Thursday, August 23, 2007

Who Wants to be a Superhero? Season 2, Episode 5

Thursday night has rolled around, and that means it's time for another episode of Who Wants to be a Superhero?

What does that mean to me? Well, it means that I sit here with my Diet Coke, my microwave popcorn and my laptop and eagerly watch the goings-on. As the episode begins, the heroes wax philosophically about their missing companions. Hyper-Strike was the only one to mention what everyone else must be considering - those that are left have doubled their chances of being the winner.

The heroes awake to find that Dr. Dark is causing power outages through the city. Stan leads them to his hideout where they find that they each need to crawl through a drain-pipe to a fuse box, and each power down a fuse. Each of the Parthenon, Whip-snap, Hygena and Hyper-Strike each struggle to deal with the rats, snakes and spiders in the lair, but make it through. Then finally the Defuser enters, with a minute left to go, and the bulky police officer gets stuck in the drain pipe, as we cut to commercial.

The commercial gives me time to consider that I would be in so much trouble here. I am extremely frightened by snakes, spiders and rats. This season has really hit the contestants hard in dealing with their real fears - I wonder how well I'd do.

We come back, and the Defuser does make it through and gets the fuse, with a whole six seconds to spare. Stan rewards them for their success by giving them a night on the town - which, of course is the real challenge. While at the Mexican restaurant, the heroes are approached by fans - each deals well with the children. But then the check arives, and they realize none of them have any money. So, they work their bill off by waiting tables. Very funny.

Stan meets them back at the lair and starts to reveal Dark's plans, but then Dark tells Stan about the dark secrets each hero has in their past - reminiscent of the same scene involving the Dark Enforcer last season. But before any secrets are revealed, another commercial.

It's interesting, as the episode progresses, I try to predict who's leaving. Whip-snap, Hygena and Parthenon all had a lot of problems with the tunnel. Hyper-strike, on the other hand, mentioned that he didn't even look around, which seems like a way of avoiding his fears - something Stan eliminated Mr. Mitzvah for.

Now we get to the secrets. Whip-snap had taken her friend's keys to visit a crush. Hygena likes to practice erotic dancing for her husband. Hyper-strike failed a stunt, and in return got fired from a show. Parthenon has an interest in pirates, which Dr. Dark says is evidence of an interest in the dark side. And the Defuser didn't graduate high school on time. Stan had pretty much ignored each "flaw" Dark had exposed, but then we break to commercial as Dark waves a martini glass and shaker at the Defuser. Could the Defuser share a weakness with Tony Stark?

This commercial gives me time to reflect on another issue I might have if I were to audition for the show next season - I certainly have skelletons buried in my closet I'd like to see remain there. What might my friends or relations reveal about me for Stan to critically examine?

It seems the Defuser has embarassing drinking stories, despite not normally drinking, where he destroyed a bathroom while drunk. But of course, who among us doesn't have stories of that ilk?

And then, it's time for the mission reports before the next elimination. I can't help but wonder if the Defuser's criticisms will be the final nail in his coffin here. The mission reports show that the Defuser and Hyper-strike are the strongest, Hygena underperforms in missions, Whip-snap overreacts emotionally, and that over half of the team thinks Whip-snap is the least heroic of the team. Hyper-strike comes clean to Whip-snap about why he wrote that, but I can't help but think that of the "over half", meaning three of the five, Whip-snap might have written that about herself.

And as we go to commercial, Stan tells us it's time for another elimination. At GenCon, Feedback, Major Victory and Fat Momma each mentioned how hard the eliminations are. Each of them want to win, obviously, and each person who leaves brings them closer to that goal. But the heroes also grow close as a team, and each elimination means someone they care for, someone they consider a fellow hero, has to give up their dream - at least for now. I can only imagine how rough it must be.

Stan had criticisms for each hero, but praised Hyper-strike for his honesty with Whip-snap. He also called the Defuser out on giving away parts of his weaponry to the fans at the restaurant, something that the Defuser seemed really shocked by.

The nominations to go home tonight? The Defuser. Whip-snap. Hygena. (Which was pretty much what I expected.)

I think that it's going to be Whip-snap who leaves tonight. But we have one more commercial to sit through before I'll know.

And the result...?
"The person leaving the lair tonight is... Whip-snap."

I will miss her, but I can't say I'm surprised. The journey has been good for her, but she didn't yet have the strength to win. She is a hero, and she will continue to grow after this show. I'm tempted to go to Feedback's after-show, but think it can wait for now. I'd rather judge the heroes based on their performance in the show then in how they feel afterwards.

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