Heroes 2:3 review

It's episode three of the second series, and Curtis is, much to his chagrin, beginning to have real doubts about Heroes...

The last two episodes of Tim Kring’s Heroes have been slow… See-le-ohhh. But even worse, it’s been 80 minutes of domestic soap opera, which – to say the least – is not what I watch the show for.

So, sitting down to watch episode three is not the usual rush-to-the-sofa-can’t-wait affair. It’s currently Tuesday morning and I’m writing this before flicking the recording on. I’m quite apprehensive and have been for the last week; is my love affair ending? Is familiarity breeding contempt? And even more worryingly, can this next instalment actually push the story somewhere interesting?

Skip forward half a day – and cue change of tense. Er… no, sorry, not really… It’s more scene setting I’m afraid… It’s better, but not much – we’re still dealing with lots of season two fallout and the new arcs are struggling to assert themselves. In fact, I’ve put off writing this review, just to make sure exactly how negative I feel about the show. More on this later, but here’s where we are… Next stop: spoilerville for the Brits.

Peter’s been roped into an armed robbery by the Irish boys. However, as the job is explained to him by the main man he pulls a Matt Parkman and hears the thoughts of one other member of the group, as he plots to double cross the gang and steal the money.

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Maya and Alejandro are still on the run, with the unlucky brother getting arrested for trying to steal a car. Leaving Maya alone again.

DL’s dead – this is revealed when we get our first sight of Nicki/Jessica and Micah, saying goodbye at the grave as they head out of Vegas. Jessica makes the strange comment that ‘if ever you want to see your father, I promise I’ll make that happen’

Oooh, and Sylar’s still breathing too. Apparently pulled off Kirby Plaza by Candice (the dream-maker who previously worked for Lindermann). She looks different (her first incarnation Missy Peregrym defected, and is now rocking the CW as Andi in the excellent series Reaper), and has obviously gotten more stupid too – seemingly thinking it’s okay to be alone with a psycopath. Sylar’s had to have eight operations to survive Hiro’s attempt to make sushi from him, and is in pretty bad shape. He’s also lost all of his powers… This needless to say, pisses him – and his God complex – off quite a bit.

Noah Bennet (a.k.a. Horn Rimmed Guy) informs Claire that if anyone found out who she really was, they’d have to leave California and go deeper undercover. With this in mind, she tries to convice fly-boy West that chopping her toe off with a pair of scissors was a pedicure accident. He’s not biting, natch… And embarrasses her with some Lizard related Qs in class. A-hole.

Mo’s back in NY, just in time to get some home truths from Matt about exactly how nasty the company he’s trying to sting is.

Ando finds a secret compartment in the handle of Kensei’s sword. Inside it are scrolls written 300-odd years earlier by Hiro, telling the next instalment of his attempt to make a legend out of the useless Brit. Is it me, or is it strange that no-one noticed the legend ‘Ando – Open’ on the base of this extremely valuable historic object..? Yeah, yeah I know Space/Time continuum is disturbed, Doc Brown, Back To The Future… blah blah blah… Whatever, it’s weak guys, weak.

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We know Peter doesn’t know his name, but he also appears to have forgotten how to wear a shirt. I estimate about 70% of his screen time so far has been topless. He’s also back to not being able to control all the powers he’s absorbed, and so we have to watch him learn it all again. Yawn…

Claire shows-down with West and admits to being ‘a freak’. West celebrates by going all Superman on her and transporting her Lois Lane-style across Cali. Subtle! Way not to get noticed guys. Apparently, being able to fly immediately renders him not an asshole. I wish some of my exes were as good as Claire at not holding a grudge.

Peter helps with the robbery – moving a truck with his mind in the process. Little Irish lady is – to say the least – shocked.

The company has inexplicably located Mo’s new lab in Isaac’s old flat. It appears that, for now, the only logical reason for this is to allow him to flick through Mendes’ old painting on behalf of HRG and push the plot along. Again guys, unless there’s a good other reason coming up for this move: THIS IS WEAK.

Nicki/Jessica is dropping Micah off with family in New Orleans while she does ‘something that I have to do…’

… said family turns out to be played by Nichelle Nichols (a.k.a. Uhura from the original Star Trek). Here’s hoping for a Shatner cameo soon.

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Maya does the black tears thing to get Alejandro out of jail, with him doing his bit to heal them all afterwards. As they escape, they enlist the help of a stoner-sounding guy in the next cell. He has a car, it happens to be a Nissan Rogue. What’s more, a bumper sticker betrays it as quite possibly the one Claire had stolen last episode. Looks like stoner boy’s been on a jolly to Mexico. Guess where they’re heading?

Peter was right about the inter-gang double-cross of course, but gets shot for his trouble – only to heal in front of everyone and telepathically pin the traitor (Dominic Keating/Lt. Reed from Enterprise) to the wall. Now everyone in the gang knows he’s different…

Cut back to an angry Sylar; Michelle offers to help him regain his powers – also offering the help of the ‘people she works for’. But, being what he is, Sylar has a better idea; why not just start re-accumulating his skills the old-fashioned way starting with hers?

However, after killing Betty (read the comics)/Candice/Michelle he finds that his usual mojo hasn’t worked, and he cannot perform her tricks. Things go from bad to worse when he steps outside of the dingy room he’s in, only to find jungle all sides of him as far as the eye can see. Sylar’s Lost (geddit?).

Peter’s earned the respect of the robber family, even to the extent of getting the gang tattoo (which eerily heals showing the Kensei logo before disappearing). He gets back the box that holds everything they found on him in the container. But he’s not sure he wants to open it, scared that he’s not a good man (all a bit Total Recall, eh?). He decides to keep the box shut, taking a snog off the pretty sister instead.

Talking of snogging, guess what Claire’s up to with West? During their little liason, West tells a tale of being abducted – much like Matt, Isaac et al – and being given the tracking mark on the neck. It’s obvious that he was taken by HRG. Claire obviously starts to doubt her dad’s motives and character.

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The alchemist that’s running Mo’s lab is up to something – he’s striking a deal to ‘heal’ Nicki/Jessica…

… and whilst those two are chatting on the phone, Mo finds painting 8/8 in the series that depicts the death of the ‘company men’. It depicts HRG dead – with a bullet through the eye – with Claire kissing a shadowed hooded man in the background. Noah’s understandably spooked… And will no doubt be looking differently at his daughter from now on.

Cue ‘To be continued…’

Okay, we are getting somewhere, but it’s slim pickings at the moment. Sylar’s apparently been rendered useless for the next few episodes at least and probably the season; and it’s sad to see last season’s big bad guy so lost and powerless, at least in terms of the season. Obviously it clears the way for whatever’s coming – and for Quinto to start on Star Trek next month with a few short cameos probably already filmed.

The real problem is with the new characters. Maya and Alejandro are becoming less and less likeable as the story progresses. Maya especially is starting to become a little warped by her power, willingly entering the police station almost sure that she’d have to use her powers. West, I’m afraid, comes over as a massive dick, and at the moment, he’s the main target of my wrath. The idea that Claire is into this sarcastic, childish little weevil is quite upsetting; that all of his vindictiveness is forgotten because he can fly, and the fact that she didn’t just brand him a massive hypocrite, is risible.

I explained several of my other problems as part of the synopsis, but it all adds up – in my opinion – to a script that’s losing its way. I know the premise of season one was that all of these people are being inexplicably drawn together and there was a lot of apparent coincidence there too, and I’m sure the odds are that Mo’s been deliberately allowed to find that painting. But it’s all starting to feel a whole lot less substantial than it did a few months back. It’s still too soon for me to write this all off, but how much longer I’ll last is a matter for debate.

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