Elle returned to Heroes this week.
And while we're fans of Kristen Bell and of the character, our immediate reaction was an audible groan. After all, does the show really need more characters?
In our latest critique of the show, we focus on some seriously tough love: it's time to kill off a few Heroes.
Please, kill someone, Arthur. Make viewers actually afraid of you.
Long-running dramas such as Lost and 24 survive for numerous reasons; but a major appeal of these shows is that they are unafraid to do away with significant characters. The killing off of major players has a double appeal:
- It ensures that the show doesn't get caught up in too many confusing story lines;
- It raises the stakes.
Let's focus on the second point first: Heroes is a show about the fate of the world... yet not a single major character (no offense, D.L.) has been subject to that fate yet. Sure, Niki died last season in a noble act, but the show still felt obligated to bring Ali Larter back. For what purpose? Wouldn't it have been more effective to prove that these characters might perish in their efforts to save the universe?There's no drama remaining. Did anyone think Hiro really killed Ando last week? Or that Parkman or Peter had met their demise in the latest episode?
This lack of intrigue ties into the problem that most critics agree plagues the series as a whole: there are far too many characters. This chapter is shaping up as a battle between Arthur Petrelli's villains and Angela Petrelli's heroes. And that's promising. But do Mohinder and Parkman really serve a purpose in the grand scheme of the show at this point?
Mohinder, once again, is working for the enemy (seriously, for a scientist, the guy is a moron); and Parkman was relegated to Africa for a few episodes. Since then, he's befriended a turtle and formed a fragile alliance with Daphne, a woman he's intent on saving... because he saw some vision of a future we all know will never exist.
If the show wants us to be remotely afraid of Knox, it would be nice to see him actually accomplish something sinister. So far, he's been fooled to think that Hiro killed Ando; and that he took the life of Parkman. If either of those events had actually come to fruition, wouldn't the stakes this season be instantly raised? Wouldn't a volume titled "villains" actually resonate more?
As it stands now, I yawned at the notion that Daphne might turn on Parkman. After all, the series has given is no reason to think any of its characters' lives are actually in danger.
Agree? Disagree? We'd love to hear feedback!