'Heroes': This is the end, my friend
Heroes has the opposite problem from most shows in its genre - I'll call it literate sci-fi, at the risk of getting irate e-mails. The "X-Files," "Alias" and "Lost" were and are hammered for being too oblique, having no clear sense of plot direction and giving off a definite eau d'making-it-up-as-they-went-along. Heroes, since returning for the second half of the season, has clearly telegraphed each twist and turn and hasn't made for the most compelling viewing these past few weeks. (This is the risk when one of the characters is a prophetic artist who paints scenes from upcoming episodes, I guess.) With the finale, however, the show had something of a clean slate - viewers didn't know if, or when, or how New York would go kablooie.
As it turned out, the city was saved, thanks to a greatest hits throwdown between Sylar and all the Heroes: Niki tries to smack him upside the head, Parkman tries to shoot him, and Hiro finally, finally runs him through with the sword. Sylar's incapacitation doesn't help Peter, though, who is all het up and still about to immolate. Claire takes a gun and almost saves the world...until daddy Nathan shows up and saves her the agony of having to kill her radioactive uncle. Nathan swoops up his brother, flies off, and both of them give a rather gruesome fireworks show in the upper atmosphere. (I'll try not to get like The Simpsons' Comic Book Guy by asking questions about nuclear fallout and atomic winters. An inconvenient truth, indeed.)
But there are so many questions that remain from the just-concluded Vol. 1 that I'd love to see answered: C'mon now, what is Mama Petrelli's power? Wouldn't it be convenient if it had something to do with, say, resurrection, now that her sons have bit the dust? Is Niki/Jessica now only going to dress in shades of gray since her two halves are seemingly reunited? Is Parkman gonna die? Is D.L. gonna die? Is Sylar, that cockroach, really dead? Is Mohinder ever going to learn that following around all these people with trippy powers puts him at some personal risk and he shouldn't be so useless and surprised every time something bad happens? Is Candice's true form really Shrek? And what about the ultimate baddie Molly referred to who could see her, eye of Mordor-style, when she triggered her Hero GPS?
But no information on any of these fronts appears to be forthcoming. As soon as Peter and Nathan did their ground control to Major Tom thing, it was on to the start of Vol. 2 for the last minute of the finale. We see that Hiro has time-shifted into Shogun-era Japan, and is stuck in the middle of a battle between an army, and a lone horseman. (His hero Kensei, perhaps?) While usually I'd be furious at the switcheroo with so many questions left hanging, I have to say - I trust Heroes. Based on how this finale wrapped up the major plot points scattered throughout the season, I believe there is a master plan for the show.
What I have left are questions that relate to the depth and interaction of the characters, and not a sense of screaming plot holes big enough to throw a, you know, Rambaldi device through. I hope that I don't get burned. And if there is a chance of that happening, it's perfectly OK for Adrian Pasdar to come along and save me.
-Ann Donahue (Geoff, your regular Show Tracker, dressed up as a cheerleader to celebrate the finale and tripped and fell down the stairs. Oddly, he didn't regenerate as he expected. OK, OK, OK...he's on a business trip. Sorry I can't oblige all the Heroes fans who love a good cliffhanger.)
(Photo courtesy NBC Universal)