Holding Out

Heroes b

I Have in my Hand a Piece of Paper

With all the furore over the 100-day writer’s stirke in the US, one of the shows that apparently got hit pretty hard was Heroes. The shortened 11-episode series began here in the UK with the first two episodes “Four Months Later…” and “Lizards” getting their premiere on BBC2 and the frankly stunning BBC HD channel. Getting to enjoy the show so long after our American cousins got to see it (along with the illegal BitTorrent’ers this side of the Pond) means that I have already got to hear a fair amount of spoilery information and a fair amount of reviews: The Word has not been good. “Nowhere near as good as season one” and “a genuine disappointment” were two of the phrases I stumbled across that led me to slightly dread what I was about to see.

The acid test though, is when you finally get to see it for yourself. There were bad bits, to be sure… [note: deliberate use of phrase “…to be sure” as homage to the Irish accents in the Peter Petrelli sequences that were appalling in van Dykian proportions]. Other less than impressive bits include the overly dull scenes of Parkman’s domestic troubles in his new role as Molly’s guardian, although I guess that this has the potential to become quite interesting when the anti-Company plan being created by the newly-promoted police detective along with Suresh and Bennet gets going. Who else shouted “Ned. Ned Ryerson?!” when Stephen Tobolowski showed up as the Company man during Suresh’s lectures?

Hiro’s troubles in ancient Japan seem a little forced, although the era (especially in HD) is sumptuously recreated and Claire’s attempts to settle in to the new school seem like a step back for the character. Most fascinating was probably the sequences with Hiro’s dad along with Ando and Matron Petrelli with the death-by-hoodie of Sulu Hiro’s dad, being quite a surprise even though I very much doubt that will be the last time we see him… sci-fi’s funny that way. Strangest of all were the brother and sister combo of Maya and Alejandro: simple question… what was that all about?

So far, so business as usual for Tim Kring’s tale. The challenge remains, as it did in season one, to successfully tie these disparate plot threads together into a cohesive whole. They almost pulled it off in season one, but I fear (from the spoilers) that the forshortened season will result in disappointment later.

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