Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Heroes Retrospective #2

Don't Look Back

Not much to say about this one...

1. Matt and Eden join the cast. There's something about Greg Grunberg that makes him instantly accessible and sympathetic no matter what role he's playing; Nora Zehetner, by contrast, telegraphs Eden's duplicity a mile away. I get the feeling Zehetner might not have been totally comfortable in the role at first, though she certainly grew into it later.

2. Lots of surprising guest-stars this episode: I liked Clea DuVall in "Girl, Interrupted", but the real surprise of the evening was Stacy Haiduk, who I'd last seen as Lana Lang in the toxic "Adventures of Superboy" live-action series from the '80s. In fairness to Haiduk, she's hardly the blandest Lana to ever darken our screen - that honor belongs to current mannequin-on-the-move Kristin Kreuk, whose upper lip moves only slightly more frequently than the western coast of the United States. It also took me a few minutes to peg where I'd seen Matt Lanter (Brody) before: he was a participant in "Manhunt", the male version of "America's Next Top Model" (which was astonishingly even more vapid and ridiculous than its template).

3. One Degree of Separation: Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli) played Prue Halliwell's boss in "Charmed", where Zachary Quinto (Sylar) guest-starred as a warlock out to kill the Halliwell cat (yes, you can tell that was a later-season episode, can't you?).

4. There's such a thing as being too subtle: Peter's stick-figure drawing was meant to be the big red alert that he'd just used Isaac's powers (while hopped up on morphine, natch), but it's such an understated moment that when he references it in a later episode, I had completely forgotten about it.

5. Angela's visit with Peter is a bit odd, for two reasons. First, this is one of the very few times we hear anything about the Petrelli patriarch, a character who to this day remains shrouded in mystery; second, the implication is that Peter might be suffering from an inherited mental illness (which could be an interesting turn for a primary character), but this plot point is never raised again.

6. Claire is the only one who asks what happened to the man she saved from the fire last episode. It's little touches like that which made her stand out to begin with, and certainly helped shape her into an admirable heroine as time went by.

7. Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia have amazing chemistry together - I've seen actual brothers who were less convincing on-screen.

8. Hiro's trip to the future, and what he sees there, is the first seasonal subplot to be introduced. One question the show hasn't really dealt with yet is the issue of free will vs. predestination - is the future set in stone or can it be changed? Everything Isaac painted (and will paint) comes true, which seems to suggest his death is inevitable (as others pointed out, the gun Hiro finds is the same gun Isaac will eventually use to shoot Simone). But "Save The Cheerleader, Save The World" implies that Claire wasn't saved the first time around.