Heroes' Plan to Dominate Sweeps
Heroes' Plan to Dominate Sweeps
Heroes has been taking a critical lashing from fans and critics throughout its second season, and has a shrinking bottom line to prove. Despite the decline in over-all viewers, NBC still proudly declares the show the champion amongst the coveted 18-49 demo, but the networks accounting practices have come under fire industry watch dogs as of late, so it is hard to say if the numbers are as favorable as NBC would like us to believe. With the sweeps descending in just a week, all scripted shows are expected to pull out all the stops to snag viewers and impress potential advertises. With it's ambling story pegged as uninteresting, repetitive, and just plain bad, does Heroes yet have an ace up it's sleeve? Beware of the spoilers.

All indications are that sweeps month will mark the turning point for Heroes. The descriptions for the first two episodes reveal a lot of heavy, albeit slightly predictable, twists ahead.

Episode 7, “Out of Time” - Airdate: November 5

I've thought from the beginning that David Anders is obviously the assassin. Is it so coincidental, then, that Hiro's (Masi Okai) adventure in the past comes to a “shocking” end at the same time.  The Claire and West romance will take an awkward turn when we find out that HRG kidnapped West once. Good thing the Haitian is hanging around for things like this. What I want to know is when will Claire be interesting again?  Peter and Caitln are going to learn firsthand how nasty the virus can get when one of his forgotten powers returns.

Analysis: Mystery virus, confronting the faceless bad guy, teenage love thwarted by daddy's dark past. Yawn. The one good part of this episode is it brings Hiro back home.

Episode 8, “Four Months Ago” - Airdate: November 12

Stop me if this sounds familiar. The show takes a leap in time to show us what happened immediately after Peter exploded.  This is an explain-all in reverse. Why Peter's memory was erased and who did it (Elle and the Haitian), what happened to DL, the first appearance of Maya's powers, and the unveiling, I suspect, of Kaito's killer being Kensei.

Analysis: Will explaining how all of these unfulfilling plot points got started somehow make them more interesting? I have my fingers crossed. I'd suggest you do the same.

Episode 9, “Cautionary Tales” - Airdate: November 19

A grief stricken Hiro travels into the past after learning of his father's death and makes an alarming discovery. Perhaps that the person who killed him was Kensei?  Suresh has an encounter with Elle that changes his thinking. Matt experiences an expansion of his powers. Peter gets the opportunity to regain his memory.

Analysis: Seriously. I didn't see any of this coming. And I never knew pigs could fly either. If Hiro goes back to the death of his father and sees Kensei pull back his hood, I will so be patting myself on the back.

Episode 10, “Truth and Consequences” - Airdate November 26

The official NBC description actually deserves reprinting in its entirety.

"Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) travels to Primatech Paper in Texas with his new friend to destroy the virus, which will kill 93 percent of the world's population in the future -- or so he believes. Niki (Ali Larter) returns to Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) with bad news. To right a wrong, Monica (Dana Davis) puts her abilities to the test while Hiro (Masi Oka) goes after his father's killer. Meanwhile, Matt (Greg Grunberg) uses his mental abilities to track down the last person in the company photo. In addition, Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) learns his brother is alive. Outside of New York, Maya (Dania Ramirez) must choose between Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) and Sylar (Zachary Quinto)."

Analysis: If you had given me this plot three episodes ago, I would have guessed that it was the finale, or the pre-finale. The fact that it is episode 10 says one thing: game changer. We're going to find out a few things are not as they seem here.

The bottom line: I'm not terribly enthused by the month, but I'll watch, and I suspect the diehards will continue to tune in. It's all up to NBC's marketing department if they are able to string together an interesting enough run of promos to make these.

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image from NBC)