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Quick Thoughts on the Heroes Season 1 Finale

Last night was the season 1 finale of Heroes, probably the best show of what little TV I watch these days…besides channel surfing for Girls Gone Wild commercials…you know, for the research. This will be a quick one because the #comments blog echoes most of my thoughts on the matter.

Simply put: I like the show but fear the finale suffered for the same reasons that have bothered me all along with the show. The events exhibit total disregard for common sense given the character’s abilities.


To wit (or witless as the case may be):

  • In one scene, Peter learns (through Parkman’s mind-reading powers) that Nathan does not want to prevent the explosion. He backs away from Nathan like he’s a monster. When he meets up with Mr. Bennett, he says nothing about him saying it’s OK for Claire to be with them. Which is it, Peter? Is Nathan a monster or is he a protector?
  • Horn Rimmed Glasses Guy gets a name: Noah! Ahh, like the Noah and the ark. Clever. Or pretentious. I’m not sure.
  • Peter’s “dream” was interesting. I was incredibly interested to learn the reason why wheelchair-bound Richard Charles (Simone’s father) could see and talk to Peter when nobody else could. Was it some new power Peter had? Was it Richard Charles’s power? Was it a dream? And then when Peter asked Richard Charles the reply was that it didn’t matter. Well, yes it does, actually. Thanks for nothing.
  • Did anyone else notice how empty and clean the streets of New York City were? Nothing screams “studio back lot” like a clean city street.
  • Why couldn’t Claire pull the trigger to stop Peter’s impending explosion when she knew damn well Peter could regenerate?
  • Why would Nathan fly Peter away from the city when Peter could do it on his own?
  • The final scene of Hiro in the past was of marginal interest. So, he learns the origin of his sword? Meh. The prehistoric setting of dinaosaur-ass-kicking Hiro that was foreshadowed earlier in the season would have been a much better ending.

I know many folks will have reasons for why things occurred the way they did, but the real reason is obvious. The writers wanted certain things to happen for dramatic effect and story direction). That’s a good reason, but at the same time it cannot fly in the face of common sense given the already-established universe. And no, it doesn’t cut the mustard that Heroes is just a “comic book show”.

I wish I was writing down my issues as I was watching the show. Next season, I really need to “live-blog” the show like I did with Who Wants to Be a Superhero.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

24 Comments on Quick Thoughts on the Heroes Season 1 Finale

  1. Wow, I totally missed the Noah’s ark connection. Yes, a little pretentious.

    And despite the eh, ending, I’m still looking forward to next season. πŸ™‚

    I don’t know if this is sad, or if it’s good, but my favourite part of the episode was the split second of airtime they showed when Molly realized Micah had some power.

  2. Yeah, I liked that too. And when the heroes (briefly) came together to fight Sylar…that was cool, too. Let’s see more of that!

  3. Well, I thought that the final episode was pretty aweful. Lots of Dumb things going on there. Pretty big let down. Sylar crawling away, Clair freaking out about shooting Peter, Peter not flying away on his own. It was a pretty good show before the long break they took, but it never really picked up steam once it returned. They need some better writing and give the viewers some credit of intelligence.

  4. The only way to defeat Sylar was with all the heroes working together with powers he didn’t have. Having Peter and Sylar together just meant they were equal. I loved Bennett’s name as it’s my 5-year-old son’s name. That was just cool.

    I thought Richard Roundtree had a power and that Peter must have been close to Hiro and absorbed the time travel thing and was using his invisibility when he was in the past.

    Hiro in the past, no big deal. I’d hoped for more of a teaser.

    Will Peter regenerate in space? Will we figure out what Mama Petrelli can do? What about the father? There’s been some hints that their father was “special” somehow?

    I think Sylar’s death was too quick, although I’m glad Hiro finally got the guts to do what he had to. And we still don’t know where he got the scar he had on the subway when he first saw Peter.

  5. I’ve been blogging Heroes every week for a while now. And I wrote two rants about it this morning. I’m really quite pissed at Mr. Kring for dropping the ball on this show so thoroughly. You reminded me of a couple of things I meant to comment on and forgot – but when there are so many bad elements to write about, it’s hard to remember everything.

  6. The point about Claire shooting Peter was that Claire knew exactly where to shoot him so that he wouldn’t regenerate (they discussed this two, or three, episodes ago). That was why she was reluctant to do it.

  7. The recap at the start of last night’s episode reminded me of the early “sense-of-wonder” the show once had (and has long since lost): Peter on top of the building; Claire falling and getting up; Hiro appearing in New York.

    Early on the show seemed full of possibility, but then it became a hit and you could almost see the writers re-working the entire premise of the series in an attempt to sustain something they hadn’t really thought through. Remember when it was about a sudden emergence of people with strange abilities and powers? Suresh’s father had discovered why and how this was happening. But then it became about conspiracy and at least one earlier generation of people with powers. (Our heroes’ powers now seem to be hereditary — people of all ages have and wield them. So why did they suddenly and simultaneously appear in Claire and Peter and Nathan and Hiro and Molly and Micah when there were so many people who had special powers years ago?)

    You could also see how the show’s writers were padding out the last part of the season. The episodes leading up to last night were pretty much pointless. Having watched the whole season it feels like the show became too cumbersome for the writers and it started to fall apart half-way through, then completly disintegrated by the end.

    Am I being too harsh? Maybe. The second season could be a big improvement. But I can’t see the series ever fulfilling the promise of its first few episodes.

  8. I’m surprised at the negative comments. Sure, there were some points where both my wife and I pointed at the screen and said “but wait…can’t he…didn’t she…”

    For example – the 10 second gaps when Sylar turns to Hiro and says “You!” and Hiro stands there for what in this universe is an eternity. Then Hiro screams and charges at him – again, an eternity of time for a villain who can kill with the flick of a finger. I would have thought Sylar could wave his finger and send Hiro flying before he crossed the few feet between them and bury his sword in his gut but, whatever…

    All in all, I like the show and enjoy it in a way that reminds me of the 1st 2 seasons of BSG. I look forward to the episodes, marvel at how fast the time goes while watching them, and find myself discussing the show with anyone who will listen as to the possible directions the writers might take.

    Having said that, I am operating under the (possibly misguided) theory that unlike the Cylons in BSG, the writers on Heroes actually DO have a plan. I hope they don’t let me down next season the way BSG did.


  9. In previous episodes, Peter told Claire to shoot him in the spot that had caused them to both “die” previously, where the piece of glass was in Peter, and the wood in Claire. He said she knew the spot to shoot him in so he would actually be stopped. She wasn’t just going to randomly shoot him. As to why Peter didn’t just fly away, I thought that even though he possesses multiple powers, he can only use them one at a time, he hasn’t learned how to utilize multiple powers at once like Sylar.

  10. It was both good and bad to me. I didn’t like the ending at all. I was hoping we get a definitive answer on who was coming back and who would be back next season, but they left it too wide open.

    Oh well…

    Hopefully, they do a better job with Season 2. It’s still my favorite show on TV, but it could be MUCH better.

  11. A little so nicely wrapped for an otherwise excellent show. Why didn’t Peter just fly out of there. Why didn’t Nathan just fly him up and then leave him and let him explode?

    Nikki helps and then Peter sends her ‘back to the family?’

    And then at the end all these cops are there, none of those people should be sticking around. an ex-cop, an ex-con, a rogue shadow agent these people broke into a building and killed some people. The last thing I would be doing is sitting around waiting for the cops. And if they blamed it on Syler why didn’t anyone notice his corpse was missing???????

  12. Richard Novak // May 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm //

    First of all, Simone’s father is Charles, not Richard.

    Second, Nathan’s coming to Peter was important on 2 points. It demonstrated Nathan’s redemption, and underscored what he had told his brother previously: there was a very strong possibility that Nathan was who he was because of Peter. This seems to fit with what Peter heard Charles tell Angela- that Peter was the stronger brother.



  13. I’m pretty much in agreement with y’all. I’m willing to forgive that Peter didn’t fly out of there himself – he was probably too panicked to have control over any of his powers.

    Hiro’s lame sword plunge was just a waste. It made no sense and could have been so much cooler. The ending was terrible. Hiro in 1600’s Japan? So friggin what? He’s a time traveler. I love Hiro, but he needs to have some limits, because knowing he can always travel through time to fix things removes A LOT of suspense. Does anyone here think Hiro is going to end up becoming Kensai, the Japanese hero he worshipped as a boy?

    I’m really interested to find out how that dream happened. What’s Richard’s power!? And why, good God, could they not have killed off Nicky? Her storyline has been nothing but weak and boring. Does anyone here actually like her?

  14. Ah, right, Charles. I should have remembered, cause when I heard his name I thought of Xavier.

    His power must have something to do with people’s dreams, no? Seems he was behind Peter’s original dream and then Peter dreamed of him again later on.

  15. Ack! yes, Charles. Fixed — thanks.

    Funny…Nikki’s scene with Sylar was the one Nikki scene this season that I could tolerate.

  16. Didn’t love the season finale. Didn’t hate it either.

    The final battle had the potential to be really cool, but never quite realized itself. I agree with John that Nikki puttin’ the boots to Sylar was worth while, but what was with her abandoning the fight to “save” her family? How could that be possible or worth while if Sylar or Petrelli had exploded on the ground before the family had a chance to escape beyond the reach of the blast wave? Or what if Sylar had won? Wouldn’t he hunt down Nikki’s family anyway? Would have made more sense for her to stay and keep slugging it out – to help insure Sylar was truly finished off instead of trusting to Hiro’s half-measure.

    And then there’s Hiro… I would have thought that all his sword training would have been a metaphor for him learning to focus his discipline on his other abilities as well – as a true samurai would – developing not only as a swordsman but also as a cunning warrior capable of wielding his time-travelling/slowing powers with more lethal precision. As Michael noted, why does Hiro still have to charge Sylar from a distance? If he’d applied himself to perfecting his time jumping, he ought to be able to simply appear beside his opponent with his attack already in progress, much like the Shrike in Dan Simmons Hyperion – in fact, hasn’t Sylar pretty much been pulling that little stunt since copying Hiro’s abilities? As for the jump to the golden age of the Samurai, no surprise there given the recent focus on swordsmanship. Fighting dinos would have been much cooler though.

    I think my biggest criticism of the end would be all of the open doors for “is he dead or not?” with half of the characters on screen. Nikki’s husband has a bullet wound to contend with, as does Parkman. And the Brothers Petrelli? Didn’t someone say that there was no need to fear for Peter because the blast wouldn’t effect him or he could regenerate? And just because Nathan gave his little brother a lift, doesn’t mean he had to stick around for the whole ride. It would be just like this writing crew to give the story a soap-opera twist and write Nathan’s return with an excuse that he’d jettisoned Peter in time and beat a hasty retreat at mach 3 or something. Maybe not, but… It’s all just a little too cute.

    That being said, the episode had its moments. Hiro’s parting with Ando was sufficiently tender yet still goofy. Claire putting her indestructibility to the practical use of escaping by simply jumping through a window several storeys up. Parkman rising to the challenge and being the hero he always wanted to be. And the great job of portraying Mother Petrelli as one very sinister, calculating, old crone who’d be right at home in a Brothers Grimm fairy tale.

    I’m hoping season 2 will improve enough to make the show solid again, but with the level of inconsistency, I’m not making any bets.

  17. I think my wife summed it up quite nicely when, after the ‘fight’, she said: “That’s it?”

    Indeed. The final battle was just so anti-climactic it became disappointing. Again, Hiro could have re-enacted the French Revolution on Sylar, but chose instead to run him through. And did a poor job to boot. Which leads me to this question:

    If Sylar didn’t die, who didn’t he go nuclear? That’s what he wanted to do so I’m confused as to why, upon regaining consciousness, he didn’t just laugh and go ‘Boom!’. Why drag yourself to the sewer when what you wanted was to destroy the city?

    I’ll still tune in though. Heroes is still better than most other shows, and especially the so called ‘reality’ crap that is on.

  18. bloginhood: what do you mean, “hasn’t Sylar pretty much been pulling that little stunt since copying Hiro’s abilities”? As I understand it, Sylar can’t copy a power until he has killed the person.

    That said, how is it that Sylar seems to be able to stop people’s powers? He was able to stop the IV with Suresh and he was able to continue moving when Hiro froze time.

  19. A_Z: I’d always wondered if Sylar’s ability to absorb the powers of others functioned along the same lines as Peter’s – dependent on a degree of proximity… I wondered if the whole killing thing was just one of the quirks of Sylar’s psychosis – a gratuitousness that goes hand-in-hand with his survival-of-the-fittest belief, or possibly even a sort of insane crutch if you will (a mistaken belief on Sylar’s part that he has to kill to obtain the powers). This hunch became more firmly rooted for me when Sylar was able to move when Hiro stopped time. Although, to be fair, I have heard the theory that Sylar was able to move because Hiro was so nervous his time freeze was incomplete or didn’t happen at all, but I’m not sure about that either. And when Ando came to try to take Sylar down, didn’t Sylar just appear behind him, like Hiro might when teleporting into a scene? Admittedly, that’s pretty standard Hollywood bad-guy shocking entrance fare and doesn’t necessarily imply teleportation. And it’s possible I might have missed something during the ongoing “why didn’t the writers do X instead of Y with this scene?” commentary between myself and my wife, so I could be mistaken.

    I definitely agree with you that there’s a lot more that needs to be revealed and clarified about Sylar’s powers.

  20. Kristen // May 24, 2007 at 8:48 am //

    And when Ando came to try to take Sylar down, didn’t Sylar just appear behind him, like Hiro might when teleporting into a scene?

    No one actually said anything in the show, but I thought Sylar utilized invisibility several times in the finale. Peter saying to Claire he’s hiding in plain sight. I think Claude may be dead. Or it could be some other hero that Sylar killed off-screen that possessed invisibility.

    I suspended my belief when I watched and enjoyed it, but you and other posters on the web make a number of good points. The biggest one being that Nathan could have easily caught Claire before she hit the ground and escaped. And I can’t believe they let Sylar get away. I enjoyed seeing all their paths cross, but damn they clearly need to for their own superhero league so they can learn from each other’s experiences.

    The flaw in Peter’s plan to have Claire shoot him in the back of the head (their common Achilles’ heel established in prior eps) was that Claire seems not to have fired a gun before. It looked doubtful that she’d manage to hit the right spot with the way her hand was shaking.

  21. I haven’t seen the last several episodes…need to get caught up, but I find it interesting how shows can garner such a wide variety of opinions because I know many people who watch Heroes faithfully and they all raved about the season finale and are kicking me in the butt to get caught up. I’ll have to come back and read your thoughts when I finally do.

  22. I’ve hated the Niki/Jessica story arc all along (except for Micah). But I think they redeemed the character by finally merging the two into one “being” – that’s the only scene with Niki/Jessica that I’ve enjoyed all season.

    I agree the finale lacked a little of the “bang” we all expected. But I think it paid off. Sylar didn’t want to explode, he wanted to be the Hero which was why his timing was off. Everyone finally coming together was nice. The Molly/Micah moment was very cute, a nice little moment that could have been left out but definitely added some teeth to the acting in the show.

  23. Here is Tim Kring’s answer to why Peter didn’t just fly his sorry @$$ off:

    “You know, theoretically you’re not supposed to be thinking about that.”

    Thinking about what? How the writers screwed the pooch there? Thanks Tim. He then rambles on about how Peter’s other powers were ‘incapacitated’ for some reason. But it all boils down to them wanting Nathan to save the day, so they just ignored Peter’s other abilities.


  24. I actually accepted that Peter’s other abilities were incapacitated, but I really don’t like it that Kring said, “the real reason is that we wanted Nathan to show up and [save the day].” That shows real weakness in writing and it makes me worried about the next season.

    My new theory is that Nathan has a hidden power that enables him to mimick any of Peter’s powers only when around Peter. So they’d be some sort of “Power Twins” duo. That’s super lame, but I want Nathan to be alive.

    One other thing that, for some reason, I really want answered: What did Peter’s mother steal at the beginning of the season and why was she stealing it?

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