Tonight the long-awaited second season of Heroes opened with the teensiest of bangs, taking us four months forward to see what's happened to our beloved super-people. Admittedly, I couldn't see very well what had happened to them because my antenna reception sucks, but here's what I could gather.
Hiro's still in 1671 Japan, and I don't think it's four months later, but whatever. He finds Takezo Sensei, but discovers he's actually -- gasp! -- a white dude from England, and -- double gasp! -- in fact, that he is Sark. (Actually, that was my discovery. But it made me much happier than most of this sleepy-making pilot did.) He's excited about that, but immediately becomes afraid that he's pulling a Michael J. Fox and changing his own future/present.
Meanwhile, back in the present-time-but-four-months-later (whatever), Claire and her family have moved to Cali and are trying to blend in. Claire flirts with a pretty boy named West who, it turns out, can fly. So is he also related to the Petrellis, or do some superheroes repeat powers, and why didn't we know that before, and can Claire ever have sexual tension with someone who's not, you know, possibly related to her?
Other developments: Nathan grew a beard, Mohinder and Parkman are taking care of Molly, and Mohinder's plotting with Bennett to get an in with The Company. Ando is now the lackey of Mr. Nakamura, but when the latter receives a death threat in the form of a photograph of himself with The Symbol printed on it in red, Ando tries to fetch him a sword to defend himself. Meanwhile, Evil Grandma Petrelli also receives a death threat... and the photo of her is the other half of Mr. Nakamura's! She and Nakamura posit that the killer is "one of them," whatever that means (there are apparently nine left). This was actually somewhat intriguing.
New character Maya's trying to make a run out of Mexico for America. Her storyline would have been exciting, what with the human trafficking and the threat of separation from her brother and the eventual revelation that her powers have somehow killed everyone around her, but... I don't know Maya, so I managed to keep pretty calm. Mostly I was wondering when I got to stare at Milo Ventimiglia's face again.
This didn't happen till the end, when a bunch of Irish iPod thieves (it was bad reception but I really think this is what they were) discover Peter Petrelli chained inside a warehouse. He doesn't remember who he is! That was exciting! But it only happened in the last thirty seconds and the rest of the episode was about as exciting as the History channel!
Good things: there's definitely a new villain hovering just offstage, one who gives Molly nightmares; I assume that will be the second-season nemesis, and that's a relief, cause I was getting tired of Sylar. Also, Hayden Panettiere is still a cute, talented actress, Hiro's still a cute dork, and Nathan's beard was so hideous that it almost became cute again. I think it should get separate, possibly top, billing in the credits. It definitely stole the show.
So, there were good things. But... I was bored. I didn't find the first-season finale quite as disappointing as everyone said it was, but this was just painful. I almost did homework during it. I don't feel like it did a great job setting up an arc for season 2; the characters were too separate, when the action should have been more unified, and important characters like the Bennetts barely even got a story at all (to say nothing of the Niki-Micah-D.L. clan, without whom I frankly think the show was better off). Fastforwarding and showing us that, yep, after the big season finale things did change a lot: that's not surprising, and it didn't make me need to watch more.
We know that the writers of this show are capable of putting together addictive, fast-paced episodes that keep our attention glued despite an unwieldy cast size and disjointed episodic storytelling. They were off their game for the premiere, but hopefully things will pick up in the rest of the season.
In Summary: As Hiro would say, tsumaranakatta! ("That was boring", obvi. Sorry for the repetition, but it's kind of all I've got to say...)