Heroes is back and I’m loving every minute of it. I watched Chuck, which premiered before Heroes, and thought that was a great show!
The show opens with Mohinder doing the narrating, as usual. We see a mini-recap of our heroes – old and new. We find that Mo is giving a speech and this guy (Stephen Toblowsky) enters to listen to Mo speak about genetic evolution and such. He follows Mo to ask him to sign Dad’s book. He mentions Mo’s sister, whereupon Mo slams him into the wall. (What else is he going to do? He doesn’t have any special powers.) Turns out the guy is the new Company Man and wants to offer Mo a job.
Next we see two new heroes – Maya and Alejandro, two siblings running for their lives in Honduras. Can we say, “Wonder Twin powers, activate!” Well, I don’t know if they're twins, but it works, right? They’ve been running for hundreds of miles, trying to make their way to New York to find a doctor who can help them. That doctor being Mo? What powers do these two hold? We see a wanted sign in Spanish that tells us the two are wanted for murder.
Later we find Mayajandro buying their way closer to the U.S. border. The human traffickers want Maya to sit in the front with them, but Alejandro keeps her close and they sit in the back. They travel a while before the truck stops and the creeps demand twice the amount they originally asked for because the original price was contingent upon Maya "sitting with" them in the front cab. Alejandro gets tossed out of the truck as it takes off, Maya still in it.
Alejandro catches up with the truck eventually. It’s at a standstill, no movement evident within. He opens the passenger side door and one of the creeps slumps over, blood tearing from his eyes. The driver is the same. He goes to the back where other illegals were buying their way to a better life to find them all dead too. He goes to the other side to see his sister, arms around her legs, crying. Clearly, Maya opened a Wonder Twins form of an eye-bleeding can of whoop-ass! Alejandro reassures her that once they make their way to New York City and find the doctor, all will be fine.
Claire and HRG have relocated to the fictional California town of Costa Verde. They’re under a new alias as the Butler family. Claire is to keep it on the down-low, stay as ordinary as possible. Dad gives his beloved Claire-bear a brand new Nissan Rogue (ding-ding, cue product placement!). Claire heads off to class and almost gets run over by a cute teen (Nick D’Agosto) who she later meets in science class. She lights the burner and almost immediately puts her hand over it, taunting fate. Cute teen sits next to her and we find his name is West (is his brother named East?). Claire and he almost immediately start a love-hate thing. He asks her if she’s a robot or an alien. He antagonizes her and she tries to ignore him but her teen hormones can’t. Teacher asks the class who penned the phrase “survival of the fittest.” No one answers. Claire writes “Charles Darwin” in her notebook but doesn’t raise her hand. West notices.
During gym class, Claire watches the cheerleaders a bit enviously as she participates in the lame badminton tourney the plebes have to play. Her teammate trips much to the amusement of the cheerleaders. She goes to grab the shuttlecock but West gets to it first. She goes to save her teammate from cheerleader ridicule when the head cheerleader challenges her to do a back double sweep tuck thingy off the platform. She agrees and gets up there, but then remembers her mission to lay low and she “chickens” out. After everyone leaves, conveniently taking the foam padding away, Claire attempts the maneuver and promptly breaks her leg. She sets it straight just as West walks in. She looks at West in fright as he looks at the raised platform and then to Claire…
Hiro finds himself in the grassy field of Japan in 1671 during an eclipse, right in the middle of samurai warriors and Takezo Kensei. Rut-ro. An eclipse occurs and the group of samurai shoot off arrows at the lone warrior on the other side of Hiro. Hiro stops time just before he gets impaled and berates the past for being dangerous as he moves an arrow out of his way. He walks over to the lone warrior and sees the infamous symbol we’ve seen all over the show last year — the sign of Takezo Kensei.
Not wanting his childhood hero hurt, he squishy-blinks them to safety (safety here looks like the Disney ranch over near Palmdale). They teleport away where Kensei falls off his horse and runs away. Turns out he’s a fake. The real one comes around the side, pointing a crossbow at Hiro. [paraphrasing] "What strange manner of man are you?” he asks. “You look like a monk, but a strange one. One that wears glasses like a doctor.”
Hiro takes off his glasses and exclaims in giddy excitement, “I’m your number one fan!” in his best Kathy Bates impression. “You’re my hero!” Kensei takes off his mask to reveal the palest white man you’ve ever seen. Hiro pulls out his glasses and puts them on again to make sure he’s seeing what he thinks he’s seeing. Yup, white guy in a samurai outfit and he’s Takezo Kensei. What gives?
We next see Matt Parkman, a little more svelte (Weight Watchers has been good to him) and now in Manhattan in what looks like the middle of a hostage situation. He shoots first and asks questions later. A guy and a girl yell at Parkman to shoot the other. Parkman uses his ability to shoot the right one and fakes his way out of how he knew when his new boss asks. He is finally given clearance to be a real cop again after being injured in the melee from four months ago.
Matt goes to a schoolyard and picks up Molly Walker, the human tracking system. Turns out Matt is now divorced and taking care of Molly. Teacher talks to Matt. She’s been falling asleep in class. Matt confesses she’s been having some nightmares at home. She shows him some creepy drawings Molly has been making, all kinds of eyes with the Kensei symbol.
Sulu Nakamura sits at Kirby plaza. Ando heads toward him and bumps into Nathan Petrelli, who has a heavy beard and looks… pissed. Ando hands Daddy Nakamura a cup of coffee (or tea) and the day’s paper. Looks like they have been waiting for Hiro for the past four months. Sulu opens the paper and out falls a torn picture – of Daddy Nakamura with the Kensei symbol written in red ink over his face. He immediately stands up, looking around. Ando asks him what that means and Nakamura says, “It means I’ll be dead in 24 hours.”
Nathan enters Peter’s apartment to find Ma Petrelli looking at a picture of the two brothers. Nathan is still distraught over his brother’s “death.” So distraught his Cast Away beard is looking pretty impressive but he managed to maintain his haircut over the past four months. Turns out Nathan’s wife left him, too. The two argue, Nathan rightfully calling his mother “evil” and tossing her out. She exits but sees a torn picture of her with the same Kensei symbol in red over her face. She looks spooked.
HRG enters a Copy Kingdom where he is now an assistant manager of this Kinko’s type store, quite a demotion from his days at Primatech. He has an annoying little twit of a boss who is hounding his every move. Why are you late? Why didn’t you do this or that? You just want to smack him, but HRG keeps his cool and does his job. A customer enters and asks HRG, “Are you the maid?”
HRG replies, “Noah Butler.”
Company Man Redux gives Mo the Company schpiel. He talks about the Hero virus that killed Mo’s sister, Shanti. Mo tells him the research costs would be extremely expensive. CMR tells Mo that it wouldn’t be a problem and proceeds to turn his teaspoon from silver to gold. D’oh!
Matt and Molly are having a nice quiet dinner of take-out pizza when Matt asks her about her drawings. She raises her voice and threateningly says, “I said I didn’t want to talk about it!” putting Matt in his place. She asks to be excused and he meekly agrees. That night Molly is having nightmares again. Matt reads her thoughts and hears a male voice saying, “I can see you…” She wakes up frightened and Matt hugs her to him.
Back at Copy Kingdom, HRG is on his break much to the chagrin of his clock-watching manager, who wants him back on the floor. “I’m just finishing my coffee,” HRG calmly replies. Snarky Manager points his finger in HRG’s face; HRG promptly grabs that precious finger and twists it so that Snarky Manager is at his mercy. “I’m done listening to you,” HRG calmly tells him. “I’ll take breaks when I want to and you will never say a damn word to me… ever again.” Snarky Manager becomes Meek Manager and cowers away. I LOVED this scene. How hysterical was that?
Back in feudal Japan, Hiro questions how it could be that Takezo Kensei, his childhood hero is “gaijin” – “foreigner,” a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Brit. Kensei turns to take a whizz as he tells Hiro he thought of the name Kensei when he got to Japan from England. “’Kensei’ means ‘Sword Saint’.”
Hiro exclaims back in English and Kensei is happy to hear the Queen’s English. He grasps Hiro’s shoulders in glee. “Ewwww,” Hiro says. “Use some Purell, dude.” Turns out Kensei is not only a Brit, but a drunken Brit out for hire to the highest bidder. He’s not at all the hero Hiro thought he was. He tells Kensei about the tales his father told him, how he saved the village of Otsu, then – “Do you smell smoke?” Hiro walks over to see a village in flames and asks “What village is that?”
“Otsu,” Kensei says. Rut-ro.
The villagers trek away from Otsu. Hiro implores Kensei to be the hero and do what’s right. He tells him the tales he knows of Kensei – that he becomes richer than his wildest dreams and he marries the swordsmith’s daughter – the most beautiful in all the land. Enter: the beautiful swordsmith's daughter who decks Kensei and takes back the Kensei sword. She intends to finish the job, Kensei couldn’t. She stomps off and Hiro begs Kensei to reconsider. Kensei punches him and knocks him down. “Oy, this is gonna be tough.”
Ando and Sulu Nakamura are on the roof of the Deveaux Building. Sulu tries to send Ando away but Ando wants to stay and help so Sulu sends him off to find a sword. Ma Petrelli enters and she pulls out her torn half of the picture and we see that her’s and Sulu’s piece fit together. Neither knows who sent the picture, but Sulu says after Deveaux, Linderman, and Pa Petrelli, there are nine others. “I helped my son fulfill his destiny and save the world. How did you help your son?” Sulu asks Ma P. Her answer? A resounding slap across the face.
How long does it take Ando to find a sword? By the time he returns, night has fallen. Just before his return, a hooded man enters. “Of all the people, I never thought it would be you,” Sulu says. The hooded figure runs at him just as Ando enters and knocks him and Sulu off the roof, killing Daddy Nakamura. Nooooooo! Ando runs over and looks over the side and only sees the splattered remains of Sulu on the ground. He sees no one else. What was Sulu’s power? Who was the hooded man? Sylar? No. He would have sliced and diced him open. Someone young and spry, definitely a white guy…
The Bennets/Butlers are having a quiet, boring dinner. HRG gets a call which he takes in the other room. It’s Mohinder. “I’m in,” he tells HRG. Looks like the two are in cahoots with each other to bring the Company down. Yeah! HRG is still a Company Man but he is self-employed now!
Claire makes a call on her cell phone to her bio dad, Nathan. He basically tells her to quit calling him and grow up. He hangs up and turns to look in the mirror and sees a scarred face looking back at him. He blinks and he’s looking at himself again. Claire hangs up and we see West watching her from outside. But she’s on the second story. He’s floating above the trees. He flies away.
Over to Cork, Ireland, a trio of hoodlums look for a specific cargo bin. They open it up and there’s nothing in there. They look a little further to find a guy, one arm chained to the bin. It’s Peter – with short hair and no shirt on. Looks like the nuclear explosion slashed off those lovely locks of his. The hoods advance toward him but Peter puts his hand up and tosses a lightning bolt at them. He’s wearing a Kensei symbol on a leather chain. “Who are you?” they ask. “I don’t know. I don’t know,” Peter replies.
Gotta say, I’m pretty impressed by David Anders. The guy is from Oregon and slips from Japanese to the Queen’s English in a matter of seconds. Props to your dialect coach, my man.
How easy is it to figure that Hiro is his own hero? Looks likely he’ll have to take Kensei’s place and save Otsu and the girl.
Missed the ep? Watch it here.