Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Why is everyone always chasing us?": Heroes

Claude. Like Claude Rains! I get it! I can't believe I didn't catch that earlier.

Anyway, for me, the story of Heroes tonight began and ended with CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON. Yes, the Ecc (a nickname I just coined!) made a definite impression in "The Fix", carrying over the sarcastic charm of his Doctor Who but adding a pinch more angry bitterness. What's great so far here is, apart from references to others before Peter seeking mentorship (implying these powers are not an entirely new thing), Claude the invisible man is already spicing up the often staid Peter Petrelli stories. With Eccleston's grimly experienced Northern soul and Milo Ventimiglia's doe-eyed idealism, the world is their oyster! Or something. Definitely a worthy addition to the cast, though, and one of the most watchable threads of the episode.

Sadly, there were other, far duller things going on as well. Perhaps worst of all was Matt sinking back into the marriage thing. He seems to have comfortably forgotten his wife's infidelity (is the baby even his? That's probably been confirmed, but I just haven't been paying attention) and now he's having fun guessing what color she's thinking of. Pardon me while I nap. Matt has a fun power and after FBIing it around the country I was hoping he'd break out of his story bubble, but it looks like the writers are keeping him on the back burner for the next few episodes at least. Of course, the way the plot moves on Heroes, I may be wrong. But right now it looks like Grunberg is stuck in one of the more useless roles on such a hot show. Shame.

Hiro and Ando getting abducted by men in black had some nice comic touches but really was a lot of buildup just to reveal...GEORGE TAKEI! And because I (and I suspect, many others) knew that Sulu was clearly behind all of this cloak-and-dagger nonsense, I wasn't too impressed. Still, Takei is a pretty cool reveal and they totally did it right. The quiver in Hiro's voice (and his subtitled "GULP!") was pretty darn funny. But if Nakamura Sr. just turns out to be a stern father who wants Hiro to drop all this time-travel nonsense, I can't say that's especially thrilling. Maybe there'll be a more interesting angle on it (maybe to allow future Takei appearances!)

And let us not forget D.L. walking into the nuthouse to plead Niki to return to family life. Only a few episodes ago, Jessica was trying to blow his head off, and now he wants her back because Micah complained about his sandwiches? Pretty weak. Although revealing more of Micah's power, technopathy, was a good idea. Maybe not the most visually dazzling power, but in this day and age, definitely one of the best. Niki's own attempt at purging her multiple personality seems to be setting her on the road to controlling her powers, which would be a good idea if they want to keep her around (I'm still hoping they don't).

Other brief thoughts:

--Obviously, at least there was a good cliffhanger. Reveal of Claire's mother's power was nicely done, and Sylar on the loose is obviously necessary. We should start checking off which X-Men powers Heroes hasn't aped yet.
--Hiro's selflessness (and naivety) in giving himself up for Ando (and thus getting them both kidnapped) was great. One of Heroes' better presented themes is the types of heroism it explores (Hiro's pure belief in his quest, Niki's struggle with evil, Nathan's fear of being revealed, Peter's fear of losing control, etc.) along with the various types of powers.
--HRG remains my favorite kind of 'villain', the ambiguous working man type. Instead of going crazy when hearing of Sylar's death, he just had to take it on the chin and swallow the threats he'd made earlier. "That's less than ideal".
--GEORGE TAKEI! Here is a picture of George Takei.



Todd VanDerWerff said...

I had heard that Eccleston would be clueing us in to the exploits of prior heroes, and I spent the whole episode waiting for that to happen. I found it FRUSTRATING.

This episode felt like a pretty typical "we just got a full season order, let's stall" episode, especially with Claire's storyline, which was so much thumb twiddling.

But I liked a lot of it. It was fun.

I don't know what it says that I'm more interested in this show's mythology than its characters (save Hiro and Claire).

David Sims said...

Definitely a stall episode, especially in Hiro's storyline (Claude too). No doubt. But they're building, and at least they had a good cliffhanger again?