Welcome back, "Heroes" fans, for the ninth week of BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, Comic Book Resources' exclusive question-and-answer session with "Heroes" writers/producer Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski!
The titular eclipse of "The Eclipse, Part I" affected heroes and villains both last week, as the entire cast lost their abilities, which led to dire situations and some very funny gestures. Mohinder cocooned himself inside the Pinehearst facilities, only to emerge perfectly normal. Matt Parkman found out exactly what Daphne was running from after he followed the story in a comic book to a cornfield in Kansas. Peter proved it doesn't take super powers to read a map while he and Nathan searched Haiti for The Haitian. Sylar and Elle hunted down the catalyst, better known as Claire Bennet, who was busy learning the similarities between fighting and baseball from her dad. And Hiro and Ando managed to find a comic book store in the middle of Kansas for the most hallow of events, New Comic Book Wednesday!
Don't forget to catch tonight's new episode on NBC, "The Eclipse, Part II," also written by Aron Coliete and Joe Pokaski, who take us behind "The Eclipse, Part 1" in this week's edition of... BEHIND THE ECLIPSE!
Joe and Aron, both this week's and last week's "Heroes" episodes were written by the two of you. How does the writing process differ when the two of you work together, as opposed to working alone? Is there a certain scene in either episode that is very Pokaski-like or completely Coleite-esque?
Joe Pokaski & Aron Coliete: The major difference between these episodes and our solo episodes is that the likelihood of us killing one another increases exponentially. It's a very unique and honest process between us. Some fighting. Some yelling. Some compromises. But in the end, we both feel that the reason we got into television is to be able to create something bigger and better than any one individual could accomplish. We both help make the other's work better. This was a true collaboration.
We've had lots of readers guessing as to who was the catalyst before Claire, so we here at CBR HQ would like to throw our metaphorical hat into the ring with Charles Deveraux. We never knew what his ability was and we think the Company founders would want to keep the catalyst close. Perhaps that even lead to his health problems. Are we even close?
Nope. Not even. Except for some of the rationale. And the location. But you'll find out who the catalyst host is by next Monday.
With your old friend Bryan Fuller's "Pushing Daisies" cancelled by the evil ABC overlords, might we be hearing about a Fuller return to "Heroes" sometime soon?
Bryan Fuller is a genius and a fun guy and a good friend. We'd be lucky to have him back on the show. Hopefully, if we all cross our fingers tight enough - an announcement might come soon.
Alright, enough blathering from us, let's bring the fans in. A lighter week than usual due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but they sent in some great questions.
Prander starts off by trying to figure out a series of events:
"In last week's BTE, you stated that Arthur used The Haitian's power to wipe Hiro's memory. Since The Haitian still has his power, I assume that Arthur had to have gotten it from Peter. In other words, did Peter absorb The Haitian's power before Arthur took it? If Peter did absorb his power, how and when did he do so? Does Peter's 'empathic absorption' trump The Haitian's 'power negation,' or did The Haitian allow Peter to absorb it, or ...?"
We suggest you buy the Season 2 DVD of "Heroes" and watch Episode 8, "Four Months Ago" - where we discover exactly what happens when you mix Absorption and Negation.
Apollo wants to know about the inner workings of another power:
"With the episode 'It's Coming,' we learn that Sylar has empathic mimicry like Peter. Seeing as it was made clear in the first season that characters only start off with one power, does that mean that his intuitive aptitude is actually an absorbed power (perhaps from his watch-making adoptive father)? And going off of that, was it his intuitive aptitude that allowed him to steal/copy powers, or was it his was of accessing his mimicry powers without emotional connections?"
You're making our intuitive aptitude to answer these questions go crazy. Suffice it to say this - you're gonna learn a lot more about Sylar tonight and in the upcoming episode 319, "Shades of Gray." Written by our very own Oliver Grigsby. Get it? "Shades of Gray." Because his name is Gabriel Gray.
"I've been a fan of the show since Day 1 and really have started to notice how awesome Ashley Crow is at playing Sandra. I feel that in the hands of another actor, Sandra could have easily become flat, uninspiring, and ultimately not believable. I feel that Sandra (and Ashley) is a total badass on the inside. Any plans for her to work more hands on with HRG and Claire in the future? I swear this isn't Ashley Crow."
Wethinks thou dost protest too much, "Shauna." We love Ashley Crow. There isn't a scene or episode that she doesn't nail -- and there are a few tonight that she nails in that way that no other actress in her field could. Needless to say, we are official members of the Ashley Crow fanclub. But, sorry - no hands-on action for Sandra, because well - she's gonna have her hands full.
Cyrus needs some clarification:
"It was sort of unclear as to why Sylar and Elle are staying under Arthur's orders. Is it simply because he believed what he said about Angela and she's just tagging along?"
She is not just tagging along. She has a completely altierior motive. Or didn't you notice when her tongue was in his mouth. Sheesh. And you think we're simplistic.
Mike Luska has a question about Charles Deveaux:
"Is Charles' power of precognitive origin? Is it similar to Angela's power? Will we ever find out what his power is?"
No. And No. And Yes. But only a precog could tell you when.
John wants to get to the bottom of Arthur's power:
"You mentioned previously that Peter would have to prove he could be a hero without his powers before he would get his powers back. This suggests there's something holding Peter back from using his power from within, which begs the question: does Arthur really steal powers, or does he absorb them and then use his mind power to make them believe their power is gone, hence causing them to lose their power because they don't believe they have their power anymore? Kind of like a confidence thing? In that case, Peter never really lost his powers, he just thought they were gone and has to rediscover them. Or am I way off base with this logic?"
Way off base. We just meant what we said. Peter would have to prove he could be a hero without powers. Watch tonight.
One 'ROESian asked:
"So, havin' the various characters attempting to use their abilities during the eclipse was fun, especially when they realized that they were powerless. Who came up with the characters' 'signature moves' (the actions the actors do before the special/visual effects kick in, like Greg's Matt looking obliquely at the person whose mind he's attempting to read mind or manipulate, Masi shutting his eyes and mouth tightly and nodding downward, Adrian doin' the basketball rebound squat before lifting off, or Knox breathing in the fear, etc.) that they use to show that they're about to do something us un-special folks can't? Did the actors have any input?"
The actors have most all the input. It's their bodies. It's their signature moves. Masi and Greg came up with that all on their own. We just like making fun of it when we can.
"In this volume, we have been witnessing the reformation of Sylar - which I am completely on board with because I love this new version of him and it is the most interesting character arc. Last week, he was all about 'I want to be a good person,' but with this episode we are being led to assume that he is reverting back to his old, evil ways. What is going on with this sudden about-face? Is evil for him like an addiction that's hard to resist? Do you have any idea of what sort of person Sylar-Gabriel is going to be at the end of volume 3 and in volume 4?"
Yes we do.
Patrick J. (a.k.a. flyboynathan) asked:
"Could you describe the power-neutralizing system of Level 5? It's been implied that it stops people from using their abilities, such as in the graphic novel 'Doyle.' But in 'The Second Coming,' we see Flint using his pyro-powers against flame resistant glass and Knox being restrained by a strait jacket. Both Sylar and Peter were able to use their powers (telekinesis and regeneration) in 'Angels and Monsters.' Could you guys give us an idea as to how Level 5 works, and what it has over the other detention levels (such as Odessa's Level 2 facility)?"
All we can say is that both systems are based in humanity more than they are in science.
Kris Sample wanted to know:
"While watching 'The Eclipse, Part 1,' my roommate and I got into a discussion about the Eclipse itself. When 'Heroes' first started, it was hinted by Mr. Kring himself that the eclipse was more a metaphor than actually tying into the powers of the characters. What caused the change in plot/story to actually use the eclipse as something that activates or removes powers?"
There's going to be a lot of characters having the same exact debate tonight. Is the eclipse responsible for their powers? Is it something else? Cosmic? God? In fact, someone might even be quoting Mr. Kring himself...
Jamkie K asked:
"Are the heroes going to get themselves a nemesis? A Magneto to their X-Men, so-to-speak. With Sylar teetering on the line between good and evil, last year's villains (Adam and Maury) dead and my feeling that Arthur won't be around after 'Villains' draws to a close, the Heroes seem to be without a constant threat, only season specific baddies."
That does seem to be trend. Well, we aim to buck trends. You never know who's going to be the nemesis for volume 4. Hint - it's someone you already know. And you'll see a big part of his turn tonight.
"In BEHIND THE ECLIPSE: Week Six, in response to a question re: if Arthur was telling the truth about Angela trying to drown Baby Sylar, you responded that Sylar will acquire a unique power in Episode 12 that will give us 'a good sense of true and what's not.' Couldn't Sylar use clairsentience, the power he acquired from Bridget Bailey, to discover the truth (by touching Angela's hand, for example)?"
He could. But, there's a lot of life to sort though by touching someone's hand. It might take a long time to sort through all those memories. Sylar's always been one for a more direct method.
"Does The Company have some method of predicting the powers that people have? They manage to find all these people with powers, they knew Sylar could transfer powers, and in the graphic novels they seem to know something about Sabine's unborn child."
The company traces genetic lineage. Sometimes that helps predict abilities. Sometimes it doesn't. They didn't know about Sylar's power, they observed that Brian Davis had telekinesis and after Sylar killed him, Sylar then had telekinesis. They're a very observant bunch, the Company.
Popkorn615's back and doing some investigating:
"In the Graphic Novel 'It Takes a Village, Part IV,' we are told that The Haitian is an only child. Did the creation of Samedi's character take this fact into consideration, and is it similar to Peter not knowing about Gabriel? Or was this a minor flub in regards to the writing?"
This was actually addressed in a line that was cut - The Haitian only discovered his brother after he was recruited into the company. Seems that Voodoo Priest father, liked to use his ability to sleep around. However, the line was cut because it was deemed, "Confusing." But, thanks for keeping us honest, Popkorn.
"There has been a lot of talk online as well as in interviews about the fate of Caitlin. I understand the strike prevented you from finishing that storyline and it was too late to go back to it this season. However, was any thought given to possibly telling that story as a graphic novel about it to satisfy the hardcore fans? If not, how about it?"
Good idea, mj1cu. And for that good idea, we will name a character after you. Which means we need her to be living with in a time of droids.
Tarot finishes us off this week with two questions:
1) "In 'Villains,' Flint claimed an invisible man tackled him. Claude would have been in NYC at that time and he was hiding from the Company. According to Claude's profile, the Company is not aware of any other specials with Claude's gift so what really happened to Flint? I know he's not the sharpest tool in the shed."
Was that another mistake by a newer writer that got by us? Or there's another invisible man out there? Sadly the first.
2) "Will we ever be told what Thompson Sr. said to Claude on the roof of the Deveraux building the day HRG was given Claire?"
Funny you should mention that... very funny indeed. Watch tonight - you might see a very familiar roof from a very familiar moment in "Heroes" history.
Thanks as always to Aron Coleite and Joe Pokaski for taking the time to participate in BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. For those of you who want to take part in our next Q&A following tonight's episode, "The Eclipse, Part 2," email your burning queries to firstname.lastname@example.org for the chance at seeing your question answered right here in next weeks BEHIND THE ECLIPSE. Please make sure to get in all your questions in by 6:00 PM Pacific time on Thursday, December 4.