Tuned In

The Morning After: Sylar Is the Bomb

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Brief spoilers for Heroes coming up after the jump.

I may be on the verge of giving up on Heroes, if I haven’t already given up on it somewhere deep inside. I’ll admit, I only half pay attention to it at this point, so maybe there were redeeming nuances to last night’s episode that I missed. But Future Sylar’s explosion may have been the thing that ended it for me.

First, there was the kid. Now, I have a hard time with children-in-peril stories to begin with, so I was not the most receptive audience to begin with. That said, I could see killing off a small child in a drama where it was earned. But that’s different from simply introducing an adorable, frightened, wide-eyed small child in order to set a plot element in motion. Particularly on a show where death is seemingly never permanent—characters come back willy-nilly, oh, look, there’s Adam and did Future Claire kill Peter? Don’t worry, we’ve got a spare! Rather than being a stark example of the show’s stakes, it just seemed especially cheap and manipulative.

And watching Sylar/Gabriel’s explosion devastate a four-mile radius, I realized what the show reminded me of: 24. But a 24 that got to the point of over-the-top self-parody in two years rather than six, where nuclear explosions go off and it’s supposed to be terribly shocking but you realize it’s all in a day’s work by now. Where people don’t stay dead, rules get broken for convenience’s sake and everything is very intense but nothing seems to really matter.

Is it just me?

Update: Apparently not. Alan Sepinwall and Maureen Ryan both call it quits today too.