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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Heroes: "Brother's Keeper"

Illustration for article titled Heroes: "Brother's Keeper"
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Much like a guy who owns a boat named after himself, Heroes regularly keeps itself at bay. It writes itself into corners, then finds itself in another corner trying to get out of that first corner; before it knows what's happening, there's all these corners and it's like, "How did all these corners happen in my regular house? At the beginning of this season, though, it seemed like at least the batshit craziness would change a little: Sure, Nathan's mind had been placed into Sylar's body in one of the dumbest—albeit, yes, unexpected…?—moves in TV history, but hey! Um. At least they weren't going to pretend like it never happened or anything! It's not like you're introducing an entire character who works with Bennet who was his love interest at some point in the past but had her memory conveniently wiped so all of what I just saw is completely worthless and not just worthless by normal Heroes standards but way more worthless than even that because they were trying to make it really serious! At least not REBEL!

But while yes, Heroes has proven itself adept at rewriting significant parts of its history in the past, it wasn't doing that much of it lately—and when it was, it was at least fairly innocuous stuff. No, what's really been bothering me lately about Heroes (besides the fact that it is a show on televised vision) is that Heroes has now taken to rewriting tiny details that were at one point infuriating. Top of my list: Hiro has always been a time traveler, but refused to do really obvious things like when he shows up to stop something and discovers he's too late, instead show up 10 minutes earlier and actually stop the thing. Charlie kidnapped? Sylar not killed? Butt photocopied? Nope. He never did it. So we were to assume, obviously, that he never would. Now tonight, he decides to travel back 10 minutes to save Mohinder, then explains that—duh!—he could do that. This season of Heroes seems to be the "Let's take care of all the little fanboy annoying shit all at once" season (read: René), so I imagine Tim Kring and his cronies sitting back at that moment and thinking to themselves, "Now no one can question Hiro's time travel power! Ability, I mean! Because all has been explained!"


No, it hasn't. It just makes me really sad. There was a point in time when I really loved Heroes, and I don't think it's going to happen again at this rate. Because while the writers are going out of their way to build in reasons why Tracy and Claire should stare longingly at each other and gab on about Tracy's icy PMS, they're not moving the story forward in any way. Yeah, we're learning a bit more about the carnies' purposes (which I still think we should have known about way sooner) and all that, but I mean the larger story: The lives of the characters. You know, those people? With the words and "feelings"? As long as the show continues to try and give me deeper moments with these people, I'm going to complain about how none of them feel formed in any sense of the word. (Stop showing those scenes and have them stand there and throw Angela Petrelli eye-daggers at each other for an hour, and only then will I no longer care about character development.) And while I've joked in the past that the show has too many characters, I think it's officially too many when the cliffhanger of an episode isn't resolved until two episodes from now. Oh yeah, been waiting long to hear what's up with Suresh from two weeks ago? Finally, now's the time! Wait, how many weeks ago was it?

And that number's not going to be dwindling any time soon, because not only is Parkman (predictably) still alive, but like I mentioned, Mohinder's alive. And now we get to hear his voiceover all over again, and get to know his wife and, presumably, 100 other Indian townspeople for a grand Bollywood dance number. And his dad, who only appears in the most chalkboardy movie since Glenn Beck tried video dating.

Look, I could rehash the plot for you, but that would be giving too much credence to the show that it wrote something resembling a plot. But here are the highlights: Nathan finds out from Peter, who hears it from The Haitian, that he's not really him. So he goes to a warehouse and finds his own body, then freaks out. Later, they go to Parkman in the hospital, who brushes Nathan's hand and therefore puts the evil inside him. Parkman then uses his powers to escape, then calls his wife to explain everything to her over voicemail, which even now, after we're experiencing it first-hand, sounds like the stupidest explanation for anything ever. Meanwhile, perhaps "somewhere in Africa," Nathan and Peter explore a new set piece and team up, with Peter stealing Nathan's powers, which are really Sylar's, which apparently carry with them all of the ones Sylar has gathered (rewriting history again?). Meanwhile, Mohinder in the past creates a compass to find the carnival, and learns that if Samuel had enough power, he could destroy the world with his earthiness. Meanwhile, Tracy.

Let's just agree on something, Heroes. Freeze the way things are now. Don't introduce or unintroduce anything. Just write the show based on now being, well, now. Go from there. Call it a game changer, whatever. At least we can pretend, at one point, you had game.


Stray observations:

  • Wondering about that highish grade? Nathan knows now; Samuel threw rocks at Mohinder; The Mother-Fuckin' Haitian.
  • Heroes has also proven lately that it's a master of creating drama where once there was none. Nathan and Peter barge in on Parkman in the hospital, who tells them not to touch his hand. Then one second later, he says, hey, touch my hand Nathan. Time stands still. Their hands inch closer and closer. Is he gonna do it? Is he going to touch that hand? Put it in? Put it out? Shake it all about? BOOM COMMERCIAL BREAK! Ok, we're back. Hand? No? Slow Burn? What else is there to say?
  • Samuel really went through a Sid Vicious phase, eh?
  • I think Joseph was the cool one. Shame, really.

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