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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Heroes finally finding footing

     Way back in October when I last wrote about NBC's Heroes, I lamented that the show was struggling, but celebrated a few bright spots on the horizon.  After having just viewed Monday's two-parter, I am happy to report that Heroes has found it's stride again.  If you had written Heroes off, now is the time to get back on board.  Catch up online, then read on.

     As before, there has only been limited Hiro (Masi Oka) and Ando (James Kyson Lee), who used to be just about the only part of the show worth watching.  As their names did not even appear in the latest installment's opening credits, one must assume that the plummeting ratings forced the main characters down to limited episode counts.  Not that Hiro has become uneccessary to the show.  He still should have a hand in the showdown, and he has not yet resolved his plot to rescue Charlie (Jayma Mays, Glee).  However, I am gratified to see Heroes mess with time travel and changing the timeline, but not have things go disastrously wrong, as is the norm for science fiction, and have to have it put back.  Ando's new standing is welcome.  There has also been very little seen on Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy), who popped up only briefly in the fall, before disappearing again.  Similarly, another less popular character, Tracy (Ali Larter, Final Destination, Varsity Blues) has appeared in just five of the first thirteen episodes this year.

     Meanwhile, while Claire (Hayden Panettiere, I Love You Beth Cooper) has not gone into lesbianism, as I thought she might, she has gone through a lot, being lied to by her adopted father, loosing her biological father, and almost falling prey to a cult.  She is staying interesting and relevant to the plot.  Speaking of her biological father, it appears that Nathan's (Adrian Pasdar, Judging Amy) plot, months after his death, has finally played out and he will no longer be a part of the show.  This is mostly welcome, though he had gotten more engrossing last season.  The character I most miss at this point is Matt (Greg Grunberg, Alias), who had a hell of an episode battling the villain in his brain, but hasn't been seen since.

     Speaking of villains, has Sylar (Zachary Quinto, 24, Star Trek) finally met his match in newest main cast member Samuel (Prison Break's Robert Knepper)?  Their showdown this week gave me chills, and made me yearn for more.  If the two ever fought head on for long, or teamed up, it would be quite a show.  Samuel is easily the most complex, compelling enemy to grace television screens in quite some time, and his carnival slash cult has given much drive to Volume 5: Redemption, the title for this fourth season.  The place had introduced a slew of new heroes with unusual abilities, and brought a few old ones back out of the woodwork.  Plus, what the heck was up with Sylar's new tattoo of a familiar face?  With only six episodes left, Heroes doesn't have much this spring, but what it does offer will surely be worth tuning in for.

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