‘Heroes’: Strangers and a new hero

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So what did we learn this week? Don’t pick up hitchhikers facedown on Mexican back roads, ‘going to the library’ is rarely a good excuse for ditching the parents, watch wrestling (you might learn something) and never chase your nightmares.

The show is moving along at a better pace now, though (grumble, grumble) there are still so many story lines that someone is always left out. This week? No Hiro, no Niki, no Peter Petrelli. Luckily, two story lines merged when Maya and Alejandro coincidentally came across Sylar in Mexico. Coincidentally. Hmmm ...

Other recaps
Claire/HRG: A moonlit talk on top of the Hollywood sign with flier West was ... weird. She’ll have to get over being ‘different’ sooner or later, and lying to dad could come back to bite her. HRG, though, is on his own quest with the Haitian.

Molly/Matt/Suresh/Nathan: After Nathan and Matt figure out that the older heroes are being hunted, Matt pushes Molly to find his dad -- and we find out that Parkman Sr. is the nightmare man! Her search puts her in a coma. Dang it, Matt! BTW, this story line seems to be the central one for now. THE photo: Linderman, Hiro’s dad, Mr. and Mrs. Petrelli, Deveraux, the gold spoon guy, a red-headed woman (a connection to Peter’s new love, perhaps) and Parkman’s father!


Micah: Not really about him, but about the introduction of new hero Monica (Dana Davis), Micah’s aunt. Her photo-reflexive powers (like Marvel’s Taskmaster) are cool. The Times-Picayune’s Dave Walker gives us a great glimpse of Dana and her prep for a role as a hero from post-Katrina New Orleans. The article also has a great overview of Nichelle Nichols’ introduction into the cast of ‘Heroes,’ and how it even affected trekkies.

How does Dana see the role? ‘It’s deeper than being a superhero. It’s about helping. Throughout the course of the season, you’ll see that.’

As long as folks keep watching they will. Many people, critical people, say they don’t like ‘Heroes’ anymore. It’s too this, it’s not enough that, it’s predictable. OK, Maya and Alejandro finding Sylar (or was it the other way around) was a bit (again) coincidental, but chance and planned encounters are some of the endearing characteristics of the show.

But are critics’ perceptions the popular ones? ‘Heroes’ has fallen from a 6.5 rating among 18-49 viewers during the first week to a 5.5, then to a 5.1 this last Monday. And critics may not even have to watch all season if a writers’ strike is called, though crews have apparently been working around the clock to make sure things are completed before, or in case, a strike happens.

Somebody (besides me) still likes the show, though, or the G4 and Mojo networks wouldn’t have paid about $300K an episode for off-network rights.

Who knows? Maybe the introduction of sleuth-turned-hero Kristen Bell next week will bring ‘Veronica Mars’ fans to the screen.

Now, as promised, more from our interview with Jack Coleman (HRG).

Truthfully, would you rather have the splintered story lines or the group/team format?

In terms of story formats, I think the way to go is a combination of global stories about many people at the same time, with the occasional foray into a smaller, more specific story, which sheds light on a particular character or event. This show can’t lose it’s macro focus, however rewarding the micro episodes may be.

If you could change one thing about your character, what would it be? Why?

If I could change one thing about my character it would to make him irresistible to Swedish supermodels -- to match my personal life. Truthfully, there is precious little I would change about this part. I’m having the time of my life.

What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you as a result of the show’s popularity?

The most surprising thing that has happened to me as a result of this show is to find myself with Hayden and Adrian and Milo on a Paris street in front of 6,000 screaming fans and thinking ... a year and a half ago I was hoping the show would get picked up and my part might recur. Adrian actually turned to me and said, ‘Not bad for a couple of old war horses.’

If you had to have a powers-based showdown with another character on the show, who would defeat you?

If I had a powers-based showdown with any other character on the show, I would lose to every last one of them, with the possible exception of Suresh. My character could give him a fatal dose of the creeps, but his insistent refrain of honoring his ‘father’s research,’ in the end, would most likely bring me to my knees.

Which brings us to our next poll:

Photos: NBC

-- Jevon Phillips