Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No, Really, We're Okay Now!: TIC v. Heroes 4.8!

Cross-posted to Racialicious!

Note: Just want to invite everybody to check out the latest Roundtable thread covering 4.7 over at The R.

Are people's expectations really that low for this show anymore?

Going into this week's episode, the word seemed to be good from my friends: "Heroes ftw" one said on twitter; "we're on an upswing," another told me this morning. Really?

I didn't even mind that this was a placeholder episode; everybody needs those, I get that. But Sylar and Dudley DoWrong playing Law & Order: Superhuman Unit to track down a fugitive shapeshifter was by far the most effective plot in "Into Asylum," which in itself was nothing more than passable.

Not to say that our latest installment of As The Petrellis Turn didn't have bright spots: Cristine Rose and Milo Ventimiglia each showed some more welcome shades of humanity in Angela and Peter, respectively; and best of all, no Mexicans were harmed in the filming of the Claire-Bear Goes To Mexico sequences.

In fact, Claire was downright clever in using her regenerative powers to swindle a spring-drunk American coed out of his drinking money. But the ensuing reconciliation between herself and Nathan just felt hollow, because if there's one thing we've learned about this family – and Angela herself copped to this in her confessional – it's that these folks are always gonna make the wrong choice.

Speaking of bad decision-making, the point of all those shots of Danko shaving and listening to oldies finally came through – the poor grunt is more EEEEEVIL than he is smart, and he finally came undone this week, not only teaming up with Sy but flat-out allowing him to get the power Sylar has been after since early on in the series. What's the over/under on Gabriel turning on the “Hunter” and taking his shape – and his spot? Two episodes?

Near the end of the episodes, we got what was meant to be a dramatic sequence featuring the Petrellis and Claire walking away from their latest crises of faith and haircare. The problem for the series has been, we've always gotten this sequence, or some variant of it, where the First Family suddenly decides to stop practicing cranial-rectal exploration and get down to business.

And by this point, all I can say, again, is, really? After all that's happened they still need to hit rock bottom? In his monologue at the church, Peter made a compelling case for him honestly wanting to do some good in the world. But heroism, as any comic fan can tell you, is about more than good intentions; it's as much a job as a calling – with the same demands when it comes to your choices and your skill-set. And if the smartest people you know are manipulators and outright killers, you need to step up twice as hard. Here's to hoping this latest family turn toward ... well, outright intelligence sticks.

The Racialicious Scorecard
There. Now you've seen more POC core characters than were featured this week. And, hey, it's one thing for the show to rotate featured cast from show-to-show; that's the nature of an ensemble.

But, setting aside for a minute the convenience of Nate and Claire being safer in Mexico Hiro was on his native soil, what struck me most was, for all the talk about making things right, nobody – not even Claire – thought to mention Micah, who has been the most consistent force for good throughout this volume. And consider that last week, not only did Micah stick his neck out for Tracy's sake, but Hiro and Ando willingly traveled cross-country to save a kid that doesn't belong to either of them, and Mohinder has sacrificed himself for Matt's sake a few weeks ago. When the time comes to pay off the "Fugitives" storyline, will the POC characters matter?

Previously: Racialicious Heroes Archive

Title and Claire images courtesy of HeroesWiki
Angela/Peter image courtesy of Comic Book Resources
Hiro/Baby Matt image courtesy of Greg Beeman's Blog

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