Watching the enormous "Heroes" premiere night tonight, cover to cover, from the one-hour catch-up show to the first two episodes of the new season, one word came to mind: Haphazard.
It's a word I've always found funny, since that "ph" in the middle should make it sound like "Hafazard," but I digress.
Of course anyone who watched the special features on the Season Two DVD (and if you haven't you should) knows Season Two was bastardized by the Writer's Strike. In stopping the virus from spreading in order to bring closure to the year, nearly every character's storyline was abruptly brought to a close, simply because the events they were all working toward was now non-existent. Consequently, we missed out what seems like a GREAT second half to the year.
And the second consequence of catching the virus was seen tonight: Two hours of watching the writers pull storylines out of their rear as quickly as possible. And as any X-Men comic fan will tell you, the fastest way to do that is to bring someone from the future into the fold. Honestly, as I watching "Future Peter" mess around in the past, sending the characters off onto their merry way for another season of mischief, I felt like I was watching Cable... or Rachel Summers... or Lucas Bishop... The X-Men sure like the future, huh?
Unfortunately, it normally feels convoluted when the X-Men do it, and it felt forced here. Although you have to appreciate the metaphor: The Heroes writers changed one tiny thing, catching the virus, and the repercussions cause EVERY storyline to stop. Future Peter changes one thing, killing Nathan, and a whole lot of bad, unexpected, things result as well. It's like rain on your wedding day.
(Speaking of X-Men... a professor with the agility of a gymnast? A German who manipulates magnetism?)
So, if you were the type of fan wishing for MUCH more action than you saw in Season Two, you were in luck tonight. If you appreciate logic, though, you were plain out of luck. In order to appreciate what was so Haphazardly setup for Season Three, you really have to forget what you were expecting from a lot of characters and forget about some logical applications of powers.
At least I'm hoping its all a result of needing to set up the stories quickly, or else these writers just don't understand the world they've created.
And if you could suspend some of your disbelief, like why Clare didn't just jump through a window with those flimsy shutters to evade Sylar or why a simple EMP would knock out the vaunted "Level Five" or why HRG would think Clare's biological Mom could protect her (and how cheesy was that scene with her?)... where was I? Oh yeah, if you can suspend your disbelief, then some of the storylines setup here are actually pretty good.
For instance, I am very intrigued by Nathan's direction here. Is Linderman really there? Is he crazy? Did Peter heal him? Will we see Rena Sofer this year? All of that has my interest. On a related note, whats the deal with this Tracy played by Ali Larter? Please tell me she's not a twin. Oh God I hope it's not a twin.
I really like what they're doing with Hiro and Ando right now (even if the whole thing with George Takei was way too forced). Not even mentioning the fact that this speedster girl seems a perfect adversary for Hiro (both in powers and personality), Ando has had nothing to do for too long. Having him be a possible turncoat has me intrigued, if only for the tension it creates.
And I am thrilled that it seems Kristen Bell is going to keep a large role for this season, if that show of power at the end was any indication. I am hoping hoping hoping she and HRG teamup. Speaking of which, where was the Haitian? I thought her Daddy issues, especially when placed against the backdrop of the Bennetts, was the best piece of writing from Season Two, so hopefully that could continue if she is HRG's partner, even if Bob is dead.
On the other hand, there was plenty I just hated too, mainly the fact that Momma Petrelli is getting WAY too two-dimensional and Maya... nothing in particular, just Maya.
Oh, and the thing I hated most here was, Sylar takes Clare's powers so quickly here? After two seasons of us watching the Heroes do everything in their power to protect her from Sylar? It happened so fast? Seriously? This may have been the worst written part of the story, in my book.
OK, so without further ado, your favorite part of the Heroes Reports (or at least mine, since I get to be much less organized); RANDOM THOUGHTS:
1) Peter and Sylar needed EVEN MORE power? Kill 'em both already!
2) I like human characters in special worlds... and here Mohinder is turned special and we see Ando may become special... that's why I love me some HRG
3) I am praying they don't go the Rogue "I can't touch people" route with Clare. Then again, logically, she really shouldn't have been able to feel her Dad hug her tonight, right? And she didn't say that she couldn't feel him.
4) Sylar says he can't kill Clare... wouldn't melting her do the trick?
5) So Molly's NOT coming back? What the hell, man? Her and Parkman make the perfect pairing!
6) I like how, even in the Catch-up show, Season Two was getting forgotten as quickly as possible. Distancing yourself a little, NBC?
7) I STILL Think Sylar will turn Good at some point.
8) Does Future Peter have anywhere to go home to?
9) I guess we're just going to forget about the Irish girl trapped in the future?
10) Special powers are in adrenaline? Then how about the characters who use their powers in their sleep? Dumb dumb explanation for the origin of powers, as far as I'm concerned.
Overall, I would say this has been a promising premiere. Obviously, you had to forget riding the logic train to enjoy the episodes, but I have faith in these writers to right the ship now that the storylines have started.