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Quick Takes: NBC’s Heroes, Season 2, Episodes 1-3

Written by: Tony Lazlo, CC2K Staff Writer

ImageThe second season of Heroes is off to mostly auspicious start, drawing on mythological sources as varied as the Jewish Tanakh (Christianity's Old Testament) and Back to the Future, part II.

So far this season, we've had three episodes:

Episode One: Nothing But Set-Up. Peter gets amnesia and shoots lightning at Irish guys and Dominic Keating from Star Trek: Enterprise doing a bad Irish accent. Matt's wife disappears at the same time he moves in with Mohinder. Nathan has a beard and sees his brother's nuclear-vaporized face in the mirror. Hiro learns that all great heroes are stupid white guys. Two new characters, the twins, share powers in tandem: the female can make people dead, the male can make people non-dead. Black tears reminiscent of the X-Files seem to be a side effect of the twins' dead/non-dead powers. Essentially, we got an hour of dramatic throat-clearing.

Episode Two: A Series of Breathtaking Moments. A huge improvement, this episode drew on what made season one of this show (and its cinematic grandfather, Unbreakable) so good: images that bring us back to our comic-book reading days and put our memories to shame, all accompanied by goosebumps and a pleasant tingle.

Read on after the jump!

Case in point from season one: Remember when Horn-Rimmed Glasses and the Haitian had Nathan Petrelli cornered, and Nathan took off? I loved that moment because it reminded me that I had no idea how powerful Petrelli's power was. He found himself in peril, so he shot into the sky and left a halo of dispersed cloud in his wake.

Episode 2.2, even bearing the unfortunate title "Lizards," offered up moment after moment like this, including the revelation that Takezo Kensei is invulnerable, just like Claire.

And they both have blond hair. Interesting …

Actually, I didn't come up with that theory. My friend Vito did, and he also added that he had heard that Takezo's name at one point was supposed to be Kane, which would link him to the long-lived killer of biblical myth.

That brings us to episode 2.3, "Kindred," where Peter agrees for some reason to help the Irish hooligans knock over a sports book. Like, as soon as "His Name Is Robert Paulson" from Fight Club stopped holding his personal effects over the fire, why didn't Peter zap him with a lightning bolt?

Whatever the case, maybe Peter just wants to nail the dishy Irish brigand-lass, so he goes along with the scheme. Meanwhile, the twins continue to leave a trail of dead and non-dead people on their way to America, which makes me wonder what (if any) will be the side effects for the people they kill and then revive. Will they get powers, too? Why not make them zombies after they wake back up?

On a slightly more meta note, I like how the show's producers are trying to give Claire another love interest to distract us from the off-screen chemistry between Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia, but unfortunately they've tasked a mope-faced buffoon with this job.

I'm also unsure of their choice to invoke the original Superman by having mope-face take Claire for a flight. I'm always in favor of invoking Richard Donner's classic, but the Heroes scene made me feel icky.

Speaking of things I'm always in favor of, how great is it to see Nichelle Nichols on TV again? George Takei looked so magnificent as Hiro's father, and I look forward to seeing Nichols bring some dramatic weight to the Ali Larter storyline, my least favorite to date.

(Side note: Has Ali Larter's character become like the Bruce Banner when he merged with his Hulk persona and became a gigantic, green scientist? Is she a sane person with super-strength now?)

Ando receives a message from Hiro that spans centuries, bringing to mind similar time-travel mindfuck moments from the end of Back to the Future, part II and the "Time's Arrow" two-parter from Star Trek: The Next Generation.

We also got to see a flash of a dark side in Peter's eyes when he was torturing Dominic Keating. That might prove interesting to see him and Sylar team up.

I leave you with these questions: Will Mohinder somehow get powers? Will Ando?

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