BEHIND THE ECLIPSE: "Heroes" Week 22

There's no doubt that things are really heating up on "Heroes." With only two episodes left in the season, there are still many questions left to answer and stories to set-up for season two, "Generations." The show's moving quickly and viewers need to pay close attention to make sure they don't miss anything.

As we do here each and every week there's a new episode, "Heroes" writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite stop by to help make sure you don't miss a thing and to steer you in the right direction. The best part is you, the faithful "Heroes" fan, can ask the questions yourself! All you have to do is send an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question" and we'll consider it for inclusion. The season's coming to an end soon, so get your questions in early! This week's questions were compiled by George Tramountanans, Remy Minnick, Dave Richards and Jonah Weiland. Now, here's Joe and Aron.

Mrboma asked our first question this week and our first ever question about the music. "In '5 Years Gone,' there is interesting music near the end that sounds remarkably like the Tuvan singing style known as Sygyt, which uses your voice to produce multiple tones at the same time and it doesn't even sound like a person's voice at all. Other names for this type of singing include Khomei, overtone singing and harmonic chant. It is one of the most amazing, super-human things I have ever heard, but I have also heard synthesizers mimic the technique as well. Any insight into this?"

No insight, but we'll check it out with our amazing composers Wendy & Lisa (Yes, that Wendy & Lisa). I'm sure they will have a fantastic answer for you guys next week. Also, everyone should be on the lookout for more from Wendy & Lisa – there will be an exciting announcement soon about the score of the show and a competition at San Diego Comic-con. We'll let you stew on that.

Phil Griffith sees some hints of infidelity with some of the older members of the cast. "We know that Peter and Nathan's dad suffered from depression and it seems genetics plays a role in whether you get a power. It also seems that Mrs. Petrelli knows everything that's going on. Could it be that Linderman is the biological father of Nathan and Peter? That could be why the father was depressed and it certainly seems like Mrs. Petrelli likes the finer things in life, which Linderman could provide. It would also reveal how Linderman knows so much about the two of them." Interesting theory – will we ever learn more about the senior Petrelli's marriage?

It seems like Phil's talking about the secrets of a previous generation. Generation? Where have we heard that term before. Oh, yeah. It's the title of the second volume of "Heroes." Well, then… we'll let you extrapolate from there…

A whole load of people asked this question, but Hugo from Canada asked it best. "Peter met Eden in Mohinder's apartment back in episode 4, 'Collision.' Is it safe to assume that he absorbed her power even though she never used it in front of him? Furthermore, will Peter ever learn what Eden's power was, and therefore be able to use it himself?" We'll add that it certainly seems like that power could come in handy if you need to get some other powered figure under control.

It certainly would. Peter definitely would have Eden's ability in his arsenal, but he only met her briefly and even then, didn't know she had the ability.  However, if Peter ever had an opportunity to sit down with Suresh, Peter might learn about a lot of different abilities he might be able to access. That is, if Peter is going to meet up with Suresh.

There is that. Allright, Jim Loder is looking towards season two for his answers. "I've really enjoyed the 'departure' episodes this year, showing the near past and five years in the future. I'm also intrigued by Linderman's teasing of the powered friends he used to run around with. So, naturally, I'm wondering if next year we might see a departure episode centering on Linderman's past and the super-powered 'team' he was part of?"

What was the name of volume two? Everyone say it together now.

"Generations." Wow, it's feeling like Romper Room in here. Heather Lewis has a question about Peter's power. "I'm wondering whether Peter's ability to absorb powers and retain them for future use makes him potentially too powerful. Dramatically, how much tension can there be about the fate of a character like this when he can't actually get hurt or die? Do you have plans to limit Peter's sponging ability somehow?" We have lots of plans for Peter.  That's all we can say. Jereme Zuanich wants to know if we'll see a resolution to the Uluru character, the big blue rock monster on the cover of Micah's "9 th Wonders" comic. "It was drawn and painted by Isaac and was also on Hiro's screen saver when he first stops time. Will this be a new more serious foe on day, perhaps once our heroes begin to master their abilities? Is there any chance this monster actually exists, or is he a manifestation of something else?"

There will be some hint of the Uluru mystery before the end of the season. Uluru means a lot of things to a lot of people. It might not refer to a person, but rather a concept. One of our favorite CBR readers wrote a very interesting theory about Uluru and the connection to the Aborgine dreamtime myths and theory. Is Uluru a person? Or is Uluru an ability? Or a concept? We'll see.

Very good. Now, continuing with that line of thought, Justin Mancini asks, "Candice has threatened on more than one occasion to create illusions so disturbing that they might drive the victim insane. Will we see an example of such an illusion before the season ends, and will it take the form of the Uluru painting perhaps?"

Candice will use her ability in some interesting and kick-ass illusions before the end of the season. Some horrifying. Some comical. None Uluru. Sorry.

Allright, so Uluru is definitely not a creation of Candice, which should make those of you doing all that Aborigina research happy. The next question comes from Solonor Rasreth. Cool name! Solonor, take it away! "I loved the scene in 'The Hard Part' where Mama Petrelli was convincing Nathan to blow up New York, using the old 'necessary evil' bit. It was so reminiscent of 'The Manchurian Candidate.' Did you have that in mind for this? And is it a coincidence that Mrs. Petrelli's first name is Angela, a possible homage to Angela Lansbury, who played the scheming mother in that brilliant movie?"

We were absolutely thinking about "Manchurian Candidate" when we were crafting the scene. How could you not? The original movie is so amazing and Christine Rose is just a brilliant actress. We wanted to write a tour de force scene for her. The Angela name connection is just a happy coincidence.

Shaun had a question about poor Molly Walker's lack of powers. "How come Linderman doesn't just heal Molly Walker?" Of course, nothing's ever quite that simple on "Heroes," but he brings up an interesting point.

Nothing is ever quite that simple. There is a reason why Mr. Linderman doesn't want to (or cannot) heal Molly. Answers soon? Yes. But, maybe not as soon as you would like.

Yes, but there's always Season 2 to look forward to, right? Rachel H may have caught you guys in a continuity gaffe. "In 'The Hard Part,' Mohinder tells Molly he hadn't been born yet when his sister Shanti died, which is why his father couldn't use Mohinder's antibodies to cure his sister (like Mohinder does for Molly). But in 'Seven Minutes to Midnight,' Mohinder's mother tells him that he was two years old when Shanti died. Which one is true -- was Mohinder born while Shanti was still alive, or was he still in his mother's womb, like the picture Mohinder shows to Molly suggests?"

Yes. Continuity gaffe. It happens. We apologize. We are only human and sometimes, some things do fall through the cracks.

Be gentle with them, Rachel. They're nice guys.

Johnny from Caracas, Venezuela (one of the coolest names for a city ever – Carrrrrrrracas! Say it!) asks, "In 'The Hard Part,' when Sylar was painting the bomb with his mother's blood, there are no buildings around the bomb, but in all other bomb paintings there have always been buildings. Is this a hint of what's to come?" Over here, we're thinking he just ran out of blood to paint with – don't you hate it when you run out of blood to paint with?

Yes. Let's go with that.

Damon Capehart (man do we have readers with good names, or what?) asks the obvious question that absolutely no one has asked yet. "If Peter believes he is 'Da Bomb,' why doesn't he just get TF out of NYC or let himself be sedated?"

I think Peter said it best, "If we save ourselves, who's going to save everyone else." Peter isn't the only one who can blow up. There's Ted. And don't forget about Sylar. Peter's no coward and he's not gonna run away from a fight. Maybe that's how they do it in the Capehart family, but not the Petrellis.

Ohhh, Damon, them's fighting words! The Doctor (OK, not such a good name with this one) wants to know, "Are we going to learn the fate of the rest of the Bennett family this season, or will we have to wait until 'Generations?'"

Next season. But for all of you Mr. Muggles fans out there, he's doing fine and he's safe. Rest easy.

You know, we seriously get two or three questions a week about Mr. Muggles. It's a tad bizarre.

Suburban Hobbit is back with more this week. "Watching 'The Hard Part,' I couldn't help but notice something interesting about Tim Sale's beautifully-composed drawings (done on Peter's behalf). Where Isaac's paintings generally seemed to be stylized but literal representations of a scene, a couple of Peter's drawings synthesized several elements -- in what might be, perhaps, a more symbolic relationship? In addition to the drawing that superimposed Ted Sprague on Kirby Plaza, there was another (ingenious) picture where the silhouette of a burning building seemed to mimic the profile of a human face -- perhaps Peter's own face. Is this a deliberate choice, meant to suggest something about the way Peter sees the future -- maybe even about his powers in general? (I.e., that Peter can synthesize powers from a variety of sources, cooking up something unique and new--he's not just a sponge, but a... crock-pot?) Or does it just make for a better picture? (The unmistakable genius of Tim Sale strikes again!)"

For now, we're going with the picture answer. (Although you're striking on something interesting) We love Tim Sale, too, and think that he's done a kick-ass job all season long. We seriously could not have done this season without Tim.

Petach Tivka from Israel follow's up on one of your answers last week where you mention season two will have a more global scale. "Is there any chance of seeing more of Hana or seeing her in Israel? I know there is a 'Death of Hana Gittelman' book coming out, but I'm really hoping that it's not as straight forward as the title makes us think. I know it's been said that she wouldn't return to the show this year, but it was never said that she wouldn't return ever."

Is anything ever what it seems on "Heroes." And yet, the title of the Graphic Novel is called "The Death of Hana Gitelman." So, you'll just have to read it to see what the heck we're talking about.

Alright, Jerry asked the funny, most nonsense question of the week and we just had to include it. "Was there a beard growing error with Mohinder's beard in the episode 'Five Years Gone?' I could have sworn I saw his beard look pretty short in Nathan's Presidential Office, but then when Mohinder helped Hiro Prime by killing the Haitian, it was much fuller? So, does Mohinder have a beard growing ability that I am unaware of?" "Beard growing error" – classic!

Jerry must be watching in HD to see that amount of detail, because there is a discrepancy in the beards. To make our air dates, we must film multiple episodes at the same time. So, Sendil grew out his beard to film Episode 20 – then he had to shave it to shoot Episode 21, but he still had one day to shoot on Episode 20, so what do we do? We rely on our excellent make-up department to bring Sendil back to his hirsute good looks (in a really cool process that involves a vacuum). Unfortunately, we did not count on Jerry to have a beard fetish and measure the length of Suresh's beard from scene to scene. 

HD – the greatest enemy to any make-up department. We've got more on the number nine! Dion asks, "We are beginning to see more and more evidence on 'Heroes' of a long-standing organization of powerful individuals (Kaito Nakamura, Linderman, Deveaux, etc.) manipulating events on a global scale, generally by subtly pushing pivotal people in a certain direction, or the release of important information. I'm getting the feeling that this is either directly or alluding to the Nine Unknown Men, a two-millennium old secret society devoted to the preservation of mankind, primarily from itself and the power we could potentially have. It kinda makes sense, especially with the intended focus of season 2."

Once again. The name of volume two is…

"Generations." Tom Galloway checks in with a question about Sylar's mother, played by Ellen Greene. "Just to confirm, the mention of Oregon as somewhere that's green was an intentional reference to Ellen Greene's best known role in 'Little Shop of Horrors,' right? But then, a friend of mine is now threatening to write a flik titled 'Suddenly Sylar' in response."

It's funny that you say that Tom, because on set Zach Quinto (aka Sylar) was actually singing Suddenly Sylar in his best Audrey impersonation, which, I must admit is pretty damn good.  While we kept the line, because it was such a great reference to Ellen Greene's past, Aron originally wrote the line as a shout out to friends Kristen and Michael Mangan and all of their friends who live up in Portland and watch the show religiously.

Hello, Portland!

Paul From Ottawa (we sincerely doubt that's his full name) asks, "I notice, especially from the web comics, that the heroes seem to 'choose' their power in response to particular crises: Nathan flying out of the car crash; DL escaping from prison; Linderman healing his mom. Am I on to something?"

That's a really good theory, Paul, but a hair off.  When Tim creates characters, he does one simple thing that I think differentiates our show from the pack. He begins with the person. Their character. Their dilemma. Their emotional needs. He then derives the ability from there. DL for example, he picked a disenfranchised prisoner, then asked the question: What if he could simply walk out? That these people get into situations that require their ability? That's just storytelling, I think.

Alright. Paul has a second and because it's about Mr. Muggles, we'll allow it. "The inevitable Mr Muggles question: was I right to infer that Sylar was communicating with Muggles when he visited the Bennett household? Is 'talks with animals' one of his powers?"

That, on the other hand is a really weird theory, Paul.

Weird, indeed! Thanks again to everyone who submitted a question last week. Sadly we can't use them all, but we try to use as many as we can.  And k eep 'em coming. We've got one more week for you to get involved! To participate in these weekly conversations, simply send an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question" and we'll consider it for inclusion.

OK, our turn, but before we begin we just want to say we loved the dark moments of "The Hard Part" – Sylar's twisted relationship with his Mother, learning the "Walker Device" that must be destroyed is actually a young girl, Sylar painting a vision of the future with his mother's blood – but that being said, the priceless moment of this episode was Claire learning her biological father can fly and simply muttering, "That's cool." Fun stuff.  Oh, and nice nod to the King with Kirby Plaza.

Thanks. It's pretty great that in the first season of our show, we've been able to have Stan "the Man" Lee on the show and reference his partner Jack "the King" Kirby. These men made us believe in heroes.

First question is about the forthcoming DVD set of season one. Every show has to cut scenes here or there – have you guys decided how many deleted scenes will be included on the DVDs? And is there any chance those deleted scenes will be incorporated into the episodes themselves?

We definitely will have as many deleted scenes as possible. At first glance it looks like we'll have about one or two per episode. I don't think they will be included in the episodes themselves. Mostly because they are not color timed or sound mixed perfectly (but with HD-DVD, it seems that almost anything is possible.)

We should have an update on all things DVD before the end of the season. More announcements coming soon.

We covered action figures last week, but now on to the important stuff.  Four words: Mr. Muggles Plush Doll. That is all.

Honestly people, the Mr. Muggles obsession is a little freaky.  But if the people demand stuffed animals. The people will get stuffed animals.

We noticed "The Hard Part" was directed by John Badham ("Saturday Night Fever," "WarGames").  He did a great job!  With the show being so successful at the moment, does it look like we'll see more directors "guest-directing" episodes?  I would almost think anybody who was going to direct a live-action superhero film would want a shot at directing "Heroes."

We were so pleased to have the amazing John Badham be a part of our first season (he also directed episode 11 "Fallout"). And we've had some other stellar directors this season – Paul Edwards and Jeannot Szwarc, and our own Greg Beeman and Allan Arkush. We hope that next season we can have another group of directors make us look good, by turning our words into amazing episodes.

A number of readers as well as CBR staff had a question about Hiro's freezing of time in "The Hard Part." Hiro froze time, went into Sylar's Mom's apartment to kill him, when suddenly Sylar "woke up." Why did this happen? Did Hiro simply loose concentration? Did the touching of the sword to Sylar's neck mean he's now in "Hiro time?" Or does Sylar have an ability that allows him to get around this?

Nope. Hiro's never killed someone before and he was extremely anxious and so, he lost his concentration. That split second was all Sylar needed to gain the advantage.

That makes sense. Speaking of Hiro's time bending ability, when he stops time is he stopping all time or only time immediately around him?

We'd like to think all time. Because if not, where does it end? And what the hell happens on the fringes? Now our heads hurt.

Serious. That's hard core hurt on the brain. In "The Hard Part" we discovered the true nature of Candice's power - an illusionist, not someone who morphs.  She seems quite powerful if she has the ability to alter the appearance of hallways and rooms.  Or was Micah actually never leaving the room, being completely with Candice the entire time? Have we seen the full range of her abilities yet?

Candice will show you jut what she can do in the last two episodes.

Now, another thing occurred to us about Candice – in her "natural state," she's a beautiful brunette, but with a power like that she could make herself look like whatever she wants. Have we necessarily seen the "real" Candice?

She can look like anyone and she happens to look like the beautiful Missy Perrigrym. Coincidence? Ability? What do you think? All we can say is pay attention to certain scenes in tonight's episode – "Landslide" – they give a little hint to Candice's true form.

Upon learning that the Petrelli mother and Linderman are in cahoots, it makes us wonder if the Petrelli father's death was really a suicide (especially when you consider it says that he was "disillusioned" with the group).  Any hints?

Volume two is called…


Since the Haitian worked for Ma Petrelli, who seems to be in league with Linderman as she had some hand in his plans for Nathan, does that mean that Claire really never was "free?"  And that, even with all the things HRG had done to insure his daughter's safety, it was all just a ruse so Linderman could have more control over Claire's situation?

And wouldn't that just piss HRG off…

While we don't believe HRG turns green when he's angry, we know enough not to want to piss him off.

It's interesting you showed Sylar "making snow" this week, as we were just thinking about how he killed Molly's parents this week.  We saw that Sylar killed her mother in a manner similar to how he killed Isaac (by pinning her down with objects); however, he "froze" her father and scalped him.  Are we to assume Molly's father had powers and her mom did not?  Is there any chance we might learn who Sylar took the freezing powers from (even though they're dead)?

Not any immediate plans. No. But great theory on Molly's parents.

Interessssting. Speaking of Sylar, his concern about potentially blowing up NYC and killing millions was an interesting twist. We've assumed previously he's pure evil, but could his intentions really be that he's a collector of powers to become as special as he can for his Mom, but actually holds no ill will towards us "simple" folk? Of course, the death of Sylar's mother could also mean the last vestiges of his humanity are now gone.

And that blood painting sure seems to suggest that, too.

Heh, yeah, there is that. In the picture Peter drew of Ted, it appeared to be after the explosion and his cranium looked intact.  Since Sylar has the habit of needing to get to the brain, can we safely guess that Sylar is not the one who is going to go "BOOM?"

No. You can't assume anything. That's what we like about writing the show. We're curious about Nathan's selection to become the sort of savior figure in Linderman's end game instead of Peter. Will we learn how this decision was made and why? And how long has Mrs. Petrelli been grooming her sons for the roles they play in Linderman's endgame?

Yes. Before the end of the season you will find out much more about the brothers Petrelli.

Excellent. One final question for you guys before we let you go. If we recall correctly, HRG wasn't originally intended to be such a large part of the show, but as things got rolling it became clear Jack Coleman needed more screen time. How much did the character and motivations of HRG change once that realization was made? Once we realized the chemistry between Hayden and Jack was pure magic, the course was pretty well mapped out for us. As writers, we dream of actors like Jack and Hayden – we constantly know that they not only understand the material, but they elevate it.

We wholeheartedly agree. Thanks, guys. We'll see you back here next week.


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