SOnce a fun show, Heroes has become an unrelenting barrage of new characters whose faces blur together like the hours of a crazed night spent with six hookers and a pound of bug powder. Why can't the writers have the decency to at least kill a bunch of people before introducing ten new ones? I refuse to bother remembering what "special powers" a new character has at this point. I don't even want to give them nicknames like Vortex Guy or Fear-Eating Dude or Spaghetti Forcer. With the possible exceptions of a few cool subplots, Heroes is seriously nuking the fridge. Last night's episode, as you may have guessed, was filled with characters and not much else. Spoilers ahead. Once again this week I am ignoring the Hiro/Ando subplot in order to avoid the need to stab my face with a fork. I'm sorry, because I absolutely adore Masi Oka. But if I have to hear him explain what a hero must do one more time — or make one more stupid reference to Batman or Star Wars — I will need the stabbing. Luckily, last night Hiro stabbed Ando, hopefully to death. Which brings me to my basic point about death in this show. Even soap operas, with their legions of melodramatic characters, won't introduce a whole raft of new people without getting rid of some of the old ones. Lat night, there were several lovely opportunities for killing those excess characters: For example, Suresh is becoming an insectoid freak whose back looks like the UI for an Apple IM program. He needs humans in order to web them to his wall and stare at their starey eyes. But instead of killing Parkman or Speedy Daphne or Hiro or all the other characters larding up the cast, he chooses to kill random dudes in the park. S Actually, the scene where Maya discovers Suresh's webby prisoners is probably the best in the episode. We've barely seen Suresh's web powers, and it turns out that he mostly uses them to tie naked people to his laboratory walls. The webs look gooey and gross, while the people imprisoned in them are still alive and peek out of the web creepily. When Suresh arrives to find Maya trying to cut a guy out of the web, he talks her out of killing him with her power (a mistake — killing him would leave legitimate room for all our new characters). And then he webs her up. I'm excited about this development. Will he eat her? Poison her? Drain her lymph? Of course we don't get to spend more than 4 minutes on the Spidey Suresh plot because of all the other new characters. One new character we'll just call Vortex Guy takes up a whole Claire subplot. He's befriended Claire, but then chooses to jump into his own vortex when Claire's dad HRG orders him at gunpoint to suck Sylar into his vortex. Another new character you'll want to call the Spaghetti Forcer has a "puppetmaster" power and uses it to force Claire's bio-mom to eat dinner with him and make out. Yes, there's a whole scene where he makes her eat spaghetti. And I'm leaving out YET ANOTHER new character, Papa Petrelli, who lives on a ventilator but uses the power of his powery power to order Papa Parkman around. S See, it turns out Papa Parkman, who has mind-control powers far greater than those of his desert-tripping son, has been causing Nathan to have visions of dead Company conspirator Linderman. He's got Nathan thinking he's seeing god, and he's got Speedy Daphne thinking she needs to recruit a bunch of special people to some kind of nebulous new world order company/conspiracy thing. We have no idea what it is, other than that it's called Pinehurst and will no doubt cause us to meet like 400 new characters. Speaking of company/conspiracy, the other interesting subplot is Peter sucking up Sylar's power and going psycho. After attacking Sylar, he tries to kill his mother. Sylar and Mama Petrelli have to subdue him, first with Sylar's specialness and later with coma-inducing drugs. So Peter is a vegetable, and Nathan's visions of God are actually Papa Parkman scrambling his brain. I like that idea. I vote for more creepy girlfriend-webbing Suresh and blood-soaked, mom-killing Peter. I also vote to end immediately the dumb new idea that some heroes are born special while others are made that way "synthetically." OMG, it turns out Nathan and the icy neo-Niki Tracy were turned special by a doctor when they were infants. Now Nathan is mad at his mom for experimenting on him. And pissed because he's figured out that this new development means God didn't him special. As Tracy points out in the best line of the episode, "Some doctor in Reseda, California did." Titled "Angels and Monsters," this episode was supposed to make you wonder what it really means to be a monster. At one point, pretty much every character has called him or herself a monster, or has called someone else a monster. So deep. It's like they are discovering that monstrosity is a matter of perspective or something really basic like that. I wonder what show creator Tim Kring is trying to say? Is he trying to make a subtle point about how the line between good and bad is growing thin? Of course maybe he's spent so much time thinking up new characters that he's run out of vocabulary and used the word "monster" in place of every noun in the script.
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