Heroes 3.22 Review: "Turn and Face the Strange" - Featured

After the previous episode, I noted that the return of a strong and popular writer can have a synergistic effect on the rest of the writers' room, even if there are no other major changes. This episode seems to provide a counter-example. Instead of stepping up to the plate, the writers seemed to fall back into old habits.


Perhaps the worst was Matt Parkman's decision to strike back at Danko by attacking Danko's love interest Alena. The writers use Alena as an object to be used, and she is never given definition beyond her relationship with Danko. It seems to be an excuse for pushing Danko into an even more disturbing direction, thus undermining Matt's intentions completely, but that's beside the point.


The point is that the writers were already on thin ice. Daphne was killed to service Matt's character. This renders her character little more than fodder to drive Matt forward. Matt's subsequent decision only compounds the offense. Daphne and Alena became objects to be possessed, used, and avenged. I won't pretend to be the most consistent ally of feminism, but some things are too obvious and egregious to ignore.


It is likely to become a reason for Danko to step up his villainous game, which is unfortunate, because it's an external pressure. Since his introduction, Danko has been lacking a strong internal reason for pursuing his anti-metahuman crusade. Unlike Noah Bennett, who was rendered as a man with clear motivations during the first season, Danko is two-dimensional. That makes him less than compelling.


Noah's contest of wills with Sylar may have been designed to push him towards working directly with the heroes, but it also exposed all the ugly treatment that Sandra had to endure over the years. This was never much of a secret, of course, since her memory was erased on a regular basis. It's no wonder Sandra wants a divorce!


An inordinate amount of time was also spent on Hiro and Ando's travels with Baby Matt Parkman. Bringing Matt his son is clearly meant to stop him from falling further into the darkness, but that means that Hiro and Ando are once again used as comic relief. Hiro and Ando deserve a much better subplot than they've been given since the first season.


The bottom line is that this episode slipped back a bit from the progress they made in recent weeks, and this tempers my enthusiasm for the remainder of the season. It also confirms what fans should have realized from the get-go: Bryan Fuller was not the perfect savior of "Heroes", and no one writer is going to resolve all the issues in the writers' room.

Comments

8 comments

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 7, 2009 8:49PM EDT

Good review, but I can't say how accurate it is...I gave up on heroes a few weeks back.
Watching it feels like treading water once a week. Until they're ready to shake things up and make main characters more disposable, there's always going to be a sense that nothing ultimately bad will ever really happen.
This is one of the best things about 24 - you never know who's going to snuff it next (except for Jack, of course). It creates a tension and makes characters actually seem at risk. It's real drama. Heroes is just a soap opera these days.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 8, 2009 12:12PM EDT

You know. i had to make an account for Sidereel just because i wanted to reply to this because i diagree with more than half of what you said. Daphne had died which sucked but still they developed the character quite a bit before they let her go because i don't think there was a place for her in Heroes anymore. she was great but i dont see where she would have slotted into the plot. and also Danko's lover girl thing was something that i didn't QUITE buy but it was still beliveable and i think she played her purpose well. and the way ur saying it would mean that every character would have to be introduced and then developed and then killed or sent off which would be too much for the show. i liked how just revealing that "self-loathing" part of danko they made the character seem more 3-D. also this episode did have less character development. but the mystery and suspense at the end was amazing for me. when they stated digging the bodies up i felt thrilled and i bet it's going to be an intersting revealtion next week. Also, just like season 1, all the characters start coming together and effecting each other again. Hiro came just at the right time to stop matt being killed and i liked that because i wasn't even thinking that hiro would be there. Nathan, Claire, Peter, Noah and Angela are together and Mohinder is peobably making his way to them as well. I think considering all the damage that the writers did to the show during the first NINETEEN episodes it was miracuolous how Bryan Fuller managed to slow down the falling show for a while. fingers crossed for a good next week episode, a good season finale and a good season 4.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 8, 2009 1:06PM EDT

even if i don't reply to these blogs i read them, i talk to like three people on a regular basis about heroes, but i love hearing that my hero concerns aren't as one sided as i think, thank you Kendra for your excellent writing, all over the site really, and thank you contrary people, your views are heard and considered. the only reason i come on sidereal anymore is to hear people complain about the quality of television, but i can't say this more, the quality of television is going down because the quality of writing is going down. i'm sure if heroes was written by someone who read and understood the complete works of jules verne, the writings of Isaac Asimov, the simple old time intelligence of Charles Dickens, the beauty of Anne of Green Gables ( i know neither Anne or Charlie fits with the show heroes, but honestly, if you want to write about innocence and darkness, about love and pain, you need to read them ). anyways, before i got into listing my favorite authors, i was saying that if the writers understood, if they really cared about literature, the show would be better. so, the next time you complain about the writing, just send them a book, and not twilight either, i don't want to see a shining vampire man show up. dear god no!

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 10, 2009 11:37AM EDT

I have to say I don't completely agree with you. I don't think Alena was used for Parkman's character, but for Danko's. I think they tried to show his 'softer' side, because in the beginning they said he doesn't have a family, or no one he cares for, and that made him strong. So they tried to weaken his character, to make him more 'human'.And with Daphne's death, again, it wasn't for Matt's character, she was kind of useless. She complicated things for the show, that's why I think they 'killed' her.
When it comes to Hiro&Ando, I completely agree, they deserve better. And as for baby "touch& go", I think they can't think of another way to recover some of the heroes lost powers.
Anyway, I liked the part with the digging, I'm curious now, and can't wait to see what they come up with.I hope it's good. ^^

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 13, 2009 2:23PM EDT

I have to agree with this review, Heroes just seems like a lost cause. It just turns into a soap opera, the story just keeps repeating its self. like the end of this episode. Oooohhhh, another experiment on mutants that lead to a great casualty rate. I've tried REALLY hard to keep heroes but it just continues to dissapoint. I just dont understand why Chuck would be on the chopping block while Heroes is still doing fine

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 13, 2009 8:39PM EDT

I disagree with more than half of what has been said in this review. A single writer can have a huge impact on the room, Fuller has simply managed to write an episode that was better than everything since Season 1 (Cold Snap) and now he is working to slow the descent utter trash, the fact of the matter is that the show has been going downhill for a long time and the writers' collectively have to write themselves out of a giant mess of a story. On a side note, it is impressive that the writers managed to screw up a storyline that is practically written for them in the various X-Men comics.
Getting back to this episode, it wasn't the most exciting of episodes and granted Parkman's "revenge" wasn't brilliantly written but is showed a more human side to Danko, who has been a 2-D character this entire season, it also gives him a legitimate reason to go after those with powers with such determination. Whilst this episode could have been better it at least provided some solid character development and clear reasons for the coming together of "heroes" that will inevitably happen over the next few episodes, it also begins to set up the next story arc for the next season this is better than the past two seasons.
In reality it is far too early to determine whether Bryan Fuller will be the saviour of Heroes, only three episodes have aired where he has been part of the writing team, two of which have been decent episodes according to general consensus. As I stated earlier the writing team has screwed up a storyline that was practically written for them so they have a huge mess to get out of and it will take time to do so.

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 13, 2009 10:39PM EDT

I don't normally leave comments (and have had to create an account to do so), but i have to get a thing or two off me chest !!!
Firstly....if you really have a problem with heroes....stop watching !
Secondly, i do think that heroes has lost something, but i think that it may be down to expecting so much from the show.
Every monday i sit up til 5am (i live in london) to watch the 'new' episode, and every week when its finshed i want to see the next one.
Yeah, i agree that hiro and ando could have more meaty stories, but lets face it, they have always been the comedy element to the show (although it would be good to see hiro become 'future hiro' from season 1).
Daphane and that other bird were 'used', but hey, someone had to be. They did what they had to do and then were 'let go'.
As for using 'baby touch and go' to give the heroes their powers back, maybe 'baby touch and go' has another role, maybe the new cataylst ?maybe as he grows older he'll learn how to use his power to give others powers ? maybe ?
Personally, i don't care. Heroes never fails for me, as someone that don't watch alot of tv, its one of the only shows that i follow.I have a life, and it isn't sat in front of a television every night watching crap shows, and then getting online to vent my spleen.
Remember people, its just a tv show......there is life outside !!!

Default avatar cat
×

What's wrong with this comment?

Let us know why you think this comment is inappropriate.

Apr 13, 2009 10:41PM EDT

Ps....i'm off now to watch this weeks episode...... peace and lovism !!!

Want to comment on this? First, you must log in to your SideReel account!