Heroes: Don't Bring Back Ali Larter (Again)

By Anna Hiatt

Jun 26, 2009

Niki Saunders and her look-alikes are a plot line in Heroes that just won't die. The show killed off ex-online stripper Niki and her split evil personality during season two in an explosion, but quickly brought her back as a pearl-wearing political adviser Tracy Strauss. The continuing Niki look-alike drama has just been a distraction. If there's a good reasons for keeping her around, viewers need to know. Now.

In the first season Niki (played by Ali Larter) is a Las Vegas casino worker who supports her son Micah (played by Noah Gray-Cabey) working as an online stripper. She struggles with a split alter-ego named Jessica who has few sexual inhibitions and an extremely violent nature.

Every show left us wondering how Niki's schizophrenia made her a hero, like death-defying Claire Bennet (played by Hayden Panettiere) or time-and-space traveler Hiro Nakamura (played by Masi Oka). Niki simpering struggles to fight off Jessica's influence felt like an uncompleted thought and proved to be annoying, but little Micah was so lovable, that we dealt with it.

Larter's character is redeemed in the first season because her violent rampages are just so entertaining -- tossing men twice her size around as though they were rag dolls and leaving bloodied murder scenes without the faintest recollection of what had happened. But Larter's characters did little to advance the plot of the show then, and she has served only as a distraction from Sylar's murdering rampages and Peter's ever-pressing desire to "Save the World" in seasons two and three.

Heroes is famed for having a difficult plot line to follow. This weakness is the result of writing characters who play a bigger part than they should. Just when we thought we were rid of Niki/Jessica and left with her sweet, curly-haired son Micah, the writers brought Ali Larter back as Tracy Strauss. She died. And then she came back. Again.

As the show continues to get more complicated, the writers would do well to consider pruning the cast down, starting with Niki/Jessica/Tracy... or whomever she appears as next.
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  • riley_cooperman Aug 13, 2009

    What I liked about Heroes the first season was that characters died. Now they are keeping characters on way longer than they should including Ali Larters character(s), Parkman and yes, Sylar.

  • auntydale Aug 10, 2009

    It's pretty sad to see that there are still people out there who think that schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder are the same thing. Schizophrenics have a multitude of symptoms, mostly severe hallucinations and paranoid delusions. People who suffer from multiple personality "become" another person. Sometimes the original personality is aware of the other (or others), sometimes it is not. Anna should check her facts before throwing big words around.

  • Dudekotka Aug 10, 2009

    Nathan has also "died" like every season..

  • Badfluffy Aug 10, 2009

    well... the only reason for them to bring her back again and again is... to keep Larter on. I figure they believe she's so sexy, people will watch the show no matter how bad it gets. Guess again...

  • mattiejo900 Aug 08, 2009

    Ali Larter was one of the main reasons I even started watching Heroes, but Nikki Sanders was not that great of a character. However, I did really enjoy Tracy Strauss, so I say bring her back! I'd also like to see the third triplet, Barbara, make an appearance in Season 4.

  • aislingxireland Aug 07, 2009


  • andyphantom9 Aug 07, 2009

    u know, if the show blew off their chances of redeeming themselves 4 the 3rd time (which will b on the 4th season), i say, it's popularity is long gone...

  • kanniballl Aug 05, 2009

    I like Ali Larter a lot, but I have to agree that Season 3's appearance was a bit "forced." But they hinted she wasn't dead after she froze as her broken frozen body winked as HRG walked away.

    The season 1 finale showed a heroic event for Nikki. She finally got control of herself and her powers, allowing her to save Mika. She then tried smacking Sylar around with a parking meter. Personally I think in many ways that Nikki had the hardest fight, while others were just trying to come to terms with who they were and ran around she had to fight her own personal demons and take control... she had to go from submissive to dominant.

    However season 2 showed her decline as her personalities started taking over again. It was sad since she was a mother and the medication wasn't helping. In the end, she died saving her relative.

    Season 3 was just confusing, but the new character eventually became a hero. Realizing that her nephew was REBEL she threw away her greed and fought for him, taking on an entire squad of bad guys.

  • goldtop2007 Aug 04, 2009

    Larter and Pasdar's characters had great sexual tension, one of the highlights of the show. Bring it back!

  • jelly_donut_92 Aug 01, 2009

    I love Ali and its sad that now some people want her off the show due to some poor choices and not at her fault. I agree, though, that dying and coming back is pretty annoying.

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