Post Game: Heroes 3.10 & 3.11 - The Eclipse 1 & 2
by Troy Brownfield
Date: 03 December 2008 Time: 08:00 AM ET
Post Game: Heroes 3.4
The Spoilers, folks; they be within.I decided prior to the first part of the “everything changes!” two-parter that I would cover both episodes together. And now that I’m here . . . it’s doesn’t feel like it makes a hell of a lot of difference. These two episodes were indicative of how problematic the show has become. What’s truly frustrating is that there is still potential present, but it constantly slips away in odd decisions, endlessly replayed plot loops, and randomly shifting character agendas. There were some good moments in the episodes. I liked Noah forcing Claire to swing at him with the 2x4, their subsequent fight with Sylar and Elle, and Noah’s bloody trail of payback. Matt and Daphne’s arc at least attempts characterization, with Daphne’s CP being an interesting twist (though, unfortunately, one that follows the Heroes pattern of biting from other stuff by tracking back to, of all things, Forrest Gump. “From that day on, I was RUH-NING.”).
The rest of it is pretty hackneyed by this point. The artificial tension between Nathan and Peter. The “what the hell are they doing now?” motivation roulette played with Sylar and Elle. Anything with Mohinder (though his smacking Flint with scientific gear was a nice touch). The comic shop bit. Trying to reason how the older characters that have had powers for decades could not know that an eclipse shorts out powers. Much of it left me shaking my head. Capping the general wrong impression of the two episodes is the (fifth? sixth?) turn by Sylar that results in him killing Elle. Granted, this was probably so that Kristen Bell could make movies or something, but nevertheless a bone-headed move. Bell was never given enough to do, and this shuffles her off with a whimper. This event also effectively cancels the redemptive arc that Sylar has been all season. Like most decisions for the show, it feels like a whim rather than something laid out for the long haul. Likewise, one segment (let alone one episode!) of Hiro think that he’s 10 is one too many. Hiro’s the most powerful character, really, so they keep finding ways to sandbag him. I felt sorry for Seth Green and Breckin Meyer; that had nothing to play but clichés (Green even has to quote Comic Book Guy) at one point. Their urban freaking myth about Isaac’s notebook and the bike messenger is silly as hell. It’s plot-prolonging device after device. With only a couple of episodes left in the Villains arc, I find myself kind of hoping for a bloodbath. At this point, I’d be fine seeing Nathan go in addition to Mohinder; they’re just wringing too many face/heel turns with the guy for him to be credible. If the show could whittle its core down to Peter, Claire, Noah, a smartened-up Hiro, Ando, Matt, and Daphne (with occasional appearances by The Haitian, Angela, and Meredith), then I think we’d be okay. The dilemma of global-change that Nathan poses is actually a great plot seed, but I don’t think that they’ll realize its scale on this show. Quite frankly, Heroes had a fun season one, a lame season two, and a potential-squandering season three. The repeating beats and leaps in logic really drag it all down. I hope that they’ll turn this around come the break, but I won’t hold my breath. Given ratings decline, critical and fan backlash, and the general economic picture for an FX-heavy show with a huge cast . . . I believe that Season Four is a future that the late Isaac’s paints would have never seen.