The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

Mouthing Off #1 (LOST and Heroes spoilers)

US Drama’s insistense on killing off characters.

Right, I’ve been thinking about this a fair bit recently, but I have finally found something wrong with big ensemble cast drama. Throughout this piece I’m going to refer to Heroes and Lost as they are the main culprits of the problem. What’s the problem? They have a habit of killing off characters. “What’s the problem with that, it keeps the concept fresh, allows more characters to enter the fold and keeps the viewer on their toes,” You say and I completely agree, I have no problem with why they do it, it’s just the characters they choose to do it to.

Here’s the thing, both Heroes and LOST have had moments of weakness, LOST had a good portion of season 3 and Heroes has pretty much gone downhill since the Season 2 premiere (That’s not to say it’s not good, but it’s just not as good). During these times of weakness, the writers and showrunners aren’t aware they’re going through this rough patch and create ideas, like they usually would. However, (Heroes is a great example of this) once they’re out of that rough patch, they look back and try and make it as though it hadn’t happened, that means…bingo, killing off characters who were part of it. Think about it, in both Lost and Heroes, there are very few characters alive who weren’t introduced in Season 1. Let’s look at all the characters introduced in Season 2 onwards of both shows and see what they’re up to now… (living ones are in bold)

Heroes

Introduced in season 2

Bob Bishop – Killed By Sylar at the start of Season 3
Alejandro Herrera – Killed by Sylar during season 2 (I’m seeing a pattern)
Maya Herrera – After losing her power, she leaves with an American passport and new life.
Maurey Parkman – Has his neck snapped by Arthur Petrelli in season 3
West Rosen – Still alive somewhere…
Victoria Pratt – Killed by Adam Monroe in season 2
Adam Monroe – Killed in season 3 by Arthur Petrelli
Elle Bishop – Betrayed and killed by Sylar in season 3

Introduced in Season 3 (Volumes 3/4)
Bridget Bailey – Killed by Sylar
Luke Campbell – Betrayed by Sylar (but still alive)
Stephen Canfield – Sucks himself into a vortex
Eric Doyle – Captured by Sylar and given to Danko
The German – Killed by Knox
Flint – Still alive after the destruction of Pineheart (however, upon doing research, a webisode claims he was shot in the head)
Samson Grey – Left to die by Sylar
Knox – Frozen by Tracey Strauss
James Martin – Killed by Sylar
Daphne Milbrook – Killed by government agents
Tom Miller – killed by Sylar
Jesse Murphy – Killed by Sylar
Matt Parkman Jr – still alive (thank god…)
Daniel Pine – Killed by Sylar
Baron Samedi – Mind wiped by the Haitian
Scott – Killed by Knox
Alice Shaw – Still alive
Mr Shaw – killed by a guard at Coyote Sands
Usutu – Killed by Arthur Petrelli
Alex Woolelsy – Still alive
Arthur Petrelli – Killed by Sylar
Tracy Strauss – Killed by Danko, yet is still alive as explained by the opening of Volume 5

LOST (I’m only counting residents of the island to this list)

Introduced in season 2
Ana Lucia Cortez – Shot dead by Michael in season 2
Libby – Shot dead by Michael in season 2
Bernard Hedler – Still alive during Season 5
Mr Eko – Killed by the smoke monster in season 3
Ben Linus – Still alive as of Season 5
Desmond Hume – Hospitalized off the island in Season 5, but alive
Charles Widmore – Alive and well behind his desk.

Introduced in season 3
Nikki – Buried alive with Paulo
Paulo – Buried alive with Nikki
Alex Linus – Shot dead in season 4 by Keamy
Mikhail Bakunin – Blows himself up in the season 3 finale
Juliet Burke – Believed to have died after the bomb exploded at the end of season 5
Karl – Shot dead by the mercenaries
Jacob – Killed by “Locke” and Ben
Horace – Will be killed in the purge
Roger Linus – killed in the purge
Eloise Hawking – Still alive
Naomi Dorrit – Stabbed in the back by Locke

Introduced in season 4
Daniel Faraday – Shot dead by his own mother, Eloise Hawking in season 5
Charlotte Lewis – killed by the islands erratic time movements
Miles Straume – Still alive
Frank Lapidus – still alive

Captain Gault – Killed in season 4

Introduced in season 5
Stuart Radinsky – commits suicide
Phil – impaled by flying metal
Amy – will probably be killed in the purge

So, why do they do it? Well, most audiences who pick up on shows with ambition such as these two will become early fans and will really enjoy the original season 1 cast, but for some reason, most don’t embrace new characters, which I think is pretty shallow, we need new characters to keep things fresh on shows, which is something that contributes Heroes current downfall.

Not enough attention is given to the new characters anyway, they all get B stories in someone like Claire or Peter’s adventures. We need a new villain on there as well, Sylar’s great, but he’s gone through many moods and I think as a character, they’ve reached a limit with what they can do. LOST can get some credit however, without someone like Faraday (guess where they got THAT name from…), we’d just have Jack moaning in self-pity about how he can’t get back to the present day (well, even more so).

So in conclusion, it irritates me that US drama kills off characters before we really get to know them (Elle was one of the best things about season 2&3 Heroes) Just keep them a while longer and bump off the older boring characters, I think someone should kill off Jack in LOST, just for the “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?” reaction. Maybe with the legend that is Bryan Fuller back on board Heroes, we may see a return to form where Characters’ survive more than 10 episodes before being killed, well I can dream…

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One response to “Mouthing Off #1 (LOST and Heroes spoilers)

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