A few weeks back, I gave an episode a D-, which prompted one commenter to call me out. "That's just the gentleman's F," he (she?) said. "What's it gonna take to give Heroes a failing grade?"
To that person, I say, "It's coming." Then follow up with "It's Coming." Then in true Heroes fashion, and because I realize it's hard to distinguish capitalization through the spoken word, I end on, "This episode. The one I just watched. How did Peter survive that seven story fall?"
I'm glad I didn't give that other episode an F. Because then I would have been forced to now explain that the F range is actually quite wide–much wider than any other letter grade–and in Sean O'Neal style, I would then have to come up with a new grading system to distinguish a high-F from a low-F because, make no mistake, this episode was worse than the other one. Then out of laziness, I'd probably just use those two.
But I don't have to write all that. Because my fear of its arrival only made it stronger. I knew it was coming.
- Let's start with the season's–nay, my life's–biggest disappointment: Robert Forster. He impressed us so when he entered our world, slapping down Adam Monroe and being all like "What's up with all this shit going down?" In retrospect, perhaps that moment wasn't as exciting as I first thought it was, because it's become abundantly clear that Robert Forster forgot to steal the "acting" power from well, from someone on a different show. The man has one intonation for every conceivable emotion, and it sounds like he's reading the audio book version of the dictionary. ("You have a destiny, Nathan"; "Sometimes, I get angry about things"; "Happy birthday to me.") Can you believe this guy was once nominated for an Academy Award? He should play the body in an episode of CSI, and he's supposed to be the man behind one of the greatest conspiracies our world has ever known.
And what the holy fuck happened to Sylar? He used to be awesome, what with the hunger and the brain-eating (which was later clarified to be just brain-looking) and at least had some semblance of an internal conflict this season. But he's changed, man. He's decided to be good, to control himself. Still plenty of power stealing though, which, if you can believe it, he can actually get through "empathy." Wait, slow down, Heroes. Are you telling me that, should Sylar wind up in the same dark room as, say, Elle, he'd mosey on up to her (emotionally speaking) during an intense whispery convo containing lines like "That's what it means to be human," remove his shirt at some point and cause her power (virginity?) to tumble into his hands, then they'd lie there next to each other in the dark and laugh at his inability to shoot big bolts from his hands? Oh, how they'd laugh? And Arthur Petrelli would watch silently from the monitor, willing himself to go all white-eyed so he could squeeze one off in some twisted take on "The Stranger?" Because if that's really what you're saying, Heroes, then I'm ready to witness perhaps the clunkiest scene in the show's history.
That is, unless there was some way Hiro could become even more naive and obnoxious, thus testing the patience of every fan this show has ever had, and more than it has ever been tested. But that will never happen, because it's, simply, not possible.
But lo, this is Heroes, and as we've learned this season, anything–whether it makes logical sense, no logical sense or redefies our human notion of what "logic" or "decency" are–is possible. And now we have Hiro as a 10 year old–a freakin' 10 year old! Why?! So he can eat waffles? Perform uncomfortable slapstick at a bowling alley? Prance around a comic book shop like a pan flutist? How about, contribute nothing to this episode? And how is it possible that Ando was able to warp Hiro through time by, what, forcefully blinking his eyes? What actually happened back there in "Somewhere in Africa?" My God, there was a point in season one where future Hiro was an actual character, and a badass one at that. A huge sword! Perfect English! Lines that made sense! Soul patch!
And unlike last week's not-the-worst-thing-I've-ever-seen episode, this one had plenty of peripheral suck. Plenty of Daphne and Parkman, who are now in love for some reason. Plenty of Peter and Claire, who are now in love off-camera for some reason. Plenty of Mohinder, who seems to be growing a beard. Plenty of Niki/Jessica/Whatshername, who offers up her PR services to Arthur Petrelli, as if that was his problem all along.
Look, I used to love this show. I couldn't get enough of it during season one, and I was hooked up until the finale. Then I let season two slide–I think we all did–because who could have seen the strike coming? Not Tim Kring's fault, I thought. But this season had so much potential, all squashed. There was going to be lots of powers and backstabbing, little Micah. But what the hell has happened during the last few episodes? Is it possible, in fact, that less actual plot could have happened, with any more clunky explanation of it? Over at the 7pm slot, Chuck is churning out some of the funniest television on air right now. Together, the two shows could dominate Monday night and give network sci-fi a good name again. But Heroes is no longer a pleasure. It's not even a guilty pleasure. I just feel like I did something wrong.
- Oh, but the show's all just a comic book, so none of this is valid anyways.