The second season of "Heroes" continues to move forward at a supersonic pace. Thankfully, CBR has "Heroes" writers/producers Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite here to answer your questions and help you sort through the various theories you have about the show.
Tonight's episode of "Heroes" will present many more mysteries when a new hero emerges on the scene. Here's the network description for "The Kindness of Strangers."
AS SECRETS ABOUT THE PREVIOUS GENERATION OF HEROES ARE REVEALED, A NEW HERO EMERGES IN POST-KATRINA NEW ORLEANS -- Between shifts at a local fast food joint, Monica Dawson (Dana Davis) begins to exhibit some unexpected new abilities unbeknownst to her brother Damon (guest star Carlon Jeffery), grandmother Nana (guest star Nichelle Nichols), and cousin Michah (Noah Gray-Cabey). Angela Petrelli (guest star Cristine Rose) makes a shocking confession as new information about the previous generation of Heroes is revealed. With Molly's (guest star Adair Tishler) "boogyman" continuing to turn her dreams into nightmares, Matt (Greg Grunberg) asks her to put aside her fears and locate him on a map -- with terrible results. Suspecting Claire (Hayden Panettiere) has a new boyfriend, H.R.G. (Jack Coleman) fears for the future. As they get closer to the U.S., Maya (Dania Ramirez) and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) make a grim discovery on the road. David Anders, James Kyson Lee, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Zachary Quinto, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Milo Ventimiglia also star. Randall Bentley, Ashley Crow, Barry Shabaka Henley and Jimmy Jean-Louis guest star.
Show Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Ali Larter, Hayden Panettiere, Greg Grunberg, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Masi Oka, Adrian Pasdar, Noah Gray-Cabey, Jack Coleman, James Kyson Lee, Dana Davis, Dania Ramirez, Zachary Quinto, Kristen Bell, David Ander
As they do every week, Joe and Aron have stopped by to answer your questions about the show. How can you get involved? It's easy, simply e-mail Jonah Weiland with the subject line and we'll consider your questions and remarks for inclusion in next week's edition. This week's questions were asked by CBR staffers George Tramountanas, Dave Richards, Jonah Weiland and, mostly of all, you! It was one of the busiest weeks of questions ever for BEHIND THE ECLIPSE, and you guys sent some good ones.
Before we get to the fan questions, we here at CBR have a serious question we'd like to get to first. There's been a lot of news lately that a Writer's Guild of America strike is not only possible, but likely imminent. Nothing's set in stone, but at the end of the month things could be a lot different for the television industry. Let's address some concerns the fans have - we know you guys started production early on Season 2, so where are you guys in terms of writing and production right now? Which episodes are you working on?
We're shooting episode 11 – and should have up to at least episode 14 written by November 1, 2007.
We've been asking the same questions. As we understand it (which is to say, not very much) things we've shot already can be edited and aired. Things we have not written, we cannot continue to write – and that in-between area becomes a little murky.
If the strike happens and a settlement isn't agreed upon for some time and new episodes can continue to air, do you guys have any idea at what point on the calendar you'll run out of original episodes?
I think we're safe until the Christmas break. After then, it's all about timing of the strike.
And finally, what does this mean for the two of you in the interim?
"Do you want fries with that?"
Alright, let's leave the business stuff behind and move on to the fun stuff. Kevenn T. Smith (yes, his name has two N's) asks, "So, Alejandro, or should I say, AleHOTdro, seems to be able to cure the sickness that his twin sister, Maya, produces with her power. Does his power only cure her sickness, or could it be used to cure other sicknesses as well - say a certain disease that's popping up in people with powers?"
That said, when might viewers get a better idea of how their powers work?
The idea with Maya and Alejandro is that we'll be slowly discovering more and more about their abilities with each episode. Tonight, they'll run into somebody who will help them understand how their powers work better.
Lauren wants to know about the costuming choices on the show. "Can you talk about what is behind the choice of always putting Angela in black and white? Is it just a very New York/Upper East Side type thing or is there a reason behind it?"
I think it's a New York fashion thing. Angela is still mad that Laura didn't win "Project Runway" last season. A great deal of thought goes into every single costume choice and our Executive Producer, Dennis Hammer, is instrumental about determining every last detail. It's very important that subtleties in color and fabric say a lot about the character.
SacValleyDweller of the Heroes Wiki project has potentially uncovered an interesting character not yet revealed on the show. "One of our contributors, who is British, has spied BBC2 introducing a new character in the 'Heroes' universe, a gal by the name of Bridget Bailey with the ability to see the history of an object upon touching it. She has been extensively documented on our site. Is she canon and will we see her in the show?"
Is the BBC producing content independent of the show?
BBC is producing the content independently. But this is still the "Heroes"-verse so anything is possible. Bridget might be showing up where you least expect it.
Jordan also wanted to know about the symbol !"I know it has appeared on several people on the show, but it has also been formed in several episode with mundane objects like a stick formation, some stones in Linderman's archives, some shards of glass when Sylar throws Sandra Bennett, etc. -- are all the placements of the symbol significant to us one day finding out what it means or are you guys just having some fun with us? Maya is hot by the way!"
Way to subtly sneak that in, Jordan!
The symbol means something – but it will be a while until we reveal exactly what – right now all we know is that it seems to cross a lot of our heroes' paths. And yes, we agree to that last thing, too.
Yossi Szpigiel wants to know more about this regenerative ability Claire and Kensei display. "We saw that Claire's body parts can re-grow if cut off and it seems that Kensei has the same power as Claire. Now, one of the Kensei legends says he carved out his own heart and gave it to a dragon ad some say he survived. Is it possible that there is some truth to this legend and he in fact did cut out his heart and (due to his power) regrew another heart and survived it?"
First off, nothing would be cooler than Claire on the Coroner's office. But, Yossi, you're on an interesting path on the Kensei legend….
We got a couple of questions about future DVD collections this week. We'll hand this one over to Shawn Mcabee. "Season 1 of 'Heroes' was one chapter/volume and thusly released on one DVD. Season 2, though will contain more than one volume; is it likely we'll have multiple DVD collections for Season 2, with some coming out possibly mid-season, or is the current plan to only offer a complete Season 2 DVD set?"
We're having that very discussion here, Shawn. For example, in the UK (Or Bridget Bailey land), they released Season 1 as two installments – like "Battlestar Galactica," Season 2. We were toying with those ideas – we'd love to put out independent volumes – but it all depends on DVD lead time (which is pretty significant) and people in suits doing cost-benefit analysis. Those are all things that we have little effect on.
Rick from the Neterlands writes to ask, "In 'Four Months Later' we found Peter in Ireland, which obviously lies in Europe, could this mean we will get to see new European heroes in Season 2? Oh, and guys, while your at it, give Hayden my regards."
What is it with our readers picking up on your actors this week?
What, Bridget Bailey isn't enough for you? We will definitely be traveling the globe – and Europe is on the globe. As a matter of fact, we'll be visiting a city with a familiar name in the Ukraine in episode 6. "Give Hayden my regards"? What are you, Seth Green?
Timothy writes in with a question about a deleted scene on the DVD. "In the deleted scenes for Season 1, Episode #7, it was revealed that Lyle Bennett was also adopted. While it's a deleted scene, should it be considered canon? And if he was adopted, can you say whether he was adopted traditionally or in a more unconventional manner like Claire? I'm guessing it wouldn't have been too unconventional, since Claire would probably have been old enough at the time to be aware of her Mom being pregnant or not."
That's an excellent question, Timothy. It hasn't come up yet in our discussions, but I think as a rule – we only consider aired scenes as part of canon, for the following reason: we don't want to hold anyone accountable for seeing the DVD extras to enjoy the show. So for now, consider Lyle's true parentage undetermined.
Thomas Bonjean from France writes with a follow-up from last week's BTE and a question about possible homage's this season. "I wanted to point out that season 2 of 'Heroes' is legally downloadable in France at this address the day after your first airing. As to my question, last Season appeared to contain a number of homage's to popular comics series and stories like 'Watchmen,' 'Days of Future Past' and others. Can we expect even more homage's to popular comics stories in season 2?"
How do you say "Mea Culpa" in French? I think we've all got things burned into our head from a very young age. But just as influential as comics were – we're big fans of television as well. But I think you'll see some archetypal stories in that same vein in Season 2.
Urainah wants to know about plans for the spin-off series. "We know Kevin Smith is going to direct an episode of 'Origins,' and more directors are signing on. More writers are going to be involved, but are the stories already in production or is that going to depend solely on the director?"
"Origins" is in "writing mode" right now. The plan is that they shoot concurrently with our last pod of episodes in the new year.
Julia from Pennsylvania thinks she's figured out Peter's abilities. "This last episode got me thinking about how Peter's power might work. After Peter pinned Will to the wall, hegot a disturbing look in his eyes ALA Sylar. While using powers absorbed from Sylar, he began to act like Sylar. Is it possible that along with absorbing the powers of others, he could also be absorbing their skills with those powers as well as their personalities? When using telekinesis, maybe he gets Sylar's bloodlust. When tapping into Isaac's power, he also taps into Isaac's skill as a painter. Am I on to something?"
Julia is tapping into something very close to what we want to do with Peter – so she's a bit of an empath herself.
Nicely done, Julia! A number of people were fascinated by the change in Peter's tattoo in last week's episode, but Eric Luong put it best. "As I'm sure everyone noticed, the symbol appeared on Peter's arm in his last scene of the episode. Was it just to reveal that the symbol was hidden in that Irish family's tattoo, or is it a hint of something more sinister? It brings to mind the tattoo that Jessica had. The malevolence is compounded by its use in the death sentences Kaito and Angela received, though I can't quite pin Kensei's sword to it. The guy isn't the most moral samurai, but he doesn't seem so evil either."
It was just to reveal the Irish symbol – and the symbol's ubiquitous presence, even in bars.
Eric also says, "Also, huge props for revealing the last painting before the rest. Might Noah's tragic fate be the new 'bomb' to avoid?"
It won't be the new bomb. In fact, we're going to reveal the secret nature of the paintings before episode 10. That's right – 10. And we don't like to think of new bomb or old bomb – but there's definitely some bombs in store for our characters before the winter break arrives.
Jason wants to know about West's abilities. "Does West have enhanced strength as well as the ability to fly? It seems to me it'd be hard for him to pick Claire up and fly around with her long before his arms tired out and he dropped her. I guess if he did she'd survive, but that couldn't be good for their relationship." Dropping your new girlfriend from 10,000 feet would probably be bad. Guys?
Hayden weighs like 5 pounds. In fact, in episode 9 [SPOILER ALERT], West will actually utter the line "I don't have super strength."[/SPOILER ALERT]
Alex Rangy from Germany wants to know about Molly's dreams. "We have already met Sanjog Iyer, who appears in other people's dreams. Can he be the man Molly sees? Mohinder saw him as a little Indian boy playing soccer; could he look different for Molly? (Iyer could also refer to Ayer from the Ayers Rock which is also called Uluru which again leads us to the 9th Wonders and the 'beast' called Uluru...) Too far fetched?"
Not far fetched enough. To be honest, we considered Sanjog when telling this story – but opted against it for a few reasons. But in classic "Heroes" fashion, the nightmare man will be revealed next episode.
Marti likes the addition of Kensei and wants to know, "Is Kensei a kind of prime hero? He can heal, but can he do other stuff as well? Is it possible for one man to spawn an entire world full of heroes?"
That's a great question. We're not going to answer it.
Ohhh, keep watching Marti! Scott B wants to know about Candice's death. "First off, thanks for the nice reference to the comics where we first got to see Candice's true form. Why use a different actress for Candice this episode? Was it just because Missy's schedule was too busy since she is now on 'Reaper?'"
Yup. "Reaper." If there's ever a character you can get away with that sort of thing with, it's your illusionist – so we had fun with it. Michelle did quite a good job, all things considered, right?
Andrew has an interesting theory about Kensei he'd like to share. "Could Kensei actually be Linderman? They look alike and if their healing factor can slow their aging he could still be alive, and after hundreds of years he could have figured out how to use his powers to heal others. This would also explain why he has Kensei's sword. If I am close, just wink."
Hold on a second, there's something in our eye. Oh, now it's out. To answer your question, Kensei is not Linderman.
DL, the Dark Lantern, may have already picked up on a comics homage this season. "I noticed that, with the exception of the lowercase 'i,' the 'Copy Kingdom' logo looks like the same typeset of the logo from the acclaimed DC Comic book 'Kingdom Come.' Coincidence?"
We think so. Sorry.
Thanks to everyone who sent in questions this week. We got so many this week (250+) that we gave you guys more and took less for ourselves. Keep 'em coming.
For Aron, how's the little one doing? And have you slept at all in the past week?
Daniella's doing great. I'm not getting much sleep, because I'm training her for a cage match with Joe's new baby, Charlie. We're going to air the fight on pay-per-view. Look for it: "Heroes – Baby Wars!"
Guaranteed, you guys have our $75 bucks!
Now, Sylar's deep, deep in the jungle - is he now a member of the DHARMA initiative?
Yes. He is at the seventh underground DHARMA station, designated "The Crossover."
Okay, more seriously, Sylar's undergone a radical transformation. What's the future look like for his story arc? With Zachary Quinto's numerous outside commitments (i.e. Live Long & Prosper, Spock), will his story line be more fragmented this season and fans have to be a bit more patient for answers about Sylar?
We get him for quite a chunk of the season, and we get him back – that's about all we can tell you.
The after effects of Hurricane Katrina appear to play a major role in Micah and Monica's storyline this year. What's behind the decision to include such a major real world event in the show this season?
If you ask Tim Kring what "Heroes" is about, you wont get two sentences deep without hearing the word "hope." Tim and the writing staff feel a responsibility to tell stories about ordinary people facing all sorts of adversity. As you watch the Monica story – you'll hopefully see us doing our best to pay tribute to the tougher-than-us people who live in that area and to give them some hope. In the best way we know how.
Okay, help us out here because we may be a little confused. Bob is part of the Company, which you've indicated Primatech was also a part of, unless we're remembering wrong. If that's the case, why would they trust Mohinder, knowing that he was part of the reason Molly was taken from them?
For starters, what went down that last day may have died with Thompson and Linderman. For seconds, you're assuming no factions within the company. And for thirdingons, stay tuned.
Staying Tuned! You have Nichelle Nichols on the show now! In addition, Dominic Keating from "Star Trek: Enterprise" also had a co-starring role. Are all the Star Trek alums on the show simply a coincidence, or is the production staff paying respects to one of the great Sci-Fi shows of all time?
It all started with George Takei. The story, if you haven't heard it, is that was the running joke when we were talking about Hiro's dad was that it was Sulu – then casting came in and told us he came in and read – and nailed it (he even speaks Japanese).
The same thing happened with Nichelle.
Dominic Keating, on the other hand, was a complete coincidence.
For that matter, can we expect more pop culture icons to appear this season?
One word: Federline.
Thanks again, Joe and Aron. Remember, if you'd like to participate in next week's Q&A, it's easy! Simply drop an e-mail to Jonah Weiland with the subject line "Heroes Question" and we'll consider it for inclusion in a future installment. Remember to get your questions in by 5:00 PM Pacific on Thursday to improve the chances of your question being included the following week.