Heroes – S03E13 – Dual

Volume Three: Villains

Tonight’s episode: Dual

And thus ends the first half of season two. Will there be a second half? And beyond?

We’ll get to that in a minute, but last week we talked about the speculation regarding the return of Bryan Fuller to the show and now it has been confirmed. He has even started giving his thoughts on what has been wrong with the show since he left and what he’s going to focus on for the next volume, “Fugitives.”

The ratings tumble that Heroes has been experiencing seems to be on everyone’s mind. The show draws about half of the audience it did at its peak. I dug up the viewership numbers and threw together a quick and dirty chart so you can see things more clearly. The yellow dots denote the season premieres. The final dot is tonight’s episode, so obviously it is showing zero viewers as it hasn’t happened yet.


Looking at the numbers all laid out I see a few interesting things. The first is that it’s really interesting that the audience for the first and second season premieres were really, really close. After all the rigmarole of the first season they still ended up right where they started. 

The second being that it would seem that Heroes has stabilized, audience-wise, and has settled into the 8 million viewers zone. In fact, the viewership for the last seven episodes seems to be remarkably stable considering the show’s up and down ratings history. We’re in the midst of the most stable run in terms of viewership that the show has ever had.

The third, and I think the most compelling thing, is that the numbers fell off the table between the 18th and 19th episodes in season one. Except for an anomalous blip for the first season finale and the second season premiere, it was a drop off that the show never recovered from. So what happened? Well, the show went on a prolonged break, not airing a new episode for eight weeks. I remember complaining about it at the time and not being as excited for the show after it came back. The momentum that had been built up was totally killed, and in a show like Heroes, momentum is absolutely paramount. Everyone talks about the ratings collapse in the second and third season, but looking at the chart I think that collapse began in earnest with episode 19 in season one and it continued from there.

What does all this mean for the future of Heroes? If there is some sort of ratings increase with “Fugitives” to bring it back to season two levels then it will probably return for a fourth season. If the ratings drop significantly in the second half of the season, I don’t think it will be back. If the numbers hold steady at 8 million viewers? I don’t know. It’s clear that NBC is looking to cut costs and cut them quick. With the Jay Leno announcement, they have all but raised the white flag on scripted shows, having failed to develop a hit (other than season one of Heroes) in about five years. It’s possible that they could retool Heroes and make significant cuts to the cast and bring it back much with a much lower budget. There are a lot of possibilities and it’s going to be interesting to watch from here on out. If I had to guess? I’d say that we get the rest of this season and no more. But I’ve been wrong before.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts, opinions, gripes, live-blogging, etc.



  1. I must ammit season 3 was the first I watched Heroes. I only watched it because my roommate is a huge fan. And even though I was lost for a good porton, I must say I liked it. My roommate let me borrow season 1 from him and it was awesome. I for one will be sad if it gets cut after this season, but I can see why NBC might do it.

  2. Here we go.

  3. reporting for commentary!

  4. Sylar narrating?

  5. This is my last liveblogging of this show.  As of tomorrow, no more cable.  :

    I’ll be watching online the next day, though.

  6. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dual vs Duel….

  7. ohh pete with a set of stones

  8. Nathan’s one weakness: punching.

  9. Ahhh analog tv, it’s got all the fuzzies!

  10. That facility needs better security.

  11. Sylar is a great villian!

  12. Well, now last week’s question of whether or not Sylar has killed non-powers has been bloodily laid to rest.

  13. Mastermind Slyar? Saw Slyar?

  14. @conor indeed

  15. Everybody on TV/in movies seems to have a glass jaw.  Most people don’t get knocked out cold from a punch to the face.

  16. Well you would if you got a square hit to the chin, but oh well.

  17. Yeah, but it hurts like hell. My girlfriend accidentally elbowed me in the jaw a week and a half ago.

  18. she’s just mentioning that now?

  19. That shotgun toting group is the most fucked up "family" I’ve seen in a while.

  20. That’s awkward… brain weakness, family sharing.

  21. Unfortunately, that pigeon only speaks English.

  22. I love Hiro

  23. Unless Hiro’s dad is a pigeon shapeshifter!

  24. If she runs really fast around the planet, counterclockwise, they can go back in time!  😀

  25. Ando you already knew that

  26. Somebody get that girl a cosmic treadmill!!!

  27. Yeah, because Mohinder wouldn’t test it on a blood sample first.

  28. One of his arms is scaleless…?

  29. Peter just got served.

  30. Fear-guy is a dick.

  31. Lol and then five seconds later the calvary comes in.

  32. Captain America time!

  33. Cap’s dead!

  34. Oh.  Nevermind.

    They just don’t make Captain Americas like they used to.


  36. That’s not Steve Rogers, that’s probably John Walker… aaaaaand it’s moot now.

  37. This is Loeb’s last show right?

  38. In the future, didn’t Ando have fire powers?

  39. down towards high punch?

  40. Yeah he killed Hiro with them.

  41. i miss my mommy, chef? what is this, south park.

  42. @Templar – He did indeed.

  43. Lots of birds this episode

  44. @Templar.  More like red DBZ inspired lightning stuff.

  45. *ring* Hello Clarice

  46. Claire’s other weakness: iron bars.


    Claire spanking Sylar, let the fan fic commence!

  47. AHAHAHAHAHA "Bio-Mom"

  48. I feel like if Claire fired that shotgun, the recoil would send her flying across the room.  That gun looks bigger than her!

  49. 1 shell down.

  50. Stupid Claire.  Your dad said not to waste shells!!!

  51. She could have bashed the phone with the butt of the shotgun if she really needed to make a point.

  52. @conor Yes, but not listening is consistent with her character!  🙂

  53. Wow. Heroes sounded like a reverse On the Waterfront.

    "I could have been a nobody…instead of the monster I became."

  54. @Templar – Oh, I know it’s totally in character for her.

  55. Couldn’t she have hung up?

  56. Oh, THIS is a good idea…

  57. nice… "sylar, we’re all locked in here with him"

  58. @jester She hung up… with a VENGEANCE

  59. squar in the nuts

  60. someone finally kneed mohinder in the balls.  THANK GOD!!!

  61. OH NO! I thought that was Jell-o!


    Awesome use by HRG.


    Flint’s cut is the symbol.

  62. That one dopey prison set that they use over and over keeps making me laugh.  All they have is three cells!  They must have cheaped out on the architect.

  63. Did Ando just take a dump?

  64. Ando is gambit—crap

  65. Haha. Ando trying to time travel is hilarious.

  66. There it is.

  67. Hey look, Ando is in the game Breakdown!

  68. see, like i said.  Red Lightning.

  69. So… is red lightning better than blue?

  70. "Cyclops of the hand" syndrome as my friend called it.




    Also, does this mean that sylar is gonna have a ton of more powers by the end of the epidsode?

  72. damn

  73. FLAME ON!

  74. The episode ends with Sylar evolving like Amazo on JLU, and takes to the stars for moar power.

  75. Hot boxing with a hottie. Nice one Noah.

  76. @Anson17 haha yep. I’m still surprised to find it in Gamestop sometimes for like 3 bucks.

  77. loving the psychological torture stuff that Sylar is pulling.  It’s just really creepy.

  78. Damn Sylar is a fucked up indivual

  79. I like this episode so far.  Very focused.

  80. @coleman.  I’ve never met anyone else who’s played it.  When mirror’s edge was announced I said "huh, Breakdown with Parkour.  Pass."

  81. I want Sylar to pull the Vulcan death grip on someone. Haha a little foreshadowing.

  82. I die inside everytime I see a commercial for Mamma’s Boys.

  83. I bet Ando has kinetic powers

  84. Please kill off Peter.

  85. He just got put on ice!

  86. Poor, Marlow.  He shoulda never left Baltimore.

  87. ok, maybe not


  88. Warning: Ando may induce seziures.

  89. I really want to see them do something with Peter.  Something different, something cool. I love that they took his powers.  It forced him to be something more than a dues ex machina.  I’m liking the new direction.  Lets just hope that they stay with it. 


    Hmm ando’s powers seem to boost other peoples.  He can make daphne time travel.  Oh they just did that…

  90. He amplifies powers!

  91. Power amping powers?

  92. Ando is your cosmic treadmill

  93. Wow. Ando has the coolest power!

  94. We saw him using his powers offensively against Hiro in the future vision.  Any ideas???

  95. Daphne went back to 1955… or maybe she went to Oz.

  96. Ando’s power: PLOT DEVICE


    And Slyar keeps playing Saw.

  97. Ok, the running back in time was a joke, but…

  98. I think so. I could be wrong, of course.

  99. Hehehe… what would happen if you amped Claire’s powers?

  100. @conor Could it be that 1955 has some sort of cosmic significance? Or it could just be a giant coincidence.

  101. She’d stay young?

  102. Ando would make for a killer game of dodgeball.

  103. @xebix – I was kidding, she didn’t actually go back to 1955.

  104. Couldn’t he just knock her out??? We’ve seen that stop powers before.

  105. Shouldn’t they run out of oxygen soon?

  106. Wouldn’t she be burning up the oxygen super quick in that cell?

  107. Cheerleaders are more powerful than a speeding bullet.

  108. wow… that’s using yer head.  That would hurt like hell.

  109. Kaboom?

  110. Claire is the new Juggernaut

  111. @conor I know. I was just adding to your Back to the Future reference. Kind of like when you said "heavy" a few weeks ago.

  112. way to use your head claire!


  113. Mohinder said the formula is flammable, Flame-Mom is going up…hmmm

  114. @xebix – There’s that word again; "heavy". Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the earth’s gravitational pull?

  115. I’m the juggernaut, bitch!

  116. I think Mohinder was lying.

  117. @conor. Yup, that was it. A few weeks ago, you said heavy and I replied with that line. You said something to the effect of "Things start to get heavy when you introduce time travel."

  118. @Conor "I’m the juggernaut bitch?"

  119. Any ideas yet concerning Ando’s powers being used offensively (a la the Hiro vs. Ando future fight?)

  120. Just how many senate votes has Nathan missed at this point.  He’s an absentee senator!

  121. @Anson – Crazy power overload to death?

  122. Daphne, "Einstein" hahaha.

  123. Parkman is a nerd.

  124. DISHONOR!

  125. so umm… is that the godsend sword???

  126. Ok props for the tie in finally.

  127. All right, I called it!


  129. Oh.  And that’s how it got to be in two parts.

    But when you rip something, isn’t the edge a little more straight?

  130. Barry Allen math. I like it

  131. And now, undoing powers being taken.



    excuse me! PUNCH. awesome.

  133. Greatest moment..ever – one punch!

  134. Haha. Don’t call me Pikachu!

  135. Oh thank god someone finally hit her.


     the pikachu thing… "excuse me", punch in the face.  Finally laughed out loud at heroes.  Its been at least 3 episodes.

  137. Mohinder is a swallower.

  138. Good thing his fire went out before he hit the ground, huh?  Huh??

  139. flint you idiot!


  140. Oh… it was flammable.

  141. I smell a Two-face….

  142. @Anson17 i just did the same thing.

  143. Yay! Peter got his power back!

  144. and… they’ve given him his powers back.  There goes that character devolopment i was talking about.

  145. peter can fly now?

  146. ROFL animated floating John Hodgman FTW

  147. "HEROES isn’t coming back for over a month!  Please come back… the last time we tdid that a lot of you didn’t…"

  148. Is he still an empath?

  149. @jester.  I would assume so.

  150. who knows? only 9 minutes left, and no sylar resolution



  151. Great Apple ad.

  152. Momma’s boy ads make this SO much more awkward.

  153. wow, angela being honest.  That’s just fucked up.

  154. yeah, saw that shit coming.

  155. Sylar’s one weak spot, brain stems!

  156. Whoah!

  157. why won’t hot mom’s clothes burn off…?

  158. Damn her mom is hot! Pun intended!

  159. @jester – …Tactile Telekenisis?

  160. Noah Bennet: Action Star Hero!

  161. Is that Frost or another clone?

  162. Worf!

  163. was that supposed to be obama???

  164. That was AWESOME!

  165. president obama?


  166. Really? Days of Future Past already?

  167. So now Nathan is Senator Kelly?

  168. President Worf. Heh

  169. I love it. Black president. Hueing to current continuity.

  170. so… yeah… that was kind of a lackluster ending. Good episode.  Lackluster ending.

  171. When is it going to come out that Nathan has powers?

  172. Well done ..i liked it

  173. So in 13 episodes their back to where they started. All of the new character are dead.

  174. I spy a Zeljko Ivanek in that Chapter II trailer. He is gold.



  175. @Anson17 I agree. Good to see some tie-ins and explain some stuff but I was a tad underwhelmed.

  176. @jestergobin: "Days of future what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. Our staff writers don’t read comic books."  [long pause] "Oh, you say this one was written by a guy whose day job is a comic writer? Really? Er……Hey, look beind you!" [Runs away.]


  178. I’m done with this show, its too stupid, had enough

  179. So supposedly, John Glover is coming on the show to be Sylar’s dad.  And Andre Drazen is the "Hunter."

  180. So I have a question. Why did this just feel like another episode and not a big ending? They were supposed to wrap up all this shit… and no resolution? Sigh, darlings, sigh. That’s just bad writing.

  181. Waaaay to the party, heck didnt even watch it yet. But from what I’m hearing:

    ‘Decent episode, bad ending’

    If they didnt have an ending to grasp the audience for more next month (or 2 months) then how the hell are they gonna get them back?

  182. Aw, you guys…

     I thought it was a great episode and a solid conclusion of the story.  Will everything be wrapped up?  No!  It’s an ongoing television series. But I thought the realignment of the Heroes universe was great.  Nathan a villain?  Yes.  Sylar a much, much, much better villain than he was in season one.  Now there’s some complexity to him.  ( Yes they can bring him back just like Claire came back after the stick in her brain was removed.)  Claire became much stronger, HRG back to his dark grey roots, Hiro realizing he’s been a screw up.  The death of lots of characters that kept the series from being focused.  All good stuff.  Would’ve liked to have kept Elle.  She could’ve been interesting as a Psycho-working-with-the-heroes. 

    And now we know Ando doesn’t kill Hiro in the future, he just gets to a point where he has to supercharge him.


  183. @Tad good point dude about Ando, I completely forgot about that.

  184. @Tad I don’t think you’re wrong. Everything you say about the characters is… right. But I didn’t feel like it was a sufficient conclusion. Ends of Volumes on Heroes are like season endings. That’s basically all they are. It didn’t feel like a wrap up and ending to a season so much as it felt like yet another volume to get us to the next (as volume two was all about getting us to volume three). I get that Heroes is a big long story that doesn’t really have an ending and is about volumes, tomes in a book series, that lead to this longer epicker series. But the tomes should stand alone. Each volume should have a definite story and narrative, like the Harry Potter series, such that each stands alone and tells a story, but also has a final resolution and definite climax. Etcetera etcetera etcetera. I didn’t get the feeling that this episode was a big climax, or a wrap for this volume, and if it was a climax and wrap up, it didn’t feel earned and was instead very forced, like they were trying to, but didn’t know how to do it.

  185. But you have to wonder what will happen when Ando super charges a person with no powers??? Will that give him powers? Bring part of his power back (I don’t think they will ever have anyone with time travel powers on the show anymore) It was good to Thin the cast down some and now they can go back to working on better stories rather then more powers. I still care about the show I just hope they can pull it out of the mire it was going into.

  186. awesome ep. except black president kinda disrespectful??

  187. Why is papa petrelli dead? That makes no sense whatsoever. Did his contract power run out?

  188. @rayclark – Why is a black president disrespectful?

    @Ruo21 – Why is he dead in the story?  He got shot in the head.  Why is he dead in real life?  He wasn’t a series regular, just a limited guest star, like Kristen Bell.

  189. Not too bad of an episode. Definitely felt like they just wanted to get it over with already. Liked what Bryan Fuller has been saying about the direction of Heroes in the next arc. Unfortunately, I’m with you Conor, I don’t think the show is going to get another season. I really hope I’m wrong, because I love the concept of this show and I think it can be saved.

  190. I jumped back on this a few episodes ago when Heroes looked to be back on track, but this finale was so, so bad.  I just don’t care about any of these characters anymore.  So now the gov’t is going to round them up going forward?  This is different from the company trying to do the same thing — how?  I’ll probably ride it out because what hell else I got to do on a Monday?

  191. Are there going to be Sentinels? I bet there are going to be Sentinels… heh.

  192. This next arc needs to be a whole lot better and much more even for me to stick it out to season 4.  I am so glad they fired Loeb and friends.  I really enjoyed a few episodes, but most felt confusing and uneven–and if we of the comic geek kind feel confused, forget regular folks sticking with it.

    The whole, he’s a bad guy, no a good guy thing with Nathan and Gabriel was just retarded as hell.  Now Nathan is going to get them all locked up–original plot please, Senator Kelly.

    Seriously hoping the Pushing Daisies dude can fix it, or Heroes is going to be Pushing Daisies…yes, a terrible joke!

  193. Bryan Fuller made a good point that the show needs to put a face on key plot points so it doesn’t degenerate into abstract scifi concepts.  The best modern superhero comics make you feel for the characters.

    @SteveM – re: original plot.  It’s all in how you tell it.  "Invaders from Space" is a premise that can lead to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Invaders from Mars, Secret Invasion, V, or The Thing. If it became known that there were people with incredible powers running around, the news would focus on the acts of villains, people would get scared, politicians would start drawing up legislation.  It’s a valid story for any superhero universe.  Should Heroes avoid exploring it because the Xmen did it?  I thought the President went too far in immediately agreeing that they should be rounded up.   Maybe it was done for budget but I would’ve liked to have seen the conversation take place in the White House and give the impression it had been discussed and debated.  It would feel bigger that way.

  194. I do hope they can fix Heroes, just wish the Pushing Daisies guy still had PD to work on instead of coming to fix heroes.  Another show I love that ends way to soon.

  195. @conor – black prez = obama, and in the episode he’s preparing a nationwide hunt for superpowered people. just doesn’t seem obama-ish to me

  196. Isn’t any weirder than nominating Norman Osborn "King of Everything."

  197. Besides, Jack Coleman, the guy who plays HRG said on his blog when the election results went down, everything was ecstatic Obama won, so it’s not like was some big thing to discredit Obama on the TV.

  198. @rayclark – I dunno, I don’t think that’s very offensive.  There can be equal opportunity bastard presidents.

  199. Its not like its the first fictional black president either, David Palmer on 24 rings a bell, with his brother falling suit.

  200. ooo havent added my 2 cents yet…. Overall I liked the episode, althrought there are a few things I dont like too, but hey nothings pefect, and who says im in the right?

     Fav things were the putting Nathon into the postion we saw him in in the future episode of season 1.  Plus i love bad ass sylar