Well, the third major arc of Heroes, entitled “Villians,” has come to a close. I’ve discussed Heroes before, and, except in Volume 1, been pretty disappointed. So now that we’re begun Volume 4, “Fugitives,” how do I feel? To put it bluntly, Heroes sucks worse than ever, and yet, I’m still watching it.
Heroes is a brilliant concept executed as poorly as possible. It’s of of the worst written, poorest plot-bearing, illest planned, silliest scripted series ever to grace Sci Fi. Everything about Heroes stinks except the actors and the core concept. The rest blows. Let’s examine:
1. Firstly, we’ve got a science problem
The science of Heroes is always screwy. Some might argue that there must be a certain suspension of disbelief with science fiction, and I’d agree. We suspend disbelief about the fact that there, for example, is space travel in Star Trek, but we expect the writers to follow the known laws of physics in space. We expect the ship to be sound. And we expect that when the rules are bent, there’s a reasonable and semi-believable explanation. With Heroes, we have a day long eclipse that occurs everywhere at once. We have someone who can run REALLY fast who can apparently bring anyone with her at the same speed. If you can fly, you can apparently lift anything through flight.
2. Second, we’ve got a motivation problem
A “volume,” which runs about half a season, takes 13-16 weeks to unfold. But it occurs in much less time for the characters. And yet, they go through major emotional changes in a short span. Just look at Sylar. He went from villian to man seearching for redemption to soon-to-be loving father to angry to ruthless villian in the span of this story. Why would he change so quickly? His actions make no sense. Going from “No, Sylar, I *am* your mother” to ‘I’m working for Dad’ to ‘I’m going to kill Angela’ was too rocky and didn’t give the character time to understand his own actions or emotions. Let’s not even get started on Mohinder, who makes no sense at all, or Angela, or worst of all, Arthur, who could have avoided this entire series by simply making Nathan not investigate Linderman in the first place, which means no need for Angela to kill him, which means no revenge, which means no Pinehurst, which means no Nathan vs. Peter. Which leads me to…
3. We’ve got a logic problem
Aside from things like “Why is Sylar changing his motivations so quickly?” there are much bigger logic flaws, like for example, ”Why does Clair hate her father one minute but then love him the next ALL SEASON LONG?” Sorry, but this is central to the show. The Bennetts – Clair and Noah- are core characters. So making their emotions so whimsy is not just a character motivation problem, but rather a major logic flaw. These characters are inconsistent. Is Clair a cheerleader, a kid, or a company warrior? How can someone work for this elite “Company” with no real training other than smacking a stick around for a few minutes? Why does Clair – and Noah – think that regeneration abilities makes someone a natural for fighting this huge “war”?
4. We’ve got plot problems
What was the point of the eclipse? Why did they make a big deal about the catalyst if it was resolved so readily? Where would the catalyst gone had Hiro not shown up to take it? Why did Parkman have to have the spirit walk? What about HIro? These things were required for nothing other than killing time. There was barely anything happening this arc. When you introduce information and plot points that have no real value to the story, it’s your first clue that your writers are in over their heads. Suckage.
5. Lastly, we’ve got a concept problem
This concept is so brilliant, the idea of following “specials” around. But the implementation is flawed, because you’ve decided to commit to your cast. This concept would have been awesome if, as we followed each volume, we moved to new, interesting characters. A built in reboot every half season. But unfortunately, now this show is like any other serialized drama, and I don’t trust it. I don’t believe Sylar is dead. I don’t believe Arthur is dead. I didn’t believe Hiro was stuck in the past, I don’t believe we’ve seen the last of Hiro’s dad. I don’t know if I believe Meredith is dead. Elle might be dead, but she was always peripheral. So nothing is believable, and I’m not ready to be burned again.
Yeah, I’ll end up watching volume 4, but not because it’s a good show. Because no one can turn away from a good train wreck.