I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. It’s really hard to make good television. I get it. I truly get it. But Season 1 of “Heroes” is good television. Hell, it’s GREAT television. Which makes “Generations” so gosh darn painful. From plots that are going nowhere, plots that have been forgotten, and certain threads so painful that I wish that they were forgotten, it’s a cornucopia of crud. It’s way better than the cornucopia of crud I’d come up with if stuck in a writer’s room and forced to come up with a show, but it’s a cornucopia of crud all the same.
Rather than unite the show under a common narrative goal (ie, save NYC from exploding), the show’s gone for commonality from a thematic perspective, which is a laudable goal to be sure, and one in theory of which I’m a fan. Shows such as “Tell Me You Love Me” work on this principle, and work fine. But when one of the individual plot lines under this thematic umbrella is “a seemingly invincible man wants to unleash a virus that will wipe out 93% of the population”, the other plots just seem small in comparison.
The Shanti virus is basically all that works on the show right now, and even that doesn’t make half a lick of sense if you stop for even a nanosecond and think about. So here’s what we learned this week: essentially, in 1977, the year of Shanti’s death, the Company got a hold of some of Papa Suresh’s research (ie, Shanti’s blood) and synthesized it into weapon form. You know, as you do. Some people, such as Victoria Pratt, realized this was an insanely silly thing to do, especially when variations such as #138 turned out to be so lethal as to wipe out all of humanity. In steps in Adam Monroe, an associate of The Company but not a founder, who after 400 years is sick of the cyclical nature of humanity, with its wars and poverty and ecological abuse and McDLT’s and decided that we all need one swift kick in the mortality so people like him can stick around and not have to wait in line at Best Buy on Black Friday. This is Adam’s big “Save the World” manifesto that, as manifestos go, at least has grand scope. No wonder Linderman, an Adam acolyte, would be all for blowing up NYC with an atomic man. Makes total sense, even if my own manifesto would be slighlty smaller in scope. My manifesto would center around “we need quicker access to better tasting beer” and end with a rallying cry for more things covered in buffalo sauce. Done and done.
We also learned this week that even Adam is vulnerable if you chop off his head. Fantastic. He’s a zombie. He’s a louse, a megalomaniac, and a zombie. The trifecta, people. If this show were a Match.com ad, it would read, “Louse, megalomaniac, and zombie ISO cute but stupid boy with lots of powers and the ability to never question anything I say”. Thank God for small Peter Petrellis. I was actually fine with the whole “I’ll believe anything you say, even though I would probably want to call my folks and let them know I’m OK first” schtick, but once Peter turned into Anakin Skywalker protecting Takezo Palpatine from the Asian Mace Windu, I lost all respect for this once great character and prayed that Hiro’s “run at someone from 15 yards away screaming” technique baffled Peter as much as it baffled Sylar in Kirby Plaza. (Also, why Adam just doesn’t constantly walk around with a huge helmet on his head is beyond me. Dude’s got an Achilles head. He should take appropriate protective measures.)
In between all this, the show tried to fit in bits about Claire, Monica, Mohinder, Micah, Sylar, and the Slumber Twins. And the only cool thing about any of it? Slusho! Holy moly. The evil product from the Cloverfield movie found its way into Elle’s nympho hands, and I couldn’t have been happier. (If you want more background on this, go here.)
I mean, where to start? Maybe a long, bulleted list will help me out.
- That was Alejandro’s arc? Really? That was it? Dude went out like a punk. I think he and his ridiculously oversized eyebrows should sue.
- If the Sylar/Maya stuff was SUPPOSED to emulate a telenovela, then bravo. But otherwise, this was laughable bad. Sylar as a sex god? ¡Dios mio! I mean, I’m sure there’s enough fanfic out there to support the wet and topless scene, but this is supposed to be the baddest man alive, and it took him 11 full episodes to reach NYC. Unreal.
- Sylar=Gollum. Maya=Frodo. Alejandro=Samwise. Random hotel room=the stairs of Cirith Ungol. I suppose that’s one way to transpose it.
- Nikki: if you have a terminal virus obtained by a company run by a man who can make gold with his hands, you fly your son to you. You do not fly away from the potential cure. Just telling you for the next time this happens again.
- I’M MOHINDER! I’M DESPERATELY CONFUSED! I’M JUST GOING TO YELL AT EVERYONE, AND EVENTUALLY I’LL ACTUALLY BE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF AN ARGUMENT! MAYBE!
- Claire: The Haitian wouldn’t have come anyway, since he’s removing every scene involving you from my memory as we speak. And slight flaw in your plan: if you go public, they’ll hunt you down as well as Elle. Just a thought there.
- Micah/Monica: You know, the tagteam to get in the house? Sweet! I want people with powers working together while using their powers. If Volume 3 isn’t called “Heroes League,” I’m gonna be annoyed. That being said, as mentioned before: nothing against DL or anything, but breaking into a house to get a medal sorta rings dull on the tension scale when A VIRUS THAT WILL KILL 93% OF THE POPULATION IS ABOUT TO BE UNLEASHED!
Maybe I’m expecting a Season 1-type confluence at the end in which all these stories come together to explain how the virus doesn’t get unleashed. I figured either Maya or Alejandro were the key to stopping the virus’ spread, but Alejandro died a peasant’s death on the way to NYC, and the virus is actually in Odessa. My thought is that Peter and Adam get the virus, teleport to NYC to “destroy” it at Primatech Research, and Maya’s tears of doom somehow either counteract the virus or just take out Adam before he can drop it like it’s hot. In either case, you’re looking at the fact that the world will be saved by a woman’s tears, which will only embolden chicks that cry for no reason at all. This is a terrible development and I can’t possibly support it.
We’ve only one episode left and I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen. And I don’t mean that in a good way. Last year I knew where they were going: I just didn’t know how they’d write their way out of it. Turns out, the answer was “with little audience satisfaction.” And that ethos just bled all over “Generations”, and while individual performances, scenes, and even storylines have sometimes succeeded, it’s been an overall far cry from the excellence of Season 1. With only one episode to go, and with the writers’ strike pushing Volume 3 further and further away, let’s hope this finale removes some of the bitter taste in my mouth.
Man, I could sure go for a Slusho right now.