Heroes: here’s the science!

Where will the mythology in Heroes take us? And more importantly, will it be a more enjoyable journey than watching Lost?

Heroes promo shot

For its inaugural, exposition-tastic season, Heroes has been both shortcoming and vaguely contradictory regarding its – for want of a better term – ‘mythos’, i.e. the Hows and Whys of these super duper people that are popping up all over the world (by ‘world’ we mean the USA and one guy in Japan who then comes to America. Also a Haitian).

The character of Mohinder Suresh, he of the DEEP AND PROFOUND monologues that (once but mercifully no more) book-ended each episode has acted as little else than a mouthpiece for the indistinct ‘scientific’ methods by which the writers are trying to explain the existence of the Heroes.

Apparently each of the Heroes has donated blood (though perhaps not so much in the case of Isaac the Heroin Addict), so samples of their blood are readily accessible to like, anyone. Furthermore, “The Human Genome Project” has enabled Mohinder to identify and track everyone down based on this information. Um, ok. I haven’t been anywhere near Science since GCSE Chemistry and even I know that’s a big plate of stupid.

Obviously, a certain suspension of disbelief is required. A show about a flying congress candidate (who many rabid factions of fandom believe to be secretly making out with his brother), and Ali Larter screaming at her sassy alter ego in the mirror isn’t going to attract an audience for its bold sense of realism. But still. It’s possible to at least TRY to connect the world of the show to the real world with a fairly satisfying explanation. Even Buffy had its Hellmouth.

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Like Mutant X before it, Heroes has taken a cue from the X Men franchise, summed up in one word: mutants. Voila! For whatever reasons, peoples’ genes mutate, and that really is all you need by way of an explanation. It’s a tricky pill to swallow, but again, you have to make certain allowances when it comes to genre storytelling. In any event, Heroes appears to be leaning in this direction; what with lots of nonsensical talk of genetics and a cab driver/international geneticist driving around looking for these special people.

HOWEVER. There appears to be something more at work here. What, may I ask, is the deal with The Symbol? You know the one I mean. The engraving on Hiro’s Sword, and Jessica’s magic tattoo. This is not science. This is Something Bigger. Fate, Destiny, a Higher Calling; call it what you will, the appearance of this symbol is a sure sign of an otherworldly/supernatural element. And so far it has not been remotely hinted at.

So how does this tie in with the – and I use the term loosely – science of Heroes? Will Claire, Nathan, Hiro et al be revealed as some kind of Chosen Few, called to a holy quest? Because it is with this symbol that Heroes has made an – if unintended – announcement. The mystical will trump the scientific in terms of mythos. After all, a purpose is more exciting than an accident.