My Thoughts On Heroes – The TV Show

heroes-spoilers.jpgI finished watching the first season of Heroes on DVD last weekend and haven’t worked out whether to keep watching it. It had some great ideas and themes, but some horrible execution. Why does Hiro understand different amounts of English every episode? Why does Claire feel pain sometimes and not others? Why would Linderman put a hit out on Petrelli the Elder? Putting those complaints aside, I thought I’d explore the idea of heroism in the series, especially related to certain characters.


It’s no coincidence that his name sounds like hero. He is the most deliberately heroic character in the show. Hiro understands the hero’s journey and recognizes that he is on one. He starts in the mundane world of his cubicle nation, his power is his call to adventure, and he crosses the threshold when he sees the future and decides to save the world. While on the journey, he understands the importance of friends, mentors, and enemies. He even finishes the journey alone like all great heroes. The best part of Hiro’s character though is his insistence on behaving heroically. When given the choice, he always makes the right decision, consciously thinking of what a hero would do. He thinks of the heroes from his childhood for inspiration. In short, he is the perfect model for a Hero Workshop spokesperson.

Peter Petrelli

Peter is the second true hero of the show. His faith in others and kindness label him as a good person, but his willingness to sacrifice himself makes him a hero. When he saves Claire from Sylar at the homecoming he does so without knowing he’ll survive. In fact, he thinks he is going to die, but saves her anyway. He shows this attribute again as the explosion gets closer and closer to happening in New York. He is willing to sacrifice his life to save others. You can’t ask for more from a hero.

Everyone Else

No-one else made me think they were heroic. Matt the cop had wildly fluctuating behaviour and intentions. Claire was mostly the damsel in distress. I think she could show signs of heroism, but so far anything brave she has done has been counteracted by the fact that she can’t be injured. Her father seemed to be focused on something honourable in protecting Claire, but he did too many shady things. Nikki and D.L. are automatically disqualified for their general criminal lifestyles. Nathan Petrelli is too focused on himself to be heroic, though he seemed tempted a number of times. Ando shows promise, but he mainly acted against Hiro’s better nature until the end when he started to realise the benefits of being a hero. Isaac acts as a tool for others to manipulate for most of the show. Mohinder spends a lot of time doing nothing much.

As the second season begins I hope the show can concentrate on some more heroic heroes. The characters mentioned heroism a lot during the show, but so few of them really showed anything. I’ll be watching until it becomes another Lost – lost in itself with too many characters.

3 Responses to My Thoughts On Heroes – The TV Show

  1. gwennykate October 11, 2007 at 1:07 am #

    Linderman was systematically covering his tracks whenever he felt someone had served their purpose. Nathan had already played his part in Linderman’s scheme and looked to be trouble in the election, so he wanted to just get rid of Nathan. He only kept him around because of what seemed to be mutual agreement in their face-to-face.

    I think most of the main characters are heroes or anti-heroes. They are all striving to preserve life and goodness (Hiro and Peter) and play their part, answer the call to the hero role (Hiro, Claire, even Ando)… or make mundane accomplishments (DL, Nikki) and follow what seemed to be natural order (Matt, Sylar).

    The problem with Sylar was his self-proclaimed superiority and selfish seizure of others’ skills. However, we are given an intimiate encounter with him that shows he has natural limits to his cruelty, and his ultimate fate is more to blame on his mother’s acceptance and accidental demise. He bears a lot of marks of anti-heroism, but in the end he does make a choice to embrace what he knew to be wrong, so he’s a bit complicated.

    I don’t feel that the kids are heroes, even though they have special abilities. Micah definitely does not think he needs to seek only to preserve what is good–his voting-booth tampering shows he’s pretty ambivalent about the greater good. And Molly seems to operate solely on feelings of fear and respect.

    Isaac uses his abilities to further the heroes’ fight against Sylar and the bomb, even when he realizes his impending death. (Not to mention his devotion to getting clean & sober. Kicking a heroin habit is a constant struggle.)
    Mohinder is probably not a hero, but he could be an anti-hero because he’s mostly driven by curiosity, even after finding out the bigger picture. He does fight against Sylar and save Molly, so he has a little going for him.
    And I would have said Nathan was no hero were it not for his decision to hover his brother out of New York’s range and sacrifice himself just so Claire doesn’t have to kill.

    What about Claire’s dad? Do you think he’s a hero, an anti-hero, a bad guy, or no one special?

  2. Matt Langdon October 11, 2007 at 10:11 pm #

    Thanks very much for your thoughtful and lengthy response. You have some good points. Here are my responses.

    I disagree on Linderman deciding Nathan’s usefulness was over. His whole plan revolved around Micah making him win in the first place. Nathan was the only one worried about not winning the election.

    DL and Nikki were criminals. I didn’t see anything heroic about their behaviour. Micah did more heroic than them. His actions in the election rigging was to help his parents.

    I’m not sure Claire answered the call. She fumbled her way through, not sure what to do. I don’t think she made many choices throughout.

    Isaac definitely had the right frame of mind at the end of his life. Leading up to that point though he was flailing around quite a bit.

    Claire’s dad is an interesting case. I think he risked his own safety to keep his family together, so I think I would consider him a hero.


  1. Anonymous - September 13, 2007

    Are there any heroes on Heroes?

    The TV show is called Heroes, but how many of the characters are really heroic? This blog post digs in and finds two. What do you think?