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Heroes: Parasite, Part One

I'm not going to say a whole lot about it, but this episode really bothered me on a meta level.

David and I had a very good conversation about heroes, archetypes, and the importance of certain structures in classic myth tales. I understand that the story has picked up pace and that we are accelerating toward the conclusion, however we both feel betrayed ... actually, everyone in real life with whom we've discussed it has felt disappointed and betrayed.

What bothers us is Mr. Bennet getting found out almost immediately. He made this huge sacrifice ... the kind of sacrifice that most of us never have to face. It was genuine heroism from a father protecting his child. He wasn't superpowered, he didn't have any sort of super healing or telepathy: he just did what he had to do to save his daughter.

To us, it cheapened the sheer magnitude of what he had done to be found out so quickly. I mean, yes, eventually, I expected his organization to find out, but having made such a valiant effort really deserved more time in the storyline. Compressing it like that damages the tale, in my opinion. It weakens certain essential elements of the heroic tale. It is crucial to something in our psychology that extreme sacrifice be worth it, and you tamper with that structure at your peril. You have to be a very good writer indeed, I think, to tweak that structure and have it still work. I'm not saying it isn't doable: sometimes things are very effective when our expectations and perceptions are turned upside down. However, you also have to know when to play it straight, and I feel this just didn't work very well given the preceding events in the story arc.

So, how long will it be before Mystique Faith bites the dust? Given her name, her look, and her behavior, I consider her character to be the second Buffy homage on the show, and it will be both appropriate and awesome for Buffy Claire to wipe the floor with her.

At least Ando is back. That made me happy. Of course, that, too, is part of one of the classic hero myth structures. Frodo and Sam, Batman and Robin, Londo and G'Kar ... true friends don't leave. There, at the end of everything, they will follow you into the dark and face whatever comes with you.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 15th, 2007 03:00 am (UTC)
[makes a mental note to come back to this in 14 more episodes, and damns Katharine for finding yet another way to wast his time]
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:28 am (UTC)
You can poke fun of me for this if you like, but less than a full week after we last saw you, I am now caught up through episode 18 :)

I'll make one counter-observation - what Claire's dad does is a sacrifice, as you pointed out. The point of it is to save Claire. There are no guarantees that Mr. Bennett also lives a long and comfortable life - it's that lack of guarantee that makes it a sacrifice, in fact. I actually found it to be more realistic that he was caught so quickly, because the Company is acting exactly like you'd expect them to - they trust no one, and most especially not the father of their most-recently discovered hero. Sacrifices are most meaningful, in fact, when they are total. Taking a bullet and giving up his memory redeems him; it's the fact that he's willing to follow through, to die if necessary to protect Claire, that makes him a hero.

Other random observations:

As long as we're talking rip-offs, is Wireless a Trinity clone or what? I mean, come on.

I protest using Mr. Sulu as Hiro's father, if only on the grounds that Hiro would recognize him :)

Did you catch the fact that the bus driver in the scene where Hiro leaves Ando is Stan Lee? That man makes more cameos than Peter Jackson's kids.

Are you reading the online graphic novels? You don't need them, really, but they fill in interesting gaps.

I am a huge fan of online archival of television shows. This is the future, as far as I'm concerned. I don't suppose Battlestar Galactica is online anywhere, is it? Ob gripe: the technology needs subtitles for us hearing-addled folk.
Mar. 18th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC)
Oh, and one more gripe - they killed off the hottest woman on the show, just when she was getting really interesting. I wanted more Eden :/
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

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