Heroes 3.14: "A Clear and Present Danger"

Those anticipating the new writing staff regime at "Heroes" will need to wait a little longer. The outgoing writers were still in control of day-to-day operations through the next several episodes. Tim Kring didn't bring back Bryan Fuller in any meaningful capacity until more than halfway into this latest volume, so in effect, he was brought in to fix whatever mess is about to unfold.


Not much happens in this episode, which is surprising to say. One can see how the writers attempted to streamline the series and give it a more manageable scope. In essence, in the wake of the Pinehearst debacle, Nathan has turned on his own kind and created a special task force for rounding up the metahumans. It's essentially a federal version of the Company (looks like everything is being nationalized these days!).


As a plot device, this is all well and good, but I'm not sure that it makes sense in terms of Nathan's motivations. Is the idea that metahumans need to be controlled for the safety of the world such a new one? Isn't that precisely what the Company had been doing for decades? The only difference now is that the government knows all about them. Nathan may find himself regretting that choice.


This is all still going in familiar "X-Men" directions, especially now that it's clear that a plane crash will give the metahumans a chance to escape and become the titular fugitives of the volume title. This now promises to become a retread of the second season of "Prison Break" with superpowers. This might work if the writers had any interest in maintaining continuity, but we are still seeing bizarre power shifts and poor story logic.


Does it make any sense at all for Matt to inherit the ability to see visions, ala Isaac? It serves no purpose in this episode at all, and seems to happen to make that available to the writers in the future. Peter's ability, however, is a lot more confusing. Exactly what power did Peter get from that injection in the previous episode? Was it some variation on his father's power? Or was it his original ability? It would be nice to know why, if Peter was shown flying long so long ago, he was so worried about getting sucked out of the plane at the end. Wouldn't it be safer to be out of the plane before it hits the ground?


It also seems to defy logic that Nathan would send his hit squads to retrieve mostly metahumans he already knows from former exploits, including foreign countries, rather than target metahumans known by the Company in local circles. Exactly how did Nathan manage to justify operations in Japan to retrieve Ando? Did the United States government coordinate internationally? That has massive implications that are just plain ignored.


Meanwhile, Sylar is on a personal quest to find his true father. Is his survival after the previous episode's events addressed at all? Of course not. He's simply out there, hunting down a new parent to seek approval from, despite having more power than any other current metahuman known on the planet. As fun as it is to see Sylar tear apart Nathan's hit squad, the writers really need to give the character some stronger motivations.


This wasn't a horrible premiere, but it certainly seems to continue the mediocre trend that has been in effect for the season to date. Unfortunately, the show is facing stiff genre competition. "Battlestar Galactica" and "Lost" are once again proving themselves to be the best shows in the genre (if not across the board), and in comparison, "Heroes" is a mindless pretender. At this point, I have no confidence that Bryan Fuller will be able to right the ship. After all, Tim Kring himself wrote this episode, and it's certainly no better than what the outgoing writers managed to produce.

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Feb 3, 2009 9:24PM EST

Nice review and I pretty much agree with you. Heroes is becoming too loopholed these days, and Peter definitely should have been the last person to be afraid of get sucked out of the plain. I certainly miss the time when a episode would get you hooked from start to finish but with this one I got interested about halfway through(Mohinder's abduction) and then lost interest by the end.I hope new writer can manage to keep it going, completely devoid of an mixed reviews.

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Feb 7, 2009 6:17PM EST

I completely agree with you two. Like I said with another article, Peter not being restored to his formal powerful self will turn this show into a real...disappointing and frankly boring show. Matt getting the ability especially stupid. These writers suck and should just quit before they ruin this show even more. I swear if Heroes does not get a decent writer...and fast this show will be canceled before it even completes the season. Peter and Sylar balance each other out. Sylar, no matter how many powers he absorbed will always be equaled or surpassed by peter who while not mastering them, can unleash any power that Sylar contained through his murderous path. And was Sylar not turning into a good guy? What the heck is going on in that little writing room where this unimaginative hick writers are getting these ideas from? And how are the producers and directors going along with it? Does no one in the televsion industry know how to sell a show anymore, because Heroe's once the only show that could get me hooked at any given point in the show has turned into something i flip onto the television to fall asleep watching. The plot is so boring and often you can tell it is trying to be confusing when in reality it is just an obvious pain in the butt to watch. Hence it puts me to sleep faster than watching the sound of music.
Wake up heroes or the show will find itself asleep on the corner of TV's "Could of been great. ave" and "Another reason why you should not replace great writer's with those equivalent of monkeys on a type writer.blvd".

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