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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Heroes - Showdown

(Episode: How to Stop an Exploding Man. Spoilers ahead.)

The finale leaves open more questions than the average viewer may realize.

The big one, to me, is what Hiro Nakamura did to prevent the Dark Future from happening. Hiro has changed the history of New York City twice. The first time was when his future self charged Peter to save the cheerleader. The explosion Hiro saw when he first visited the city occurred during the daytime; this must have been the explosion of the original Dark Future chronology in which Sylar's first attempt to kill Claire succeeds. The cheerleader was saved, but the Dark Future is not stopped; a different series of events brings it about.

That series of events was changed radically. One change can be easily attributed to Hiro - saving Ando. But look at what else happened. If Peter had exploded in Kirby Plaza he would have killed Bennett, Parkman, and Niki - all of whom were alive in the Dark Future. (Claire would have regenerated.) Furthermore, he would have killed Candace and D. L., whose powers Sylar had assimilated in the alternate future. We still don't know if Sylar knows Candace exists.

Another obvious change was Nathan's flying in to save the day. If Hiro had been there at the time, he probably would have recalled the scene in Star Trek: The Wrath Of Khan in which Spock sacrifices his life to save many others. Perhaps the parallel doesn't end there; Spock made a comeback. Nathan could have let go of Peter at a certain point and flown away from the blast radius. Or Peter could have regained enough control to use his flying ability so that Nathan could leave while Peter flies on his own.

Perhaps the encounter where Hiro called Nathan a "villain" is the change that led to the newly-elected Congressman's change of heart. But what changed the list of who didn't survive to see the Dark Future?

People may wonder why Peter went nuclear and Sylar didn't. The answer seems obvious - extreme emotional distress sets it off. Sylar has greater control over his emotions than Peter does. Another reason could be Sylar's original ability to understand how things work; Peter has the ability too, but Sylar has much more experience with it. Perhaps the difference in the way they absorbed Ted's power also plays a role.

Some may also be puzzled that Sylar dodged four bullets but can't avoid being skewered by a sword. He may simply have been shocked in disbelief that the "silly little man" would actually do it.

Now we know that the late Charles Deveaux was with the Organization, and that he had at least a couple of policy disagreements. He is the prime suspect for being the source of Peter's prophetic dreams ability. Was his vision of Deveaux just another of those dreams - or was there something more to it? Is Charles Deveaux alive?

The official website for Heroes published a series of graphic novels; Wikipedia has the list here. In the 34th novel, Hana Gitelman hops a ride on a Soyuz to knock out a satellite, the original tracking system that relied on injecting isotopes into discovered heroes. Unable to successfully hack the satellite, she leaps from the spacecraft to knock it toward Earth. Before she and it burn up in the atmosphere, she somehow uploads her mind into cyberspace. (Another Wrath of Khan parallel: Spock planting his katra into McCoy.) Are there other heroes who can survive death by planting their minds into the mind of another living person? Is Charles Deveaux living in Peter's mind?

(In the novel the sat fights back by infecting her with a virus. No details are given, but it's probably a computer virus and not a biological one. If she can access computers, a computer could theoretically access her brain - and mess with the signals it sends to the rest of the body.)

What happened to Sylar's body? At the end we see that it had been dragged down a manhole; the manhole cover's position reveals that it was moved to cover up most of the manhole afterward.

Anothe big mystery is the identity of the one "worse than Sylar," the one that Molly can't locate but can see her when she thinks about him/her/it. Some suspect Uluru, a rock monster that appears in 9th Wonders!, and that once spoke to Isaac in one of his trances.

One of positives that stands out is that there are a great many events that have the viewers cheering. The show's worst moment was the death of Simone. Killing off major characters is a major bummer, and it's even worse when the killing is senseless. Her character never had a chance to fully develop, and she was one of the most likeable characters on the show.

Since Candace is still alive, it's not too late for Mr. Muggles to bite her next season. Pleeeease.


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