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…)

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Heroes: Season 3 Preview

I have seen the first hour of the two-hour premiere of the new season of “Heroes,” and I’d just like to dispel a rumor that’s been floating around the ‘net: the episode does not begin with Sylar standing in the shower, assuring Claire that Season 2 was just a bad dream.

Poor Tim Kring. He’s spent the last year having to deal with non-stop comments about how the second season of “Heroes” didn’t live up to the expectations that had been set by the first season, so much so that he felt obliged to go on the record with Entertainment Weekly and apologize to the fans. But don’t feel too badly for him: Kring’s reputation is already on the mend, courtesy of this first hour of Season 3 (subtitled “Villains”), of which the producers of “Heroes” were so proud that they debuted it at Comic-Con way back in July.

Our man Jason Zingale was on the scene at the time…yes, that’s right, he saw it before I did, the bastard…but sadly for those who love their spoilers, he was willing to say precious little about what he’d witnessed.

“I’d like to talk more about what I saw, but I simply don’t want to ruin the experience,” he said, in his original blog entry. “All I’ll say for now is that it is mind-blowing, and it’s exactly what the series needs after season two was interrupted by the strike. Some cliffhangers are explained and others aren’t. New characters with powers are introduced, while older characters reveal new powers of their own. And perhaps most importantly, it’s all done with a comic flair that was sorely missing from last year’s mini-season.”

Having now seen it for myself, I have no arguments with any of his statements. It really does feel like a return to form for the series…though, of course, let’s be honest: given how long it’s been since we last saw a new episode of the show – can you believe the last one aired on Dec. 3, 2007? – isn’t it possible that our desire for more “Heroes” might be making us a little bit more forgiving than we might otherwise be?

Sure, it’s possible…but when you see it for yourself on Monday, I’m pretty sure you, too, will agree that the series hasn’t been this much like a live-action comic book since Season 1.

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