On ''Heroes,'' the family ties get too complicated as Parkman learns his father is Molly's boogeyman; plus, Claire goes Hollywood, and a new heroine rocks like a hurricane

Heroes (TV series)

”Heroes”: The family ties get more complex

Bonjour, mesdames et messieurs, and welcome to the show. Your previous TV Watch host, Missy Schwartz, has been called away on pressing Entertainment Weekly duty to spend some quality interview time with people far more fabulous than you or I. Really, if she’s got the ability to sit across a dark barroom table from people like Viggo Mortensen and make them spill their savory secrets, her powers are better deployed elsewhere.

That means I’ll be your whipping boy from now on, folks. So strap in, gird your loins (jeebus knows I’ve girded mine after my run on Battlestar Galactica TV Watches), and let’s get into it.

Ah, if only there were something to get into. Another episode where pretty much everyone just sat around. Oh, sorry, Nathan shaved. And Micah pirated cable.

Let’s go over the things we learned:

Teenage girls lie to their fathers about boys. Yes, Claire was a very bad girl telling her dad that there isn’t a suitor in her life. And telling him that she was going to the library to study the Internet’s effect on the library — which is a pretty good lie, actually, even though she didn’t follow through by bringing any books with her to meet young West. I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting a very Buffy-Angel vibe from the Claire-West relationship. I just know he’s gonna turn evil. He’ll sleep with her, and then things will get bad. After their little Hollywood-sign rendezvous (what, this was the best place Claire could come up with? Why not the Golden Gate, or the Grand Canyon?), she parted ways with a ”You’re killing me” line. At least we didn’t get another ”Can You Read My Mind” romantic flying scene. It didn’t work in Superman; it doesn’t work now.

Fathers lie to their teenage girls about everything. Okay, maybe that’s not entirely fair. But I can’t wait for the ”Sorry, gang. I’ve got a paper conference…in the Ukraine” excuse.

Katrina was ”very bad.” Hey, I’m all for black superheroes, especially ones that are hot and aren’t brooding ex-cons. But did we really need an object lesson on how much it sucks to live in the post-Katrina recovery zone? Yes, it’s horrible, and yes, we should never forget, but the way we were reminded of it was so obviously manipulative. It seemed that was the only reason for us to have met Monica Dawson (Dana Davis), so we could witness the struggle to win the bread that would keep her impoverished family together. Cool power, though, the whole photographic-memory thing. Unclear if she can replicate whatever she sees, or just whatever she sees on TV.

As far as Star Trek veterans go, George Takei is a way better actor than Nichelle Nichols. ‘Nuff said.

Mama Petrelli is a pretty smooth operator. You know the only reason she gave that confession to the police was so that she’d get put ”in the system,” essentially giving her police protection. She knows that she’s a marked woman and that she’s safer on the inside. Not safe, but safer.

NEXT: Who’s your daddy?

My Two Dads was better with Greg Evigan and Paul Reiser. Seriously, I could go the rest of my TV viewing life without ever again watching Mohinder Suresh and Matt Parkman bicker like spinsters while Molly whines in the background. At least now, with Molly stuck in her own head, Matt’s got to leave the house to confront the Nightmare Man to get her back.

Lastly, Heroes is set in a wonderful place called Coincidence-Ville. I know one of the bedrock principles of this program is that everyone is connected. But really? Everyone? Does everyone have to cross everyone else’s path, even if it so defies probability that it’s laughable? C’mon, tell me you didn’t spit out your beverage of choice when Maya and Alejandro literally ran into Sylar. Of all the roads in all the Latin American countries these two have meandered through, the Big Bad just happens to lie down in the one our refugees just happen to be on?

And then Parkman gets a look at the Picture, featuring Superheroes: The Previous Generation. And, of course, his father’s in it. (Which seems to contradict the Heroes mythology: None of the other children of that generation needed to be kidnapped and injected to jump-start their powers. Why did Parkman?) And since one level of unbelievable coincidence isn’t enough, Papa Parkman is also the boogeyman that’s been haunting Molly, lo these many episodes.

At this rate, someone really should keep an eye on the mailman.

Listen, if you really want a gauge on how uninspiring this show has become, wrap your head around this: Here was an episode that didn’t feature two of last season’s marquee characters — Hiro and Peter — and I didn’t notice until it was almost over. Have the producers finally realized that those two plot strands were going nowhere fast? Or did they think that absence would make the heart grow fonder? Who knows? What’s clear, though, after four episodes, is that this train better get back on track, and fast.

What do you think? Will Hiro finally get to leave his Cyrano de Nakamura story behind and return to the ”real” world? Will Nathan be able to save his mom and get his kids back? How long until Mark Hamill shows up as the super-duper evil head of the Company?

Want more Heroes? Check out our Q&A with HRG, a.k.a. Jack Coleman, and don’t miss EW’s Ultimate Heroes Fan Guide, where you can join with other members of the Heroes community to fill in new details of season 2.

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