Heroes Volume Three, Chapter One: The Second Coming


After a ten-month hiatus, Heroes is back in fine form with a double helping of zest, aplomb, and cheerful nitwittery. Let’s get to it: we open in Manhattan, four years in the future. Evil Alternate Future Peter (the one with the honking scar across his face) tells a gun-toting Evil Alternate Future Claire he’s going back in time to change the past and thus prevent a grim future. EAF Claire shoots him. EAF Peter stops time, steals EAF Claire’s gun, and teleports to present-day Odessa, Texas, where Nathan is in the middle of The Worst Speech in This or Any Other Universe from last season’s finale. EAF Peter shoots Nathan, thus bringing the speech to a merciful close.

In Costa Verde, Claire sees the news announcement about the attack on Nathan. She calls Peter, who is in the ambulance with a critically-wounded Nathan. Peter tells her to stay put. Nathan dies on the operating table but, in grand Heroes tradition, magically returns to life.

While investigating Nathan’s shooting, Matt runs into Evil Alternate Peter, who has been impersonating Present-Day Peter. To prevent him from ruining his plan to murder Nathan, EAF Peter teleports Matt to the middle of a desert, location unknown, then heads to the hospital to finish the job. Nathan, meanwhile, leaves his sickbed and wanders into a church, where he tells a handy news crew that, in light of his miraculous recovery, he’s decided he’s here to do God’s bidding. EAF Peter lurks in the shadows and prepares to shoot his brother, but hesitates when he hears him yammer on about God. (In lesser hands, I’d be dubious about this religious-zealot plotline, but Adrian Pasdar just might be wonky and cool enough to pull this off. We shall see.)

Back in the hospital, the presumed-dead Linderman appears to Nathan and claims to be the one who brought Nathan back to life. Malcolm McDowell, sir, it’s good to see you back on the show.

Tokyo: Hiro, with Ando at his side, has inherited Yamagato Industries from his father (didn’t Season One establish Hiro’s sister as Kaito’s heir?). Hiro watches a DVD Kaito made posthumously, in which he entrusts Hiro with one sacred duty: never, ever, ever open the safe in his office, as the contents have the potential to destroy the world.

So Hiro opens the safe.

Ando is appalled by this. He babbles on about dishonor and betrayal and how Kaito was like a father to Ando. Oooooooh, at some point this season, we’re totally going to find out that Hiro and Ando are brothers, aren’t we? The safe contains half of a chemical formula, which is snatched out of Hiro’s hands by a red blur. Hiro stops time and discovers the red blur is a feisty young blonde thing who can move at super-speed. She’s adorable, but her appearance does kind of beg this question: does Heroes really need any more cute, feisty young blonde things? The feisty blonde knocks Hiro out and escapes with the formula.

Hiro takes a quick jaunt into the future to see if, per Kaito’s warning, the world is really going to be destroyed, now that the formula has been stolen. He teleports into the middle of a mess of sirens and riots, where he spots Evil Alternate Future Hiro battling Evil Alternate Future Ando. EAF Ando shoots bolts of red electricity from his hands, kills EAF Hiro, and steals the formula, just before what looks like a gigantic electrical surge destroys Tokyo. Hiro zips back to present-day Tokyo and tells Ando they really, really need to recover the formula.

Brooklyn: Mohinder has just stuck young Molly on a plane to parts unknown to keep her safe from Sylar. Maya wants Mohinder’s help in getting rid of the Black Eye Goo of Death. Mohinder decides to return to India instead. Perturbed, Maya unleashes the Black Eye Goo of Death, but manages to reign it in before killing him. From this, Mohinder realizes the special abilities are caused by adrenaline yadda yadda neural pathways yadda glands yadda genomes, and he’s thusly inspired to stay in New York and continue his work. Using Maya’s adrenal glands, he whips up a serum that can give special abilities to anyone. It’s safe to conclude Heroes has not yet ponied up the cash to hire a science advisor. Maya urges him to destroy the serum. Perhaps to symbolize Mohinder’s flirtation with the dark side, he’s doing all kinds of unflattering things with hair gel. Go back to the fluffy, crazy curls, Mohinder! Wild, uncontrolled hair is your friend!

Sylar breaks into Claire’s house, indulges in some evil banter, and attacks her. Claire knocks him out with a cheerleading trophy, then grabs a butcher knife and runs for it. Welcome to Heroes, newly-competent Claire! Stick around, will you? Already you’ve been more useful and proactive and, dare I say it, likeable than in all of last season. Sylar takes a break from hunting Claire to snoop through her father’s files on the various super-powered people held by the Company. Claire sneaks up and stabs him. Sylar lops the top of her head off. Thanks to her regenerative ability, Claire remains awake while Sylar prods about in her brain and figures out the secret of her healing ability. He gives Claire the top of her skull back and tells her she can never die. Now that he’s gained her powers, neither can he.

Governor Malden (Bruce Boxleitner) watches news coverage of Nathan’s spiritual conversion with rapt interest. He’s joined by a lingerie-wearing blonde woman who answers to the name “Tracy Strauss”--yet who is the spitting image of Niki/Jessica.

Angela Petrelli confronts EAF Peter. Her special ability--the power of precognitive dreams--is revealed for the first time. She had a vision of the stolen chemical formula destroying the future. Angela tells EAF Peter he’s messed up the course of history by shooting Nathan.

On Level Five of the Primatech facility, Present-Day Peter is right where Evil Alternate Future Peter has hidden him: trapped in the body of Weevil from Veronica Mars, who, here, is playing a Company prisoner named Jesse.

Mohinder goes down to the docks with the intention of tossing his power-giving serum into the ocean, because apparently there are no waste baskets in his laboratory. Naturally, Mohinder decides to inject himself with the serum instead. I have this theory that, somewhere in the Heroes writers’ room, there’s an enormous jar filled with slips of paper, upon which are written a series of entirely random actions, i.e. “Shoots Noah Bennet” or “Returns to India” or “Discovers his own magical blood” or “Shacks up with Matt Parkman”. Whenever the writing staff needs to figure out Mohinder’s next course of action, they pull a slip out of the jar and run with whatever’s written on it. This time, they chose the “Gives himself superpowers” slip. When muggers attack Mohinder, the serum kicks in and gives him super-strength and super-agility. He beats the crap out of his attackers.

In an episode-concluding voiceover, Mohinder quotes from “The Second Coming” and takes us into the credits. Just as a side note, Mohinder’s voiceovers greatly improve when they’re scripted by Yeats instead of by the Heroes writers. But perhaps that went without saying.

Comments

Dan said…
Ah... very good indeed. Couldn't resist the spoilery goodness.

As for 'does Heroes really need any more cute, feisty young blonde things?'

I'm pretty sure the Heroes people are working on the theory that one can never have too many cute, feisty young blonde things.

Y'know, just like the Charlie's Angels franchise. Or Sweden.
Morgan Richter said…
It's good stuff. You'll enjoy it when it finally airs in your corner of the globe. It's zippy and splashy and utterly nonsensical, which is exactly how I like it.

The new feisty young blonde thing is perfectly adorable. I'd suggest trading Claire in for her, just to keep the number of feisty young blonde things to a reasonable percentage, but Claire was on her best behavior this episode. So for the moment, I'm willing to tolerate the glut of blondes.

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