TV Recap

'Heroes': A Wrinkle in Time

Peter's attempt to right a wrong causes unforeseen damage and helps unleash a gang of evil villains

Adrian Pasdar, Heroes, ... | BROTHERLY LOVE Sure, Peter shot his brother, Nathan, but that was just so he could save the world. You know how that goes.
Image credit: Chris Haston
BROTHERLY LOVE Sure, Peter shot his brother, Nathan, but that was just so he could save the world. You know how that goes.

'Heroes' recap: A brand new day

Hey, there. How've you been? And the kids? Yeah, I know, they get so big, and right under our noses. Good, good.

So, Heroes is back and, to be honest, I was more than a little nervous to sit down with this season premiere. I don't think, at this point, it's geek heresy to say that the truncated second season left much to be desired. (And by ''much'' I mean coherent plot, consistency of character, and general watchability.) And the strike can't be blamed for how bad it started…if anything, it saved us from more of the same. So, given that Tim Kring and company had some time to retool the master plan, have they redeemed themselves and put the Heroes train back on track?

Kinda.

I've come to realize that Heroes is never going to be what it was in that magical first season. Because back then, we were all flush with the heady thrill of discovery — of learning who these people were and figuring out the rules of the world they lived in. (It's the same reason why A New Hope is my favorite Star Wars flick, even though I know that Empire's a better movie, or why I love the first Harry Potter most of all.) One can't ever replicate that rush of ''the new,'' and that's, ultimately, where season 2 failed. It tried to reintroduce us to characters we already knew, with the same deliberate slow-burn pace, and we bucked. (Check out our gallery of the best and worst moments from last season.)

But I'll say this for the first two hours of season 3, ''The Second Coming'' and ''The Butterfly Effect'': They weren't glacial. In time-honored superhero-wonkery fashion, I'm gonna break this down as if it were an entry in the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe — according to strengths and weaknesses.

STRENGTH

Sylar

Somehow, he's a character that continues to work, no matter what they do to him or what fresh silliness the producers invent for him to do. Remember the South American road trip, which gave us both a neutered Sylar and Maya and her eminently forgettable dead brother? (So forgettable I forgot his name, and because I hated him so much, I'm not looking it up, journalistic ethics be damned.) The fact that Sylar survived that ridiculous run for the border only speaks to the character's resilience. ''It's all behind me now, like a long night after a bad taco.'' And, is it me, or is Zachary Quinto the only member of that cast who looks like he's having any real fun? While everyone else is looking so glum and constipated, Zach is reveling in Sylar's skeevy awesomeness.

NEXT: I need a Hiro

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