I’m still on the fence when it comes to Season 3 of Heroes. While everyone agrees that while Season 1 was absolutely stunning, Season 2 was disappointing. Season 3 seems to have its ups and downs, reminding me of a dissonant adult trying to be a teenager again. This show is still one of the best, but compared to the high standards it set for itself in Season 1… It seems to have been all downhill since then.
The potential of the show reclaiming its Season 1 glory 1 is still there. Its writers don’t need to return to the original idea, i.e. having a brand new set of heroes each season; however they need to detach themselves to the ones they have created up to now. There is far too much of a struggle for power at the heart of the show for there not to have had at least a couple of deaths per season. I sound blood-thirsty, but I’m getting fed up with everyone surviving attempts on their lives. I’m sure the team that came up with Season 1 can come up with more characters to recoup the ones they kill, even if they kill central figures like Peter and Sylar.
Speaking of which, isn’t he the ultimate yo-yo? Is he good? Is he bad? Where is the Dramamine? Or is he just ‘damaged goods’, damaged beyond repair which will quite probably lead him to his demise? If I could have a safe sit-down with Sylar (i.e. without the risk of him slicing my head open), I’d tell him the reason people don’t change isn’t because they don’t want to or that they can’t, but rather because it’s too hard to stay consistent in one’s efforts to change oneself. I’d make him reflect on the fact that he was able to change enough to ‘get’ Elle’s power through empathy. Who would have thought that possible in Season 1?
Yes, yes, I know this is just a show and I can’t have a sit-down with Sylar (thank goodness for that!). But this isn’t something that only happens in shows. Many people, through effort, trial & error, crisis & victory, have succeeded in making massive changes in their lives. Alcoholics for example; so many have been able to suffer through rehab, going through hell, being consistent in their effort and getting out of it.
Difficult changes aren’t needed only in extreme cases though. Seemingly little flaws in our character aren’t easy to get rid of either. If you lived your whole life in a certain way, changing it is extremely hard. I think these smaller changes are the hardest of all because they are not particularly striking; they don’t stop us from leading normal, productive lives. Trying to improve ourselves is very difficult; most of us give up because it’s easier. Then we tend to rationalize our decisions by telling ourselves that lying, being sure or being pessimistic is just part of “our nature”. Maybe being a hero is about facing ourselves and making the changes needed, however hard it might be.
Which brings me to Nathan, who realised that being a hero doesn’t have to tie up necessarily to his ability to fly, but rather to use his power as Senator to help. As he confessed to the young girl held prisoner with him: “There is somebody supposed to stand up for you, to protect you. I used to have that power. And I didn’t.”
While the sentiment is right, the methods Nathan is thinking of using are wrong. Once again, we are entering a debate: does the end justify the means?
Nathan’s comment implies that only those who are in power can make a difference, and that power means political pull. His choice (of how to make that difference) implies that the only way to make a change is through manipulation and lack of transparency. Other interesting questions that remain not only to be answered, but to be acted on are: does power mean political pull? Are such people the only ones who can make a difference? Is anyone going to take the metaphor of the small ants achieving feats that seem beyond them and actually put it to use?
On a lighter note, how does flying Nathan know where to go? Does he have an internal GPS system? Is that part of his power? Maybe we should ask Sylar to take a look?
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if this is going to be a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. Could it be that the ‘future’ that was seen in Season 1, i.e. the exploding man, is set to happen again? While the ‘future’ that was supposed to happen was averted that time, the way the pieces are currently falling are making it possible to happen again. Sylar is evil, Peter is out of control, Nathan has accepted his father’s point of view on how to ‘help save’ humanity from itself and ready to become president. Is everyone being manipulated by both Angela and Arthur to make sure ‘that’ future actually happens?
I have a lot – and I mean, A LOT – more to say about this, but I’m going to stop. One thing is certain: I’m going to tune in again next week to find out, amongst other things, who Sylar’s parents are and if he really killed Elle. I also want to know what surprised Claire at the end of the episode, when she saw Mr. Nakamura put baby Claire into Noah Bennett’s arms.
Last comments (I promise): I just wanted to point out the absolutely two priceless moments, one when Hiro steps into the comic book store and pulls a Simpsons: “Best. Day. Ever!” and the other, when Noah realised Claire had died and come back to life.
Check out another great reviewer of Heroes episode here.