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September 17, 2014

Heroes: Into Asylum

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 31st 2009 12:37AM
Heroes - Into Asylum(S03E21) Melancholy, thy name is Heroes. After an action-packed and exciting chapter last outing, we switched gears, and cast members, for a much mellower sojourn this week. I liked the early days when we got to spend shorter bits of time with the entire extended cast. I'm not sure if it's a budget thing, but these episodes that focus on only a third to half of the sprawling cast just leave me feeling kind of half-fulfilled. It also reveals, sometimes glaringly so, which storylines are a bit duller than others.

You'd think that a Petrelli-focused episode would be full of tidbits and information and secrets. Angela is a walking secret, after all. But despite focusing on Nathan, Peter and Angela, we didn't get any of that. We did, however, get promises of secrets revealed next week. But that's next week. This week was whining about regrets and trying to make amends with loved ones. Oh, and Sylar picking up another nifty new ability and Danko getting in bed with the devil.

We knew already that Danko was willing to go to very dark places to get what he wanted. Also, as Sylar indicated, he really wants the same thing Sylar does: for all those with abilities to die. When he set Matt up to kill tons of innocents in Washington, he pretty much established himself as a villain. In the comic book world he'd be one of those villains without powers, like Two-Face or Lex Luthor. So I guess you could say we now have a super-villain team-up.

Do you think Zachary Quinto realizes that the writers just wrote in a way to get rid of him if he tries to hold out for more money come his next contract renegotiation. Shrewd move on the eve of his Spock-tacular turn on the forthcoming Star Trek film. "What's that, you want more money? Hmmm, looks like Sylar's just going to keep looking like other people from now on." "D'oh!"

I can't say I really saw the point of all that time we spent with Peter and Angela, or even Nathan and Claire's rather pointless excursion south of the border. I know it was all about bonding time for these estranged family members, but we really didn't get anything out of it except for cliches. Peter and Angela were caught, but it was by HRG so he said "All clear" and they were saved. Gee, never seen that. Nathan and Claire needed money so he challenged a bunch of young kids to a drinking contest, failed and Claire had to step in and save the day. Yep, that's a new one.

I caught Bryan Fuller's name as consulting producer, but maybe his handprint didn't sink as deep into the storytelling on this one. Or maybe the Petrellis wouldn't have had to carry forty minutes out of the hour if we'd have gotten at least some face time for Hiro, Ando, Mohinder or Matt. Hell, HRG only had a couple of cameos himself.

As I said, I'm not sure if this was a budget thing, because I'm not sure if they save money by not having every cast member in each episode (though I'd imagine they do), but it's not the type of show we originally fell in love with. Heroes was a big show that always had a lot going on at the same time. We got tasty morsels with almost everybody every week. and every plot creeped forward with each passing hour.

Not so anymore, it would seem, and that's why we have weaker outings, like this one, and stronger ones like last week. If they want to try and lure people back into the show, that majesty and "hugeness" of the story that we had in the first season needs to be restored. A new viewer tuning in just tonight wouldn't have even known about half the cast members or half the storylines going on.

How do you like Heroes splitting up the cast and stories?
I prefer focusing on just a few stories per week217 (42.3%)
I want to see everyone every week119 (23.2%)
They just need to trim the cast and this won't be a problem177 (34.5%)


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Paul

Anybody notice that the names of the 3 agents that died at the beginning were the same names of the 3 "winners" from The Running Man movie? It was something like Whitney, Price and Haddad.

March 31 2009 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Heather

I thought it was a pretty good episode. It was a massive improvement from previous episodes (not last episode, that was just great). Sylar as the anti-hero is what they should have done with him either Season 2 or Volume 3 or even the beginning of this Volume. All the mess that happened to him before has kind of demeaned him. Also, Claire as the hero is getting old. ARGH.

March 31 2009 at 9:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Riley Freeman

heroes is getting more and more wack each week. and when its finally gonna pick up watch the season is gonna be done and gonna have to wait 6 months for a new episode that will have to slow down the show again.

if things dont improve over the end of this season and probably half to all of next season im cutting my loses.

March 31 2009 at 5:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Belly

Or, a fourth option in the polls:-
I'm fine with the in depth focus on fewer characters, except when the characters are pretty much anyone from the Petrelli family and/or Sylar.

This episode goes to show that some characters really can't carry a 40 min episode; it just comes out feeling forced and cliched.

March 31 2009 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I have to say that I liked this episode. True, some of the stories were cliched, but there was actual character development. I found myself thinking that a lot of these avenues (especially the relationship with Claire and Nathan) should have been explored more back in season 2 but were sort of ignored. Now that Bryan Fuller's back, I felt a massive rearrangement of the story to get back to a story that he wants to tell. Claire and Nathan have now at least talked a little about their roles in each other's lives. I was very interested in a desperate Angela Petrelli, one who is seeking forgiveness. It was fascinating to see that side of someone who is usually so in control. Peter's character has become a mess, and I think it will take some time to sort that out, but I definitely saw progress last night. He's always been kind of an unquestioning servant of whatever the big picture is, so it was great to see him questioning and even angry. And Sylar... he has always been my favorite character and it was fantastic to see Sylar back as a crazy, manipulative master mind. Overall, I'm eager to see where this is going, which is something that I haven't said about Heroes in a long time.

March 31 2009 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
MikLamb

I felt this show was poor. I don't see any problem with the concept of focusing on fewer characters each week (Lost seems to do that very well), but there has to be some action or at least something going on besides Nathan and Claire talking endlessly about their family problems, or Angela and Peter talking endlessly about their family problems (see my concern?). Even Sylar and Danko dancing around and getting together on a killing seemed rather blah. I'm still hanging in there, hoping for fewer episodes like this one and more like last week's.

March 31 2009 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkny

I thought this was a really good sleak episode. Good use of music and it gave these guys a chance to act

March 31 2009 at 10:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LRM

It's too bad the writers are once again making the mistake of giving a character more powers instead of advancing an actual plot. It certainly didn't work out for Peter, Hiro, and Sylar in previous seasons where they were pretty much omnipotent and they ended up just taking their powers away. I don't see how shapeshifting doesn't make Sylar into a good again. Of course, it'll probably just be a power Sylar somehow "forgets" to use when it's actually convenient.

March 31 2009 at 9:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
B

Wasn't the reviewer of this show on TVSqaud(don't know who) only a few episodes back saying the writers needed to focus less on trying to have as much of the cast/plots as possible in each episode? I agreed much more with that person. The last couple episodes have been the first episodes in a long time that I've actually enjoyed, and although the show isn't perfect it's a hell of a lot better than what we've been getting since the end of season 1.

March 31 2009 at 6:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to B's comment
Dan

Plus, he's completely oblivious to the fact that in Season 1 it was this way too and then it started to focus on more stories as more and more characters were introduced. This is an ensemble show, not a star show.

I liked this episode, it wasn't as good as some of the others this season, but it was still really good. Next week looks like a flashback episode, and those are usually good.

March 31 2009 at 11:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Phish

no doubt the quality of this show has drastically reduced.
However, this post illustrates why we are ALL unqualified to complain!
My point being, that one of the main complaints viewers had (and bloggers nonetheless) is that TOO much was going on, and too many appearances meant that each story line had only 2 - 3 mins of screentime, unlike shows like Lost.
Now they are doing something about it, yet the blogger still complains.
I'm not saying that i have a solution of the show, but obviously nobody has a solution.
Either a show works or it doesnt.

March 31 2009 at 4:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Phish's comment

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