Dust off that Latin, kids; the title of this week’s episode comes from one half of a traditional gravestone inscription. It means, essentially, “You will be what I am.” Thematically, that resonates on a couple of levels. We have characters seeking to divest themselves of power (Elle), we have characters who don’t want to lose their powers (Peter), and we have characters that need equilibrium (Mohinder); each of them has someone that functions as a type of reflection to their character, offering a glimpse at a past or potential incarnation that echoes the phrase.
Overall, things kept moving pretty quickly, but in a manner that recalled a particular reference. Many have made much of the fact that the show seems to draw a lot of inspiration from the X-titles. Part of the pacing of last night’s show made me think of the mid-90s X-books, wherein new characters and situations and status quo changes were introduced frequently and without much explanation in the hopes that the furious movement and large cast would drive things forward on their own. Though I do think that this episode was better, the constant revolving made me think of how much tighter it could be if the cast were trimmed a bit.
Culturally speaking, we aren’t the only ones talking about problems with Heroes. The cover story of Entertainment Weekly proffers a plan on how to “save” the show. Sites like I09 have delved into the discussion as well. Conventional wisdom from the latter indicates that once everyone is talking about how to “fix” a show, the show is frequently beyond “fixing”.
The show did make a minor move in the population control department by whacking Mr. Parkman. Matt’s dad actually acted like a father and stood up to Arthur Petrelli to protect his son, and was killed for his trouble. Of course, this, and Matt’s subsequent reaction, more or less contradicted everything we’ve seen about both characters so far, but hey. The moral equivalency made a bit more sense with Sylar, er, Gabriel. While he was happy to act heroic and bust out Peter, he quickly switched to his father’s side. Or did he? Honestly, Zachary Quinto’s performance is one of the show’s saving graces these days.
Other good bits: Clarie using her invulnerability to funnel off Elle’s rampant electricity, the Nathan/Peter reunion, the Meredith/Tracy meeting (ah, Nathan loves fire AND ice; dig it), and Mr. Bennett with a taser. Actually, the good bits typically result from the stronger members of a fairly appealing cast getting to bounce off of each other.
That’s really my personal “fixit” strategy. This show should be treated as more of an ensemble in which everyone gets to interact regularly. Matt’s contact with Mohinder on the phone made me stop and say, “Oh, hell yeah, these two are supposed to be roommates who care for the absent Molly; when’s the last time THAT came up?” Many points have been abandoned in overpopulation. The show wasn’t shy about shedding Nathan’s wife and kids; other superfluous characters like Claire’s brother should take a walk. With Maya depowered, let her go. It was ultimately wise to kill off Adam/Kenzei and Mr. Parkman, and I’m still convinced that Mohinder has outlived his usefulness. If the series really wants to show us that it means business, then Elle would be the next to go. Don’t get me wrong; I love Kristen Bell. However, she’s still in recurring status, and the actress has enough fans that it would be a big (no pun intended) shock. Such a move might raise the stakes and give proceedings some momentum heading into the back-half of the season.
What about you? Favorite bits, least favorite bits? Any love for Caitlin, still stranded in a possible future?