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:: "fuzzy romance and brutal terror" : apparently, I can get behind that ::
A fandom question about Sylar 
12th-Feb-2008 12:37 pm
Sylar hero
So. I was writing a comment on one of barhaven 's posts and I realized something that I don't recall ever discussing before (if I have discussed it and forgotten about it, or if other people have, can you point it out to me just so I'll know?).

barhaven and I both wrote alternate takes on Sylar's storyline this season, but I realized that there's one plot point that neither one of us addressed, and the show didn't either. From Sylar's P.O.V., his last memory is passing out on the concrete of Kirby Plaza after flinging Hiro through the air and laughing as Peter stood there, about to explode. Then he woke up on the beach with Candice. So as far as Sylar knows, based on the visions he painted of the future, and based on seeing Peter glowing and losing it, New York should be destroyed. Correct?

The fact that he survived wouldn't be a tip-off that New York was all right, since he has that same nuclear ability and could have inferred (or seen in his vision) that Peter's use of the ability wouldn't physically harm him. Even when Candice says that she dragged him off Kirby Plaza, he'd never seen her before, and for all he knows, she was flown in from outside the city and was wearing a radiation suit when she did it.

So when the Twins and their redshirt pick him up...why does he tell them he's going home to New York? Maybe he just had no idea what else to do and decided that if he had to live a sad pathetic powerless life, he might as well do it in the ruins of the only place he ever called home. But shouldn't he, at this point, think that New York is a smoking crater? So shouldn't he be a little surprised when no one in the car asks him why he's going back to a smoking crater?

And when Maya shows him the book and he perks up, my read of that has always been that he realized Mohinder's continuing research might help him get his powers back. But Mohinder was right there at ground zero at the moment that Sylar thinks Peter exploded. Even though Sylar was concentrated on Peter, he was on his toes enough to stop Parkman's bullets. So surely he would have noticed five people bursting out of a door near Parkman's moaning form, and he's spent enough time with Mohinder that it would be easy to identify him in that group even without superhearing.  So shouldn't Sylar think that Mohinder is dead and his research was incinerated?

I'm probably way overthinking this, especially since it took me 5 months to realize the potential inconsistency. But now that I've thought of it, I can't get my brain to stop wondering about it. 

Comments 
12th-Feb-2008 08:50 pm (UTC)
It's a fair point. I just assumed that Candice told him once he'd come round from surgery - in between the yelling on the bed and glaring at the Happy Cup.

"Where am I?"
"In a jungle in the middle of Central America."
"Why? Is it the only place safe from the fallout?"
"No, it's just our money source is off chasing your geneticist in Cairo, so... budget cuts."
12th-Feb-2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
This is really just an outgrowth of all the other questions I have about how he ended up there, since if I knew whether he managed to pull himself into the sewers on his own before the Company came after him, I'd know the answer to this question. Some mystery is good, but...man, sometimes I think that they just decided it would be exotic!!! and dazzling!!! to have him wake up in the middle of a CGI jungle and they didn't really think it through.

"No, it's just our money source is off chasing your geneticist in Cairo, so... budget cuts."

I wonder if he would even blink if someone referred to Mohinder as "your geneticist" while speaking to him?... ;0)
12th-Feb-2008 09:14 pm (UTC)
I'd always assumed that Sylar pulled himself into the sewer, meaning that he was conscious and able to realize that the city wasn't destroyed. If there's one thing Sylar has managed to do time and time again, it's survive. After the incident with his "death" at Primatech, I didn't really question Sylar's ability to regain consciousness at Kirby Plaza. I don't recall exactly what Candice told him about how he was, uh, "rescued," but it's possible she was speaking in general terms or that she didn't know the specifics.

/end fanwank
12th-Feb-2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
I was actually pathetic enough to spend my lunch hour reading transcripts of the episodes online to see if I could answer this on my own. Candice tells him that she dragged him off Kirby Plaza, which he repeats in a questioning voice (though I'm not sure if he was just disoriented from waking up on a beach or had other memories), and then she tells him that he got stabbed with a samurai sword and needed 8 surgeries.

This is why I really wish Sylar would have been included in Four Months Ago. Someone once was smart-assed with me and said, "Why should they have wasted time on Sylar in that episode? We know what happened: Candice dragged him off the plaza." But Candice has no problem lying when instructed to do so, and the Company in general lies to people. I can come up with so many questions about how Sylar got out of there, how the Company managed to keep everyone from noticing Sylar's body had disappeared, and how his memory gap occurred (since Candice seemed pretty confident that the last thing he'd remember was Kirby Plaza).

I think what I am subconsciously asking myself is, do the writers know what happened to him? LOL
13th-Feb-2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Sorry, fanwanking a bit more in your LJ... You have all the cool discussions here. ;)

The way I see it, there's at least two possible reasons why he doesn't remember anything between Kirby Plaza and his beach party with Candice. He could have ended up in a coma after he was stabbed, either because of his injuries or because the Company decided that keeping him chemically comatose was easier than having to deal with him while they patched him up. Or he could have been awake for at least part of it, and known what they were doing to him. Then, before they shipped him off to the Jungle Shack of Braaains, they had the Haitian wipe his memory as a safety precaution so that, if he DID escape, he wouldn't remember being injected with the Virus, and wouldn't immediately come after them for revenge.

IT'S A MYSTERY. Or a plothole. I'm sort of hoping those scenes in the volume 3 trailer are part of an overdue Sylar flashback we were denied in "Four Months Ago". Maybe the MAGICKAL HEALING BLOOD makes him remember in addition to deus ex machina-ing his injuries and powerless!plotline away.
13th-Feb-2008 05:03 am (UTC)
NOW YOU'VE STARTED ME FANWANKING AGAIN! LOL

The Haitian is a whole additional can of worms. Because I realized at some point this fall that I was assuming that they'd used the Haitian to mindwipe him. But I'm guessing that the Haitian had been back in Haiti for a while at the point that we first saw him. Which means that there ought to have been at least a few days where they didn't have him around to mind-wipe Sylar. So...do they have another method for mindwiping people? Or did they keep Sylar in a coma for a while? And if so, how in hell did he manage to stay all buff like that? And...heck, how did the Haitian get the virus in the first place? Was he deliberately injected by someone? Or if he picked it up accidentally, why hasn't anyone else in the Company's facility turned up with the virus?

I can go on like this ALL WEEK. ;0) I have no idea why I'm all questioning right now. I wonder if the impending end to the writers' strike is just making me nervous about whether the next season will be good.
13th-Feb-2008 05:31 am (UTC)
Or did they keep Sylar in a coma for a while?

That'd be my guess: a Haitian mindwipe to get rid of any inconvenient memories (done before the Haitian contracted the Virus, maybe around the same time he wiped Peter's memory), and then keeping Sylar in a coma for the stretch of time between then and the beach party. Candice did make some comment to the effect of "What can I say, the guy's tired." In this context, it could imply that Sylar'd been sedated/comatose for a while, and he's only now being woken up.

And if so, how in hell did he manage to stay all buff like that?

Plot convenience? ;) They did ask Pasdar to grow the Pasbeard for the beginning of volume 2, I suppose they COULD have asked ZQ to slim down a little for the muscle atrophy look if they'd really wanted to. A little realism now and then doesn't hurt.

And...heck, how did the Haitian get the virus in the first place? Was he deliberately injected by someone? Or if he picked it up accidentally, why hasn't anyone else in the Company's facility turned up with the virus?

It's a good thing the Virus isn't sexually transmitted, otherwise there'd be a field day of crack pairings in there somewhere. ;)

Edited at 2008-02-13 10:15 am (UTC)
13th-Feb-2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Or did they keep Sylar in a coma for a while?
I can't remember if you run from spoilers or not, but a few weeks ago, someone posted this weird compilation of the stuff they shot for episodes 12 and 13 but never got to air (they only shot Sylar stuff because they thought ZQ would have to go do his movie). It was basically all Sylar, all the time, and there was a brief shot that seemed like a memory from the missing four months. I don't want to say any more in case you are spoiler-free. Also, the promo didn't make any sense whatsoever, and it didn't make me happy at all, which is another reason I don't really want to talk about it.

But it might provide a little insight...
13th-Feb-2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to go spoiler-free now because I didn't for Volume 2, and I admit that being spoiled for the big plot twists is probably part of why I didn't get excited about stuff. (For instance, Adam/Kensei, I pretty much knew his whole storyline before I saw it, so other people were squeeing but I was all "whatever".)

However...I've seen parts of the video you're talking about. And I did like the hint that it might show some of what had happened to him. BUT at this point, I'm wondering how much of that we will actually see in canon when the show comes back. That would have been filmed before Tim Kring decided to make drastic plotline changes. So it might be that that stuff will become the backbone of the next volume's plot, or it might be altered or even completely scrapped due to plot changes. Eh. I suppose we'll find out soon enough...if you can define "soon" as "in about 8 months". :0(
12th-Feb-2008 09:48 pm (UTC)
This is what I thought, too. There was enough time in between those scenes for him to ask Candice for a brief update.

why does he tell them he's going home to New York? Maybe he just had no idea what else to do and decided that if he had to live a sad pathetic powerless life, he might as well do it in the ruins of the only place he ever called home
Exactly. I really wish the story had continued along that point for awhile (ie., he didn't realize the twins had powers like five minutes later)... but that's a rant for another post.
12th-Feb-2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
This is what I thought, too. There was enough time in between those scenes for him to ask Candice for a brief update.

I realized after I posted that this is really just another form of my questions about what really happened to him after the fight in Kirby Plaza. Some of them are simple: did he actually manage to drag himself into the sewer on his own? What did Mohinder and Bennet think had happened to his body, since surely they wouldn't go off without checking to make sure the guy who can cheat death was really dead? Some of them, like how he got the memory gap, are more complex. I just wish they would give us a partial answer, so I can stop thinking about it...

I really wish the story had continued along that point for awhile (ie., he didn't realize the twins had powers like five minutes later)

I know that the writers would probably say, "Look, we have a limited amount of time to fit all these story elements in." But in thinking about it...I might have had a different opinion of this road trip if the Twins HAD traveled with Sylar for an episode before he found out. Sylar had no other resources, so he would have stuck with them no matter what. And you're right, it would have been nice to actually see Sylar struggling to come to terms with being normal again. Plus, I always imagine Gabriel as having a lot of anger and frustration inside, but appearing quiet and soft-spoken to the people around him. If he'd spent a day behaving like that around Maya, he would have come across as gentle and kind and sweet, which would be a big contrast to a lot of the men she's met on this trip. And then she would have had a real reason to think he was trustworthy before she pulled out Chandra's book, so she wouldn't have seemed so darn gullible.
12th-Feb-2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
Another possible fanwank - there were some newspapers and magazines in the Love Shack to keep Candice and any medical personnel entertained. While I doubt that Candice went for the intellectual reading material, a complete absence of any mention of the destruction of NYC would be a huge clue that nothing happened (even if she had nothing but back issues of Cosmo). He probably wondered why nothing happened, but chalked it up to yet another example of the world being against him. He might also have taken the time to read any reports that were left conveniently lying around (this is a fanwank, remember?) that mentioned Mohinder.

Or we could just accept that the writers tend to be annoyingly sloppy and decide it gives us lots of wiggle room for writing fic.
12th-Feb-2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
there were some newspapers and magazines in the Love Shack

Oh, man. Just when I think Sylar's storyline this season couldn't be any creepier, I'm now grappling with the image of him lying there unconscious while Candice fondles his hair... ;0)

Or we could just accept that the writers tend to be annoyingly sloppy and decide it gives us lots of wiggle room for writing fic.

I just have my moments when the questions get overwhelming and I want answers NOW. Mainly because I don't want to contemplate the writers being sloppy, because that opens up the possiblity that Volume 3 will just be a big sloppy contradictory mess. I shall try reciting this as my mantra...
(Deleted comment)
13th-Feb-2008 12:59 am (UTC)
Fanwanking is so fun. I should have done this as a ficlet challenge! LOL
13th-Feb-2008 04:03 am (UTC)
I've been assuming that Candice told him New York didn't go all 'splody. I'd guess there's at least a few hours between him screaming after he tears his stitches and him having BRAINZ breakfast with Candice, so it's probably easiest to assume that he was asking Candice questions at some point. If he found out Peter didn't blow up after all, he probably assumed Mohinder and everyone else was still alive since he'd have no reason to think otherwise.

I'd have to go back and re-watch the scene, but I don't remember him noticing Mohinder during the smackdown in Kirby Plaza. Not so much as a glance in Mo's direction, if I remember correctly. I don't thiiiiiiink he noticed, but if he did, he was probably too wrapped up in his "I'M SYLAR, BITCH. FUCK EVERYONE ELSE." mentality to care about much besides immediate threats.

Edited at 2008-02-13 04:03 am (UTC)
13th-Feb-2008 05:11 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there isn't a shot of him reacting to the appearance of Molly/Mo/The Hawkinseses, but he's usually so quick to react that it just seemed to me that he ought to have at least taken it in peripherally. On the other hand, he failed to notice Mohinder pushing a giant creaky map towards him, so perhaps I am giving him too much credit.

Oh, man. That makes me want to go re-read the WoW Heroes motivators that were being posted last fall. I haven't even been in the Motivator thread in probably 3 months. I got tired of the lyric picspams.
13th-Feb-2008 05:39 am (UTC)
Heh, I think ChainLightning and I made most of those WoW motivators. All mine are here, if they're the ones you're thinking of. (Oh, Sylar, you make it so easy. LFG NY PST!)
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