Richter said…
(Also, he might want to rethink that "crazy people in the south" comment. He just insulted and alientated all Heroes viewers south of the Mason-Dixon line.)
Anna said…
Who haven't they insulted and alienated yet? Now I suspect they do not care about anybody's feelings or viewpoints except their own - self-indulgent, self-declared "liberal" white, male Hollywood writers.
I wonder why they've unpopular.

I don't know as much about this chapter of American history as you do, naturally, so I am probably slower to pick up on the specific clichés, but the basic idea of Southern Americans as backwards kill-happy intolerant folks, that's certainly a cliché that's pretty widely recognized.
It puzzles me how the writers of this show don't seem to understand that filling their story up with clichés - many of them negative and offensive and originally conceived with the intent to oppress - doesn't make good writing. And it sends all the wrong messages.
Morgan Richter said…
It puzzles me how the writers of this show don't seem to understand that filling their story up with clichés - many of them negative and offensive and originally conceived with the intent to oppress - doesn't make good writing.

Yes. They haven't grasped that cliches about any culture or region or group of people (cheerleaders, comic book geeks) are: a) automatically offensive by virtue of being cliches, and b) hallmarks of bad writing.

This goes for any location, obviously, but if you're going to set a Heroes plotline in the American South, aim for freshness and complexity. I was thinking of the series True Blood, which is about fricking vampires, for crying out loud, and yet manages to make its deep-South setting integral to the show. No reason Heroes can't show that same level of care.
Morgan Richter said…
Radio interview with Grunberg where he states that the reason Sendhil has been MIA is because Sendhil's been doing a movie. The bit about Sendhil is at the nine minute mark.

Hmm. Is he talking about the film he did over the summer, the one directed by Gurinder Chadha? The one Sendhil wrapped before he even filmed his Psych appearance, before Heroes went into production for the season? If Sendhil has, in fact, been filming, that would be awesome, but why have Kring et al directly dodged the question, and why is this film not showing up on IMDB or been listed in the trades? I suppose Grunberg's story would make sense if Sendhil thought there'd be a conflict with It's a Wonderful Afterlife and thus they wrote Mohinder out of the first few scripts, but that doesn't jive with anything we've heard to date. And it doesn't explain why they've kept Mohinder out of all the show's publicity.
Interesting.
Ingrid Richter said…
Can I call 'bullshit' yet or do I have to wait until tonight? I promise to do it under my breath in cough form...
Morgan Richter said…
There could be a whisper of truth here -- it's possible the writers, when outlining the first few scripts over the summer, left out Mohinder because they didn't want to run into a conflict with the It's a Wonderful Afterlife shooting schedule. And even though there ultimately was no conflict, well, it's not like they could easily whip up a new plotline for Mohinder. Okay. I'll refrain from calling "Liar, liar, pants on fire" at Grunberg and assume this is what he meant.

But it doesn't explain the disastrous way Kring et al have handled The Mohinder Question (i.e. by ignoring it). It doesn't explain why, until Matt and Sylar mentioned Mo last episode, the show didn't give viewers any indication that Mohinder would play any part in this season. And it certainly doesn't change the way Mohinder was misused and marginalized all throughout volumes three and four, and it certainly doesn't make me feel more optimistic about how his appearance in volume five is going to play out.

In conclusion: Heroes, you make me tired.
Morgan Richter said…
Here's Tim Kring back in July at the Heroes Comic-Con panel, as quoted by DigitalSpy, in response to a direct question about Mohinder's role this season:

"We're going to be telling less stories per episode," says Tim. "The idea is to tell deeper stories but not as wide stories. It's always been a juggling act with a show like this because it's always been a large cast. We don't have quite as much bouncing around this season as we did in the past."

You know, I'm pretty good at spinning things to suit my purposes, but I can't find any way to spin that statement to mean, "Sendhil got cast in an awesome new movie, so we're letting him do that for a bit, and then Mohinder will be back later in the season."
Morgan Richter said…
FYI: If anyone wants to know who the identity of the fired castmember? It's been leaked and confirmed. It's at Deadline Hollywood, it's at IMDB, it's at E! Online, it's everywhere. I'm going to still consider it a spoiler here for a while longer (i.e. don't mention the name), but I don't think that'll last for long.
levitatethis said…
Is it wrong that I feel the fired castmember (and that person was one of the ones at the top of my list) is probably in a better position now? I mean, honestly...look at the state of the show right now. If anything that person joins a pretty good list of people who were let go.

I'm looking forward to your recap of tonight's episode. It was....yeah....I'll wait to see what you think.
Morgan Richter said…
Ingrid called from the east coast after it aired there to brief (warn) me. She assures me that it's more promising than it sounds. I hope so. I'm feeling a little... let's call it overly emotionally invested.

Yes. In terms of the fired actor, my primary reaction is one of, "Er... yes?" He won't be hurting for work post-Heroes; it's just sad that it's been confirmed that he found out he was fired by reading the script. Tacky.
levitatethis said…
Yeah, let's just say that when the episode ended I was very "why am I not surprised?" and yet it's not a totally downer note because of what it potentially sets up. Basically this might actually be better for you-know-who.

I absolutely agree that the way the actor who was fired found out is unacceptable. Absolutely disrespectful. Then again the behind the scenes shenanigans on this show is its own soap opera.

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