I do a nightly wrap-up of the shows that I watch, but special shows like Heroes, Lost, and Friday Night Lights, where there is a lot to talk about, get their own posts as long as I’ve got time for it. So here we go with Heroes season two! (WARNING: These posts contain spoilers! Don’t read this if you haven’t seen the episode!)

As readers might remember, I was unhappy with the way the first season of Heroes ended. I didn’t mean to attack the show as a whole, since it was one of my favorites. I just expected more from the big finale. But that’s in the past now, and all sins are temporarily absolved (until they start to make the same mistakes). As expected, much of this first episode was spent catching viewers up to what has happened in the past four months. Mohinder Suresh is giving lectures about his usual business, and is approached by a sniffly little man in a suit who knows far too much to just be a fan. He wants to hire Mohinder to work for his company. He brags about his unlimited funds, and then we learn why; he’s got the Midas touch. So now we’ve met our first new hero, even though he’s pretty lame.

In the jungles of Mexico, new characters Maya y Alejandro are running from the law. We see that they’re wanted for homicide, and they pay a man to help them escape to America so they can see a doctor about Maya’s “condition.” Of course, things go wrong, and Alejandro ends up walking into a gruesome scene where everyone is dead, with blood leaking out of their eyes like tears. Maya’s power: she makes everyone cry themselves to death? Now we’ve met two new characters, one with a power and one who looks an awful lot like a Spanish Peter Petrelli.

Speaking of the Petrellis, Nathan is alive and is bearded. He seems to have become a drunk, and he refuses to admit that his brother Peter is dead. Of course, the super evil Ma Petrelli just wants him to give up, but that’s because she’s evil. Then one day, she finds a photo of herself with a red “helix” on it. She’s not the only one.

George Takei, who plays Hiro’s dad Kaito, has also received the note. He tells Ando that in 24 hours, he will be dead. He meets Petrelli up on the roof top garden and they discuss their fate. Kaito supposes that it’s got to be “one of the original 9” who is trying to kill them off. Later, a hooded man attacks him on the roof and tackles him off the edge. When Ando runs to look, we only see one body lying on the ground in a pool of blood. We don’t know for sure whose it is, though.

Hiro Nakamura is wasting his time in Japan while all the madness takes place back in NY. We have yet to see the relevance of his B story, other than learning that his childhood hero was a drunk British guy who only does things for the money. I’m thinking we’ll see Hiro take the role of his own childhood hero, but honestly, other than being a cute diversion there is no real point to this part of the show. I hope it reveals something soon, because as of right now, it’s a momentum killer.

The Bennets have taken a new name and moved to sunny California. Noah is working in a paper store, where he suffers abuse from a mustachioed manager to an extent. Claire is going to school and trying very hard to blend in and not be exceptional. Once again, she has met up with a nerd/outcast type who knows that she is different and just wants her to be OK with herself. West, as his Golden State hippie parents named him, is dark and mysterious, yet underlyingly handsome. After a supremely awkward dinner at the Bennet household, one of the best scenes of the episode (even I felt awkward sitting there watching it), Claire is in her room. She calls Nathan in a moment of weakness, and they both discuss missing Peter before he hangs up. Then, in the creepiest shot we’ve ever seen on this show, West appears outside of her window, spying on her from a tree. Then the camera pans back to reveal that he’s not sitting in a tree! He’s levitating! For West this is a great advantage, because it means he can have both hands free for his sick voyeuristic doings. So we’ve got new hero number three: West, who can fly like Nathan.

At the awkward dinner, Noah gets up for a short time to talk on the phone with Mohinder Suresh. This is where the show got a bit interesting. Suresh tells Noah that he tricked someone and got the job. Noah is happy, and he tells Suresh that now they can “bring this whole company down.” We also learn that Mohinder is helping Matt Parkman raise Molly, the girl who can locate things. She’s a whole lot less annoying this season, since she has stopped fake-whispering and started talking like a normal person. Parkman has just passed his detective exam, but he can’t figure out exactly what is causing Molly to have terrible nightmares. Every night she screams and cries, and in school she draws pictures of a huge creepy pair of eyes watching her while she sleeps. In each picture, the “helix” symbol is used. She tells Parkman that she can’t say where this evil man is, because if Parkman knows, he’ll be killed.

Finally, the show ends with a bang. In Cork, Ireland, some soccer hooligans are looking for loot in a freight yard. What they find, though, is a chained up man. It’s Peter Petrelli, he’s alive, sporting a slick new haircut, and doesn’t seem to remember anything at all. Finally, the episode delivers!

So, after all that, you’d think I would be happier. It was a pretty good episode, it did everything it set out to do, but I feel like they didn’t try to do enough. The first episode of last season introduce plenty of characters, but it also had enough plot to make viewers really excited about what was to come next. Fans likely enjoyed the season two premiere, but a new viewer would have been totally bored. Arbitrarily jumping the show four months into the future isn’t a reason to spend an entire episode just slowly catching up, and save for a few moments (Peter being alive, Molly’s nightmares, intro of Maya and Alejandro), there wasn’t really too much substance. I’m looking forward to next week, but I really hope that the show doesn’t let itself slow down like this episode did. Last season was great because they kept up such a high pace all year long, where there were almost no skippable episodes. I really expect the same from Tim Kring and crew this year, and as long as they can deliver that, I’ll keep writing these long posts.

Oh, and if they can keep Niki Sanders off my screen like they did tonight, I’ll never say another bad thing about the show.