Well the gang is back from summer vacation and ready to solve crimes. No wait that's Scooby Doo. This is Heroes, although the mystery element has returned this season and it's helping to keep an audience interested. Seems like everyone on Heroes has been trying to figure out how to be a hero in their own life in the two-hour premiere episode.

Peter is working non-stop as an EMT. He saves a pregnant woman after a car accident. She gives birth to twin girls and names neither of them Peter. His co-worker notices Peter's obsession. Peter's only response is that if he had arrived 30 seconds later the woman would be dead. Apparently in addition to having super Parkour skills he is also clairvoyant. He's also avoiding his Mother, his brother and HRG.

The one who really is clairvoyant, Angela, is having nightmares about Sylar breaking through the mind-veil that Parkman put on him. In case you forgot Nathan was dying so Angela forced Parkman to erase Sylar's memory and morph into Nathan then he "injected" all of Nathan's memories into Sylar in a Vulcan mind-lock sort of thing. Seems as if the job isn't holding and Angela begs Parkman to do it again. Parkman refuses. But both Sylar and Parkman are connected mentally and slowly coming unglued. Parkman sees Sylar in his baby's nursery, holding baby Parkman and threatening big Parkman. He throws baby Parkman at big Parkman just as "Mom," Janice Parkman, walks in the room. Who BTW has fantastic hair this season.

Speaking of great hair, someone finally allowed Claire to stop wearing that horrible hair-piece from last season. It seems like shedding the wig has improved the character. Claire is starting her freshman year in college and her roommate is a super-mega-overachiever. Or at least she was, until she was pushed out a window after hogging the action on guitar hero. Along with her body went her 12 year plan to become Governor. Oh well, no one really liked her anyway. Claire is convinced that her roommate was pushed and that the suicide note she left on her pillow wasn't there when she found the body. Claire also meets a girl from Austin who knows about the cheerleader massacre and follows her around like a rabid fan. This new girl, Gretchen, gathers a whole bunch of forensic text books and tells Claire over lunch about the "fall, jump, push" test that cops do to see how a person died. They get a dummy about the height and weight of the victim and let is fall out of the window, then they push it a little farther for the "jump" test and then they push it harder to see where it lands when it's pushed by another human. Claire decides to do the test using her own body as the dummy, dummy being the operative word, because after she lands in the same spot as her former roommate and realizes it was suicide and after she pushes her ribs back into her body and straightens out her broken wrist, guess who catches her in the act? That's right, Gretchen, super fan number 99 herself. Apparently next week Gretchen will post the "truth" about Claire all over the internet and ruin her life. Isn't that what crazy stalkers are supposed to do? Sad that the writers had to use some innocent over-achiever to "out" Claire and begin her storyline for the season but whatever works to make this season interesting, right?

Meanwhile Hiro and Ando open a pathetic "Dial-A-Hero" service to try and help people. Their first client is a little girl with a cat that's stuck up on a sign (there's no trees in downtown Tokyo). Ando saves the cat but slips and falls. Hiro stops time in order to save Ando but when he unfreezes time he freezes himself. Ando takes him back to the office on a dolly. Hiro regains consciousness then Hiro's sister, Kimiko, who hates Ando for spilling a Slushie on her favorite dress fourteen years ago, chastises both of them for wasting money on their stupid business idea. Ando questions Hiro about the problems with his powers. Hiro reveals that he's dying. Ando tells him to go back to the moment when his powers first began and change his life in order to save it. Hiro says he cannot, it goes against his credo. Then he keeps thinking of the moment at the carnival when a fortune-teller told him he was destined to be a hero. He thinks about it so much that he pops himself back there moments before little Hiro talks to the fortune-teller.

A band of Irish Carnival folk who just happened to have powers have set their eyes on Hiro. The leader of the band can manipulate tattoo ink in order to see the future when he injects it into a woman's back, who can see the future. These people have learned to work together. The leader uses an old man, who is dying, to transport him back 14 years and arrive at the same spot as Hiro in order to try and manipulate Hiro into doing his bidding. He tries to convince Hiro to change just one thing in the past for the better, correct just one wrong. He pushes Hiro into his sister just as little Hiro bumps into little Ando who spills his Slushie all over big Hiro. When big Hiro pops back into the present he's covered in blue Slushie and Ando is dating his sister. Hiro brags to Ando about how he fixed everything in the past and made things right between Ando and Kimiko. Ando asks why he would fix his love life but not save his own life. Hiro says it's his new mission in life, to set things right.

The Carni is looking for a compass. He sends Ray Park to kill Danko and retrieve it. In an underused moment with Ray Park Tracey tries to kill Danko but HRG already erased his memory and he can't remember that he wanted to "take her down." So Tracey leaves him alone but only long enough for Ray Park to slice and dice him. Tracey calls HRG and tells him she heard Ray Park say he was looking for something. HRG roots around in Danko's body cavity and finds a key. HRG visits Peter and asks him to go to a safe deposit box and find the compass with him. Peter only goes along in order to get the "speedsters" power. He wants to be faster so he save more lives. His wish is granted when Ray Park shows up at the bank. After Ray stabs the bank employee Peter fights with him and wins. The fight was decent enough and it was refreshing to actually see the fight as opposed to last season where they fought behind closed doors and would only allow us to hear the fight.

Peter helps save the bank employee's life and tells HRG that he's done. He was able to save 53 people's lives in the six weeks he stayed away from HRG. In the day he's been back with HRG an innocent guy got knifed. HRG says goodbye to Peter only to see him again later when Peter saves his life. Ray Park knifes HRG and steals the compass, of course.

While HRG is in the hospital he calls Tracey. She shows up and keeps him company. Looks like they're becoming friends. Tracey suggests that they team up to help people with powers instead of trying to stop them and HRG actually agrees. His life is a mess and he's lonely. Maybe he's learned a lesson but we doubt it.
Did we mention that Parkman is slowly descending into madness? No, oh well, he is. He keeps seeing Sylar and he starts yelling at him in inappropriate places like an NA meeting and an interrogation room. Sylar taunts him into using his powers again on the water delivery guy, Roy. Parkman convinces Roy to take on a new route and never come to his house again. Roy agrees with a smile. Sylar is also smiling as he says, "Gotcha."

So Parkman is crazy, or not. Sylar's powers are re-emerging out of "Nathan." Hiro is dying and Claire is about to be blackmailed by a psycho-stalker. This season is starting in the right direction. The best part is having a new mystery to solve. The characters, the plot and the episodes are much more interesting when you don't know where it's going. Predictability is so last season. Let's all hope the pay-off is worth the investment.

Image © NBC Photo: Chris Haston

Heroes stars: Hayden Panettiere / Milo Ventimiglia / Ali Larter / Masi Oka / Zachary Quinto / James Kyson Lee / Greg Grunberg / Adrian Pasdar / more

Story by Erin MacMillan-Ramirez

Starpulse contributing writer