October 2, 2007 Jill

The episode entitled Chapter 2: Lizards was written by Michael Green.

There was a teaser plus five acts. That was no tag at the end. The fifth was a real act.

A. Peter lost his shirt and his memory
B. HRG (Claire’s dad) isn’t laying as low as he wants Claire to
C. Matt is investigating Nakamura’s death
D. Hiro is in ancient Japan with the disappointing Takezo Kensei
Curtain: Hiro rides off masquerading as Takezo Kensei

Act One
E. Claire impresses West
F. Suresh starts his job with Mr. Midas (the guy who can turn a spoon into gold)
G. Maya and Alejandro seek help crossing the border into Mexico
A. Peter makes friends with an Irish lass
Curtain: He’s bleeding but the Irish girl discovers his wounds have healed

Act Two
F. Suresh in Haiti finds the Haitian who is sick
G. The Spanish healer tells Maya she’s evil and can’t be cured
D. Hiro wears a mask and saves the girl
A. Peter also saves a girl
Curtain: Peter discovers his powers and the Irish lass knows about them too

Act Three
E. West pursues Claire.
D. Hiro doesn’t kiss the girl
F. Suresh cures the Haitian and has a memory lapse
G. Maya and Alejandro are separated
Curtain: Maya’s eyes bleed and she kills a woman

Act Four
G. Alejandro dries Maya’s blood and wakes the dead woman
E. Claire wonders if she can regrow a limb
C. Matt interviews Angela Petrelli
Curtain: Screaming Angela is attacked by an unseen assailant

Act Five
A. Irish thug blackmails Peter into helping him, Peter learns his name
D. Hiro’s hero is struck by arrows, but heals himself
F/B. Suresh and HRG talk on the phone, the Haitian shows up at HRG’s workplace
E. Claire cuts off her toe and it regrows
Curtain: West is watching.

At least I hope that’s how it ends. The PVR cut out at exactly 10 and I missed the credits. I forgot from last year that Heroes runs past the hour. Remind me to adjust the timer before next week.

So we can see: four sequences per act — except Act Four which had three and the final one was pretty long. In terms of how the stories lay out:

A – 4 sequences in T, 1, 2, 5
B – 2 sequences in T, 5
C – 2 sequences in T, 4
D – 4 sequences in T, 2, 3, 5
E – 4 sequences in 1, 3, 4, 5
F – 4 sequences in 1, 2, 3, 5
G – 4 sequences in 1, 2, 3, 4

We follow story threads even if there are several acts between sequences. Appearance in the teaser doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of that a storyline will play out in the episode. Obviously the franchise can juggle a lot of story without difficulty; little installments take us a long way.

I had a thought or two about point of view. We are ahead of Claire and Peter; we know more than they do. We know West can fly and that HRG is part of mini resistance movement which Claire doesn’t know. We know that Peter has big powers and is names Peter, which Peter is only slowly learning.

We’re with Hiro. As his world unfolds, we learn new things along with him. We share his point of view.

Suresh, Matt and HRG know things we don’t, like exactly what happened to the Haitian and what they are up to.

Now look at the act curtains. I don’t find the Act One & Two breaks involving Peter particularly compelling. We know he can heal and we know he has powers so his discovering doesn’t seem like such a great button on the act. And they do it twice.

On the other hand, Hiro riding off in his hero’s mask at the end of the Teaser is a really fun curtain. Mind you I like Hiro a lot — and only partly because Masi Oka went to Brown. He has the best story line: there are period costumes, horses, action, comedy, romance and Hiro himself.

Comments (10)

  1. Bill Spencer

    Hiro has been a really great character right from the beginning of the show. I think the essence is that he’s lovable, like a teddy bear is lovable. He’s very much a kid at the beginning of last year, a comicbook reading kid.

  2. Ben S.

    I caught up on Heroes today (being deadly sick and unable to do real work has some advantages).

    I’m interested in what you were saying about how the audience is ahead of some characters as far as knowledge and behind them on others.

    I hadn’t considered that and I’m wondering if you’ve given any more thought to it. Do you think we’re seeing two fundamentally different types of story telling going on based on the knowledge imbalance with the characters?

  3. admin

    A. Watching TV is real work.
    B. When the audience is ahead of a character, we can anticipate what will happen therefore tension is created. Peter and Claire are the only characters who have appeared in every episode of Heroes (I read that somewhere yesterday) and therefore might be consider the most important characters. We’re ahead of them both. It also stands to keep them pure and naive in the context of this show.

    HRG knows more than us and therefore seems cunning and maybe devious. It creates questions and a sense that this world is larger than we suspect. It also adds to the sinister edge HRG has always had.

    We’ll have to keep watching to see how the stories continue to roll out and how the split perspectives effect the story telling.

  4. Ben S.

    I agree watching TV can be real work, and I have no doubt it is for you. I didn’t mean to come off as disparaging of your profession.

    For me, though, watching TV isn’t real work, it’s a hobby and one I put off quite a bit because of professional demands. In the same way that playing volleyball for professionals is real work, but I dare say it’s not for most people. No insult was intended.

  5. admin

    Didn’t take offense at all. Thought you were a screenwriter and didn’t want you to feel guilty about watching TV.

    I hope you’re feeling better because I can’t imagine there’s much left on the PVR for you to watch.

  6. Ben S.

    I’m strangely complimented you thought I was a screenwriter, but nope. I write for cash, but I write briefs and motions, which I then argue in front of judges. I like doing this quite a bit.

    When I write for fun, I write prose. Mostly short stories and unfinished novels. I started off reading a bunch of novelist blogs, but quickly realized that screenwriter blogs actually talk about the process of writing, plotting, and the like a lot more than novelist blogs. The novelists talk a lot more about their breakfasts, opinions on current events, and what they saw when they last walked the dog. All good stuff, but not brass tacks on writing. Hence I read a lot of screenwriter blogs.

    I’ve written a few radio plays, I suppose that sort count as a san-screen script.

  7. Jenn

    Hi Jill, just discovered your blog today.

    I’m curious if, now that we are weeks in, you still find Hiro’s storyline as compelling. Right now, I’m struggling not to hit the fast-forward button on the TiVo whenever we return to Japan. I feel like I’m just waiting for him to grab David Anders by the arm and transport him to 21th century NY and get on with it already. It just seems completely disconnected from the rest of the show.

  8. Jill

    Truthfully, I’m not finding much about Heroes compelling at the moment. I thought the episode with Matt’s dead was pretty exciting, but other than that, I’m a little bored while watching. On the hand, as I go through the list of recorded shows, it’s still my first choice. But I don’t know how long that’s going to last at this rate. I’m still waiting for something to happen — a major storyline to start that’s going to pull everyone together.

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