TV Article

Pompom and Circumstance

On ''Heroes,'' the long-awaited ''Save the cheerleader'' episode ends in a tie; plus, Mohinder finally decides whether he wants to quit or not

Heroes, Hayden Panettiere | HOMECOMING ATTRACTION On the plus side, Claire was elected queen
Image credit: Heroes: Chris Haston
HOMECOMING ATTRACTION On the plus side, Claire was elected queen

''Heroes'': Trying to save cheerleader, world

That's it?

Seriously?

I feel duped. I feel had, took, hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray. I have been digging the show as much as y'all have the past few weeks and have been looking forward to this episode for just as long. You know, ''Save the cheerleader, save the world.'' But — and don't lie to yourself, you agree — this was a letdown.

Why was it a letdown? Possibly because the potentially awesome showdown between Peter and Sylar (whose face we finally got to kinda see, so everyone put aside those theories that Hiro/Peter/Eden/H.R.G. is actually the villain) turned out to be slasher-movie-level stupid. I'm talking 'bout Sylar not really chasing the people he was trying to kill but instead standing still and then walking very slowly, à la Michael Myers. Was his heart not in it? I'm talking 'bout Sylar throwing locker doors at Peter, and the latter running away like a scared rabbit. And I'm talking 'bout the pair actually grappling for only a hot second before slamming hard onto the Texas pavement.

And that was it.

Okay. We are only nine episodes into a brand-new show. Maybe my expectations were too high. I don't blame myself, however. Don't blame yourselves either. Blame NBC. Their marketing people are very good. Which sorta makes them very bad.

Tell you what, though: I was not sad to see Jackie the cheerleader die (though she did have one of the night's best lines — ''Public schools suck''). I mean, that character was not played with any subtlety whatsoever. She was a grade-A beeyotch, and if Sylar hadn't offed her, I would have reached through my 17-inch television screen and sliced her dome off myself.

So, Peter got arrested and Sylar got away — almost. Eden, dressed like an extra from The Matrix Revolutions, used her Jedi mind trick to slow him down, and then the Haitian put him to sleep. As it turned out, our show's powerful bad guy is much like any other guy: He can get knocked on his ass by a pretty girl whispering sweet nothings to him. But is H.R.G.'s paper factory strong enough to hold a super villain?

In addition to the cheerleader plotline, chapter 9, titled ''Homecoming,'' gave us a bit of almost everyone (except for Matt Parkman, poor Matt Parkman), but it focused on Mohinder again to an almost excruciating degree. Okay, we got it. He was at a crossroads. He had to figure out whether to follow in his father's footsteps or not. There was a message on his computer screen that read, ''Do you want to quit or not?'' It's all as subtle as that bizatch of a cheerleader. But if I were Mohinder and I had finally come across a freaky kid who had been invading my dreams and that kid played coy by telling me, ''You already have the answer you seek,'' I would have punted his soccer ball over the wall. And then the inevitable came, as Mohinder finally decided that no, he wasn't going to quit and found his father's list of people with special powers. And it's a long list, kids. This show could potentially go on forever.

But things might not last too much longer for D.L., because Jessica is pissed. She's so pissed that she went out and bought a pretty awesome rifle to take her husband out. I'm feeling sorta blah about Niki and her family's story line. I don't think I'm the only one. Maybe it's the fact that the show is called Heroes, and I don't want to follow someone who is not clearly either good or bad. Simplistic? Yes. So what?

What do you think? Were you as disappointed with this episode as I was? What is up with Isaac's new painting of that Human Torch-looking thing? Is Jessica's bullet going to kill D.L. or pass through his body? Are the Texas cops going to put a hurting on Yankee boy Peter? And are you all looking forward to next week's episode, when lots of major questions will supposedly be answered?

Originally posted Nov 21, 2006
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