Heroes Still Flying High

April 27th, 2007 | Posted in General

A quick sketch study of super-villian Sylar

I finally got the chance to see the new episode of “Heroes” the other night, in glorious HD. It was a long wait for a new episode, but as I expected it was worth it.


It was no surprise this series picked right back up where it left off. One of the brilliant things about this show is how effortlessly it jumps from sub-plot to sub-plot, and maintains both interest and development in almost all of them. The Nikki/Jessica storyline seemed to me to be the least engaging before the break (save maybe the Hiro one, which was spinning it’s wheels), as it was the farthest from the central story. It was action packed, with Jessica being an assassin and taking on Parkman at one point, but beyond that her association with Linderman was not very deep. Now we see Micha is going to play a major part in Linderman’s master plan… Ali Larter‘s face when she pulls up in the car and suspects something is wrong bodes ill for Linderman. She will be the wildcard for certain.

Speaking of Linderman’s plan, I confess I saw that coming. “The Watchmen“, anyone? For those out there not among the comic book geek nation, “The Watchmen” was a graphic novel series written by Alan Moore (V for Vendetta) that is among the greatest comic book stories ever published (in my opinion). If you have never read it, immediately go out and buy a copy and do so. Not to give too much away, but the main theme mirrors Linderman’s plan to destroy part of New York in order to bring people together through tragedy. Not exactly a new concept, even for “The Watchmen“, but nicely demented even with the misguided idea that the end justifies the means. It will allow players like Nathan Petrelli, who do not seem to fit the mold of cut-and-dried hero, to show their complicated sides.

My favorite part of this episode was the brief but fantastic confrontation between Peter and Sylar. You didn’t get to see too much, but what did happen was dynamite. Sylar’s trick with the glass shards ended it too quickly, but there’s nothing wrong with leaving ’em wanting more. It must be the intention of the creators of the show to only give us glimpses of each person’s powers in use… especially the more flamboyant ones. As much as I’m dying to see someone really cut loose with their powers, I think this is a wise policy. It builds tension and creates anticipation, but at the same time keeps the super-powers themselves from being the driving force of the stories. In the comics, the heroes always use their powers to solve whatever problems arise. In the real world it wouldn’t be that simple. It would be rare for these beings to find themselves in a situation where their specific power would actually help matters much, so there is no reason to use them all the time. The stories are character driven, and the superb casting is making it all work.

It will be interesting to see what Mrs. Petrelli’s power ends up being. I hope it’s a shocker, like she transforms into a Hulk or other monstrosity… that would be a cool counter to her prim, icy and respectable demeanor. Is Linderman Peter and Nathan’s real father? If not their father probably had powers as well. How much of Sylar’s powers did Peter absorb in their brief encounter? Some, as he clearly had telekinesis that he did not before possess. Peter must be going to die at the end… he’d be too powerful otherwise.

Great ending to the episode as well, with future Hiro meeting present Hiro. It was that first glimpse of future Hiro on the subway many episodes ago that made me realize this was going to be an extraordinary series. It’s already back on track and only a few episodes remain for the season. It’s been a great ride so far.


  1. Sendak says:

    It was a fantastic episode. Unfortunately, as cool as the confrontation btwn Sylar and Peter was I actually had two MAJOR problems with it: 1) Sylar had the glass shards floating long enough for Peter to have gotten clear and/or used his TK to counter, and 2) Mohinder attempted to shoot Sylar in the head in the last episode. I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t have left Sylar alive and laying on the floor of his apartment. He would have taken him out while he had the chance…no more Sylar.

    Yes! I’m a geek! And yes, I’m a picky geek when it comes to my entertainment. I just hate seeing obvious mistakes like that in the middle of such an amazing show. That said, I still loved the episode and the show. I get chills every time I watch it. They do the drama and the powers/affects so damn well.

  2. mengblom says:

    Some great speculation on Ma Petrelli there, Tom. That WOULD be fun to see her “Hulk Out”. I seem to recall her seeming to drop some kind of hint as to what her powers were, but I’ve forgotten what the comment was. At the time, it seemed to spark something in my head. Oh well….I’m sure we’ll find out by the season’s end.

    Malcolm McDowell performance was absolutely breathtaking…equal parts jovial and menacing. Of course, the rest of the cast turned in amazing performances as well.

    I think the only disappointment for me was the “reunion” between Claire and Nathan Petrelli…..although on the other hand, the very reason they didn’t do what we THOUGHT a reunion like that should be (smiles, embraces, swelling symphony in the background) counts for something, I guess. The bottom line is, they always find some way to surprise me….which is really something considering how predictable so much of this kind of thing can become.

    I’m a little leery about the “alternate reality” episode coming up next week, since those kinds of episodes can really mess up the flow if they’re not done right. However, I have faith in the creators (and cast) that they can pull it off without ruining the nice momentum they’ve got going. I mean, I guess if they can take 8 or 9 weeks off and still pick it up like no time had passed, I guess an alternate reality episode…even a poorly staged one…won’t derail the “Heroes” train.

  3. Keelan says:

    Yep, I saw “Watchmen” all over this episode. Linderman is Ozymandias all over again….

  4. totopo says:

    I had to wait to read this post until I had time to watch my iTunes download. I have a brand new 40″ HD TV, but since I live in Japan I only have access to the lo-res version I can grab thanks to Apple. It also means I don’t get the “next time on Heroes” bit, so I’m a little lost about what Mengblom is referencing regarding the “alternative reality” episode.

    The “leave ’em wanting more” theory is a very good one, and likely to boot, but I’m also betting that the FX shots are expensive, and that a few of them in succession would look a little cheap. Turning invisible and floating glass did look pretty awesome though. And the dude playing Sylar is pretty creepy looking (and acting). Good likeness, though I think his nose is a weirdly clean hook, not quite as bulbous as that.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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