Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Five Questions Heroes Needs to Answer

What happened to Sylar? Is he very dead, or only a little?

During their anti-climactic battle in DNA Plaza, Sylar was fighting Peter Petrelli, and naturally, easily beating him. Suddenly, Sylar was surprised from behind by Hiro, who using his teleportation powers and a sword, stabbed him in the chest. Now, despite what a panel of high school football coaches might have to say on the subject, getting run through with a sword is very difficult to just walk off. And, seeing as Sylar wasn’t known to have any healing powers, one could state pretty confidently that he was now very, very dead.

And one would be completely wrong, as proved minutes later by the long lingering shot of a bloody trail leading from where Sylar’s body lay to an open manhole. As Agatha Christie’s famous detective Hercule Poirot once commented: “When a body goes missing, and a trail of blood leads to a an open manhole, I am thinking two things: One, that guy probably isn’t dead yet, and two, I am getting myself some motherfucking CHUD-repellent.”

Another related observation: Just before Sylar “died,” a series of images flashed across his eyes—images of the victims he took his powers from—accompanied by what can only be described as “a weird noise.” Is it possible that this was Sylar losing his powers somehow? What kind of noise do people make when they lose powers they stole by looking at people’s brains? Does anyone know? Science? Can you help us out, here?

Nathan and Peter Petrelli. Man those guys were tools. Please say they’re never coming back.

If you lost track of the number of exploding men in the series, you can be forgiven. There were at least three of them, none with very good hair. The one who actually exploded in the end was Peter Petrelli, who lost control of his powers because he had forgotten how to love, or was loving too much, or something ridiculous. He was prevented from exploding in the city itself when his brother Nathan arrived, grabbed him and took off into the sky. An explosion in the air a few seconds later appeared to seal the fate of the two brothers.

(Some of you probably recall the tagline from the Heroes ads that aired toward the end of last season: How Do You Stop An Exploding Man? The answer, it turns out, is to hug him and fly away really quickly. Why that part never made it into the ad taglines is still unknown.)

The brothers' exact fate wasn’t revealed during the season finale, and none of the online Heroes content released this summer has mentioned charred corpses falling from the sky. Which means they’re definitely alive.

Unless they’re not.

Unless they’re not not.

How long have people had these abilities anyways? It looked like Linderman and the Company have been around for a long time.

Given the tremendous abilities on display in this show, it was widely assumed by fans that in the Heroes universe these were the first humans to develop incredible abilities. After all, if for decades people had been exploding or flying or having split personalities that both looked really good in tight pants, someone probably would have noticed that by now, right?

Yet by the end of the first season, it was clear that Mr. Linderman and his conspiracy had been around for a long time. Anyone who read the online graphic novels knows that Linderman has had his powers since at least the Vietnam War. And the Company (where Claire’s dad works) had been cataloging people with abilities since at least the '90s. Clearly people have had these marvelous abilities for decades, yet we don’t recall any dudes, who could fly, shaking hands with Nancy Reagan on the White House lawn before turning to the camera and advising the nation’s children that only dopes use dope.

Additionally, a lot of characters once thought tangential were revealed to be closely tied to Linderman’s shadowy organization—Hiro’s dad, Angela Petrelli, Charles Deveaux, etc. It was implied that these older characters had been working together for some time. Seemingly, they broke up over a disagreement about whether or not it was a good idea to blow up New York (we still don’t know the answer to that question). But, what were they doing before this?

What crazy adventures will Hiro get up to in the past?

In the season finale, fan favorite Hiro, having finally managed to retain control of his powers for most of an episode, set out to meet his destiny, only to meet it, fulfill it, then accidentally teleport himself back in time to Feudal Japan. Which is the sort of bad Monday we’ve all had at one point or another.

Whether Hiro stays in 17th-century Japan for long is hard to say, although it’s a good bet that if he’s lost control of his powers again, he’ll be there for a while. Hiro’s tendency to repeatedly lose control of his powers can be frustrating for us viewers, but it probably makes sense from a narrative point of view. If Hiro ever did have full control of his abilities, he’d basically be unstoppable. The remainder of the show’s eight-season run would consist of the other characters sitting around playing online poker, sending Hiro out to save the world every time representatives from the United Nations appeared begging for help on the enormous television screen mounted on the wall of the Hero Cave.

Who is the mysterious creature that Molly refers to that’s “much worse than the boogeyman?”

In the last episode, Molly, the little girl who can find people by thinking about them, claimed that there was only one person in the world she couldn’t find, someone “much worse” than Sylar. This extremely interesting development was just as quickly swept aside when everyone present was distracted by something. It might have been Matt Parkman getting his head stuck in a pot of honey. We’re not sure, we taped over it.

And with Sylar potentially out of commission for a little while, the gap in the all-powerful villains department seems pretty glaring. Could this mysterious Molly-frightening creature be the main antagonist for the second season?


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