Mental Flotsam, Mental Jetsam

Because the only thing that beats going crazy is going crazy with somebody else

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Heroes = Brilliant

**Spoilers below, y'all have been warned.**

So yeah-- I caught Heroes on Monday, and it was one of the best episodes yet. The writing on this show is incredible.

It helps to have a mind like Jeph Loeb's behind things. I can't say for sure if he's one of the writers but I know he's a creative consultant if nothing else. The novelty of the "Save the Cheerleader, Save the World" slogan had just about worn out; and what good news that following Monday we hopefully won't have to hear it again.

I have to say, I love the dramatic tool of using prophecies. It should be used sparingly for maximum effect, but when a character (who in this case can paint the future) literally outlines what is going to happen; it's up to the writers to A) adhere to the prediction as events unfold and B) still manage to surprise us. Hopefully with a twist that is valid, e.g. 'not cheating'.

I used a similar formula for a pilot I wrote for Scriptapalooza-- someone makes a prediction, the prediction appears to come true, disaster happens, the prediction comes true again and things are resolved.

Heroes did an absolutely splendid job with this. The painter has shown in his works that a cheerleader is attacked. We also see a painting of Peter Petrelli, would-be hero, lying dead before the high school. To effectively adhere to the prediction, they need to show both these things happening, and then resolve it anyway.

Claire, the impervious cheerleader, is not the cheerleader originally attacked. An ex-friend of hers took credit for a fire rescue earlier on, so she is the one the shadowy bad guy homes in on. They bear a resemblence, in that they're both blonde, short, perky cheerleaders. Her ex-friend is indeed attacked, and killed. Not before the bad guy realizes his mistake and starts chasing after Claire.

Peter comes to the rescue (at this point knowing about the painting of his death) and stands between the damsel and the villain anyway. Sure enough, he ends up in a broken pile outside the school.

And he gets better. I almost smacked myself in the head when I saw it; because I should have seen it coming. Claire's gift is simple: she can recover immediately from any wound, even lethal injury. Peter can mimic the powers of any 'Hero' he comes in contact with. Neither bits of information are secret, or recent revelations. My jaw still hit the floor when his life-ending injuries went in reverse. He casually sat up and, without batting an eye, set his broken bones in place so they would heal properly. Simple, elegant, brilliant writing.

The predictions came true like clockwork, and the good guys still came out on top. Super.

I can't wait to see what they have lined up next.


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