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Heroes: A Clear and Present Danger

by Jason Hughes, posted Feb 3rd 2009 3:30AM
Heroes - (S03E14) Now that's more like it! Yes, we're only one hour into this fourth volume ("Fugitives") of Heroes, but already we're looking at a vastly improved product. We're no longer fragmented trying to keep track of a million different seemingly unrelated storylines. Everything's connected, there's a very common and familiar enemy that needs to be dealt with, and it's a natural progression from where we've come.

Nathan's progression to the point we see him tonight has been handled pretty well. From the beginning, he was always portrayed as kind of a dick who felt pretty differently than Peter about abilities and those with them. Now we see just how strongly he feels. The addition of Zejlko Ivanek (Damages) as the man in charge of the hunter squads is a great casting choice. Already he brings an intensity to the role that's much appreciated. It's early to say, but this reminded me so much of the tone and atmosphere of the first season that I think we can declare Heroes back.

Yes, it still has its logic flaws, such as the apparent change to how Peter's powers work, but as all comic book fans know, you can ultimately explain away any inconsistency. It's comic book logic, so it's illogical by nature. You can even get a "No Prize" for coming up with an explanation for a writer's screw up. With Peter, it's easy enough to say that since he lost and regained his power through an artificial stimulant, that they've come back in a modified way.

What this might mean is that he very well could have a very limited power set now. No longer does he absorb powers just from proximity. Apparently, he has to touch someone to get their ability now, which means he may only have Nathan's powers, and now Tracy's and Mohinder's. But then again, we don't know what he's been up to the past several months, and as we saw when he got Jessica's power, it may happen whether he wants it to or not upon physical contact.

It's good to have Mohinder back on the side of "good," such as it is. We can explain away his behavior by saying he was driven insane by his power. Still, he did some pretty dastardly things. I wonder if super-strength is the limit of his abilities now? I'm also very pleased that Hiro seems to be remaining powerless for now, and word is he will stay that way for awhile. The time travel element was making things too complex and ridiculous after the first season. Now we can have a straightforward linear plot happening in one era.

It's also good that we seem to have streamlined the cast a bit. Matt now has the artist's precognitive abilities (I hope he keeps Usutu as a guide in his head), and we're keeping things tight to our core cast. That's not to say that there may not be a few new faces underneath those hoods on the plane. In fact, I hope that there are, because this is a good and natural way to introduce them to the cast and the show. I bet the guy that flew out the hole Peter accidentally made was someone new ... and now dead.

Damn, it was just so good to see Heroes this good again. NBC did right by promoting this as the new season of Heroes, even though it's just the continuation of the third. Better for people to think this is all new. Maybe they should have put it on after the Super Bowl instead of The Office. It was tailored perfectly as a new introductory episode to the series. I guess, though, they did the next best thing: promoted the hell out of it during the big game.

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I saved this episode for days in my DVR, almost dreading watching it because I was so weary from the last two seasons. However, full credit to the staff and the reboot. This was the first episode of Heroes I've really enjoyed in awhile. For the first time in a year some of the characters banded together and did something good and it was fun to watch. I was so sick of it feeling like each and every character was useless because every action and situation was either set in motion (and out of their control) or pointless (because the time travel made everything irrelevant). Anyway, good on ya, Tim Kring and Bryan Fuller. Well done.

February 08 2009 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to say, I am not sold on Heroes again yet. We're going to hold out for a few more episodes until Bryan Fuller is back as a writer and see what he can salvage. Things that REALLY annoyed me:

1) Nathan. Seriously, I disagree about his character's personality changes being built up. He has flipped and flopped as much as if he really WAS a politician! And why did they try to tie a religious conversion into his storyline? It served no point at all. Suddenly he is a powerful senator on the Homeland Security commission and the President is giving him carte blanche to just round everyone up. I think they are trying to be 'modern' and timely with this storyline, but it's just sort of predictable, leading to my next problem:

2) This story has totally been done before! In many well known comic books and saying that it isn't copied from those story lines is just plain silly! With that said- I do think it has a little promise, as the Misfit Heroes banding together against the big bad government/corporation/society/whatever is at least more interesting than the pointless rambling we've been watching all season. But come on- don't try and act like you just magically came up with this plot device on your own. It makes you look petty!

3) Peter's ongoing, monumental stupidity. Seriously, I almost can't BLAME Nathan when he does bad crap to Peter. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. I sort of want to smack him and trank him too.

4) HRG's character is also careening back and forth between the really boring " I just want to protect my daughter! ( yeah, so why not teach her to shoot a gun or maybe enroll her in a martial arts class? No, take an old two by four and teach her how to bat with it! Now she's safe!) and the whole 'company man, no matter how bad the company is' thing. He is just becoming a sort of go-to character anytime some random other character needs picked up or knocked out or driven away or something. His original motivation just doesn't seem believable to me anymore.

4) Claire. Claire. Claire. How can I count the ways in which your character has been abused and misused??

First off, quit whining. As in #3- take a judo class or go to a rifle range or even get one of the many super-powered people you hang out with to teach you some basic skills. There is the internet and bookstores and all sorts of places to get info and resources. Find them! Whiny Claire is like a hole being drilled in my head!

Next- the creepy RL attraction with Claire and Peter needs to just be explained ( they are not really related) or the show needs to work harder to get rid of it. It's icky if they're really supposed to be uncle and neice.

Hair and Makeup!! Come on, people! Whatever you think of her acting, Haydenete or however you spell her name is a very pretty girl. Quit messing with her hair color
(darker hair when she is being 'Dark Claire' give me a break!) and her make up in the scenes with Angela made her look like a hooker- black penciled brows and red matte lipstick? And does anyone really think Claire is going to just go to college all Super-Heroey and no one will bother her??? ( giving credit where credit is due though- Nice plot device save from Grandma Angela with the line about Claire getting her GED. At least now we don't have to find any more ridiculous ways to make it seem as if Claire is actually attending a high school) Leading to:

5)CLAIRE IS NEVER SAFE AT HOME. PERIOD. NO ONE'S HOME. EVER. Why can no one on the show figure this out???

6)Parkman doesn't annoy me as much as a lot of people. i like the actor and its nice to see him working. However- I agree, being able to only see a few MINUTES into the future, less than useful. And again with the 'trying to live a normal life' theme. Ain't Gonna Happen. Deal with it, folks. no wonder Daphne is annoyed with him.

7)I like Hiro setting up a lair, lol. But I also like the old friendship of Hiro and Ando. And the whole setup with Ancient Japan seems to have fizzled out to basically nothing. too bad. Hiro is funny- they need to give him more to do again. Particularly as he seems to have a multi-billion dollar corporation at his disposal.

8)Syler and Elle had the best chemistry of the entire show. It's a shame Kristin Bell had move on to bigger and better things. But please, Syler as a run of the mill serial killer is not very interesting. He is a classic anti-hero- use him that way. It just seems to me that whenever characters start to become actually complex and interesting on this show, some writer comes along and dumbs them down again!!

Ok, so we're still watching for now. But Bryan Fuller better wow our socks off, is all I can say. :)

February 06 2009 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why isn't this just a live action X-Men TV series because every storyline Heroes has run is stolen from X-Men except X-Men at least made things interesting. The cartoon was better than this.

February 04 2009 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have to disagree on the Hiro thing. Yes the time travel maybe made people dizzy at times, but powerless Hiro is no fun. Hopefully they use this to allow Hiro to grow into something besides a screw up.

Other than that, I was pleasantly suprised. The whole "power of togetherness" ads had me rolling my eyes, but the actual episode seemed pretty promising.

February 04 2009 at 10:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Zeljko, not Zejlko. And while you're at it, Željko.

February 04 2009 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I say a round of quiet applause is in order for Heroes. It's still trying to regain its footing but this episode was waaaaay better than any episode from Season 2 or the first half of Season 3. They ditched the whole time travel thing (far too confusing and didn't work at all--let Lost handle the time travel lol), narrowed it down to one main storyline, got rid of the super-super-overpowered people and clearly are starting to realize that everyone loved Season 1 because essentially it was all about people trying to fit in and lead normal lives. The first episode of Volume 4 was well-paced and wasn't trying to cram in as much as humanly possible. Let's hope the rest of the season stays the same way.

February 03 2009 at 7:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought this episode was a decent "season 3.5" opener. Nothing really amazing, but it wasn't horrible either. It seemed to set up a new direction for the show, so that's good.

Haha, did anyone else think the post-episode trailer sounded exactly like a trailer for "Lost"?

February 03 2009 at 6:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nathanael's comment

"Haha, did anyone else think the post-episode trailer sounded exactly like a trailer for "Lost"?"

Totally. It was so funny I had to wonder if it was a sly joke.

February 03 2009 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

At the beginning of season 1 I truly disliked Sylar. I used to swear I'd stop watching if they did not get rid of Sylar. Now I am hoping he kicked butt. I was so happy to see him kick some attackers butt. I actually cheered a little and laughed. Good for Sylar.

February 03 2009 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great episode, almost a return to Season 1 form, but I have one small gripe. So how many times is Peter going to fall for the, "Give me a hug," shtick? His dad asked for a hug and drained his powers, and then Nathan asked for one, and took him down. I assume that the next time he goes to hug his mom, there's some sort of sinister motive involved. Gosh, he's like Barney with the hugs!

February 03 2009 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sylar Sylar Sylar!!! ITs about time they make him badass as! I cheered, rewound, and cheered again when he took down those guys. You dont mess with Spock!!!...er...Sylar

February 03 2009 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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