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'Heroes': Enough talk, let's get to the action

April 24, 2007 |  8:37 am

Nup_105171_1655 All talk and almost no action made the return of "Heroes" a very dull hour.

At least until prophetic painter/consistently boring minor character Isaac (Santiago Cabrera) died, falling victim to superhero serial killer Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Or did he? (Here’s a hint to solving the mystery: Be on the lookout for any post-"death" TV or print interviews with Cabrera. If the actor talks to the press then the character’s a goner, à la Eko on "Lost." If there’s a cone of silence then expect a triumphant return, à la Starbuck on "Battlestar Galactica.")

Isaac’s death was foretold all the way back in Episode 2, and a musty scent of familiarity lingered not just over that event but also the episode as a whole.

t. Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) experiencing a close call with death? His big brother Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) totally broken up over the thought of losing him? Silly Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) unwittingly spilling his guts to a bad guy (in this case Eric Roberts as Thompson)? A "Heroes" parent (Cristine Rose as Angela Petrelli) revealed as a key player in the increasingly elaborate mythology/back story of "heroes" who predate the show’s timeline?

We’ve seen it all before.

The previous episode’s cliffhanger promised a battle between Peter and Sylar but all we got was a minor skirmish that abruptly ended when invisible Peter improbably turned his back on the baddie and took a glass shard to the brain. Other than Mr. Bennet (Jack Coleman) telepathically communicating to cop Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) how to free them both from captivity, the episode was all talk, talk, talk leading nowhere.

The best installments of "Heroes" juggle compelling storylines for the sprawling ensemble. But this week suggested screenwriter’s fatigue as it strained to accommodate all of the players (even holding back Hiro until the final scene), while showcasing only unexceptional dialogue and merely average acting.

Sure, it’s great to have the show back after a punishingly long seven week hiatus, but it’s fair to expect more from "Heroes" than daytime-level drama wrapped up in geek-friendly comic book dressing.

(Photo courtesy Paul Drinkwater)