>TV Round-Up

>Heroes: How to Stop an Exploding Man
Note to the producers of Heroes–if you’re going to go out and promise a memorable season finale, then maybe you ought to do something silly like, oh I don’t know, deliver a memorable season finale.

Sorry, but this one wasn’t worth the hype, at all.

The first half hour was too slow. We spent the first ten minutes recapping what had gone on all season on the off-chance a new fan wandered by, I guess. I hate to tell you guys this, but I don’t think the show was going to pick up any new fans for the finale. And the bits and pieces you included here weren’t going to be inclusive enough to bring these new fans and really up to speed. Instead, it just wasted precious screen-time and left this season-long viewer feeling a bit put off by the Cliff Notes of everything we’ve seen until now.

Then, the second half-hour, when all the pieces began to fall into place. All the heroes cross paths at Kirby Plaza for the ultimate battle with Sylar–and it lasts under a minute. For some reason, I just expected something more epic based on what the show had promised all season up to now, not just a few fisticuffs and Sylar being stabbed in the gut by Hiro’s sword. And then, as if to add insult to injury, he appears to die only to slink off down a sewer–and none of the assembled gang seems to notice this. So, he’s still alive and can come back next year.

I think what happened is the stories made Sylar so powerful that it really limited the writers in how he could be defeated. I am reminded of the dilemma TNG faced with the Borg back in the early days when the Borg were terrifying, scary and virtually unstoppable. Same thing here–Sylar is so powerful that any way of defeating him would feel hollow. And it did here. And I can’t honestly say I’m too hopeful for next year with him still skulking about.

Meanwhile, it turns out Peter is the exploding man and the future is not set in stone. Nathan shows up and both fly off before Peter explodes. Or releases his power. Does this mean both of them are dead? And could that resolution have been any more anti-climatic? And predictable? And filled with REALLY bad dialogue? I kept rolling my eyes during the entire exchage that was supposed to touch our hearts but instead was just stomach churningly bad.

And then, the cliffhanger. It’s interesting to see that the second volume is called “Generations” and I hope it will explore people with powers throughout history and how it’s all lead to what we’re seeing today. But I wonder if next year will waste all of its build-up and potential like this year’s season finale did.

This has to be one of the more disappointing season finales I’ve seen in a long time…all build-up and hype and no pay-off. Bad job, Heroes. You’re not leaving me any anticipation or excitement for next season.

Well, at least George Takai was still cool…but that’s really about it.

Bring back Christopher Eccleston! The show hasn’t been the same without him.

Lost: Through the Looking Glass
If you want to see a season finale that pretty much does everything right, look no further than Lost’s mind-bending season-finale that could, possibly, change the entire game. Not since Battlestar Galactica jumped forward a year have I been this eager to see where a show goes next….

I know a few months ago I stated I’d be happy to never see a Jack-related flashback again. I could eat my words, but instead I’ll take the loophole–it wasn’t a flashback, but a flashforward of a potential future we saw unfolding. I had guessed it was either looking into the future or an alternate reality we were seeing, but I liked where it took us. From the beginning, we’ve seen that Jack has had some kind of Superman-complex–he wants to save people. He tries to save his father, he tries to save Sarah and he’s interested in saving Kate. I’d even say that on some level the attraction to Juliet is that he feels he can save her–possibly from Ben and the island. The interesting thing is, the harder Jack tries to save everyone around him, the more he loses them. He also loses himself, sinking into a depression and despair when separated from the island.

In a lot of ways, Jack away from the island becomes House–acerbic and popping pain pills. When we first see him, he’s suicidal, only pulled back from the edge by a twist of fate. I found it interesting how reminiscent of Sarah’s accident the whole scene on the bridge was–as was Jack’s apparent obsession with saving the woman injured in the accident.

Just as I’m curious about how long in the past the flashbacks take place, I’m now curious how far into the future we flash-forwarded. And was it real or just a potential future? And how did Kate manage to avoid jail time? And is she now married to Sawyer? And could she have looked any less attractive in the make-up they gave her? (Or was that part of the point?)

Meanwhile, back on the island, things continue to unfold and we’re left with a lot more questions. It appears Penny is not behind this latest rescue effort, despite what the parachute girl claims. So, who is behind the effort? Is it the Dharma Initiative? Did Ben and the Others somehow mask the island so they couldn’t find it? (Doesn’t seem likely since it’d be hard to move an entire island, but then again the real world rules don’t always apply to this show.) Is Dharma seeking to get some kind of revenge for Ben and the Others murdering all their people on the island? Or is this some other group that is following up on Dharma’s work here with their own sinister motive?

It also appears Ben has lost control of the Others. He’s a prisoner now (again) of the Losties. Has he been playing the two sides against each other for whatever purpose he has? And will that come to light now that the two sides can and might talk without his interference?

All that and we haven’t even addressed how wonderfully realized the sacrifice Charlie made was. A nicely done moment for the show and it shows how you can kill off a favorite character in a way that is moving and services the on-going plot.

And Locke–he talked to Walt! Walt appeared for some reason…though that surprise was ruined by the opening credits crawl.

Which Locke’s healing brings up an interesting question–since it appears the island has some healing powers, how injured is too injured? We’ve seen Shannon, Boone, Charlie and Eko die–but are they really dead? Or are they buried alive because no one realized the island could and was healing them? Maybe it takes longer for them to heal based on the extent of their injuries. It’s a possiblity….

And somehow in two hours, just about every character gets a moment or two. Oh and they need to make Rose and Bernard regulars immediately.

All that and the whole silly van plotline from early this year comes into play. Loved Hurley driving it and running down the Others. It also added to the Hurley storyline where he wants to feel like he’s part of the group and contributing.

This is how you do a season finale. It entertained me, it introduced some great new elements to the show and it left me wanting more. Congratulations Lost–you have me again, fully and completely.

January 2008 is going to be awesome–Battlestar and Lost return. I cannot wait….

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