Heroes: From Bad To Better?

by Irma Arkus

So, that guy, Mohinder Suresh, goes through some kind of Kafka-esque metamorphosis, and attacks Maya, gluing her to the wall for a bit. How long I could not tell you. Though, long enough for Nathan Petrelli and Tracey walk into his lab, and get trapped. Meanwhile, Papa Petrelli gets all superpowered, and dusty Pinehurst gets all gleamy, instantaneously becoming a centre of activity.

But wait! While Suresh is shaking Papa Petrelli’s hand, and Maya is overjoyed at having her powers stripped away, Nathan and Tracey are still in Suresh’s lab, trying to pry loose their bonds.

Meanwhile, Peter is attempting to kill his brother Nathan, then future Peter exchanges place with present Peter, which is supposedly in order to crystallize the events of the future, and emphasize that the end of the world is coming.

Oh, no! There is also H.R.G who dies at end of season II, gets revived by the company, and then walks in to a less than surprised family. He goes back to work, leaving Claire at home, only to have Sylar, who is obviously too busy to trim his brows (what with all those planned killing sprees,) attack her. Two episodes later though, company man H.R.G. calmly accepts working with Sylar.

Sylar believes himself to be a good guy…for about 2 seconds that is. And then quickly has a change of heart. And then again good guy, and family guy, saving Peter even from murderous rage of Papa Petrelli, only to turn all sour again.

We even catch a glimpse of future Sylar, who is, actually, a nice guy with a kid. Single dad and all. His kid calls Peter “uncle.” Peter even gets his power – not by the mere absorption method as in the past, but some more unexplained, strange method.

And then there is Hero, who gets even cuter by becoming literally a man with a brain of a 10-year old. He in fact becomes so cute, that he turns into a giant boring potato.

Hey, don’t despair! There is also a special appearance of Seth Green and Breckin Meyer as two nerdy dudes who sell comics…and read them. A lot.

What does all this mean? Who are all these people? I have no idea. But if you, like myself, have been trying to keep track of Heroes plot lines, then you have my sympathies.

The third season of Heroes is at this point well under way. The 12th episode has broadcast this week, and it finally got the characters under way. Bad guys are finally bad guys, and good guys are finally good guys. Yet, there are so many characters at this point, that it is difficult to sum up the progression of this season’s events.

Let’s face it, even the interruption of the writers strike cannot explain why this show, this monumental show that has captivated geeks and normals alike, went from cool to suck.

The second season was slow-witted, barely-there kind of progression, mostly involving Sylar trying to regain his powers, while in tout with Maya the Murderess and her brother. This is, I can vouch, the most I can remember from less then memorable season II.

The third season hit fast and hard. I guess since writers had time to mull over their complex ideas, drafts, and do those boards with criss-crossed little lines between characters, they threw seemingly everything in the blender, and then added a few more characters to boot.

The editing of both the story, and the video, have been sloppy during third season. That, and the fact is, at some point, nonsensical bits, such as Claire the Cheerleader “proving herself” (whatever that may be) which involved numerous episodes of her kicking ass, seemed to clash against faster-paced stories, mostly involving Sylar & co.

I am not the enemy of non-linear storytelling. No, quite the opposite. But the storytelling of Heroes in its third season feels rushed, the connections between heroes are so random, so heavily interwoven, that the dialogue and storyline progression is seemingly random, heavy and overwhelming.

While having numerous characters allows for complex storytelling, all this time travel, sloppy transitions, lack of taking the time for characters to understand and mull over the overarching events that have the potential to change the entire world, has been hampering the viewership from enjoying this unique television show.

Heroes has brought superheroes into bedrooms and living rooms of people who, until now, could have cared less about men in capes and shiny pages of comic books. That is commendable.

But failing to organize on screen is costly. It unnerves the fans, lowers your ratings, and ultimately gets you cancelled.

Now that we are nearing the end of the half season, Heroes staff has a chance to recoup, reorganize its thoughts and writing.

The truth behind all this is that the writing staff attempted to show that there is no ultimate good vs bad. But do it sloppily, and you will end up with a mass confusion, nooone to cheer for, and overhwelming sensation that the show you loved, just got a little closer to the “i don’t care” zone.