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09 December 2006 @ 04:22 pm
Heroes: "Six Months Ago" Episode Review  
I realize that I'm two episodes behind in reviewing, but I figured since there won't be another new episode until January 22nd that I'm safe in catching up. Also some thoughts and speculation of character developments within.


The Heroisms: The Beginning of Their Discoveries.

Ever since the series began we've had questions. From why these certain individuals were chosen and how they discovered their abilities. This episode gives some insight in respect of those questions, but only a mere few answers are actually given to the backstories of certain characters; not necessarily a bad thing, considering this show is an enigma and loves being mysterious without losing track of the character storylines and overall plot. "Six Months Ago" begins where the previous episode left off; Hiro travels back in time six months into the past to try and save Charlie from a tragic fate. It is here where we look at the beginning struggles of the other characters and how they discover what they can do, and also the introduction to one of the prime baddies in the series.

Niki Sanders is seen having a semi-normal life, not necessarily a stable lifestyle but she's managing, with her husband D.L. Hawkins and her son, Micah. Unfortunately her nonexistent father abruptly returns into her life, leading to uncertainty and a violent awakening from the alter ego, Jessica, after the sudden return from the deadbeat father with some rising suspicions of a violent past between them. The Petrelli family is also seen as being a normally functioning family. Peter is seen throwing a party after graduating from nursing school, and Nathan is seen not being bitter or nasty towards his younger brother's ambitions; he is seen slightly opposing that certain career choice Peter made and for not following in their father's footsteps, but it's the typical kind of brotherly love you'd expect. Again with the unfortunate events, a car accident occurs after an unknown chase (where he predicts was from Linderman's henchmen), where Nathan is seen hovering involuntarily from the car, leading to having his wife getting severely injured. Peter senses this distress too, from a dream. This leads to the breaking of the ice between the two brothers. Claire is unaware of her ability yet, but it seems that her father knows more about her and the others than we'd ever realized. While Claire is busy with being accepted as a cheerleader and her friendship falling apart from Jackie's mean-spirited bitchiness, Mr. Bennet is dealing with Eden (a.k.a. Pixie Chick) who he has the Haitian captured after her destructive behavior of her ability, being mind-control persuasion. Eden is seen having an attitude and showing reluctance, but proves to be useful.

Then there's the introduction to Sylar. Only his given name is actually Gabriel Gray, who works at a watch repair shop, and strongly resembles the appearance of Clark Kent (whether intentionally or not). In the beginning of the episode we see Chandra Suresh, Mohinder's father, enter the shop and give him the book of Evolution because he believes Gabriel has special abilities that could "change the world", like the others on his list. Gabriel is seen a little too eager to have some sort of special ability, which proves to be something that breaks him and turns him into a passive aggressive, violent man who actively sought out one of the people on the list, steal their ability, and prove to Chandra that he is, indeed, special. Also proving to the audience that he's one serious whackjob with an uncontrollable urge to be special and will do whatever it takes to become that person.

Meanwhile Hiro tries desperately to save Charlie from her fatal destiny of dying at the hands of Sylar, and is able to finally convince her but she reveals something tragic, and unfortunately Hiro is unable to control his ability and he timeshifts yet again, involuntary. He fails to save Charlie, and returns to the present with Ando in despair, his last words being "I loved her". Which he truly did, as did she for the short time they were together.

The Characters: How To Become A Superhero.

Niki Sanders & Jessica Sanders. After finding out that Jessica is actually Niki's deceased sister (e.g. from the tombstone she visited, which could also indicate that they were also twins), it's also revealed of the dysfunctional childhood they both suffered from. Their father was an abusive alcoholic who, according to the words Jessica spoke when she came out to confront him, had repeatedly beaten on her, choked and eventually killed her. It is unclear whether Jessica had been inside Niki the entire time since her death, or how she acquired such superhuman strength and the ability to shift from personalities, but one thing is certainly clear: she is extremely protective of her family, to a very dangerous degree. It is also revealed how protective she is of Niki, saying that she "took every punch so she wouldn't have to", also indicating her incredible determination of being there when Niki or Micah is being threatened. This also explains on why Jessica framed D.L. for the murders she committed, because she has certain resentment for destructive father figures.

The only thing left to be answered is how D.L. acquired his power, along with Micah (hereditary gene perhaps, both parents have special abilities and therefore not only creates a child prodigy but another young hero too?), and how they all can contribute to saving the world amongst the other heroes.

Claire Bennet and Mr. "HRG" Bennet. Unfortunately this episode doesn't really give light to how Claire first discovered her abilities, but rather it focused more on Mr. Bennet finding out more on what his daughter could do. Although it's never been stated exactly when he initially found out because he seems like he's been in the line of work, e.g. finding those like the Haitian and Eden, for quite a long time. Plus since they adopted Claire and the known chromosome-factor, he could've known since that time. It was probably six months ago where he learned about Chandra Suresh's list of people of special abilities, and with Claire's name on the list he knew she would be at high risk if something went wrong. Hence wanting Eden to keep on eye on Mr. Suresh and getting her name off the list for him, if possible.

Though that added more answers and mysteries to Mr. Bennet's backstory of knowing so much and his secret occupation, what I really wanted was more Claire scenes other than being accepted as a cheerleader. I wanted to see the realization that she wasn't completely normal, not to mention how she and Zach met up together and digitally document her using different ways of killing herself and regenerating. I would've been interesting to see her reaction to all that, and we didn't get to see how she reacted after finding out the deep wound on her hand healed so quickly!

The Petrelli Family. It was nice to see that their family wasn't completely passive-aggressive and dysfunctional as we'd seen so far in the series. Nathan and Peter act like normal brothers, while they might not agree on everything the other is doing with their lives they still support each other and have brotherly advice (that scene between Peter and Nathan talking at the party, for example). Though there's the how Nathan's wife ended up in a wheelchair, and presumably why Nathan doesn't want anything to do with his ability or want Peter to go ahead and search for his "destiny"; he's afraid of getting others hurt like he unintentionally did to his wife. How and why that happened? I'm only guessing it's because he felt threatened because of Linderman's men tailgating them and, just like the other time we saw when trapped between Mr. Bennet and the Haitian, the only escape he saw was by flying. Though we have no idea if this was the first time he actually did fly. Also, Peter's dreams connected to his brother --- I have a feeling that Peter's abilities are more than just absorbing the power of those around him, but that's just a theory.

Hiro Nakamura. Present time Hiro travels to the past so he can attempt to save Charlie from her devastating fate at dying from Sylar (although he doesn't know it's Sylar yet, all he knows is that Charlie dies and that he loves her and wants to change what happened). I thought it was adorable at the many tries he does to get her convinced that he is from the future, and it was even more adorable and sweet that Charlie, while still not completely convinced, doesn't treat him any differently than she'd done before in present time. She's still sweet and friendly towards him, and they have a great time together, aside from Hiro constantly trying to find ways of warning her of the danger she'll be in. After he finally does, the unfortunate detail to find out is that Charlie has a blood cot in her brain and that, regardless of surviving from Sylar, she would've died eventually anyway. This was incredibly depressing because they were so damned cute together, they melded so perfectly, and when Hiro had no control over his ability when he timeshifted --- that was just devastating altogether. This indicates not only does Hiro not understand the lengths and ability or control of his power yet, but at no matter how hard he tries he cannot change the past (as far as we know, because future!Hiro wielding the sword stopped time to tell Peter his fate, also having us to believe he eventually will have more control over it; all he needs now is a sensei to teach him how to use his power wisely).

I also believe this is kind of a morality thing, because Hiro has been completely ecstatic and enthusiastic with his ability of manipulating time and space and having a destiny, but with such a power like that comes a terrible price. We see that Hiro tries to save people, but sometimes he cannot. He's learning that there's great sacrifice and loss with having that kind of power, and it's not all fun and excitement like in the comic books. It'll be interesting to see how he does learn and grow from this experience, as well as Ando.

Gabriel "Sylar" Gray. Not much to say about him, other than his desperate need to be somebody special other than his mundane self; although I was wondering why Chandra Suresh came to him not really knowing that he could be one of the people on his list, and in that manner of approaching him. And getting the name "Sylar" from a watch company I'd be like, dude, that's copyrighted material! If he wants to be someone special other than what he was, why'd he pick a name associated what he used to do as "Gabriel Gray"? One has to ponder. Also, I've probably mentioned this before like so many who made the connection, but I did like the Clark Kent resemblance in his appearance.

Also, he had he acquire the power from his first victim when he didn't have telekinesis yet? My only guess is from the morbid suspicion that, since he's excellent at repairing small parts in wristwatches that he carefully uses part of the brains of those who are special and implants them into his own brain (thanks to Mr. Suresh for giving that idea into his head, no pun intended). So assuming he had no power to begin with, his obsession of being someone other than normal makes him incredibly powerhungry and addicted to getting more and more power. But this could lead disasterous, because too much power could ultimately kill him, and perhaps that's why he wants Claire's ability of being indestructable.

The Shiny Pretties: Heroes Owns My Soul.

¤ Hiro is just the cutest thing ever. I liked that once he called Japan and found out that it was that time's Hiro on the other line, he immediately hung up, wide-eyed, and said "Great Scott!" So hilarious, and so true too. Because with the laws of time travel (or so I've read elsewhere), it is imperative to never meet or give notice to yourself from the past or future as it could cause some kind of disruption.

¤ The Nathan and Peter exchanges were lovely and cute, giving that functional sibling and brotherly love before everything went chaotic.

¤ Jessica = one kickass protective body guard, with one hell of an attitude.

¤ I loved that Claire is portrayed as smarter than her ex-best friend Jackie, especially by correcting the proper usage of a word along with calling her on an uncalled for remark about other people. Claire might have been friends with Jackie at a time, but it's here where we see that friendship line dwindling away. Also, am I the only one that thought, "hey Jackie's on the screen, I thought you died"? And then I remembered this was six months before that night, but I guess karma's a bitch for the Bitchiness Queen named Jackie.

¤ I gained some respect for Eden in this episode, because of her reluctance towards Mr. Bennet and genuine fear of what was happening around her. Oh, and I did love the slightly longish hair.

¤ The origami scene = so freaking cool and, damn, I wonder how long it took the crew members to do that (if it wasn't partial effects, I mean).

¤ "I loved her." *whimper* Damn you Hiro, don't make me cry!

Overall: Great episode. I wished they could've done more of the answering of what happened to the other Heroes and their self-discovery over what they could do with their abilities, but since there's so many they wouldn't have had time to cover every single person's backstory. This episode focused more on the characters more vital to the overall plot, like Sylar, Chandra Suresh and Mr. Bennet. And while the previews for it were misleading of having questions being answered, we do have some more insight on some of these characters, just not all of them. Plus, with every answer comes more questions, and those questions are backed up with even more questions. So it's neverending, but in an interesting thought-provoking way, and that's what I love about this show.

Coming soon, the full-length review for 1.11 "Fallout".
 
 
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Jen: heroes; these two were SO CUTEsnowfire on December 11th, 2006 06:43 am (UTC)
Glee! I always love your episode reviews - you always bring up things I've never considered, one reason or another, and I love how well-written they are. (although it always makes me hesitant to comment on them, just because most things I think are silly when compared to your posts. ;) )

I loved this episode a lot - it's not like so many other shows (Lost is coming to mind, right now), where all we get is questions. This episode proved it, when we finally got some answers to questions that had been plaguing a lot of people.

I was fascinated by the revelation of what's going on with Niki - I hadn't considered something like that (although I'm not sure I could have - did we get any indications she had a sibling in the previous episodes?), but it makes perfect sense. And more important from that, at least from a television standpoint, is that it grabs your attention and holds it. It's certainly a unique cause, although it doesn't seem to have much in common with the others. And it leads me to wonder if it's not Niki that possesses this - gene that makes the heroes special, but Jessica. Something to ponder!

It was disappointing that we didn't see Claire's realizations to her powers, as well as the following aftermath. I have no doubt that we'll find out more eventually, but I had wanted more about her and maybe even less about Mr. Bennett. Don't get me wrong, he's fascinating as well, but Claire and Niki are my two favourite characters - and although we got a lot with Niki, I would have liked it if we had gotten more with Claire as well.

I'm torn on the Hiro and Charlie thing. On one hand, it obviously makes perfect sense that Charlie is doomed no matter what - like you said, he has to learn that sometimes he can't save people and his powers aren't just for fun. But she was so CUTE and they sparked together so well! And although this outs me as a huge sap, I do wish they had at least gotten that kiss before he timeshifted. But - they didn't, so I think I'll just content myself with hoping we see more of Charlie somehow. I'll let the writers figure out the whats and whys of it all, though. ;)

Also, Peter's dreams connected to his brother --- I have a feeling that Peter's abilities are more than just absorbing the power of those around him, but that's just a theory.

I'm just curious - what's your theory?
Renéerogueslayer452 on December 11th, 2006 11:37 pm (UTC)
Aw, thanks for the compliment! These reviews are fun to write, and I'm glad you enjoy reading them. Also, please, if you feel obligated to comment on a review entry regarding the fandom in general or share your speculation thoughts don't hestitate to do so! I love to hear other comments and opinions, too. :D

I loved this episode a lot - it's not like so many other shows (Lost is coming to mind, right now), where all we get is questions. This episode proved it, when we finally got some answers to questions that had been plaguing a lot of people.

Exactly. I liked how they dealt with it, while they didn't reveal everything in one episode (which that would take, like, hours to literally go through all the characters) things were generally explained that really brought us closer to more speculating instead of ongoing questioning with no clues. We have some answers, but still lingering questions; it keeps the fandom going with thinking of the many possibilities without the constant "c'mon, just TELL US already!" reaction (e.g. like LOST, as you gave a perfect example of).

It's certainly a unique cause, although it doesn't seem to have much in common with the others. And it leads me to wonder if it's not Niki that possesses this - gene that makes the heroes special, but Jessica. Something to ponder!

I've been thinking along the same lines, as well. In the beginning it seemed that Niki just had another personality, but with what been learned it's actually Jessica, not Niki, that is dominate with having a special ability. Her superhuman strength, plus remember she has the RNA Symbol tattooed on her right shoulder when she comes out (which disappears when Niki takes control again). If so, what exactly is Jessica's motive other than protecting Niki and Micah from danger? Revenge, or another alternative?

Claire and Niki are my favorite characters, as well, and I was glad to have more understanding of the Niki storyline but, like you said, Claire should've also been featured more. Although I think perhaps it seemed fair considering that Claire is the main focus so far in the series.

I'm just curious - what's your theory?

Honestly? I don't really know myself. I'm kind of thinking about what Peter said in the pilot episode about having a certain connection to Nathan, knowing that he would be in trouble even miles away. Maybe Peter possess some kind of telepathic ability that's connected with his dreams, because we know that sometimes when Peter dreams he's experiencing something other than normal dreams. So he has something similar to Isaac, but instead of premonitions he, for a lack of a better term, senses things. This probably doesn't make any sort of sense, but that's the direction I'm thinking of.