It's all been leading up to this - the season finale of "Heroes'" first season! Will our heroes save New York City? Who's the one who actually explodes? Will any of the heroes survive? What's going to happen next? All those questions and more will be answered in tonight's episode, "How To Stop An Exploding Man."
And lots of your questions are answered below by "Heroes" writers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite. Now, you might be thinking since this is the end of season one that it means the end of BEHIND THE ECLIPSEs first season run as well – you'd be wrong! Joe and Aron have graciously agreed to another helping next week that we're calling BEHIND THE ECLIPSE SPRING ANNUAL #1, an all fan driven Q&A. That's right, we CBR folk will be stepping aside to allow you, the faithful "Heroes" fan, the opportunity to grill Joe and Aron about anything related to the last season of "Heroes" or even next season, titled "Generations." As usual, 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 next week. Once again, a big thank you goes out to Joe and Aron for returning next week to help you all decompress following "How To Stop An Exploding Man."
As this is CBR's final turn to talk with the guys, we're going to take a quick moment to thank Joe and Aron for all their time this past season. Week-in and week-out, the duo have spent their Sunday night's tackling all these questions while still having to attend to their duties on "Heroes" and their efforts have not gone unappreciated. Thanks, guys. This has been fun.
Also, big thanks go out to Kristy at NBC, our excellent publicist who's worked with us each week this season to help bring you things like BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, the many cast interviews we've done, video clips and so much more. Thanks, Kristy!
Alright, time to get to this weeks BEHIND THE ECLIPSE!
Our first question this week comes from a character named Unintentional Ninja. How can you not use a question from a dude who calls himself Unintentional Ninja? "If a magical licensing genie popped up and offered to clear it so any existing super hero could appear in the show, who would you want?"
To be honest, licensing or no, it's been kind of the coolest to live in a universe all of it's own from the mind of OFL, where everyone is a human being first and a hero later. So, seriously, no one.
(But that being said, who wouldn't love to see a Claire/Wolverine training session)
Rizzle Skizzle is back with an interesting thought about diseases that could affect our heroes. "I find it a huge coincidence that, in 'The Hard Part,' we learn that Molly has the same virus Shanti did, and what a surprise, they both have powers! Would it be a stretch to think this virus specifically targets people with powers?"
A stretch, Rizzle Skizzle? Nope, it seems to fit fine. We'll learn a little more about Shanti's disease in season 2… izzle.
Landman had an interesting question that has loads of possible story implications. "We saw that Jessica can walk through walls as long as she holds onto DL. Likewise, we've seen Claude use his power the same way. Does this mean that all heroes can extend their power to others if they are in physical contact? For example, can Claire pass her healing powers on to anyone she touches?" We'll add that Hiro can also teleport anyone he's touching.
Like laughter, confidence, and love, some abilities are infectious and can be extended to those you care about. In all of these three cases, you need to think of the other person as an object (like clothes or a sword). But we don't think it applies to all the heroes. If Claire wants to heal someone, she may need Linderman's power.
Rich Drees wants to go behind the scenes to talk some writers business. "With the possibility of a writer's guild strike looming, some shows (like 'Las Vegas') have gone into production early to have plenty of episodes ready to go in case there is a strike. Are you guys planning on doing something along these lines? I'd hate to see next season's first mini-arc of stories interrupted due to a strike. (Though I'm totally on the writers' side concerning you guys needing better compensation from DVD, downloading and other distribution methods.)"
Thanks for your support, Rich. We're just hoping we can keep telling cool stories and get paid for it in a fair way. In fact, we're already back writing. We hope everything can be resolved because so far, season two is looking to be a frikkin' train ride. We'd hate to have to stop the train for anything.
B. Brus has a question, then picked up on something you guys said last week. "What limits do you place on the superpowers you choose to portray on the show? Comic book heroes, after all, can go far beyond the easily imaginable or almost silly -- turning into pure electricity, for example, or communicating with squirrels -- and some of the possibilities might not be easily embraced by TV viewers. Are there guidelines you follow?" We're just waiting for the ability to talk with Mr. Muggles super power.
We have a few unofficial rules (that we are making up the language for in this answer). The power has to come from the character emotionally. It has to credibly come from a believable extension of the human condition (which is why our flying men don't have wings). And it has to be producable in a way that is cool looking and not, well, silly.
B. Brus continues, "Last week you said concerning 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.' It was the hug with Linderman. She gave extra room for her true girth!" Does someone need to hit the gym? We think so!
Bingo. Yeah, we were talking about the fact that Micah said his fat cousin was huge and she said – "So am I." But, I suppose the hug worked in that respect as well.
Jonathan McQuarrie has a question about the Haitian that's really hurting our brains. "Given that the Haitian can block the powers of other heroes, would someone, say our favorite empathy, be able to absorb his power? After all, it seems like the Haitian's ability isn't always on, since both Nathan and Peter were able to fly (among other things, in Peter's case) to escape, despite his presence. Assuming he would be able to absorb his power, what would happen if they both tried to block each other's powers at the same time? It seems like it would create some kind of infinite loop, where they both block the other's power to block powers, thus removing the block on powers and allowing them to use their powers to block powers." We told you it hurt our brains.
Um. Ouch. The Haitian's power (or is it powers?) in something we'll be exploring a little more in the future.
Marek 14 from the Czech Republic is a true international man of something as he's clearly a Manga fan. He asks, "In the recent interview on CBR, Masi Oka stated that he is a fan of 'One Piece' - a series that is famous, among other things, for wacky superpowers some of the characters possess. That got me thinking - if the authors could put Stan Lee in as a cameo, are there also plans to have a cameo of some famous manga authors, if, let's say, there would be an episode that would happen entirely in Japan?"
We'll see what we can do, Marek (are there any living in LA?). What we can do right now is let you know that we are interested in a Heroes Manga adaptation and have started to get that ball rolling.
Way back near the beginning of these BEHIND THE ECLIPSE's, we guessed that Peter got his "dream time" powers possibly from his Mom. But Hope Gause came up with a better explanation. "I remember in the first episode Peter had a dream about flying. He also had the dream after he passed out that he blew up NYC. Then when Mr. Deveaux died, Peter had another dream with Mr. Deveaux in it, where he showed him he could fly. Is it safe to assume that Mr. Deveaux's powers has something to do with dreaming? Maybe that he can dream the future or he can communicate with people through their dreams, and this is another power that Peter has absorbed, possibly the first?"
So it's down to Angela Petrelli or Mr. Deveaux. What was the name of the second volume again?
"Generations!" Wait, didn't we play this game last week?
We think Greg Woronchak is looking to move to NYC based on his question. "Is somebody ever going to take care of poor Isaac's (by now, foul-smelling) corpse? And, when they do, is that loft rent-controlled?" We call dibs!
There is no way we're giving that loft up! Something with that much space in New York City? Expect the iconic loft to be part of our series for as long as we can keep it in the family.
You guys should check to make sure you can sublet that loft, or you might end up loosing it!
Last week you guys talked about addressing Peter's ever increasing power levels and this week Wesley Rice asked a question that might address that problem. "Peter's power has been described as a sponge. I was thinking about this and wondered, a sponge can get so full of liquid that you have to squeeze it out in order to pick up more liquid. Is this the case with Peter? Will he eventually have to squeeze out/release some of his powers in order to mimic new ones?" We like that idea.
That's an interesting question. But rinse out the sponge and think of him as a filing cabinet.
Jason Fliess returns with a question this week. "This past episode's reunion of Jessica and Matt reminded me of Matt's theft of the diamonds. Are we ever going to see the consequences of that theft, either legally or in Matt's marriage?"
Been a lot going on in Matt's life and his taking off in episode 16 after his wife calls him out on it will have ramifications. That's all we can tell you for now.
Alley wants to know a bit more about Thompson. "In an interview with Eric Roberts, he stated that Thompson is directly under Linderman and that Thompson has the ability to see how other peoples powers work. Is that true? Was that a misread on someone's part or did that plot change as the finale was being recorded and produced. I don't remember his powers being mentioned on the show and it is a huge debate at Wikipedia's 'Heroes' discussion page."
Thompson was certainly powerful man. He gave a lot of special people a hard time. But as far as we knew, he didn't have a power.
Thanks, everyone. That's it for readers questions this week, but fear not! As we stated above, next week we'll publish the BEHIND THE ECLIPSE SPRING ANNUAL #1, the first ever all fan driven BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, giving you a final chance to decompress and talk with Joe and Aron about anything that took place in the last season. As usual, simply send an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question" and we'll consider it for inclusion. Now for the final time in season one, it's our turn!
Alright, so now we know Molly is the tracking system. If this is the case, what were the injections given to Matt and Ted? Is that related, or is that another tracking system we haven't learned about yet?
Tracking system 1.0. For more on it, you're going to have to go to the Webcomic. Where Hana Gittelman (you may know her as wireless) has been tasked to take care of this conventional system once and for all. Part one is up right now (11 pages – we took the bulk-up challenge) and part two is up by Tuesday Morning.
Got it! We'll be checking it out a bit later today. Now, Linderman said in "Landslide" that he arranged for D.L. and Niki to be married, and has been planning their lives. Does he know of some genetic formula where a person with power x and another person with power y will make a child with power z? In other words, did he put D.L. and Niki together specifically so they would have Micah with his powers?
Claude had a line in episode 16 – "Charles Darwin bred pigeons when he was working out his theory of evolution. Married up various permutations to get maximum potential." Claude may have had a good reason to say that…
Interesting. Now, if our heroes start getting AKC papers, there might be some room for concern.
Congratulations on the "Origins" spin-off! Will this be the same writing and production staff working on this as the regular series? Are additional writers being brought in? If it's the same staff, man are you guys going to be tired!
Thanks. We're very excited about Origins – and we think you guys will be too. Same writers, but probably a different production staff. And yes, we're going to be tired. But what else is new?
What is the origin of "Origins?" How did this all come about and what was the impetus behind it? And when exactly will this run?
The impetus, we think came from a discussion as to how "Heroes" can run without a break. The network asked for 30 episodes, but Tim thought it would dilute the series too heavily. So Co-Executive Producer Jesse Alexander had a brilliant idea: What about an anthology aspect to our universe? Several one-hours dedicated to the origin stories. Everyone fell for it hard. When it will run is still to be locked down – one possibility is to have one or two during the Christmas break and run the rest after season 2 ends. But this may change come gameday.
We understand that "Origins" will focus on a new character each week and the audience will be able to vote on whether that character gets added to the series. Any idea how the voting on that will work yet? Phone/text messaging? Online polls? And can you tell us will these be characters in the present or possibly in the past? Now, does this necessarily mean that if a character doesn't get voted on to the show, we'll never see them again?
We have no idea how any of that is going to work. Hopefully in the coolest way possible. But if two or three characters pop – why wouldn't we use them?
Also regarding "Origins," there has been some rumblings in forums of people concerned that this exploits the "Heroes" idea too far or spreads you guys too thin. Now, we're sure you all wouldn't commit to something like this unless you felt you could continue to hit it out of the park, but can you address those fans fears a bit?
It's a pretty valid concern, but fear not. We don't do things halfway here at all. We think "Origins" will be very different from "Heroes." From a writing standpoint, it's like exercising a different set of muscles, because we'll be telling one story from beginning to end in one hour, as opposed to a serialized segment of one of up to 10 stories week-to-week. Some of the most fun we've had are episodes like "Company Man" that allow you to dig a little deeper into a character's soul.
That should allay some fans fears. It sounds like, in some ways, "Origins" will be a way for you all to mix things up as you progress through the season.
Next season is called "Generations." Can you tell us how much of the season will comprise of flashbacks? Or is the whole thing a flashback? Please don't go all "Lost" on us...
We promise that most of our story will take place in the present - but the past will catch up to us, in many, many cool ways (yes, including flashbacks, but don't forget – we can time travel!)
Ahh, so you're saying some serious brain hemorrhaging will take place amongst your viewers in Season 2. Got it!
We need some word on the whereabouts of the Haitian and some clarification. He was considered rogue by Primatech. However, he was working for Mrs. Petrelli who appears to be working for or along side Mr. Linderman, who is the head of Primatech. So, technically, did he never go rogue?
Technically, that's actually a question about Angela Petrelli. Does that help? Didn't think so.
How did you decide on the stack of comics received by Micah from Candice in "Landslide?" Well, I know how you picked "Hulk: Gray" and "Daredevil: Yellow," but why Silver Surfer? Was that a product placement or just some love for the comic? And what were the other 2 comics? "9th Wonders?"
We think the Silver Surfer comic was product placement. Apparently, there's a movie coming out. And we believe they were 9th wonders comics.
Also, about that Silver Surfer comic, reader Josh H.G. (no relation to H.R.G.) wants to know, "Was that a real first edition Silver Surfer Comic, or just a fake prop?"
That was Co-Executive Producer, Director, and fanboy Greg Beeman's original copy.
You know, if Greg wanted to make some extra cash, he could put that comic on eBay with the tag line, "As seen on 'Heroes!' and make a small mint. Hell, put his entire collection on "Heroes," sell it eBay and buy yourself an island, Greg!
Hiro's dad said many interesting things - that he has been waiting for "a Nakamura to ascend." And he talked about "our legacy." Is he referring to family history, or does his power masque a secret about his true age maybe?
What's next volume called again?
"Generations." Season 2 can't come soon enough.
Hiro's dad also said, "We fought to save the world. Until...some lost their way." He used to work for Primatech, but it doesn't appear he does anymore - does he? And if he doesn't, how was he able to walk away when Claude couldn't? And those who "lost their way" - we get the feeling he's talking about Linderman and Mrs. Petrelli. Are we on the right track?
You're totally on the right track. Next stop, Season 2. What was the volume called again?
Something about "Generations," we think.
Cool sword fighting too! How long did the actors have to train for that one?
Masi and George, we think, trained for at least a month. Michael Green, resident sword expert set up sessions with an amazing sword trainer.
We loved all the deaths in "Landslide!" Some really impactful stuff. HRG shooting Thomspon was one of those "Yeahhhh!" moments. Poor Ted - right when we all started liking him. Then, of course there's DL playing with Linderman's brainal area! Gruesome! Brian K. Vaughn, in reference to his work on "Runaways," has been noted as saying "'Kill your darlings' is a cliché for a reason. Gert has always been my favorite character, and I couldn't imagine the team without her. And that's when I knew she had to die." How do you know when it's the right time to let a character go? At what point did you know that Isaac or Ted were going to die?
We knew Ted was going to die pretty early on in mapping out season one, simply because we wanted Sylar to get his ability by season's end. On a level he was always meant to serve that end, to keep the audience guessing who the exploding man was going to be. Which speaks a lot to what Matt Armstrong was able to bring to the role for making us really care about him.
Isaac was a tougher call. We knew killing him in Episode 2 instantly raised the stakes. But when the time came around to pay it off or not, we had some discussions. We loved Santiago so much and he brought so much dimension to a role that again could have been marginalized. But it was Tim's feeling that - because we showed him dead in the past, the audience would expect us to save him. That's what typical storytelling would do. And we never want the audience to experience typical storytelling.
Linderman seemed to be the type of person who had a contingency for everything. From using Candice if Nikki/Jessica says no about Micah to healing Nathan's wife to make him feel indebted to him. I know with "Heroes" it's never safe to assume, but would it be a safe bet that Linderman has a "in case of death" contingency plan?
We think his whole life was an "In Case of Death" contingency plan. There's a lot about Linderman's powers that we haven't explored. Could he have healed himself if DL put his hand anywhere else, but his brain? We may never know. Of course, we may still know. Because what if he had a contingency plan?
And if you had a contingency plan, I wonder when it might be revealed? "Generations" perhaps? Heh …
There have been many comic book "easter eggs" during this season. Kirby Plaza, Agents Alonso and Quesada, sword store owner Mr. Claremont, Ted's AIM name containing "616", Jeph Loeb's "Hulk: Grey" and "Daredevil: Yellow" in the stack of comics Micah gets in "Landslide", a reference to "breaking the internet in half" in "Six Months Ago" and, obviously, Stan Lee's appearance. Are there any other comic related easter eggs we might have missed? Do you have a favorite?
You got most all of them. But, you missed Nathan mentioning "Putting them all on an island," which was a reference to Genosha that got misinterpreted in the media as a shout out to "Lost." Not to mention Hiro's mention of "X-men" #141-142 in the very first episode.
Nice to see Aubrey Hanson make a return appearance. Now, after Sylar tells Audrey that his name is Isaac Mendez, she turns for a moment only to find him gone all "Dark Knight like" when she turns back. Creative editing or was there a special ability at use?
We were so happy to see Clea again she's awesome. As far as how Sylar went away, lets go with Telekinesis…yeah, that works.
Alright, our last question from Season 1 - we had an interesting theory around the office that either may be completely off base (very likely) or will completely ruin the season finale here - in the last Q&A you mentioned that we would find out just how powerful Candice was before the end of the season. Is there a chance that the entire explosion that everyone is envisioning is just a huge illusion by Candice? (we almost don't want to know if we're right...)
Good. Because you're wrong. We promise that if anything explodes, it will be for real. See you in Kirby Plaza.
Thanks, guys. We'll all be watching "How To Stop An Exploding Man" tonight and we'll see you guys next week with the fans.