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by Meliel Tathariel (melieltathariel)
at November 20th, 2007 (04:46 pm)

This community is excellent at critiquing the problems of the show, whether episode-by-episode, in terms of character arcs and plot developments, or using statistics. There's also starting to be some really amazing organizing to get these critiques to the writers and producers. Given that, I wanted to use this space to ask: what would be GOOD things to have happen in future episodes? What do you want to see? How should characters be used to their full potential, problems be addressed, etc? I know people often express their wishes-for-the-future in comments, but let's try to collect some of them in one place.


-Yaeko should come forward in time and kick some ass. Kimiko should join her in ass-kicking.
-The show should recognize that West is a creepy stalker abusive boyfriend, yell at him a lot, and kill him off. Either Claire or Elle gets to kill him. Claire is preferable. As a long shot it could be Monica.
-DL should be either Not Dead, or Dead For A Better Reason.
-Maya and Alejandro's powers should be more extensive than we were previously led to believe. Hey, if it can happen to Matt, it can happen to them. Neither of them should die. They should figure out what's up with Sylar before he gets the chance to kill Alejandro.
-Mohinder should strike out on his own and stop taking orders from white guys. Instead, he could get on the whole stopping the virus thing. Also, he should call Matt on abusing his powers.
-Monica and Micah should make themselves some cool superhero outfits and start fighting crime/taking down the company. Monica and Claire should meet up and work together on something at some point.
-Elle should be any kind of three-dimensional, I don't even care what kind.
-Bob-the-Haitian should turn out to have been secretly three steps ahead of everybody on everything for the last thirty years. He's been playing it cool for a really good reason, and there's an actual explanation for no one knowing his name.
-Caitlin should get out of the dystopian future without any "oh no, save me Peter!" bullshit. She should be mad at Peter for getting her into this mess.
-A white male should die permanently. West's death may or may not be sufficient. Someone like, say, Nathan may also have to die.
-Angela should never stop being awesome.

Comments

Posted by: S. A. Bonasi (sabonasi)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Just to start...
Heteronormativity

- Bob the Haitian should get a name, and it should be established definitively that "the Haitian" was his Company Man alias that he chose.
- Matt & Mohinder should be textually established as a couple.
- This should not be then followed by one or both of them dying.
- There should be an equal number male series regulars to female series regulars.
- Female characters should interact with each other on a regular basis.
- Kimiko, Damon, and Nana should have superpowers. If both the Petrelli brothers have superpowers with one superpowered parent, then the same should apply for Kimiko and Damon. (There was an interview with one of TPTB stating otherwise. Gr...)
- Angela's power should be revealed. Ditto for Kaito.
- Hiro should get a sex scene. Ando should get a sex scene.
- Women with power should stop being depicted as out of control.
- Dramatic irony should lighten up on Mohinder, so that he does not constantly look stupid when he's really not. (See: traveling with Sylar, trying to set Noah up so the Company can take Claire.)
- A series regular white male character should die. And then stay dead.

Posted by: Ronch Ronch Ronch (sandoz_iscariot)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)

I agree with a lot of the points made so far. My additions:

*The return of written-out (but still full of potential) female characters, such as Audrey, Heidi, Janice, and even Hana (because her "death" was a cop-out).

*A better balance of power between Maya and Alejandro. He needs to keep as close to her as she needs to him, something like that.

*An end to female characters being "forced" to use their powers to defend themselves under the threat of sexual assault. Monica was a good start.

*A flashback to explain how Mohinder, Matt, and Molly formed their family unit. Ideally, I'd have Mohinder and Matt be a couple, but I'd be happy with any scene of the three of them doing happy, family-like things (going to a park, the movies, etc.) in the open. No more of this "Well, yeah, they live together and adopted a kid but we realized that's kinda gay so we don't really want to deal with it" dodging the issue.

*Strong female friendships and team-ups.

Posted by: Minor Arcana (minorarcana)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)

I agree on all points except the whole "kill West" issue. I can see Elle killing someone like that with no remorse because she doesn't seem to feel remorse, but seriously - Claire? Besides, being "creepy" isn't a good enough reason to kill somebody, and if that was a character's excuse for it, I would lose complete respect for the killer.

West is a teenager. He was abused by the company, and we have no idea what his home life is like. He's acting out, like most teenage boys do, and he seems to have trust issues and an inability to understand what is socially acceptable behavior and what isn't. Those are all problems that can be solved through development. As a character, I'm not particularly fond of him, but he represents a very real type of person who isn't necessarily as bad as he comes off.

Posted by: Meliel Tathariel (melieltathariel)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)

West is more than creepy; he is abusive. Yes, literally, abusive, in the fullest sense of the word. Teenagers have developed value systems, warped value systems are at the root of abuse, and if someone is abusive as a teenager, there is no reason to think he'll "grow out of it". Home life is not an excuse for abuse. Past abuse is not an excuse for abuse. Nothing is an excuse for abuse. Acting out is not the same as being abusive. Most teenage boys are not abusive.
As to whether this is reason for his death - in real life, of course not. In a show that kills people for stupider reasons all the time? Sure. And I think Claire should do it because I want to see her get some agency back. I'm not saying she should do it in cold blood, and I'm not saying she shouldn't feel conflicted about it. I'd like a nice morally grey situation like the one that caused Mohinder to shoot Bennet this week.

Sorry to seem to be picking on you; I have no anger at you or your comment, just at West and the show, and I do think your point of view is reasonable. I just think it's important for people to understand that West is abusive, and it's not okay for him to get away with it or for the writers to try to let him get away with it.

Posted by: Minor Arcana (minorarcana)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 05:58 am (UTC)

Speaking as some who works with abused foster youth, I can say with confidence that there are numerous reasons for a teenage male, like West, to act the way West has, including his home life and, yes, abuse. I'm not saying that it's an excuse, but it may be a reason.

He's not being abusive simply because he can. He's not like, say, Sylar. He's being abusive because, for whatever reason, it's what he knows, and what he's become comfortable with. West's behavior is a symptom of another underlying problem, and I just don't think it's fair to condemn him when we haven't gotten any real insight into his character except for the fact that he was kidnapped and experimented on when he was a kid. That's pretty traumatic, and it doesn't surprise me that the experience is still affecting him.

Eden was abusive, too - as is Elle. We've been given their backstories (Eden's through the comics, and Elle's by HRG), but I'd really like to know more about West before making any final judgments about him. Especially when there are so many other characters on the show, many of them older white males, who are much worse in terms of behavior.

Or it could just be sloppy writing. Hard to say with this show.

Posted by: Meliel Tathariel (melieltathariel)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 07:01 am (UTC)

Speaking as someone who has been active in the anti-violence movement for a while, I would add to that (not counter, but add to) that there are reasons for anyone who is abusive to be abusive. They include our widespread cultural devaluing of women, promotion of violent masculinity, and the fact that movies, TV shows, and other cultural narratives tend to romanticize stalking or abusive behavior and fail to show anyone being concerned or anyone being held accountable. This TV show is becoming one of those TV shows, and I want West to be held accountable because I want boys and men who are watching these show to come away with the message that that behavior is not acceptable, rather than it being added to the pile of messages that normalize abuse.
Men who have been abused as children perpetrate abuse in somewhat higher rates than men who have not, but the majority of men who have been abused as children choose not to abuse. Abuse is always a choice. West isn't abusive because he has no other choice; he's abusive because he likes the privileges he gains from it, as is true of all abusive men. I don't expect West to be entirely well-adjusted after his experiences, but being abusive isn't the same as simply being maladjusted.
The reason I would rather see him killed than redeemed is because in real life, the few abusive men that do ever change take years and years to do so, and it would be incredibly boring as part of the show. If he were redeemed in the show, it would be by some self-sacrificing act that's supposed to make up for everything he's done before - which it wouldn't. That would be just as bad a message as pretending he wasn't abusive in the first place. The other option is him going evil, which would end up requiring him to be killed eventually anyway. I suppose he could be sent off to an abusers' program and we would never see him again. That'd be fine.

Posted by: S. A. Bonasi (sabonasi)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 05:18 pm (UTC)
Mohinder

My biggest is issue with West is not that he's a creepy stalker but that he's a creepy stalker when the show tries to present him as a swell love interest.

Posted by: The Knight in Shining Skull T-shirt (gillan)
Posted at: November 21st, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)

-Caitlin should get out of the dystopian future without any "oh no, save me Peter!" bullshit. She should be mad at Peter for getting her into this mess.

Awesome idea. I love it.

Posted by: Ide Cyan (ide_cyan)
Posted at: November 22nd, 2007 05:34 am (UTC)

what would be GOOD things to have happen in future episodes? What do you want to see?

I think there's a problem with that, in that the show's creators might be afraid of copyright liabilities if they use story ideas sent by fans. (Writers of ongoing works, such as J. Michael Straczynski on Usenet during the Babylon 5 years, iirc, have stated that they don't look at fan fiction for this very reason.)

Posted by: dustdaughter (dustdaughter)
Posted at: November 22nd, 2007 12:34 pm (UTC)

If Monica teams up with Claire, I'm afraid the show will have her constantly doing Claire's bidding. She is a Bennet after all, they're bossy by nature. I like the idea of a Monica/Micah superhero team. I wish Isaac was still alive to paint their future adventures.

Mohinder should step into the Professor X type role I've always imagined for him and work to unite the Heroes. Maybe even set up a school or something. He's got Molly/Cerebro with him to identify new Heroes as their powers emerge.

If DL is dead (even for this dumb-@$$ reason), he shouldn't be replaced by a new female character. Don't get me wrong, I adore Monica, but i think there should be another male character of color to take the place of DL.

I will up the one white male character permanent death and say that at least two white male characters should die and stay dead. One for Isaac and one for DL. If this is really an ensemble show, no one should be exempt from being killed off. It might piss off most of fandom, though, which would amuse me greatly.

I want to see some middle-class POC characters. DL would have probably helped his family move up from working class but he got shot. Monica supports her family by working at a fast-food place. Maya and Alejandro are surviving by the skin of their teeth through dumb luck right now. Maybe this is a better suggestion for Volume 3, whenever that starts.

Posted by: The Multilingual Kitten (kali_kali)
Posted at: November 23rd, 2007 02:05 am (UTC)

I want to see some middle-class POC characters.

What about Mohinder? Or are you considering him upper-class, like Hiro? Ando might be middle-class, though we don't know anything about his family background. Some more middle-class POC wouldn't be amiss though, since it does seem to be either working-class or upper-class as the norm, for characters in general (only characters in general I can think of who might be middle-class are the Bennets and Matt).

Posted by: Lea (lea_hazel)
Posted at: November 22nd, 2007 03:39 pm (UTC)

* West is arrested for stalking a previous girlfriend and Claire is horrified at all the warning signs she missed.

* Monica becomes St. Joan (reasonably certain this will happen) while Micah becomes her techie assistant (not street-fighting, because he's very young and doesn't have the skillset for that).

* Once she's become proficient in martial arts, Monica teaches Claire some moves so that her powers don't remain entirely passive/regenerative.

* Mohinder realizes/find out what Matt's been up to and gives him a stern talking-to, telling him he can't trust a man who would be willing to order him around against his will whenever he disobeyed. He further tells him this makes him a very bad father to Molly.

* Sylar tries to kill Alejandro and is stopped by Maya. Maya tells Alejandro that although he is clearly not a psychopathic murderer, he's not the boss of her, and if he walks away from her before she's learned to control her powers, he's just as culpable for the people who die as her if not more, because he had a choice in the matter.

* Maya learns to control her powers. Neither she nor Alejandro die, and they both learn how to expand their powers autonomously.

* The Haitian gets a name and a clear agenda. His relationship with Angela Petrelli is further illuminated.

* Either Sylar, or Peter, or both, dies or has his limitless powers capped in a meaningful way, and stays that way.

* No more voice overs. The lack of pseudo-science makes it so much easier for me to like Mohinder.

* A romance develops between two of the younger heroes, ideally Monica and Hiro, because I think they'd make a wonderful, sweet, sexy, idealistic and heroic couple. This romance should not dominate or obliterate the character arc of either.

* Two main female characters develop a meaningful relationship, either friendly or antagonistic, that has nothing to do with the men in their lives; specifically, they are not romantic rivals.

* No female romantic interests are brought in for either Matt or Mohinder. See? I'm not even asking for acknowledgment, just convenient ambiguity.

Posted by: HOT NEW ORC FORTRESS (unlovablehands)
Posted at: November 24th, 2007 07:33 am (UTC)

I agree with everything here. Wow.

Posted by: S. A. Bonasi (sabonasi)
Posted at: November 25th, 2007 03:33 pm (UTC)
Great list!
Heteronormativity

Mohinder giving Matt a good talking to would be awesome. I mean, I kinda like that they're exploring Matt abusing his powers rather than having yet another case of 'white man does bad but is treated as a good guy', but I don't want Matt to be evil.

Posted by: Tiramisu (msloserrific)
Posted at: November 27th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)

This post is so much win, but you mentioned two things I had randomly thought of myself: Monica and Hiro, which came to me one day, and those voiceovers!

And seeing two females have a meaningful relationship would make me so happy. At least Niki and Monica? Or Claire and her grandmother?! (If they could find one another)

Posted by: Lea (lea_hazel)
Posted at: November 30th, 2007 01:55 pm (UTC)

I'm starting to ship Hiro/Monica hardcore. I told my brother and he asked if she isn't too young, but I don't think so: I think she's about twenty and he's about twenty five, which is totally cool.

The relationships I'd really like to see are between Claire and Sandra, and between Monica and her grandmother. Angela would make a good personal antagonist, though.

Posted by: Tiramisu (msloserrific)
Posted at: December 1st, 2007 02:24 am (UTC)

there should totally be fanfiction about them. they would be so adorable. (too bad i really haven't seen any monica ff at all - ever :[)

and yes, i also don't get why the obvious familial relationships aren't explored better. gah.

Posted by: Sheera's Friend (tinheart)
Posted at: November 24th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
Cry

-A white male should die permanently. West's death may or may not be sufficient.

I think I'd object to West's death counting if Linderman's didn't. Linderman was far and away a more important character.

Posted by: just call me Rohan Stan, the Jelly Man (a_hollow_year)
Posted at: November 27th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
hollow man

-Bob-the-Haitian should turn out to have been secretly three steps ahead of everybody on everything for the last thirty years. He's been playing it cool for a really good reason, and there's an actual explanation for no one knowing his name.

This times a million.

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