SPOILER WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the season finale of "Heroes."
Well, it's a sad time, "Heroes" fans, as last night brought us the pulse pounding season finale entitled "An Invisible Thread." As this was the last new episode of the season, this is also the last BEHIND THE ECLIPSE of the season. The staff here at Comic Book Resources want to give our heartfelt thanks to "Heroes" writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coliete, who have been here week after week acting as the conduit between the fans and the show. Thanks Joe and Aron!
Our thanks also go out to you, the readers of BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, who send in the questions week in and week out. You are integral parts of the feature and without you we would probably ask nothing but Mr. Muggles questions and miss the tiny minutiae our eagle-eyed readers catch every time. Thank you!
In last night's episode of "Heroes" -- well, you saw last night's episode! Nathan's dead! Sylar is Nathan! Hiro's in trouble! Tracy's back! Now that you're caught up, let's take the season's last look BEHIND THE ECLIPSE with Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski!
CBR: Ando told Hiro his "superhero name" in last week's episode, "I Am Sylar." What was the genesis of the name "The Crimson Arc" and were there any other names being tossed about in the Writers Room?
Joe Pokaski & Aron Coliete: Great question. We know we had "Red Lightning" as a placeholder for a while and messed around with some other variations, like "Red Dawn" (which made no sense but satisfied our nostalgia) - but the "Crimson Arc" won out in the end.
Oliver Grigsby recently tweeted, "We're going character by character, breaking several episodes at a time for each one." Is this the typical process for "Heroes?"
It was exactly how we broke he first season, and frankly our preference. [Series creator] Tim [Kring], from day one, always employed a "what happens next" model, and we find when we have the time to apply it, it gives us some stories that add up to something bigger over the course of a few episodes for a character. And so far it's working gangbusters.
NBC recently confirmed that "Heroes" has been picked up for another season, with an-18 episode order. Does the idea of a shorter season excite or concern you guys as writers?
Excite, in a big way. God bless the Winter Olympics for shortening it. When Damon Lindelof moved "Lost" to a 16-episode model, it was pretty genius, it's enough story to really tell a full season, but not too much that quality control slips. If you're making too many episodes at too fast a clip, and you can't see the end, you run the risk of being Lucy working in the Chocolate factory (look it up on YouTube, youngins).
And before we go to the final batch of fan questions for Season 3 of "Heroes," we'd love it if you looked back on the season. Do you guys have any favorite moments, or too many to count?
Wow. Hmm. There are lots and lots of favorite moments, as well as our share of cringe-worthy ones, but what we maybe are most proud of are the variety of stories we told. We had 25 episodes of television and every one had its own DNA.
What was the biggest challenge you guys faced in the past season? Was it a specific arc? A character?
The "Villians" arc was tough. We had to populate the world with a whole bunch of new characters. Some of them, like Doyle the Puppet Master, worked. Some did not.
How about a favorite line or two? And it's okay if it's one you wrote!
The first one that comes to mind is "I hear that Stockholm Syndrome is like Spanish Fly." But we had a whole bunch this year that made us smile.
What do we need to know this summer as we await the next volume, "Redemption?"
Well, Nathan is dead (or is he?). And Sylar is kind of faithfully holding his place (or is he?) And Hiro is sick (he is - no question mark here).
Tarot starts off this week with the most asked question in the BTE Mailbox this week:
"I have a question regarding the 'Clothing Rule' cited in BEHIND THE ECLIPSE Week 21, which is that when a shape shifter, whether it be the late Jim Martin or Sylar, is changing his form, his clothing remains unchanged. Which is why Martin had so many 'costumes' and Sylar had to dress up as Sandra before impersonating her. I couldn't help but notice the clothing changing in 'I am Sylar.' While I can accept that maybe Micah had a spare set of clothing identical to what he was wearing to loan to Sylar so that Sylar could fake Micah's death, and we don't actually see Sylar changing back into himself on screen after that incident, I can't help but notice when Sylar changed back into himself after being Virginia Gray, Virginia's dress became Sylar's clothing. While I might have been able to rule this out as a hallucination reminiscent of 'Psycho,' Micah saw this change occur. Later on, when Sylar is in Nathan's office, disguised as Nathan and wearing one of Nathan's suits, the real Nathan confronts him, and Sylar changes back in front of him and his clothing changes from the suit to Sylar's outfit that he's had on pretty much this whole episode whenever Sylar is in his original form. What happened to the 'Clothing Rule?'"
The clothing rule was thrown aside by the people involved with episode 24 in preproduction. We wish it were not, but that's sometimes how it works out.
Peter Dawson wants to classify Tom Miller's ability:
"So what exactly would you call Tom Miller's ability? (By the way, nice Clint Howard cameo!) The same thing as Trevor's thing from Volume 3, or something different?"
It looked like a variation of Trevor's power to us, right? The original iteration of his power involved him snapping and looking out at a chimney across the way - but it was another thing jettisoned in preproduction - as it was deemed too difficult to produce.
Alexander Simon wants to find out exactly how Sylar survived:
"Did Sylar's ability to regenerate somehow manifest and make Sylar completely immortal (due to the constant shapeshifting of his DNA), or did Danko just forget his contacts lenses that morning and stab him blindly?"
Alexander Simon?! We know a Simon Alexander! How weird is that?
As you saw last night, he "moved the spot."
Ivo Kintobor is looking to see some villains in the "Heroes" graphic novels:
"Earlier you said that we'd be seeing some returning characters in the graphic novels once Volume 4 ends. Any chance of seeing the surviving Level 5 Villains, Tina Ramierez, Michael Fitzgerald, Howard Grigsby and Baron Samedi? Be nice to know what their up to now Primatech is gone."
Well, "the kids are all right" this summer in the graphic novel - and they'll need some villains. We hear Ollie Grigsby is on Twitter, drop him a tweet, Ivo!
Scott wants Sylar to take a long hard look at himself:
"What would happen if Sylar examined his own brain? Would he gain a deeper understanding of how the powers work and then be able to rewire himself to gain new abilities without cutting people open?"
Wow. We hope not, but wow. And eww...
Lora has a question about Sylaire, or would it be Clalar?
"I am very excited to see the interaction between Sylar and Claire, will this story arc continue into next season or will it be a one episode thing?"
It will not go away. That was kind of Sylar's point. Lovers or not, these two are certainly star-crossed.
Carlos Mendez needs more Christine Rose:
"Since Angela is the only surviving Founder she seems to be the only one with all the answers now-a-days. She finally disclosed information in '1961' but there are still many unanswered questions that only she could truly answer. Can we expect to see another Angela Episode?"
We have plans to bring the adorable company teens back into action for an episode next season. Hopefully we can see them again.
Kaliayev has a rather morbid question:
"In this last episode, Sylar acquired the ability to atomize objects. Does he now have the ability to permanently destroy characters in the series? Noah had been killed, but was revived through Claire's blood. Obviously, this would be impossible if his remains were just scattered atoms. Does this also mean that Sylar can permanently kill our beloved Claire?"
That is an excellent question. But for starters, we should see him do it to something bigger than a hummel figurine.
Shiloh Fred is looking forward to the Season 3 DVDs:
"Are we going to see all the web series like 'Going Postal,' 'Destiny,' 'The Recruit,' etc, on the season 3 DVD set?"
We hope so, but that's probably an NBC Legal question. On a barely-related note, we want to make sure to congratulate Jim Martin and Timm Keppler on their Webby nominations for "Nowhere Man!"
For that matter, is there anything you guys would personally like to see on the DVD release?
Some deleted scenes we were in love with. The Knox story we had to cut from episode 8. The fantastic "Heroes Unmasked" documentaries from the BBC. Also, we remember the "Alias" season one box set had some script-reader functionality that played alongside an episode. That would be cool for the super-duper fans.
And while we're wishing, I heard a rumor there is a scene from "Dazed and Confused" on the LaserDisc that goes deeper on the Jodi Kramer/Randal Floyd relationship. That would be good to see on our DVD set too. We're just saying.
Shiloh also has a follow up question:
"If Nathan doesn't die in the season finale, could you guys please bring back his epic beard! It was the best beard in the entire 'Heroes' universe."
Nathan's dead, Shiloh. Nathan's dead. But we'll see what we can do about the beard (insert some sort of winking emoticon here).
Sam McKenzie is wondering why Hiro has such a hard time with Ando being a hero:
"Why is it so hard for Hiro to accept Ando and his ability? Is it just that he liked being special, and now doesn't feel so special anymore since Ando has a power? Or is his position as a hero threatened with Ando around now?"
We were trying to explore the power dynamics in even the sweetest friendship as well as be true to the lonely office drone who moved his clock all those episodes ago. Hiro believed that destiny had chosen him to be unique. When the guy you spend most of your time with is unique too, maybe you're not...
Kirsty has a question about one of the more underused members of the Bennett family:
"I know you have said that Lyle will never get an ability, but will he ever get more to do in the show? He's a teenaged boy with a superhero sister whose parents have just broken up, and he's been threatened and attacked by specials numerous times, not to mention uprooted from his home, school and friends. Sounds like there are possibilities there."
We agree and we hear you loud and clear! Boarding school for Lyle! Great Idea, Kirsty!
Carl Rood is trying to figure out what makes Sylar tick:
"Sylar appears to be increasingly grasping at straws. It seems being the most powerful person on Earth is not enough to make him feel 'special' and now he thinks becoming President will do that for him. Presumably, he'd have to keep the President's form nearly 24/7 due to the nature of the job. Won't this just exacerbate his identity problems?"
As you'll saw last night, we fortunately won't have to deal with the problem. "President Worf" will stay in place. But sounds like some awesomely Sorkinesque fanfic.
Omar Idrissi is looking forward to seeing more Rebel!
"I love what you guys are doing with Micah, and especially his dynamic with the rest of the characters. He seems to change people's mindsets from evil to good, like he did with Tracy and Sylar. Is it safe to assume that he will come back in the future and continue this trend?"
Hate to sound like a broken i-Record - but check out the summer webcomics for starters.
Marquel McGhee wants to know if Hiro can really stop the world:
"How far does Hiro's time freezing ability go? Does he freeze the whole world's time, or just a certain area around him? We saw him a couple of episodes push Ando in a wheelbarrow 20 miles away from where he originally used his power. Everyone was still frozen. But in between all of this, there were 'cut' scenes to other things happening around the world; HRG and Danko in DC for instance. Are those events supposed to have been happening before or after he froze time? I always imagined each scene being a 'meanwhile' scene."
This is one of the banes of our existence. We always try to have frozen time play out in the moment before we go to another scene, as a rule. But we've been experimenting with going away in our storytelling. But When Hiro Freezes time, time is frozen up all over. Make no mistake.
Our last question for Season 3 comes from Thunderforge. Take it away, man.
"Sylar shapeshifting between his own personality and his mother's reminded me a lot of the conflict with Niki and Jessica. Micah even goes so far as to compare Sylar to his mother, presumably because he has the same struggle that she did. Is this indeed what's happening with Sylar?"
It's a variation on internal struggle, which is one of our favorite dynamics (if you couldn't tell) - but scientifically, it's a little different as to how it happened.
Thanks again to Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski for taking the time to participate in BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. For the "Heroes" faithful, keep your eyes scanning the skies and CBR News as you never know when you might catch a chance to go BEHIND THE ECLIPSE!