No worldwide publicity tours. No hour-long infomercials. Heroes is now just another sci-fi show. And for this episode, at least, it was a decent one.
As it kicks off the critical "Fugitives" arc, not only did the creative team finally get the ball rolling on the various doomsday scenarios it had alluded to throughout the series, but it also skipped to a plot point we used to have to wait at least 10 episodes for – Superhero Team-Up Time!
Building on the fall finale, "A Clear And Present Danger" saw Nathan Petrelli, now the freshly-minted Homeland Security chief, begin to round up the other Heroes, with the help of Mr. Bennet and a new character, Danko (Zeljko Ivanek), aka "The Hunter." In short order, Tracy,Mohinder,Hiro, and Parkman are picked up for shipment to ... well, we never get to find out, thanks to the increasingly pugnacious Claire.
Previously spared by biological daddy Nathan, Claire stows aboard and initiates a jailbreak that goes wrong when Peter, after mistakenly making contact with Tracy (he thought she was Niki) ruptures the hull, which will apparently crash the plane -- but not before ejecting one unknown hooded figure. Judging from next week's previews, most of the core group will at least have survived the crash, and we can bet that the Mystery Masked Metahuman will make his or her presence felt later in the series.
Meanwhile, as predicted by our Roundtable in December, Sylar apparently fell through a plot hole and landed in Baltimore, eyebrows in mid-season form (and actually looking plural!), in the midst of his search for his own biological father, in between bouts of fending off government agents. The attack sequence on Sylar was actually a welcome touch of continuity and common sense, and it actually made one hopeful to find out how Sy survived the destruction of Primatech headquarters.
In fact, the episode was marked by a mostly logical progression of the primary storyline, believable interaction between most of the characters – alas, Greg Grunberg and Brea Grant are still unbelievable an on-screen couple -- and piqued enough interest in the other plotlines (Sylar's search, the remaining Heroes "in play," the unknown detainee) to already put this episode ahead of most of the previous volume.
Next Week: Would it jinx things to wish for a second straight good episode?
The Racialicious Scorecard: Usutu: The Roundtable's favorite character returns! Usutu is apparently still playing Obi-Wan to the newly precognitive Parkman's Luke from beyond the grave. This time, Usutu's spiel involves Matt becoming a "prophet" after inheriting his powers. Anybody else hear Unchained Melody playing whenever the two are on screen together?
Mohinder: Careful what you wish for, doc. After expressing support for Nathan's ideas, Suresh is himself among the first to be tagged and bagged, and not even his super-strength (a remnant from his Spider-Mo days?) can save him from being betrayed by Noah. Mo did, however, share a nice moment with Peter before being captured. My only complaint was that he seemed to forget the whole "left for dead face-down in viscous liquid in a burning building" thing a little too quickly. We'll see how this plays out.
Hiro &Ando: When we rejoin Tokyo's finest, Hiro's mission is to help his buddy become a full-on superhero, complete with spandex, Ando-cycle, and fortress of geekitude. Fortunately for Ando, he's aware his "super-charger" power is limited – and that women dig his groovy bike. Unfortunately for both of them, Hiro's rounded up by Nathan's Stormtroopers. (Another welcome bit of logic: Nate had no way of knowing Hiro was de-powered, or that Ando had powers now.) Hopefully this leads to an Ando/Daphne reunion, as Grant and James Kyson Lee actually did show chemistry during their scenes together last year.
Stay tuned later in the week for the return of the Racialicious Roundtable!
Besides writing my thoughts and reviews here, I'm a Special Correspondent for Racialicious.com and the co-creator and co-host of Hour 42, a podcast covering superheroes -- in the air, on the air and all around us.
I'm not a good person. I'm the guy who whistled "Always Look On The Bright Side" during Passion Of The Christ. I've gone to SCA battles and yelled, "WHAT'S IN YOUR WALLET?!" You can say it, it's okay: Smart-ass. Jerk. Bigmouth. This is where I share my take on ... well, basically everything. But especially the geeky stuff in life.