Heroes returned last night after a long summer break, and since the show is basically a televised comic book, let’s dissect the sucker like Sylar does brains. Now, I came in to this episode feeling like the show needed to wow me. Last season was mostly strong throughout, but the wheels came off in that last episode, culminating in the pillow fight between Sylar and Petrelli that should’ve been so much more.
Plenty of changes occurred in the dog days, so let’s do a bullet-point style rundown of the good, the bad and the preposterous:
Suresh’s virus hunt – This is just another recycled X-Men plot, something this show desperately needs to avoid. From the Legacy Virus to the ongoing X-Men: Endangered Species storyline, we’ve seen this plenty of times before.
Die, bitch! – Anybody else find it funny that Parkman was hired as a New York police officer only after he needlessly shot someone in a training exercise. No matter that he picked the right person to shoot with his mentalepathy, he could have just not shot either of them. If that’s an in-joke, man was it brilliant. For now, let’s call it quality unintentional humor.
Another Darwin quote? – You have to like how Claire’s new science teacher is leading them through chemistry experiments, then without provocation whips out a Darwin quote that perfectly ties into the Heroes theme. Oh, wait, you have to call that lazy writing. My bad.
Rogue agent – So, not only do we have to sit through the same fricking three Nissan Rogue commercials every break, to the point that they’re drilled in my skull, but we also have a nice sell-out moment of Claire getting a Rogue in the show. $10 to anyone who guesses the company I’m never buying a car from.
Beardo – Personally, I loved Nathan’s new look. Growing that much face-hair in four months is impressive. And it had the added bonus of reminding me of Ron Burgundy after his fall from grace. “Oh, it’s hot outside. Milk was a bad idea!”
A nice twist – Bickering aside, I’ll give the writers credit on their treatment of Kensei, making him British. That and the gaijin reference had me thinking about one of my favorite novels, Shogun. Still, any time Hiro screws something up, you just have to wonder why he doesn’t re-jump and fix things. Quantum Leap made more sense.
Invincible? – One thing I really like about the show is the dichotomy of Claire’s relationship with her dad. On the one side, she’s completely invulnerable, so you would think he wouldn’t have to worry about her. But then because of the “company,” he has to constantly worry that she might get hurt and heal. That relationship was done very well in this episode, and Mr. Bennet’s scenes in the crappy new job were another nice touch.
More kudos – The new characters, Maya and her brother, are a good addition and their scenes were well acted and not overly cheesy. It wasn’t hard to see what was coming, but the death-by-eye-bleeding is an interesting wrinkle.
Undefined – One thing the writers haven’t done a good job of explaining is how all these Heroes have powers and do all these amazing things and plenty of people see this stuff happen, but normal people still don’t know about it or believe in it. The world today is filled with documentation. There is no way something like this could escape attention for more than a week, let alone decades.
Speaking of robots – Why are cheerleaders always portrayed the exact same way? They’re snotty bitches, and nothing more. I know plenty of cheerleaders. Some are like that, most aren’t. The ones at Claire’s new school are paper-thin stereotypes (huh, exactly like the ones at her old school). Oh, and that alien-robot boy? It’s a good thing he can fly, because that’s the only thing that distinguishes him from “Indie boy/love interest” in the latest Amanda Bynes movie.
Paper cut? – Anybody else notice that Mr. Bennet’s new boss at the paper company had a big scar across his forehead? Gee, I wonder if that’s relevant, you know, since they showed a super close-up of it…
Bye bye, Takei! – I just thought that was clever. A couple other thoughts: Did we ever learn what Takei’s power was, or if he even had one? Apparently it’s not avoiding a clumsy murder attempt. Also, seriously, Ando, how long does it take to get a sword? You want a sword? I’ll get you a sword. With nail polish…
Hello, Peter! – I was about to write this one off, but then that last scene with Peter came along. There’s life in this one yet.