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'Heroes' Seems Forced, Cliched & Tired

September 30th, 2008 10:00am EDT
HeroesNBC might want to consider renaming their show, "The Sylar Show," instead of "Heroes." It was stated that this season would be all about the villains and audiences can't seem to get enough of Sylar, but at what point is it overkill (pun intended)?

Turns out that Angela Petrelli really is Sylar's mother, and she's nursing him back to health in order to help collect all the villains he allowed to escape. Like all the clichéd moms of villains before her, she feels her son in misunderstood and just needs guidance in order to become the best little guy he possibly can be. She regrets giving him up for adoption and now wants to make things up to him. She decides to partner him up with HRG and send him into the field.

Claire Rebels

Speaking of the Bennet family, Claire starts bonding with her biological mother and causing typical adopted mom/bio-mom strife. Add to this a revenge complex and a need to break away on her own and she's bound to get into all kinds of trouble. Claire was feeling very surly and rebelling against her adopted mom by saying she wasn't going to school - she was going to fight villains instead. Her adopted mom, Sandra Bennet, lays down the law and makes her go to school. Her bio-mom, Meredith Gordon, tells her they're going to play hookie.

In a nice twist on the norm, Meredith locks Claire into a shipping container and turns up the heat inside, sucking all the air out of the container using her fire ability. Then she turns up the heat again by drilling Claire with questions until she gets to what she wants. Claire admits that she doesn't want to help catch bad guys just to be a hero. She wants to find Sylar and make him hurt. It was a great way to handle what would be the equivalent of a hero being raped by a villain and the aftermath that such pain causes. We're beginning to see how and why Claire becomes a supposed villain, dressed in black and wielding a gun in the future. Claire decides to lie to both her mothers and runs away with a mysterious box from Primatech.

Sylar & HRG Partner Up

HeroesNow the strange part is the apparent softening of Sylar and the encouragement of his behavior. Angela is confirmed as his real mother, and she regrets giving him up for adoption years ago. She puts him into the field with HRG and says killing people isn't his fault - it's just his nature. He can't resist his urge. Convenient excuse. It's now Noah Bennet's job to guide Sylar and make him into a useful agent.

Their first assignment is a bank job in which the villains who escaped from Level 5 are robbing and terrorizing customers and employees. HRG and Sylar exchange clichéd dialog with each other - the kind of dialog found in 80's "Dirty Harry" films, which is very disappointing. Of course Sylar proves to be resourceful and helpful. He uses a Boston accent to convince the police that he and HRG are FBI, apparently all FBI agents are from Boston.

Meanwhile, inside the bank, Peter (who is trapped in a villains body) figures out how to use the guy's power. He opens his mouth and lets out a sonic yell that knocks another villain off his feet. The plan had always been to rob a bank in order to get the attention of HRG and kill him. Their plan goes awry. One villain turns on another, and then Peter knocks one of them down and is about to do it again when he's stopped mid-yell by future Peter. Future Peter pushes present Peter out of the villain's body and pops him somewhere else. We don't get to see where until next week. This leavs HRG at the mercy of a very ticked off villain. He's about to be killed when Sylar shows up and saves him. They exchange more cheesy dialog, and then Sylar cuts the top off a bad guy's head. On a positive note, they take one villain into custody. Apparently Sylar can control himself when he doesn't want a person's power. And even though Sylar saved the day he still has to put on some sad scrubs and go to sleep in one of the lock-down cells on Level 5.

Niki's Twin

Last week a woman who looks just like Niki Sanders froze a reporter (played by the actor who used to star in "The Greatest American Hero") and shattered him into a zillion pieces. This same woman, who calls herself Tracy Strauss, works for the Governor of New York and offered Nathan the job as Jr. Senator from New York. Turns out she is Tracy Strauss, who just happens to be the lost twin sister of Niki Sanders. This is very convenient for actress Ali Larter who can keep her job. Tracy visits New Orleans and looks inside Niki's coffin where Niki is laying to rest. Micah, who handles the appearance of a woman who looks exactly like his mother surprisingly well, uses his powers to cough up information about the two women. He finds their birth certificates, which state that they were born on the same day in the same hospital and by the same doctor, a man named Dr. Zimmerman.

Tracy goes to see Dr. Zimmerman and he reveals rather quickly and easily that he doesn't just know Tracy, he made her. Now it gets interesting and of course we have to wait until a future episode to figure out what that bombshell means.

Parkman continued his adventure in Africa. He was shown paintings of himself and his past. One depicted him holding a baby and smiling next to a happy woman. That would have been his future if things had not been changed by future Peter. Instead he is lonely and suffers for the good of the world. It's not clear which is sadder, Parkman losing his wife and kid future or the fact that one guy's power is to paint nothing but some pudgy white guy from America and his possible future outcomes.

In seasons past every episode had more originality than clichéd parts, but there was a disturbing trend in last nights episode, especially in regards to the Hiro storyline. He is still doing battle against the speedy girl Daphne and trying to get his hands on the formula. The other half was being transported and exchanged by the Haitian with unfortunate results. Thanks to Ando's meddling, Daphne was able to steal the other half of the formula and help bring on the destruction of the world - but not before we had to suffer through some really lame dialog and labored story plot points. Daphne is already coming between Hiro and Ando and causing Ando to take things into his own hands. Ando decided to hit the Haitian on the head, allowing Daphne to speed through and steal the formula. Then the Haitian wakes up just as Hiro tries to go after Daphne. If you're beginning to see an annoying pattern then it's almost like you're really watching the show.

Maybe it's the writers or maybe it's just the beginning of the season and we're not seeing the big picture, but this episode was disappointing. It could be that they squeezed so much into last week's episode that this one felt like a letdown. Whatever the reason, this episode felt forced, clichéd and tired. Hopefully things will develop in a more entertaining fashion as the season progresses because if this trend continues, we might actually want the world to blow up by the end of it.

Erin MacMillan-Ramirez
Story by Erin MacMillan-Ramirez

Starpulse contributing writer