Ugh, after a pretty strong season of Heroes, the last several episodes have been disappointing me and the season finale continued that trend. More spoilers ahead, please be warned!

First, let me say that if you're going to make a television show that deals with super-powers, time travelling, and global conspiracies - you know damn well that a large portion of your audience will be uber-geeks with craniums the size of basketballs that have no other life but to obsess about the details of the fiction you're writing. You better make damn sure that your overall story and events fit together into a sensible package.

And since I'll now proceed to tear apart some of the plot holes and sloppy writing from tonight's episode, let the pondering of my hat size begin:

  • How did Hiro's time travelling change anything? Time travelling to the future showed New York was destroyed by an explosion. How? Presumably Peter lost control of his powers and blew up... if Hiro would have not travelled into the future, then New York would have still be destroyed. Hiro escaped back to the past armed with a sword and a comic book depicting how Sylar was to be killed. So how did Hiro's actions after that point prevent the explosion? Yes Hiro stabbed Sylar with a sword, but that had nothing to do with the explosion. If nothing that Hiro did caused any change to whether the bomb went off or not, and the bomb did not go off (as evidenced by tonight's episode), then why did it occur in the future that Hiro travelled to?
  • The only thing that could make sense here is that when Hiro called Nathan a villain it made him reconsider his actions and this resulted in his self-sacrificing act. But Nathan did not seem to be struggling with his decision throughout the whole episode (every scene seemed to show Nathan strengthening his resolve, even when Peter read his thoughts). Nope, he just swooped down on Judgment Day, said "The name's Machina. Deus Ex Machina." and then proceeded to save the day. But what changed his mind? Did he get a phone call from Ando in Tokyo?
  • Peter had already absorbed Sylar's powers (when Peter tackled Sylar off of the high school roof). In fact, I'm pretty sure I remember Peter using his telekinetic abilities to stop swords and bullets ... So why did Peter suddenly lose control this time? Must have been that new super-hearing power of Sylar's that pushed Peter over the edge. Maybe he could hear Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" on an iPod somewhere in Long Island...
  • Micah: "Mom! Dad needs you!" - wtf kid - if your super-strong Mom could get the bullet out of your Dad's gut she would have done it about ten minutes ago... Just a writer's excuse to get Niki into and quickly out of the fight... too bad, that was one thing I was interested to see.

But you know, these inconsistencies wouldn't be so hard to bear if I actually cared about the characters the way I did earlier in the year. I guess about 2-3 weeks ago, when it was evident that the overall time-travel story was just something thrown in by the writers for shiggles, when it was clear that it had no effect on the outcome of the main story arc, that I began to lose investment in the characters. I mean, you can only listen to Peter or Niki or Hiro whine "I'm not strong enough" a bunch of times before that gets tired.

Hey, don't get me wrong. I'll still be tuning in next season to see what "Generations" is all about - I am a comic book/sci-fi geek after all. I still want to know if Peter, Nathan and Matt are alive or dead. I still want to know what Mama and Papa Petrelli's powers are. But I don't know if there's anything that will completely wipe out the bad taste that the last few hours of Season 1 left in my mouth. I was seeking answers to mysteries and I just didn't get any because there were no answers to give.

Let's see what Wednesday's "Lost" brings...

§374 · May 21, 2007 · Entertainment, Heroes, Television · · [Print]

16 Comments to “Heroes Finale Letdown”

  1. apckrfan says:

    In the 5 year future episode, Sylar had killed Claire; Peter had not “Saved the Cheerleader, Save the World”, allowing Sylar to kill Claire. Thus having her regeneration powers. Presumably, he was able to kill the shapeshifting woman (I’m gapping on her name at the moment) to take Nathan’s place at some point between the epsiode “Homecoming” and the point of the explosion. Leading to him killing Nathan, Sylar was Nathan in the 5 year future episode.

    Obviously, Sylar wasn’t going to kill himself to save the world. So, Peter would have been left to explode and destroy New York, empowering Nathan!Sylar to get into the White House, riding on the coattails of a disaster.

    Basically, it all went back to Save the Cheerleader, Save the World. Claire also battled fate by letting Jackie take the credit for the rescue, Sylar killed her initially in Homecoming instead of Claire thinking she was the one who’d rescued the train derailment survivor.

  2. hayofray says:

    And is it just me or couldn’t Peter have flown into the atmosphere without Nathan as he absorbed Nathan’s power in what episode 2???

  3. @apckrfan: My point is – it didn’t matter if Sylar lived or died, Peter would have blown up regardless because he lost control of his powers – so what was the point of saving the cheerleader? Are you suggesting that in this alternate timeline that we saw, Sylar first absorbed Claire’s power, then later absorbed Candace’s (the shape-shifters), then later killed Nathan prior to the explosion going down? In other words, because Sylar killed Nathan in this alternate timeline, Peter blew up New York instead of harmlessly blowing up in the sky? I can almost buy this theory, it’s clever, but it still does not explain what effects present-day Hiro had on the course of things to change the timeline… (Remember: future Hiro went back in time to tell Peter to save the cheerleader, but when he went back to the future he found out that it hadn’t changed anything even though Claire was still alive).

    @hayofray: Peter did tell his brother that he’d absorbed too many powers and couldn’t do anything. I take this as a somewhat logical explanation of why he couldn’t just fly up into the atmosphere himself – he was too overwhelmed and had lost control.

  4. EBob says:

    in the future, sylar did not kill claire. she was working in a bar with black hair and about to get married. you are incorrect

  5. Allen Holman says:

    ‘Let’s see what Wednesday’s “Lost” brings…’

    Man, you just a masochist

  6. @EBob: There were actually two future timelines. The first timeline was the one in which Claire was killed by Sylar and envisioned by Isaac in the beginning. In this timeline, Hiro stabbed Sylar, but he regenerated. As a result of this, future Hiro went back into the past to warn Peter to save the cheerleader. This created a new future timeline in which Claire survived and went into hiding (yes, changing her hair colour), yet the explosion had still taken place. We saw this timeline in Five Years Gone.

    You know, I thought about this a little more: Saving Claire was important because she did end up being the one that caused Nathan to turn around (by saying the future wasn’t written in stone and by jumping out the window). It still leaves a question unsolved though: when Future Hiro returned to the future, the disaster had still taken place (Five Years Gone“>Five Years Gone), so was there some action on present Hiro’s part after Five Years Gone that caused things to happen the way they did in the finale? So it goes like this: Future Hiro warns Peter to save the cheerleader, Claire is saved, present Hiro causes something to happen, Claire convinces Nathan to help, Nathan saves New York by flying his brother up into the sky.

  7. Jess says:

    I thought the finale was a major letdown, too. At the very least, I was hoping for an awesome showdown between Peter and Sylar where Peter would use all his absorbed powers in conjunction to defeat Sylar. Oh, well…maybe budgetary issues limited what they could do in the final scene?

  8. @Jess: yeah I definitely get the feeling that budgetary constraints limit the amount of special effects used on the show. That’s really too bad, maybe they can secure some more for next year… But hey, it’s definitely not the blockbuster special effect bonanza that Spider-Man 3 was…

  9. Kristan says:

    Blah….. What a disappointment! It was like having a really bad orgasm after hours of foreplay.
    I watched each and every episode in eager anticipation of my beloved Heroes. Most of the episodes left me satisfied and craving for more…but now, after this deflating finale, I am skeptical about the next season.
    I may watch a few episodes in the Fall to see if there is a rejuvenation in the writing or I may have to say Au Revoir to my beloved show.

  10. Caleb says:

    The show needs to seriously prune some characters and tighten up the storyline.
    Shallow, useless characters who need to be pruned:

    And please enough already of Sylar, he is not a villian, he is a class clown

  11. Jeff Coleman says:

    Yeah, big disappointment. All my friends seem to have really liked it though!

    For me the big problem with Heroes is that it’s JUST plot. The characters make no sense, they only exist to move this bizarre randomly mechanical plot forward, and the plot itself makes very little sense either, nevermind any kind of emotional resonance.

    I can’t help but compare the show to Buffy where plot, monsters, powers, etc, took a backseat or at least equal place with the character development, and the big season climaxes featured lots of teamwork, lots of strong character writing, and advanced the plot.

  12. I’d have to agree with Jeff. Heroes is all about moving to the next plot point, and characters rarely develop in an organic way (one reason I always loved Buffy so much was the ability to pull this off convincingly). Since the writing is so focused on the bullet points, it’s up to the actors to develop their characters. Some do it well (Masi Oka, Jack Coleman), some do it very poorly (Zach Quinto, Ali Larter, Haydene Whatsherface).

  13. Craig says:

    What I don’t get is why nathan didnt just take the gun off claire and shoot peter rather than sacrificing himself needlessly

  14. Jeff Coleman says:

    A good friend of mine has a theory that Nathan flew Peter up into the sky, dropped him with enough time to spare, and flew off. Who knows, we’ll see 🙂

  15. Bryan says:

    Seems to me like Hiro’s importance was in killing (or rather wounding) Sylar, so Sylar couldn’t prevent everyone from stopping the Peter Bomb. Since had Sylar still been around, he would’ve kicked Nathan’s ass and Peter would’ve been stuck on the ground till he went boom. Why Sylar wanted to kill himself in the explosion…well, several ppl above have mentioned the inconsistent characters.

    That aside, I think a smarter way to resolve things would’ve been to have Sylar successfully fighting off Nathan & Nikki as Peter was glowing hotter and hotter…then suddenly have Hiro’s sword materialize through him, with Hiro suddenly standing there (thus we’re seeing his ability from the others’ standpoint…could go off on a major tangent here about how the writers in multiple earlier episodes don’t correctly portray what Hiro’s ability would look like to anyone observing him…but whatevs). That way we could’ve had some more satisfying fighting (Sylar vs. flyboy & schizowonderwoman), a clearer necessity for Hiro’s actions, and a proper use of Hiro’s powers…after all, in the finale Hiro materializes several feet away, then RUNS at Sylar with the sword…I mean c’mon, we’ve already seen that Sylar is quicker than that.

    But of course all this doesn’t address the simple point that knocking Peter out would calm his agitated ass down. I just hope he’s actually dead, so we don’t have to listen to him whine through another season.

  16. Marty Mcfly says:

    Thankyou Mr Schiller, im in total agreement with you in what you said, unfortunately you seem to be one of the few people that actually understands time travel. There really is know way that i can see hiro going back in time from this timeline stopped the bomb. Hiro had virtually nill interaction with Nathan, Claire or Peter,(The ones responsible for peter either exploding or not) once . The only thing i can see that would explain this is the vilian comment made by hiro to nathan, which seems very unlikely.

    To be honest i think the writers just got a bit confused themselves, i think the other plot holes in the episode “5 years gone” point to their own misunderstanding timelines they wrote about.
    For instance:
    – Why did peter have the scar if he had already saved claire and therefore absorbed her ability to heal.
    – Why did Hiro’s timeline depiction in the rooftop building even mention claire’s murder as she had been saved in this future. Surely when future Hiro went back in time his own future self would have come to a different conclusion on how to stop the bomb.
    – Also not only did Future hiros actions save the cheerleader, but it also resulted indirectly in most of the main characters converging on new york, and therefore one would assume dying. So for the plot to make sense, Hiro upon returning to the past not only somehow effects nathan intervening in peter’s fate, but also is responsible for the other characters converging on the place of the explosion.

    Despite all this i really did enjoy the episode 5 years gone, just a shame that the whole plot was torn to shreds.