Not happy with your Heroes, and how they’re turning out? Then the answer in episode 8 of this season is simple: rewrite them so they’re more the people you want them to be, and do it retrospectively, by flashing back to season one’s timeframe!
Eh? No, that’s the plan that’s presented in the first five minutes of ‘Villains’.
It uses Hiro’s spirit walk to take us back to before the very first episode, in an attempt to paint the characters in entirely different light. Sylar attempts suicide after killing his first victim; Elle saves him and is strangely compassionate; and Claire’s real mum is a criminal who robs stores with the unhinged Flint, who it turns out is her brother!
We also find out that the attempt on Nathan’s life in his car, the one that resulted in his wife being in a wheelchair, was initiated by Arthur Petrelli because of his business relationship with Linderman. And his bedridden condition was the result of Angela’s anger when she found out. We also discover that Noah and Elle intentionally worked to get Sylar killing again, after he wanted to stop.
I could go on describing all that happens in this story, but it is by far the most rubbish that Heroes has foisted on us this entire season, so I’m not going to bore you with all the details. It’s like Tim Kring watched Back to the Future Part II a couple of weeks ago, and thought that it might be cool to see some of the same events from season one, but from a different perspective. Original thinking!
But it’s an entirely pointless exercise, because I don’t see it actually makes his characters any more interesting. Even in 24, we don’t watch every character all the time, so I’m fine that there are things that go on beyond our knowledge, without having an episode that back-fills in stuff that we probably didn’t need to know. In the end, there wasn’t anything new here. We’ve known for some time that Noah is a killer with a misguided view of doing good, and that Elle is a lost little girl, and that Claire’s mum isn’t as sweet as her daughter. So nothing we’re presented in this actually changed my view of any of them. Sylar, from our trip into the future, has the ability to be a hero and not a villain, so painting him in a better light isn’t a stretch either.
In the final scene, Arthur turns up in Africa (not wanting to be any more geographically specific than an entire continent), where he cuts Usutu’s head off, and tries to take Hiro’s power. Personally, he’s welcome to it, because Hiro’s not been used for any good purpose for some time now.
It’s been widely reported that Heroes writers, Jeph Loeb and Jesse Alexander, have been fired, and Tim Kring is credited with this episode. I’m sorry to say that, despite this, the writing this week is actually worse than anything they put out this year so far, so I’m beginning to wonder if this show is beyond redemption. It’s been hinted that if Pushing Daisies gets cut, then the brilliant Bryan Fuller, who wrote most of the best season one episodes, would return. But at this point I wouldn’t want to see Daisies sacrificed to try and keep Heroes afloat; it just wouldn’t be right; it just doesn’t deserve it.
This show needs putting out of all our miseries, I regret to conclude.
Check out our review of episode 7 here.