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Heroes: Accept It and Move On

Heroes 4.4 (1)Simply put, stick a fork in Heroes because it’s done. I know we’re only two outings in and three episodes down, but I can’t hide my frustration. It truly does feel like I’m watching the Titanic sink, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to avoid getting pulled down with it.

It’s not that this week’s episode was bad. It was actually a pretty great one in comparison to the recent past, but one thing I despise most about sitting in front of my TV and watching Heroes every week is the belief that I’m watching it die a slow, painful death. They say some sick people get better before they die, even feel healthy. And I guess if you look at it that way, I’d rather have a good push before the end, instead of a bad one, but it’s still going to end. I can’t imagine NBC putting anymore money into it. They might as well go play the lottery with all that cash since they probably have a better chance at seeing a return.

I guess I just have to acceptHeroes for what it is, and I will try my hardest not to be too hard on the show. It’s fitting that the episode is titled “Acceptance.” This week ,  our heroes had the opportunity to really take a look at who they were, who they want to be and what they want to do. Nathan delved into some hidden corners of his past, and Hiro hit a speed bump in his bucket list. Claire coached her Dad in his new company-free way of life, and Tracy takes her new lease on life as an opportunity to be a new woman. I think it’s a good move to focus on a few character each episode. Things were getting a little sloppy last season. I’m sure some people stopped watching just because of the madness.

“Every time there’s a secret buried someplace, I find you with a shovel behind your back.”
Nathan’s still grappling with the fact that things don’t seem to be right inside him. When Mama stops by toting some of his old knickknacks to jog his memory, Nathan gets flashes of his pasts. (In season three’s “One of Us, One of Them”, Sylar actually acquired clairsentience, the ability to learn the history of an object by touch.). He meets up with Peter who thinks all these new powers are just in the family genes, but Nathan is seriously ill at ease, as he should be. And he’s even more freaked when he remembers his dead ex-lover from his teenage years floating in a pool.

The girl supposedly ditched town, and he never knew what happened to her. When he visits her mom, Angela’s friend Millie (Swoozie Kurtz from “Cold Snap”) , that familiar pool turns into a buffet of flashes straight out of a horror movie. (Really, it wasn’t Nathan’s fault, except he provided the booze that made the girl woozy enough to fall off the diving board, hit her head and kill her.) It was only a small amount of time before another secret of Angela’s was dug out of that deep closet of hers. Of course she took care of everything to protect her son, but Nathan has a guilty conscience. He even confesses to Millie who doesn’t take it too well.

Next, we see Millie getting drinks with Angela, but in reality, she’s hired an assassin to kill Nathan. He’s shot and then left for dead in a ditch. Luckily, Sylar also had the power of regeneration so it’s no shocker when someone claws themselves out of a shallow grave. The bombshell is that the body is not Nathan’s but Sylar’s. Duh, duh, DUUUUH!

“First of all, you must really hate your job. Nobody copies their butt forty-seven different ways without wanting to get fired!”
What would Hiro be without a mission, and this time around it’s to undo all the wrongs of his past. Now that his present has been changed and Ando and Kimiko are planning on marriage, Hiro is more determined to make today better by altering the past. He agrees to give his sister away at the wedding, but Ando is worried that he won’t be alive and presses him to tell Kimiko the truth.

Hiro’s got other things to think about though when Dial-A-Hero gets a second customer in Tadashi, an employee at Yamagato Industries. Hiro makes it his mission to save the suicidal man. No matter how many ways he attempts to change Tadashi’s past, specifically from photocopying his butt and shaming himself and his family, somehow the end result remains the same, making it utterly impossible to save Tadashi. Or so we thought. Apparently, all Hiro needed to do is tell Tadashi to do what he loves and to accept his life as is.

This leads him to take is own advice, and tell Kimiko what’s been going on. She comforts him, but not for long, since he poofs away right in front of her. Poor Ando’s got a lot of explaining to do.

“Maybe you have to remember who you were to figure out who you want to be.”
Peter stops in on Noah after the spinning compass tattoo shows up on his arm. When he gets there it’s gone which makes me think it only activates around other people with abilities. When Claire arrived, I wanted him to lift up his jacket sleeve but of course not. She sticks around to help Noah through these hard economic times, especially since his bag ‘em, tag ‘em skills don’t translate well to most jobs.

It’s nice to see the relationship between this two evolve, as Noah lets go and Claire grows up. (This is the most natural I’ve seen Hayden Panettiere in a very long time.) Noah can’t be someone he’s not, though. It’s a little surprising to Samuel when Noah’s face shows up on Lydia’s body since isn’t he out of the game? But Noah is very much in the game and researching the compass. Good to have you back, man!

“This job, I want it to be more. I want to set agendas, help people who can’t help themselves.”
Is it bad that every time I see Tracy, I think of The Secret World of Alex Mack? I used to love Larissa Oleynik and that show. I wanted to melt into a pile of metallic goo so bad! Tracy hooks up with her old pal, Mr. Governor. She used to help him entertain and woo people over to his way of thinking, and he’s happy to see Tracy wants back in. Tracy, however, wants to actually do things that can change the world and help people.

All is grand for the governor, who just wants to roll in the sack with his favorite ex-employee. Tracy gets so shaken up that she starts to liquefy in the ladies room. When she pulls it together, she walks out and lets him know that she’s not the same person she used to be and leaves him hanging.

Heroes 4.4WRAP IT UP
Heroes, like the Titanic, was a beautiful ship to behold at first sight. Sure, they didn’t reinvent the wheel, but they put a new and fresh spin on the superhero tale. Truthfully, I think they might have bit off more than they could chew in the first place. Even Lost hit some speed bumps with its large cast, sprawling storylines and vast mysteries, but somehow they managed to pull it all together into an intriguing story. When they go, they’ll be sorely missed, but I believe they will have accomplished what they set out to do, it will be a satisfying end and it will be time.

I can’t say I have as much faith in Heroes because while season four seems to be veering in a really great direction, it’s a little bit too late. I kept holding onto hope that they could turn it around, but it’s like throwing salt into the cake batter instead of sugar. Sure, you could add every tasty, sweet ingredient in the book to the mixture to cover that salt taste, but really what you need to do is toss the entire bowl and start again. Unfortunately, TV shows don’t really get do-overs unless we wait 20 years. Then maybe someone will remake it.

Season 4, Episodes 4: Acceptance (originally aired October 5, 2009)

For more on Heroes, click here.

Mondays at 9/8C on NBC

Photographs courtesy of NBC Universal, Justin Lubin, Chris Haston

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