Heroes 3.1 / 3.2 – The Old One-Two Punch

“Heroes” is back, baby…and to celebrate, NBC gave us a one-hour recap special, followed by two brand-new, full-length episodes. Rather than waste time, let’s get to talking ’bout what happened, shall we?

Episode 3.1

After a close encounter with his niece which proves that Claire is still about as dumb in the future as she is in the present, FuturePeter jumps back to the day Nathan was originally going to reveal his powers to the world at large and attempts to change history with a couple of quick gunshots. I’ve already read a few bloggers who’re asking, “Why did he only go back to a few minutes before Nathan made his revelation? Why didn’t he go farther back and, y’know, catch Nathan in a less public place?” And, really, there’s only one answer to that question: because if he’d done that, then there wouldn’t have been much of a story. And, thus, FuturePeter pops a couple of caps in his brother…and successfully, no less. Yeah, we knew the bullets connected, but who would’ve thought that he’d really die? Not that it’s a permanent situation, but, still…

It was so nice to see Hiro getting back to being the same loveably funny and hopelessly heroic guy that we saw in the first season. The guy just loves to be a hero, and he can’t resist that instinct, no matter how many times Ando may plead with him to do otherwise. It was great when Hiro decided to open the safe despite his father’s posthumous order, only to meet with a second message from him. (“I asked you not to open the safe!”) So who has the purity of blood…? I loved the special effects used to designate the motion of the new speedster hero – c’mon, Hollywood, let’s get that “Flash” flick fast-tracked now, shall we? – as well as the way she cold-cocked him. (“But I am on my feet.” BAM!)

Sylar’s dialogue when he paid a call on Claire was deliciously villainous and comic-book-y, though I could’ve done without his awful description of his time spent south of the border. (“It’s all behind me now, like a long night after a bad taco”? Really?) The sequence with Claire wandering through the dark house, trying to avoid capture, was straight out of a grade-B thriller, but it was still effectively creepy, particularly when he finally succeeded. Okay, when he was first poking around in Claire’s head (literally), all I could think of was the scene at the end of “Hannibal,” when Dr. Lecter popped the top off Paul Krendler’s skull, but Sylar definitely got my attention…and Claire’s…when he said that she could never die. What, never…? (Well, hardly ever…)

Nice the way the writers wrote out Molly with a single line, wasn’t it? No more “My Two Dads” jokes this season, I guess. Maya’s reaction was priceless when she realized that all of Mohinder’s epiphanies hadn’t been about helping to remove her powers but, rather, to help him get powers. But, really, can you blame her? Talk about changing your tune. Yeah, yeah, we know all about the quantum leaps in science, dude, but the lady was looking for a cure, y’know? “Yeah, sure, Maya, whatever. Lemme just press down on the hypodermic needle, okay…?” And the worst part is that, now that he’s got the powers he was after, it’s not like she can make him try to cure him.

So Nathan was healed by the once-late Mr. Linderman…? You just never know who’s going to come back on “Heroes,” do you? You also don’t know who they’re going to be playing, either, since the woman formerly known as Niki and Jessica is now going by the moniker of Tracy. So, what, did the events of the season finale result in such trauma as to cause a third personality? What did we do to deserve that? Oh, well, it could be worse: we could’ve woken up in the middle of the desert with a scorpion on our face, like Matt Parkman did.

Mama Petrelli is still my favorite villain of the series, I think. I loved the way she tried to act indignant when she said to FuturePeter, “You tried to kill your brother, for God’s sake.” So how, pray tell, did FuturePeter manage to put PresentPeter into someone else’s body? And why is HRG in a cell? I guess we’ll find out…right now!

Episode 3.2

Mama Petrelli’s having nightmares? Serves her right. Y’know, I really ought to know the answer to this already, given how many time-travel-themed TV shows and movies I’ve seen in my time, but…since FuturePeter has changed his future from coming to pass, shouldn’t he have disappeared in a puff of smoke by now? Or are we to take his continued existence as a sign that he still hasn’t succeeded in his task?

So Sylar took away Claire’s ability to feel pain. In theory, you wouldn’t think that would be a big deal for someone who can heal as quickly as she does, anyway, but when you get to considering it, the ramifications are considerable, both on a physical and an emotional level. The latter is clearly the biggest problem right now, however, given that Claire’s ready to throw herself in front of a train…repeatedly…in an attempt to feel something.

Mohinder is…the stud boy! “My super power is the ability to rock your world, baby.” Or something like that. Actually, when he was crawling up the wall, I wondered if I’d missed him being bitten by a libidinous radioactive spider or something. Clearly, this is what he gets for testing the serum on himself…well, that and he gets bits of flesh falling off of him. Suddenly, I’m thinking of Cronenberg’s remake of “The Fly.”

As glad as I was to see the return of Bob (Stephen Tobolowsky) and Elle (Kristen Bell), I think I got the biggest kick out of the black-and-white footage of Sylar escaping while an Iggy Pop song played in the background. But, then, I got the biggest shock when Bob turned up dead. Yikes! I loved the sound of the bullets popping out of Sylar and onto the floor as he recovered almost instantly from HRG’s gunshots, and the feedback he suffered from attempting to absorb Elle’s powers was rather unexpected. The scene with Elle and Mama Petrelli felt a little weird, since I would’ve thought that Elle knew way too much to just be allowed to walk away.

So Bruce Boxleitner is a corrupt businessman and William Katt is a slimy investigative reporter, eh? The ‘80s have never seemed so far away. I guess we’re supposed to presume that Tracy is lying and that Reporter Ripley’s suspicions that she is indeed the former Vegas stripper we all know and love are right on the money, but if so, then either she’s in total denial or has a bigger plan working. Based on her reaction to Nathan basically laughing in her face, I tend to think it’s the former. Speaking of Nathan, I presume I’m not the only one who suspected long before the big reveal that Linderman might’ve just been a figment of his imagination. But is he…? If anyone could manage to hide in plain sight like that, it’d be an evil genius like Linderman.

Speed Girl’s apartment has some great décor, huh? Nice comic book rationalization from Hiro on what item she would find the most valuable, and quick work on adding the tracking device to the medal. I’m pleasantly surprised that his storyline is turning out to be the fastest-moving (no pun intended) over the course of these two episodes, given how unnecessarily long his trip to feudal Japan took last year, but I’m wondering if his concern about Ando’s potentially traitorous ways could turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And we now we’ve discovered that FuturePeter transported Matt Parkman to Africa…but who is this mysterious gentleman who’s helping him? What seemed like a simple action looks like it may turn into one of the more interesting storylines. Lastly, I’m fascinated by these new villains and the idea that HRG and Claire look to be going on a father-daughter fieldtrip to hunt them down and return them to their imprisonment, but I can already tell that PresentPeter looking like himself sometimes and Weevil from “Veronica Mars” other times is going to get really confusing.

Wow, I’m exhausted. I’m glad to have “Heroes” back, but I’ll be glad to return to a single hour next week.

  

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