Despite the kicking it seemed to take in reviews, I really enjoyed volume 3 of Heroes. While I felt that Volume 2 was a bit ropey (although still enjoyable), I really got into volume 3, which was much more action-packed.
Volume 4: Fugitives picks up sometime after the events of volume 3. Mohinder is back driving his cab, Matt and Daphne have settled down together, Peter is back working as a paramedic and Hiro is trying to set Ando up as a superhero.
Things rapidly go downhill though, as Nathan’s wander down the darkside results in him sending special forces teams after the various heroes (and we find out that Mohinder has retained his super-strength in the process, although no word on the rest of the powers that came with last volume’s mutation so I’m guessing they’re gone). Its not long before the various heroes are in orange jumpsuits, being shoved onto a plane and being sent off to God-knows-where.
Of course, there’s a spanner in the works. While Nathan’s more than willing to setup Peter, he draws the line at Claire. Who promptly sneaks on board the plane and works to free the others, resulting in a fairly dramatic crash, and our main cast ends up on the run as Nathan’s special forces team gets steadily more out of control.
To be honest, I felt the opening two episodes were a mixed bag. Peter’s new powers screamed of depowering a character that was insanely powerful compared to everyone else, and I don’t think its a coincidence that the only hero left powerless at the end of last season was Hiro.
Parkman developing Isaac’s painting the future powers strikes me as something that’ll need more attention paid to it in future episodes. Its the first time a hero has spontaneously developed new powers which are unrelated to their current power. Of course, it also feels like the writers trying to keep a hold of a narrative device they’ve been heavily reliant on in previous seasons. But as long as its treated with the significance it represents then I’ll be fine with it.
A big plot hole that struck me though, was Hiro. Not him being grabbed per ce (as from memory only a small number of characters actually knew he’d lost his powers – and that Ando had gained them), but more that you’ve got a US Special Forces team kidnapping a foreign national on foreign soil. Not to mention that Hiro is currently the head of his Dad’s company, so is someone who should be missed. So far in the two episodes these facts have been completely glossed over. I’d at least like to see Nathan worrying about whether or not they’re going over a line grabbing Hiro, or Hiro suggesting he could go to a Japanese embassy.
I’m also a bit sore over Daphne’s death. Of course, it could be undone in the episodes to come, but as it stands, I think they’ve just killed off one of their more interesting new characters. Of course, I felt the same when Adam was dispatched last season (although he’d have ended up dead anyway during the eclipse, so that made sense in that context).
However, the first episode was exciting, and the idea of the main characters being on the run, Prison Break season 2 style, should make for some good, tense storylines. So I’m not writing the show off or anything silly like that.
As usual, the best scenes belonged to Sylar. When Nathan’s team attempted to grab him and it went completely wrong, you pretty much find yourself cheering for him. Zachary Quinto’s on fine form, and despite the character being the villain of the peace, Quinto just makes the character so much fun to watch. Frankly, even if the main plotline struggles, I’d probably keep watching just for the Sylar stuff.
So my hopes for the rest of this volume? I’d like to see Hiro’s capture in Japan be mentioned, but I suspect it’ll be glossed over. Hiro getting his powers back should be addressed, although with Peter they seem to have introduced the idea that while he may get powers, they probably won’t be his old ones, or at best a less powerful version of his original powers (although could Ando then boost them to their previous levels? Or for that matter, could he do the same for Peter?). The Sylar plot has been really interesting so far, and I’m intrigued to see what his father (to be played by John Glover) is like. What happens with his new-found protégé should be interesting as well.
So looking forward to seeing where this volume leads, although I’d say I probably enjoyed the first two episodes of volume 3 more.