Heroes: Powerless

The title aptly describes the show’s creators in their efforts to approach the quality of the first season.

Title: Powerless

Cast

David Anders as Adam
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh
Zachary Quinto as Sylar
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
Noah Gray-Cabey as Micah Sanders
Dania Ramirez as Maya
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Ali Larter as Niki Sanders
Stephen Tobolowsky as Bob
Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Dana Davis as Monica Dawson
Kristen Bell as Elle
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Adair Tishler as Molly
Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli
James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi
Nicholas D’Agosto as West

Premise

Adam, Hiro, Peter, and others face each other in Texas. Elle gets taken off the job, but decides to intervene in Brooklyn, where Sylar holds several characters hostage. Micah and Niki encounter trouble rescuing Monica in a potentially interesting plot that remains stubbornly separate from the rest of the season. Startling announcements almost get made, characters may or may not die, and Sylar regains his powers.

High Points

The show still has potential and a generally strong cast. If they can come up with a new direction, I could be tempted to watch the next season.

Low Points

Unlike many viewers, I’ve been in Maya’s corner, arguing that the character has potential and they might have an impressive payoff for her. Apparently, I was wrong. In this final episode, we see abrupt shifts of allegiance that would make Mohinder’s head spin, followed by another temporary death. The gave her a complicated backstory and then reduced her to a plot device. Sylar returns as the key menace. He’s a good actor and a great villain, but the show needs a new direction.

The Scores

Originality: 2/6. The episode showed a stunning lack of imagination, as anything that might shake up the status quo was neatly sidestepped.1 The only surprising move was Hiro’s needlessly cruel method of dealing with Adam. That seems to have more to do with having Adam available to return (does he, however, not need to eat?) then a major development to Hiro’s optimistic personality, which it should be. At least, that’s how I’m placing my bets. Does anyone ever definitively die on this show? C’mon, Hiro. Cut off Adam’s head. Travel back to the Cretaceous and shove Adam down a tyrannosaurus gullet. Drop him in the ocean over the sharks the show is currently jumping. Don’t rip off The Vanishing, with thoughts of bringing Adam back.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 3/6 I realize the writers’ strike has had an impact, but this finale made for a disjointed mess, with much of the plot developing from bad decisions. Characters can, of course, make bad decisions, but they should be bad decisions those characters would conceivably make. Peter trusts a relative stranger and makes no attempt to read his mind. Mohinder, supposed genius, makes incredibly stupid choices.

The episode also leaves a good many loose ends.

Acting: 4/6. In addition to the usual actors who receive credit for strong performances, Dana Davis (Monica) and Adair Tishler (Molly) show significant potential—- but get very little to do.

West needs to fly away.

Emotional Response: 3/6 I recognize the convention that allows shows to cross-cut among storylines that may not occur at the same time, but it was disconcerting to see the Electric Elle make it from California to Brooklyn while elsewhere, short-lived conflicts unfolded. If I’m thinking of these things, the story has lost my full attention

Production: 5/6

Overall: 3/6

In total, “Powerless” receives 25/42.

1. Granted, two major characters died. One we’ve not seen much lately, and the impact of both deaths has been rendered meaningless by the show’s frequent use of the Revolving Door of Death, one convention that should’ve been left with mainstream comics.

30 replies on “Heroes: Powerless”

  1. grundil says:

    re: Elle Odessa to Brooklyn
    I don’t recall Elle ever being in Odessa, at least not in this episode.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: re: Elle Odessa to Brooklyn

      I don’t recall Elle ever being in Odessa, at least not in this episode.

      Corrected. I believe she was in California and made it to Brooklyn. Of course, this is the one week I didn’t tape the show, so I may have erred regarding her location by that point in the episode.

  2. Tekzel says:

    Disappointing season.
    If the first season had been like this one, I doubt I would have watched the second season. My biggest complaint was touched upon in the writeup. The whole dead… psych! Bit. That was old the very fist time they used it. Its just beyond lame.

    Regarding Hiro, I like the growth the character has had over the last two seasons. I don’t necessarily agree that his solution to Adam was needlessly cruel. I feel that if someone killed MY mother or father, I would feel justified in doing the same thing. Why just lop off his head, when he can be made to suffer for his sins? Im not 100% sure, but was that his father’s grave he put him in? That would be poetic justice if so.

    • benvking says:

      Re: Disappointing season.

      If the first season had been like this one, I doubt I would have watched the second season. My biggest complaint was touched upon in the writeup. The whole dead… psych! Bit. That was old the very fist time they used it. Its just beyond lame.

      Regarding Hiro, I like the growth the character has had over the last two seasons. I don’t necessarily agree that his solution to Adam was needlessly cruel. I feel that if someone killed MY mother or father, I would feel justified in doing the same thing. Why just lop off his head, when he can be made to suffer for his sins? Im not 100% sure, but was that his father’s grave he put him in? That would be poetic justice if so.

      Isn’t this how Alias Ended ?

      • is says:

        Re: Disappointing season.

        Isn’t this how Alias Ended ?

        yep. this leaves the door open for Adam to magically reappear later. By the way, there is no way you would hear his voice from the camera’s position above ground.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Disappointing season.

      I don’t necessarily agree that his solution to Adam was needlessly cruel. I feel that if someone killed MY mother or father, I would feel justified in doing the same thing. Why just lop off his head, when he can be made to suffer for his sins? Im not 100% sure, but was that his father’s grave he put him in? That would be poetic justice if so.

      YMMV. I don’t see unnecessarily causing prolonged suffering for base revenge to be particularly heroic, and Hiro has always aspired to be heroic. It’s also taking a huge risk with someone who was willing to destroy the human race. Killing the person ends that risk. And I admit I’m especially annoyed that the only reason (I suspect; I could be wrong) he took that risk was so that the writers could bring back Adam if they chose.

      • Radish03 says:

        Re: Disappointing season.
        I’m wondering whether Hiro even has learned that disrupting Adam’s brain would kill him. I can’t think of why he would have learned that from anyone. If, as far as he knows Adam is indestructible (he saw the man incinerated in an explosion), his actions kind of make sense from that standpoint. Not very heroic, but what else are you going to do with a man who you think can’t be killed?

        • TwistyHat says:

          Re: Disappointing season.

          I’m wondering whether Hiro even has learned that disrupting Adam’s brain would kill him. I can’t think of why he would have learned that from anyone. If, as far as he knows Adam is indestructible (he saw the man incinerated in an explosion), his actions kind of make sense from that standpoint. Not very heroic, but what else are you going to do with a man who you think can’t be killed?

          Drop him on the moon ;)

        • Karrde712 says:

          Re: Disappointing season.

          I’m wondering whether Hiro even has learned that disrupting Adam’s brain would kill him.

          I’m surprised no one else has noticed this yet, but we don’t actually know that this truly would kill him anyway. Right now, we’re working under the assumption that his power functions the same way as Claire’s. We’ve actually seen Claire receive a brain injury and heal it.

          In the first season, when she was "killed" by the sleazy football player, she took a sharp branch to the brain. Later, when the coroner removed the branch, she regenerated fully.

          Mrs. Petrelli states that a bullet to the brain is the only way to stop Adam and Peter. (What are they, vampires?) Most bullets of a caliber greater than a .22 will enter and exit the skull. The only reason Claire hadn’t regenerated yet was because the branch was still in her head. Presumably, with the bullet not lodged in his brain, Adam would regenerate immediately.

          Let’s assume, then, that the bullet remains in the brain. We’ve seen before that bullets are pushed out of the body by the healing effect anyway. Admittedly, if the brain is a special case, then perhaps the bullet would remain in the head. However, eventually the bullet would have to be removed (assuming the body was found by the police) for forensics evidence. At this point, Adam would certainly revive yet again.

          In conclusion, the only real choice that Hiro has is to trap Adam (hopefully) forever.

          • belzedaar says:

            Re: Disappointing season.

            I’m wondering whether Hiro even has learned that disrupting Adam’s brain would kill him.

            HRG took a bullet through the eye into what I would assume would be his brain. They fixed that by a simple blood transfusion. The brain can’t be be in control of the healing process. You can just take some blood and give it to someone without the healing power and essentially bring them back from the dead. Again, it seems that its a case of the writers ( or lack of writers perhaps? ) not thinking through the implications of people’s powers.

          • Nickvotrobeck says:

            Re: Disappointing season.

            In conclusion, the only real choice that Hiro has is to trap Adam (hopefully) forever.

            How about the Highlander option? Hiro’s been carrying the answer around for a while now.

      • Jarretthere says:

        Re: Disappointing season.

        I don’t necessarily agree that his solution to Adam was needlessly cruel. I feel that if someone killed MY mother or father, I would feel justified in doing the same thing. Why just lop off his head, when he can be made to suffer for his sins? Im not 100% sure, but was that his father’s grave he put him in? That would be poetic justice if so.

        YMMV. I don’t see unnecessarily causing prolonged suffering for base revenge to be particularly heroic, and Hiro has always aspired to be heroic. It’s also taking a huge risk with someone who was willing to destroy the human race. Killing the person ends that risk. And I admit I’m especially annoyed that the only reason (I suspect; I could be wrong) he took that risk was so that the writers could bring back Adam if they chose.

        I was thinking that Hiro’s solution, while terribly cruel for someone who thus far is timeless, has at least the virtue of not making Hiro into a murderer. Given the range of choices to remove Adam, I thought that the solution was a elegant one. (Not that I would want to be Adam, mind you.) Agreed that it left it open for him to return (Season 8?) He could still theoretically dig himself out, if he is determined enough. (A metal-lined Coffin would just take longer.) What else does he have to do?

        • valen1260 says:

          Re: Disappointing season.

          He could still theoretically dig himself out, if he is determined enough. (A metal-lined Coffin would just take longer.) What else does he have to do?

          Buffy did it. :)

          In another note, I recall a villain from Highlander: The Series. MacLeod had stranded another immortal in a desert. Since he could not die, the immortal spent years crawling inches before dieing of hunger and resurrecting. I see Adam doing something similar if he doesn’t hurry.

    • TwistyHat says:

      Re: Disappointing season.

      If the first season had been like this one, I doubt I would have watched the second season. My biggest complaint was touched upon in the writeup. The whole dead… psych! Bit. That was old the very fist time they used it. Its just beyond lame.

      Regarding Hiro, I like the growth the character has had over the last two seasons. I don’t necessarily agree that his solution to Adam was needlessly cruel. I feel that if someone killed MY mother or father, I would feel justified in doing the same thing. Why just lop off his head, when he can be made to suffer for his sins?

      Then you are no better than Adamn, in having an opinion which simply says "I’m entitled to do what ever I do because I do it for the right reasons"

      • Tekzel says:

        Re: Disappointing season.

        Then you are no better than Adamn, in having an opinion which simply says "I’m entitled to do what ever I do because I do it for the right reasons"

        I am not sure I get your point. Anything we do, we do because we feel we are entitled to do it, and if those actions are the results of hard decisions, we often justify them as being "the right thing". Lets pose a classical question. If you could travel back in time and kill Hitler, thereby saving millions of Jews, would you? You are committing cold blooded murder, he never did anything to YOU. Well, unless you are a concentration camp survivor or a direct descendant of one. Would it be "right" for you to kill him? Would it be more "right" for a concentration camp survivor to kill him?

        Back to Hiro. This man murdered his father, and fully intended to kill billions of humans for the sole reason to be viewed as a god to the survivors. Does he have the right to take vengeance? If yes, who chooses what form that vengeance is allowed to take and still be right? If no, then you are wrong :)

        I, personally, don’t find causing suffering to certain human beings as reprehensible. Some people deserve it. For instance, someone that killed my mother or father. You say that makes me evil like Adam? I find that to be a strange view point.

  3. valen1260 says:

    stalling
    Peter’s ability to walk through walls is well-known to both he and Adam. So, why did they waste time ripping a super-heavy-duty vault door off it’s hinges? It was a poor plot device to stall so Nathan and Parkman could catch up.

    Equally foolish was Peter r-u-n-n-i-n-g (BayWatch style) to the vault instead of teleporting.

    Third-strike-and-you’re-out award goes to the writing. There’s NO WAY Adam’s plan (or any, for that matter) could succeed with not one, but two, time travelers. They have unlimited do-overs. I’m really surprised Adam didn’t run Hiro through when he had the chance.

    • pelogrande says:

      Re: stalling

      Peter’s ability to walk through walls is well-known to both he and Adam. So, why did they waste time ripping a super-heavy-duty vault door off it’s hinges? It was a poor plot device to stall so Nathan and Parkman could catch up.

      Equally foolish was Peter r-u-n-n-i-n-g (BayWatch style) to the vault instead of teleporting.

      Because Peter has the potential to be the most powerful character on the show. Thus, he needs a weakness. His weakness is that he’s a complete moron.

      • octa says:

        Re: stalling
        Haha, well put. I hate the direction (or lack of) the show is going in and especially hate the cliched plot holes the writers have tossed around this season.

        They lost me with this last one. Hiro and Peter are obviously the most powerful characters on the show, yet time and time again they fail to give any rational thought to their actions. And Sylar is back. Wooptee doo. Zzzzzzz.

        I’ll be waiting for Lost to start up. Thank god my Monday nights have freed up.

      • J_W_W says:

        Re: stalling

        Peter’s ability to walk through walls is well-known to both he and Adam. So, why did they waste time ripping a super-heavy-duty vault door off it’s hinges? It was a poor plot device to stall so Nathan and Parkman could catch up.

        Equally foolish was Peter r-u-n-n-i-n-g (BayWatch style) to the vault instead of teleporting.

        Because Peter has the potential to be the most powerful character on the show. Thus, he needs a weakness. His weakness is that he’s a complete moron.

        Best.Post.Ever. ;-)

        • joe__gee says:

          Re: stalling

          Best.Post.Ever. ;-)

          Superpowers + mental kyptonite = I haet ti wenn thatt heppans

    • tsunayoshi says:

      Re: stalling

      Peter’s ability to walk through walls is well-known to both he and Adam. So, why did they waste time ripping a super-heavy-duty vault door off it’s hinges? It was a poor plot device to stall so Nathan and Parkman could catch up.

      I am the only person who immediately thought of Yoda when him and Count Dooku began tossing things around with the Force in Attack of the Clones? The whole face squinting, hands ripping at things almost made me laugh.

  4. Grounded says:

    Sylar
    "Sylar returns as the key menace. He’s a good actor and a great villain, but the show needs a new direction."

    I agree the show is in desperate need of a new direction, but Sylar is a good actor and great villain? He had a few moments in the first season (mainly before we met him face to face), but this year he’s been chewing the scenery all over the place. Having said that, the writers haven’t helped him – anyone else cringe at the "I’m back!" at the end? ;)

    • valen1260 says:

      Re: Sylar

      anyone else cringe at the "I’m back!" at the end? ;)

      I expected him to crush the can and say, "I’m strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach."

      • Grounded says:

        Re: Sylar

        anyone else cringe at the "I’m back!" at the end? ;)

        I expected him to crush the can and say, "I’m strong to the finich, cause I eats me spinach."

        That would actually have been better.

      • Fozzy_Bear says:

        Re: Sylar

        I expected him to crush the can and say, "I’m strong to the finish, cause I eats me spinach."

        You’re not the only one.

        .

    • J_W_W says:

      Re: Sylar

      "Sylar returns as the key menace. He’s a good actor and a great villain, but the show needs a new direction."

      I agree the show is in desperate need of a new direction, but Sylar is a good actor and great villain? He had a few moments in the first season (mainly before we met him face to face), but this year he’s been chewing the scenery all over the place. Having said that, the writers haven’t helped him – anyone else cringe at the "I’m back!" at the end? ;)

      Is there a _single_ heroes fan that likes the fact that Sylar is still on the show?

      I think the writers/producers have GREATLY overestimated the desire of the fans to see Sylar.

      If Volume 3 focuses on Sylar too much I just don’t think I’ll keep watching. His storyline this year totally sucks, with the primary reason being that it shouldn’t even exist.

      • tsunayoshi says:

        Re: Sylar

        "Sylar returns as the key menace. He’s a good actor and a great villain, but the show needs a new direction."

        I agree the show is in desperate need of a new direction, but Sylar is a good actor and great villain? He had a few moments in the first season (mainly before we met him face to face), but this year he’s been chewing the scenery all over the place. Having said that, the writers haven’t helped him – anyone else cringe at the "I’m back!" at the end? ;)

        The end of season #1 made it seem like this past season would be about the nightmare man Molly was afraid to see, but that just turned out to be Matt’s father who became a moot point fairly quickly.

        Is there a _single_ heroes fan that likes the fact that Sylar is still on the show?

        I think the writers/producers have GREATLY overestimated the desire of the fans to see Sylar.

        If Volume 3 focuses on Sylar too much I just don’t think I’ll keep watching. His storyline this year totally sucks, with the primary reason being that it shouldn’t even exist.

        Volume three is titled "Villans", so hopefully there is more than just Silar as the main bad dude. Although we are running out of (known) people to be bad guys.

        I wish him and Peter would just duke it out Highlander style so there can be only one power-stealing/absorbing character. left in the series.

  5. joe__gee says:

    Difficult to follow …
    So thrown together. Very wooden, and jarring.

    Lows:

    Maria’s whirlwind conversion, death, and resurrection sucked.

    Nicki dying in such a stupid way. If they bleed Claire dry, and send Hiro back to snatch Nicki away from the explosion …

    The whole flying man / Parkman thing flying piggyback reminded me of the "Ambiguously Gay Superheroes" cartoon from SNL a few years ago. We needed Parkman there to do what, again? Slide down the hallway?

    Peter following Adam after Adam shot the recluse woman in the last episode. Peter following Adam after he leans that Adam killed Hiro’s father. Peter is, indeed, superstupid.

    The forced, wooden, awkward exposition by the Superbitch, mére Patrelli. "We had a backup plan to destroy the world, just because it seemed like such a good idea the first time."

    Claire’s "plan".

    I have Sylar fatigue.

    High points:

    Hiro’s disposition of Adam, and his reaction in front of Ando. Hiro’s still the best thing on this show. Excellent.

    Elle getting a taste of being a good guy.

    Mica’s abilities. They’re thinking his ability through, if nothing else.

    -Joe

  6. joe__gee says:

    Difficult to follow …
    So thrown together. Very wooden, and jarring.

    Lows:

    Maria’s whirlwind conversion, death, and resurrection sucked.

    Nicki dying in such a stupid way. If they bleed Claire dry, and send Hiro back to snatch Nicki away from the explosion …

    The whole flying man / Parkman thing flying piggyback reminded me of the "Ambiguously Gay Superheroes" cartoon from SNL a few years ago. We needed Parkman there to do what, again? Slide down the hallway?

    Peter following Adam after Adam shot the recluse woman in the last episode. Peter following Adam after he leans that Adam killed Hiro’s father. Peter is, indeed, superstupid.

    The forced, wooden, awkward exposition by the Superbitch, mére Patrelli. "We had a backup plan to destroy the world, just because it seemed like such a good idea the first time."

    Claire’s "plan".

    I have Sylar fatigue.

    High points:

    Hiro’s disposition of Adam, and his reaction in front of Ando. Hiro’s still the best thing on this show. Excellent.

    Elle getting a taste of being a good guy.

    Mica’s abilities. They’re thinking his ability through, if nothing else.

    -Joe

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