Heroes season 3 episode 1 review

The talking is over, and the Heroes are back. Spoilers lie ahead, too...

If you don’t like spoilers then don’t read on, as we reveal the opening episode of Heroes season 3!

Given what a mess that season 2 of Heroes turned into, ‘Villains’ has much work on its plate to get the show back on the same rails that the first year ran. But for anyone ready to get into this I recommend you re-watch the season two finale, or you’ll be entirely confused about the convoluted plot developments you’ll experience in the first 10 minutes of the new season opener ‘Second Coming’.

If the first season was about knowing what would happen in the future and stopping it, the whole bent of this one is about knowing how things turned out and trying to go back in time to alter the past.

The story starts four years in the future with Claire making a poor attempt to kill a future Peter Petrelli, who then goes back in time and shoots his own brother Nathan as we saw at the end of season 2. Clearly the public revelation that super-powers exist has disastrous consequences which Peter is trying to unravel.

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Then we’re teased by a short Hiro and Ando sequence before we go back to present day Claire who opens the door to Sylar. There then follows Tim Kring’s salute to John Carpenter’s original Halloween, as he pursues her through the house before we jump to Suresh and Maya, before things get really interesting. In this respect the entire first episode flits between the known characters, injecting a little of each into the cocktail, fashioning as it does new plotline and scenarios.

We get to meet some new characters, a cute girl who’s a ‘speedster’ and some old ones we thought where long dead.

Sylar gets Claire’s powers but can’t kill her for some unexplained reason, and Nathan survives but now thinks he’s an ‘Angel’. This episode is all a bit weird in places, but not in a necessarily bad way.

Bruce Boxleitner is introduced as a New York Governor whose girlfriend bears an uncanny resemblance to Niki, but it’s nothing more than tease at this stage. And rerunning the pilot show, Hiro sees into the future and the destruction of a city. And for good measure Suresh works out how the powers actually work and duly makes himself super-human. The best revelation comes at the end when we finally get to see Angela Petrelli’s secret power, although those who’ve got the DVD boxset will already know, because it was an outtake in season 2.

So does it undo the mutant experiment of the second season? Somewhat, but it’s not as if how wrong that went is easily fixable. Tim Kring is starting to put the bricks back in the wall of this narrative, but considering how many characters he has, this could take three of four episodes to get all of them assembled. Heroes worked best when it was only driving three or four plotlines, and the temptation is there to make this way to complicated for most people to follow.

It’s obvious that we’re heading into role reversal countr where previously good Heroes become Villains, and vice versa. How believable those conversions are will be the pivot on which season 3 swings, one way good and other not so.

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I’ve lined up episode 2 now to watch now, which I’ll bring you an overview of tomorrow.