Written by: Rob Van Winkle, CC2K Staff Writer
I apologize for ever doubting Heroes.
The first two episodes of Season Two were just a bit lackluster, as though they just wanted to take their actors out of mothballs and show them off for us. (Or more accurately, it felt like they read the fan magazines and websites, and just gave us what they determined we wanted to see: More Cheerleader! Let’s get that skinny guy’s shirt off! More Hiro wackiness! etc.) Episode three, I felt, was borderline weak with its stilted dialogue and obvious plot development.
However, last week they set some wheels in motion that I was very impressed by. And tonight, they showed us that this show is no fluke.
My addiction to Heroes is back.
Here are, in no particular order, the things I liked about Episode 5:
1. The Parkmans – Everything about this plotline is perfect so far. Making Parkman’s dad the “nightmare man” was just a great way to increase his role in the show’s mythology and canon, and the sinister way he fucked with Molly’s head last week was a terrific twist. This week, Parkman breaks down the door to his father’s apartment to find a shabby shell of a man pathetic in his T-shirt and shorts. He is a vision of what Parkman could be, in its best and worst guises. We almost believe that he’s a genuinely good guy trying to protect himself, but he puts Parkman and Nathan on a mental roller coaster that they barely survive.
2. Nathan Petrelli’s hallucination – We still don’t really know why Nathan sees himself as scarred and mutilated while the rest of the world does not (though my theory is that it’s tied in directly with Peter’s disappearance), but once again, his character is allowed to grow richer, and far more than just the bad politician (and husband) who can fly.
3. The Copycat Hero – So far, I’m liking at least the powers exhibited by Micah’s cousin. I mean, this might be the new power that I most wish to have. Fuck flying and turning invisible…can you even IMAGINE how cool this power would be? You’re only ever one professional sports game away from making millions! One porn movie away from shedding any insecurities you’ve ever harbored forever!
4. Kristen Bell * – At the heart of the whole thing, I really do like the idea of a “hero” with powers akin to Peter tracking him down, without such antiquated notions as morals or the value of human life. Also, the inclusion of the word “Daddy” in her last phone call indicates that she’s going to tie in more elaborately as the season rolls on (my first vote is that “Daddy” is Mohinder’s boss at the company). However, there are also some issues with this arc. Which brings me to:
Some things I did not like about Episode 5:
1. Kristen Bell * – For all the compelling things about her…thus far she seemed too evil to be real, and too willing to flaunt her powers. Also, I felt the writing for this segment of the show was inordinately weak. First of all, the whole notion of the man with the kickass powers HIDING somewhere, while the powerless man agrees to “protect” him is as implausible as it is absurd. Frankly, the second that scene began (Go hide, Boy-o. I’ll take care of this), I announced to my wife the news of that character’s ultimate demise. You don’t have to be a wizard to spot the rookie Starfleet member in the landing party, you know? (And, isn’t there an inherent risk in sending someone with powers out to capture a hero who absorbs and can then use any powers?)
2. Micah – That little kid’s whine was acceptable to me in Season One, when it dealt with his dysfunctional parents, but now he’s just riding my nerves. And hey, how about convincing your cousin you have powers by turning the TV on and off with your MIND! How great would that be? (As an added aggravator, that kid’s hair is starting to border on Peter Petrelli Season One annoying)
3. Hiro – I love the character, but the entire plotline is starting to feel very strained and weird. The whole thing with Ando and that archivist seemed to exist only as a device to delay hearing Hiro’s story all at once, and not to nitpick again, but if Hiro is going to return to the present eventually (as he must), then this entire exercise is futile. He could just have easily come back already (since his present self is not there, he could have brought himself back to the moment he left, at least in theory), and then TOLD all this to Ando. It’s not a big gripe, but I needed to air it.
The big question I’m left with is this: we have determined that Parkman’s father is The Nightmare Man…but is he also the force killing the older generation of Heroes? I think not. Beyond the fact that the being that killed Hiro’s dad and injured Nathan’s mom was small and agile (while Parkman’s father is a fat fuck), I think it makes that arc a bit too two-dimensional. If he’s still legitimately scared and on the run, there’s a lot more to the story. (and WHAT would a guy who can do that shit possible be frightened of?)
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