Category: Heroes

'Heroes': Sylar's hunger, and his mom

Sylar2_2"I should never have given you up for adoption."

And with that, Mama Petrelli Cristine Rose (whose sacrifice of poor Bridget was just plain mean) introduces a weird wrinkle into the Petrelli clan and the "Heroes" mythos.  A wrinkle named Gabriel Sylar with a "hunger" for power that apparently even he can't control.  He, and actor Zach Quinto, have now been set loose.  We've never really gotten to see any side of Sylar other than murderous (except maybe with his other mom -- whom he killed), but with his call to duty, Zach can give him a bit more personality.  Not sure if the sympathetic path and need for "structure" will work (I'm not buying it), but we'll still get to see more of him -- and that's a plus.

The Haitian's back! The Haitian's back!  Love that guy.  And that's about all there is to say about the meeting that he, Hiro, Ando and speedster Daphne have in the movie theater.  The slapstick music and the line "It's villainy 101" were cool touches, but the scene did not move much story for its length, except to get Hiro and Ando thrown into a Company cell.

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'Heroes': The Butterfly Effect

Peter1_k7eptxnc_2 The first hour of Monday night's premiere of "Heroes" -- The Second Coming -- has been reviewed and analzyed.  No need to go back into it, though it is amazing that by putting a character (namely Parkman) off-center in the frame and adding a sound effect, telepathy is born!  So simple, but I digress.  Monday night, it was all about "Heroes'" second hour, "The Butterfly Effect."

As the name implies, someone does something in the past that causes ripples into the future.  It's Peter Petrelli again, but we'll call him Future Peter.  By coming back in time and shooting his brother Nathan to avert some horrible future (yes, he was the mysterious assailant) and telling Claire not to go to Odessa, he put into motion a string of events that could lead to an even worse catastrophe.  He may even have something to do with the mysterious Linderman returning to Nathan's head. Like their own mom says, Peter's just not very smart.

Sylar finds Claire and gets her invulnerability.  If she'd been away from the house, it wouldn't have happened, Peter! The spookiness of this scene was great. A stalking Sylar, a powerful Sylar, a ... funny Sylar.  Claire: 'Are you gonna eat it?'  Sylar: 'Your brain? ... Claire, that's disgusting.' He takes her head off, grabs a bit of brain, but for some reason doesn't kill her.  Is it because he's fascinated with her immortality?  Yes, she, like Adam Monroe, will apparently live somewhere close to forever.  If your cells can constantly regenerate, how can you die or even age normally?  This thought, plus the fact that Sylar turned off her pain receptors, messes with Claire. "If you can't feel anything, do you really have a soul?"  Deep.

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Villains could save 'Heroes'

Heroes6_k7et0wnc In baseball terms, for many it's the bottom of the ninth for "Heroes." The stalwarts -- those who stood in the heat in the long line leading into Hall H in San Diego back in July -- have already gotten to see half of tonight's 2-hour season premiere. We'll be there anyway to watch, root for, or even chastise the show. But we'll be there.

The casual television watcher who comes in and out, viewing programs only when they hear about them being good, fell off last year. And with good reason. There's more programming on broadcast television and cable and the Internet than there's ever been, and every show, whether it's "Heroes" or "How I Met Your Mother," has to keep ahold of their fans through great characters, sparkling dialogue and engaging situations. And a majority of "Heroes" didn't do that last year.

With online specials, books and more, the show was able to stay in view (if you were looking).  Masi in "Get Smart," Kristen in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Ali filming a movie with Beyonce, Zach in the upcoming "Star Trek," Hayden with her music and magazine covers and Milo turning 30 and going on a USO tour (which we'll have pictures of later).

Life didn't stop for them, but hopefully, though reviewers were only allowed to see the first hour of the show, life can be enriched a little by having a full season, pared down storylines for our main characters, more 'danger' for everyone, and maybe even a death or two. We all like someone on the show, but unless we think they can actually be hurt, the suspense is a litle ... less. The writers have shown that they can do it, though, so we'll wait and see.  Centering on villains seems like a pretty good start if they stay on that path.  What are you looking forward to this season?

--Jevon Phillips

Photo: Associated Press

'Heroes': On set and counting down

We walked onto the smoke-filled set of what was once Claire Bennett's and HRG's home.  Things had changed.  There were kids' toys around, childlike drawings ... and the Bennetts no longer occupied the space.  Someone else that we know does live there ... and Claire's not happy about it.

That's about all we want to say.  A visit into a near-future storyline comes with all kinds of "Do not say thises" and "Can't say thats" along with the "No camera or video allowed" disclaimers, but it's exciting nonetheless.

The feeling on the set was one of fun and business.  The occasional "rubber gun on set!" yelled out, knowing glances among cast and crew mates, a Watchmen comic-book compilation being read backstage ... all seemed old hat to this bunch.

The actors are surprisingly engaged and helpful when planning out fight scenes and bridging dialogue gaps that may help it along.  And the producers and directors are surprisingly OK with letting them run with it.  And, yes, I did say fight scene -- one which, oddly enough, led to a reference for the Vin Diesel movie "The Chronicles of Riddick."  Watch it, figure it out -- I know you can.

On set were main players Hayden Panettiere, Milo Ventimiglia, Brea Grant, Jamie Hector and Zachary Quinto. We were given a little time to speak to a couple of the actors.  Brea Grant, who had a short but memorable stint on "Friday Night Lights," and Zachary Quinto, the coolness that is Sylar and Spock.

Brea125_k2vog4nc_2 A little ball of Texas fun, Brea Grant said that it was "kind of daunting" joining the "Heroes" cast but prepared herself for her super-speed role well, being the "nerd" that she is.

"I read a bunch of Flash comics, and now I have about this many (spreads her arms about three feet apart).  I tried to watch the Flash TV series, but it was really bad."

As a bad-girl character, Brea admits that she's done a little research in that part as well, long before the role came calling.

"I will admit that I probably stole something as a teen ... but I don't know, I'm kind of a goodie-goodie.  I did shave my head once ... but I asked my dad."

She does enjoy the powers that she has in the show and wishes she had them off the set.

"If I had it [super speed] in real life ... it'd be amazing.  My room would always be clean.  I'd never run out of cereal..."

But if she had a less spectacular ability?

"I need poise.  I'm just so clumsy that it would kind of save me a lot."

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'Heroes': 'The Second Coming' is here (SPOILERS)

So, sitting at Comic-Con, watching the "Heroes" panel, the excitement came back.  Anticipating the next season, the next episode, the speculation, the (I hope) twists and the powers.

Full disclosure, I didn't mind last season overall. It's no secret that the first six episodes were really slow in unfolding, but I thought the last five or so were building pretty well. The strike hurt. Many of the viewers had left but could've been drawn back. The writers-producers didn't get the chance to straighten it all out. But with their villain-themed upcoming season, the 'it' that made "Heroes" a hit -- no, not the 'save the cheerleader' tagline -- seems to be returning in its two-hour premiere, airing Sept. 22.

A soap opera (I know, you hate to hear it called that), comic-book type of 'need to see the next one' atmosphere surrounded the screening before and after its Comic-Con presentation. "The Second Coming" was both the name of the episode and a hopeful path for the show. Conflict is the name of the game, and last season lacked a lot of it.  The direction that this took, especially Sylar's first act, puts this on a conflict collision, adding lots of characters, lots of powers and lots to look forward to.

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'Heroes': Going postal

Webisodes_wp4_300Until the show's premiere on Sept. 22, "Heroes" fans will have to be content with watching NBC's new webisode series "Going Postal" that began today.  And content they will be.

With a three-minute, three-episode format airing in three consecutive weeks, followers of "Heroes" will have little time to enjoy these vignettes.  Already in the first episode ("A nifty trick"), three characters and two powers are introduced.  Echo Demille, a postman who possesses a mean sonic scream a la Banshee or Black Canary (for the comic book heads); Harvey, a Company man sent out to pick up powered individuals; and the Constrictor who ... constricts. He's a freaky Cirque du Soleil type of dude but may be an interesting foe. Not sure how this may play into the villians theme of next season, but it's a promising start to get a battle, however small, right out of the gate.  Won't tell you who wins, but somebody doesn't walk away.

Brea2_k0lnqfnc_3 The sonic scream is one of those powers you knew would come; a great standby. We also know about Hiro's nemesis and her super speed (actress Brea Grant).  New powers are always great to see, as long as they, and their characters, don't overwhelm and/or overstay their welcome.

-- Jevon Phillips

Photos: NBC / AP

The story continues: 'Heroes: Saving Charlie'

With a lingering writers strike, many TV fans are finding other storytelling outlets to occupy their time. Online tales, comic books and even card games (in the case of Fox's "24") are making the rounds.  For followers of NBC's "Heroes" who are looking for an action-filled, mystery-inducing romp reminiscent of the first season of the show, the novelized "Saving Charlie" might not fill that adrenaline junkie void.  But in terms of expanding on one of the show's more endearing and popular characters, it scores high marks.

Savingcharlie "Saving Charlie" is a love story.  One that, due to Hiro Nakamura's powers of teleportation and time travel, literally spans a lifetime in months.

Back in the first season, Hiro and his friend Ando found themselves in a small Texas eatery (Burnt Toast Diner) while on their way to save the world. There they met Charlene "Charlie" Andrews,  a waitress who coincidentally has powers that cause her to superhumanly remember (and maybe more importantly) comprehend pretty much everything that she reads almost instantaneously.  In a few short minutes, Charlie learns Japanese and Hiro is smitten.  In a few more short minutes, Charlie is killed by the now infamous Sylar.  Hiro, feeling it's his duty and destiny, decides to use his abilities to go back in the past and save her.  And this is where the book comes in.

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'Heroes' finale: They all fall down

Sylar_2 Powerless.  That was the title of the final episode of "Heroes" this season (unless the counterproposal is signed?).  That was how the fans felt when faced with early disappointment.  That's what Tim Kring may have felt after all of the criticism.

But the episode didn't feel powerless.  Whether because of forced deadlines or just righting the ship, this show was oozing with conflict -- with resolution -- and even left viewers WANTING to see what happens next.  Huh, a novel concept.

The battles that were set up in the previous couple of chapters drove the episode, and many heroes fell.

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'Heroes': a season's slide

So, let’s get right to it:  What was up with the second season of “Heroes,” and what might happen tonight?

Maya400_jqqsk8nc_2 A combination of factors -- including story lines dragged out too long, stars (and writers?) possibly stretched with movies and other opportunities and “Heroes” haters coming out in force -- helped topple the show from its ratings and critical perch.  The strength of “Dancing With the Stars” and “Samantha Who?” probably didn’t help, though it would seem that the audiences are vastly different.

Despite that, “Heroes” soldiered on.  Tim Kring, the show’s creator, acknowledged creative drawbacks and took responsibility.  You don’t hear that often, but it still didn’t make up for the first two-thirds of the season.  The pile-on notwithstanding, there were good and bad elements.

Good: Jack Coleman as HRG.  Whenever that guy is on the screen, you just know that SOMETHING is going to happen.  Smart, ruthless and mysterious, he and Zachary Quinto chew up scenes whenever they’re onscreen.

Bad: The Maya and Alejandro (pictured above) storyline.  Her powers? Great.  But you knew he was going to die, and their story line should’ve been summed up in two, maybe three episodes.

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'Heroes': Sylar's kiss

There were a few things that happened in this "Truth or Consequences" episode that surprised me. Or at least surprised me more than GQ girl Hayden Panettiere's crush on Angelina Jolie. Who doesn't have one on her?

Sylar The surprises, though, all seem destined to backfire. Mohinder helps resurrect HRG, only to keep him bound as a prisoner? Not smart. Sylar kills Alejandro -- which we knew was coming -- and is not only manipulating Maya's mind, but her heart as well? That may not result in his death, but when she finds out, he'd better be ready with another brick before the black tears fall.  Monica becoming a superhero was not a surprise, but her getting captured and smacked down so easily was. Niki and Micah may come to the rescue, but I think Monica might be able to figure it out.

Peter's trusting ways are getting on EVERYONE's nerves, and he's obviously going to get bitten by Adam. I'm not one who thinks he can take out Hiro easily. He fires a bolt, Hiro teleports, and slice -- off goes Peter's head. Of course, he'd give Petey a chance ... and that would be his downfall.

And Elle. Monitoring Claire from a parked car only a few yards away? Not a smart move, but confronting an unstable girl that could fry her family and friend might also be asking for trouble.

So here we are at the end.

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'Heroes': The death of a hero ... or not

Not sure if it was the crunch created by the writers strike or the creator(s) realizing that the story was moving way too slow or just the natural progression of the season, but the show has (to this viewer) begun to hit its season-one stride again.  Too bad that there are only two episodes left. Enjoy 'em while you can, and even take some of the show home through the NBC auction (only a measly $1,200 for a painting).  Oh yeah, and HRG is shot through the eye this episode.

Adam What happened?: Claire and HRG have it out, which leads her to get captured by the Company, and leads to a confrontation between West, HRG, Mohinder and Elle. Hiro is able to say goodbye to his father after he travels back to save him and finds out that Adam Monroe is the killer. Matt Parkman further explores his telepathy and forces Mrs. Petrelli to tell him about Monroe and the remaining pictured person: Victoria Pratt. Mohinder and Bob trade Claire for Elle, and HRG is shot (supposedly killed) in the exchange!

Heroesstandoff_2 In true comic book fashion, HRG survives.  Thanks to Claire's blood, he wakes up healed in a small room.  Put there by Mohinder as part of some undercover plan, perhaps?  We'll see.

The whole Hiro storyline, though touching, took a bit too long. With only two episodes left, extraneous dialogue is not what'll help move the story. It seems odd that with the ups and mostly downs of the season, that "Heroes" will actually be able to wrap up the multiple storylines.  But that is what's apparently going to happen.

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'Heroes': Great, but a little late

Peter_3 No need to pile on about the fact that this episode, bridging last season to this season, should have been done a few episodes ago. There are enough critics doing that. Tim Kring knows his mistake, and has admitted as much with his highly publicized apology.  It's understandable to lead the season with a bit of intrigue and mystery, but sooner or later you have to bring everybody up to speed.

Be patient, was the mantra from writers, actors and favorable bloggers.  They were right, to a point.  "Four months ago" was pretty good, and answered some questions.  How did Nathan survive Peter's explosion? What happened to D.L.? Where did the wonder twins come from -- well, they were new, so we didn't need that explained.  Check out Greg Beeman's commentary on the episode, with some great behind-the-scenes photos and storyboards.

Discoveries:  We found out that Peter exploded, but was unharmed and saved a badly burned Nathan.   We saw that Niki had another split personality (Gina) rise up and take over, resulting in D.L. being shot after he went to find her.  We saw that Bob was everywhere, trying to "help out" Niki and capturing Peter with the help of Elle and the Haitian.  We further discovered that Elle is just plain crazy (sociopath crazy -- and Kristen Bell is really good in the role), and I'm starting to think the Haitian is the most powerful hero.  Except that a simple gun could probably bring him down, but more on that later ...

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