Tag Archives: rewatch

Heroes, Vol. 3: Villains

Volume 1

Volume 2

Warning: Major spoilers for Volume 3 and some for Volume 4.

It’s difficult to distinguish between season two and season three, especially when you’re binging and especially when it’s likely that a lot of the story in season three was supposed to be covered in the previous season. So to refresh your memory and mine:

Volume 2 ended with Peter destroying the virus, Adam trapped in a coffin, and Nathan being shot before he could announce to the world that he can fly.

Volume 3 began with the reveal of Nathan’s shooter. But honestly? Any Milo Ventimiglia fan worth their salt could recognize him, even from behind like we saw at the end of the previous season.

What I appreciate about “Villains” is that it doesn’t really take much time to ramp up. In fact, we’re quickly thrust into the season with Peter and Claire’s standoff in the future as well as Peter chasing his future self after Nathan was shot.

It’s worth it to note that one of my favorite parts of this season is actually one of the slower scenes. As Sylar pokes and prods at Claire’s brain, finally fulfilling his wish that was left unrealized during “Homecoming”, they have an actual heart-to-heart. This sets Sylar’s season three arc up nicely. Ironically, in the volume entitled “Villains”, our biggest villain becomes a hero (for a short time, at least).

While Volume 2 was centered around the virus, Volume 3 was centered around a formula. Because of these thematic similarities as well as the similarities I’ve already mentioned, the two volumes do tend to blend together a bit. Especially since the second half of Volume 3 lost its clear “Villains” theme. In fact, it became unclear who the villains were since the formula was so divisive. The virus was clear. Those who supported the virus supported the death of those with abilities (and eventually the death of those without abilities too). But in the case of the formula many thought the formula would bring everyone on the same level, but something went wrong. So wrong Peter had to come back in time to shoot his brother. This vilified Peter for the first half of Volume 3, and made his agenda murky at best in the second half.

In the end, Peter prevailed, but not before Mohinder accidentally ingested some of the formula and Peter and Ando injected themselves with the formula. Now Mohinder’s body chemistry has balanced itself out and he’s retained his powers, Peter has at least some version of his powers back, and Ando has a new power that he has yet to fully understand (mostly he’s a super charger for other people’s powers, but we know from the future that there is probably more to his ability than that.)

As for the other half of the Petrelli family, the parents are more messed up than we originally knew. Arthur is not actually dead, he originally planned to kill Nathan, but Angela got to Arthur first. Arthur then, close to death, faked his death and waited until a regenerator (Adam) could be brought to him so he could heal himself. It turns out Arthur has a similar ability to Peter’s, but when he says “I took your power”, he really means he took the other person’s power. The original owner has no abilities anymore, which happened to Adam, Peter, and eventually Hiro.

For a moment it seems this control over abilities runs in the family when Angela reveals to Sylar that she and Arthur are his biological parents. And it does make sense. For the most part we’ve seen genetic connections in people with abilities. Plus, Sylar looks like a cross between Nathan and Peter. And since we find out that Nathan was injected with the formula when he was a baby, this could prove even further that when left alone genetics plays a huge part in the development of abilities. Meredith and her brother Flint both have fire-related abilities. Arthur and Peter are able to transfer abilities. I’m actually pretty disappointed that Sylar didn’t end up being a Petrelli. In the end it had been an effort to manipulate him, which is what made him who he is today after Elle and HRG pushed him to become a murderer when he first discovered his ability to prove he was dangerous.

Also, it’s pretty clear Elle was supposed to be the mother of the son Sylar–ahem–Gabriel had in the future. Too bad something went wrong in the timeline and he reverted back to his old ways, killing Elle. Well, too bad for Gabriel. Great news for us.

So even though Sylar was supposedly killed in a fire after Clair embedded a piece of glass in his skull, something tells me we haven’t seen the last of him. (Mostly because I’ve already started Volume 4, which is actually the last half of Season 3…it’s about to get really confusing folks!)

Next up: Volume 4: Fugitives

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Heroes, Vol. 2: Generations

Volume 1

Warning: Major spoilers for Volume 2.

Let me preface by saying this: I got so wrapped up in my re-watch I ended up watching “Genesis” (23 episodes) over the course of two days. So I was relieved to see that “Generations” was only 11 episodes due to the writers strike of 2007/2008. I ended up finishing this season in about a day.

Because the season was shorter and because there was a lot of backstory, this ended up feeling like a filler season.

We learn a lot about the previous generation of heroes and how their actions (still largely unknown) have shaped this new generation. From what I remember this is explored more in season 3 (which I’ve just started), but this just further shows that “Generations” served as a filler. I’m sure it wasn’t always meant to be this way, but plans had to be reworked to accommodate the strike.

Again, I felt as if there was story line that seemed to drag on unnecessarily. Hiro stayed in the 17th century for way too long. It was under the guise of love, but for someone who so strongly believes in morality and saving the world, it was a huge mistake not to leave simply because he wanted to spend more time with someone who wasn’t available. This mistake affected history. Whether this always happened or not, it was a huge risk. However, this mistake was necessary in order to set Adam up as the villain. It could have been done more quickly, though. But Hiro’s story needed to match up with everyone else’s, so it dragged on.

The other major problem I had with this season was the infusion of new characters. Maya and Alejandro were insufferable, particularly because it seemed as if we were supposed to care about them and to care about them immediately. West, while I never completely warmed up to him, he was at least introduced more gradually. Don’t even get me started on Caitlin.

A side note about Elle. I’m torn on this character. I love Kristen Bell and will watch anything she’s in. And I appreciate how Elle represented Noah’s fear of what would happen to Claire if The Company ever got ahold of her. But it was hard to warm up to Elle, because she came across as cheesy, especially in the beginning. But like I said I warmed up to her and she really developed into a strong secondary character. It doesn’t hurt that Kristen Bell asked to be on the show because she loved it so much. That gives her major points in my book.

But overall, the new characters this season were weakly developed and often annoying. I don’t appreciate being expected to care about characters right away when I already have characters I care about. I think back to “Genesis” when Candice was introduced late in the game. But her power made sense to introduce and we weren’t asked to care about her, particularly because she was basically a villain. This worked well and will continue to work, especially when it comes to villains.

After “Genesis”, the show doesn’t need anymore heroes, and from what I’ve seen of Vol. 3: Villains, the writers have figured that out. So if this season could serve as a learning curve for the writers, I’m all for it. There were some really good moments this season, but they didn’t outweigh the weaknesses, in my opinion. It was still worth it to watch, but mostly to figure out what happened after Peter exploded and where the heroes were headed next.

Also, can everyone stop being amazed that Micah “talks” to machines? Yeah, thanks.

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Heroes, Vol. 1: Genesis

Warning: Major spoilers for Volume 1.

In preparation for the new series (season?) of Heroes (Heroes Reborn) I’ve undertaken the somewhat daunting task of watching the entire four seasons of the original series as a refresher, and in the case of the last half of season 4, a catch-up.

“Genesis” was, as always, delightful. I’ve re-watched parts of this season off and on over the years and I’m never disappointed. It’s the most highly touted season of Heroes, and often thought of as the only season worth watching. But we’ll get to that later.

This won’t be an episode-by-episode review (partly because I’m already on season 3, so season 1 feels like a distant memory), but rather a musing on how “Genesis” fits in with the rest of the series, and how the rest of the series measures up to the first season.

The first thing to note about this season is that you can tell the season was well planned out. I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers knew from the get-go who Claire’s biological parents are and yet they managed to delay the reveal until nearly the end of the season. The way the different characters crossed each others’ paths was masterful and at times even poetic.

The only complaints I have about the season have to do with Mohinder and Hiro/Ando.

Mohinder’s journey, while important, felt disjointed. He was perhaps the character with the most information, but often seemed to be the most lost. He traveled so much that it never felt as if his storyline should be matching up with the others. It’s as if travel time didn’t come into play. For someone whose father was mysteriously killed, he seemed to trust easily. And sometimes his story was just plain boring. Though I will say one of my favorite moments is when Mohinder unexpectedly turns on Sylar whom had been masquerading as Zane. That was unexpected, even on the second viewing.

As for Hiro and Ando, I know Hiro is a fan favorite, and I appreciate him as well. However, it was a little slow going at the beginning. They fought a lot, especially for grown men. Ando was selfish and Hiro was self-righteous. While I understand the desire to show significant character growth, it doesn’t make their early behavior any more digestible.

Regardless, “Genesis” really held up to its name and its reputation, as well as my memory. To see all these characters deal with their own genesis story, eventually coming together to save the cheerleader and save the world. In later seasons, though, we’ll wish it was as simple as “Save the cheerleader. Save the world.”

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