Heroes S03E01 and E02: The Second Coming / The Butterfly Effect
The third season of Heroes has begun, and I have a need to pour out my reactions while they’re fresh. Celeste and I will be discussing the two-hour premiere in next Monday’s podcast, but here are my thoughts immediately after watching, and they’re spoiler heavy.
With so many things happening to so many characters, the only way I can really cover it all is to break it up by characters or character sets.
Noah (or HRG, as I still insist on calling him) begins the season locked up in the Company’s containment facility. Of course he’s broken out by the end of the two hours, and he’s hot on the trail of the supervillains who have escaped. I like seeing HRG be a badass, and having him hunting down the criminals while on the lam from the Company will give plenty of opportunities for that. And there’s the inevitable confrontation with Peter in someone else’s body to ponder as well.
I really liked the resolution of the shooting. Nothing much surprised me last season, but having Future!Peter be the shooter really caught me off guard. Nathan’s sudden swerve towards God is an unexpected development as well. Add to that the fact that he’s apparently carrying the ghost of Linderman around in his head, and he becomes weird in addition to heroic and redeemed. As for Linderman, what’s up with that? Is he a delusion? Is he actually there, as he says? My money is on his being a Cylon.
Niki / Jessica / Tracy and the Governor
My favorite thing about this season possibly could be Bruce Boxleitner as the governor of New York. I’m an enormously huge Babylon 5 fan, and it’s awesome to see him back on TV, and once again in a political role. The Niki / Jessica / Tracy thing is very strange. When last we saw the girl(s), she was busy exploding and burning up while trying to rescue the unnecessarily added (and thankfully absent from this season so far) Monica. Now she’s back with a new name and… a new power? Very intriguing. And where is Micah while all this is going on?
Ma Petrelli is one sly customer. We now know her power is prophetic dreaming, like Peter had at the beginning of the series. Her end-of-the-episode revelation was a jarring one. Is Sylar truly her son, or is this just another of her manipulations? Having Sylar as the third Petrelli brother feels a bit like the X-Men: Deadly Genesis storyline, in which Cyclops and Havok discover that they have a third (and evil) brother who was wiped from their memories by Professor X. The Haitian is all about mind wiping, so maybe he had a hand in some of this?
I like where Peter is this season a lot more than where he was at this time last season. The world Future!Peter comes from seems a lot like (again) the X-Men, with their Days of Future Past world. I’m going to try to avoid nitpicking all the time travel this season, and I think it would serve me best if I didn’t even try to make sense of it. By shooting Nathan, Future!Peter altered the future, but somehow Future!Peter, still in our present, remembers his “future” exactly as it happened if he hadn’t shot Nathan. That seems wonky to me, but I’m willing to write it off to “timey wimey,” via Doctor Who. And poor regular Peter is stuck in some villainous guy’s body. That won’t end well, methinks.
Last season, Sylar was emasculated to the point of being a ridiculous waste of space. I still think Sylar should have died at the end of season one, but if he’s going to be sticking around, I like having him back to his fully nefarious ways. He’s on a murder streak again and being nearly as creepy as he was back in the first season. The scene with Claire’s brain at the beginning of this episode was effectively cringe inducing, and now we know what he does with the brains. I got a laugh from Claire asking if he was going to eat her brain, because that’s what we’ve all been wondering. I don’t know whether I buy that Sylar is another Petrelli boy, but it’s entirely possible.
Elle and Bob Bishop
Elle was the only new character from season two that I liked, and I’m glad she’s back for the third season. She’s had a lot of development since we first saw her, and I think she’s going to be working on some redemption this season after having lost her dad, having let Sylar escape, and having triggered the escape of the other villains. It’s likely that she’ll be playing sidekick to HRG on his new mission. I feel badly for her about losing her dad, but I have to admit that I’m not sorry to see Bob getting Sylared. I will miss Stephen Tobolowsky, though.
Future!Claire is apparently a stone cold killa, as evidence by her new hair. Since Future!Peter changed that future, I wonder if we’ll ever see what led to her change. Regardless, the current Claire has gone through some changes of her own. After Sylar poked around in her head, she no longer feels pain. And apparently she’s “special” in some way and is an immortal. The episode ends with Claire, Lyle, Sandra, and Mr. Muggles being left in the capable (?) hands of Claire’s biological mother. Isn’t this the same lady who was a complete sleaze, liar, and pyro in a previous season? Why are we supposed to be impressed by her return?
Hiro Nakamura and Ando Masahashi
I like Hiro and Ando much more in their current storyline than I did when they were mucking about with that feudal Japan nonsense last season. Hiro’s trying desperately to live up to his name, and he is creating disasters for himself to fix nearly as adeptly as Torchwood unintentionally tried to end the world weekly in its first season. Hiro’s pride in his abilities is developing into hubris, and it’s already caused the confrontation with the speedster girl and the loss of his father’s secret formula. I wonder if his pride and his growing mistrust of Ando will shape Ando into the antagonist Hiro saw in the future. Self fulfilling prophecy, much?
Mohinder Suresh and Maya Herrera
It’s only fitting that the two most annoying characters should hook up. I don’t have much to say about Mohinder and Maya other than that I’ll be very happy on the inevitable day when their brains become Sylar specimens. Mohinder has given himself super powers, but he appears to be shedding something disgusting from his back. Continuing the comic book analogies, it reminds me a bit of Dr. Curt Connors from Spider-Man, experimenting on himself to become The Lizard.
Matt’s in the desert, talking to a turtle, and it’s fantastic. Matt’s never been the sharpest tool in the Heroes shed, and that brought him to being teleport-banished by Future!Peter. I like the guy he meets in the desert, even if he looks to be just another vehicle for getting Tim Sale’s admittedly awesome art back into the story. Oh, and where’s Molly? From what Mohinder was saying, it sounds like she’s been shipped off somewhere, and I’m okay with that.
So we have analogues of Magneto, Pyro, and perhaps Black Bolt, as well as an emotional vampire with super strength on the loose. I wonder what powers Peter has now that he’s in the sound guy’s body. If he still had all his Peter powers, he’d have broken out of the cell easily. Either way, it’ll be an interesting diversion to see this team of villains cutting a swathe of destruction across the country on their apparent road trip.
All in all, I’m very happy with the beginning of season 3. I don’t watch previews, and I try to stay spoiler free, so I don’t know what’s coming for our intrepid band of heroes. I have a lot of guesses, and with the quality of the show ramping back towards season 1 levels, I’m hoping I end up surprised at every turn.