Heroes Review: “Eris Quod Sum”

All roads lead to Pinehearst.

Title: “Eris Quod Sum”

Cast and Crew

Writer: Jesse Alexander
Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli
Robert Forster as Arthur Petrelli
Zachary Quinto as Sylar/Gabriel
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Brea Grant as Daphne Millbrook
Kristin Bell as Elle
Ashley Crow as Sandra Bennett
Jessalyn Gilsig as Meredith Gordon
Ali Larter as Tracy Strauss
Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi
Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Christine Rose as Angela Petrelli
Dania Ramirez as Maya
Jaime Hector as Knox
Ntare Mwine as Usutu
Alan Blumefeld as Maury Parkman

Premise

Hiro and Ando continue to argue over the use of time-travel, Arthur removes power from some of the characters, Suresh and Maya part ways, Elle seeks help from Claire, Sylar plays hero, Daphne’s divided motives slow her down, another character dies (for now), Peter takes a flying leap, and all roads lead to Pinehearst.

High Points

The story, more than ever, involves tortuous twists, divided loyalties, and hidden agendas. Although we still have the repetitive Change the present/Save the future plot, at least now, it has become entangled with a conflict involving the origins of the heroes. This could be excellent.

Low Point

In order for such plots to work, we have to care about the characters. Daphne remains interesting, and Claire faces some genuine challenges, but basically, I don’t care about anyone. Two factors, in particular, have created this situation:

The series has many, many intersecting plotlines. Most episodes visit all of them. This gives little time for real, sustained character development. Instead of showing us the characters face conflict, reflect, and adapt, they’ve opted to have them discuss their supposed character development in long-winded, unbelievable dialogue. The most obvious solution would be to devote more time, each episode, to fewer plotlines.

Numerous arbitrary developments hinder involvement with the show. Characters grow and then reset or change at the whims of the writer, so that I no longer care about them. People die but, as we’ve seen, most of them return at some point. Fictional death only matters if we believe there’s an outside chance the character won’t be returning.

I realize Heroes has adapted comic-book conventions to a television series, but the Revolving Door of Death is a bad convention to be adapting.

The Scores

Originality: 3/6.

Effects: 6/6. The effects remain strong, but I have two questions about the airplane turmoil:
1. How would Elle’s electrical discharge threaten the plane? Electrical devices interfere with communications, not jet engines. Have they borrowed their science from Fringe, or am I missing something obvious?
2. Wouldn’t someone notice Elle’s zappiness?

Story: 4/6. This has improved somewhat. The “High” and “Low” Points this week mostly concern story, and how it has been handled.

Acting: 4/6. This again varies, and would be better if the scripts gave the actors more opportunities to act rather than emote. The breakup between Maya and Suresh may stand as the single worst scene, performance-wise, in the series’ three-year history. Brea Grant, however, continues to shine as Daphne.

Emotional Response: 3/6

Production: 6/6

Overall: 3/6. The show has grown both confusing and mediocre.

In total, “Eris Quod Sum” receives 29/42.

Additional Remarks

1. The Latin title translates to “You will be what I am.” Coincidentally, “Eris” is also Greek for “discord” and is the name given to the classical goddess of discord (and to the dwarf planet formerly known as Xena).

2. While I will post discussions, reviews will be rare. I’ll no longer be watching every week, and I suspect the reviews have grown repetitive. I can only work with what the show gives me.

10 replies on “Heroes Review: “Eris Quod Sum””

  1. Alexius says:

    Hair Eris!
    All good points, but also throw in how predictable the show has become. I called the end to each scene as soon as we saw the setup.


    Electric girl on a plane? Interfering with the plane.

    FearGuy kills someone? Mind trick.

    I’m still watching, but I’ve seen the road this show is taking. Smallville is way down there on this road, past the shark tank.

    • Fez says:

      Re: Hail Eris!
      I agree about those parts being predictable. I suppose that only two teenage girls would have thought that was the best way to travel, given the one’s condition.

      I’m still watching, but I’ve seen the road this show is taking. Smallville is way down there on this road, past the shark tank.

      I think Smallville hit the brakes and took a side road this year. The jury is still out, but if things keep going this well I might be convinced that it could actually reverse the shark jump. (There needs to be an appropriate term for that. Does the shark jump the show? Jump under the shark? Get a bigger boat? Lines up for a second run?)

  2. Damien says:

    n00b thoughts
    I didn’t watch the first two seasons as hulu.com didn’t exist back the ;-) (will have to borrow the DVDs from someone..)

    I’ve been watching the season so far and.. in ways it feels almost like someone took a huge, expansive & expensive web show and stitched it together into a 45 minute episodes. Like you say, I really wish they’d spend longer with any one group rather than doing Gemini Division on it and showing a few brief moments out of what could have been a much longer scene. Some of the character developments have been interesting but it still feels like someone’s going nuts with their Deus Ex Machina magic 8-ball.

    Yawn. We’ll see. I still have enough available time during the week that I’ll keep watching it on hulu…

  3. Fez says:

    High Points
    My personal high points:
    * Maya leaves the show, hopefully for good
    * Scenes with Meredith and Tracy. Especially when Tracy summarized Meredith’s relationship to HRG and Nathan.
    * Anything with Kristen Bell. I had previously found her a tad annoying, and even though parts of her role in this episode were predictable, I still liked her a lot better than in previous episodes.
    * Hiro and Ando’s reaction to the penultimate paste ingredient

    I had hoped that Peter’s father had simply taken his acquired powers, and not his base ability. I suppose a simple injection with their version of Promicin/Chemical X will probably restore Peter’s ability and he’ll just have to go on a hero/villain meet-n-greet tour.

  4. quantaman says:

    Agreed
    This show is skipping between plotlines and characters so fast I don’t really care anymore.

    The problem is I think that’s all they can do at this point, the characters are simply too powerful and should be able to resolve any plot in moments. I think they keep skipping around to keep the audience off-balance because if they ever stayed with a single plotline/character for a whole episode the suspension of disbelief would become too blatant, thus they jump around so people don’t have a chance to think about it.

    Really I think they would have been better off going with the more standard "freak of the week" template for the superpower genre. These long drawn out story arcs are original, but they haven’t found a way to make it believable because you can’t really make a confrontation last more than a week.

    • belzedaar says:

      Re: Agreed

      These long drawn out story arcs are original, but they haven’t found a way to make it believable because you can’t really make a confrontation last more than a week.

      They should talk to the guys who did DragonBallZ. They can make a single super-powered attack last a week :-)

      • quantaman says:

        Re: Agreed

        These long drawn out story arcs are original, but they haven’t found a way to make it believable because you can’t really make a confrontation last more than a week.

        They should talk to the guys who did DragonBallZ. They can make a single super-powered attack last a week :-)

        Perhaps (I never saw DragonBallZ) though that reminds me of another trouble they have with the superpowers.

        Traditionally people with superpowers are also super-tough, any hero can take a superpowered beating (even if it has nothing to do with their power). But there’s no good explanation why someone who can fly can also get thrown through a brick wall and be mostly intact. In heroes they’ve dropped this convention, but this means they can’t have big superhero fights with people getting thrown through walls and getting hit with fireballs. They’ve tried to replace it with making the fights tactical in nature, and the fights have been good, but there’s not enough investment in the characters to make us care about the tactics. Nor enough investment to keep us entertained between the fights.

  5. quantaman says:

    Stayin’ Alive
    Oh, considering the "deceased" character…


    Considering Parkman’s survival who wants to bet that his dad pulled a similar stunt? Or that the whole show was arranged for speedy’s benefit.

    • Timeshredder says:

      Re: Stayin’ Alive

      Oh, considering the "deceased" character…


      Considering Parkman’s survival who wants to bet that his dad pulled a similar stunt? Or that the whole show was arranged for speedy’s benefit.

      Either/or. If you bring one character back from the dead, it’s a surprise twist. When you install the Revolving Door O’ Death, you render your stories uninteresting.

  6. Dark Nexus says:

    About the airplane scene

    The effects remain strong, but I have two questions about the airplane turmoil: 1. How would Elle’s electrical discharge threaten the plane? Electrical devices interfere with communications, not jet engines. Have they borrowed their science for Fringe, or am I missing something obvious?

    Electrical devices interfere with transmissions, not communications – a seemingly small but very important distinction. This means that they can, at least theoretically, interfere with electronic control systems such as the ones that the pilots would be using to control the engines.

    Now those systems tend to be shielded from potential lightning strikes from the outside, but only from stray emissions on the inside. Also, the metal cylinder that forms a plane’s fuselage doesn’t let much out in the way of signals compared to most structures (just bounces them back in), stray emissions tend to be somewhat amplified within them. On top of that, a cell or wifi signal doesn’t really have much power compared to Elle’s discharges…

    The overall effect was definitely given the Hollywood treatment in terms of severity, but the base theory behind it is sound.

Comments are closed.