Bring Back Joss

My grandmother died on the weekend. I’m going to try and write something about her life at some point.

In the meantime all I’ve got energy to write about is TV. They aired the season finale of Heroes* in NZ yesterday. My main reaction was to miss Joss Whedon. I know that he could never have kept as many threads going as the creators of Heroes did, but the season finale would have been much better if he’d written it:

1. The ending of Hiro’s story for this season wouldn’t have been him leaving Ando to go kill Sylar alone. I have no time for individualistic superhero crap.

2. The female characters would have occasionally talked to each other, this may even have lead to them developing relationships with each other.

3. The two characters with the most central arcs in the season wouldn’t be the rich, powerful, white guys.

Although we are spared yet another crazy, very skinny female character.

* A show I’ve only just started watching. It’s enjoyable to watch, and has its moments – but the virgin/whore complex is a problem and I’m not loving the existance of a mystical black man without a name.

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37 Responses to Bring Back Joss

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother. Please accept my sympathies. It’s hard to lose a family member.

  2. 2
    joe says:

    Maia, I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother. Mine died two years ago and it was terrible. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. 3
    joe says:

    As for the ending of Hiro’s arc; I liked it. They’d done a good job of showing how the geeky, happy, Hiro turned into a dark and hard man because of the death of Ando. Hiro didn’t want Ando to die so he did the only thing he could. He got him out of harms way. It was actually a good use of his ‘special ability.” Also, why bring ando along to a fight you’ve been told in prophesy (or whatever) is going to kill him?

    Now if you want to go into the other silliness of the ending
    1. Why didn’t they have niki keep beating on slyer with metal pole? That shouldn’t have taken too long to kill him?
    2. Why didn’t someone (bennet maybe?) shoot him in the head a few times to make sure he’s really dead?
    3. Why the hell didn’t someone remind Clair that Pete will recover from a gunshot wound to the head? She wasn’t going to kill him, she was just going to knock him out for a while.
    4. What was the story with the mirage woman? They dropped several hints that she was larger than she appeared. But when she was knocked out she stayed the same. I was disappointed by that. This is one that thought you might have liked btw. I thought they were hinting that living up to societies body expectation was part of why she was a villain.

    Some of your other points I think depend more on your preferences for subversive stories.

    Only one of the protagonists was a rich white guy, Nick Patrelli. Peter was white but worked as a nurse. He wasn’t shown as having access to his family’s money. His mother seemed to control that. Hiro may or may not have been rich but wasn’t white. We know his father was rich but early on he and Ando spent time cheating at cards to get money. I assumed that he was middle class. (I guess this would depend on what you mean by rich. Neither of them grew up poor.)

    I really liked the Haitian, I love the mysterious character. (Sheppard was my favorite from Firefly. I really want to know what his backstory was. Why did deadly people occasionally say that he wasn’t a Sheppard? Why did river read his mind as saying he didn’t give a rip if she lived or died?). You’re right about his development. He wasn’t a very fully developed character. But superhero stories usually have someone who’s mysterious. (e.g. Wolverine, Cable etc.) My assumption is that they’ll reveal more about him in the next season. If you grant my assumption that there’s more coming on him; Would you have preferred that they not have cast a person of color for the role? It wouldn’t have been hard make him a white man or woman.

    The part about women talking to each other is true. But it was one of the flaws of the story in general. No one talked to each other. But, that did keep it from turning into an episode of super friends. So it’s a mixed blessing.

    Appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

  4. 4
    pheeno says:

    Im so sorry hun. I lost my grandmother 5 years ago and it still feels new.

    Joe
    #1- So Hiro could stab him of course!
    #2- I dont know. That annoyed me.
    #3- she was going to shoot him in the back of the head. The spot that does indeed kill for them.

    Anyway, I liked the ending. It had more of an ending than just cliffhangars and after watching Lost, I needed a real season ending *L*

  5. 5
    joe says:

    I’m guessing here, but it seems like someone that can recover from having a shard of glass run through their head should be able to recover from getting shot in the head. But I am guessing. Oh well, her hesitation killed both brothers. (except it’s a super hero story, so if you don’t see the body they’re not dead. Maybe not even then.)

    My big complaint is still the number of times they let sylar get away. Kill him dead already.

  6. 6
    Myca says:

    Oh goodness, I’m so sorry Maia. My thoughts are with you.

  7. 7
    Robert says:

    Sympathies re: your grandmother, Maia.

    Although we are spared yet another crazy, very skinny female character.

    Nikki?

  8. 8
    Frida says:

    So sorry to hear about your grandma. My thoughts are with you.

  9. 9
    Radfem says:

    I’m sorry about your grandmother Maia.

    I thought the ending was okay. I thought Nathan flying in was kind of hokey. Nikki hitting Skyler with the post and everyone apparently leaving Skyler unattended to escape. I like Skyler though. I don’t mind him coming back.

    I don’t know if the Haitian is coming back. Was he in the finale at all? My guess is that none of them died. I thought it would have been better if Peter and Nathan just died. And that Peter saved Claire because she originally was supposed to kill him to save the world later on. And that Skyler was trying to be a hero by killing the guy(Peter) who would destroy the world but it was just a case where the means may not have justified the ends and then Nathan(in a less hokey matter) swept Peter to show that there was a better way than killing a bunch of people.

  10. 10
    pheeno says:

    “but it seems like someone that can recover from having a shard of glass run through their head should be able to recover from getting shot in the head.”

    No, the shard has to be removed so that part of the brain can heal. If that part is blown to bits, it cant heal and the person stays dead. The back of the head is their Achilles Heel, so to speak.

  11. 11
    joe says:

    Pheeno, I’m not sure where you’re getting the back of the head thing. They haven’t really shown us if the healing can deal with a loss of material. Cair and peter are the only healers so far (did I miss one?) and neither of them have had to regrow lost material.

    I suppose you could count the fire clair was in. Fire removes material. But I think we’re over analyzing it. I’m still not convinced that he wouldn’t survive a bullet to the head.

  12. 12
    Christian says:

    My sincere condolensces, Maia.

  13. 13
    curiousgyrl says:

    I’m sorry. Take care of yourself!

  14. 14
    Radfem says:

    Claire was in the morgue “dead” after the psycho jock tried to kill her and it wasn’t until a branch was pulled out of the back of her head that she regenerated.

    Yeah, Nikki is kind of skinny.

  15. 15
    Ampersand says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother, Maia.

    (Regarding other things, I haven’t yet caught up with Heroes, so I didn’t read the rest of your post or this thread.)

  16. 16
    Kelly says:

    I’m so sorry about your grandmother, Maia. I hope you’re doing well.

    Joe- on your second point, I kind of saw it as Claire not wanting to actually hurt him. Intellectually, she knew it wouldn’t hurt him, but it’s quite different from knowing that and being able to hurt someone. I think she would’ve done it eventually, but they didn’t have the time.

  17. 17
    defenestrated says:

    {A huge hug for Maia. And an acknowledgement that, despite the semidisclaimer, this was an awesome choice of self-condolence topics. Seems like there have been a lot of ghosts walking around this summer, and I for one would like to think that scifi has the explanation!
    Take care of yourself, hon :o)
    }

  18. 18
    Tom T. says:

    Condolences and best wishes, Maia. Take care.

  19. 19
    pheeno says:

    Pheeno, I’m not sure where you’re getting the back of the head thing. They haven’t really shown us if the healing can deal with a loss of material. Cair and peter are the only healers so far (did I miss one?) and neither of them have had to regrow lost material.

    Yeah, when the branch was in the back of her head, it had to be removed before she could heal. And again with the shard of glass, evidently objects in that area can block the healing ability. If that area is gone, well..there you go. At close enough range, it would have taken most of his head off. I doubt they’re going to write in immortality.

  20. 20
    Maia says:

    Thanks for everyone’s messages of support.

    The characters I was thinking of as the rich powerful guys were Nathan and Bennett. They changed, and made decisions, and those decisions had an impact on the overall plot of the season. Peter, Claire, Hiro, Nikki – to the extent that they changed over the course of the season, the change wasn’t that significant and didn’t change what happened.

    I wasn’t arguing against the logic of taking Ando back Joe – just that Buffy’s message was always “you’re stronger together than you are alone” rather than “a hero must go on alone.”

    If Nathan doesn’t die I’m going to be more than a little pissed off.

    Nikki is skinny, but she isn’t Joss-crazy-skinny like River, Dru and Fred (who got sane, but was crazy when she first appeared). It’s just a random, annoying, thing I’ve noticed about Joss’s shows.

  21. 21
    belledame222 says:

    I’m sorry about your grandma, Maia.

    I miss Joss, too. Anyone else reading the “Buffy Season 8″ comics? I’m so not a comic person normally, but–it’s Joss & Buffy, dammit.

  22. 22
    pheeno says:

    I cant even put into words how glad I am that this show is nothing like Buffy or Angel. Maybe Buffys message was dropped because her friends were idiots and someone figured out you’re NOT stronger when your buddy is an idiot. Which Ando kinda was.

    Ill go kill Sylar MYSELF even though I have no powers and have seen how he doesnt even have to be near me to kill me.

    Seriously?? SERIOUSLY?? Moron. No wonder you died in the first future timeline. I like Ando, but he ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    And dont even get me started on Fred. Christ. And Angel. I didnt know it was possible to come up with a whinier vampire than Louis.

    I’d have staked him within minutes, just to shut him up.

  23. 23
    joe says:

    I hadn’t thought of bennet as rich and powerful. He seemed like he was a sergeant for the bad guys with a middle class cover. Traveling paper salesman and all. But the difference between rich and upper middle class is up for debate.

    The regeneration thing is open to me. They’ve shown that clair and peter can’t heal if there’s something in the way. They haven’t shown how well they can re-grow lost parts. (if they loose a finger does it come back?) Clair did heal chemical burns, which could be hot enough to remove flesh but maybe that’s different. In the future timeline they showed that peter had a scar. But we don’t know if he ever learned to regenerate in that timeline. Also in the future timeline Sylar presumably killed Clair by cutting her head open. But again we don’t know if she stayed dead. If the next season shows that clair (or peter) can or cannot be killed by a .45 to the head I won’t be surprised either way. My hunch is that the writers haven’t spent as much time on the physics of how the powers work as pheeno or me.

    I agree, fly boy needs to stay dead. There’s very little suspense if we can assume that death is only temporary. Peter can come back though. btw, why didn’t peter just fly himself up?

    I sort of disagree about Hiro not changing. Most of the season was about him trying to learn about his powers and toughen up enough to use them. Ando’s response was okay by me. If I thought I was destined to die and that there was no way to stop it I’d try to save myself in some way. Better to go down swinging if you have to go down at all. Hiro totally saved his life. Sylar wouldn’t even notice having to kill Ando. Besides, I figure that if one person is what the job takes, one person should do it. Don’t need Ando to kill Sylar? Don’t take him along. Do need Ando to help on my walkabout? Do take him along.

    All in all it was pretty good.

  24. 24
    Radfem says:

    Actually, Claire chopped off her fingers early on in the garbage desposal when she was testing her ability to regenerate and they grew back.

    Ando’s actions, I think, were to show that you don’t need powers to be a hero.

  25. 25
    pheeno says:

    I dont recall her chopping off her fingers. I remember her slicing the hell out of them and her hand by accident and having to hide it when her mother came into the kitchen.

    Joe-

    this is what happens when you marry a comic book geek *L*

  26. 26
    Sally says:

    Ando’s actions, I think, were to show that you don’t need powers to be a hero.

    I guess I think that Mr. Bennett’s actions prove that. I’m not so sure about Ando. He’s brave and selfless, but I’m not sure that you’re really a hero if all you do is make messes that other people have to clean up.

    I really need to rewatch the entire season. I don’t think I was watching carefully enough.

  27. 27
    joe says:

    pheeno Writes:

    Joe-

    this is what happens when you marry a comic book geek *L*

    Yeah, I think I was 19 before I accepted that a writer might be more concerned with say, character development or a good story than making sure the characters powers were consistent story to story. My wife’s less geeky. She doesn’t care too much about internal consistency of a character’s powers. Were you as surprised as I was when Linderman revealed healing powers?

  28. 28
    pheeno says:

    He’s brave and selfless, but I’m not sure that you’re really a hero if all you do is make messes that other people have to clean up.

    THANK YOU!

    Yeah, I think I was 19 before I accepted that a writer might be more concerned with say, character development or a good story than making sure the characters powers were consistent story to story. My wife’s less geeky. She doesn’t care too much about internal consistency of a character’s powers. Were you as surprised as I was when Linderman revealed healing powers?

    I’ve annoyed him to no end with questions on character powers that dont exactly make sense. Like Juggernaught. If he’s an unstoppable force, then he shouldn’t be able to stop himself. And what happens if he meets an unmovable object?

    I dont know if they’re concerned with a good story or character development so much as they come up with a cool power and dont exactly think it through.

    And it surpised me that he had healing powers, up until Kitty Pryde..I mean, Nikki’s husband killed him. So Im not so sure he’s dead. But he could be if the brain was messed up enough, since evidently their powers are in their brains and getting to the brain is how you kill them.

  29. 29
    Maia says:

    Hiro did change, Peter did a little too, but their changing ended up being irrelevant to the main story line of the season (particularly if Sylar doesn’t stay dead).

    Belledame – not only am I reading the comics, I’m reviewing them. I should have ar eview of #4 up tonight.

  30. 30
    pheeno says:

    Hiro and Peter were extremely relevant to the main storyline, it required all the pieces to the pie and all were equally necessary.

  31. 31
    karpad says:

    I’ve annoyed him to no end with questions on character powers that dont exactly make sense. Like Juggernaught. If he’s an unstoppable force, then he shouldn’t be able to stop himself. And what happens if he meets an unmovable object?

    Juggy isn’t literally an unstoppable force. the joke has been made in canon “Whatdya mean “Unstoppable?” EVERYONE’S stopped the juggernaut!”
    And in fact, there was someone in that same universe that was immovable as a power: The Blob. in fact, they’re both X-men villians. (or were. Juggernaut’s a good guy now, although not as powerful, and Blob is depowered)

    it’s established that when both are using their powers properly (Juggernaut is unstoppable when running at full speed, Blob is only immovable if he plants his feet) that Blob stays rooted where he stands, and the ground gives way.

    I work in a comic book shop. I know things.

    Incidentally, Anyone who likes Whedon is highly encouraged to start reading Runaways. great book, the premise being “Here’s a bunch of teenage children of supervillians who decide their parents are assholes and run away from home, relying only on themselves and their inherited abilities.”

    it was written by Brian K Vaughn, who is amazing. It’s now written by Whedon. And it’s still fairly young, so for less than 70 bucks you can pick up trades of ALL the backissues (which in comics terms is outstandingly cheap.) so you wouldn’t b missing anything.

    now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sob myself to sleep for the bastardization of Silver Surfer they put in that damn movie. He’s my genetic favorite hero (both my parents were Surfer fans) and I am filed with sorrow.

  32. 32
    pheeno says:

    Juggernaut is unstoppable when running at full speed

    Thats my point. The first time he ever ran at full speed, he’d still be running to this day.

    Its the old god paradox. Can god make a boulder so heavy even god cant lift it? If Juggy is unstoppable, even he couldnt stop himself.

    This and the blob example only serve to reinforce my belief that the writers didnt think some of the powers all the way through *L*

    It also annoys me that they totally screwed up the Penance character. She’s my favorite.

    The runaways are neat, but isnt there one with a pet dinosaur?

  33. 33
    karpad says:

    Thats my point. The first time he ever ran at full speed, he’d still be running to this day.

    generally, it’s understood he can slow and stop himself, and it’s only others that can’t.

    I f he were truly unstoppable, he’d have flown off into orbit long ago, as gravity could not stop the juggernaut. but that would be silly.

  34. 34
    pheeno says:

    I know its understood he can slow and stop himself…but he shouldnt be able to. And yes, he should be off in orbit somewhere. *L*

  35. 35
    Anu says:

    I’m glad someone else was bothered by the whole mysterious Haitian thing! I love Heroes, but his character just screams magic negro.

    As far as race goes, I’ll continue watching Heroes until it turns into Lost. At first I loved lost because of its great storyline and drama and diversity, but as the show continues its gone back to being “all about the white people,” with even the characters of color being tangential to the plot.

    Or maybe its just me. I refuse to watch shows without an apparent commitment to some semblance of diversity.

  36. 36
    joe says:

    I’m glad someone else was bothered by the whole mysterious Haitian thing! I love Heroes, but his character just screams magic negro.

    Anu, I see your point. But I think that an exception should be made for the genre. Mysterious Character™ is a staple of comics. (wolverine is probably the best example of the mysterious character.)

    Also, there’s nothing ‘black’ about the characters behavior. For the most part he just stands there and does his thing. I don’t see how you would have to change anything about his role if you wanted to make him a her, a white person, or a person of another color. Since he was kidnapped as a small child you’d probably have to pick a country of origin where this made sense. People in the industrialized world have access to a lot of resources for finding lost children. But I don’t see how they would have had to change anything to make the character a white Serbian woman.
    Thoughts?

  37. 37
    pheeno says:

    I was happy to see a minority get a cool power and not be an expendable character on TV. They have a chance to expand his character, hopefully theyll have the sense to take it.