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20 October 2006 @ 04:45 am
Heroes 1.04  
Yay! I finally got to see it!


Having dissed on the gender politics of Heroes, I'll now go back on all that and say I loved the exploration of female subjectivity in 1.04.

Claire
I mentioned that I liked the rape scene for its realism. I like it even more now I've seen the continuing arc. I thought the exploration of Claire's emotions in the wake of what happened to her was very well handled and convincing. I'm finding her a very sympathetic and well-written character. The autopsy scene was incredible--an amazing visual metaphor for her emotions in the wake of attempted sexual assault: hollowed-out, exposed, violated, objectified, disempowered. It worked so well that it felt as if she had been raped. Seeing her 'zip herself out' and walking home barefoot was very moving. Her almost catatonic state at home was also very realistic of an assault victim. She feels like she's got something to hide--and this is all the more real to the audience because she really does, having to keep her powers secret.

I loved the scene with Claire and her male friend (what's his name?) where he tells her she's got to do something and she says 'why? what would it achieve for ME?' Again, emotions that assault victims go through. And very convincing that it would be the male friend that argued for this, not really empathising with the shock and denial and desire to be rid of the whole thing.

And it was wonderful that the girl from 1.03 who watched them go off together was explained. And I loved that that was the moment when Claire kicked into vengeance mode. Because of course she wouldn't do it for herself. It's far easier for her to feel anger on someone else's behalf than on her own--she has a need to protect her own secret, and she's still just a kid, struggling with the physicality of her condition and with the fact that she can be picked apart on a lab table. (Clark Kent's worst nightmare just came to life!) Claire's got a drive to heroism but doesn't want the spotlight on her. That's very sympathetic, and I was barracking for her so hard when she gave that guy the fright of his (short?) life. However, it was impetuous, if deserved, and I fear for what it will mean for her. Dad will clue on, right? *shudders*

Niki
Niki became a little less mysterious this episode when we actually saw her transform into her shadow self. However, I find her personality splitting fascinating. Clearly she's got a history of artificially splitting parts of her life as a coping mechanism. Her secret life in the garage versus her self as a mother, and her conversation with Nathan about what it means to be a parent both indicated that. It's interesting that in this episode her son showed that he knew a lot more about that double identity than she thought. So it's a self-deluding split though she likes to think she's doing it for her child. This is mirrored exactly in her superpowered self versus normal self split. Her son's picking up clues (he asked her why she stared at her reflection a couple of eps ago), but Niki thinks she's protecting him. I wonder if that illusion will also be shattered at some point. While it's a cliche, I do like the exploration of motherhood, with Niki willing to do anything, even embracing her 'dark half', for her child.

The boundaries in Niki's world are crumbling. Her erotic work is now 'in person' rather than at one remove over the net. She's still coping with it by entering a different 'self', but I feel it's only a matter of time before these selves slide closer and closer together.

Shallow comment: the heel to that guy's skull was really scary!

The boys
So it turns out Peter Petrelli's 'power' is sucking off other people's powers. So he's a parasite. Great. I can see he's going to be the 'can do anything we need him to do' character in the writer's pack of superheroes. The writers' whore: he gets more Lana-y with every episode! (And here I feel really really catty and mean--because I seriously love Lana now, but the issues I used to have with Lana and the issues I have with Peter now are too similar to ignore.) Suffice to say, he's not 'for me'. ;-)

Nathan, however, is MY MAN. *fans self* Oh, wow, was he hot this ep! I loved him with Niki. I love that he's thought about flying but that he's so focussed on becoming a senator that it's a side issue for him. He's taking real-world 'hero' status over the supernatural unknown. I love his straightfowardness: telling her yes, he IS happily married, thank you, but he still wants to sleep with her.

My boys clashed when Mohinder came blundering up to Nathan spouting warnings rather indiscretely. I loved Nathan's composure in the face of that. And I love his bluntness with Lana as well: yeah, you need to disappear, mate!

Mohinder didn't score so well in that round with Nathan. However he did deliver my favourite line of the episode, 'scepticism is the default scientific position', to Lana, so kudos for that!

In other notes: I'm still barracking for Elfgirl to be Sylar, Claire's dad is creepy creepy creepy, and Hiro's qualms about cheating were adorable. I loved that Ando foiled him with 'was Peter Parker cheating by selling pics of Spiderman?' Heh! But they're not the brightest either--you could see that alley-way beat-up coming a mile away. Awww!
 
 
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
 
 
 
Vera: justpeachymama_StarTrekHirol_vera01 on October 20th, 2006 05:50 am (UTC)
So it turns out Peter Petrelli's 'power' is sucking off other people's powers. So he's a parasite. Great. I can see he's going to be the 'can do anything we need him to do' character in the writer's pack of superheroes.

Empathic!Rogue is what I call him, yet the use of the word "parasite" is interesting. I've never considered Rogue to be as such, yet (possibly I'm reading too much into this) Kring did with Peter. It doesn't neccesarily mean something good and interviews (which I admit I'm sketchy on since I read them ages ago) suggested that the creators might be going a good versus evil with Peter. Which would make for an interesting dynamic with Nathan - who is just needing a smackdown from his little brother for the stuff he pulled. I'm not sure Nathan can qualify as real-worl hero yet. Was his deal with Gambling Boss ever really clarified? Ando as Hiro's sidekick was an inspired addition. Someone believes Hiro and has no qualms within the guise of friendship in using Hiro's powers for his own - another part of me revels in the excitement with them - something I intend to enjoy if Future!Hiro is who we're going to end up with. I wonder if Micah hasn't caught onto Niki's "power" but just hasn't said anything yet?
Vera: justpeachymama_StarTrekHirol_vera01 on October 20th, 2006 06:03 am (UTC)
I'm just kicking myself because in answer to your post I let more about Peter slip, for which I do apologise.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya Raibop_radar on October 20th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
*ruffles your hair* You are soo cute! Don't worry.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Clairebop_radar on October 20th, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
Empathic!Rogue is what I call him
Oh, yeah! That's a good name for him. Thanks for defending him! Clearly I'm quite biased--I'm just finding him hard to swallow for now. Although he's an interesting one in terms of gender, as he's got quite a 'feminine' power.

I'm not sure Nathan can qualify as real-world hero yet.
Oh, not in the eyes of the viewers (or many of the characters!), for sure!! But in his OWN eyes, this is what he's choosing: fame and strength and defence of whatever (possibly amoral) principles his platform is based on. ;-) It's interesting to compare Nathan and Peter--Peter could easily construct his own profession (nursing) as the more heroic of the two. Politics allows you to achieve a lot on a big scale, but it's also ego-driven and forced compromises. Nursing is a direct way of helping people--but Peter's so scathing of it! I think that's one of the reasons I find Nathan the more sympathetic of the two. For whatever reasons, he's more passionate and committed about his chosen path in life. That's attractive and intriguing.

Nathan needs a smackdown? Yes, definitely: and it needs to be as HOT as possible, please! ;-p

I wonder if Micah hasn't caught onto Niki's "power" but just hasn't said anything yet?
Micah! That's the kids name! Thank you! And yes, that's what I'm wondering too. He's so bright, I suspect he has.
Vera: justpeachymama_StarTrekHirol_vera01 on October 20th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
It's interesting to compare Nathan and Peter--Peter could easily construct his own profession (nursing) as the more heroic of the two.

I've started wondering if this empathic nature of his extends to his human patients in regards to their emotions especially when you consider his family's history. I don't remember his father's backstory accurately enough, but the sucide attempt etc stuck out to me especially when Nathan and his mom both talked to Peter about it and suggested that emotionally he might have taken after his father. So far, we have Micah as an example of the next generation of Heroes, but nothing about what came before *shrugs* Still just speculation in my fan-fic addled brain :)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Aishwarya Raibop_radar on October 20th, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
Well, I'd love to see his empath-nature explored more in his profession, but hasn't he ditched it?

the sucide attempt etc stuck out to me especially when Nathan and his mom both talked to Peter about it and suggested that emotionally he might have taken after his father
Yes, and he made that call this ep about 'we're just cheap rip-offs of our fathers' or something along those lines. Of course, post-SV, I'm very tuned in to parents and the role they play in character destinies. ;-)

This is an interesting line of exploration with Peter. He was framed by Nathan as experiencing the same 'crisis' as his father. And in one way he genuinely did--he is alternatively hyped-up/depressed and he risked his life jumping from a building. So he echoes his father, just as he echoes the powers of other characters maybe.

There's a small theme developing re. parents and kids--Mohinder following in his dad's footsteps, Micah and Niki, Peter/Nathan and their dad...
Vera: justpeachymama_StarTrekHirol_vera01 on October 21st, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
I was actually just wondering if some of his past behaviour can't be explained by the fact that his powers had him feeding off the emotions of the patients he was watching and shown through conversations between his mom and Nathan. Any exploration would completely be in retrospect for us, but the effects could be seen for us presently in his relationship with Nathan and especially his mom. I wonder what else Nathan and his mom could be hiding from Peter? All speculation, mind you!
Nora Norwich: claire evolvingnorwich36 on October 20th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)
The autopsy scene was incredible--an amazing visual metaphor for her emotions in the wake of attempted sexual assault: hollowed-out, exposed, violated, objectified, disempowered. It worked so well that it felt as if she had been raped. Seeing her 'zip herself out' and walking home barefoot was very moving. Her almost catatonic state at home was also very realistic of an assault victim. She feels like she's got something to hide--and this is all the more real to the audience because she really does, having to keep her powers secret.

Brilliant observations about the metaphor behind this scene. But of course, she has been violated, even if she hasn't been actually raped--not to mention the fact that she was murdered!

I also liked your observations about Niki and splitting off parts of her self. It will be interesting if the superpowers turn out to be connected to personality in other ways as well.

I am deeply amused by your Peter hatred; I am bored by him but I definitely don't hate him. And I think parasitism is a mean way to describe a very cool power: he's like an amplifier, really.

On the other hand, I really don't see the Nathan attraction. A lot of people on my f-list seem to have the same reaction. Is it the actor? Because I just think Nathan is a jackass, and while that scene with Niki was hot, I found it hot because of Niki, not him.

One reason I like the Elfgirl=Sylar theory is that LaT brought up parsimoniousness in casting principles: Sylar is probably someone we've seen so far. She's voting for the black guy with mind-suppressing powers. But I think it's a lot more interesting if that guy is actually a parallel to Sylar: I think Sylar is cutting out the brains and actually eating them, in a primitive rite of assimilating their knowledge, whereas the brain suppressing guy has that as his power. That's my current theory, anyway. But if Claire's dad isn't Sylar, and the black guy isn't Sylar, Sylar has to be either one of the heroes or Elfgirl. And as much fun as it would be, I seriously doubt Peter (or Nathan or Isaac or really any of the other heroes) really is Sylar.

It's possible, of course, that we just haven't seen the true face of Sylar yet--but I'm betting we had.
Nora Norwich: Clark brainlessnorwich36 on October 20th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
er, I mean I'm betting we HAVE.

Clearly I'm up past my bedtime--my grammar is suffering.
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on October 20th, 2006 06:17 am (UTC)
I just reread this and realized it comes off as though I completely disagree with you, when actually I very much agree with a lot of your observations, I just brought up mainly the ones I didn't!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Allison bouncybop_radar on October 20th, 2006 06:32 am (UTC)
Heee!! Well, that's ok! The points of disagreement are interesting. Though it's also reassuring to know you don't think I'm batshit insane! ;-p
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Sureshbop_radar on October 20th, 2006 06:21 am (UTC)
Brilliant observations about the metaphor behind this scene. But of course, she has been violated, even if she hasn't been actually raped--not to mention the fact that she was murdered!
Yup, of course! It was just interesting to see the degree to which the combined assault/murder worked as a sort of rape. I think lots of girls who've been sexually assaulted could relate to Claire's emotional journey, regardless of the exact nature of the assault. Claire's case maps out an extreme case, but the emotions are a common experience. How full on was that plot!! Wow!! (still reeling)

And I think parasitism is a mean way to describe a very cool power: he's like an amplifier, really.
Hee! Not actually my call originally--viennawaits called him that in my previous post and it amused me enough to reuse it. I'm still a little bit confused about the exact nature of his power. Amplifier? He picks up what's near him? It's hard to believe in genetic evolution as the cause of that kind of power. *frowns*

A lot of people on my f-list seem to have the same reaction. Is it the actor? Because I just think Nathan is a jackass, and while that scene with Niki was hot, I found it hot because of Niki, not him.
I reckon the actor is very good at playing the character he's been given. He looks great in that older-guy-in-a-suit kind of way. And yes, it's partly superficial. But there are other things hooking me in about him. Firstly, he's so obviously unlikeable, but he's upfront about it. There's no pretence with him. He's got this kleptomaniac mother and irrational over-emo younger brother plaguing his campaign and meanwhile he's got to keep a lid on his own superpower. He's an asshat, yes, but he kind of *owns* his own asshatery or something. That's sexy.

Sylar is probably someone we've seen so far.
Agreed.

I think Sylar is cutting out the brains and actually eating them, in a primitive rite of assimilating their knowledge, whereas the brain suppressing guy has that as his power. That's my current theory, anyway.
Nice! I likey it. And I'd be more comfortable if it was NOT the black guy, on racial grounds alone. (i'm not quite over my Issues yet!) Go the Elfgirl-is-Sylar theory!! *makes badges*
Nora Norwichnorwich36 on October 20th, 2006 07:37 am (UTC)
Too tired to reply completely now, but for a kick-ass Sylar theory you're going to love (not spoilery) go here: http://greensilver.livejournal.com/360181.html (You have to scroll a couple paragraphs past the WIncon report)
random_seriousrandom_serious on October 20th, 2006 09:34 am (UTC)
You're again right re: Claire. She went into vengeance mode for another girl. This is both great and horrible. It shows that Claire is noble, and courageous, and has a good heart. The bad things: feeling anger for oneself, espcially when it comes to angry women, is seen as a bad thing. Such *women* are irrational, and a position that is very usual, is that they should just "get over it", and that *women* when angry are pahetic, over-reacting etc. and thus retaliating is usually frowned upon. Such is the case here: Claire herself frowns upon herself. It is understandable, very much so because she has things to hide and is violated and feeling weak, but never the less leaves me with a bad taste. It is good, and vindicating, that Claire gets her revenge/ gets to stop the rapist. And I loved that it was clandestine, although you're right again, this will lead bad daddy to her and enable him to "act" with Claire. (And I loved the dialogue in the car: it illustrated perfectly the usual attitudes about rape, from patriarchal perspective.) I can't wait how this plays out.

Re: Niki. I love the exploration of her power, but I resent that it should happen under such circumstances. I also am a little squamish about Niki's actions being shorthand for maternal holiness. I quite dislike showing women as mothers only, as here, has happened. Again, it is understandable, but nevertheless annoying.

Re: Boys. Peter is Lana, you are right. And I think he takes a dark turn down the line. But that is either here nor there. Nathan is looking so good in comparison to Peter, and I suspect that wasn't the writers' intent. Great. Lana redux, coming right up.

Mohinder bugs me, or rather the treatment he is getting. he is a scientist in the same field as his father, and yet can't muster any enthusiasm. And is fluctuating from interest to "I'm just doing this to impress my dead father." That, in addition to clunky dialogue... Mohinder is getting the bad end of the deal. Also, the Elfgirl: bad news. I think an agent for bad daddy. And again, Mohinder is written as blind/ rather not bright. What's up with that?
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Sureshbop_radar on October 21st, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Yup, I completely concur on all of that with Claire. There are definitely both strengths and weaknesses in her character--great and horrible sums it up!--but I'm fascinated to see how it plays out.

I love the exploration of her power, but I resent that it should happen under such circumstances.
Do you mean only when she's threatened? It's definitely uncomfortable for me that both her and Claire have been cast as 'victims' and that neither of them (yet) has defended themselves (themself) if that makes sense--Claire defends others and Nike has to splinter part of herself.

I also am a little squamish about Niki's actions being shorthand for maternal holiness. I quite dislike showing women as mothers only, as here, has happened. Again, it is understandable, but nevertheless annoying.
Hmm, well something about Niki-as-mother bothers me, but I don't think it's that she's been cast only as a mother. I think I am a little troubled/baffled by how she's supposedly such a 'good' mother, when in material ways she's really struggling to look after her child. Micah is unusually bright and astute, but what would she have been like with a different, less adult child? Or is he more mature for his age precisely because she's so immature? I'm still not sure.

But that is either here nor there. Nathan is looking so good in comparison to Peter, and I suspect that wasn't the writers' intent. Great. Lana redux, coming right up.
Hee! And yes. It's perplexing.

That, in addition to clunky dialogue... Mohinder is getting the bad end of the deal.
Yup. He really is. And I have no idea what's with his blindness. It's bugging me a great deal... if it continues, he'll fall even further in my esteem. Damn! I wanted to like him. *pouts*
(Deleted comment)
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Clairebop_radar on October 21st, 2006 02:02 pm (UTC)
Yay!! Another Nathan fan!! Whee! *twirls*

Eyelashes--yes! And super-sexy. But let's pretend it's not about that for a sec... A healthier version of Nikki? Yes, that's a reading that will work with me, I think. He's definitely better integrated. He's not blind to his different selves--perhaps because as a politician he's used to taking on different personas for whatever's most required in a situation. And perhaps also because he is a very grounded person. (Hee! It's pretty funny therefore that his power is 'flight'!) And I'm totally shipping them--they're such a hot couple! And this unseen wife?! Pah! I choose to ignore her. ;-)

Bravo, darling, bravo!
Aw, thank you! *blush* I am glad to have a new show to get into--and double glad to share one with you still, since bsg has let us down...
Becky: Powerscinderella81 on October 20th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
Man, this whole series has me obsessed!!! I am thoroughly excited about how they are doing this show! It fascinates me!
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Clairebop_radar on October 21st, 2006 02:03 pm (UTC)
Yay! Yup, it's so intricately plotted and compelling. It's fun to see so many people hooking into it.
Katemskatej on October 20th, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)
Reposting because I TOTALLY didn't mean "Peter".
Dude. I *love* Nathan now too. I was exactly the same as you - I didn't warm to him until episode 3 and then in ep 4 he pretty much became my favourite. He's SO HOT. And I adore his facial scar (I have a thing for facial scars).

I agree about Lana: it isn't remotely convincing that Simone would fall in love with such a ginormous dork. And RIGHT! I didn't manage to work out on my own that he's a power leech, so thank you! And omg how LAME. He's so wet I want to blowtorch him.

Claire is a wonderful character, beautifully played by Hayden Panettiere. She's a nifty little actress who has done nothing but impress me since the first episode. My favourite relationship in the show has to be between her and her father. THAT POOR GIRL.

I need a Nathan icon.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Heroes Clairebop_radar on October 21st, 2006 02:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Reposting because I TOTALLY didn't mean "Peter".
Ha! Thanks for the repost. I got your first comment and was all frowny confused. Though it's not like *I* can talk about reposting. *headdesk* Did you see my horror earlier today? I hope not.

I didn't warm to him until episode 3 and then in ep 4 he pretty much became my favourite. He's SO HOT.
Yes--yes, yes, YES! I'm so glad we feel the same way! You, me and queenofthorns above. I haven't really found anyone else who's crushing on him yet. But he totally rocks!

omg how LAME. He's so wet I want to blowtorch him.
Please do!! Seriously, he is the wettest character ever. I was hoping against hope his superpower would redeem him a little... and then no. He needs to be got rid of so they can foreground the other characters. *nods* (But this won't happen--I have a sinking feeling he's around for the long haul.)

Claire is wonderfully played, yes! Very impressed. And oh, that father-daughter relationship is so horrid and frightening and creepy--but ever so compelling.

I want more Nathan, more Nathan noooooooow!!!