Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Heroes wrapped up their first season last night with a strong ending. I've been watching it since the beginning and I saw many of the episodes again over the weekend during a marathon on the Sci-Fi channel.

It actually had a shaky start. The people they focused on were not all that pleasant. We had a loser cop who started reading minds, a cab-driver from India who was trying to figure out what happened to his father, a cheerleader who kept trying to kill herself and failing, a junky who painted the future, and an internet stripper with a second personality who tore people apart. There was a lot of blood - especially after they did an autopsy on the cheerleader. The only bright spot in those early episodes was a Japanese office worker who managed to stop a clock for a second.

The show improved a lot. By the second episode we had an idea of what the show (or at least the season) would be about - stopping New York from blowing up.

Other things improved. The gore level dropped. The scary guy in the horn rim glasses warmed. The cheerleader stopped trying to hurt herself. People met each other. Coincidences abounded. Through it all, the Japanese office worker, Hiro, remained the center of the show. He was the one who knew that there was a mission - save the cheerleader, save the world.

After the Christmas break the show shifted into high gear. Some of the less sympathetic characters either moved into the background or became more likable. The cheerleader was saved but we didn't know if the world could be saved.

Interestingly, they dropped a clue that the future could be changed in the second and third episode. In the second episode, Hiro called his friend Ando who said that he had disappeared weeks ago. But Ando accompanied Hiro on his quest starting with the third episode. The future had already been changed.

By the end, the writers were juggling nearly every character as they converged on the Kirby Building (named for Jack Kirby, the creator of the Fantastic Four and other?). Each of them had different motivations and they switched groupings several times. The whole thing was carried off quite well. They even worked in that serial-killer Sylar came to the plaza to stop Peter from blowing up, not to blow up the city himself.

They also left plenty of plotlines dangling for next season. Sylar survived, we now know that there is someone worse than he is out there, and Hiro is in the 17th century.

As endings go, it makes burning a raft or imploding a hatch seem second-rate.

No comments: