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Heroes Premiere: A Little Bit of Everything and Nothing

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The first episode of Season Two was ambitious but also scattered, dipping in and out of storylines with the frenzied inconsistency of someone who hadn’t eaten in days and was given the chance to tuck into an antipasto platter.

Self–healer extraordinaire Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) is now Claire Butler and living with her family in California. Claire is determined to blend in at her new school–she’s even determined to steer clear of cheerleading. But a sensitive, Tobey Maguire–y young man keeps following her around, possibly because he’s attracted to her, possibly because (as revealed late in the episode) he floats through the trees with a Crouching Tiger dexterity. Creep alert!

The chief new characters were brother and sister Maya and Alejandro (Dania Ramirez and Shalim Ortiz), fleeing illegally across the border into the US. She seems to have the power to cause victims of her power to suffer cerebral hemorrhages and bleed from the eyes. Most of their dialogue seemed to be Maya crying, “Alejandro!” in the jungle. But then, it’s not as if she’s going to ask for room service. Hiro (Masi Oka) is stuck back in feudal Japan, or maybe a Kurosawa movie, and meets proud warrior Takezo Sensei, who oddly enough is a blond Englishman. This twist, played as self–bemused daft comedy, was the weakest part of the episode. In the aftermath of exploding with his human–bomb brother up in the nighttime sky over New York, Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) has stopped shaving and taken to drink, like something out of Charles Bukowski, while his brother Peter is manacled in a cargo crate in Ireland. I assume he didn’t get there eating Lucky Charms, and I look forward to finding out what really happened. –Tom Gliatto