Well, That Was Unexpected


Normally a show saves its big punches for the season finale, so you can imagine my shock at Parkman's cranial buzz-cut courtesy of Sylar in tonight's Heroes. I know some people don't care much for Parkman, but I have a soft spot for Greg Grunberg so I've always been rooting for his character. It saddens me to see him go.

Except, of course, that he hasn't. I'm lying. Parkman didn't have a run-in with Sylar. Nobody was killed in tonight's episode. A couple of people have told me that they were taken by surprise by my Heroes spoilers last week, so I'm just having a little fun at their expense.

This week's Heroes would have been a massive disappointment even if it didn't follow last week's tour de force. It didn't feel like anything really happened. I liked the scene in Isaac's apartment, but we got a lot of filler with Micah, Jessica and DL, Peter and Claire... it should have been called Contractually Obligated Filler Episode. Boo, I say!


I think it was a somewhat important episode in humanizing Sylar, showing that he didn't want to kill innocents and hated his mother's pressure to excel. But it was rather clumsily done.

Where did he get the coldness power, by the way? I don't remember that, but it's been a long season.

Ha--I was like "what the hell??!! I don't remember that happening at all!"

It was a little slower, but it let us to all sorts of theoretical discussions about the way Peter and Sylar's powers might work (does Peter get all of Sylar's inherited powers if they meet? Why doesn't Sylar have Peter's power now since he did technically kill him, etc.) and seeing his mom was amusing.

Cryokinesis and telekinesis were the first two powers Sylar demonstrated in the series, back in ep2—they're how he killed Molly's parents. TK was the first power he acquired (seen in ep10), but we haven't been told where he got the cryokinesis from.

Sylar doesn't gain powers just by killing people. He has to eat their brains, which he didn't get a chance to do with Peter. I think that yes, Peter will get all of Sylar's acquired powers when they meet—according to the fiction, Peter gets his powers by temporarily rewriting his DNA to mimic others', while Sylar actually consumes others' DNA and mixes it with his own.

Agreed that the episode was pretty thin. I pretty much hated the bit with Sylar's mom—if having a mother who wants you to become a stockbroker is all it takes to become a serial killer, New York would have a whole lot fewer people.

Peter and Sylar have already met-- that's how Peter "died". So Peter should already have Sylar's powers. But since Peter's not hearing people's heartbeats, the writers seem to have decided that's not how it works.

D'oh, right, forgot that. Well, in that case I guess what Peter picked up was the ability to gain powers by eating brains. So he's got that going for him.

Ewww... unless of course that's not a special power, and anybody can do it. Yuck.

What I really don't get about last night's episode was Sylar "breaking" Hiro's time-stoppage. I understand Sylar is good at figuring out what makes powers tick, but while time is stopped? I mean, come on... No time to think, no time to figure stuff out. Boo.

That's an excellent point-- can't believe I forgot about that, since at the time I felt like it was cheating. Nothing we've seen Sylar do has suggested that he could slip out of time-lock. It's possible that Hiro just lost concentration and the normal flow of time resumed, but in the past his powers have seemed to work as a state machine, and he needs to concentrate to transition from one state to another. Maintaining a given state has not appeared to require any effort. So Sylar's escape was a complete cheat.

Oh, and one other thing. If I'm Nathan, and I meet a guy with the power to heal, and I feel guilty about my wife's paralysis because I flew out of the crashing car and left her there, and the guy who can heal wants me to sacrifice my brother's life-- not to mention the rest of New York-- my price for participation is certainly going to be a laying-on-hands to heal my wife. Yet Nathan has apparently not thought of that. What a dick.

I thought Sylar had slipped into the time flow because Hiro touched him. It made sense to me at the time, especially because there was a closeup of the sword touching Sylar's neck just before Sylar unfroze.

Has Hiro touched anyone previously while time was stopped? Maybe when he stopped time to save whoever it was from the burning car? If so, then maybe it was being touched by the sword that brought Sylar back into the timestream.

Or maybe the writers figure they can make up any rules they want.

WRT healing Heidi, I've been figuring that that's part of Veidt's, er, I mean Linderman's deal, but it can't happen yet due to the campaign (or he won't do it yet, for leverage, same difference). Although I may be giving the writers too much credit, since even if that were the case, they really ought to have shown us that part of the negotiation. But we do know there's been a lot of discussion off camera about the plan.

Of course, there's no guarantee that Linderman can heal anything but plants. Maybe if the accident had left Heidi a vegetable... (Yeah, that was just wrong. Sorry.)

As far as Hiro v. Sylar, I read that as Hiro's subconscious disrupting his power out of guilt, which would make perfect sense as we've seen his angst cripple him before. What's weird is Sylar's eye unfreezing before the rest of him did: Hiro doesn't paralyze people, he stops time, and why would time unstop just for part of Sylar? How does that even work—wouldn't there be some major health problems with having part of your body frozen in time and other parts not? But I can accept that as artistic license.

Haha, you got me. Google Reader shows the first line of blog posts, so all I told Jay et al. last night was "Peter posted about Heroes in his blog. I didn't read the post but I know something big happens!"

That's two for two - last week I only read as far as "I'd already figured out that the exploding man on Heroes wasn't Peter." Since that was "revealed" about two minutes into the episode, it seemed no big loss. In fact misreading your post perhaps made the surprise even more enjoyable!

I look forward to reading what you have to say about The Amazing Race when we finally catch up.

Also, seconded about Hiro's guilt subconciously unfreezing time. Recall that Sylar's mother continued falling to the ground about the same time. Perhaps Sylar's eyes moving first was a bit realistic, but if he wasn't moving before time was frozen (I don't recall) and was a really disciplined and quick thinker, it seems plausible.

I am dubious about Sylar's total lack of control of his environment when his mother is around, though. A couple episodes he was mentally controlling hundreds of pieces of glass; suddenly he can't control two snowglobes without beaning his mother upside the head accidentally? And I think it takes a not insignificant amount of effort to get a pair of scissors that deep in someone's chest.

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