Heroes: Redemption Season Premiere Review

Published 4 years ago by

heroes redemption header Heroes: Redemption Season Premiere Review

So last night Heroes‘ fifth volume (fourth season) “Redemption” had its two-hour premiere on NBC and I’m sure a lot of you have already voiced your opinion over at our Heroes discussion forum. My goal here is to review the show, and let you know (since you care) if I personally think that our favorite Heroes are truly on the road to Redemption.

“Redemption” picked up some six weeks after the finale of last season’s “Fugitives” storyline, with our Heroes all trying to return to normal lives NOT being on the run from government agents.

And is it just me, or has Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy) fallen into a black hole and vanished?

As the season opens Claire (Hayden Panettiere) is starting school; Parkman (Greg Grunberg) has reunited with his estranged wife and is raising his baby son; Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) has found purpose as a super-powered paramedic; Noah “HRG” Bennett (Jack Coleman) is reluctantly starting a new “Company” with help from Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose); Hiro and Ando (Masi Oka and James Kyson Lee) are trying to start a hero business of their own; Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) isn’t feeling quite himself (because he’s not); and Sylar (Zachary Quinto) is still wreaking havoc as a “ghost.”  Fun all around.

While our old favorites (and not-so-favorites) tried to get their grooves back, a new band of super powered individuals appeared on the scene, this time in the form of a traveling carnival led by mysterious “earth-mover” Samuel (Prison Break‘s Robert Knepper). Samuel is a ringmaster of questionable allegiances, who operates with the help of his super-speedster henchman (Ray Park) and “magic tattoo canvas,” Lydia (Dawn Olivieri).

For a two-hour episode, I have to say very little happened: Hiro found out he’s dying and also that he can make select changes to the past if he’s not an idiot about it; Noah settled old beef between himself, government pit bull Emile Denko (Zeljko Ivanek) and ice (now water) queen, Tracy Strauss (Ali Larter); Peter then helped Noah track down a mysterious compass that Denko had kept hidden (which was promptly stolen by Samuel’s speedster henchman); Parkman kept freaking out an imaginary Sylar; Nathan was having an identity crisis (though nothing really happened with him); and Claire’s new over-achiever college roommate took a header out their dorm room window, and ended up street pizza (leading to Claire to inadvertently reveal her power to new BFF Gretchen (Madeline Zima).

heroes redemption season premiere Heroes: Redemption Season Premiere Review

And, in the “surprise twist” ending, [SPOILER ALERT!!!] We learned that Samuel thinks Claire, Hiro and Peter are fated to join the carnival. DUH, DUH, DUUUUUUHHHHHHHH…

Ok, so it was nice to catch up with our Heroes again – but was this premiere episode truly deserving of the label “Redemption?” Not quite yet, IMHO. We had one real moment of quality action (Peter vs. Ray Park) but other than that, meh….

It irks me that aside from Peter (and now Tracy Strauss), it still seems like none of these characters have come to terms with who they are, or how best to use their powers – that’s a four-season identity crisis!!! Also (and a lot of us have been saying this for awhile now), it’s time to definitely make some cuts. Show creator Tim Kring once revealed that originally, Heroes was suppossed to rotate characters and stories like seasonal cleaning – time to go back to that original plan. Parkman can definitely go (waste of a telepath), Nathan should STAY dead, Hiro is no longer needed and Mrs. Petrelli barely had any shining moments to begin with. I WOULD keep Ali Larter onboard (loving her new character and powers) and though I love him to death, I think Claire would have a lot more room to breath as a character if her daddy HRG bit the big one.

Strip those characters I just mentioned away and watch the show open up for Ando, Peter, Claire, and Tracy – enough of the old to keep the show familiar, with enough room (and budget) freed up to bring in some new blood. And we need a new villain, somebody to equal the maniacal brilliance of Zachary Quinto’s Sylar. Every new villain since Sylar has showed promise (Adam, Father Petrelli, Denko) only to be wasted. Quinto is obviously moving up in the world – time to let him go, Heroes.

heroes group image Heroes: Redemption Season Premiere Review

As for “The Carnival?” Meh… We’ll see. Could be interesting, could turn out to be another Heroes storyline that starts strong but ultimately sputters out. Too early to tell. (What’s up with Robert Knepper’s oscillating accent?)

Finally, as I asked at the opening – has anybody seen Mohinder??? It occurred to me months ago, after I attended the Heroes panel at Comic Con, that in the midst of all the talk about upcoming storylines and preview clips, there wasn’t a single mention of Mohinder. And after the character was a no-show last night, I’m beginning to SERIOUSLY wonder. Small loss if he never comes back.

So that wraps my review of the Heroes: Redemption season premiere. What did you think?

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  1. Just FYI – The faces that Samuel wants to join the carnival were Claire, Peter and Syler (not Hiro).

  2. Overall I thought this was a better episode compared to some of the last couple of seasons, but definitely not worthy of what the show used to be in season 1 (this show has seriously proven itself as one that started out with a bang and never lived up to the standard it set). Was it just me or did it feel like a mid-season episode(s), instead of a season opener? As you say, nothing much happened – I mean, a bunch of stuff happened, but nothing much ACTUALLY happened :P

    I like the travelling carnival idea, although it’s too early to tell if that will be a good overall point of concentration for the series, or wether it’ll fizzle out just like most things post-season 1. Robert Knepper was pretty cool, although what was up with accent (as you said, Kofi)? Ray Park I dug, too (nice addition), and he had the highlight scene when he fought Peter in the bank.

    I never actually noticed that in the episode but you’re right – where the HELL was Mohinder? I can’t believe I didn’t notice that :P Not even a name drop. Does that mean we’re finished with him? Have to admit I’d be kind of disappointed if we were.

    I disagree that they should get rid of Quinto as Sylar (I don’t think his success in Star Trek means he shouldn’t be play Sylar anymore) – maybe get a villain that almost matches him, but definitely don’t get rid of him. He’s an absolute key character (ESSENTIAL I would say) – I’m even dubious of this thing where he thinks he’s Nathan (kind of feels like a fumbled, stretching way of keeping both characters), and Sylar is just some sort of vision in Parker’s head. We need to get back to Sylar terrorizing, and showing off his powers – he was best at the “love to hate him” level.

    Even though I’ll still follow Heroes (just for the sake of it to be honest, and I tend to finish something once I’ve started it), like I said it has SERIOUSLY went downhill since season 1. To me it just seems like they keep digging themselves into a bigger hole, and just as there seems to be a good vibe, they kill it with plot strands that don’t matter or get left hanging, often bad dialogue and poor choice of which characters to concentrate on (I’m kind of sick of Claire saying she just wants a normal life, and Noah just wanting to protect her…).

    Overall, like I said, the premiere was decent enough and better than some of the episodes from the last two seasons, but should have wowed instead of being “just about entertaining and no more.”

    The REAL event comes when Lost returns in January 2010. I can ALWAYS count on the greatest show on TV to deliver with every episode, nevermind just the season premieres :)

  3. have to admit that I couldn’t tell it was claire but you are right it was for sure peter and syler. I really need peter to be back to full power by the way, it’s making me crazy that he can only hold onto one at a time, we need a story arc to fix that. Other than that, yeah… we’ll see if this story line goes anywhere. seems like we keep getting something started only to leap to something else that is only mildly related. and I’m all for keeping sylar but maybe he can play good guy for more than 2 episodes and get a new perma bad guy. Who knows but I’m excited to see if we can really get redemption.

  4. *spoilers* needs to go in the headlines for those that don’t know.

  5. I thought it would be meh,
    So,I skipped it.
    I have no regrets .

  6. I agree completly with taking some characters out, aside from HRG, Claire is the one that needs to go instead of him. Also if Claire somehow died HRG would be able to open up and do something.

    Samuel is going to become a villain, you can see it in his eyes.

    Also Nathan is dead, he is Sylar until Matt becomes “brain Sylar’s” puppet and he gets back to his body(good triangle).

    The new girl with the tattoo thing is dumb, dumb power I mean.

    Peter needs his true power back. Peter (aside from side mouth talking) is the best if not tied for best character on the show, he needs to open up more.

    Mohinder I do not care about.

    Tracy Straus I do not care for.

    Bring back Rebel aka Ali Larter’s first characters son.

    Ray Park is a badass, his power however is not and does not suit him, oooo I move fast woopdeedoo. He needs a teleporting power, since he is already a badass at fighting.

    But other than that this episode was aight, believe me axeing Claire for good would be a good thing.

  7. ryan is right about it being sylar and not hero on the lady’s back. Ross Miller”where the HELL was Mohinder? I can’t believe I didn’t notice that Not even a name drop”– Peter mentions Dr. Suresh when hes talking to HRG in his appartment(if you want to check for yourself hop on over to hulu, its about two minutes past the 1 hour mark when hes shutting off the police scanner). i really like that idea you put forward about sylar having a villain that almost matches him. That would make the whole redemption theme complete for me. Now, i think HRG can go and the same for Nathen but Hero has to stay. What they did with him changing the future by changing the past really opened up a whole new world for him. They need to get rid of matt or find a better way to use him, this whole ghost thing isnt working for me. And i agree with Kofi in that its the fourth season people, when are our heroes going to start realizing how to use there powers instead of all this “identity crisis” drama. Yes, i no its a Scifi/Drama tv show but lets shift the drama to something we havent seen over and over again. Lastly, lets bring Micah to center stage and use him and his awesome power to good use.

  8. I couldn’t disagree more with the characters your trying to get rid of. I would like to see Nathan, Hiro and Matt Parkmen stick around. I say get rid of Tracy Straust the actress has gotten to play so many characters and always comes back can we just get rid of her for good? I can agree that Mrs Petrelli can go, and never bring back Micah either.

  9. see. im not one of those hard ass critics who looks at everything wrong with an episode or movie. i liked it. It had good laughs and the action was good. I dont think it was bent on much happening. none of the first episodes of any of the seasons have much happening. its just explaining where the characters have gone in their life since the major event from the last season. and plus i agree. with daniel. Tracy should go. not hiro or nathan or matt

  10. i could do without parkman. he has had a lot of story time, future with daphne, using his power, not using his power. and the actor doesn’t do it for me either. hiro is still an entertaining character. syler is kinda played out to me, it’s nice to see some new villains.
    Ray Park’s character was pretty cool, his power is alright, accentuates his natural skills.

  11. Matt was once my favorite character, but I’d have to agree that he’s run his course. Fugitives focused so much on him that he needs to serve the purpose of returning Sylar to his body and either die or become evil himself. While I do love me some Nathan, and I think it’d be hilarious if they managed to kill Nathan on a finale AGAIN and continue to do so every season, the story would be served better with him staying dead. I’d like to say that Robert Knepper will be a good villain to take up Sylar’s main villain spot, but I’m still not quite certain of his power. He controlled that ink as well as the earth, which could be linked, but I’d like to see something a little more creative.

  12. @Kevin S, what are you?
    (The gravatar?, looks a little evil)

  13. Kill off Claire, sure Hadyen is sometimes nice to look at but god her story line and acting is awful.

  14. I always wanted for Mohinder to get killed in the show, now he just disappeared, too bad. I hated the character so much i wanted to see Sylar blow him to bits or something :)

  15. On Episode:
    No, I’m with the naysayers on this, I believe Heroes is on a downward slope. The first two seasons had so much development and plot and worked in the drama to fit with each character. After that, the drama became reused and force fed to us while the plot revolved around it and the development all but vanished. Like people were saying, enough with the Claire “I hate my life, RAGE!” or the HRG “This is my life. I know it sucks.” I’d even throw in the emo Sylar in recent arcs and how Hiro is still the dilweed he was in the first season. HE WAS GETTING SOMEWHERE IN 2! What happened to being a Hero, Hiro?

    On characters:
    Removing characters maybe but maybe just the rotation like it was mentioned before. I like the idea of giving some dried out characters some time off, but I wouldn’t want to see any of them truly gone for development’s sake.
    Focus could be taken off of Claire, Mohinder, and possibly leaving Nathan dead for a while wouldn’t be a bad thing. Right now, Claire’s story seems forced and like people said, I don’t really miss Mohinder.
    I think it’d be hard to remove Matt from the show with his Sylar connection, but I think the Sylar “possession” was good for both. It gives Matt another look at his dark side, maybe becoming a puppet master of sorts. He did look badass taking out the water guy. *looks not actions* Sylar gets another route to take his evil manipulative ways. I didn’t like how it started with Matt completely owning Sylar and making him think he was Nathan, but it’d be fun if Sylar let him/realizes what they did to him and turns it back on everybody who knew. I’m just scared they won’t do that when he takes control back from being Nathan.
    Hiro really needs to stop being the butt of the jokes and being taken advantage of by all possible villains/heroes. He was coming into his own Season 2 when he single-handedly beat Adam Monroe and he had complete control of a lot of situations. What happened to that Hiro in Season 3? He was embarrassed by Daphne, lost the catalyst THE MOMENT HE GOT IT, became helpless for the better part of Fugitives, and now-now that he actually has an interesting story again that could make him a Season 2 Hiro, he gets taken advantage of by the next villain in the roster. WTH? Come on! Give the guy his mojo back! Also, the new “no-butterfly effect” arc made me cry. The idea behind it was that changing the smallest thing screws up the future. Now, he’s changed fourteen years of two lives from being not even to being lovey dovey. That’s a BIG change! Bigger still with Season 1′s Kimiko/Ando interaction and that she ends up running the Nakamura company for the better part of the series. BIG change!
    Sorry about that. I just really don’t like where they take Masi Oka’s character. Actually, Peter’s “I want to save all” arc is getting boring, too, but his story has never left being cliche. Lol at the near Spiderman 2 scene in the beginning. Really, they could even skip out his character until they can get a good arc for him or like somebody said find a way to give him his real power back.
    Tracy’s arc was just mauled by these two episodes. She came in at the end like a psycho, which was interesting. Suddenly, she goes to have a business lunch with HRG and goes wounded gazelle on us. “I only want to kill you” so she talks out her feelings and leaves? I was hoping for SOME violence there. I did like what happened to Danko though. I think that was a good way to finish off that minor character.
    Bringing back Micah would be fun too for those that suggested it. He’s smart enough to make his own faction that may rival both hero and villain factions as a true neutral.
    Btw, the ink thing was the girl, not Sam for the guy that said it. I’d want to see what her limits are. Can she only control subdermal ink or can she manipulate anything ink-based? Maybe anything absorbed by the skin? The choking thing she did via tattoo was fun. For that last tattoo though I’m with people about Claire. I second guessed Tracy for a while before thinking Claire again.
    For teleporting versus super agility, I think I’m with the teleporting or maybe shifting. It seems more original than short-term Daphne. They have more than enough known powers to pick from without cloning abilities. Nikki/Mohinder, Nathan/… guy from Season 2 that flew, Hiro/Old guy on his last time phasing, Elle/half of Ando, and so on.

  16. I guess I’m in the minority I actually thought the episode was good and showed alot of promise.

  17. I’m a latecomer to the show and had to do a marathon watching of every episode up to the season 4 premiere, and i’m glad i did. I’m sure I will repeat a lot of the setiment left previously, but I have to put my 2 cents in.

    I thought the Redemption premiere showed a lot of promise. For a two hour show, yeah sure not a lot happened (I would blame it on the stupid commercials!!) I think the show went by too fast, cuz I started watching at 8, and before i knew it, it was already 9:30pm. I’m also a really big Zachary Quinto fan so I enjoyed his scenes especially!!

    I do have some concerns though. I do like the idea of “Redemption”, giving the characters a chance to get back to their “normal” lives. I think it goes back to the roots of their humanity and the social situations the heroes dealt with primarily in season 1. Love the character arc between Nathan, Matt, and Sylar. Love Ray Park’s Edgar, can’t wait to see how he developes throughout the season.

    Not really sure yet what to make of Tracy Strauss’s return as a water demon villianess. I know someone’s going to pick up on Peter’s power soon; the fact he’s using his powers seems to go against the whole idea of redeption for him.

    I agree completely with the ideas of creating a new opponent to challenge Sylar (kind of on the epic level we saw in the last MATRIX movie between Neo and Agt. Smith). Also, I really enjoyed seeing Sylar in “The Eclipse” from last season. I think that was the first time we really got to see his humanity and vulnerability, so I think another arc that involves Sylar becoming a good guy for a while might not be such a bad idea either.

  18. Yeah hiro needs to get tough. He reminds me of Ari’s assistant Lloyd from Entourage – a little girl.

  19. I think the whole first chapter was boring. The first scene was totally random, some people noone has seen before at a funeral of someone we do not know… then nothing is going on, nothing significant happens…
    Hiro Nakamura is more childish than ever
    Claire is trying to be normal, as always
    Peter is the same guy as in volume 1
    to be short, the characters didn’t develop at all, except for mohinder, whose character is the most human of all, but he just disappeared.
    Matt Parkman, whose character is interesting aswell, becomes more and more annoying.
    The circus thing could become very interesting though, but i don’t see it yet. If still nothing happens in the next episode, i’m out.

  20. I personally don’t think Heroes needs redeeming, I’ve loved every season. Everyone keeps whining about how terrible seasons 2 and 3 were, but I thought they weren’t half bad. They introduced really cool characters like Elle, Doyle, Daphne, Monica and Tracy and there were some really cool moments and stories as well. My only problem is there was a big build up over a lot of episodes and then the last couple of episodes were rushed through and some really cool characters got axed (Elle, Daphne, Meridith…) Oh and then there was that whole Hiro in ancient Japan; that was terrible.
    As for season 4, it looks to me like it’s shaping up to be really good (Danko is dead how could things not get better). Edgar, Samuel and the rest of the carnival folk are sooo cool, hope they stay that way or get even better. I can’t wait until Sylar/Nathan realises he’s just Sylar so I don’t have to look at Nathan anymore, he is the most annoying character in the history of the show. I would also love to see Parkman get the axe, maybe Sylar would kill him out of revenge. I mean they can kill off Elle and Daphne two really great characters, but they keep people like Parkman and Nathan around. Doesn’t make sense. I’d love to see Micah and Monica back sometime in the season; they just sort of put Monica in a closet somewhere and haven’t mentioned her in 26 episodes.
    Tracy is so fricking bad-ass! Love her! That moment from S3 when she freezes the car park was the biggest WOW moment of the show! The whole turning to water thing could be really stupid but it just seems to fit so well to me
    Hiro has to find a way to live; how can Heroes be Heroes without Hiro  And Ando needs to display his power a bit more.

  21. tbh, i think some of u want more action and dont really care about anything else. and the opening scene shows us whats about to come, wasnt suppose to be anything AMAZING there.
    and the scenes werent random. each character plays an important role for the story.

    last season they were sloppy with things, i mean the rebel, micah. u knew that he existed half the season, but he appeared just a few times in the end and that was mostly it. but oh well

    i agree, the episode wasnt superawesome, but it showed us whats about to come, and im really excited. and i hardly believe it will disappoint. it has had its ups and downs but this is a crucial season for heroes and i think they’ve come up with something pretty decent.

    and with the dropping of characters, ehm im not sure, some like matt maybe. sylar kills him (a), but u cant cut of sylar. hes the most powerful in heroes, and hes awesome:D
    yeah and hiro is childish,but i suppose (hope) he’ll become more tough in this season.

  22. i like hiro, keep him around. killing off sylar would ruin the whole show for me. but i do agree that there needs to be some new characters. oh and peter needs to go back to his old days of badassedness. NOW!

  23. Yeah Peter really need is powers back he was sooooo badass (Cry) what did they do it him!

  24. I think basically Peter and Hiro (maybe even Sylar to an extent) got nerfed for being too powerful. If you can stop time in a blink and teleport places you don’t even know then there really aren’t that many things can get to you…

    Back on topic. It was okay, not wow. Just ok. Looking forward to it getting better as I get more invested in the Carnie folks during the season.

    Got to agree that giving Park the power of speed-bursts pretty much does away with what he brings to the show which is awesome martial arts skills. Speed them up so we can’t see them, genius…

  25. Lol yea it was so hard to get to Hiro that he was knocked out, shot, tasered, power drained and other stuff from the start. I have to agree with the guy that said it, season 2 was it for Hiro. Then they made him lame again.
    Sylar was beat a lot of times 2. He was only pure awesome in season 1 when it took forever to kill him but then he lost it all in 2 and went identity crisis ever since. I’m just hoping he’s really badass this season by being two guys sorta.

  26. I definitely agree with the suggestions that you brought up of who should go.

    I think that if the show made the room for new characters, the show will definitely spark more interest. And also, if they brough back characters like Molly, Michah, and Monica. Those three I feel really has potential in this show.

    And the 3rd sister between Tracy and Nikki should really come into play too (maybe that’s where Mohinder is, looking for Barbara).

    I definitely agree that Nathan should stay dead and that Hiro’s story is running stale. I would like them to answer what Hiro’s dad’s power was.

  27. @Ron

    I think you’re disagreeing with me (I’m kinda stupid so bear with me) but it’s just one big ‘how?’ moment everytime someone gets the jump on Hiro for me.

    It’s poor writing that he gets injured (continuity-wise) because he can avoid it just by using a fraction of his power in a fraction of a second. Unless he is somehow tricked or blind-sided he should never ‘just not’ use his powers. That’s what I mean by too powerful.

    If he used his powers he’d be untouchable in the same way that Superman, realistically (hah, never thought I’d say that in a discussion about superpowers!), is nigh unbeatable because of his myriad of powers and so had to have a fatal weakness introduced.

  28. I really do care about the good characters. I only think that season 3.2 left many things open (e.g. where micah has gone and what he’s doing, what mohinder’s father did in 1961 and how mohinder’s dealing with it), of which many new storylines could have been built… they could have done so much more in season 4, that’s why i’m a bit disappointed.

    I totally agree that nathan should be gone forever, but… come on, we all know that sooner or later he will be sylar again..

    Monica was great, maya was great too, but i really don’t know if they’ll come back… elle and isaac were great too, and they were killed without any good reason, just to drive people mad, so…

    note: if my english sounds weird, it’s because I’m german :)

  29. i could be wrong, but didn’t Mya get rid of her powers with that syrum Mohinder made? so she would be of no use to anyone other than eye candy.
    as far as the Ray Park speed bursts, since they slow it down, you can still see him. you just know its in slow mo so he is really moving fast. i don’t know any other way they could give him a power to utilize his martial arts. someone did say teleportation which I wasn’t fan of until the opening scene of x-men 2 with night crawler in the white house.

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