Monday, January 4, 2010

Heroes Season 4 Resumes: Quieter But Deeper

I've been saying for a while that Season 4 of Heroes is its best since that magical first season. The two-hour resumption of Season 4 on NBC tonight did not disappoint, offering a surprisingly effective, contemplative double episode, with interactions and conversations that went a long way towards weaving a powerful story.

Among the highlights -

1. Hiro, whose mind may be addled by his brain tumor, is speaking in riddles ... which ratify the position of Heroes in the science fiction, mystery, and fantasy genres. Among the stories Hiro draws upon in his attempt to characterize the dangers that he sees are Man of La Mancha, Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars, and Caprica. Yes, you have to give Heroes credit for having Hiro speak of Cylons and Caprica, which will debut on the SyFy Channel this January 22. If Fox can devote almost a complete episode of Bones to Avatar, NBC (part of the same corporate conglomerate as the SyFy Channel) can certainly slip in a mention if Caprica. I like those sorts of cross-references - they may be product placement, but they also give the narrative a nice realism.

2. Heroes also addresses the effectiveness of torture as a way of getting accurate information. Noah Bennet, on the verge of torturing fast-man Edgar for information, is persuaded by Lauren to use a kinder approach - which works, sort of. Noah's better than Jack Bauer (Keith Olbermann is cheering somewhere) - or, depending on your point of view, Noah's no Jack Bauer. Though, Jack has been getting a little gentler in his treatment of suspects in the past season or two of 24. Which will be premiering its new season on Fox next Sunday and Monday, and then will settle into its Monday night slot right opposite Heroes: good thing there's such as thing as TiVo and DVRs.

3. Good stories aborning for Sylar, who ends up menacingly at Claire's window ... for Peter, who wants to get in touch with Claire's flying old boyfriend from Texas, as Peter yearns to get more in touch with Nathan, now that he's gone (presumably) for keeps ... Samuel, who continues to be one of the best villains in the history of Heroes, in part because he manages to seem a decent, caring human being most of the time ... and a brand new character, my favorite heroic addition this season, someone who can literally breath life into the earth ...

A whole lot of good shakin' going on here, and I'm looking forward to more next week.

6-min podcast review of Heroes

See also Heroes Season 4 Premiere: Metaphysics, University, Carnival ... Heroes Meets The L Word in 4.5 ... Heroes 4 Mid-Season Finale

See also reviews of Season 3 Heroes Gets Lost ... Heroes 3 Begins: Best Yet, Riddled with Time Travel and Paradox ... Sylar's Redemption and other Heroes and Villains Mergers ... Costa Nuclear ... Hearts of Gold and the Debased ... Seeing the Future Trumps Time Travel ... Superpowered Chess with Shifting Pieces ... Villains and Backstories ... The Redemption of Sylar ... Thoughts on the Eclipse, Part I ... The Lore of the Comic Book Store ... Hiro's Time Traveling Closure ... Augmented ... Shades of Recalibration ... Baby, Rebel, and Last Fantasy ... All that Shape Changes Remains the Same? ... Season 3 Finale: Hopeful Deceptions

Reviews of Season 2 Heroes: Episode 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 7. Heroes Meets 12 Monkeys ... 9. How Immutable Are Fate and Isaac's Futures? ... 10. Penultimate for the Fall ... Heroes 2 Finale: Heroes Who Didn't Survive

And from Season 1: Heroes in Focus ... Heroes Five Years Gone: Triumph of Time Travel and Comics ... Heroes the Hard Part: Only the Pictures Not the Words ... Heroes Landslide: Winnowing and Convergence ... Heroes Volume One Finale

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