Paul Greengrass must have designed the sloppy first episode of the new "Heroes
" Chapter because they borrowed the cinematography from "The Bourne Ultimatum
" and they really should give it back. NBC is apparently hurting for money and it looks as if they cut the budget for this floundering show. In response the writers decided to cut as much dialog and character development as possible and insert clichéd action sequences in which the heroes are captured by HRG backed by Nathan Petrelli. To further stretch the dwindling funds they also shot everything through a pinhole camera and succeeded in reducing what was formally a huge world of heroes and villains down to the size of a postage stamp view of car interiors. This opening episode was so disappointing it made us long for the boring and only mildly clichéd "Villains" Chapter.
Tracy picks up the phone and in a sexy voice says, "Hello Governor." He informs her that Nathan is on television giving an interview. She catches us up by saying she hasn't seen Nathan in two months and then tells her new lover she has to get some sleep. She turns on the TV to reveal Nathan talking about his work with Homeland Security. The interviewer questions him about his intentions and brings up worries of violations of civil liberties. Tracy discovers a window in her room is open. She shuts it and looks around suspiciously. A man dressed like a military ninja, all in black with modified ski goggles, pops up in front of her. She tries to freeze him but her powers don't work on him. Several other ninja type men appear and surround her. She says, "Do you want me to beg? Well I don't beg for anyone." And they take her down with a nifty space-age device, which seems to be a cross between a syringe and a tazer. It is injected like a syringe into the deep tissue and them shocks the heck out of the victim until they pass out. If the writers are trying to make a statement about how America previously handled dangerous people such as terror suspects, the message has been received, now let's get off our soapbox, move on and write an entertaining show. There's nothing wrong with subtext or a message as long as it is subtle and does not interfere with the point of the show but "Heroes" has strayed so far away from it's original concept the only thing that could possibly save it would be if the original writer came back. Oh wait he is returning but we have to wade through two or three more of these humdingers before that happens. After they capture Tracy the head ninja dude makes a call and says, "Tell Petrelli we got the first one." Thus introducing yet another new character, this time a new badass bad guy who can take down dangerous heroes. If it was this easy the entire time why didn't the company hire this guy?
Meanwhile Hiro is obsessed with becoming an awesome sidekick for his new favorite hero, Ando. Ando thinks his power is lame because all he can do is enhance other hero's powers. Hiro disagrees and thinks that Ando is so cool that he pulls some strings in order to buy an old fire station from the city and builds a lair for them in it complete with computers, GPS tracking devices and a motorcycle called the Ando-cycle. Ando digs the bike but is very unhappy with Hiro after he shoots Ando in the arm with a syringe to inject a GPS tracking device. Hiro announces that he has one too so Ando can find him but Ando doesn't get to know the password to the computer so it won't do him any good. Ando asks for a clue to what the password might be. Hiro says it is the name of someone very important to him. Ando gets very perturbed after being shot and tells Hiro to, "find yourself another superhero." Then he drives off on the Ando-cycle.
Peter is working as an EMS technician. He loses a car accident victim and beats himself up saying, "I should have been stronger."
Claire, whose hair and make-up look great, is frustrated by her new life. Angela took her in and offered her the chance to go to college on Angela's dime. Claire is convinced that Sylar is still alive and "out there" waiting to get her. Angela assures her that Primatech burned to the ground and that they found dental records, that Sylar is dead. Claire says she found an article in her Dad's desk about a guy who they found dead in his house and the entire upstairs was filled with salt water. She also knows her Dad has been going on supposed business trips and believes it's all happening again and she should be a part of it.
She's right. Sylar is wandering around a watch repairman's shop. The owner comes out to greet him holding a shotgun and thinks Sylar is a thief. Sylar asks him his name and if he went out for a pack of cigarettes years ago and instead abandoned his family. Sylar asks, "A little clichéd don't you think?" Don't you love it when the show you're watching calls itself on the annoying things it's doing so you don't have to?
Parkman spies on his woman, Daphne, and finds out she's using her speed power to help her make her deliveries faster. He chastises her and says he could use his powers to work his way to the top of the police force but he doesn't. He wants to live a normal life. She suggests she steals some cash so he can open the detective agency he wanted to. He makes her agree to try to live like normal people. All this while he's seeing the dead guy from Africa standing in his living room, yeah, normal.
Claire listens in on a phone conversation between Angela and Nathan and overhears that Nathan wants Claire out of the way while he takes down Peter and Parkman. Angela discovers that Claire was listening in. Claire bolts and Angela tells Nathan, "I think we have a bigger problem now."
Sylar confronts his Father asking, "How does a boy, without a Father, grow up to be a man? How does he learn to make the hard decisions he's gonna have to make in life, the ones only a man can teach?" His Father asks if he wants an apology. Sylar says he only wants the truth. His Father thinks Sylar's Mother was a sick, infantile woman and he felt trapped by a child he never should have had to begin with. Turns out Sylar was given to this guy by his Father's brother. His adoptive Father gives him his real Father's address. Sylar is surprised that this man is telling the truth, so he lets him live.
Peter's partner on the ambulance is from Iran. He's scared that Nathan's plan to protect America from "dangerous types of people" means Iranians like him and his family. He says, "We're different so we're scary but you wouldn't know anything about that." Peter just laughs and says, "Believe me, I know more about that than you think." Claire calls to warn Peter that Nathan is after him and was trying to keep her out of the way. Peter says he'll go talk to Angela and find out what's going on. He catches a cab and who do you think is driving it? Why it just happens to be Mohinder Suresh, that's who. Seriously? In a city of more than 8 million people Peter hails the cab that's driven by Suresh. Suresh has been keeping under the radar and hasn't bumped into anyone else. So that's supposed to make this more believable? He's angry that Nathan is right out there in the open, risking exposure. He thinks Nathan is right for protecting people from those with special abilities. He felt dangerous when his powers were uncontrolled. Peter thinks this line of thought will lead to internment camps. Suresh says, "Then we'll agree to disagree," and lets him out with a free ride.
Since there's no such thing as a free ride in New York Suresh gets held up by a guy with a gun and then trapped in a parking lot by ninja dudes. He uses his super strength to try and escape. They tazer him but he runs. HRG shows up and says, "You want to live? Get in." So Suresh jumps into his Nissan product placement vehicle and HRG grills him about what he knows about people with special abilities being abducted then HRG drives him back to the ninja dudes and helps them capture Suresh. Turns out HRG is working for Nathan these days. Times are tough and in his line of work he must have to take a job wherever people are hiring. Considering his last company blew up and so did it's rival.
Peter goes to his Mom's house and confronts Nathan. Nathan says he had to take a different approach because the last time he tried to out them he got shot. He says, "I'm nothing if not a quick study." He explains this plan is not Dad's leftovers it's all his. Peter says he's turning his back on his own kind and that he is nothing more than a, "self-hating hypocrite." Nathan answers, "And you wonder why I don't return your calls?" Nathan says he wants to talk to Peter about some ideas and get his input. Peter doesn't trust him. Nathan says he's just trying to extend an olive branch. Peter agrees to meet with Nathan for dinner. Nathan says he'll text him about the when and where. Then Nathan asks, "Just out of curiosity what can you do?" Peter retorts, "What are you a cop?" then acquiesces and offers, "What's the last thing you saw me do?" Nathan says humbly, "You flew." A smug smile creeps over Peter's face and in a threatening manner he walks away.
The beheaded African man appears to Parkman in his apartment. Parkman asks how he got there. The African man answers, "I'm not really here. It's an illusion, like life." That's true and a cool way to put it. He tells Parkman that he has been chosen to be a prophet. "The world needs you to tell them the future." Parkman just wants to be normal but he's not. He complains that he doesn't even know how to draw, let alone paint. The African man says he will learn in a tone that bespeaks a man growing weary of excuses. Parkman sits down, grabs paper and a pen and his eyes glaze over white. He begins to draw as if in a trance.
Ando has decided to use the Ando-cycle as a chick magnet while parked in front of a strip club. Hiro uses the GPS device to track Ando and discovers this unconventional choice. He is very disappointed with Ando and thinks he should be using his powers for good instead. During Hiro's rant Ando hears a scuffle and then Hiro is gone. Ando panics and goes after his friend.
Claire shows up at Parkman's apartment to warn him about the impending danger. Parkman shows Claire the drawings of the future. They see themselves looking at his drawings and then a drawing of a cracked window and something stuck in Parkman's neck. Then the ninja dudes send a tazer dart through the window and into Parkman's neck. He has got to get speedier with the interpretations of the drawings. The ninja dudes bust into his apartment and surround Claire, who surprisingly just puts her hands up and gives up. She has learned that she is a tiny person who cannot do much without a gun and that her ability only works if she does something to hurt herself so why bother? Kind of a bummer of a power that only made sense in the first season.
Nathan surprises Peter in Peter's apartment before their dinner date. He apologizes to Peter for disowning him and for going against him. He asks Peter to say he understands that he's not normal so Nathan can provide him with proper protection. Peter doesn't understand why it's so important for him to say he's with his brother on something he knows nothing about. Instead he says he'll, "fight him with everything I've got I swear to God." Nathan says, "Okay." Then he asks for a hug and has HRG tazer him.
Sylar visits the home of his real Father who is a taxidermist. The very creepy house is filled with photos of Sylar when he was a boy and a snow globe. He calls out to Mr. Grey but no one answers, except the ninja dudes who try to take him down. They fail miserably. Sylar's powers are too strong. He tortures one of the ninja's and gets information out of him on who sent them and what they wanted to do with him.
Ando figures out the password clue about someone important to him means it's his name. He finds Hiro's location and goes after him.
Nathan stands in an airplane hanger surrounded by the ninjas. The new bad guy presents Claire to him. He decides to let her go. She comes to and escapes from the car that is driving her home. She jumps out and runs to the plane that is about to take off. She climbs up into the landing gear and into the plane. Once inside she releases the other detainees. Peter takes on Suresh's power of strength. Now if we all take a moment to remember that Peter said at the beginning of this episode that he should be stronger and then he got his wish. So everyone reading this should just say out loud that we should be wealthier and blam it'll happen. Claire goes to the cockpit to force the pilot to land and discovers that her Dad, HRG, is the co-pilot. Peter tries to help Tracy escape and in doing so takes on her freezing power. Then he accidentally freezes the side of the plane and causes it to go down. They launch into a very strange crash sequence with bizarre mystic meditation music as Peter's straps come loose and the plane barrels towards the earth. They leave us with a weird cliffhanger with Suresh hanging onto Peter's hand and the plane about to crash to the ground.
Next week they'll be on the run and so will most of the audience that previously enjoyed this show. If the producers and writers spent as much time on the main storyline as they do developing side stories for the Internet and people's Sprint phones then this show would probably be a whole lot better. We can only hope that the original writer can return this show to it's previous glory and get us all excited to watch again. Otherwise it's going down in flames, fast.
Heroes stars: Hayden Panettiere
/ Milo Ventimiglia
/ Ali Larter
/ Masi Oka
/ Zachary Quinto
/ Dania Ramirez
/ Kristen Bell
/ Noah Gray-Cabey
/ James Kyson Lee
/ Greg Grunberg
/ Adrian Pasdar
/ Malcolm McDowell
Story by Erin MacMillan-Ramirez
Starpulse contributing writer