And They're Off and RunningEpisodes 3x01 and 3x02 kicked off with a three-hour Heroes-apalooza event on NBC. They started with a preview show where they did some catching up from last season. Some of us did need reminders of where exactly we left off. They also included some great bits from the Season 2 DVD extras that were a lot of fun to watch. The setting for the preview show was outside the Premiere party, and many of the most popular characters stood on the red carpet in front of a throng of screaming fans and introduced the clips. Some of the actors were a little wooden as they read their lines (yes, I’m looking at you, Ali Larter. I’ve seen carousel horses that were more emotive.) After an enthusiastic countdown to the top of the hour the episodes “The Second Coming” and “The Butterfly Effect” began.
There were some great callbacks to Season 1. I felt it gave it a nice feeling of starting over, which, let's face it, we could use. Sylar had to (almost) start from scratch hunting down “evolved humans” after losing most of his abilities. Hiro is once again daydreaming about destiny and fiddling with the clocks. Claire is repeatedly throwing herself into harm’s way and filming it.
We saw the beginning of many compelling mysteries. Is Linderman alive but invisible, or is he dead and a hallucination? Or is he dead and come back Obi-Wan style? Is Tracy Niki or is she her own separate entity? How did Daphne know to be in Hiro’s office at that very second? How did the painting of the earth blowing up get in both Africa and New York? How many people are seeing this vision? Did Ando betray Hiro like Hiro says, or is Hiro wrong just as Ando says?
The special effects were stellar. How cool was that 3-dimensional trail of color frozen in time and space behind Daphne? The gore in Angela’s dream was spectacular! Claire’s decapitated remains were especially gruesome. You know, in a good way.
There was more of the Heroes special brand of humor. The scene where Sylar is stopped by two of the Companies finest, filmed through the dash-cam as they make the poor decision to taze him was downright hilarious. Hiro was fun to watch as he taunted Daphne in her Parisian apartment. “Here kitty, kitty.” The talking turtle, however, was by far my favorite scene. From the moment when Usutu asks Matt if he knows Brittney Spears, I had a new favorite character. Don’t hold me to that, though. I can be fickle.
What didn’t work:
I could really do without this new turn for Mohinder and Maya. Sure, his storyline was getting stale, and it’s a way to get another superpower without having to introduce yet another character, but I liked the old Mohinder. This new slimy “how you doin” cheeseball annoys me. Plus, I don’t like how suddenly the powers are based in the adrenal gland. For two seasons they have indicated that Dr. Chandra Suresh’s research and book were about the DNA of the superheroes. They have shown the powers to often be passed down along familial bloodlines. This passing out powers twist is cheap. I don’t like it and I think it’s cheating. And finally, was Mohinder going to destroy the syringe with the magic potion by incineration? Oh, no, he wants to throw it in the river. Because it’s so likely to just sink to the bottom and not affect the water or the critters living in there. I know the pollution in NYC is bad but I don’t think it can neutralize stuff that turns you into a fly. I wonder what it would do to an actual fly!?
I’m uncomfortable with Nathan becoming uber-religious as a storyline. Hopefully it is a result of the “near-death” experience and it eventually fades away. It’s not that I don’t believe in God or have a problem with religious based plotlines. Believe me, I loved Highway to Heaven and Touched by an Angel. I just think that this as a story could go horribly wrong. He’ll either be made to look like a fool by the other politicians just because he is religious, or they will deify the superhumans. If it’s the former it will be a distraction. If it’s the latter, it may just jump the shark.
My conclusion: I think it did more good than harm. I give it a 7.5 out of 10. It had lots of action, laughs and set up a great start for this next volume. Knowing we will have a complete season this time (knock wood) makes me look very much forward to how this act plays out.