Archive for September, 2007

Just wanted to get some initial thoughts out there before I re-watch the Season Two Premiere of Heroes. Warning: Spoilers.

First let me say how thrilled I am that the show is back on, second let me point out that Heroes is not a fast-paced show and a such it often requires a lot of patience. It lacks the heart-pounding act breaks of a serial like Alias, and the comedy relief of a drama like BTVS, and as such it can occasionally feel tedious. But the payoffs are generally worth the wait.

Like much of last season, Monday night’s premiere was a combination of quiet, slowly paced moments and “OMG!!!” fan-tingly payoffs.

The episode began with Mohinder Suresh giving a lecture in Cairo about a plague that was infecting the homosuperior. He was approached by a man from The Company about working together to cure this disease. At first I was surprised that a “disease” existed, but I think that the plague might actually be a metaphor for The Company itself as we later find out that Suresh has been playing bait and working with Noah to take the shady organization down.

Suresh and Matt Parkman are now sharing the late Suresh Sr.’s apartment in New York and serving as parents to Molly Walker—the girl who was orphaned after Sylar murdered her family in the early episodes and then was later found by Parkman, Suresh, and Mr. Bennett in the season finale. The “evil man”—the one more dangerous than Sylar has been visiting Molly in her dreams, a time when she clearly cannot control her “tracking system.” *

Parkman clearly survived the bullet wounds, and has since divorced his wife, though there must be a Parkman hero baby in the near future. It’s been four months since we last saw our heroes, so Janice must be at least seven months pregnant. Then again, with her affair it might not be Matt’s baby anyway.

He was also finally promoted to detective. I hope this means we get to see some more of Clea DuVall as agent Hanson. Remember the sparks between her and Parkman? But narratively, it will allow him access to places he needs to be in order to take down The Company.

There was a lot of focus on Claire Bennett, and as much as I love her, some of the most boring parts of the episode featured her. It wasn’t Claire per se, but rather that the scenes that established her new situation—small California town, creepy love interest, dinner with the family, catty girls (cheerleaders, natch) and a high school gym showdown—all ran too long. Perhaps this was just to show just how dull Claire’s life has become in the wake of some rather exciting events. But her father tells her that in order to remain safe she has to be “entirely un-extraordinary.”

But Claire doesn’t seem to long for a life more ordinary. I don’t get the impression she views the cheerleaders with jealousy; she never really wanted to be That Girl, she just wanted to fit in. At her new school she’s ostracized for being different, quiet, and new. Though she wants to show off her gifts a la Clark Kent, her own Pa has told her to cool it.

And Pa Bennett is now working at a paper company—a real one. Noah’s a bad-ass with an ego and lets his Dunder-Mifflenesque coworkers know it. For someone trying to keep his family safe he needs to monitor his own behavior as well. (On a side note, Noah clearly has a personal agenda when it comes to the company. Suresh and Parkman do as well. I’m wondering how well they can work together to take them down when much vengeance is involved. It seems as though such intense personal feelings could backfire and place our heroes in all kinds of new jeopardy.)

No doubt the best moments involved Hiro and Takezo Kensei—although as thrilled as I am that David Anders has the part, and as much as I love the twist that the legendary warrior that inspired Hiro as a child is a drunken Englishman, I wish that particular spoiler had not been leaked. The moment Kensei removed his mask to reveal a white guy instead of a Japanese warrior (and for Alias fans, the glee of it being Anders) could have been one of those OMG payoff moments.

The subtler payoff is that it looks as though Hiro may turn out to be the Kensei of legend. He knew the sword would help him recover his powers when he and Ando quested for it last season—but the sword could actually be his. And therefore he was recovering his own totem. Did Daddy Nakamura know this when he taught his son how to use it? He had said something last year along the lines of, “I’ve been waiting for someone to rise for a long time, I just didn’t know it would be you.”

There were some wonderful scenes between Ando and Nakamura senior, who both clearly care for Hiro, and it seems the two men have developed a respect and affection for each other. Ando had previously just been a lackey in the Nakamura empire and now when faced with a pressing threat (in the form of, for us, a faceless enemy pursuing Angela Petrelli and Nakamura) Mr. Nakamura urges Ando to return home to safety.

Wonder Twins Maya and Alejandro Herrera were introduced as siblings with volatile powers who are on the run from the law in Dominican Republic. With a copy of Activating Evolution in hand, they’re trying to reach Dr. Suresh Sr. in New York with the hope that he can help them.

We don’t know much about their powers, if they both have them, if they reflect off of each other, etc . . . But I’ve seen Dania Ramirez as a potential Slayer on BTVS, and as an incarnation of Callisto in X-Men 3: The Last Stand and I’m looking forward to seeing more of her. She seemed very gracious to be a part of the show while on the Heroes panel at The Con.

The most OMG moment, took place in the final minutes of the episode. Because of spoilers we all knew that Peter Petrelli survived the explosion (even if the characters don’t) but we didn’t know how, or in what form. We still don’t know how. But he’s clearly in one piece (at least physically). When we see him he’s shackled to a wall and wearing a necklace with a helix pendant, much like the one the Haitian wore. But he has no memory of who he is.

Good on Kring & Co. for giving us a cliffhanger—it’s what they need more of. Higher stakes endings that grab the audience and inspire them to return.

We won’t be filled in on exactly what happened following the events at Kirby Plaza until several episodes in when “Four Months Ago . . .” will air. Until then, we can look forward to more David Anders (whom, as my dear friend Amy said, we love “Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”), and the Heroes debuts of Nichelle Nichols and Kristen Bell. Also, is Mr. Nakamura really dead? And who pushed him off the Deveaux building? Did D.L. survive? Will we hear anything about Parkman’s baby? Who is this new villain? Where has Sylar been hanging out? And will Claude return?

On a final note, I’m not sure what to make of the forthcoming Saving Charlie novel that is being written. On the one hand, I’m trilled we will get to spend more time with one of the best characters from last season. On the other, as much as I love Hiro, I’m not super pleased with it being a story about a man “saving” a woman. Yawn.

*As we discovered last season, Molly can find any hero just by thinking about them (for X-Men fans, she’s kind of like a walking Cerebro). But when she thinks about the evil man and sees him, he can see her.

Screencap credit goes to /

A special thanks goes out to Mariah and Jeff Fisher for keeping us company during the season premiere and for humoring our extravagant geekiness. Vote Petrelli!

Coming Soon

on September 22, 2007 in Uncategorized No Comments »

Next week is Premiere week and I’ll be posting reviews of Heroes, the revamped introductory episode of Bionic Woman (which will hopefully be better than the pilot, and season seven of Smallville which will feature Kara Zor El (Supergirl):

and had better feature my favorite reporter, Chloe Sullivan.

I’m thinking of having a Heroes-a-thon on Monday leading up to the time Season Two starts. It’ll get a good chunk of research done, on Claire & her bravery, on the regressive female hero (stripper!Mom), on the evolved male hero (Peter Petrelli & empathy) and on parents. Many of the themes I’m addressing in the book are illustrated throughout the series and so I’m (currently) using it as the focus of my conclusion, “Where Do We Go From Here?” It serves as a marker for where we are culturally in our representations of race and gender (and hopefully soon class and sexuality) and as it’s still a text in progress hopefully we’ll see some progressive evolution.