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'Heroes' is back, and 'Fugitives' is off and running

February 3, 2009 |  8:05 am

"Heroes" has been off the air for a little while, so before talking about the way-above-average episode that just aired, here's a handy recap of the history of the show that the NBC.com people put together:

Back in the game? Good.  On a conference call last month, star Masi Oka said that audiences sometimes need to exercise a little patience when dealing with a show that takes as many storytelling risks as "Heroes" does.  Well, we didn't need much time in this "Fugitives" half of the season for the action to get up to speed.

From the end of the "Villains" story arc, we knew that Nathan Petrelli was going to come after the rest of the powered individuals, with the support of the president, no less.  But he pounced quick, his unit grabbing Mohinder, Hiro, Peter, Traci, Matt, Claire and another person (something about sea water and Memphis?).  When the stealthy military gets involved, telepathy, super strength, a freezing touch or a super-healing factor don't seem to matter much.

No need to recount how the heroes were captured. Suffice it to say that tranquilizer darts and powerful tasers did their job.  Except for Peter and Sylar.  Always Sylar.

Hiro_2

In Peter's case, all it took was a disarming hug from big brother Nathan, then an HRG special -- some  kind of super taser that knocked Petey right out.  Yes, Noah's on the bad side again despite the fact that the girl he raised as a daughter is one of the hunted.

Searching for his real/biological parents, Sylar has a run-in with one of the military squads.  It's never really clear whether Sylar had stumbled on his dad's house or if it was a setup, but it seems that one of the powers that the military might not be able to overcome is telekinesis.  Not darts or ropes or pretty much anything they tried could help them take down Sylar, and he easily escaped capture.

Claire didn't escape capture, she was let go.  And in typical Claire fashion, ran toward the danger instead of away from it.  Her desire to be a hero and help out is as overdeveloped, though not as theatrical, as Hiro's.  Luckily, this time, her instincts were right, and she helped the heroes free themselves while on the plane.  The operative words here being "while on the plane."  Peter, getting an unexpected ability from Traci, freezes the outer hull of the plane, causing it to shatter.  A la "Lost," or "Fringe" or "Alive," the plane looks to be in for a rough landing ... then the episode ends.

The cliffhanger is back!  Who will survive? How will they survive?  Check back next week!  Love that stuff. (Yes, we all have a great idea who will survive because we saw next week's promo.)

Two other developments that bear mentioning: Ando, who'd rather pick up girls outside of a strip club than fight crime, will most likely be coming to get Hiro because each was implanted with a GPS locator.  And Matt displayed a new power -- precognition -- after an unexpected visit from the murdered precog Usuthu.  Seems Matt's not yet done with his spirit walk, and they may as well get as much out the "all white eyes" effect as they can.

Action.  Easy to follow. Pretty clear "good and bad" sides, though with HRG you can never be totally sure.  To this viewer, the show was really good.  Most will probably acknowledge that it was OK (and some may give 63 reasons why you should keep watching) without getting too happy about it.  With Tim Kring writing this episode, we'll see if his tighter reins on the story can help bring the viewers back out of hibernation.  If they don't come, they'll miss what looks to be an exciting chapter.

-- Jevon Phillips

Photo: NBC.com

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