Heroes Commentary: Give the Fans a Present!

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Last week, we suggested that Heroes take a page from Lost; i.e. focus more on individual character development each episode and really give fans a chance to watch these characters in action, as opposed to dizzying our heads with non-stop twists and turns.

This week, we have an even simpler recommendation:

Heroes needs to act more like... every other show on TV!

Why can't the writers carve out a season that simply involves these individuals fighting a problem in the present day? We hoped that would be this chapter's set-up, as its dubbed "Villains" and it opened with a handful of bad guys being released from Level 5. Perfect. Let's go after them!

Instead, only one of those villains (Knox) remains on the loose. But more importantly, the focus of the season has shifted to stopping a dangerous future from occurring... again. Didn't we see this already in season one?

Future Sylar

The trouble with constantly jumping into the future, and the back again in order to change it, is two-fold:

  1. It's pretty darn confusing;
  2. It gives the writers unlimited freedom to make stuff up.

The first point speaks for itself. So let's focus on the second.

Does anyone think we'll learn how Daphne and Parkman got together? Or how Sylar had a son? Or how Nathan became President?

Of course not. These were just convenient plot devices the writers made up in order to work backwards and give our present day Heroes something to fight for. We can imagine the writers' room prior to the season:

Let's put Parkman and Daphne together! Let's give them a daughter! That'll inspire Parkman to act after we also randomly send him to Africa and make him see the future!

At this rate, the show can essentially start over again every season. If the Heroes are successful in preventing the sort of fateful future we witnessed Monday night, what's to say the writers won't just make up an entirely new one next year and have at it again?

Look, if a logical path is laid out in the coming weeks for how Sylar, for example, will eventually see the error of his evil ways and settle down with a son, we'll be the first to admit that we're wrong.

But if we never again see any glimpses of the future the show laid out for this week - with the exception of individuals fighting to change it - then the series simply can't be trusted to deliver a coherent story line that viewers can rely on to follow with each new chapter.

What do you think of our thesis and our concerns? Do you share them? We'd love to hear feedback!

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Heroes Quotes

Mohinder Suresh: Evolution is an imperfect, and often violent process. Morality loses it's meaning. The question of good and evil, reduced to one simple choice: Survive? Or perish?

Claire: My dad lied to me about my entire life; my biological parents, my ability, you can’t just hide things like that! There’s got to be something on there.
Zack: If your dad’s the guy you’re describing I don’t think he’s gonna keep his secrets on the family computer.

Heroes Music

  Song Artist
Song Road to Joy Bright Eyes
Song Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
Song I Want It That Way Backstreet Boys