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Heroes thoughts
Bar Harbor
alexx_kay
Saw the latest Heroes this weekend.

I don't know why hungrytiger called it "stunt casting". They needed to cast an important villain, and they went and got an actor well known for his ability to do so. I thought it was only "stunt casting" when you cast someone whose fame doesn't involve, well, being an actor (like the Stan Lee cameo a few eps back).

At any rate, good episode over all. Nice use of ringtones to do a reveal a few seconds early if you were paying close attention. Glad to see some more development with Madame Petrelli; I always thought she must have some interesting backstory.

It was a bit disappointing to see *two* instances of Classic Good Guy Mistake #1. When you have the Bad Guy in your sights, f'godssake, just *SHOOT*. If you monologue, or worse yet, let *him* monologue, it will not go well for you. Ah well, I suppose if you're going to indulge in genre fiction, you have to learn to live with that sort of thing.
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Mohinder has no excuse- he's not very bright (genetic smarts? Sure. Common sense? TOTALLY lacking). Nathan...well, Nathan isn't quite prepared to be Lawful Good. Linderman said the magic words: "White House." (and to be completely fair, that pot pie looked *really* good.)

Agreed on Mohinder. Partial agreement on Nathan. It's true that he's conflicted, but "shooting the bad guy in cold blood" is in fact *not* terribly Lawful (though still sometimes appropriate).

I think Hiro nailed him -- Nathan likes to project a tough image, but he cares way too much about "his people" to *be* that tough. Shooting Linderman would arguably have served the greater good, but would also have devastated his family. And he cares more about his family than he does about any abstract principle. The only reason he resists Linderman at all (IMHO) is because he's worried about long-term damage to his family from being tangled up with him.

Pot pie with cream sauce... Mmmmmm...

When we start considering it a flaw that the hero fails to kill, who is flawed - the hero, or us?

I think it depends on the circumstances. We don't *really* know what Linderman's main objective is (but he is willing to indescriminatly kill for them, so even if his objective is noble, his methods aren't) so it may not be in the world's best interest for him to be killed.

In Sylar's case, however, we know what his objective his: gain more powers, and kill other people who have powers, and those who get in his way (remember the first crime scene we saw that was attributed to Sylar? He took the brain of the father, who presumably had powers, and impaled the mother to the staircase with forks and spoons, but left ehr brain alone. He wan't after her, because she had no powers, but killed her anyway). He will not stop, and it's highly likely he CANNOT stop. It's in the best interest of everyone that he die. Quickly, with no monologuing.

(remember the first crime scene we saw that was attributed to Sylar? He took the brain of the father, who presumably had powers, and impaled the mother to the staircase with forks and spoons, but left ehr brain alone. He wan't after her, because she had no powers, but killed her anyway).

Yes, I remember that scene. My recollection is that Mohinder wasn't there. What we know isn't relevant to Mohinder's choices.

Let us not for a moment think that Mohinder is soft on Sylar - he's quite willing to toss aside both due process and medical ethics, on the basis of what he knows (which is circumstantial, and wouldn't stand up in a court of law). But he is not (yet, at least) a killer himself.

I maintain that failing to be a stone-cold killer ain't a bad thing.

Mohinder knows that Sylar killed Zane, Dale, and his father. He also knows that Sylar is linked to the deaths of multiple other people. He can surmise that Sylar used his powers to kill them, and that there will be some difficulty (to put it mildly) in proving that "he sliced their heads open with his mind" in a court of law. Sylar's been imprisoned by people who know how to deal with and contain people with superpowers (and for a discussion on what the OWI's* possible objectives may be... the comment box just isn't big enough), and he got away from them. No one will be able keep him in jail long enough for a trial, and no conventional prison can contain him.

Sylar is a super villian, and in the conventions of genre fiction, he must die. It's just a matter of who kills him.

* The Television Without Pity boards have dubbed the Organization that Bennet works for as "The Organization Without Initials". When Matt was being held by them and asks Bennet who he works for "CIA? NSA?" Bennet answered, "We're not a part of anything with intials." Thus, the OWI was born.

Sylar's been imprisoned by people who know how to deal with and contain people with superpowers

I've lost track, but does Mohinder know that? I know he had a conversation with HRG, but it's not like he has any particular reason to trust what HRG says...

Sylar is a super villian, and in the conventions of genre fiction, he must die.

Tricky point, that. *Which* genre conventions? By TV Action Drama conventions, yeah, he probably has to die. But by Superhero Comics conventions, it is almost mandatory that he *not* die; it is certainly the case that no heroic character can kill him. As I've ranted about before, The Batman is not allowed to kill the Joker, no matter how high his body count goes.

And even in TV Action Drama, it is frequently the case that though the villain has to die, he gets killed in some convenient fashion *after* the hero has nobly decided not to kill him. This bugs the hell out of me, as I see it as a storytelling cheat, but it's no less common for that.

OWI

Hee!

I don't remember if Mohinder knows that or not. (Looking back at the TWOP recap, no, I don't think he did. HRG and Might Mo talked about The List a bunch. And crickets a little.) Mohinder is pretty dumb sometimes, but even he can see that with the TK, Sylar ain't gonna stay locked up for very long. A court and system of law that can barely handle normal people can't contain Sylar. Mohinder knows this.

But, as stated before, Mo is not the sharpest gene in the pool. And it's really easy to get caught up in explaing WHY you're doing something before getting around to doing it. People like to be understoof. If he'd just said, "My name is Mohinder Suresh. You killed my father. Prepare to die." that would have cut to the chase, made it all very clear, but noooooo we have to go and discuss parasites, and why Sylar is dangerous, and what needs to be done for the Good of the World. Sigh.




I am mostly with rufinia on this one.

To a large extent, the specifics of the genre matter. It is unacceptable (to me, anyways) for Superman to ever kill, because his powers -- and his genre -- guarantee that he can find a nonlethal solution if he tries hard enough. In a war story, conversely, heroes are pretty much all killers, usually of vast numbers -- that's what *makes* them heroes. There's a broad spectrum between the two.

In real life, I'm a huge fan of due process, innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, habeas corpus, etc. In genre fiction, not so much. (Unless the genre is courtroom drama or police procedural :)

Ah, but they're not Heroes yet. As it says in the first episode, this is the story of how they became Heroes. And - I'm guessing - how some of them became Villains...

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