With Heroes‘ fifth volume, “Redemption”, set to start shooting next week, the cast has been accommodating a few additions, including a new villain and a new roommate for college-bound Claire (Hayden Panettiere). Thumbs up for a new villain, but a college roommate? Great! Because the whole going-to-college storyline worked so well for Claire last season [sarcasm].

Robert Knepper, best known as bad guy “T-Bag” from Fox’s Prison Break, will continue his villainous streak as Samuel on Heroes; Madeline Zima (a.k.a. the conniving “Mia Lewis” from Showtime’s Californication), will appear in a multi-episode arc as Claire’s edgy, outsider college roommate, Gretchen.

Knepper’s Samuel will be a “Jim Jones type–charismatic but evil, with a twisted sense of humor–who will veer into the lives of all heroes.” He’s been referred to as the “Carnival Barker,” which peaks my interest beyond the solid casting choice – but then again it is Heroes, so that character/storyline could end up falling flat. Knepper is currently signed-on for at least six episodes of the shortened fourth season.

As far as Zima: No doubt she’ll be toning down the language (and other naughty aspects) of her sexually precocious counterpart on Californication, but hopefully she’ll help progress Claire’s character when the high school cheerleader [re]starts college in Washington D.C.

Judging by the preview at the end of last season, “Redemption” will likely follow our favorite Heroes trying to go back to their normal lives after the turmoil of “Fugitives”. Is it me, or do they always seem to “go back to normal life” after the turmoil of a previous arc? That kind of mundane storytelling got “Fugitives off to a lackluster start, IMO, and though the season picked up at the end, chances of holding that pace in order to hit-the-ground-running with “Redemption” are slim.

Even with the additions of Robert Knepper and Madeline Zima, is there reason to suspect Heroes: Redemption will be better than any of the previous volumes?

Source: Hollywood Reporter & Twitter