I’m a forgiving man, capable of starting with a clean slate if I feel like there’s reconciliation to be had. As a Heroes watcher, I’ve been asked to forgive, but then again, I haven’t felt nearly as offended as many of you have by the shows low points. I’ve continued to watch the show through thick and thin, never emotionally invested enough to get worked up over its faults (or really celebrate its high points). Your former TV Club reporter, Sean O’Neal, basically begged us to let him stop watching. But me, I’m watching anyway, so here goes.
Oh, back to that clean slate: Tonight’s episode was supposed to hit the reset button on everything, which it basically did. Arthur Petrelli is dead, Hiro is safely back in the present, and Nathan is being set up (yeah, unbelievably) as the bad guy. We’re to understand that this new 13-episode arc is all about the heroes fleeing from a society that wants to stop them from using their powers. Yes, this sounds exactly like X-Men. But whatever. Let’s see if there’s fun to be had anyway, shall we?
Well, it turns out that “A Clear And Present Danger” was pretty much all setup for the rest of the season, which actually looks like it has some promise. We’re pared back to many of the original heroes, most of whom are ready to simply blend back into society (which they ought to be able to do considering that both “companies”—Primatech and Pinehearst—are gone). Peter is a paramedic who doesn’t seem to have many powers, Mohinder is back driving a cab, Parkman and Daphne are living in unwedded bliss (though she’s bored), and Claire is just about to get shipped off to college, even though she’s concerned (rightfully so) that Sylar is still out there.
But things can’t be that easy. Nathan, who’s apparently grown close to the president (and left skanky Jessica in the dust) has hatched a plan to round up all of the heroes and imprison them (or worse), because he’s so damn worried about the future of America. We don’t know whether he wants to kill them or lock them in Gitmo or brainwash them into an American army of ass-kickers, but we do know that a) he’s working with Angela AND Noah and b) he’s got a pretty kick-ass team, including lead Hero Hunter Zeljko Ivanek.
Peter and Nathan have some “serious” discussions with not-so-thinly veiled parallels to American foreign policy and Claire tries to save some of the other heroes, but the whole episode was pretty much just a set-up to get everyone’s powers re-established, put them all in the same place, and unite them against on a common enemy. To that end, it succeeded almost completely: The big final scene, in which Claire sneaks onto the plane full of captured heroes and frees them, was a nail-biter—and Sylar’s escape from the black-clad army’s clutches was a close second. (Let’s not talk about Ando and Hiro, okay?)
But look, we’re now set up for a good old-fashioned series of chase and fight episodes, with some Heroes intrigue thrown in as well. The plot can’t be as simple as an alliance between Nathan, HRG, and Angela. HRG almost certainly has other motivations, and we never know what Angela is up to. But what we do know is that the heroes (and presumably some villains) will end up in a huge shoot-em-up over their civil rights. Hopefully they won’t fuck it up too badly.
— “What advice could I possibly give you besides kiss my ass, Nathan?”
— Parkman gets the drawing ability, but what good is it when the stuff happens two seconds after you draw it? (Also, Parkman sucks at drawing.)
— Sylar’s real last name is “Gray.” Get it? Cuz it’s never black or white! We’re not sure of his motivations! He’s totally in a moral GRAY area! He might be a hero, he might be a villain! (Clearly he’s gonna flip back to good this cycle, no?)
— Only two guards on a plane filled with some of the most powerful humans ever? That seems like a bad idea.
— Why is Peter so worried about careening out of the plane? Mofo can fly!