Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Is it moral ambiguity or an epidemic of dissociative identity disorder? You be the judge.

A/N: This post contains spoilers for seasons one and two of Heroes.

Part of the charm of Tim Kring's science fiction cum prime time television series is a certain level of WTF'ery. There are moments in Heroes that just make you sit up and say, "what the f*ck just happened here?!?" From the revelation that HRG is actually Claire's father to Niki injecting herself full of the power-stealing virus, these super freaks always keep us guessing. And that's how it should be – the twists are the reason I tune in every week.

This season, however, has become almost hopelessly convoluted. Don't mistake me – I love every minute of it. It just becomes difficult to keep track of a character's motivations when the lines of good/ evil/ up/ down/ black/ white/ mayonnaise/ mustard are continually blurred. For example …

  1. At first, Claire seemed to take the whole In Hiding From Big Bad Company thing seriously. She kept her head down, sacrificing her raison d'ĂȘtre (cheer leading) for the sake of her family. Then she meets a boy! Claire's body is changing, and she starts to feel new … urges. Oh wait, wrong show. Anyway, with West by her side she's not only willing to exercise her abilities; she uses them to exact petty revenge on her school rival. I can understand that her powers are a part of who she is, and it's not in her to ever be 'ordinary' again. But come on, all for the sake of some guy – especially a whiny douche like West? Poor form, Claire. Poor form.

    "I love you like most people love their sense of self-preservation."

  2. Mohinder, for some reason, decided to team up with Mr. Bennet to take down The Company. As soon as Molly gets sick, however, he runs right to them. "I didn't know where else to take her." How about anywhere but into the bad guy's lair?!? Who's your baby-sitter – Angela Petrelli? And then, in a truly shocking turn of events, he dobs Mr. Bennet in to Bob, perhaps in order to feel less "morally gray." *sigh* I love you, 'Hinder, but when you talk it kind of ruins things for me.

    So pretty. So dumb.

  3. They said 'amnesia,' Peter, not 'brain transplant.' First he agreed to commit crimes for the sake of his Identity Inna Box. Then he decides not to open said box, in favor of sucking face with some random Irish chick (hello, Stockholm syndrome much?). All of a sudden she's his One True Love, and they fly into the future together. Actually, I mostly feel sorry for Caitlin. You meet a cute shirtless guy, you clean some blood off of him, and you think he might be The One. Then BAM! He manifests all these bizarre powers and leaves you stranded in a dystopic future, probably to die of some horrible flesh-eating virus. On the other hand, she should have known better than to follow some stranger/emo kid halfway across the world.

    "Eh. It was this, or tend bar fer tha rest o' me life."

  4. The Wonder Twins looked like nice kids, and I could really relate to Maya's inability to stop killing people. Stay strong, sister! Enter Sylar and, by some sort of Evil Osmosis, Maya starts making some rather questionable decisions. She goes from sobbing about killing a couple gross smugglers who were about to molest her (and, granted, a truckful of fellow illegals-to-be) to slaying an entire border patrol without looking back. Yet, given the extreme stress of her situation (and, Maggie would want me to mention, Sylar's extreme hotness) I'm willing to let this one slide. For now. Keep an eye on her, Alejandro – Maya's on notice.

    This one's for you, Maggie Cats.

Of course, some of the characters this season are both conflicted and beautifully consistent. Take Hiro (but you bring him right back!) – he knows he should not fall in love with the sword smith's daughter, that he should return to the future and let the past alone. But he does fall for her, and he stays in the past, and he completely screws over the entire world by unleashing the Wrath of Sark Kensei Adam upon us all. You could argue that he couldn't have known the ultimate outcome of his actions, but he knew what he was doing was wrong. Seeing as it's Hiro, I'm going to give him a pass. Accidental evil committed in the name of love? Oh, go on then.

Who could stay mad at this face?

Really, I'm not going to hold any of this against them – I'm fully prepared to accept and enjoy all the WTF'ery. Because I love these characters. Because this show is awesome. And because morally gray is the new black.

1 comment:

Maggie Cats said...

Rather than true "moral ambiguity," I think it's poor writing and lousy characterization. But I sill love the show! *kisses*

Although, can't blame Maya for anything. I would totally go homicidal for Sylar.