"Heroes" is one of the best new shows on TV, and I'm very excited for the new episodes on Jan. 22! Whether you’re itching to read about your favorite characters or you’ve decided to pick up the series mid-season, check out my recap of the first ten episodes. Also, fans of the show can head over to my group, Addicted to "Heroes," to discuss!
The show centers around the work of Chandra Suresh, a geneticist determined to figure out how some people with certain genetic abnormalities are capable of superhuman powers. In his research he encounters Sylar, desperate to be extraordinary, and when Sylar finds out he isn’t, he goes about these killing these super-humans and opening up their heads. His exact tactics are unclear, but he is then able to “consume” their powers. Sylar kills Chandra and continues on his rampage to acquire every possible superhuman ability. Chandra’s son, Mohinder, begins piecing together the bits of the puzzle that was his father's work.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bennet has been studying extraordinary people as well, and even adopted one of them, his daughter Claire. He is intent on obtaining Chandra’s well-hidden list of superhumans and removing Claire from that list so she can live a relatively normal life. Yet there is something sinister about Mr. Bennet, too. For example, what is his relationship with the quiet Haitian man who can erase people's memories? Who are the people who go over Mr. Bennet’s house to meet their “biological daughter,” Claire? Why does he kidnap so many of these “special people” and keep some of them in his creepy hospital-like place?
There’s too much mystery surrounding Mr. Bennet’s character, so to move on to the main heroes in the show,
Claire is the blond, teenage cheerleader whose life is central to “saving the world.” Her power is that she can heal herself within seconds, however mutilated, beat up, or scarred she might get. When Claire saves a man from a burning building, her cheerleader friend Jackie takes all the credit and basks in the attention. Thus, when Sylar comes looking for the superhuman cheerleader, he kills Jackie. At the end of the Episode 10, the Haitian man goes to Claire’s house to erase her memory, but instead asks if Claire can keep a secret.
Isaac’s power is that he can paint scenes of future events before they happen, yet he thinks he can only do this when he’s high on drugs. He doesn’t want to get off drugs, having painted a catastrophic vision of New York being bombed in the future. He wants to paint more in order to figure out how to prevent the events from occurring. With time, he discovers that he can paint the future scenes even when he is sober.
Good natured Hiro, the Japanese businessman, can bend time and space. Thus, he can travel back in time to change the outcome of situations, making him able to save lives or put a winning poker hand in his friend’s hands. Hiro takes his superpower very seriously, believing there are grave responsibilities that go along with the powers. He falls in love with a Southern waitress named Charlie who has the power to memorize things quickly, though when Sylar kills her, Hiro learns that he is not always able to go back to the specific time and place he needs to go to in order to save people. In the final of the ten episodes, Isaac has painted a prophetic image of Hiro facing a dinosaur and wielding a large sword.
Niki is the harried single mother to Micah, wife of D.L., and twin sister of Jessica, who died at age 12, possibly by the hand of Niki and Jessica’s dad. Niki was selling naughty video footage of herself online and trying to make ends meet. She gets down with her bad self, however, when her violent alter ego emerges who is either the spirit of Jessica, or a second personality whom Niki has simply named Jessica. Jessica has superhuman strength and no qualms whatsoever about killing people or ruining lives. When Niki’s ex-husband D.L. runs off with their son Micah, Jessica takes charge, intending to hunt D.L. down and get Micah back. D.L., however, also has a power, and Jessica’s plan goes awry. When Niki regains control of her mind, she deems herself too dangerous and asks a police officer to arrest her.
D.L. can put himself through things, such as walls or even people, and objects can pass through him, but he must concentrate in order to do it. Thus, Jessica bought the crazy sniper gun saying “he can’t see it coming,” because if he did the bullets would simply go through him, doing no damage.
Micah also seems to have a power, though it hasn’t been explained completely; in one scene, Micah touches an out-of-order phone and suddenly there is a dial tone.
NYC politician and older brother to Peter, Nathan feels the constant need to succeed and, on top of that, he can fly. Usually he can control his power, but it seems that when under stress, the flight just happens to him. This comes in handy when Mr. Bennet and his Haitian crony try to capture him, though it worked against him when he was in a car crash with his wife: He flew upwards and avoided the crash while the car smashed to bits, causing Nathan’s wife Heidi to be wheelchair-bound. Nathan’s guilt has created a great divide between he and his wife, and he ends up having an affair with Niki/Jessica.
Peter can’t ever seem to fill his older brother Nathan’s shoes and is ridiculed for being a hospice nurse. Peter can take on the abilities of whichever superhero he’s around: flying with Nathan, healing himself when with Claire, and painting the future in Isaac’s studio. He is fascinated with the idea of having superpowers, and eagerly reads up on Chandra’s theories. In one episode, Peter is visited by a mature and somber Hiro from the future, who warns Peter to “save the cheerleader, save the world.” This causes much confusion as Peter tries to figure out with the clueless present-day Hiro what the future Hiro might mean. He is convinced that he needs to prevent the bomb of Isaac’s premonition painting from hitting New York. In the last of these episodes, Peter has a dream/vision of the apocalyptic day in New York when everyone looks at him with dread and runs from him. Then his body glows red and explodes. He wakes up terrified, muttering to Nathan about it being “all his fault” before his breath stops.
The great influencer, Eden has the power to mentally force people to do things, taking over their will so it looks like they are acting of their own volition. Mr. Bennet convinces her to help him with his quest to get at Chandra’s work. Eden uses Mohinder to get access to Chandra’s office, though she also develops real feelings for Mohinder. In the last episode, she tries to mentally force Sylar to kill himself, but he grabs her and tells her he’ll consume her power as well. To avoid this, Eden shoots herself in the head.
Everyday cop Matt Parkman has failed the test to become a detective three times due to dyslexia. He feels low about himself in his marriage and at work until one day when he is able to locate a hidden little girl by hearing her thoughts. His power to read minds earns him a promotion to work on the Sylar case, though the power becomes problematic when he hears that his wife has been having an affair with one of his colleagues. Matt also can’t seem to read Claire’s mind, as he only hears static when the Haitian man is around.
Ted’s power is tragic: He is highly radioactive and his radiation levels intensify when he becomes upset. At the hospital where his wife dies of cancer that he caused, he threatens to explode like an atomic bomb. It’s possible that he has something to do with the explosion predicted in Isaac’s painting.