TV Recap

'Heroes': Powerless

The much-anticipated eclipse has arrived and wiped out everyone's special abilities, but it may give some of them a chance for more depth (Peter, Nathan), while muddying the waters for others (Elle)

Heroes | SAC PASSÉ? Without either of their abilities, Peter and the Haitian hide as Nathan is taken away by the Haitian's brother
Image credit: Chris Haston/NBC
SAC PASSÉ? Without either of their abilities, Peter and the Haitian hide as Nathan is taken away by the Haitian's brother

'Heroes' recap: And so it begins

So, I've got a question — well, in truth, I've got plenty, but we'll just start with this one: How come everyone who can see the future is also an amazing artist? Are the mad drawing skillz a side effect of ''the vision''? Because, given that professional-level penciling ability is rather rare, most people would produce drawings that would elicit a ''Is that an eclipse…or a flower?'' I'm just saying.

And so we come to the Episode After Which Nothing Will Be The Same Ever Again…Until Such Time When We Decide It Will, In Fact, Return to Sameness. The moon was slipping in front of the sun, and that was important. No one was sure why, of course. Not Flaky Mohinder, who seemed to be the only guy who realized that an eclipse was hanging in the sky when everyone in the current Heroes generation got their powers — but didn't draw the inevitable conclusion. At least not until after he emerged from his slooge cocoon. (And, seriously, how did he get up into that ''hanging on the wall'' position?)

The upshot of the eclipse was that it caused everyone to lose their powers. Kaput. All that was left was people making silly motions that didn't have any special effects attending them. I realized something watching this show in which no one was ''special'': that I can't describe any character on the show in any depth without referencing what his or her power is. With the exception of Noah and Mohinder, none of the characters have character. Taken another way: If I asked you to describe Buffy Summers, you could make a list of things that don't involve her being preternaturally strong and fast. Brave. Insecure. Self-loathing. Funny. Overwhelmed. Solitary. Loyal. Passionate. Headstrong. Dedicated. Stylish. Sexual.

Okay, maybe that's not fair, using one of the most robust characters of the 20th century as a comparison. But try and describe Nathan — without using the words ''politician'' or ''fly'' — and see how deep you get. Try that with any of the Heroes roster. See what I mean. Almost everyone is a placeholder, a cipher for something real that doesn't exist.

And I think the writers sorta realized that this episode. Otherwise, why was everyone arguing with each other? Why, in the middle of their mission to retrieve the Haitian from Haiti, did Peter and Nathan decide that was the time to air their family grievances? (Know what? I've been to Haiti. And you, forest somewhere in the Hollywood Hills, are not Haiti.) Why, in the middle of laying low in a house that couldn't be more than ten minutes from their own, did Claire choose to lay into Noah about his absentee fatherism while getting a crash course on beating up Roman columns? Why the sudden cases of uncontrollable honesty?

Because maybe the writers thought that the only way to make these people interesting was to have them get more emotional than Spock during pon farr. (Yeah, I went there. How you like me now?)

NEXT: The deconstruction of Elle

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