Saturday, May 12, 2007

Heroes

Heroes_2Heroes is perhaps the best show on TV (as of this writing). Interlocking storylines, featuring a diverse array of characters, have become a mosaic with intriguing layers and complex interaction. Where to begin...?

Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia), a hospice caregiver living in the shadow of his ambitious lawyer/politician brother Nathan (Adrian Pasdar), dreams that he can fly. He's pushed by these dreams further and further, until he gives it the ultimate test... and learns that *Nathan* is the one with that particular power. But it turns out Peter has a nifty talent of his own: he absorbs the powers of anyone he encounters.

Cheerleader Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) wants to be an ordinary girl. Problem is, she's basically indestructible. Multiple attempts at hurting or killing herself have left her unscathed, unscarred. Her adopted father (Jack Coleman), while seeming to live the life of a Texas middle management guy with a wife (Ashley Crow) and son (Randall Bentley), has secrets of his own: in partnership with a mute, mindbending Haitian (Jimmy Jean-Louis), Mr. Bennet works for a clandestine organization that is kidnapping and studying those with strange powers. A former associate, Claude (Christopher Eccleston), who has the power of invisibility, teaches Peter how to use his powers until Bennet gets too close and frightens him into fleeing Manhattan... much of which will be destroyed on November 8th by an "exploding man." (Peter believes that it is his fate to explode, overloaded by powers, unless he finds a way to control them.)

Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) is the son of an recently-murdered Indian geneticist. The elder Suresh's career took a nosedive after he published a radical theory of evolution, but Mohinder is convinced his father was onto something huge. Now relocated to New York, he is picking up where his father left off... although it seems a number of people (including Mr. Bennet) have designs on his research, especially the list of those individuals most likely to possess powers. Curiosity may yet kill this cat.

Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg), an LA cop, discovers the power to hear others' thoughts, while Niki (Ali Larter), a Las Vegas single mom and self-employed cyber-showgirl, finds that she has an evil twin in the mirror... one that is stronger than she is. Her convict husband DL (Leonard Roberts) can walk through walls, while her son Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) controls machines. When Niki is taken over by the superstrong Jessica, she goes to work as an assassin for the mysterious Linderman (Malcolm McDowell), a filthy rich and morally gray man with fingers in too many affairs to list.

Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera) is a heroin-addicted painter with the power to paint the future, including his own murder, while a superpowered serial killer named Sylar (Zachary Quinto) stalks the Heroes and adds their powers to his collection-- ripping their brains apart in the process. So far, Sylar's only lost one target: Eden (Nora Zehetner), a young woman with a hypnotic voice, who took drastic action to keep her power out of Sylar's hands.

And then there's Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka), a cubicle drone from Tokyo who escapes his humdrum reality with the power to stop time and teleport. Accompanied by his best friend Ando (James Kyson Lee), he begins a "hero's quest" to save the world, after his future self tells Peter Petrelli that he must "save the cheerleader, save the world." An eternal optimist, Hiro suffers grievous disappointment when he fails to save the life of Charlie (Jayma Mays), a waitress with supergenius memory ability, but rallies when he seeks out a mythic sword to refocus his dwindling gifts.

The plotlines of the series to date are far too byzantine to cover in depth, but they are boiling down to two major threads: Sylar's bloody murder-spree and the looming threat of the exploding man. How will these play out? And who will be left standing, if New York does erupt in atomic fire?

Tune in April 23 for the next exciting episode, ".07%." I know I'll be watching.

Featured links:
NBC's Heroes page
IMDB entry for Heroes
9th Wonders
Herosite

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