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TV Review: Heroes – “Six Months Ago”

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The latest episode of Heroes, “Six Months Ago,” revealed the following:

• That’s how far back in time Hiro went trying to save Charlie.

• Mohinder's father contacted the first person whom he thought had special abilities- the sociopath Sylar.

• Matt had a run-in with Eden that led to her capture (by Horn Rimmed Glasses — aka HRG, aka Claire's dad) and Matt eating a lot of doughnuts.

• HRG learned about Claire.

• Nathan had the car accident that paralyzed his wife (right before his father died of a heart attack).

• And Jessica rose from the dead (kinda) to protect Niki, possibly for the first time since childhood.

Suffice it to say, a whole lot happened six months ago.

Hiro’s sweet attempt to save Charlie taught him an important lesson: he cannot undo events that have already occurred. At least, he himself cannot go back in time and change something. Obviously Hiro found a loophole; the sword-carrying Hiro from the future who gave Peter the message of “Save the cheerleader, save the world” shows that.

Hiro also learned he needs to fine-tune his time-traveling skills a bit. His fear of time-traveling again because he could be “a T-Rex’s lunch” was comical, as was his facial expression when he attempted to contact Ando and got himself — six months ago — on the phone.

Watching Hiro is like watching a child grow up — part of growing up is experiencing hurt and disappointment, but that doesn't make it any easier to witness.

Sylar’s sociopathic ways grew out of the same sense of hurt. Mohinder’s father lost interest in studying him because Sylar did not initially show signs of a special ability. His desire to be special was touching, although his desire to disassociate himself from his family because they were so “ordinary” was not.

I couldn’t help but feel bad for Sylar when he pleaded with Mohinder’s father not to give up and lost interest in him, but I felt much worse for Brian when Sylar bashed his head in and stole his brain. Sylar and Peter have the same special ability: they absorb other people’s abilities. Unfortunately for everyone Sylar runs across, he has to steal their brains to get their power.

It’s interesting that the most sociopathic character (Sylar) and most empathetic character (Peter) have the same power, like two sides of a coin. They even both deal with death: Sylar causes it (murder) while Peter supports people who are experiencing it (hospice nurse). Something tells me a major showdown is brewing between these two.

Another character personifies two sides of a coin: Niki/Jessica. Six months ago, Niki had managed to maintain sobriety for a year, although she openly acknowledged dying for a drink at an AA meeting. Then her father — apparently her physically abusive father — showed up, trying to make amends. This led Niki to Jessica’s grave with a bottle of alcohol, although she was not shown actually drinking it.

Things did not go well with Niki’s father. He exploded at Micah when he found Micah disassembling a brand new $2000 laptop, which led to Jessica’s re-emergence.

This is a wonderful dramatization of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder). Niki will need to learn to integrate both aspects of herself, which means first she’ll have to learn that the ability to kick ass is not all bad.

Nathan revealed his penchant for self-preservation six months ago: he flew for the first time, leaving his wife to suffer her paralyzing injury, and he was preparing to indict his own father, presumably to further his political ambitions by cleaning up the family name. His guilt about all this does not make it any better.

And HRG was already tracking down people with special abilities. He found out about Claire back then. So just what the heck was (and is) he doing?

Now we just need to find out why all this happened six months ago.

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About E.D. Jones

  • Baronius

    I missed this episode. Darnit.

    Very interesting observations about Peter and Sylar. I’ve been waiting to find out more about Sylar. Mohinder’s dad as a father figure, losing interest – that sounds about right.

    As for Niki, please help me out with a pet theory: was there anything that explicitly proved that she has powers? I’m always wondering if she might not just be nuts.

  • E.D. Jones

    Hmm… good question about Niki. I assumed her “power” was Jessica’s superhuman strength. Superhuman strength does not preclude craziness, though. Personally, I think she’s both.

  • http://www.heroeshq.com Heroes HQ

    And Jessica rose from the dead (kinda) to protect Niki, possibly for the first time since childhood.

    I think Jessica’s been protecting Niki all along, based on her statements to Hal that she was always the one who was taking his abuse.

  • E.D. Jones

    I agree- but we don’t know when Jessica died (it could have been when they were kids).

  • DJ

    If I remember right, if you do the math with Jessica’s tombstone she died when she was 10 or 11. I think, but I might be wrong. I didn’t know if it would be important at the time, but I figured it up anyways.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/tinkie101 tink

    This is one of those shows that the hub and I missed the first two episodes of and so we never started watching it. We’ve found that if you miss the beginning of a serial storyline, it’s damned hard to catch up. Tonight we’ll have our chance to start up from the beginning.

    Starting tonight at 6 P.M. (at least here on the West Coast), the Sci-Fi Channel is hosting all of the previously aired NBC shows beginning with the very first one.

    WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!

  • ClubStyle_DJ

    This episode uncovered a lot of questions I had but still left me hangin on some. Damn they skipped over that big gun situation with Niki & DL My brain still smokes when I think about the Hiro time travel factor. Did he seem to teleport back b4 he had powers yet.. that why he flew and took the bus back to the diner? and Hello paradox! you can’t make a call and yourself answers. I need more data. Still don’t know about a few characters DL, Micah and memory wipe guy what is HRG’s job anyway CIA or some other 3-digit agency? His actions seem kind of covert & government-y. He’s got an agenda and knows more than Clair thinks. Maybe they’ll reveal. Upcoming episode is said to be the last til Jan ’07. Heard about a marathon coming up on SiFi… i got no details tho.
    The writers still got some splain to do Lucy!

    CSDJ

  • E.D. Jones

    Sharp eye, catching the dates on the tombstone- perhaps Niki and Jessica’s father murdered Jessica during an especially violent abusive incident? If Jessica really did exist (I questioned this at first but now suspect she did), then it does make Baronius’ question very pertinent: does Niki really have a superpower or is she inhabited by a ghost? I’ll be disappointed if she is just channeling a spirit!

    Serialized shows are hard to catch up with if you miss the initial set-up; in addition to the Sci Fi marathon (of the first six episodes), the Sci Fi channel airs the current “Heroes” episodes every week, so check your local listings if you miss an episode!

    The writers did delay answering current questions to explain what happened six months ago. I think they’re doing an amazing job (so far) of answering enough questions to provide some satisfaction while still leaving/creating more questions to keep me hooked. Hopefully they’ll be able to keep it up.

    Next week should be good, since it’ll be the last new episode until January 2007!