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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

‘Heroes’ blogging: “Eris Quod Sum”

(previous: Chapter Six: “Dying of the Light”)

I wish I had a Kryptonite cross, because then you could keep both Dracula and Superman away. –Jack Handy

And if I had an Off button on my TV, I could keep away Heroes. Oh, wait, I do…

[spoiler-laden commentary on tonight’s Heroes after the jump!]
The title of tonight’s episode, “Eris Quod Sum,” is Latin for “I am what you will be.” It shows up a lot on old New England headstones, and it’s kind of a reminder of our mortality: that even the person reading the headstone will someday be under one. What it seems to suggest in this instance, however, feels more like a threat: these characters are gonna keep flip-floppin’ back and forth between good and evil — or maybe-good and maybe-evil, or kinda okay and kinda wayward, or sorta nice and sorta naughty — forever and ever. “Nah-nah: You’re evil now, but I’m good, and soon you’ll be good and I’ll be evil!”


Someone famous once said, “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, er, won’t get fooled again.” I would have refused to believe that Hiro was in any danger whatsoever, as a result of taking the Africa Isaac-esque guy’s potion, after only the nonsense with Ando’s stabbing being faked. But here in this one episode alone, we have the fakeout deaths of Matt and Daphne and of powerless-Peter. I bet even the writers, after throwing Peter out the window from seven stories up, went, “Oh crap, that was cool but it makes no sense how he could get up and walk away from that. Better whip up some shit to explain it.” Maybe it was the injection Mohinder gave Peter. Maybe Sylar did “help” Peter along. (Though I so don’t buy Sylar’s conversion. “That’s what brothers do, they come for each other”? Pul-leeze.) Or maybe it was just the writers writing themselves into a corner and trying to fake us out… again.

It’s not working. I don’t want to be tricked — I want to see these characters (whom I used to like) struggling with this strange new world they found themselves, like we saw in the first season. That’s never gonna go away, and it’s still a strange new world. But it’s turned into a soap opera, and a tedious one.

I’m telling: someone we think is “good” is gonna be bad again, soon, and I bet it’s Sylar. The African Isaac-esque guy said:

Evil forces gather. The dark sun rises. Soon it will be too late.

But I think he said “dark son,” meaning Sylar. Either he’ll kill the old man, and we’ll be meant to see that as all shades-of-gray — you know, he killed his father ruthlessly, but he did it to stop the evil old dude — or he’ll just turn out to have been working for him all along. Like Daphne is still on the side of the devils. Or is she? Or isn’t she? Maybe she’s a triple fakeout too.

Oh, and seriously, if you can’t control your electric powers, why would you get on a plane? Is the show kidding us with this? I was afraid Heroes was turning into Lost for a moment, and honestly, I’m not sure that’s a direction that would help.

Who’s goin’ evil? Sylar. Mark my words.

(Watch full episodes at NBC’s official site for the show.)

(next: Chapter Eight: “Villains”)

MPAA: rated TV14-LV

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