This week marks a rare occasion for my Monday DVR showdown: it's the first time all season where I've been more thrilled by an episode of Heroes than an episode of 24. And now I know why: this week's episode, "Cold Snap," was written by Sci-fi wonder-kid, Bryan Fuller.
Screen Rant reported back in December that Bryan Fuller was being brought back to Heroes to help get the show back on track. Well, after seeing what Fuller brought to the table with "Cold Snap" and the general direction the show has gone in since he became a "consulting producer," I think that Brayn Fuller should be writing every Heroes episode from now on.
Really, I can't say enough about this week's episode. From the first frame of "Cold Snap" (Danko (Zeljko Ivanek) staring at his reflection in the mirror and slowly shaving his face with a sharp-looking razor) I knew that something was very different about this Heroes episode I was about to see. I slid up to the edge of my seat, excited, and boy did I stay that way for the whole hour.
Since it's recently become somewhat uncertain when a SPOILER expires, I'll refrain from talking about the plot of the episode and instead focus on what made it so different (and enjoyable) for me to watch.
A POLISHED LOOK
First of all, "Cold Snap" looked fantastic. It's like seeing Star Wars back to back with The Empire Strikes Back: five minutes into Empire, you can already tell that the guy handling the camera this time around knows what he's doing. I invite you to watch the lead-in segment of "Cold Snap" and then go back and watch the lame lead-ins to just about any other episode of Heroes from this season (excluding a few rare gems). Trust me, You'll be able to tell the difference.
The episode's director, Greg Yaitanes, really treated us to a rich visual feast. From the slick introduction of the episode's title (a theme that can be really hit or miss depending on the episode), to every eye-popping set piece, camera shot and action sequence, this episode was just real, real, good to look at.
Danko (Zeljko Ivanek) is Heroes' Kraven The Hunter
A POLISHED SCRIPT
"Cold Snap" hit all the marks we've been wishing Heroes would again. It was funny when it was supposed to be funny; thrilling when it was supposed to be thrilling; poignant when it was supposed to be poignant--and for the first time in a long time, I even liked the cutesy Hiro/Ando side-story involving Matt Parkman's baby son (fine, I confess, I loved it!).
More importantly, Fuller kept the show so well grounded it makes you wonder how the hell other writers have been getting Heroes so wrong, for so long now. I believed every moment of "Cold Snap": what the characters did, the choices they made and most importantly, I believed that a professionally-paid writer had written the dialogue that came out of their mouths.
Fuller also knows how to work an audience. I was going nuts when Mrs. Petrelli was trying to make her impossible escape; I was black-man-blushing when Hiro confessed to Ando about watching his mother die and when baby Parkman came to Hiro's aid; the climax with Tracy Strauss' "Cold Snap" was well worth the buildup and the one "WTF?" moment in the episode (the whole epilogue with Parkman and Daphne in Paris), turned out to be a totally intentional "WTF?" moment. That's some good writing.
Keep letting Fuller do what he's doing! You could save SO much money in this recession just by paying one Bryan Fuller do the work you're currently paying a dozen writers to attempt. Give that man a wad of money; keep skilled, stylish directors like Greg Yaitanes on payroll too, and you'll be able to sit back and watch Heroes claw its way back up past Jack Bauer in the Nielsen ratings. Guaranteed.
Because if you keep Heroes episodes like "Cold Snap" coming, NBC, I will be there to watch and I'm pretty sure a lot of other viewers will too...
What did you think about Heroes' episode this week? Let us know.