heroes redemption 'Heroes' premiere: The Magic Compass and CarnivaleTonight on “Heroes,” we’ve got some creepy carnies looking for a Magic Compass. No word on if they smell like cabbage.

When we last left our intrepid Heroes, Sylar’s “body” was burned and only Angela, Matt and Noah knew that Nathan was dead and Sylar is now Nathan. They thought Matt could control him but we saw a flash at the end of the season that made us (and Mama Petrelli) think Sylar might not be quiiiiite under control. Hiro and Ando headed home to Japan and Tracy came back (because no big name on this show EVER dies, except Elle, who was a favorite of mine.)

Let’s take this one character-by-character, shall we? Because they are very disjointed in these episodes and hardly interact with one another.

Claire Bennett
Claire Bear is headed to college and ends up with a driven, competitive roommate named Annie. I was betting that she was a demon like Buffy’s roommate Kathy, but instead it turns out she’s just suicidal and throws herself out a window (under highly suspicious circumstances).

Claire makes a new friend, Gretchen, who recognizes Claire’s name from the Odessa Homecoming Massacre (coming to theatres 2010!) and is obsessed with proving that Annie was murdered. Gretchen’s a little… macabre. When Claire conducts her own “Jump, Push or Fall” test by throwing herself out the dorm window to see if she hits Annie’s chalk outline, Gretchen sees Claire sit up and crack her bones back into place. Raise your hand if you like Gretchen for Annie’s murder? Me too.

Peter Petrelli
Peter has gone all Weird Loner on us. He’s a paramedic again, using his powers to save people and basically balance the cosmic ledger. He barely takes time off and at home he saves every single newspaper article about his heroics and constantly listens to the police scanner. I predict eventually he’ll develop an obsession with Jodie Foster and try to kill the president.

“Nathan” Petrelli
The Nathan Facade is cracking, as glimpses of Sylar are coming out. Nathan reaches out to Peter for help because he doesn’t know what’s happening, but Peter won’t return his calls because of the Lone Wolf thing he’s got going. Angela can see the Sylar coming out and asks Matt Parkman for help in “updating” whatever it is he did, but Matt wants no part of it.

Matt Parkman
Matt is back with his family but is having some serious Sylar hallucinations. He isn’t using his mind-reading powers anymore, which makes both Janice and me wonder if that’s healthy. He finally snaps, at Sylar’s egging on, and uses his powers to (of all htings) convince the hunky water delivery boy to get a new route because he doesn’t like Roy sniffing around his kibble, ifyaknowwhatimsayin. Oh, and Matt is going to a police force recovery group and talks about his powers like an addiction. Hello, Willow. I didn’t know you’d joined “Heroes.”

Noah Bennett & Tracy Strauss
Tracy reformed from the melted ice chips with one thing on her mind: MURDER. She goes for Bennett but he says he can help her and gets Danko off her back. Unfortunately, she sees Danko sliced ‘n diced by a new super-speedy samurai hero and calls Bennett. They find a key in Danko’s stomach, it opens a safety deposit box and inside is a MAGIC COMPASS that either only works when Peter holds it or only works when a person with an ability holds it (it’s not clear). Unfortunately, samurai comes back and slices up Bennett for the compass. In the hospital, Bennett calls Tracy because he’s lonely (also, his wife has moved on). Do I smell a romance brewing? Who ‘ships Tracy and Noah? I’m not sure if I do yet.

Ando & Hiro
Our favorite bumbling BFFs have started a company in Japan called “Heroes for Hire.” We see them save a cat named “Muffin Man.” Awesome. In more important news, there is now a ret-conned carnival where 13 year-old Hiro saw a fortune teller and wished he was big and ended up sleeping with Elizabeth Perkins. No wait. The fortune teller told him he would be a hero and that’s when he devoted his life to doing just that.

Which now is killing him, since Hiro is dying. Presumably from powers, but the details are fuzzy. He tells Ando he saw a doctor. Was it Dr. Suresh? If it was, why wouldn’t he just say it was? Was it a normal doctor? A normal doctor would’ve found a normal cause, not a time-traveling cause, so does Hiro have a normal disease, like cancer or lupus? Was it exacerbated by his time-traveling and time-freezing? It’s very unclear and annoying.

Anyway, Hiro accidentally travels back to the Carnival and instead of keeping himself from getting the fortune, a weird carnie named Samuel inserts Hiro into the incident where Ando spilled slushee on Kimiko (Hiro’s sister) and she hated him forever. INstead, Samuel pushes Hiro so that he intercepts the slushee. Back in the present, Kimiko and Ando are together now, ever since they shared their first kiss on the Ferris Wheel at the carnival 14 years ago. Maybe later Hiro will play “Johnny B. Goode” for them at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance.

Hiro then decides his new mission is to go back in time, leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home. Or something like that. Oh boy.

Finally we come to… the Big Bad for season 5. Joseph, an unseen carnie, dies and Samuel takes over as Lead Carnie. He has a Magic Compass, a tattoo of said Magic Compass and also a magic ink pen. Rounding out his band of carnies are super-speedy samurai Edgar, Lydia the Tattooed Lady and an old man who sends Samuel back in time to Hiro’s carnival. Samuel puts Hiro on his path of redemption and now wants to collect Sylar, Claire and Peter. For what purpose? We don’t know. But I bet the Magic Compass is involved.

Thoughts & Tidbits

  • Not my favorite season premiere. Was it just me, or did not that much happen tonight? It really seemed like an awful lot of disjointed filler to me.

  • Did anybody notice that Gretchen is the little girl from “The Nanny?” Weird.
  • I loved the sight gag of Ando wheeling unconscious Hiro around the office on a dolly, trying not to be seen
Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."