Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Let's Give The Man A Handle!

A few weeks ago, the outside door handle on T's clowncar broke off. Just snapped, right in her hand. So, her being her, she promptly set about locating a replacement piece, finding out the hard way that finding parts for discontinued, non-classic variety cars is quite the task. She finally found one online & within a few days we had in our hot l'il hands a brand spankin' new handle.

And, me being me, it took me about two weeks to finally get around to installing it.

This is when I found out that her car was apparently designed by evil, sadistic, cranky, flatulent gnomes with teeny, tiny little hands, suffering from hemorrhoids. The same ones, in fact, that designed the engine compartment for my clowncar. I found this out when, after finally figuring out how to take the door panel off, I discovered that, while the makers of the car were kind enough to provide access holes to see the door handle, they neglected to actually place the hole where I could get my hands in to reach the bolts. Yes, I could see almost the entire inside of the door, but the one place that I needed to get to was blocked by a piece of sheet metal.

After fighting to get the last bolt removed (& pretty much destroying the old handle, thus mandating that I had to get the new one installed at all costs), the new handle was set in place, the lock was clipped in & the opening mechanism (that could not, under any circumstances, be removed without destroying the new handle) was attached. It was at this point that another cruel joke was played upon us by the gassy wee folk: one of the bolt eyelets either was bent as I fought to extrude the hidden bolt or came that way as a factory option.

I'm leaning toward the option idea. Stupid farting gnomes...

Needless to say, the handle wouldn't fit properly with only one bolt holding it in. So, what started out as a supposedly simple repair turned into a tug-o'-war with the inside of the driver's side door. Imagine, if you will, trying to fit your hand, while holding a pair of pliers, into a small metal coffee can that had been opened with an old fashioned can opener, so that you felt every single, jagged piece of metal stab into your wrist as you tried to turn your hand around. I'm surprised that T & I didn't lose consciousness due to the severe bloodloss we experienced. I know we were both a little woosy after we finished.

Anyway, after about three hours of pushing, pulling, bending, twisting & praying, we finally, FINALLY got the stupid holes to line up & finished the installation of the doorhandle from Hell. After many test openings & closings, I can, for possibly the first time in my entire life, claim that a job that I did on the car is 100%, completely finished.

I am Man; hear me whine!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Not To Worry!

If you're coming here for your weekly Heroes ramblings & are simply beside yourself with grief over the fact that your usual Wednesday fix isn't here, fret not, Loyal Reader! I was sick yesterday, so the weekly meeting of the Tuesday Morning Heroes Club was postponed & then today, my employer actually wanted me to work on schtuff.

I know! I could hardly believe it myself!

Anyway, I'll have what will no doubt be another long, meandering &, ultimately, pointless post about a TV show up & ready for your perusal shortly.

I know! I can't wait either!

In the meantime, why don't you tell me what you're going to do with the two & a half hours you'd normally be spending reading my blatherings, hmm?
"Do Not Drive, Operate Heavy Machinery Or Vote After Taking This Medication"

It may have been the copius amounts of codeine that I'd ingested over the course of the day in a vain attempt to stop my brains from liquefying & running out of my nose, but I voted for Richard 'Dick' Mountjoy for some office last night...

...just because his name made me giggle.

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is the reason that there should be sobriety check points at the polling place.
One To Ponder

So, when you blow your nose & blood starts coming out, does that mean you've finally, thankfully run out of snot?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Heroes, Week Six

Spoilers, spoilers, blah, blah, blah...


Last week's episode showed the heroes all starting to come together. This week, they seemed to be drifting apart again.

Hiro & Peter finally talk (with Ando acting as translator). Peter informs him that FN Hiro came to him with the message "Save the Cheerleader, save the world," which seems to have the same affect on Hiro that it did on Peter: a confused look. The Dynamic Duo decide to head to New York, but are sidetracked when the guy that they'd screwed over at the casino comes looking for them again (what, beating the snot out of two foreigners wasn't enough for the guy?). The high rollers eventually end up toast & Hiro & Ando escape through the bathroom window.

Peter & Isaac are trying to put together Isaac's paintings to figure out what they're saying. These are put together like the panels in a comic book, with the first, &, of course, most important piece, missing. Isaac can't remember what it was (see what drug use does to you, kiddies?), but does know that Simone had taken it with a bunch of other paintings to sell. So, off goes Peter to try to locate the missing piece.

Mohinder makes to skeedaddle, telling Eden that, basically, he thinks Peter's wheel is spinning but his hamster's dead & that Isaac is, well...a junkie & he has doubts about his precog abilities. Eden tries to get Mo to stay, apparently by trying to suck his tonsils out of his throat. Mo takes his leave as Eden tells him that he'll be back. Later, we find out that Eden's working with CD. She's given orders to bring in Isaac, showing up at his studio later in the episode.

Claire gears up to meet her 'bio-parents' & tries to get some idea as to whether they're supers as well. The whole thing is awkward for all involved, especially when Claire's mom gets territorial. The parents leave, but not before having a conversation with CD that reveals - gasp! - that they're not really Claire's biological parents. If my theory about CD being a red herring & not really being a bad guy pans out, this here is a prime example of how heavy handed the writers can be sometimes. One of my chief complaints about the show from the get go has been the way that the audience is clobbered over the head with the "Get it? GET IT? GET IT?!?" type of 'subtle' writing.

Writers of Heroes? My head's starting to hurt from being pummeled every week. Please stop it.

The Niki-arc continues with her reunion with DL, which dominates a good portion of the show. Since Niki's not one of my favorite characters, this proved to try my attention span. And, yet again, the writers brought out the Baseball Bat o' Subtlety to beat me over the head with. DL keeps telling Niki that he's going to figure out who it was that set him up & who killed his crew & all that. It comes as absolutely no surprise that it's Evil Niki who's behind it all. I mean, all they needed was a music 'sting' & the scene would've been complete. DL finally puts everything together when he finds Good Niki with a suitcase full of stolen money. DL phases into Niki's abdomen, gives her spleen a squeeze & bolts with the money & Micah. We end this week's episode, pulling away from Niki's apparently lifeless body laying on the floor & some gobbledy-gook about evolution.

How touching...

Gripes? I got 'em

My main gripe this week is, as I'd mentioned above, with the writers (looking back at my previous reviews, this seems to be a running gripe). I know that myself & the thousands of other comic geeks out there have a good idea of where things are going in each episode, so we have a bit of an unfair advantage. But, c'mon, some of the points that we're kicked in our collective nads with every week are a bit much. Peoples Evidence Exhibit 1: Claire's fake biological parents. The guy playing her 'father' all but put his finger to the side of his nose & slyly winked at CD to indicate that he's in on the deception. Peoples Evidence Exhibit 2: Every time DL talked about "the person" that set him up & stole his stolen money, he'd look right at Good Niki. And I don't mean that he looked at her like people having a normal conversation look at each other. I'm talking about the kind where he practically leans in close to her, stares at her intently & says "When I find the person, Niki, who set me up, Niki, & let me rot in prison, Niki, etc."

C'mon guys, give the audience a little credit.


Well, other than this universe's crummy Las Vegas police department (Niki & DL are sitting out on the back patio having breakfast; the officer standing watch outside the night before thought her heard talking in the house - from his cruiser! Yet, the next morning, Niki & DL are having breakfast on the back patio & the police don't hear anything? And what about the commotion when Evil Niki & DL rearranged the furniture in her bedroom? Maybe the cop on the overnight watch has super hearing or something.), there weren't many problems this episode.

I guess if I want to pick some nits, I could say, according to all I've ever learned in comic books & just basic logic, that DL reaching into Evil Niki & doing whatever it was he did to her insides just wouldn't work.

Just humor the comic geek & work with me here, OK? I'm about to go all psuedo-science uber-geek on y'all.

DL's power is the ability to phase through material, basically separating his molecules enough so that they pass in between the molecules of another object. That's the good part. The bad part is that if you solidify while in another object, it'll cause massive shock to your body, killing you. Now, as we saw in the scene where DL comes out of the wall & grabs Niki, it is possible for him to phase parts of his body while other parts remain solid, which I agree with.

The part that doesn't work is later, when DL reaches into Evil Niki. Phasing into her wouldn't cause a problem. In fact, since he can evidentally phase his clothes along with him, he could probably phase another person if he's in contact with them. But it looks like he phases into Evil Niki & strangles her from the inside. This just would not work. I mean, have you ever seen just how compact everything is in a typical human torso? If DL solidified inside of Evil Niki, he would have become one with her intestinal tract, causing, if not a death dealing shock to DL's system (not to mention Evil Niki's guts), then at least enough of a shock to 'short' him out for awhile. This is why teleporters like Nightcrawler of The X-Men are reluctant to 'port into places that they don't have a line-of-sight with or somewhere that they've never seen before.

Teleport or Phase + Wall = Ouch!

New Theories?

Now on to my favorite part of these reviews!

And, wouldn't you know it, I'm having a dickens of a time thinking of any new ones.

I'm sticking with the theory that CD isn't bad, but rather is Claire's protector.

Miguelito's still sticking with his incredible shrinking MM theory.

I'm also sticking with my theory that Good Niki will struggle with Evil Niki, culminating in her eventual heroic, sacrificial death. Fueling this is the end of this week's episode. I'm thinking that Evil Niki's going to have more control over Good Niki for a bit, due to all of the drama going on around her. Good/Evil Niki's been compared to Bruce Banner/the Incredible Hulk. Now, we all know that we don't want to make Dr. Banner angry, because we wouldn't like him when he's angry. Evil Niki seems to manifest herself in much the same way: Good Niki gets stressed out or something traumatic happens & out pops Evil Niki to reap vengeance on those who would dare to screw with her. Now that DL's absconded with Micah, she's going to be in mega-torqued, out-for-blood mode.

Nice knowing you, DL. Hope you have your funeral plans in order.

Next up, the (not so) surprising revelation that Eden's working with CD. Yeah, we didn't see this coming. Anyway, in keeping with the whole CD-is-Claire's-protector theory, I'm guessing that Eden's not a bad, girl, despite what the writers want us to think. I'm also betting that she's not going to be the one to kill Isaac.

What? Kill Isaac?

Yep. Look at the date. Remember back early on when Hiro found Isaac's brainless body in his loft? Remember when this was all supposed to happen?

That's right - about five weeks into the future. Since Election Day is this next Tuesday, & Hiro saw a newspaper headline proclaiming that Nathan won the election, New York City's about to go BOOM!

Think back again to the episode where Eden startled Mohinder by coming into his dad's apartment unexpectedly. He pulled a gun on her, right? A gun that looks to be the exact same one that Hiro picked up in Isaac's studio.

So, here's my thought: Eden, working for the good guys (& not having an incredible shrinking MM in her pocket for back up), has been sent to bring in Isaac. She pulls the gun that Mohinder left behind on him to 'persuade' him to come along. But, before that goes any further, Sylar ambushes them & Eden uses (or tries to use) the gun &, in the timeline that was established before the outbreak of super powered humans started, Eden escapes & Sylar has Isaac brains with a nice bernaise sauce for lunch. Of course, now that Hiro knows what's going to happen, the course of time can be altered so as to upset Sylar's lunch date.

This next one sounds a bit far fetched, but, hey - we're dealing with a show about people who can fly & read minds; give me a break! Anyway, after the whole Claire-meets-the-BioParents scene, Claire's mom talks about how they tried to find her biological parents when she was an infant, because she had something a serious cough going on, but never could locate them. My theory is that there never were any parents. Yes, I'm thinking that Claire was 'made', not 'born'. CD obviously knows this, as he's involved with whatever it is that's going on. She was placed with him to monitor her growth & progress. The cough that her mother refers to could have been some glitch in the whole test-tube/cloning bit.

It's possible that the other supers were also 'created'. This would explain CD's comment about Matt having come along farther than they expected when Matt read his mind. It would also possibly explain how CD knows about Isaac, Niki, Peter & Nathan.

And finally, this is a theory (well, more of a prediction, actually) that's still in the seedling stage: Hiro's going to finally get tired of Ando rationalizing all of the compromises that he gets Hiro to make. Hiro wants to be honorable & do the right thing. I get the feeling, for awhile, at least, that the two of them may split. And they won't make up as quick & easy as they did after Ando went looking for Niki.

I've noticed, in looking back through these reviews, that I sound like I'm a little hard on the show. That couldn't be further from the truth, though. So, I'm going to add one more section to this beast, something I'll call:

Kudos or something stupid like that

Overall, this episode was a little...well...boring, I guess would be a good choice of words, although it doesn't quite feel strong enough. Niki's just not one of my favorite characters (someone told me something to the effect of you know the character's boring when no matter how many skanky outfits or states of undress you put the person in, they still can't hold your attention. Too true). The parts that had to do with her (which constituted most of the episode) dragged on like a soap opera. It was a boring storyline for a boring character.

I know what you're thinking: "This is what he considers a kudo?"

Well, you didn't let me finish.

The best part of this &, so far, every episode, has had to do with Hiro. He's the only character on here that you really care for. Well, Claire, too, but mainly because she's the central focus of this whole thing. Hiro, to me, represents the kid in us. Or, more to the point, the kid in all of us comic geeks. C'mon, all you geeks out there, be honest - when you were younger & read comic books, you dreamed of what it would be like to fly or swing from webs or to have super strength & whatnot. We all wondered what we'd do if we were suddenly granted these abilities (shoot, I tried to design a wall crawling rig using electromagnets - yes, I'm a geek). And I'll bet you a shiny new penny that, for those of us leaning more toward the Light Side of the Force, we wanted to be the hero & save the world.

That's Hiro.

He's idealistic, thinking that he's been given this ability for a reason (which he has) & that he's destined to be a hero. Having fed his imagination with comics, he wants to be like Superman, to do good & to help others. He wants Ando to be his sidekick. Whether he says so or not, he wants a cool costume (the look on his face when Ando told him that FN Hiro had a sword was priceless). The look of sadness on his face after the massacre at the poker party is the look of someone growing & realizing that he can't save everyone, no matter how much he wants to. It's a truth that every superhero, from Superman to Mighty Mouse, has to realize at some point. It means that, inspite of being able to teleport & bend time & space, he's human.

I'll give the writers a hearty pat on the back for some mighty fine writing where Hiro is concerned.

Now, if they just do something about Niki...