Soap Opera Weekly: Night Shift 2/24/09

Okay, I have to say that I lost patience with HEROES last night thanks to the very last scene of the episode: Matt painted a mural Washington, D.C., being destroyed by a nuclear blast. Ugh. Another nuclear blast? And, to make it more familiar, Matt painted himself apparently strapped with explosives, blowing up! Isaac did the very same paintings — including a mural on his floor — in the first season (featuring New York as ground zero)! How many times have we seen a prescient painting of some nuclear explosion that is supposed to herald the end of the world? Every volume? I guess we should be thankful it wasn’t New York. But c’mon, is it in the series bible that every volume has to contain one of these pesky Armageddon paintings? It’s bad enough that Matt has been afflicted with “paint the future” power that I hate, but does it have to be “paint the future as long as you foresee atomic blasts.” The lack of imagination this betrays is staggering. It’s almost like there’s somebody on the writing staff with the power to suck imagination out of the minds of other writers, like some sort of twisted version of the Haitian. So next week the question will be, “How do you stop yet another exploding man?” What made this shockingly non-shocking ending even more maddening for me was that it came at the end of an episode that focused on my favorite character, HRG. Noah was drugged and captured at the end of last week, and last night Matt used his mental powers to interrogate him. And the process hurt. We learned that Nathan approached a jobless Noah with an offer to run his operation to round up people, sequester them, and find a way to deactivate them. But the Hunter, Danko, was placed in charge, apparently at the behest of people above Nathan, and HRG found himself taking orders from a True Believer. “These aren’t terrorists you’re hunting; they’re people,” HRG argued. “They’re targets,” Danko corrected him.

The interrogation raised some of the very same questions that HEROES’ timeslot competition, 24, is examining this season: How far should the good guys go in pursuing the bad guys in order to protect the innocents? If “good guys” stoop to the tactics of the “bad guys,” are they still “good guys”? Do the ends always justify the means? What if it’s really necessary to torture in order to save lives? Who makes that call? That is a conversation worth having, not “How do we stop an exploding man this week?” Of course, since HRG is made of awesome, he is not really rounding up evolved humans and sending them to concentration camps; he’s an undercover agent for Angela Petrelli who ordered him to ingratiate himself with the Nathan/Danko faction by whatever means necessary. “You know me,” he winked. “I’ve always been comfortable with morally gray.”

A couple of random observations about this truly disappointing episode:

•HRG’s lock combination was 7957, which I believe was the same code he told Claire to use to override the security locks in Level 5.
•Since Peter got from Costa Verde, Calif., to Washington D.C. in mere moments, he must have taken a ballistic trajectory, which means instead of flying low over the terrain, he flew straight up to the edge of space, adjusted his angle, and then flew straight down on the East Coast.
•How good is Danko’s security detail if they don’t guard windows, and nobody spotted Angela sitting mere feet away from his final meeting with HRG?

Leaving that behind, Jesse Lee Soffer (ex-Will, AS THE WORLD TURNS) appeared on CSI: MIAMI as Shane Huntington, a spoiled a rich guy who was in therapy because, “I can’t access my feeling.” He was completely amoral, but spoiler alert! not the killer.

Oh, yeah? Sez you!

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