A new chapter of Heroes has begun, entitled "Redemption." It sounds promising. But, then, so did "Villains" and look how long it took for that to turn out well.
I think the last two seasons have maybe made me a little pessimistic when it comes to Heroes. I think I've mostly stuck with it because it is just plain addictive. After two hours of the new season, though, I'm almost ready to start feeling hopeful again.
Starting the season off with the introduction of a mysterious and charismatic character called Samuel Sullivan (Robert Knepper) was a good move. It helped solidify a transition from the disaster of storylines that have been stretched out far too long. Plus, he's probably the most intriguing new character to be introduced since Danko.
It's been awhile since a Heroes character not named Noah Bennet or Sylar or Angela Petrelli has had me this excited. Samuel is the new winner for Weirdest Damn Power (stealing it from Maya, so she can finally be completely erased from memory), but his storyline has promise. (And that whole tattoo ink Vader choke was, admittedly, BAD ASS.)
Speaking of permanent farewells, I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the death of Danko and the departure from Heroes of Zeljko Ivanek. Sir, your creepy dedication to all things morally gray was a wonderful addition to the show. You were a great foil to HRG/Jack Coleman. The way it looks like this HRG and Tracy Strauss plotline is going to be heading, I have a feeling I will be missing you intensely as the season progresses. Because while the special effects for having Tracy's face stabbed out and turned into water was a really cool new thing, the unfortunate potential for partnership and romantic (ohpleasegodno) linkage between my most and least favorite characters is not something I am looking forward to.
Moving on down the character list:
- Parkman. Can his plotline ever not revolve around his love life and his love-hate relationship with his powers, please? I mean really, that Roy thing? How was that necessary? The good news on this front is that Hallucination Sylar is hilarious. Not as excellent as actual Sylar, but Zachary Quinto is a funny funny man and it is good to see that. (And the writing for that interrogation room scene was freaking brilliant.)
- Nathan. I'm a little disappointed this isn't being stretched out a little longer. I was thinking maybe they'd let him go on without crisis for at least a few episodes - you know, take some time, build the suspense, and then start with the identity crisis. Oh well. It could be worse.
- Peter. He's doing his crazy hero thing again. It really irritated me in Season One, but it's actually kind of refreshing.
- Claire. I never, ever, EVER like her storylines. EVER. But at least this one is a little bit interesting. And Gretchen is the best thing that's happened to a Claire story since Thomas Dekker peaced out to do his own show. (Also, it was good to see the popping-ribs-back-in trick again. That's a fun one.)
- Hiro. SAD TIMES. But soooooo intriguing. It's good that they're finally doing new things with time travel after three years. Notsogood that Hiro is dying (which may or may not turn into a Miracle Recovery! story). And notsointeresting that Heroes suddenly cares about the Ando and Kimiko subplot. They should never have killed off George Takei.
All in all, this went better than I expected. There are a lot of good things - The Haitian is back, Sylar being there-but-not is being handled well, there's a new gray-area character, a dude with knives, and we went two entire episodes without any whining from Dr. Suresh. And then there are some less than spectacular things, like (what I think is) excessive Tracy screen time, the lack of Danko and Real Sylar, and the fact that it looks like a lot of this episode is going to be set in a circus. Best thing to do right now? Cross my fingers and make some deals with the Powers That Be and hope that Tim Kring and the whole Heroes team can keep it up and continue on what appears to be an upward trajectory.
(This review also posted on my blog at http://meltedbrain.wordpress.com)