TV Article

Suppressing Engagements

On ''Heroes,'' Nathan has to deny cheating on his wife, Claire has to beg her brother not to reveal her powers, and Micah has to hide his abilities from his father

Adrian Pasdar, Heroes | FLIER LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE Nathan's wife learned something about his night with Niki
Image credit: Heroes: Paul Drinkwater
FLIER LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE Nathan's wife learned something about his night with Niki

''Heroes'': Secrets threaten to come out

We all suspected it, and it's pretty much confirmed — cute little curly-haired Micah, the spawn of two specially endowed parents, is a bit of a mini-superhero himself, a technopath, one who can ''repair and manipulate technology by touch.'' Just think about what he can do with that. He'll never have to worry about forgetting his cell-phone power cord at home, or finding a Wi-Fi hotspot, or having his iPod run out of battery right when that really awesome song comes on. Also, he is apparently smart to enough to realize that Niki (whose alter ego we've finally learned is named Jessica) is not his mother 100 percent of the time, but not smart enough to refrain from giving Jessica the name of his and D.L.'s motel. Am I the only one who thinks that we might have lost Niki/Jessica forever? Is she going to join up with Sylar at some point?

Speaking of Sylar, Matt and Audrey thought they had him cornered again, having found a person burnt to a crisp with an imprinted fingerprint on the body, but instead it led them to one Ted Sprague, a man who might be a new hero/villain (see the two hash marks on his neck, much like those we saw on Matt) with the supremely dangerous ability to harness nuclear power inside his body. He can burn people; he can give his wife cancer; he can melt ceiling fans like Dali clocks; he can...destroy New York City? As he said to Audrey when she threatened to shoot him, ''Do you have any idea what would happen if you did that? Because I don't. Maybe I'll explode, maybe I'll take out this whole hospital, maybe I'll wipe out this city like an atomic bomb.'' Ding.

But maybe not ding. I should probably stop trying to solve all the show's puzzles so early. It's easy to forget that for everything creator Tim Kring has introduced — all the characters and cross-references and subplots — we are only seven episodes in, which is nothing in the life span of a hopefully long-lasting television show. If we don't want Heroes to fizzle out in a blaze of first-season revelations, we might have to resign ourselves to the fact that some of these mysteries are not going to be solved for a long time.

Episode 7 was titled ''Nothing to Hide.'' Of course, there's everything to hide. Matt's wife is hiding an affair. Claire had to implore her brother not to tell the parental units after he found her suicide tape. And Nathan gave his brother possibly the best mini-soliloquy yet this season as to why they have to keep their superpowers a secret. ''Flying around — how is that going to help anybody? I don't have a gun, I don't have a badge, I don't know karate. I guess I can put on a costume and fly around, pull cats out of trees. How that's going to make a difference?'' I tend to agree with him. Maybe it's easy to think that flying — or invincibility or the ability to read minds — would be the bee's knees, but in the end, each of these characters is just another human being who has lived most of his or her existence (except maybe for Claire) with a plainness that most of us would recognize from our own lives.

And isn't it ironic that Nathan, who is able to soar and sonic-boom through the atmosphere, is married to a wheelchair-bound wife, a wife whom he apparently put in that chair after a car accident? We learned a lot about the elder Petrelli here, including the fact that he and the mysterious Vegas-based Linderman are intricately involved — Linderman and Nathan's father were associates, Linderman has made large contributions to Nathan's campaign, Linderman managed to buy the one painting of Isaac's that Peter needs. On this series, plotlines aren't lines as much as they are concentric circles and potential dead ends. Are Linderman and Horn-Rimmed Glasses in cahoots? Does Linderman own a Nissan Versa? (Seriously, NBC, enough with the product placement. It's obscenely blatant.)

Again, I urge patience. Character development has to be portioned out among more than half a dozen people. The cheerleader's not going to be saved for two episodes. You can't have all Hiro all the time in every episode. While ''YouTube is free, you idiot,'' it can't stay that way forever, right?

What do you think? Is your mind exploding all over the inside of your skull with too much information? Do you hold out any hope for Niki/Jessica? Is Claire's brother going to wuss out and squeal to his dad?

Originally posted Nov 07, 2006
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