***This is Part 1 of the 2-hour Heroes premiere. Part 2 will be along ASAP.***
OK, here’s the deal. I’ve been watching Heroes since Season 1, when it was awesome. BUT one writers’ strike later, the wheels pretty much came off. I recapped House last season, but Flipit let me jump over to Heroes (I’m partial to 5-letter shows that start with H), so here we are. I love the show, but now it sucks enough that I can take shots at it. So let’s start shootin!
If I don’t get some Redemption I am totally bailing on this show.
We open on a desert scene with the comic-booky title telling us that this is Volume 5: Redemption. They snuck in two volumes last season, because it took two to recover from the hot mess that was the writer’s strike. And I use “recover” loosely. In the desert, a group of extras from True Blood are standing around a hole in the ground throwing a funeral. Their leader is… well, let’s just say Tim Kring is a couple of seasons behind in stealing ideas from Lost. Basically, this is his answer to the Others and the mysterious guyliner-sporting Richard Alpert. This dude doesn’t have Alpert’s baby face, but he has black-painted nails and a vaguely Irish accent, so take that, Darlton! And he has Greg House with him.
I’ll miss you too, House, but stay in your own show, k?
The dead guy’s name was Joseph. He was the brother of the boss, who undoubtedly has some other Biblical name, because Bible shoutouts are also on Kring’s list of things swiped from Lost. But hold up! Don’t we always start a Heroes episode with some flashbacks and a lecture from Mohinder? Well, we don’t have a Mohologue tonight, but we do have a dude with a hot accent, saying kinda philosophical things, so let’s use that. While he talks, the funeral fades into the typical opening montage. Most of it is money shots from when Heroes was cool: Peter’s flying dream, Claire’s high-dive off the oil rig, Sylar being evil, Hiro going Yatta, Nathan flying. There’s also the Tracysicle from last season. Here’s something new: Claire showing up at college with a cardboard box full of stuffed Claire Bears. The Bennet family can afford a new Nissan every year, but send their daughter off to college by herself without so much as a U-Haul. And really, who walks across campus carrying their stuff? That’s what parents are for, amirite?
Back at the funeral, Richard Alpert throws John Locke’s compass into the hole. Yes, really. The cast of Twilight watches as he magicks the dirt on top of the coffin.
Speaking of Twilight, I was at the bookstore the other day and this? Is just shameless.
If you couldn’t tell by the misfit-y costumes, these people are special. They do a slow march back to what looks like a traveling carnival. Then comes the Heroes eyeclipse title card.
See you in anotha life, brotha.
Claire has finally made it up the stairs with her box. Her new roommate comes in right on cue, talking a mile a minute. She meant to friend Claire on Facebook but her profile was private. I don’t know why she didn’t go to Claire’s MySpace page instead. Then again, she hasn’t updated it since Season 1. Get on the ball, interns! The roomie wants to know how Claire got into this school with just a GED. That’s right, Claire didn’t have time to graduate because she dropped out of high school but because she was busy moving around, running from the government and working in comic book shops and stuff. Psycho Roomie is shocked that Claire has no plan for the future, having no way to know that Claire has seen her future change like 10 times already. But what if Heroes is canceled after this season? “How are you going to find your future without a map?” she says, pointing to a big poster over her bed. I swear, Tim, if she starts stringing colored yarn all over the room, I am OUT. But no, it’s just a timeline of her goals.
If you look closely you can see that she plans to try out for The Bachelor in 5 years.
She offers to help Claire make her own map. Claire is so excited she can’t contain herself and they make out. Kidding! Experimentation is not on the map.
Inside Tamagotchi Industries HQ, Hiro is making pretty bar graphs for his sure-fire get-rich business model. Said model involves billboards, cardboard life-size cutouts and sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. Someone’s seen Ghostbusters one too many times. Not you, Tim, I was referring to Hiro. Ando is has nothing better to do in this plan than crush on Hiro’s sister, but she hates him. And It All Started at the Slushy Incident, 14 years ago, when they were at a carnival (!!!) and Hiro made Ando spill his Slushy on Hiro-sis. She’s hated him ever since. Hiro pulls out a photo of the moment that he just happens to have on him. Also, not digging Ando’s new haircut.
But it wouldn’t be Heroes without goofy bangs, would it?
In comes Hiro-sis, all pissed that they’re goofing off while she’s running the company. She complains that they spent 9 million yen on that billboard, which according to Google is only about a hundred g’s, so I don’t know what her problem is. Tamagotchi is rolling in money, thanks to Bob and his gold, so what’s the big? Hiro-sis just knows the whole Dial-a-Hero scheme is Ando’s idea. Ando makes a sad Ando face. He loves Hiro-sis and she hates him, and in case you didn’t hear the first time, It All Started At The Carnival. I have a feeling this carnival is suddenly going to pop up in everyone’s past. The phone rings.
It’s Marty McFly. He needs his time-travel photo back.
Peter is riding shotgun in an ambulance. They’re responding to a call, but they’re stuck in traffic. Peter gets out, runs into an alley, changes into his Mohinder-Spidey costume and gets to the accident on foot. He finds a woman stuck in a wrecked car, doing Lamaze breathing. “I’m here to save you” says Petey.
After the commercial, which includes a really uncomfortable commercial featuring big hairy factory workers singing Aaron Neville to a jet engine (yes, really), Claire meets Psycho Roomie in a lecture hall. This is a placement test for a Linear Algebra class, which roomie thinks will make or break Claire’s academic career. The professor points to a whiteboard and tells them all they have to do is solve the equation on it. Now if this were a better show, we could zoom in on the whiteboard and find awesome Egyptian hieroglyphic Easter eggs. But it’s probably just gibberish. Instead, the teacher is reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which is still pretty funny. Suddenly, government troops bust in and zap Claire with a Tazer that looks like a shotgun! Kidding, again! Just a daydream. Claire decides to bail on the test.
Indestructible Barbie says, “Math is hard!”
The Big Apple
Peter’s in the hospital talking to his partner, who’s giving him a hard time about saving the pregnant lady. She delivered twins, and Peter, all empathic and stuff, knows their names and weights and the color of their poo. He’s mad, even though he saved her, because he should’ve gotten there sooner. So he’s going to take another shift and see if he can pad his stats. Someone’s addicted to saving the world. Better get him another vision of the apocalypse, stat!
The Wonder Twins respond to their first call-a little girl with a stuck cat. What is it with Hiro and Ando and little girls? They can’t figure out how to get the cat down with their powers, so Hiro volunteers Ando to climb up and get the cat. He gets it, but oh BTW, says the girl, be careful! He doesn’t like strangers! RIGHT ON CUE, the cat decides to freak out, and Ando falls off the roof. So now we’ve stooped to stealing gags from Wile E. Coyote. Hiro stops time, just in time.
So what have the grownups been up to so far this season? Mama Petrelli is talking to HRG on the phone. It seems someone’s killing off Danko’s goons. Remember Danko? Last season’s super-villain? Oh yeah, him. Mama P blames the killings on Tracy, but everyone saw her shatter into a million pieces last season, so it couldn’t be her.
Also, HRG’s been avoiding Nathan’s calls. I mean Sylar’s calls. Hey, Mama P, we’re overdue for some exposition. Mama P tells us it’s been six weeks since Matt Parkman pulled his creepy Pet Sematary trick on Sylar and made him think he was Nathan. HRG blows off Ma’s appeals to get the company back together, and says he’s late to meet Claire at college. As he gets into his car, he notices a conveniently-placed newspaper headline reading “4th Mysterious Drowning Baffles Police”. DUN DUN DUN. HRG turns the key and his car won’t start. Uh oh, car bomb, right? No bomb, just freezing water spraying out from the dashboard. Looks like Tracy’s work to me. HRG manages to break his window and escape. Not the best planning there, Trace. What if HRG liked to drive with his windows down? HRG picks himself up, puts his HRGs back on and finds Danko waiting for him. He proposes they hook up and go kill Tracy together. HRG’s not interested in any more deals with Danko after last season. Danko hears Mama P is getting the band back together, which HRG denies. They have Part 21 of the Neverending Debate over whether HRG is just like Danko. Yawn.
This would be more dramatic without the Members Only jacket.
Claire’s picked up a new girlfriend somewhere. This one’s a dark horse.
You can’t tell from the pic, but she’s wearing black Chuck Taylors that she bought at Misfits of Hollywood.
Her name is Gretchen, and if anyone on the writing staff had picked up a baby name book in the last five years, they’d know that Gretchen is a preppy name, not a gothy one. Nice try, though! Claire says she’s from Odessa, Texas. “I’m from Austin. Small world!” says Gretch. Um, considering Austin is like 300 miles away from Odessa, I’m gonna say no. Nice try, though! Gretch wants to know if Claire is THE Claire Bennet. It seems she’s notorious in the world of Texas cheerleading for being involved in Sylar’s Season 1 rampage at her school. She changed her name last season, but changed it back. So much for anonymity.
Hiro sets Ando on his feet, fixes the scene just right and unfreezes time. Would I be a spoilsport if I mentioned the Law of Conservation of Energy? Ando was falling pretty fast and all that speed has to go somewhere. Stupid pesky laws of physics. Unfortunately, for Hiro, he froze himself when he unfroze the rest of the world. Doh. I hate when that happens.
Mama P is waiting for Fathan in a sushi joint. He walks in and… it’s Sylar! I mean of course it’s Sylar, but it’s Zach Quinto playing Sylar playing Nathan. Please don’t tell me they’re going to do the Quantum Leap thing. It’s hard enough suspending my disbelief for this show (see physics lecture in last paragraph). Sylar/Nathan kisses his mommy and then she wakes up in the limo outside the sushi place. What would we do for plot twists without Angela Petrelli and her Power Of It Was All A Dream? Her driver’s name is Alfred, BTW. Nice touch. Now she goes inside and when Nathan meets her it’s really Nathan. Well, you know what I mean. The scene plays out exactly like we just saw it, but with Adrian Pasdar instead of Quinto. Fathan stares at the sushi, wondering if he likes it. See, there are a lot of changes going on in his life lately and he’s really a psychopath with a heart of gold instead of a dirtbag politician with occasional attacks of decency. Mama P chalks it up to midlife crisis, but Fathan wants “to be a better me”. LOL. So are we seeing the return of Good Sylar? I’m getting whiplash trying to keep up with all his character flip-flops. Fathan promises to be a better person. He feels invincible. Mama P starts to panic, chugs some sake and heads off to go boost some socks.
Matt Parkman’s at home, playing with Baby Matt Parkman, who is not such a baby anymore-he’s aged a year in the last 6 weeks. Mama P is on the phone, demanding that Matt come back to DC and flashy-thing Fathan again because it’s starting to come undone. Matt says he’s out of the brainwashing biz, has gone back to being a cop, and hangs up. I’m wondering if the writers just burn all last season’s scripts when they plan the next season, because otherwise it had to be tough to get his old job back after showing up at the Capitol on national TV with bombs strapped to his chest.
Speaking of the Capitol, let’s check on Fathan in his office, accidentally TKing a coffee cup to his hand. The camera does that break-the-centerline-continuity trick. I know there’s a technical term for this, but it’s the thing they did in Lord of the Rings where Gollum is arguing with himself. Basically you’re always supposed to keep the character on the same side of the screen during a scene, so as not to confuse the audience. Because when you break the rule, like they’re doing now, you create the impression that it’s two different people, which is the intended effect. Because, you know, he’s two people and all that. Clear as mud? Anyway, Fathan tries to TK the cup again but manages to zap himself with lightning instead. Well well well.
Ma? YOU LIED!
HRG is having his ear chewed off by Psycho Roomie, probably trying to figure out an excuse to go all secret-agent and use his government-issue Tazer-shotgun on her. I love it when they put him in average-guy situations. Next week: Noah Bennet flips burgers at the annual Generic Government Agency Father-Daughter Picnic. Claire comes in, Psycho Roomie invites her to a party and leaves. Claire tells HRG she was recognized because she changed her name back. (Does anyone remember what her fake name was?) She’s done hiding, she’s going to turn over a new leaf by going back to the way things were. Um, OK. They have a tender father-daughter moment. Pardon me while I wipe away a tiny tear.
“Sullivan Bros Carnival”
The token tattoed lady takes her top off. The Richard Alpert boss guy calls her Lydia. Because what else do you call a woman covered in tats?
I can think of a few good names.
Boss-who-looks-like-Richard-Alpert-crossed-with-Evel-Dick dips his magic wand in ink, sticks it into Lydia and blows. Yeah, I know how it sounds. What really happens is goofier. The ink shows up on her back and turns into a bad rendition of Danko. She knows his name and apparently he’s responsible for Joseph’s death. I’m not even touching these weird powers because I have no clue how they’re supposed to work. The Boss wants Danko dead and who’s he gonna get to do it? How about Darth Maul from Star Wars?
It’s him, I swear. IMDB Ray Park if you don’t believe me.
Darth Maul has traded in the red-and-black face paint for a goatee and fauxsie, the better to fit in with the misfits. The boss wants revenge for his brother’s death and he wants his compass back. Wait, didn’t he throw it into the grave? Are there two compasses? I’m confused. Darth is reluctant because he wants a piece of that redemption the boss spoke of at the funeral. Redemption is the name of this volume, in case you forgot. Word of the day! And besides, “we’ve only killed when we’ve absolutely had to.” The boss stabs Ray in the hand with his magic ink wand, and this is where it gets trippy. The ink flows up to his throat where it turns into a hand and chokes Darth until he gives in. What kind of superpower is this?
Maybe he has Maya’s Black Goo Of Death in his ink bottle.
HRG is sitting in the same sushi joint from earlier, when in walks Tracy. Yes, she’s still alive, only now she’s made of water and wants to kill everyone. Yes, just like the Sandman in Spider-Man 3. HRG offers to give her her life back by taking care of Danko. He can make it so Danko forgets about her, which must mean Tall, Dark and Haitian is back in town. HRG is carrying around 25 years of guilt over screwing over people with powers and wants some redemption. REDEMPTION!WORD OF THE DAY!!!! Not so easy, sez Trace, and leaves him to contemplate his raw fish.
HRG meets up with Danko, presumably to talk him out of hunting Tracy down. Danko isn’t buying the new cuddly HRG, and says Tracy needs to be dead. Only his exact phrase is “suck her up in a wet-vac”, which is about nine kinds of ewwww. HRG tells Danko he can start his life over; after all, it worked out so well for the Bennet family last season, right? He has a Witness Protection Program Identity Kit all ready for him. I’d like to know exactly what HRG does for Uncle Sam these days. The whole convo is filler anyway, because the Haitian is back from whatever limbo he spent the last season in. He does what he does best, which is to appear out of thin air whenever HRG needs him, and zap Danko into la-la land. And if you’re keeping score, this makes two super-villains in a row to get wiped out as an afterthought in the first episode of the next volume. Remember Adam Monroe? Why bother tying up those pesky loose ends when you can just hack them off? Meanwhilz, across town, Fathan is freaking out at his rediscovered Sylar-powers, and dials up Peter. He gets Peter’s voicemail, because Peter is too busy hanging up newspaper clippings of all his good deeds to answer the phone.
No yarn here either. Whew.
Tracy swings by Danko’s apartment to chill with him (I know! Sorry!), but of course he doesn’t recognize her. She decides killing him isn’t worth it, and starts to leave, but hears someone else in the room as she goes outside. It’s Darth Maul doing his patented lightsaber dance all over the supervillain formerly known as Danko. Except with a knife.
The typecasting, it burns!
He tries out his Sith Lord moves on Tracy, but she just kinda splashes wherever the knife hits her, which is pretty cool. She catches his arm and freezes it and he runs. Point for Blondie.
Claire goes to her first college party, where Psycho Roomie is hogging the Guitar Hero. Her other girlfriend is there too. Threesome! Gretchen apologizes for bringing up the Cheerleader Massacre earlier, but “it was so scandalous, and I got excited.” Down, Claire fanboys! Down! Psycho Roomie spots Claire and demands she battle her in Guitar Hero. Claire says she only plays with Gretchen. Wait, let me rephrase that.
Ando sneaks Frozen Hiro back into the office, where he wakes up on cue. “Time froze you” instead of the other way around, says Ando. Hiro gets a nosebleed and admits that a doctor told him he’s dying. No details or anything, just… dying. Because nosebleeds are always terminal in sci-fi TV. See also: Lost. Ando tells him he should just “go back in time to wherever this started and FIX IT.” Hiro’s learned his lesson about going back in time and fixing stuff, but oh, just BTW, It All Started Fourteen Years Ago at the carnival. The same carnival from the picture he’s been carrying around. See, there was this fortune teller, probably naked from the waist up and covered in tattoos if I see where this is going, and she told him that one day he’d be “a powerful hero.” And the rest is recently-invented history. After relaying this convenient bit of info, Hiro freezes again, and then blips out and ends up at the carnival. 14 years ago. Who knew?
It wouldn’t be a Heroes recap without an Ando Face, now would it?
Magical Mystery Tour, Present Day
Lydia, who will probably get extra pay for spending most of the season topless, has a magic tat of Hiro appear on her back. She tells the boss Hiro is the key to the whole thing and he’s at the carnival, RIGHT NOW, I mean 14 years ago right now. The boss talks to a wheezy old guy huffing oxygen from a tank and asks him to “do it one more time, fix the past, send me back.” What exactly is the problem with the past, other than everything that happened the last two seasons? Where does this guy get his info? And WTF is is name anyway?
Claire gets back to her room after a wild night of Guitar Heroics, looks out the window and finds Psycho Roomie’s body on the sidewalk below.
Papa Bear Parkman is sneaking through his house in the middle of the night, and steps on Big Baby Matt Parkman’s toy car. The cuts are coming faster now. We must be almost to the end of the hour.
Big Baby Matt Parkman is missing! He’s been kidnapped… by Sylar! “I want my body back,” he says. Sylar, not Big Baby Parkman. Sorry.
And because all the best Heroes episodes end on Zach Quinto one-liners, that concludes Part 1! Check back for Part 2 in a couple of days!