Welcome! (I guess...)

For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heroes: The Death of Future Peter and the Haitian's Power

Okay so in my previous post about Heroes I mentioned a couple of things that just do not make a whole lot of sense. What is clear from watching the show is that some of the powers that the characters have are active while some are passive. For example, Nathan Petrelli in just about every example of his use of his flying ability had to actively use it. (There was of course the initial time that he used it, when he seemingly unwittingly flew out of the car that he was driving, escaping an accident, but leaving his wife to suffer through it. However, at no other point in the show have they shown Nathan flying unless he has chosen to do so.) And as an example of passive powers there is Peter Petrelli's ability to absorb others' powers without attempting to do so and Claire Bennet's/Adam Monroe's ability (later acquired by Peter and Sylar) to heal their injuries. Essentially these abilities have always appeared to be passive.

Why am I bringing this up? I am bringing this up because the writers of Heroes have appeared to be somewhat sloppy with their handling of the Haitian's powers. The Haitian has the ability to inhibit another's use of his or her power and the ability to wipe away others' memories. Evidence from the show proves that the Haitian's powers are active. The part about erasing memories is easy; the Haitian has never demonstrated the ability to erase someone's memory unless trying to do so. (When the Haitian goes around casually from place to place you never see people spontaneously losing their memories.)

The evidence that the power inhibiting ability that he possesses is active is a bit more subtle. In the episode One of Us, One of Them Hiro and Daphne both find that they are unable to use their powers in the presence of the Haitian as the two search for a half of a formula that it turns out the Haitian possesses. Now, it seems somewhat difficult to believe that the Haitian knew that Hiro and Daphne were there and thus was actively using his power to suppress their powers. This would seem to suggest that the power is passive. However, the fact that Daphne was able to once again use her super speed after Hiro's friend Ando temporarily knocked the Haitian unconscious and then Hiro was unable to use his powers of time manipulation when the Haitian regained consciousness and confronted Hiro and Ando moments later suggests that this power inhibition is an active power. In addition, there have been at least three occasions shown in which the Haitian selectively allows individuals to use abilities while inhibiting the use by others: In Five Years Gone the Haitian prevented Hiro from using his time altering power while allowing Matt Parkman to use his telepathic abilities, and in Four Months Ago..., there were two occasions when Elle Bishop was able to use her electric powers in the presence of the Haitian while Peter was powerless.

It seems that based on the evidence, the Haitian's power is active. The only other possible explanation (to me at least) is that it is a passive power except that it "shuts off" when the Haitian is rendered unconscious. If the Haitian's power was passive, he would selectively choose when to disable his power to allow someone else to use his or her own power. This explanation seems almost absurd. It would be similar to way we breathe, with the mechanism being passive and with our ability to stop doing so when we choose. However, if we were to lose consciousness, our breathing would automatically resume since it is ultimately a passive ability.

What is the relevance of all of this? I'm glad you asked. The relevance of all of this is that Peter Petrelli should by now possess the Haitian's power based on their encounters. Unless the writers of the show would use the rationale that the Haitian's power have a greater range than Peter's power absorption ability then Peter should have instantly absorbed the Haitian's power the moment he was at close enough range. It is also my contention that just in observing how powers work on this program, however inconvenient for the storyline, Peter should be immune to the Haitian's power inhibiting ability. It seems to me that the Haitian's power should be similar to Hiro's time manipulating power in that if two people with that ability confront one another, neither can be affected by the other's power. I don't know why, it just feels like this is the way that the Haitian's power should work.

Now ignoring whether Peter has the Haitian's power or not for a second, I would like to address the fact that Future Peter died in I am Become Death. Now the explanation given for this Peter's death was that the Haitian was present to prevent him from regenerating and thus he ended up dying. However, in the episode The Second Coming, when Sylar takes Claire's power, he tells her that she cannot die, and now neither can he. If Claire's ability prevents her from dying and Sylar has taken this power rendering him unable to die and Peter absorbed the exact same power that Sylar took from Claire, how can Peter die? It makes absolutely no sense. It has already been demonstrated that the regenerative power that Claire has is passive, so unless the Haitian is going to babysit Peter's body for the rest of his life (and assuming that Peter is not immune to the Haitian's power - again, as you know, I think that Peter should be immune to this power), then eventually this Future Peter has to regenerate and come back to life.


Catherine Evans said...

As your first (and only) official subscriber, don't I merit some type of shout-out??? Can you confirm the rumor that you're leaving the science world to give architectural tours?

Cabral Williams said...

Well Catherine, I don't want to say too much at this point, it is a bit early to speculate. Obviously either of the two routes that you have spoken about have their advantages, and so I'll certainly have to look at pros and cons of each. For example, giving architectural tours has the advantage that I was rewarded by having a willing apprentice of sorts, unprompted, bring me several beers. Now granted, in order for him to be more effective I'm going to have to teach him at some point how to open the beers for me, but this is truly a benefit that I've yet to find in the science world. Rest assured, this certainly will affect my eventual decision in this matter. (And eventually I'll come up with a little special shout-out once I figure out what that should be.)