Due to all the DVD screeners I got in advance, "Heroes" was the only Monday show that I care about that I had to wait to watch live. After that much-discussed dud of a first season finale, I wasn't exactly counting the seconds until it began, but I thought Kring and company did a solid job of reintroducing the characters and setting the table for season two. I'm not sure I'm ever again going to have the blind faith in the series that existed before the finale, but as long as I'm willing to accept that "Heroes" is mostly flash without substance (save the Claire/HRG relationship) and that a lot more thought will go into the journey than the destination, I can still enjoy it.
Lots of stuff to deal with, so much so that Nikki and Sylar only appeared in the preview for upcoming episodes. Parkman is divorced (woo-hoo!) and starring in a "My Two Dads '07" remake with Mohinder and Molly. Mohinder is trying to go undercover with The Company, using Ned Ryerson (now with alchemical powers!) to do it. Claire and HRG (I refuse to call him Noah, sorry) are trying to lay low in their new identities, and yet HRG is still in some segment of the paper business, and Claire is still interested in cheeerleading. (Though didn't the "Six Months Earlier" episode establish that she never really liked it and only joined for peer pressure reasons?) Hiro's engaged in some kind of feudal Japanese version of "Back to the Future" (I eagerly await him showing Kensei a wallet-sized photo of the Nakamura clan, with his sister gradually disappearing from it.) And in the present, Papa Nakamura faced a death threat from one of the original Company members and got thrown off a building seconds before faithful Ando could bring him a sword. We've got our fugitive newbies Maya and Alejandro (and as a "Sopranos" die-hard, it was hard to look at Maya without immediately breaking into an AJ-style crying jag about Blanca) and, oh yeah, Nathan and Peter ain't dead! And Nathan has a beard! And Peter a completely bang-free buzz cut!
Okay, so it's a little hard to get worked up about the survival of the brothers Petrelli, since we all suspected they'd be coming back long before Adrian Pasdar and Milo Ventimiglia (and, for that matter, Zachary Quinto) kept making promotional appearances with the rest of the cast. I'm not sure whether the survival of these three characters makes me even more annoyed with the finale -- since it negates much of the drama about Hiro killing a man and the Petrellis sacrificing their lives to save the world -- or I'm glad to have so much of that episode quickly reversed. But I'm genuinely intrigued by Amnesia Peter, as he has the potential to be a lot less mopey and pretentious than original recipe Emo Peter.
As for the rest of it, my favorite characters remain Hiro and HRG, and I was pleased with both of their storylines. Hiro's increasing disillusionment at English poseur mercenary Kensei was a lot of fun, as was his dismay at turning Marty McFly ("Oh, no. I broke history!"), but the episode's highlight had to be HRG laying down the law to his new boss.
A few other thoughts:
- Can someone who's more anal about series continuity remind me how much, if anything, Mrs. Bennet and Claire's brother remember about her powers, Radioactive Ted burning down their house, their reasons for being fugitives, etc.? They've all had their minds wiped so many times -- well, everyone but Mr. Muggles -- that it's hard to keep track.
- RIP, Papa Nakamura. I really liked the scene where he explained to Ando why he continued to wait every day for Hiro's return at the spot of his disappearance, and I'm hopeful the writers find a way for George Takei to still appear on occasion. Given that this season's theme is going to be the origins of the Company and its original group of super types, the occasional Takei flashback doesn't seem unreasonable, does it?
- Claire and Micah suggest that, while super parents produce super kids, the powers themselves aren't passed down. So I'm assuming that Claire's flying new love interest is no relation to Nathan. It's already creepy enough that so many fans were predicting a Claire/Peter 'ship after their first meeting; I don't need more potential incest speculation.
- Because it bears repeating: Parkman's wife is gone! Yes! And by starting to apply his powers professionally, he's already much less of a lox than he was last season. I like Greg Grunberg and want to like Parkman; this is all a step in the right direction.
- They kept Mohinder's narration. Grr. Argh.