Heroes 3.13: "Dual"

This volume of "Heroes" has been proven divisive among the fans. Many have been dissatisfied with the direction taken by the series, both in terms of plot and character, while others have stridently defended each and every move. It's safe to say that the season has been relatively controversial, with some critics declaring the beginning of the end, especially after Tim Kring's recent tirade against the fans.


Sometimes the true value of a story cannot be measured until it is complete. Sometimes the writers only seem to stray from the path. And sometimes the conclusion is just as disappointing as the rest of the journey. Unfortunately, nothing in this finale is likely to change anyone's stance on the volume as a whole. Those who were disappointed so far will continue to be so, and those still faithful will continue to be pleased.


The finale has roughly the same qualities and drawbacks as the rest of the season. Taken on its own, it works very well and tells a satisfying story. The problems all emerge once one takes into account the rest of the season (and the rest of the series, for that matter). There are plot conveniences galore, particularly in the evolution/combination of abilities, and the writers seem convinced that the thematic underpinning of this volume was well-served. I'm not so sure.


After killing Arthur (who shouldn't have stayed dead, based on how the regenerative powers work), Sylar doesn't try to exploit the ready and waiting ability feeding frenzy at Pinehearst. Instead, he runs off to go play mind games with Angela, Noah, Claire, and Meredith. I can understand his desire to pay Angela back for messing with his mind, and one could argue that tossing Noah into the mix fits with their past history.


I can appreciate what was attempted. The notion that Sylar believed that he could push the more innocent Claire into cold-blooded murder demonstrated his warped sense of morality. Just by pushing Claire into a Hobson's choice, where no outcome is favorable, Sylar absolves her of any responsibility for what she must do to survive. After all, she can't sacrifice herself to avoid making the choice; she and Sylar both know that she'll just regenerate and the choice will still be forced upon her. When there are no alternatives, the responsibility falls to the one who set that stage.


Which, in effect, undercuts the general premise of the season: to expose the true hero or villain underneath the everyday mask each individual wears. This wasn't some situation that presented a natural outlet of villainous behavior; it was a constructed crucible that would have forced villainous behavior. Those are two very different things, and unless the writers were trying to expose the true mental stability of Sylar in the process, the writers dropped their own ball.


They were a bit better with Nathan, though I still believe that his conversion into villainy was unnecessarily muddled. Whatever happened to his religious experience and that set of motivations? That could have easily transformed into a desire to proliferate abilities for the "greater good", which then could have evolved into a desire to reboot the Company under the control of the government after this most recent failure. This is par for the course this season, however: unnecessarily convoluted character motivations.


The battle at Pinehearst also dropped in a number of plot conveniences. So Mohinder is cured of his affliction by accidental swallowing of the formula? Will he now develop an ability on top of that? And Peter injects himself, and just happens to get the ability to fly? (Or was it his old ability all over again?) The worst offense, however, had to be Ando's ability.


Ando's ability, in concert with Daphne's ability, made absolutely no sense. Nothing in Einstein's theory of relativity derives a theory of superluminal time travel. In fact, Einstein explicitly states that nothing can travel faster than the speed of ligh

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Dec 16, 2008 10:21PM EST

I agree partly with you but a couple of things1. Despite the regenerative powers Arthur should be dead whether a bullet passes through the front or back, if it travels through the brain it should kill them regardless2.Peter was around Nathan when he got his powers back and unlike Ando did not pass out though... wouldn't have really worked out. I figured Peter would get his powers by accident but eh whatever worked.3. Yea the time travel thing with Daphne was pretty shaky but they had to work with what they got.4. Yea didn't really like Sylar's mind games or Nathan's betrayal but they had to introduce a new antagonist and Nathan was already set to be it when he joined his Dad
Not really related but could be intentional or coincidence that both Meridith and Flint were the ones responsible for destroying both buildings with their flames.

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Dec 16, 2008 11:55PM EST

I believe that Peter got his old ability back, and then quickly felt empathy for Nathan, as showed in his attempt to rescue him, and therefore copied his ability again. He didn't receive his old abilities back yet. He has to have an empathetic moment with someone before he gains their power.
Yeah, Mohinder's stupid no matter what.
Daphne's time travel tidbit was a little shaky, but it made enough sense in the Heroes universe I guess.
Sylar's mindgames were kind of a detraction from the story if you ask me. He should have just killed Angela instead. I feel bad for Meredith... who knows if she survived...
Tracy I initially liked, but shes leaning toward a point where I just don't get her. Her power's really cool, but I just don't understand her motives enough I guess. AND now she's going to share a story with Mohinder... I hope he gets killed off eventually...
On the bright side, Fugitives looks very interesting. Hopefully it will move the series back onto a more "personal" track with all of the Heroes, like Season 1. I would love to see fewer separate story lines and instead have a big group of heroes and a few lesser plotlines that eventually converge into one at the end of the season. Season one was a perfect example of this. Everyone played a role in the events at Kirby Plaza in some way. The past two seasons, the stories have just been a big jumbled mess, rarely leading to anything cohesive.

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Dec 17, 2008 10:40AM EST

You talk about Einstiens theories as if anything in this show is based on things that can really happen.....Arthur never had regenerative powers. He simply took Peters ability and that was to mimick other abilities. I am personally glad that Peter got his ability back. It adds some kind of a twist that he would get his original mimick ability back. Mohinder I believe now that he got the "cure" for his first failed attempt, I feel he will have some added ability to his strength. As for Claire and Sylar, we have seen what Claire can do because of some future episodes. She always has potential to go bad. It was good they played on that.

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Dec 17, 2008 10:50AM EST

Punky24:
Arthur had Adam's regenerative ability, which was shown in the second season to follow the same rules as Claire's ability. So yes, he did have the ability; in fact, he wouldn't have been walking around without it!
If the character brings up Einstein's theory as a basis for something in the show, then it's fair game to criticize how it's represented.

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Dec 17, 2008 8:40PM EST

i don't know much about the topic but i think thats just a basic common idea people have & afterall Matt is a normal guy.i think it would be different if it was an explanation offered up by Mohinder.

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Dec 18, 2008 8:55AM EST

I'm disappointed. I've watched every episode this season with anticipation for the next - albeit trying to forget that much of the series has been based on going forward in time to make the stories altogether much more complicated. I don't think there was any point introducing Arthur if his only purpose was to stir things up and then kick the bucket. That makes his character the same as Adam's.What was the point him and Angela pretending to be Sylar's family? - we saw into the future that he and Peter are brothers, and that he has a son called Noah, and thats all very lovely but the writers have spent a lot of this series just trying to mess with our expectations of whats going to happen, particularly by us now believing that was all false. Are they changing their minds half way through writing??Yes, its kept us on tenterhooks, but whats the point when at the end of it there's no real conclusion like there was in Series 1 - when there was a sense of conclusion as well as an anticipation for the next Chapter? I'm left with loose ends, confusion and questioning what the point of Series 3 was anyway, when it doesn't answer the questions left from Series 2?!We may have delved more into the lives of the Heroes, but, as with Sylar, we're still second guessing as to what the characters are about.I want to know where Molly has got to, ditched by Mohinder and Matt.I want to know why we had to hear about the Haitian's brotherly troubles.I want to know where Claire's love interest has flown off to and why he hasn't come back yet.I want to know where Mica and Monica are and what they're up to.I want to know where Nathan's religious beliefs disappeared to (or was that just because he realised he was being played by his father?) - again i'm having to question the answer.I want to know what role Adam and ancient Japan played in the overall conclusion of heroes - did we really need to see all that?!And most of all I want to know where Peter's love for Caitlin has gone - the thing that spurred him on to change the future in the first place, not this stupid formula business. It was his Irish wench trapped in an unknown existence that brought on his feud with Nathan and the way things were.
While I have enjoyed series 3, if series 4 follows suit I fear I will be switching off in fear of it turning into Lost.

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Dec 19, 2008 2:06PM EST

I think the last two episodes of volume three weren't too bad, but the rest had too many holes. How is Nathan Petrelli still alive when we find out that lyndaman was a part of his imagination created by Matts Dad? Why not stick with the plot twist that saw Sylar being a Petrelli? because going back on it just cheapens the story line even more. Its as if the episodes are being written one by one by different people each one not bothering to find out what storyline proceeded theirs. I think the first season was the best thing to hit TV, even the second season was okay. People realised that there was a writers strike so the short comings in the second season could be excused. I really hope volume four improves the show and ensure there is a season four.

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bazanime
Dec 20, 2008 12:24PM EST

The first formula Mohinder injected himself with was unstable and imperfect, hence its side effect on his body. Now he has been infused with the new perfected formula, the fatal flaws in his abilities ill be fixed, thus meaning he should have his abilities without nasty scabs and terminal disease.
Peter has his old ability back, he is just back to square one unfortunately.
I'm glad Ando has abilities now, but its going to freak Hiro out.

....and when did Obama get involved in all this. LOL!!!

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Dec 20, 2008 8:34PM EST

Basically bring elle back, dont bring back mica or monica and kill mohinder off in season 4.

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