Let me start off by saying I must completely evaluate what I know and will know about Heroes in this upcoming season. After watching the first and second episodes tonight ("The Second Coming" and "The Butterfly Effect" respectively) I must regain my feet in the world of Heroes, for I was not expecting some of the stuff that happened and it's all rather complex now.
"The Second Coming" Review
I knew most of what would happen in this episode because of the spoilers that were out there (I'm not entirely against spoilers). I was very pleased by the beginning of the episode and how dark the future always seems to be. By now a dark future seems inevitable. What I really enjoyed about the episodes the most, besides the plot, was the characters themselves.
I'm not entirely sure what to think of Future Peter. He has the most powerful ability of them all but he's not quite sure how to use them even after four years of experience. And by use them I don't know mean he doesn't know how to execute his abilities he just doesn't know how to handle them. For instance: time traveling. Hiro learned this lesson long ago with his failure with Charlie in Season 1 but Peter has yet to learn this lesson but his mistake is much more grand is mostly the huge theme of the second episode (I'll go into later).
I'll admit, I downright hated Claire's character for a while. She even mentions it herself in the show that her power is lame but I like what's happening to her now. After (spoiler) Sylar takes her ability she gains a new one, or, her current one heightens. Claire can heal from any mortal wound but she always felt the pain before she healed herself. Now she doesn't which prompts us to understand why future Claire would want to shoot Peter square between the eyes. I wonder how far the "non-feeling" goes though. Can she not feel others touch? Is she completely numb? It will be interesting to see where this all goes.
The whole sequence between Claire and Sylar was fantastic. Zachary Quinto as Sylar rocks to socks off the show once again. He does a fantastic job. Keep it up buddy!
Hiro's story was humorous but I've been sick with his character as well, especially after reading "Saving Charlie." After his time with Charlie, Hiro should have been a man and should have been maturing more to where future Hiro is. No, he's still a wimp. Season two, his father dies right in front of his eyes. Ceratainly this will man him up, right!? No, he's still a wimp. Now, I think he finally hit his breaking point after jumping into the future and seeing his best friend killing him. Now he's taken on a much more dire and serious approach to his present life. Maybe future, bad-ass Hiro will surface now.
I'm a little sad with Matt Parkman's story. Very early on he gets thrown into an African desert and doesn't have much to do but walk around and call for help. Hmmm ... bad choice I'd say.
Mohinder and Maya's stories I could care less for right now. I'm tired of these experiments. Now we can give people powers! (I guess that explains future Ando killing future Hiro with red lightening). And what happen to Maya's overdone accent? She sounds almost American now.
Things that were missing though was New Orleans and what happen to Niki Sanders. This is in high question because we see Tracy Strauss (a new character) who looks exactly like her and we wonder what's going on.
Too much, too fast and a bit redundant. I mean we've been through this storyline two times already. We see a horrible future and we have to stop it! Something new please!
"The Second Coming" Review
This episode was much better I think but it was not great. I like some of the themes that played through with the butterfly effect. Future Peter tried to come back to change things but he has made them much worse. Because he told Claire to stay home her ability was taken by Sylar. Now Sylar goes off to Level 5 of The Company where a series of events eventually lead to the escape of four true villains. These guys seriously make Sylar seem like a walk in the park. This is where the subtitle for this season comes in.
Again, I felt some thing were redundant and not realistic. Hiro knows his friend will kill him in the future so why shun him? We understand that Claire can't feel anything, please don't beat us over the head with the information we alerady know. Oh well, what can you do? Um ... Mohinder swooning Maya!? I would have found it much more interesting if he raped her instead to show that the shot he took was a sort of steroid of sorts that affected his good behavior. What's up with Nathan finding religion and then taking on a job as a Senator? Again, oh well! Got to move on and accept.
The whole episode, though, I think, went into too many places and did too many things. It could have been streched out to a few more episodes. The first episode sets everyone one up and then you get in deeper but this one is just a set up too. But still no Micah! Still no Niki ... or at least ... the Niki we know.
These episodes have been plot-driven more-so than character driven. Just because the characters are moving they plot they are acting more like vessels of the plot rather than the plot being a vessal of the characters. Things just seem to convenient to be happening.
What is up with Matt Parkman in Africa!? It's funny in an interview he mentioned one of the faults of the previous season was leaving a certain someone in feudal Japan. Now he's left all alone with an African in an African desert. Grumble ...
My favorite part of this episode that kept it alive for me were those damned villains! These people on level 5 are way worse than Sylar. These guys kill and torture for pure fun. Sylar can be reasoned with, he has a mission, a motive. These guys are terrorist, pure terrorists, out to see the world burn (quite literally for one of them). The pyro completely burns a helpless lady to a crisp. All the while she is screaming as she's being torched and they just laugh their heads off. Another guy just socks the hell out of this other guy, I'm guessing the woman's spouse and the black guy is egging Peter/Jessie along to come with. Oh, and I suppose Peter is trap in someone else's body/mind? Not sure what future Peter did to him.
I don't know ... there is a lot that happened in the episode. I just hope they find a focus and I hope that focus is less on the future and more on the present and these villains they all need to deal with.