'Heroes' Premiere: Something to Build Upon
Peter has cut himself off from society on "Heroes." (NBC Official Photo Release)
The two-hour season premiere of "Heroes" wasn't too memorable, but it gave the show exactly what it needed: a strong foundation for the rest of the year.
Unfortunately, it appears few people noticed, as the overnight rating for Heroes was a combined 6.0 for the two episodes. If that number holds, it would make Monday night's premiere the lowest rating in the history of the series.
Tim Kring and Co. knew they had a steep hill to climb after what the show offered the last two seasons, but that has to hurt. Not only did the show come in fourth in their time slot, but the season premieres of both "Dancing with the Stars" and "House" nearly had triple the amount of viewers "Heroes" did.
The lower viewership numbers may make the episodes "Orientation" and "Jump, Push, Fall" a numerical failure, but they succeeded in establishing the show's desire to return to a finer form.
It was no mistake that most of the visual flashbacks seen at the start of the premiere were images from the first season. With a slower, much more deliberate pace and a focus on personal relationships, last night definitely had a season one type feel to them.
With two episodes worth of content to cover, it's easier to look at the main characters individually:
Providing the opening monologue in the form of a eulogy for his brother, Samuel spoke of coming together as a family that offered salvation, hope, and redemption. It is unclear exactly what Samuel has in mind, but he has already caused the death of Danko, set Hiro on a "righteous path," and recovered a mysterious compass. Now he has set his sights on adding Claire, Sylar, and Peter to the "family."
So is Samuel the new baddie the heroes will ultimately have to defeat? Or, as Tracy said, is the carnival gang a group the heroes should actually find a way to help? Either way, Samuel is already a much more interesting character than the ones introduced last year.
It's funny that Edgar called Peter an "empath" because that couldn't be further from the truth. Burdening himself with trying to make up for what his family has done in the past, Peter is obsessed with working double shifts and saving as many lives as he can. While he may call it a "simple life," Peter has completely cut himself off from the rest of society, finding more pleasure in newspaper clippings than in making friends. Wishing to avoid any connections, he refuses to call his mother or brother, choosing instead to sit in his empty apartment listening to police scanners.
Noah was right when he told Peter it was "no way to live," but Peter refused to listen. It's hard to imagine, though, that something or someone isn't coming along soon to change Peter's mind. When Peter does learn to empathize with others again, let's hope he gets his empathic mimicry power back as well.
Noah's advice to Peter came from excruciating personal experience. When he remarked to Angela that he was no longer "the man with the plan," it was obvious times have changed for him. There wasn't a more depressing sequence in the premiere than seeing Noah burn his dinner in the toaster oven and having to settle for cereal, which was only followed by a call to Sandra that was picked up by another man. After twenty years of doing what he believed was right by his family, Noah is now completely alone.
Having no one else to turn to, Noah sought an alliance with Tracy, which was sealed with some freshly delivered clam chowder soup. At first unsure as to whether she was going to end up killing him or not, Noah's bond with Tracy grew with each of their conversations. Both of these characters have lost everything they lived for, so it will be interesting to see how they help each other on the road to redemption.
Hell bent on revenge, Tracy had already killed five government agents by the beginning of the episode and she attempted to kill Noah by flooding his car. But Noah was right when he said that Tracy isn't a killer; she just didn't know what else to do. The shared connection between the two was genuine and appealing, but hopefully it stays platonic.
Now that she has stopped killing and has made a partnership with Noah, will she able to regain parts of her old life?
Matt should be feeling great right now: He has reunited with Janice, is getting to make up for lost time with his son, and is back being a detective. Racked by guilt, though, that little matter of turning Sylar into Nathan has cast a large shadow over his life. Having realized how dangerous his power can be, Matt has sworn off using telepathy, that is until he is manipulated by the vision of Sylar that has started to take over his mind.
How long will it take before Matt cracks and he restores Sylar? Not long judging by all the bouts of yelling, anger, and jealousy his Sylar hallucination has already caused. What Matt really wants is a peaceful life, and that will never happen until he reverses what he did to Sylar at the end of last season.
The whole plan of having Sylar haunt Matt could have been awful, but it was handled pretty well in the first two episodes. Zachary Quinto's charisma as Sylar is undeniable and he proved again why Sylar is one of the most beloved villains on television, even while having such little screen time. Hopefully having Sylar only as a vision in Matt's mind won't last too much longer because the idea will grow tiresome with each week that it continues.
Perhaps Matt won't have to worry about restoring Sylar since "Nathan" is on the way to figuring out the truth himself. Unsure about everything going on in his life (he had no idea if he liked sushi or not), accidentally using telekinesis and electric manipulation only added to his already troubled mind. The truth can't be far away for "Nathan," especially if he continues to tap into Sylar's different powers.
Angela is growing more desperate and scared by the second. In the back of her mind, she must know that she won't be able to keep "Nathan" around forever, especially after having that dream. It may have been an emotional decision for her to turn Sylar into Nathan, but now it seems now she only wants to keep "Nathan" around so she can continue to control him.
Hiro and Ando
Having started a "Dial-A-Hero" business, Hiro and Ando have gone from saving the world to saving a cat. Then Hiro confessed he was dying and accidentally sent himself 14 years into the past, to the moment when he began his path to becoming a hero. Tempted by Samuel to prevent this from happening, and thus stopping his impending death, Hiro chose not to interfere. Samuel wouldn't let his new "great friend" off so easily, though, as he forced Hiro to prevent the moment in which his sister, Kimiko, developed a hatred for Ando.
Hiro's actions in the past led to one significant change when he returned to the present: Ando and Kimiko are now a loving couple. Seeing how happy Ando has become, Hiro has chosen to go back and fix the wrongs he has committed. It was a pretty quick flip-flop for Hiro (he earlier stated to Ando that he "must never change the past" because there was too much danger), so might he actually end up doing more harm then good? Does anyone believe Hiro will actually die?
For the first time in a long time, Claire didn't come off as an annoying little brat who wants to be involved in everything. She is truly trying to lead a normal life, but of course the death of her college roommate (suicide? murder? accident?) will surely derail that plan. Claire tried her best to stay out of it, but by falling out the window, and revealing her power to Gretchen, it looks like Claire's life will become not so normal again.
Gretchen (who might have a power of her own considering her "I must be getting better every second" quote when playing Guitar Hero) has been teased all summer as a possible love interest for Claire. Whether their friendship heads that direction or not, Claire now has someone to confide in since Gretchen knows everything there is to know about her.
Well, umm...they mentioned his name once. Honestly, he was not missed.
So overall, the premiere wasn't perfect, but it was a good start for the season. Let's just hope the coming weeks see the show continue to build upon what was started Monday night instead of tearing it down.