Heroes Volume Five, Chapter Eight: Shadowboxing

A mostly joyless and charmless Heroes this week. To preserve my sanity, I’m giving it a bit of a lick and a promise. Rest assured that, even still, more thought and effort will go into this recap than went into Claire’s blasted sorority plotline.

Sylar tosses and turns in bed. I’m not talking about the cool, evil Sylar, mind you -- this is the fragile man-child Sylar who’s been hanging out at Samuel’s carnival. Still sleeping, he shapeshifts into Nathan. He wakes and gets dressed, visibly agitated, and wanders out of his trailer.

At the slaughterhouse, Claire and Gretchen manage to convince the other sorority girls in their rush group that Becky really didn’t turn invisible and attack Gretchen, and Claire really didn’t get impaled on a meat hook -- instead, Becky must’ve put hallucinogens in their water bottles. The girls buy it. Hey, why are college students in Virginia speaking with Valley girl accents? Just wondering.

Back at the dormitory, Claire wants to figure out why Becky tried to kill Gretchen. She decides to snoop around Becky’s room and orders Gretchen to stay put. Gretchen worries that Becky will try to kill her -- Becky might be with them in the room right now, after all -- but Claire spurts a few puffs of baby powder in the room as proof that they’re alone. This… is embarrassing to watch.

Claire visits the sorority, which is gearing up for a Halloween party. Halloween, like Heroes, is yesterday’s news. Claire’s fellow rushees don’t remember anything about the previous night, because their feeble brains have been wiped by the Haitian, who has arrived with Noah at Claire’s request. Aw, man, we so rarely get to see the Haitian! Please don’t squander him on this lazy, insulting, derivative plotline!

Noah searches Becky’s room while the Haitian goes back to the dormitory with Claire to neutralize Becky’s invisibility, should she try to attack Claire and Gretchen again. Claire casually calls the Haitian “Rene.” Rene? Really? That’s going to take some getting used to.

When Claire returns to her room, she finds Gretchen packing, having already booked her flight home. Gretchen says she’s leaving forever. Is that a promise? I’m going to hold you to that, Gretchen. Claire tries to convince her to stay, telling her she’s important to her, but Gretchen refuses, and the only thing salvaging this scene is that the Haitian -- sorry, Rene -- looks a step away from rolling his eyes in exasperation at the sheer tediousness of these two. Gretchen storms out, and Claire asks the Haitian to make sure she’s safe. He takes off after Gretchen. Don’t walk away, Rene!

Noah searches Becky’s room and finds a compass. Invisible Becky stalks him for a while, until he pulls a high-voltage stun gun and threatens to shoot her. She shows herself and accuses Noah of murdering her father when she was five years old. We see a flashback, and yep, Noah burst in to capture Becky and her super-powered dad, who tried to use some kind of force field to protect them. Noah shot and killed him, but couldn’t find Becky, who turned herself invisible. Okay, that’s awesome that they’re addressing that Noah was/is a bad guy, but why have they spent so much of the season downplaying his past misdeeds? Becky explains that she wanted her vengeance on him by murdering Claire… or, failing that, at least murdering a couple of her monstrously annoying roommates. Noah prepares to shoot her with the stun gun, but gets interrupted by the arrival of a couple of sorority girls.

Samuel knocks on Claire’s door and introduces himself as Becky’s uncle. He goes on his whole rambling spiel about how the carnival is family and how super-powered people need to stick together. Noah bursts in and pulls a gun on Samuel. He asks Samuel about the compass, which is like the one they found earlier this season, thanks to the key that was inside Danko (hey, that’s going to get explained somewhere down the line, right? Why Danko had a key hidden inside his flesh?), and Samuel mentions that Danko killed his brother Joseph. Well, now we’re sort of getting somewhere plotwise. Maybe?

Noah handcuffs Samuel, but Becky arrives and frees him. There’s a weirdly choreographed fight where Becky gets tasered by Noah and Claire tries to stop Noah from shooting Samuel and Becky… you know, I don’t know why anyone does anything that they do on this show anymore, and what’s worse, I’ve stopped caring.

Claire returns to her dorm room. She lies in bed, stares at the ceiling, and sighs deeply.

Samuel and Becky return to the carnival. Becky apologizes for messing things up with Claire; Samuel tells her it’s okay and promises she’ll still get revenge. Lydia announces that they have a big problem: Sylar is gone.

In his apartment, Noah has a bunch of newspaper articles posted on the wall. He writes “Samuel” on an article about the sinkhole that swallowed the mansion where Samuel used to live.

New York: Peter gives emergency medical treatment in the back of an ambulance to a man who was paralyzed in a train collision. Peter uses the healing ability he absorbed from Jeremy to heal him. At the hospital, which is in chaos due to all the accident victims, Emma wanders around in a daze and is generally totally worthless. This is someone who does not belong in an emergency room. At some point, she finds a surgical kit and starts stitching up a wound, which is a step in the right direction. Peter spots her, and they exchange dewy glances. Peter keeps growing weaker and weaker whenever he uses Jeremy’s power -- it drains out of him, and he has to wait until it replenishes. He asks Emma where she learned to stitch people up. “Clown college,” she replies, before admitting she dropped out of medical school.

Emma and Peter find a random girl randomly unconscious in a random supply closet. Dear Heroes: Please don’t be this half-assed. Emma diagnoses the girl with pneumothorax, and no, it’s never addressed why this girl’s lung collapsed in a supply closet. Emma tells Peter she needs to do an emergency thoracoscopy, which is a major, risky surgical procedure that apparently takes about eight seconds and can be performed without anesthetic on the floor of a supply closet, while a trained nurse with the power to heal anyone twiddles his thumbs next to you.

Later, Emma goes off on another of her Starburst commercials, playing the trusty hospital waiting room piano again and marveling at the colorful lights. Peter joins her. She shows him a photo of her nephew, Christopher, who drowned while she was babysitting him. Peter gives her a tiara and says “Meagan wanted you to have that.” I guess we’re supposed to conclude that Meagan is the girl whose lung randomly collapsed? He places the tiara on Emma’s head, and it’s so joyless and low-energy it hurts to watch.

Back at his apartment, Peter takes down the newspaper articles about his rescues that he taped to his wall. There’s a knock on the door, and it’s Nathan/Sylar. Nathan hugs him and tells him, “I think I’m in trouble.”

Matt, with Sylar in control of his body, moves through airport security at LAX. Sylar is headed to New York to see Peter to find out what happened to his own body. It seems like Sylar should maybe know Matt’s thoughts, seeing how they’re sharing a brain and all, but that’s not the case. Anyway, Sylar gets busted at the security checkpoint, thanks to a gun Matt smuggled in his suitcase.

Four hours later, after sorting things out at the airport, Sylar and Matt are driving across the country. They end up with a flat tire, which Sylar, in Matt’s body, tries in vain to repair. (Sylar: “Do you have any upper-body strength at all?”) A friendly tow truck guy arrives and offers to help. Sylar whacks him repeatedly over the head with the tire iron. Now that’s the Sylar we know and love: the rat bastard who kills even when it actively goes against his best interests (see: murdering Candice in Volume Two). Sylar orders Matt to keep in line, or he’ll kill more people.

They stop at the Burnt Toast Diner in Midland, Texas, where Sylar flirts with the waitress, Lynette, and orders the Tahitian pancakes. He reminisces fondly about almost killing Charlie here, then threatens to kill Lynette unless Matt tells him where his body is. Matt finally breaks down and tells Sylar the truth about how he and Angela and Noah conspired to make Sylar believe he was Nathan Petrelli (“Well, that’s just crazy,” Sylar says, which… yeah). Sylar, who doesn’t seem to realize he’s frantically doodling on a napkin, decides to find Nathan and get his body back, then kill every single person even remotely involved with the conspiracy. That’s sort of okay with me, actually. I pretty much despise Angela and Noah these days, and I’m not really feeling that kindly toward Matt, either.

Lynette clears away the dishes, and finds that Sylar, thanks to Matt’s influence, has written “I have a gun, and I’m going to kill everyone in here” on a napkin. When Matt and Sylar get outside, they’re surrounded by cops. Matt decides to do a little suicide-by-cop to take Sylar down with him, which actually is a much sounder plan than his big “I’ll drink Sylar out of me!” idea a couple episodes back. He pretends to reach for a gun, and the cops riddle Sylar -- Matt -- with bullets.

Next episode: Mohinder looks beautiful and gets murdered. Mohinder, my dear, you’ve been missed.


Comments

Patrick said…
Very good - does this mean Matt is dead?
levitatethis said…
Most important thing first – Mohinder gets lines next week! He gets to be part of a significant plot! He faces off against Samuel and is all defiantly, “Never”! He looks fucking hot doing it!

To quote Annie Potts in ‘Pretty in Pink’: “Applause. Applause.”

Onto this episode.

Gretchen worries that Becky will try to kill her -- Becky might be with them in the room right now, after all -- but Claire spurts a few puffs of baby powder in the room as proof that they’re alone. This… is embarrassing to watch.

**sigh** Embarrassing is putting it lightly. Although amusingly enough this is the most I’ve liked Gretchen because she wasn’t being creepy but actually making sense. Overall I still can’t stand the sorority storyline…and The Haitian (I’m still getting used to Rene) is too awesome to drag into its vortex of suckitude. Claire’s sudden devotion to Gretchen later on, with near declarations, left me scratching my head.

Okay, so Bennet rummages around Becky’s room. A strange man is going through a young woman’s room in her sorority house…Let’s back this up a moment. When Claire leads Bennet and Rene upstairs another sorority girl announces there are men on the floor and then Claire leaves her dad there and no one follows up on that? Am I an overly paranoid type?

Noah shot and killed him, but couldn’t find Becky, who turned herself invisible. Okay, that’s awesome that they’re addressing that Noah was/is a bad guy, but why have they spent so much of the season downplaying his past misdeeds?

One of the things I liked this episode was that Bennet’s less than stellar past was addressed. Like you, however, I can’t figure out why we spent all of the season so far getting the retconned history of him. Was it to manipulate us into being on his side when Becky and Samuel come after him and Claire? Because I have to say I was rooting for Samuel and Becky in this episode. Live by the gun and all that jazz.

In the end Samuel and Becky were the most interesting thing to me about this storyline.

I have nothing to say about the Peter/Emma storyline. It felt like it was just wasting time until we get to the stories I cared more about. Their interactions felt so flat and devoid of true human emotion/connection (you know, that funny thing I used to sense and was drawn in by during Season 1). Peter’s storyline has turned into this blackhole of boredom. Maybe if he cared to find out where the hell Mohinder disappeared to he’d have something more exciting going on.

I said it before and I’ll say it again – if I have to see Emma play that fucking piano to see the damn colours one more time, I’m going to flip my lid.

Finally, the storyline that still keeps my relatively captive interest – Sylar messing with Matt’s head. I’m telling you, there’s one writer who is working on this storyline and none of the others because it’s still working really well for me. Yes there are some uncertainties (Sylar not realizing Matt is setting him up at the airport) but I loved seeing the back and forth between them trying to outthink and out maneuver each other. Sylar killing the tow truck driver (and I have to say I felt terrible for that guy) was wonderfully old school Sylar – not really caring that he’s killed someone and all to make a point to Matt.

This Sylar is way more fun than emo!Nathan!Sylar back at the carnival and now in Peter’s apartment. This Sylar is snarky and wanting answers asap. I can see Matt thinking the only way to stop this is to have himself killed…and I can see Sylar wanting to kill everyone who had anything to do with his being in this situation (is it wrong that one of my first thoughts was that it meant Mohinder was off the hook and maybe these two crazy kids could work it all out?).

For the first time in a long time I’m excited for next week.
Morgan Richter said…
Patrick -- Matt looked pretty dead, but the promo for next episode spoiled it that Matt (and Sylar's consciousness) is still with us, thanks to Peter's healing power.

Er... when Bennet smugly tells Samuel that Becky is missing a few screws, I assume we're supposed to feel a surge of deep, profound, violent hatred toward him for mocking a deeply screwed-up teen girl whose mental problems stem from him murdering her father in front of her when she was a kid? Yeah, I was pretty much on Team Crazy Carnival People in this episode, just because Team Bennet was so loathesome.

The upside of Claire's plotline? It's so uniquely terrible that it diverts my contempt away from the garden-variety awfulness of the Peter/Emma plotline.

Loved how flat-out nasty Sylar and Matt were to each other. That was, once again, pretty effective, and I bought Matt's decision to kill Sylar by sacrificing himself.

Mohinder gets lines next week! He gets to be part of a significant plot! He faces off against Samuel and is all defiantly, “Never”! He looks fucking hot doing it!

I wholly support and encourage all of these things.
levitatethis said…
Er... when Bennet smugly tells Samuel that Becky is missing a few screws, I assume we're supposed to feel a surge of deep, profound, violent hatred toward him for mocking a deeply screwed-up teen girl whose mental problems stem from him murdering her father in front of her when she was a kid? Yeah, I was pretty much on Team Crazy Carnival People in this episode, just because Team Bennet was so loathesome.

My co-worker (who is a big Peter fan but is ticked off at his stalled storyline and all the stupid Skittle colours) thinks that the reason the show was retconning Bennet this season was that they were trying to establish a "happier" relationship between Claire and Bennet before pulling the rug out from under them (the revelation that Bennet was involved in the Sylar/Nathan fiasco). She pointed out that over the last three seasons we've seen Claire be a lot more aware of her dad's shady side. There was never doubt that she loved him but she was suspicious of him, and rightly so. All the show had to do this season was put in a line or two about Claire wanting to try and have a better relationship with him while putting aside previous reservations...then have it lead to the big betrayal. But the show decided to have her sound like she was drinking the Kool-Aid and suddenly we're hearing that Bennet is the coolest, most awesome dad ever.

It's an interesting theory and would fit with how this show sets out to do something but tends to do it the wrong way.

She also pointed out that this season feels very much like Peter and Claire are only on screen b/c they are regarded by the showrunner/studio as the stars of the show. But their storylines are incredibly boring.

Quinto is finally in a good storyline with Grunberg after one of the worst scenes ever but I keep thinking this storyline is a fluke -- it works too well for me so far.

And now Mohinder's back. Finally. And the fact that he's connected to the Samuel storyline means that at the very least it should be interesting.
Morgan Richter said…
She also pointed out that this season feels very much like Peter and Claire are only on screen b/c they are regarded by the showrunner/studio as the stars of the show. But their storylines are incredibly boring.

I'm honestly a little shocked by how consistently half-assed both Claire's and Peter's plotlines have been all season. Peter's arc is slow and repetitive (stop playing the damn piano, Emma!), while Claire's is disgracefully lazy. There were only three plotlines this episode, and two were complete wastes of time. At least Matt and Sylar were doing their best to carry the show.

So... based on the promo, it looks like Samuel accidentally kills Mohinder after... torturing him to find out what's on the film? Is that where they're heading? If that turns out to be the case, I take back everything I said last week about being thankful that at least Samuel seems upset about Mohinder's death.

Also, because I haven't had nearly enough opportunities to point this out this season, Mohinder is pretty.
averys said…
Gretchen is West 2.0. A bit of a stalker in the beginning, but just a person fallen for our very special extraordinary Claire in the end. Like West, Gretchen preferred to go away when situation became too dangerous. So much for the crush.

Becky gets tasered by Noah.

Nope, Samuel is the one who tasered Becky. It was a manipulative "Look, Claire, I really care for you and even your dad!" message. Not bad on Samuel's part, actually.

I agree about randomness in this episode. From James the prop master's Twitter: "OMG! the scene with Emma And Peter was chopped so short. 60% cut. So much work reseting syringes. Also cut a scene introducing princess." IMO, they could have cut 80% of the scene with Peter and Emma, but keep the introduction of the girl. The way they left it implies there is a good chance of finding dying girls in hospital closets, nothing surprising about that.

(is it wrong that one of my first thoughts was that it meant Mohinder was off the hook and maybe these two crazy kids could work it all out?)

levitatethis, it was my first thought too. Sorry, Angela and Noah, but I won't cry for you.
levitatethis said…
Hold the phone. 60% of the Emma/Peter storyline was cut and this is what we still got? You've got to be kidding me.

Samuel is the one who tasered Becky. It was a manipulative "Look, Claire, I really care for you and even your dad!" message. Not bad on Samuel's part, actually.

I like the idea of Samuel doing this as part of his manipulation.

So... based on the promo, it looks like Samuel accidentally kills Mohinder after... torturing him to find out what's on the film? Is that where they're heading? If that turns out to be the case, I take back everything I said last week about being thankful that at least Samuel seems upset about Mohinder's death.

Hmmm...well, I can still buy Samuel being upset by Mohinder's death as a hindsight is 20/20 thing. He might not have realized that accidentally killing Mohinder would have such dire consequences until later on. I don't expect him to have a hugely personal connection with Mohinder (unlike some other characters who never noticed he disappeared in the first place) but at least he seems to value Mohinder to some extent.
Morgan Richter said…
Nope, Samuel is the one who tasered Becky

Good for Samuel. I agree, smart strategic move. The fight scene was a little bizarre to me -- it was hard to follow who was doing what and why.

This may be petty of me, but after "Save the cheerleader!"/Claire's magic blood/Claire is the catalyst, it was nice to find out that Samuel and Becky were just after Claire to get to Noah. It's not always all about Claire. Just 90% of the time.

I'm not surprised that a lot of the Emma stuff was cut -- the business with saving the girl was so, so random -- but I'm not sorry. It's such a lifeless plotline that it brings me down just watching it.

Here's to lots of quality Mohinder time next week.
Dan said…
In decreasing order of gooditude:

Sylar/Parkman - really rather liked this a lot. But I'm pleased Matt will be all better next week. After all, it's the Annual Sylar Road Trip! It's got to last more than one episode.

Claire-Bear/HRG - I have zero idea why Claire-Bear was upset at Gretchen leaving. Is she that desperate for friends? Also, as already mentioned, nice to see that HRG was the target of the attack and that he was back in shady form, rummaging around in a college girl's wardrobe and making fun of the fact he screwed her life up by (ha ha ha!) shooting her father totally dead. That'll teach you, invisible girl.

Still, Rene?!?

Peter/Emma - the most boring four hours of television I've ever watched. Was the little girl in the closet one of the urchins Hiro entertained with his magic show a couple of weeks back? Or was she just one of those random closet urchins most US hospitals have these days as a result of Obama's universal health care plan? (I know little about US politics, but over here we all pay a little extra tax so there can be a dying little girl in a closet in every hospital in the country!)
Morgan Richter said…
I watched the comatose girl-in-closet scene with an increasing sense of "...the hell?" My thoughts:

*Why was a random girl unconscious with a collapsed lung in a supply closet in a hospital?

*Why didn't Peter use his healing power on her?

*Why did Emma think it was a good idea to reinflate the girl's lung -- a major surgical procedure -- without anesthetic on the floor of a supply closet without a doctor present when they were in a hospital, scant feet away from an operating room? I know time was of the essence and the hospital was busy at the moment, but that was ridiculous.

It's too bad the series is likely doomed (ratings were at a record low this episode), because if given the time, I imagine Sylar would eventually go road-tripping with every last bleeding character. (Can't wait for the Highly Improbable Sylar-Ando Road Trip! By the way, are we ever going to see Ando again?)

I dug how balls-out vicious and nasty Sylar and Matt are toward each other. Compared to how tepid and noncommittal the other plotlines currently are, it seems like their scenes are pasted in from some other, far superior series.
Ingrid Richter said…
Thumbs up for the review and the Sylar/Matt nastiness!

My heart grew three sizes too big when Sylar mentioned he was going to kill off everyone even remotely related to the "swap the mind" plotline...
Morgan Richter said…
My heart grew three sizes too big when Sylar mentioned he was going to kill off everyone even remotely related to the "swap the mind" plotline...

Mine too. For one thing, I think Sylar is always best when he's in pursuit of a concrete goal (i.e. "kill a bunch of people to get more powerful" or "get my powers back by threatening Mohinder in a weirdly sexual manner" or "go on a road trip with Mohinder because I want his father's list and because he's really pretty and his hair smells like orange blossoms", rather than "search for my father to resolve my heretofore unmentioned daddy issues" or "team up with Danko for reasons that make no damn sense to anyone, least of all the writing staff"), and from Sylar's perspective, killing the hell out of Noah and Angela and Matt seems like a pretty worthy endeavor.
levitatethis said…
A closet urchin, of course. We have those all over Canada, us being socialist pinkies who drool at the thought of death panels.

My heart grew three sizes too big when Sylar mentioned he was going to kill off everyone even remotely related to the "swap the mind" plotline...

So did mine. The Matt/Sylar scenes are not only in character but fun to watch. At the very least it feels like the story is actually moving in a certain direction and when Sylar said he was going to go after everyone who knew about the plot against him I got shivers of excited anticipation. That's the Sylar I've been missing since horror of Volume 3.

The one thing I'm concerned about is that when Sylar gets his body back it's going to be emo!Sylar that we get stuck with (since the writers still seem intent on trying to redeem him). I want asshole Sylar to win that battle. Then he can engage Mohinder in a battle of snark while potent unresolved sexual tension builds rendering me into a state of bliss.

Peter/Emma - the most boring four hours of television I've ever watched.

This is putting it nicely. And the idea that there was more and it was cut boggles my mind. We need to storm the writers room sooner rather than later because there is no excuse.

When a die hard Peter fan is saying to me, "what the hell is up with his storyline?" you know there are problems.
Morgan Richter said…
The one thing I'm concerned about is that when Sylar gets his body back it's going to be emo!Sylar that we get stuck with

Oh, please, no. I hadn't even considered that, but of course you're right -- that's the direction the creative staff seems to want to push Sylar towards (despite the way viewers keep collectively shouting, "Oh HELL no!").

Then he can engage Mohinder in a battle of snark while potent unresolved sexual tension builds rendering me into a state of bliss.

Remember when this show used to be all about unresolved sexual tension? It's turned into the least sexy show on TV. A big part of that is the way the characters just go through the motions without any meaningful interaction (I have a hard time believing Peter and Emma even like each other, much less feel any mutual sparks. Ditto for Claire and Gretchen). Part of what's making the Sylar-Matt scenes stand out is that there's a genuine strong emotion -- scathing contempt and hatred -- between them, which is coming through loud and clear.
averys said…
On the question of who writes Matt-Sylar scenes: Oliver Grigsby says ( http://twitter.com/OliverGrigsby/status/5301014385 ) that it was a collaborative effort, but most of the work was done by the respective writers of each episode. Hm-m. So we have Coleite ("Ink"), Coto ("Strange Attractors"), and Pokaski + Green ("Shadowboxing"). Four different people manage to produce a coherent, dynamic, in-character storyline. Unexpected.
Morgan Richter said…
Four different people manage to produce a coherent, dynamic, in-character storyline. Unexpected.

And yet at the same time, those four people have managed to produce two nearly unwatchable plotlines (Claire's sorority; Peter and Emma's romance), one offensive plotline (Jeremy's murder), one slow-moving plotline (Emo Sylar at the carnival), and one plotline filled with yet-unfulfilled promise (Hiro and Samuel and whatever happened to poor dead Mohinder). It's so very strange. If these scripts have been true collaborations, it means the Heroes hive mind is working well about a quarter of the time, but is running on autopilot for the rest.
averys said…
Yeah, it's really strange. I don't think all four are huge fans of Sylar and rabid haters of Peter/Emma and Claire, but their work gives this very impression.

My dad (he watches the show, but doesn't follow any fansites) had a very strong reaction to the episode. He thought Matt/Sylar business was over, and asked me for confirmation/spoiler to decide whether he should continue watching. I had no idea he was bugged by other storylines that much...
Morgan Richter said…
I don't think all four are huge fans of Sylar and rabid haters of Peter/Emma and Claire, but their work gives this very impression.

My best guess, which might be wildly off-base, is that the writers don't feel inspired by the Peter/Emma plot or Claire's sorority plot and just believe (mistakenly, in my opinion) that they're giving viewers what they want.

Milo is a cute guy with a significant female fanbase, and Peter is kind of a dreamy romantic character at heart, so maybe they think viewers want to see a plotline focusing solely on Peter romancing a new character. And they may be right -- I'm sure there are viewers who would go for this -- but they haven't committed to the execution. There's nothing fresh about their romance, and Peter and Emma don't have a great connection or any chemistry, and the result is tepid.

Ditto for Claire: Hayden is hugely popular right now, probably because she seems fairly relatable and normal, so they've stuck her in a very commonplace setting: college. It seems like they're banking on that being enough to sustain viewer interest in Claire, but again, they haven't committed to it. Claire's college scenes have been a pastiche of cliches from other television shows and films, cobbled together into an extremely mediocre and half-assed plot. So viewers who really dig teen-centric shows (the Veronica Mars crowd, or even the Gossip Girl crowd) aren't going to be pleased or impressed, because they've seen this done before, and seen it done much better.

By contrast, judging by quality, the Sylar-Matt scenes seem to universally be making the writers more excited and inspired. That makes sense: Out of the three plotlines, it's the only one that really belongs on a show inspired by superhero comic books.

If this is the case, it means the writers probably have more on the ball than I've given them credit for -- after all, the Matt-Sylar plotline is genuinely good, and I tip my hat to all parties responsible for it -- but they're stuck in a losing battle writing plotlines that they have nothing invested in and that Heroes' core audience doesn't want to see.
averys said…
Yes, lack of inspiration and touch with the fanbase explains what we're getting.

they're stuck in a losing battle writing plotlines that they have nothing invested in and that Heroes' core audience doesn't want to see.

I agree, they dug themselves quite a hole. Overall reaction to Gretchen's departure on the boards (fits my feelings too): Not sorry to see her go, but what the build-up was all about? If she returns, they'll somehow resolve the barely existing relationship no one really cares for. If she doesn't return, we've spent half a season with Claire for... nothing? A lose-lose situation. Same goes for HRG/Lauren (to a lesser extent, of course).
Morgan Richter said…
Same goes for HRG/Lauren (to a lesser extent, of course).

Lauren will be back for the Thanksgiving episode. On the one hand, maybe they'll reveal some point to the way they jammed Lauren into HRG's backstory. On the other, bigger hand, I'm just not interested in their relationship. As you say, lose-lose.

Gretchen will be back, too -- going by Wendi's tweets, Madeline Zima has been doing a lot of recent filming (far more than Sendhil, alas). Same problem: As it stands, the plot lacks closure, but I'm not interested in Gretchen and Claire.

It's depressing to think we're halfway through the season now -- nine hours out of a total season of nineteen hours -- and so little has happened.
averys said…
Ah, nice to know we'll get a closure with these storylines.

To be completely honest, at this point I just want this show to leave us Sylar (evil version in his own body, please) and Mohinder (alive) in the end.

Anyway, preview for the next episode looks promising. We get Sylar!Matt/Fake!Nathan/Peter and Mohinder/Samuel. Hopefully, this will ensure 2/3 of the episode won't suck :)
Morgan Richter said…
Anyway, preview for the next episode looks promising.

It's the first time all season that every single scene in the preview has looked promising: The Haitian (Rene) telling Peter he needs to know the truth about Nathan; Nathan starting to realize he's Sylar; Nathan (or Sylar? Peter?) opening a coffin; Mohinder watching his father's film and talking about his remarkable discovery; Samuel threatening Mohinder; Mohinder looking all sexy and defiant; Peter healing Matt; Sylar menacing Matt once more. It was thirty seconds of gold, pretty much. The episode has a lot to live up to (and we've been horribly misled by promos before), but it looks good.

Twitter people: DigitalSpy is interviewing Sendhil, Masi, and James Kyson Lee on the set tomorrow. If anyone has questions for them, tweet them.
Ingrid Richter said…
Wow, Anonymous, you must be especially brave and insightful to post under the cover of "Anonymous". Nicely done!

Er, do you actually like Heroes? Me too! If so, what do you like about the show? If not, why are you so critical of other people who don't like the show?
Dan said…
Please ignore and delete this coward, Morgan. Not worth the energy.
Morgan Richter said…
Aha. Interesting. I thought that attack seemed weirdly personal, so I checked my stats. Folks, the anonymous coward was writing from Sunset Gower Studios, home of Heroes. It's probably not coincidence that it's coming in the wake of a very polite letter I mailed to Tim Kring (and carbon copied to NBC's EVP of Diversity) on Saturday about my problems with how Heroes has handled diversity issues this season.

So whoever opens Mr. Kring's mail has a beef with me. Interesting.
violet-anchovy said…
Aha. Interesting. I thought that attack seemed weirdly personal, so I checked my stats. Folks, the anonymous coward was writing from Sunset Gower Studios, home of Heroes.

:O

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