With the start of Heroes’ third season being such a big topic this week, we’re running not one but two reviews. Here’s a second take (again, with spoilers), this time from John, on the first two hours of Heroes: Villains.
Personally, I was more than willing to forgive Heroes for the evident difficulties it had during its painfully condensed second season. According to the DVD intel, because of the writer’s strike a lot of really good plot points had to be scrapped and in the end all we were left with were a bunch of character arcs that went nowhere. Creator Tim Kring clearly shared the viewers’ mindset and vowed that the the next season would be a vast redemption. It gives me a kind of warped solace when the creator of the show has enough consideration to empathize with his fans. I also like that he thought enough of us to give us a reason to come back. I will say that the finale did leave wanting to see what was next. It is in this area that the premiere of season three did NOT disappoint.
It seems that Tim Kring was quite quick to wash his hands of any questions left by the conclusion of season two. In doing so he was able to answer the questions that had me freaking out, namely “Who shot Nathan?” and “Will he survive?” The one bit of credit I WILL give to season two was that Nathan’s story arc was very satisfying and as a result catapulted Nathan to become one of my favorite characters. Now I love seeing how he’s a born again man who literally saw God. Unfortunately that god turns out to be Linderman! This in itself leads to some interesting questions which will indeed have me eager for an answer in subsequent episodes.
After finishing the two episode premiere I can definitely say that the biggest success of the first two episodes lies in the fact that almost immediately after previous questions have been answered, a tsunami of new questions begins to pour in. For the start of a season, that is a very good place to be. Audiences need to finish an episode with a hook in their mouth. They need to be given an incentive to keep on watching. I don’t know about the rest of you lot, but it worked for me. What I want to know right now is the following:
- Will Hiro’s efforts to divert the future actually create the future instead?
- Will the villains released from Section 5 be far worse than Sylar? If so, how is that possible?
- Is Linderman still alive? Or is he just the psychological manifestation of Nathan’s ambitions and potential corruptions?
- It’s blatantly clear that Mohinder was impulsive in his choice to give himself powers without testing the formula. So what are the actual side effects? Right now they look kinda icky.
- Will Claire’s disillusionment lead all the Heroes to ruin? Can she be saved?
- What part will Sylar play in these proceedings now that he has been recaptured?
- This Tracy Strauss person doesn’t seem to be Niki, and if she isn’t, then who is she?
- Where do Mama Petrelli’s loyalties lie? What sort of plans does she have for Sylar?
- Now that Matt Parkman is exiled in Africa, what can he do?
The fact that I’m asking this many questions so soon into the season is a very good indication of this season’s potential. Season two didn’t really give me that. I’m thinking that it was because the creative didn’t want to fill a shot glass with a gallon of water (figuratively speaking), and as a result, leave the audience less dissatisfied than what they ended up being. So, the fact that my attention is diverted in so many directions is a very good hint as to how far it may go this time.
The thing that always sold me on Heroes was how the show conveys its narrative. It comprehends that there are a lot of characters and only so little time in an episode to divert equal attention to all of them. I love how the show will boldly jump in at what seems like the middle of a story and tell us what happened a few months prior ten episodes down the road. That was one of the things that got me through season two, and I hope they do something similar in this season.
The main difficulty of writing this review here and now is that you really can’t complain about anything until later, because the things you may not like now may come heavily into play later and blossom into one of the best parts of the season. So, even if I wanted to, it is too early to dwell on the negatives. Suffice to say the premiere of Heroes’ third season shows a remarkable amount of promise and more promise than one would have expected after the show’s lackluster second season. This just goes to show how much of an event this show is and how (much like the cheerleader) it can take the hits and just keep comin’. So if you’re impulsive enough to write this show off and cast it to the winds, then get off the wagon so there’s more room for the rest of us to enjoy it, because I got the feeling that this may be a helluva ride.
ESSENTIALLY: Though it’s a bit too presumptuous to judge the whole, we can take comfort that the beginning shows a reassuring promise of the show’s reascension to quality.
FINAL GRADE: B+