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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Heroes, Season Premiere

(Episodes: Orientation, Jump, Push, Fail. Spoilers ahead.)

The episodes aired last week Monday. I've been busy, so I'm just starting to catch up on Heroes. I have not watched this week's episode yet.

We're introduced to a new set of characters - the Sullivans, a carnival-operating family of mutants. The elderly Arnold has an ailing time-travel ability (never demonstrated). Samuel has telekinesis; according to Heroes wiki, the ability is limited to "earth and other minerals." Whatever tattoo ink he uses conforms to those limits, as he uses it to put a choke hold on Edgar, who has super speed.

Lydia Sullivan presents a plot conundrum. She appears to have an Isaac Mendez-like precog ability that manifests itself in images; she beings out the images with tattoo ink injected into her back. Heroes Wiki says she is an empath - the same power as Peter's. That would explain how she can manipulate the ink like Samuel. Precog she would have acquired from someone else. But why doesn't she have Arnold's?

Samuel is seeking out a time traveler, as Arnold's power is fizzled. Somehow he gets his wish. Hiro involuntarily travels back to the carnival, when it was in Japan 14 years ago. He meets Samuel, who knows who he is, and who convinces Hiro that he can change individual historical events while avoiding the temporal butterfly effects that dominated earlier seasons.

Hiro changes one event. It was this day when he, Ando and Kimiko visited the carnival, and Hiro caused an accidental Slushy spill that ruined Kimiko's dress. She blamed Ando for the incident, and hated him ever since. Present Hiro gets in the way of the flying Slushy. The accident prevented, Kimiko and Ando fall in love at the carnival, and have been a romantic couple for 14 years. One wonders why they never got married; maybe it wasn't expedient during her father's lifetime, given Ando's low spot on the totem pole.

"Nathan" - who is really Sylar - is starting to discover Sylar's powers; he accidentally telekineses a coffee cup and pops off an electric charge from his hands. We don't know quite what's going through his head. He tries to contact Peter, who won't respond to his phone call. Earlier, Nathan speaks to Angela about feeling detached from his past; knowing the truth, she tries to convince him it's a normal midlife crisis.

She contacts Matt Parkman, telling him of the conversation, and trying in vain to enlist him into reinforcing the Nathan delusion on Sylar. The experience has left a side effect on Matt; in Star Trek terms, he has Sylar's katra. (One suspects that the irony is intentional; Zachary Quinto played Spock in the Trek reboot.)

Sylar appears in several "hallucinations." He wants his original body back. Living in Matt's head, he knows that Matt has been trying to get away from his powers. Sylar needs Matt's ability to get back, so he's manipulating Matt to accept his powers again.

Claire is in college now, in Arlington VA. Her dorm-mate Annie is an overconfident Type-A sort who makes the late Arthur Petrelli look like a slacker. Claire meets Gretchen, an Austin native who remembers Claire's name from the news about the cheerleader murder. After a party, Claire discovers Annie has plummeted out the dorm window to her death.

Gretchen wants to investigate; both suspect a murder, and Claire doesn't remember seeing a suicide note that the authorities found on her pillow. Gretchen suggests testing the suicide theory by dropping a cadaver of Annie's weight out the window. Claire talks Gretchen out of swiping a cadaver, but when everyone's asleep Claire (surprise) uses herself as the crash test dummy. The fall does indeed look like a suicide - but Gretchen has now witnessed Claire's power...

Following the theme of killing off annoying characters...Danko saves Noah from drowning in his car at Tracy's hand. He wants to team up with Noah to kill Tracy. Noah in turn tries to get Tracy to back off from Danko, promising to make Danko forget about her. He keeps his promise, with help from The Haitian's ability. Tracy shows up at Danko's, and discovers quickly that Danko has no memory of her. While at the door Edgar Sullivan shows up in Danko's apartment, kills Danko with Gurkha knives, and fights Tracy until he finds he can't kill her.

Ed runs off, and Bennett eventually arrives. He examines the scenem, and finds the intruder's apparent interest: a key, located in Danko's abdomen. (Say what???) It leads to a safe deposit box, which Bennett retrieves with Peter in tow. Edgar shows up, and Peter gets his power and drives off Edgar. The box contains a compass that seems to detect people with abilities; it spins crazily in Peter's hand but acts normally in Bennett's. Edgar eventually gets the compass, wounding but not killing Bennett. (Edgar did not want to kill again; Samuel had coerced him into the mission against Danko.)

At the end Lydia displays three faces on her back: Claire, Sylar and Peter. Why these three?

Update: I forgot to mention one key plot development - Hiro is terminally ill, apparently tied to the artificial reacquisition of his powers via Baby Parkman's ability last season (the nosebleeds started then), and apparently something diagnosable by a conventional doctor. Will Hiro find a cure?

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