Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

How do you stop an exploding man?

Now and then, a TV series grabs my attention. Heroes is one such series, and it has an example of how TV series are only part of the story, with the internet providing interesting glimpses into other parts of the story. In print, there are comics showing the story. In fact, visually Heroes has the look and feel of those comic books and a touch of anime. I have not checked the internet resources too widely, as I do not want to know (just yet) how the first series ends. (And please do not remind me about cultural imperialism.)

The story revolves around a group of people who have evolved. They have special abilities — hearing people’s thoughts, being able to fly, regenerate, locate people, heal and so forth. They are modern-day superheroes. These people have a different genetic code, which has been discovered by Dr Chandra Suresh — a geneticist. He is killed by Sylar — the villain in the series — who absorbs the powers of other people, through killing them.

As the series has played out, the good guy is Peter Petrelli who also absorbs other people’s powers, but simply by being in their presence. He is called an empath. But, the series is not a straight good-vs-evil story, but rather has a much more complicated and an ethically ambiguous tone. It has more than the usual twists and turns, and provides a complicate mosaic and puzzle to solve. The series from the start revolves around an exploding man. The first episode was titled “How to stop an exploding man”.

Both Peter and Sylar have absorbed the power of another person, who can produce a radioactive bomb. So we are left to find out which of the two — the good guy or the bad guy — is the exploding man. That’s a very simple way to summarise a complex story. I have, for instance, not even mentioned most of the main characters, and each storyline has an interesting twist.

I am on vacation next week (it looks like the finale is next week), so I will only see the season finale when I return, but here is my guess:

My guess for the season finale is that Hiro Nakamura — another character who can manipulate the time-space continuum — kills Sylar. It has to be that way because another character, Isaac Mendes, whose special power is to paint the future, has painted it. That leaves Peter Petrelli, and I think he will have to make a sacrifice. After all, heroes make the ultimate sacrifice.

We should know that as South Africans; we have had so many real-life heroes.