Monday, November 19, 2007

Heroes 2: Episode 9: How Immutable Are Fate and Isaac's Futures?

The best episode of Heroes so far season - Episode 9 - in which it seems that fate, or, at very least, what Isaac's paintings depict, can't be defied.

Hiro wants to save his father from being thrown to his death from the New York City terrace. Hiro travels through space/time from his father's funeral, where he is about to speak, to the NYC terrace where his father (Kaito - played by Star Trek's George Takei) is talking to Mrs. Petrelli. Hiro watches as they finish their conversation, then teleports/time-travels with his father back to the funeral. Hiro meets his younger self there, and realizes that his father was right to tell him that although they have the power of gods, they cannot act like gods and change fate. Hiro takes his father back to the terrace to meet his "inevitable" fate (Hiro does decide to stick around to see who killed his father). But, of course, the fate is inevitable only because Hiro acceded to it. A nice free-will/predetermination intertwining - one of the hallmarks of thoughtful time-traveling science fiction.

The second example revolves not around time travel but Isaac's paintings - in particular, the one that shows Mr. Bennet shot dead through the eye by Mohinder. Bennet stops that from happening, once, and then gets caught up in a double twist which was doubly satisfying.

Good story telling. But where does that leave us regarding the predictive powers of Isaac's pictures?

The fates they show have certainly been defied a few times prior to tonight - Claire was saved Peter last year, and New York City didn't succumb to a nuclear inferno.

But we've yet to see a consistent explanation of why the paintings sometimes depict unavoidable events and other times do not. Is this changeability of fate due the actions of the heroes - is it within their power to change what Isaac has wrought - or is there some other factor at work?

Either way, Heroes has got me interested. Last week's explanation about what happened when New York City was saved was late in coming, but much better late than never. And tonight not only played well with the paradoxes of knowing and trying to avoid fate, but brought in some good new elements such as Parkman's expanding mental powers, and a mystery woman who looked strangely familiar in that photo of the older Heroes generation.

Good material for the continuing story...

Review of other Season 2 Heroes: Episode 2 ... 3
... 4 ... 7. Heroes Meets 12 Monkeys ... 10. Penultimate in Fall ... 11. My Predictions Last Week Were Right!

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