Heroes: The Eclipse, Part 1

Heroes, NBC, Airs Mondays 9/8c

Episode: “The Eclipse, Part 1″ (Season 3, Episode 10)

Synopsis: Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) looks for a purpose after losing his powers. Arthur (Robert Forster) and Angela Pertrelli (Cristine Rose) continue their struggle to capture the catalyst for the super-power formula, Claire. (Hayden Panettiere). The rest of the heroes prepare for the impending solar eclipse that will change everything.

Review: So we have been building up the entire season for a world of heroes without super-powers. Hmm. I admit I initially had a bit of intrigue to see what every character would do in response to this phenomenon, but the results have been well, ordinary. Claire can bleed now? Okay. Peter and Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) can fall into the water like Michael Phelps. Nice. And Elle (Kristen Bell) and Sylar (Zachary Quinto) want to jump each others’ bones. Man, you don’t see sex every day, do you? Oh wait, I am on the internet.

At this point there are only four characters that are capturing my attention, those being Daphne, Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy), Elle and Sylar. The rest of the stories make me want to say, “get on with it already!”

Daphne (Brea Grant) has been one of the best additions to the show from her first appearance. It was shocking (imagine that, a shocking moment) to see that she was unable to walk. Sure, it’s great to have powers but finally we see a character that truly needs them to feel normal, not super-human.

However, the Daphne and Greg subplot just doesn’t work for me. Both are excellent actors and capable of displaying the chemistry needed, but it’s just too much in such a short amount of time. What would Daphne’s reaction be if Matt Parkman met her in real life and a day later said, “I’m in love with you?” She’d say, “Okay, back off creeper, and if you Facebook or MySpace me again I will have my brother kick your ass.”

A line that struck me as I watched the episode came from Hiro. He said, “the corn will keep on coming.” I certainly hope not. But it seems like the show is ripping pages out of cliche movie and television moments with no remorse. Claire jumps in the way to take a bullet for her dad as the scene plays out in slow motion? Hasn’t this been done enough to the point that we saw it ridiculed in Team America: World Police? Even the Daphne cripple reveal momentarily reminded me of Locke from Lost. Just because the superhero storyline contains universal themes doesn’t mean the story has to be something already told.

I am directing a play right now and I am reminded of something I had to tell one of my actors. “The only reason I am being hard on you is because I know that you have the potential to be great. We just have to figure out how to get you there.” Fans and critics of the third season need to tell this to the writers of Heroes. This show has always had the potential to stand alone in a world of forgettable shows. What will it take to ensure that it doesn’t become ordinary like everything else we see on TV? Maybe Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, two of my favorite comedic actors, can bring shine some light on the eclipse that has fallen over the third season.

It seems like Heroes is continuing to backtrack in an attempt to find their way to their viewers’ hearts. The second eclipse to me is the equivalent of the Death Star in Return of the Jedi. Every time I watch that film I keep waiting for Luke to look at Leia and say, “really? They’re making another one? Lame.” When I first heard about the second eclipse coming I asked, “how many solar eclipses happen in someone’s lifetime?”Apparently this is  only a “partial” eclipse so the writers found a way to cheat a little bit. The question is whether this eclipse will take away the powers of the heroes and villains or will the loss of powers simply be restored after the eclipse passes? If that happens I can foresee a collective yawn from fans everywhere. I am seriously hoping the payoff for all this anticipation is good, because they have been waiting to get to the punchline all season.

Up Next Week: “The eclipse continues to affect abilities as Elle and Sylar face off against a vengeful H.R.G. while Claire struggles to survive her gunshot wound. In Haiti, Peter and Nathan join forces with the Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis) to battle the Haitian’s brother, Baron (guest star Demetrius Grosse), and Nathan comes to a shocking decision. In the meantime, Ando (James Kyson Lee), Sam (guest star Seth Green) and Frack (guest star Breckin Meyer) struggle to get Hiro’s memory back with the help of the 9th Wonders comic books at a local comic bookstore.”

Did you check out the first part of “The Eclipse?” If so, what did you think?

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