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TV Comment: "Heroes" s3ep04

"Heroes"
Season 3, Episode 4
"I Am Become Death"

Episode Summary (no spoilers): Current Peter and Future Peter go into the future to see the future that Future Peter was trying to prevent. It's weird because most characters have done a complete flip from their current personas. In the future, Peter tries to understand what's happened while finding other specials and dealing with them in their new personas. Bad Things Happen, in many ways. What does it all mean? Heck if I know.



Mohinder has neighbors in an abusive relationship. For some reason. And the point of that was?

So there are multiple versions of the Ali Larter character, created at birth with "DNA manipulation". Who thinks that Dr Zimmerman has human ice cube in his future? Not quite.

You can give someone "future sight power" with paste and music.

Future Peter and Current Peter go the future of powers and Future Peter is killed by Future Claire, who is working with Future Haitian. But once the Future Haitian was out, shouldn't Future Peter come back to life? Future Claire is not too good of a shot at a distance. I'm so confused!

The future where everyone can get powers is an interesting future. How much does the availability of a shot affect the social dynamics? Is there a powerful overclass and a powerless underclass? What about the rich and poor? What about bad guys? Just exactly what are the future heroes fighting against, and why are they fighting with each other. But we don't get that info. We get something that looks exactly like current day, with flying people. And overall, it looks pretty happy even if the future heroes are in a bad mood.

Future Claire is working with Future Daphne and Future Knox. But why? For some reason.

This is supposed to the beginning of the Hiro/Ando split, this time in the cell. Jeez, Hiro, it was the future. Get a clue! If you start acting like a jerk to Ando, it doesn't help.

Nathan is the Senator now, and ignoring Lindeman's suggestions. Lindeman wants to head back to the future where Nathan is President, the one from the first season.

The Maya/Mohinder scene, with Mohinder hiding from the sun, and having tons of junk food around, and displaying a hair-trigger temper, sure feels a heck of a lot like "The Fly". Oh well, steal from the best!

Mohinder's lab is *definitely* Isaac's painting loft. Future Mohinder wears hooded sweatshirts, he is obviously some sort of hideous beast. Just burn the story, folks! Show us Future Mohinder. There's no secret here!

Future Sylar the domestic daddy. That's just weird. So Future Sylar has been rehabilitated, and has a son. I wonder who the mommy is?

Future Matt and Future Daphne are a couple, raising a baby and Future Molly, and it's time for Future Daphne to "slow down". Never mind that she's possibly more powerful than Matt, because it's important for the mom to stay home and raise the kids. "Everything's going to be fine" - famous last words.

And now Peter has Sylar's ability, courtesy Future Sylar and the slightly broken watch. Will this ability come back to the past with Peter? Why doesn't Peter stop time? I guess in theory one could have seen that end coming a mile away, with Noah getting hurt and Future Sylar going all crazy (and becoming Future Nuclear Sylar). Because we kill kids for dramatic tension.

This scene, as thrilling as it was, really underscores some of the problems with the show. Sylar and Peter are just too powerful and there's so many abilities they have that they just forget to use them - Peter could have frozen time or used his healing power on Noah. Why didn't he? For some reason. Sylar has a million powers, he could have taken Knox apart piece by piece long before Knox . Why didn't he? For some reason. Maybe that's the point – they forget how to use powers, and don't think of them at the right moment. If that was somehow understood in the course of the show, it would be an interesting point. But it really feels like the show is pretty much winging it and not working on fleshing out the reasons things happen.

The Haitian is hanging out in the cells, as witnessed by his appearance in Hiro and Ando's cell. That guy really needs to negotiate some new working conditions. When does he sleep?

That's why the wife-beater was around, so Mohinder could take care of him later and show that Mohinder has gone to the dark side. Why did wife-beater come by and try to beat up Mohinder, when Mohinder dealt him some serious trouble earlier? For some reason. I wonder if Mohinder will eat him, a la "The Fly".

Tracy tries to kill herself and Nathan saves her. I think we know where *this* is going. Drinks, and some action! Tracy didn't understand this whole power thing, and demonstrating the cold power. Nathan's thinking "could you like, you know, do that, just a little bit, on my nipples?"

Future Tracy is the first lady to Future Nathan's President! Costa Verde is gone, but somehow Future Peter and Future Claire survived (makes sense, due to super healing. But what about Future Sylar? He has super healing. Not important right now). Once again, the Haitian is in the room. That guy is everywhere! (and when will either Sylar or Peter get *that* power?).

.President Future Nathan will be making bazillions of superheroes. But Peter wants his power, or rather to understand how the power works, and tries to open up Nathan's head. Just being able to use the power based on proximity is apparently no longer enough. We now understand what Sylar meant by "the hunger" and perhaps even why Peter could end up as the bad guy. That would be an interesting twist to the story, because Peter is more ethically conflicted than Sylar.

In the future, Future Daphne escaped the explosion but wasn't fast enough. In the present, Matt is trying to figure out what it all means. And so we're a little confused between what happened to Current Peter in the future and what was in Matt's future vision. Were they just one and the same?

Who is the "they" that have both parts of the formula? The "they" who is manipulating "us"? So Hiro and Ando have to go open some graves? Yes, they have to open Adam Monroe's grave. Why? For some reason.



Summary: The trips to the future are always fun, because the writers have the freedom to have dramatic things happen: kill off people, blow up things, change all the rules. But the question I always ask is: why do it? What's the point? It seems like they're doing it just for the sake of doing it, and I’m never as sure what the dramatic intent is. The dramatic intent here seems to primarily be "wow, bad things happen in the future". So what else is new?

In general, this is probably my biggest problem with Heroes. It really feels like the creators and writers are winging it from episode to episode, just tossing in things as they see fit without really trying to explore the implications or justifications. Thus, it ends up feeling like a soap opera. Things just happen. For Some Reason. And it regularly changes. So the characters feel like sketches, or caricatures, and not characters. They have no depth of consistency to them, but are pawns from episode to episode.

The time travel scenes are the biggest indication of this. I think there is a way that time travel could "make sense" in the show – go with the idea of "multiple timelines" and when action is taken it shifts you into that timeline. Then, when a character goes into the future they go into the future of that timeline. Sure, Peter was able to avoid Future A but now he's stuck with Future B. And can't go "home" (Future A) again.

There is one interesting item, which is when Peter gains a new power and it's a power that could cause him lots of trouble down the road. How that item will affect Peter is the intriguing result of this episode, one that actually does have a lot of dramatic possibilities. Will they be explored? I don't know.

I think this show needs some supervision, someone to be the hand on the reins and plan it all out and get it all to make sense. Because it doesn't make a lot of sense right now. The below reviews also contain this same feeling:
- Heroes Has Lost Its Spirit Guide and Is Growing Slime Fingers (at io9.com)
- Episode Review by Theresa DeLucci (at tor.com)
- How Many Futures Does Heroes Need, Anyway? (at io9.com)
Tags: comment, heroes, tv
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