Friday, 21 February 2014

Overview: Heroes: Volume Four - Fugitives

The tide turns and the wind changes and this season didn't. Despite still being in Season Three, we're now in Volume Four, where there are no real supernatural enemies at all. I know, pretty shit right. I want to watch people blow each other up with fire powers, not the fucking West Wing. But this, dear view... reader, is my favourite of the five volumes. Why? Let us see... Written between 16th and 17th July 2013.

Still in Season Three. From BuddyTV
The show turned a different direction after the crushing blow of yet another shitty volume, and created a story which surrounded government espionage and living in hiding instead of randomers from across the globe coming to fight/help one another.And, while at times it manages to be as effortlessly naff as its predecessors, there's a strange focus towards character development that reveals our characters as real people for the first time, giving them empathisable traits and taking the show to a higher level of sophistication.
     The volume's plot sees politician Nathan ask The President to set up a secret organisation working out of the mysterious Building 26 in order to round up, inprison and neutralise evolved humans for the benefit of the General Public. He does this with the reluctant help of Emile Danko (Ċ½eljko Ivanek), a ruthless but tired individual who suspects Nathan's turncoatism from the very beginning. This breaks down rapidly as the evolved humans, with the help of what little remains of The Company, fight back against the project. Sylar tries to find his real Dad and eventually works with Danko to pick off Evolved Humans for himself, before the Petrelli Family come together to stop Sylar's plan to use a new shape-shifting power to impersonate the President of the United States.
Emile Danko From Wikia
     The Petrellis are the centrepiece of this Volume, even more so than usual as Angela Petrelli finally gets to come into her own as the wonderfully sassy old lady that she is. She is the centrepoint of my favourite episode from the Volume, "1962", where she and the Petrelli family she's managed to round up come together and uncover the Coyote Sands incident, a similar round-up in the 60s where evolved humans were accidentally massacred. Nathan and Peter are also more clearly developed than befor, even is Peter is still managing to hold the Idiot Ball with both hands on all occasions.
     Danko is quite a complex and interesting villain, personally obsessed with hunting down evolved humans for no reason other than he can - his apartment is empty, he has no personal relationships besides a strange Czech girl who only knows his by an alias. Ivanek gives him a strange prominence that makes one constantly wonder what his plans are, mainly because we see how far he's willing to go to get his point across. When he teams up with Sylar near the end of the season it's a classic odd couple scenario and Sylar's ability to understand his personality in depth makes their dynamic all the more entertaining.
    Sylar comes off a bit weird this season, although his path is more focussed as he tracks down his biological father on a long road trip and then seeks to exploit the situation with the Building 26 project in order to carry on his quest for power, including his second attempt in-story to become the president of the United States. At the end of the volume he gets mind-wiped by Matt Parkman, who uses Sylar's new shapeshifting ability to brainwash him into thinking that he's Nathan, whom Sylar killed in the series finale. It's an odd decision that, while theoretically sound given Angela's distressed mindset after the loss of her sister and her eldest son, is not very well planned out and it does come to a head in the next volume.
     Hiro's story, which is always considerably detatched due to his being in Japan and all, initially circles around his kidnapping by the Building 26 project, but it later develops, thanks to spy Rebel (revealed to be technopath Micah in his final appearance), into taking care of Matt Parkman's son, who rather hilariously has the ability to "turn things on and off," resulting in a deus ex machina where Hiro's powers are miraculously returned to him. Not that I can really call anything a deus ex machina in a show whose internal logic is as spotty as a leopard with the measles.
The Petrellis get the development they need.
From Fanpop
     Volume Four sees the first attempt to develop real complexity in the characterisations, and despite the fact that the show was clearly on borrowed time it managed to exude a strange sort of charm that makes me like it regardless. The drama in the second half of the volume and the development of Angela Petrelli into a total bad-ass old lady brings out some of the best episodes that Heroes has ever produced, and no matter what people think about the awesomeness of the first volume, this will forever be my favourite.


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