TV Review - 'Heroes' Season 3 Premiere Dark But Promising

Post Game: Heroes 3.4

SPOILER WARNING

Whatever one thinks of the second season of Heroes, there's one thing you can’t deny. It sure ended with a bang with the assassination attempt of Nathan Petrelli.

Note the key word, “attempt". You don’t think they’d kill a leading character that easily, do you?

But let's not bury the lead…. Heroes fans will jump with joy beginning this Monday. If the premiere episode is any indication, it looks like the third season of the NBC series will keep the faithful on the edge of their seats. And there are a lot of reasons why.

A good place to start is the attempt on Petrelli. It’s going to lead to three interesting situations, one for each key member of the clan.

First, of course, is Nathan (Adrian Pasdar). Having several bullet holes appears in your chest can change your outlook on life. The way it changes this young Congressman’s is certainly surprising, particularly as it looks like it brings back Daniel Lindeman (in the form of Malcolm McDowell, no less). It also brings a new, for lack of better word, “challenge” in the form of Bruce Boxleitner. What the former Captain Sheridan has to do with this is barely hinted at in this debut, but one gets the impression it’s truly malevolent…

And what is Ali Larter doing coming out of his bedroom? Better yet, who is she anyway?

Probably the most confusing of this trio is brother Peter (Milo Ventimiglia). It’s well-known on the 'Net that Peter is Nathan’s shooter. Thing is, if you remember, Peter was also standing next to Nathan when he was shot. How this potential paradox will be resolved is going to take Matt Parkman (Greg Grunburg) to some very interesting places, with at least one not on his travel itinerary.

Yet probably the most interesting member of the Petrelli clan isn’t the two brothers, but Angela (Christine Rose). One of the biggest revelations of this episode is we finally learn her power. It’s impossible not to see it having ramifications for the rest of the season.

And while we have this key Gordian knot taking up the bulk of this debut episode, it would be Heroes without its side stories.

A good place to start is with the fan base’s favorite dynamic duo, Hiro Nakamura (Masa Oki) and Ando Masahashi (Jason Kyson Lee). As everyone now knows, Hiro is going to have a new adversary in the form of a speedster, Daphne (Brea Brooks). She even sports red like a certain familiar DC character. More important is what Hiro did to bring her into the picture. How this all connects to a future time where Ando zaps Hiro with what looks like a ton of red lightning is yet to be explained.

But that could be answered by what’s going down with Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy). As fans already know, he establishes the connection between what can turn a normal person into a powered one. It doesn’t take much reasoning to figure out this probably has a direct connection to Ando turning on Hiro. What has to be extrapolated is what it’s now going to do with Suresh’s first experiment with the conversion process, especially considering the warning he gets from Maya (Dania Ramirez).

Then there’s the “tasty” confrontation between everyone’s favorite cheerleader, Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) and the series #1 boogie man, Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Her episode opening confrontation with Peter should also not be forgotten. Then there’s her dad, Noah (Jack Coleman) doing his Steve McQueen imitation in a Company cell.

In fact, the only critical characters not seen throughout this entire episode is young Micah Sanders (Noah Grey-Cabey) and his New Orleans clan. That can’t last for long. What’s important about all these various disparate plot lines is an implied message that they all tie together.

As has long been reported, this new arc, entitled “Villains,” was originally supposed to have taken place as the third part of the second season. Due to the writers strike and reaction to the first part of second season, series creator Tim Kring decided to take extra time to overhaul it. You can now say that Kring put this time to good use. It grabs a viewer’s attention from the opening sequence in much the same way the assassination attempt of Nathan held everyone’s attention so long ago.

NBC will actually air this episode as the middle section of a three-hour block this Monday, September 22. The first segment will be a combination recap/launch party special for the season. The last segment will be the actual second episode, which if the log lines are any indicator, will explore everything uncovered in the season debut.

Does it look like Heroes is back on track? If this first episode is any indicator, it most certainly looks that way. Yes, the atmosphere is darker. Yes, the threat to the world is very similar to the first season’s, only potentially bigger. Most importantly, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more memorable moments in the very near future.

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