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And then a hero comes along

ENDING! Heroes, BBC2, 9.00pm

If there's one thing we've learned from this series, it's that no matter how powerless you feel as an individual, great things can be accomplished if we can only all learn to work together. With that in mind, RAD and I decided to pay homage to this show's ethos by collaborating on a feature-length entry for this show's concluding double-bill tonight. (You might want to have a cup of tea and a biscuit on hand before you tackle it, seriously. We got a bit carried away.) Now all we need is a pithy catchphrase to accompany our endeavours. Something like "save lowculture, save the world", but one that actually makes sense.

So: if you've been watching, however inattentively, you can't have failed to notice that everyone's quite worried about the prospect of a radioactive explosion in New York that wipes out the entire city. (Everyone except Mr Linderman, who seems to think this is acceptable collateral damage to get Nathan into the White House). The big question is, of course, who will be responsible for it? Will it be Ted? Peter? Sylar? Someone else? We know, obviously, but we're not telling [You do, I don't - RAD]. Of course, at the end of last week's episode we saw Peter's hands getting all scary and glowy, which makes him appear a likely candidate, but it would rather mess with the natural order of things if the climactic explosion happened with two episodes still to unfold, wouldn't it? Anyway, here's our rundown of what to expect from our favourite differently-abled humans tonight.

The Spectacular Flying Petrellis (Steve)

Peter and Nathan. Touching.They've been busy this season, haven't they? Peter's nearly died so many times that we've lost count, he's saved the cheerleader (but not yet the world) and has gone from whiny emo-kid to badass power sponge, while Nathan's cheated on his wife with Jessica, discovered a bastard child (hi Claire!), almost been abducted by The Company, had a couple of adorable encounters with Hiro, made an impressive double-entendre involving a phallic-looking vegetable and fought valiantly to get into political office. And in the background of all of this has been Angela, arguably the most kickass character on the entire show, manipulating everything from behind the scenes. God, she's awesome.

While we're trying to keep the kibosh on all spoilers, the big question is, while Peter heads off to Kirby Plaza to stop Sylar and possibly go kablooey along with 0.07% of the world's population, will he be operating alone? It did look for a moment as though that dastardly Nathan was willing to sacrifice his own brother for the sake of his political career, although perhaps when considering the likelihood of this we should factor in how Peter and Nathan's bond is beyond close by any normal person's standards (have you seen how much they touch each other?). We're not saying when it'll happen, and we're not saying how; all we will say is that these two are directly involved in our absolute biggest "HELL YEAH!" moment of the episode, possibly even the entire series. You'll know it when you see it, trust us.

The Bennets (RAD)

The indestructible Claire BennetOh dear. At the start of all of this, the Bennets looked like your typical middle-class, suburbian dream family. You know, the kind of family Bree Van De Kamp dreams she has. But that image didn't last long. For starters, there is the fact that (for the 0.0001% of you that don't know) cheerleader daughter Claire (she of 'save the cheerleader, save the world' fame) can regenerate at will, coming back from any injury, including several violent 'deaths' - the best of which was recovering from heading into a full on nuclear blast, which was clearly awesome.

Then there was sinister Dad Bennet, who worked for teh evil Linderman corporation to brain!rape anyone who found out any secrets about his actual work. (He also seemed to be a bit too overly protective of Claire, but maybe that's just our Hollyoaks-addled brains working overtime). We still don't know for sure if he is 'good' or 'bad'. Although as Hollyoaks has taught us, (brain)rape can be good if you feel a bit guilty about it. So maybe he is a good'un after all.

Mum Bennet hasn't had much to do this series apart from grow increasingly crazy due to the mind-messing action. We can tell she is crazy, because she shouted at her fugly little dog. Or maybe she just has the superpower to channel Sharon Osbourne. We're not entirely sure.

Son Bennet (he probably has a name, but I missed it) [it's Lyle. Why yes, I do need to get out more. - Steve] has been incredibly insignificant thus far, which leads us to believe he may well hold some latent abilities that will come to the fore in series 2. Or maybe even in this finale.

Those of you who recall the 'five years in the future when everything went bad' episode will know bad things happen to Claire. She worked in a cafe and dyed her hair brown - which we don't think is all that bad - there's no shame to cafe work (and she never does any school work anyway so is unlikely to pass her exams), and brown hair actually really suited her. But she did get her head sliced open by Sylar while he was cunningly disguised as her biological father, which we would class under the "less good" side of things. The fact that Sylar killed Nathan in this dystopian future just makes us even more convinced that that bitch needs to pay, dammit. (What? We love Nathan.)

The Sanders/Hawkins Brood (Steve)

Niki, looking at the woman in the mirror. She's asking her to change her ways."Who cares?" may be some people's response here. And the Niki/Jessica plotline may not have been most people's favourite, but we'd just like to give props to Ali Larter for the amazing job she did sketching out the differences between the two characters. We loved how she used her physicality to denote the character shifts, especially the way that Niki walks as though she's made of porcelain, while Jessica has shoulders like a prop forward and runs like an articulated lorry.

What we really want from the season finale is for Niki to realise once and for all that her superstrength is hers to access, not just Jessica's. It'd stop her whimpering, wouldn't it? Being understandably chagrined that Linderman (with the aid of Candice) has absconded with Micah the wunderkind, Niki and DL set off to kick Linderman's ass with their combined brute strength and mad phasing skillz, running into Nathan on the way. Of course, if they happen upon some kind of impending apocalypse, they might prove themselves useful, but what are the chances of that happening?

Everyone else (RAD)

Messageboard favourite Matt ParkmanMatt the cop has developed something of a cult following on the messageboards - in fact, he seems to have more lustful admirers than the rest of the cast put together. Matt's 'journey' this series has been a rocky one, with falling out with his lady after she discovered he could read minds, being fired/not being fired all the time from police/security work, having to be body guard to a nuclear man and going 'evil' in the potential future episode. As the 'everyman' of the series, we (RAD, anyway) wouldn't bet against Matt dying some kind of heroic death in this finale (now watch that prediction being proved spectacularly wrong).

Although Hiro is the guy we are all meant to love most of all the heroes (and we do love him), he is somehow a bit too, well, happy, for us to identify with. No, our hero among heroes (well mine, anyway - R) is Mohinder Suresh. The son of a geneticist Dad (WHO IS DEAD) who specialised doing research into people's special abilities, Mohinder carried on the work his father did after his death (so really he is just a boffin version of Niki off The X Factor) and connected with several heroes before discovering Sylar was following him around and bumping them all off. Ooops. Anyway, what we like about Mohinder is that he is clearly a genius, but he is also misunderstood and a bit snarky. Much like us. Last episode he was seen talking to a little girl who could locate people wherever they were but had her abilities hindered because she suffered a similar genetic condition to Mohinder's sister. WHO IS DEAD. We suspect somehow Mohinder and this little girl will have a hand in saving the day. (Come on, he's doing it for HIS DEAD DAD after all)

And finally, we come to Sylar. The 'big bad' of the series, Sylar is a serial killer who takes on his victims' abilities and has spent the series bumping off hero-types (inluding one main character, drug-crazed painter, Isaac). He has a mother. WHO IS DEAD. But that's because he killed her last week, so we're not sure it works that well as a sob story. In the 'possible future' we saw that Sylar might have some hand in orchestrating the destruction of New York and then go on to be President. Can our heroes thwart him? We honestly have no idea, althuogh we do know the actor who plays him is playing Spock in the new Star Trek prequel so we're not sure his outlook is good.

That's your cut-out-and-keep LC guide to the end of Heroes series 1. We've heard reports that the first part of series 2 has been a bit rubbish [which turned out to be true - Steve], but in an astonishing feat, the producer did a total public mea culpa and brought things back on track, and the show got amazing again [which is also true, hooray! - Steve]. (We hope the writers of Torchwood are taking note). So we're not going to write it off just yet. Goodbye Heroes. You filled that Star Trek/Buffy shaped hole in our lives (albeit a few hours later in the day) and we will definitely miss you. Please come back soon.

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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