It seems like we've been waiting longer than 'Four Months Later' -- the name of the second season's premiere episode. But since the finale, the stars of "Heroes" have made, and continue to make, news. Hayden Panettiere, the cheerleader, turned 18 and suddenly her life is everywhere, including her threat to kill a journalist. Our resident "Resident Evil" star, Ali Larter, a.k.a. Niki/Jessica Sanders a.k.a. Claire Redfield had her movie (OK, so it's also Milla Jovovich's) open in the top spot. The evil that is Sylar (Zachary Quinto) will be the logic that is Spock in the new "Star Trek." Masi Oka seemed like he was everywhere. And he, plus the whole group, got within a hair's breadth (I'd like to think) of an Emmy (with Larter even doing her own hair!). With People's Choice, Teen Choice, the Television Critics Assn. and TV Land awards, the show is getting much praise from the masses. And I got a "Heroes" pop tart! Yeah, it's been an eventful summer.
So, the show. There's lots to update:
-- Officer Parkman survived getting shot, made it on the NYPD and has taken over caring for Molly, the locator girl, who now has dreams of an oncoming evil guy.
-- Hiro is in feudal Japan (1671) and has met his hero, Takezo Kensei, who turns out to be an Englishman and a drunk. His dad and his best friend, Anzo, (who I saw on an episode of Jury Duty) dutifully await his return, until someone gets pushed off a building (gasp!).
-- Suresh is on the lecture circuit but is invited to join what looks to be the same evil corporation the cheerleader's dad worked for. And we later find that this is all part of the plan.
-- Meanwhile, the cheerleader and her dad (with the fam) have relocated to Cali. Poor Claire enrolls in another angsty high school, complete with snotty cheerleaders and a mysterious flying kid.
-- The Petrellis are in turmoil, with Nathan on the sauce, Mom lurking around trying to pull strings and Peter ending up in the last scene handcuffed inside a shipping container in Ireland with no memory!
The elders (as I call the previous generation of Heroes) are being hunted. By what/whom will probably be the focal point of the season. All of that and no mention of Niki, D.L., Micah or Sylar. Plus the introduction of Maya and Alejandro -- two kids running from the law, and from Maya's inexplicable powers, which leave a truck full of migrants dead with bleeding eyes! And there you go.
Kristen Bell and Dana Davis haven't been intro'd yet! The show has gotten big. Really big. EW cover big (where the image of Bell came from). Product placement big. Claire's Nissan Rogue drop was pretty prominent.
I was hoping that with the group getting together in New York at the end of last season, it would turn into some sort of Justice League. Far-fetched? A bit, but in the backs of the minds of "Heroes" fans, I think the collaboration was always anticipated. When it happened, it was fun and exciting. Despite the splintered story lines, sooner or later, the group will come back.
For a bit more insight, Greg Beeman, who directs many of the "Heroes" episodes, has again started up his blog, quoting influences from "Zatoichi" to "A Mighty Heart." It's always interesting to see what's on the minds of those who are behind the scenes shaping what we see.
-- Jevon Phillips