It’s finally here, the season 2 premiere of NBC’s Heroes. Appropriately titled “Four Months Later” the episode opens four month after the shocking season finale where lives hung in the balance and two heroes’ fates were unknown. Before we get into the review/recap I have to say that I was somewhat disappointed by the premiere. You really have to go by what the actors are telling you in order to piece together what happened in those four months and a heavy focus on secondary characters left me wanting a lot more.
So where are we four months in the future? Let’s go character by character: Someone from the past is trying to kill Angela Petrelli and Kaito Nakamura and sadly succeeds in offing the latter. Nathan Petrelli lives in a drunken stupor after blaming himself for Peter’s death, losing his wife and kids in the process. The Bennett’s have relocated to the suburbs of Los Angeles under a different name and have done whatever possible to not stand out. Noah Bennett is still up to his old tricks trying to restart a form of The Company while Claire tries to be normal despite a snotty cheerleader and a boy who knows more than he seems. Matt Parkman is now divorced from his wife and has custody of Molly Walker, free of the Company. Molly suffers from horrible nightmares and won’t tell Matt who is watching her. Mohinder is now lecturing across the world about “heroes” and is in some sort of work with Mr. Bennett. Niki, D.L., and Micah are missing in this episode entirely while we meet two new heroes. Maya and Alejandro are trying to escape Honduras as the police stay on their tails. Their powers are not entirely known. Hiro spends the whole episode in feudal Japan and meets his real-life hero, Takezo Kensei who turns out to be a drunken Englishman. The end is where it all comes together when a group of Irish rebels find Peter Petrelli chained to a crate with no memory of whom he is, but he has a spiffy new haircut.
So there’s no way to compare this season premiere to the first because we had no idea how this show would go in the beginning. Knowing what we know now one would expect the opener of season two to immediately deal with the events of the finale. Sadly, the viewer has to piece together what happened themselves. Angela Petrelli tells Nathan he’s the reason Heidi and his sons left, while there’s a brief reference to Matt’s divorce. Now I’m not one who needs my info spoon-fed to me but I think just picking up four months later with not even a flashback to what happened that lead up to these events will confuse some, especially if you’re not entirely finished watching the first season.
This episode also seems to heavily focus on the new secondary characters. Tim Kring has said that the second season will deal with an older generation of heroes, consisting of Angela Petrelli, Kaito Nakamura and others which I was fine with. There were many references made last season to this group so I was intrigued to learn about the death plot. It’s not delved into so much that everything is spoiled but it was interesting to start the arc. I’m not completely warmed up to Maya and Alejandro, we don’t really know what their powers are or why they’re evading Honduran police, at the end I just didn’t care about them enough. Hopefully the writers will flesh them out as the season goes on but in the opener I wasn’t convinced.
Anybody expecting to see the fates of Niki, D.L. or Micah will have to wait until next week’s episode while Sylar is only mentioned in passing. I don’t know why Niki isn’t in this one; we do see her in the previews so hopefully we get some backstory on her. Any Peter Petrelli fans will get a fleeting glance of him at the end; even Nathan only has a couple scenes. It feels like there’s so much emphasis on Hiro and his ordeal along with the secondary characters that the other main figures are left out.
On the upside I loved Hiro and Kensei. David Anders has done amazing work on Alias and here he shines as the drunken Kensei who sends others out to do his dirty work. Him and Masi Oka have a great chemistry together. I also enjoyed the Bennett’s in this episode, although I enjoyed Noah and his job rather than Claire and her trials in her new high school.
Overall I felt under whelmed by this season opener. I’m hoping that everything will right itself as the first couple of episodes progress but with too much emphasis on lesser characters and too many missing in action, I felt that the “heroes” were sleeping on the job. This episode registers a 2 ½ out of 5 on my Heroes scale.