One of the reasons I decided to write a column was to have a chance to talk about some things outside the show but that also fit into geek culture. I’ve been really thrilled with the fall season so far. There have been a couple of interesting new shows but an old favorite is really stepping up this season, in a way it hasn’t since season 1.

Warning: Spoilers on Heroes, FlashForward, and V through November 5, 2009.

HEROES

This week’s Heroes was my favorite episode of this season so far. I loved seeing Hiro get a chance to shine. Sure, he makes for excellent comic relief but there is a ton of heart in the character when he is written at his best. I think what works for him is that he is a vulnerable character. He is not afraid to show realistic fear and yet tries to find a way past it to fulfill what he perceives is his destiny. While I can’t imagine them killing him off, I do like the sense of disbelief that I genuinely feel concern for him.

Journeying to the past to once again attempt to correct his failure in saving Charlie was awesome. At first, I wasn’t sure about how I’d feel with revisiting this but it truly paid off. Hiro is desperate to save her. This is in his eyes “love at first sight” he really connected with her. I also really enjoyed the tiny details in place to try and make sure that changing her death didn’t alter events we have already seen. I am a huge fan of time travel material and appreciated the steps taken to focus on this.

Hiro vs. Sylar is a race against time. Hiro is already at a disadvantage because of his medical condition but we see him really push himself to the limits of exhaustion to counter Sylar. This “white hat” cowboy vs “black hat” cowboy scenario was well developed with Hiro showing us initially how scared he was of Sylar. In spite of this, he kept stopping time and used some very cool chess moves to show he has been heavily influenced by events he has witnessed and been a part of. He has to cross some lines he normally wouldn’t for love. Sappy? Definitely. Darn cool? You bet.

The additional step of getting Sylar to cure Charlie was a nice twist. His pushing that Sylar would die “alone” adds an interesting motivation for Sylar to possibly stick with Sullivan and the carnival later. Although I still think all bets are off when he finally gets his memory back. I wonder if on some subconscious level he is currently reacting to that? I am not sure how much of him is currently in his body if at all so we’ll see.

The cliffhanger with Mohinder and Sullivan was cool because I was really starting to wonder when we’d see him enter into this season. Suresh is a character that needs to get back to his roots this season. He became really unlikable for awhile there and I am looking forward to seeing him in a new story line.

This season overall has made me a believer again with Heroes. While I have enjoyed the past seasons, they lacked the “punch” of the first season. They really seem to be getting the show back on track. If you jumped off, check out the episodes at nbc.com and feel free to email me with your thoughts either way.

FlashForward

I am going to go with a pretty general overview here of the concept of FlashForward. I am loving this show and just want to rant and rave about it.

If you don’t know the concept, all around the world people fell asleep at the same time for a couple of minutes. During that time, they all dream of April 29th or 30th depending on the time zone.

Over the course of time, they start to realize that people that saw each other in their dreams, had the same dream. These weren’t just random visions. They are seeing the future. For some, this is a blessing. For others, this is a curse.

Imagine seeing an important relationship end. What would you do? Would you try to prevent it? How?

What if you didn’t have a vision? Would you assume you were dead? Sleeping?

What if something good happens? For instance, a loved one that you buried is somehow back with you in a vision.

The engaging part of the show is not only the wide variety of visions, but the reactions and motivations that come from them. Can you beat destiny? Is foreknowledge enough to change to future or does it ultimately cause the future? I am curious to see where this goes.

The show is slowly unfolding the mystery of why this happened. There are definitely villains in this series but we don’t have a clear picture yet of what is driving these events. How much of this was calculated and how much an “accident”? This keeps us connected with the main characters who are racing to solve the mystery in hopes of changing elements of the future before they happen.

It’s pretty engaging. If you are watching it or decide to check it out, I’d love your comments.

ABC.com does have all the episodes so far. I highly recommend watching it from the beginning.

V

This was a series I had a mixed reaction to when I heard about it. Don’t get me wrong, I was a huge fan of the previous series. I loved both miniseries, the television series, books, comic, etc. The concept was very cool to me. I wasn’t sure if there was a need or reason to redo it.

The pilot episode aired this week and I was pleasantly surprised. On the surface, the concept looks very similar. The” Visitors” come to Earth under the banner of peace and they are looking for our help. These aliens present themselves and trying to save their dying planet with resources that we have in abundance. In exchange, they will assist us with technology that will improve our lives.

It all seems great right? They offer universal health care stations. They have the ability to cure most diseases. (Although I have my own theories that not all of the “cured” are actually the same people any more. I think they are being replaced by visitors, but that isn’t revealed in the show. I am just speculating.)

Not all people agree that these are saviors. A resistance is starting to form of people who are convinced this isn’t the first appearance of the aliens. They believe the Visitors are playing off of our current economic turmoil and there are clues that seem to hint at them causing many of the problems within the world to all them to swoop in and “fix” the situation. They have evidence that there have been Visitor sleeper cells operating of Earth for quite some time. They set up current world problems for the purpose of creating mass loyalty from the people of Earth so they can ultimately use their position to wipe out our race.

The twist is that not all Visitors agree with this. They are politically and morally divided just like humans are.

Concepts of greed and self advancement are a center piece of this show. Would you sell out your soul to advance your career? Would you sell out your family, friends, or race to be a part of a socially popular Visitor initiative?

The first episode introduced a great deal. Yes, it plays off of the overall concept from before but adds enough modern drama and current political topics to really make it contemporary. I am curious to see what the overall long term plan is for this series. So far, the first show has me excited for next week. I hope it maintains this interesting start. We’ll see.

Sean “DocNorge” Whelan