Heroes—Season 1

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8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Good looking, decent story

Feels like it ripped off Watchmen, so-so cast

heroes season 1 title card episode guide

Save the Cheerleader…Save the World

Save the cheerleader, save the world!  People are being born with gifts, and Professor Chandra Suresh (Erick Avari) has seen the potential.  When Chandra is killed, his son Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramurthy) finds himself thrust into following his father’s research.  An artist named Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera) finds he can paint the future and takes drugs to avoid the future he has seen.  Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) is running for office and dealing with his wayward brother Peter (Milo Ventimiglia).  A stripper in Las Vegas named Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) learns she might have a gift as she tries to protect her son Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey).  In Japan, Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) finds he has the power to stop time and sets out on a quest with his friend Ando Masahashi (James Kyson Lee).  Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) discovers his marriage is falling apart and that his job as an officer is in jeopardy as he develops powers that could change everything.  In Texas, Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) discovers she has the ability to heal but her father Mr. Bennet (Jack Coleman) could hold the keys to everyone’s powers.  Meanwhile, Chandra’s most potential discovery Sylar (Zachary Quinto) has a building power and it could bring death.

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Heroes—Season 1 aired from September 25, 2006 to May 21, 2007 on NBC.  The superhero series became a surprise hit and received Golden Globe nominations for Best Television Series—Drama and for Masi Oka.  The series also was nominated for Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Art Direction for a Single Camera Series (“Genesis”), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (“Genesis”), Outstanding Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (“Genesis”), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Masi Oka), Oustanding Sound Mixing for a One-Hour Comedy or Drama Series (“Genesis”), Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series (“Five Years Gone”), and Outstanding Stunt Coordination (“Genesis”).

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Claire learns to open up about her powers

Heroes was on the cusp of the superhero bubble.  The series was after the X-Men films but before the Marvel Cinematic Universe boom and right in the middle of Smallville’s run.  Heroes started out with fireworks and this season exploded…before a crisis developed.

The first season of Heroes has a very odd pacing.  The series lends itself and doesn’t lend itself to binge watching.  It repeats a lot of scenes episode to episode (since most episodes end in a cliffhanger), but the soap opera nature does keep you coming back episode to episode.  Binge watching the series is fun but sometimes tedious in this repetition and it feels like the series chases its own tail at times by being repetitive on run-in (especially when you add time travel)…the shock of characters meeting doesn’t always live up to what it should.

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If I die can we end this dull storyline?

The basic plot for the season is split in two.  The first part of the season is “Save the Cheerleader” which essentially has the characters rescuing Claire from Sylar.  The second half of the season is “Save the world” which involves preventing an explosion in downtown Manhattan.  The first part is original, but the second part feels a bit like rehash of Alan Moore’s classic Watchmen which ran from 1986-1987 (which was finally made into a movie in 2009).  The plot of that series was faking an alien invasion to make the world a better place by reuniting it…the killing of a small portion of Earth’s population would save more.  It’s essentially the same plot of Heroes which makes it feel like a rip-off.

The cast is good as an ensemble but does have weak points.  Masi Oka is the jump out success as the optimist, wanna-be hero with Hayden Panettiere transitioning from soap operas to primetime as Claire the indestructible cheerleader.  The Petrelli brothers played by Milo Ventimiglia and Adrian Pasdar are both over-the-top (Ventimiglia is hipster mopey, and Pasdar is trying too hard).  Greg Grunberg as never inspired and continues to be so-so and Ali Larter’s power was too meta for its own good.  There are also a lot of forgettable characters in this season and series…having been over ten years since I saw it, I realize that now more than ever.

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Boom goes the Sylar!

Heroes does look pretty good.  It is shot with the idea of comic books and utilizes some interesting framing and style choices.  Unlike a lot of comic book TV shows, they at least employed a real artist to do the “comic book art” in the series, but Tim Sale’s art is still underdeveloped here when compared to a real comic.

Heroes—Season 1 has its moments.  I can still see why it took off, but it is hard to imagine this flying with a mainstream audience when a network like the CW would have handled it much better.  Heroes—Season 2 suffers a problem.  Not only is the series rather directionless following this season, but the writers’ strike doomed the series and cut the episodes down from a full season to eleven…and Heroes never regained its momentum.

Heroes—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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1.1       Genesis Airdate:  09/25/06

Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) finds himself pulled to New York when his father (Erick Avari) is killed and begins to look into his father’s research on superhumans while a man in horn-rimmed glasses (Jack Coleman) pursues him.  Claire Bennet (Hayden Panettiere) discovers she’s invincible and begins to explore her abilities with the help of her friend Zach (Thomas Dekker).  Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) discovers taking mob money might be a mistake as she tries to protect her prodigy child Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) from the danger.  Artist and substance abuser Isaac Mendez (Santiago Cabrera) finds his paints may be telling him more than he believes.  Hiro Nakamura (Masi Oka) finds he has power over time…leading him to dream of superhero adventures.  Peter Patrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) dreams of flying as his brother Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) runs for office…but could dreams be reality?

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“Don’t Look Back”

1.2       Don’t Look Back Airdate:  10/02/06

Peter recovers in the hospital but finds his brother hiding something about his own abilities.  Mohinder discovers his father’s ties to someone called Sylar and a new ally in his neighbor Eden McCain (Nora Zehetner).  After waking up surrounded by dead bodies, Niki finds she’s losing time and that she must go on the run with Micah.  Claire discovers that keeping her abilities secret is getting difficult and that the video made with Zach has disappeared.  Officer Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) discovers the survivor of a serial killer massacre when he can “hear” her and attracts the attention of FBI agent Audrey Hanson (Clea DuVall) who is hunting Sylar.  Hiro finds himself in New York City and learns that Isaac Mendez is chronicling his life in comic books…but the trip reveals a shocking future.

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“One Giant Leap”

1.3       One Giant Leap Airdate:  10/09/06

Hiro returns from his trip to the future and realizes he has to stop the destruction in New York with his friend Ando (James Kyson).  Peter tries to find out how to fly again and finds that his brother might be using his “suicide attempt” for his own political gains.  Isaac tries to convince Simone (Tawny Cypress) that New York City is doomed and that he can stop it.  Eden and Mohinder find Mohinder’s father’s link to Sylar and learn that he’s plotting something.  Matt gets an offer from Audrey but a showdown with Sylar reveals a shocking result.  Micah and Niki’s run leads to Niki’s mother-in-law (Tina Lifford) and a run in with Linderman’s men.   Clair’s interest in Brody Mitchum (Matt Lanter) leads to a dangerous situation.

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1.4       Collision Airdate:  10/16/06

Matt finds he’s been drugged and captured by Bennet and his lackey (Jimmy Jean-Louis).  Mohinder tries to track down Nathan but finds Peter instead.  Hiro and Ando head to Las Vegas, and Hiro’s powers might get them in trouble.  A trip to Las Vegas by Nathan leads to an encounter with Niki…in a trap planned by Linderman.  Peter finds himself in a new relationship with Simone.  Clair must find a way to return to school since Brody believes he’s killed her and leads her to take drastic actions.  Peter gets a message from the future…and Hiro!

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1.5       Hiros Airdate:  10/23/06

The future Hiro tells Peter a message, “Save the cheerleader, save the world!”  Greg is returned home and tries to repair his relationship with his wife (Lisa Lackey).  Niki discovers she’s lost time again and that she slept with Nathan.  Nathan is cornered by Bennet and his man and is forced to fly again…leading him to a meeting with Hiro.  Bennet learns about Claire’s accident and “deals with” Brody.  Peter and Isaac begin working together, and Peter tries to discover who the cheerleader is.

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“Better Halves”

1.6       Better Halves Airdate:  10/30/06

Peter and Isaac are contacted by Hiro, but Hiro’s plans for New York City are deferred by the man they cheated earlier (Mark Allen Stewart) as he and Ando find themselves caught in a high stakes game.  Niki deals with the return of her husband D.L. (Leonard Roberts) but learns that D.L. has secrets of his own.  Claire is introduced to her birth parents by Bennet, but the information he gets from his secret ally Eden is more interesting.

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“Nothing to Hide”

1.7       Nothing to Hide Airdate:  11/06/06

Micah has been taken by his father D.L. to get him away from Jessica which leads to an encounter with Hiro and Ando.  Peter needs to get one of Isaac’s paintings from Linderman but this means turning to Nathan for help.  Matt and Audrey get a lead on Sylar and encounter another superhuman…while Matt gets bad news about his relationship with his wife.

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“Seven Minutes to Midnight”

1.8       Seven Minutes to Midnight Airdate:  11/13/06

Mohinder has returned to India with his father’s ashes and finds he might not be able to return to his old life when he begins to see visions of a boy (Javin Reid).  Hiro and Ando head to Texas where they meet a girl named Charlie (Jayma Mays) who might also have abilities…which has made her a target of Sylar.  Matt and Audrey question Ted Sprague (Matthew John Armstrong) and Matt learns the truth about his marriage.  Mr. Bennet and Eden work to find out how to save Clair by trying to have Isaac paint the future…which could mean falling off the wagon.

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1.9       Homecoming Airdate:  11/20/06

It is homecoming and Mr. Bennet’s efforts to protect Claire could be undermined when Claire is elected homecoming queen.  Ando waits for Hiro to return to the café but discover Hiro’s trip to the past could be to protect the future.  Mohider debates what path he should take as he investigates Sanjog Iyer who has invaded his dream.  Micah tries to convince his father that his mother needs help, but Despite Nathan’s efforts, Peter seeks out the clues to how to save the cheerleader and learns the cheerleader’s big day is coming…Sylar (Zachary Quinto) however is also waiting for his moment to attack.

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“Six Months Ago”

1.10     Six Months Ago Airdate:  11/27/06

Hiro steps back into the past to try to save Charlie…but finds he’s arrived six months too early.  Chandra works on his project and tracks down a man named Gabriel Gray who could be the key to his hypothesis.  Mr. Bennet and his aide track down Eden after she encounters Matt in Los Angeles, and Bennet learns that Chandra is interested in his daughter Claire’s potential.  Niki deals with her alcoholism, but the return of her father (Graham Beckel) could push her too far…unleashing Jessica.  Nathan and his family celebrate Peter becoming a nurse but an accident after the party could change Nathan’s life forever.

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1.11     Fallout Airdate:  12/04/06

Hiro returns from the past and questions if he can really change the past since he couldn’t save Charlie.  Isaac wonders if he can still use his abilities without drugs and plots what his future could hold.  Matt and Audrey try to find out what happened at the school, and Matt learns that something is happening around Claire.  Peter is held in jail for questioning but a vision of the future could prove his undoing.  Bennet seeks to eliminate the loose ends who know about Claire’s ability…which makes her brother and Zach targets.  D.L. has been shot and is on the run from Jessica as he tries to hide with Micah.  Sylar is a prisoner of Bennet but Eden’s decision that he should die could cause a problem.

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1.12     Godsend Airdate:  12/04/06

Peter has fallen into a coma after his vision of the future where he caused the explosion.  Niki is held by the police after confessing to being a killer but D.L. learns that Linderman might not be finished with him.  Hiro locates the sword shown in Isaac’s vision but learns it could mean another trip to Las Vegas.  Claire hides that the Haitian didn’t erase his mind and tries to determine what to do next.  Matt’s plan to find Bennet’s secrets backfires.  Nathan begins to question if Peter’s stories could be true as Bennet reaches out to Mohinder.

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“The Fix”

1.13     The Fix Airdate:  01/29/07

Peter’s encounter with an invisible man calling himself Claude (Christopher Eccleston) has Peter trying to learn more about his powers.  Claire and Zach seek out Claire’s real parents and which leads her to Meredith Gordon (Jessalyn Gilsig).  Hiro and Ando encounter with men leads to them being kidnapped by someone that Hiro knows.  Niki seeks to get rid of Jessica and finds a doctor (Paula Newsome) willing to help her.  Matt tries to explain to his wife about his powers and faces unemployment.  Sylar makes an escape attempt.

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1.14     Distractions Airdate:  02/05/07

Sylar has escaped and tells Bennet that he’s going after Claire which leads to a run in with Claire’s mother (Ashley Crow).  Niki’s attempt to get out of jail with help from a psychologist runs into a problem.  Claude works with Peter to try to learn how to control his powers, but Peter finds that Isaac and Simone are also spending time together.  Hiro’s father Kaito Nakamura (George Takei) tells Hiro that he doesn’t believe in his story and that he is going to go back to Japan…but Hiro has other ideas.  Claire and Zach head to Kermit to meet with Meredith Gordon and to determine if she could be Claire’s mother…but Meredith’s secret about Claire’s father is even bigger.

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1.15     Run! Airdate:  02/12/07

Nathan is contacted by Meredith who reveals that their daughter Claire is alive…and Meredith has a request from Nathan.  Ando and Hiro return to Las Vegas but Ando gets Hiro involved in helping a call girl (Missi Pyle).  Jessica has taken over Niki’s life and working for Linderman, but her first assignment is Linderman’s ex-employee Malsky (Kevin Chamberlin) and his bodyguard Matt.  Mohinder seeks out new people from the list of his father and encounters Sylar.

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1.16     Unexpected Airdate:  02/19/07

Claire finds her mother’s mental problems are growing but that no one will believe her.  Ted tries to survive in isolation but meets another superhuman named Hana Gitelman (Stana Katic) who promises Ted a chance at revenge.  Matt debates what to do about the stolen diamonds and learns that his wife might have other ideas.  Mohinder teams with Sylar without realizing who he is and begins to track down superhumans.  Hiro teams with Steve R. Gustavson (Bill Fagerbakke) who he discovers is an agent and sets out to rescue Ando from Hope.  Claude continues his training of Peter while Isaac calls in Bennet and the Haitian to try to track Peter down…but a showdown between Peter and Isaac could have tragic results.

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“Company Men”

1.17     Company Man Airdate:  02/25/07

Matt has teamed with Ted to get the information from Bennet but when they capture Bennet with Claire, his mother, and family, Matt might learns Claire’s secret and more.  Bennet recalls his introduction to the program by Thompson (Eric Roberts), his teaming with Claude, and the adoption of Claire.  As Matt gets more and more crazed for the truth and a cure, Matt must team with Bennet and that Haitian to keep everyone out of the situation.

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1.18     Parasite Airdate:  03/04/07

Isaac has accidentally killed Simone and blames Peter for her death.  Bennet finds his memory wiped by the Haitian and doesn’t realize that he ordered the Haitian to do it to protect Claire.  Claire and the Haitian are on the run and questioning their next step.  Sylar’s plans are uncovered by Mohinder, and Sylar becomes a prisoner again.  Hiro makes his grab at the sword and runs into a friend.  Nathan is revealed to be working as an agent for the FBI and prepares to meet with Linderman (Malcolm McDowell)…making him a target for Jessica.

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1.19     .07% Airdate:  04/23/07

Peter is in a showdown with Sylar over Mohinder’s list and the end result could be fatal.  Nathan learns Linderman’s own secret and what Linderman is planning.  Claire meets with her grandmother Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) and learns that Angela has a vision for Claire’s future.  Niki is summoned by Linderman but is told that Micah is his ultimate goal.  Bennet helps Matt and Ted escape the Company, but Matt and Peter must decide if they will help him.  With the list gone, Sylar has a new target.  Hiro and Ando go to the future and find a familiar face.

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“Five Years Gone”

1.20     Five Years Gone Airdate:  04/30/07

Ando and Hiro are trapped five years in the future.  When Hiro is captured, Ando must team with the future’s Hiro to rescue Hiro.  Peter learns of Hiro’s return and sets out to rescue him.  Hiro is held prisoner by Nathan’s homeland security leader Matt and learns that the world he hoped to save has been corrupted.  As Nathan prepares to eliminate the superhumans forever, the real villain is revealed.

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“The Hardest Part”

1.21     The Hard Part Airdate:  05/07/07

Hiro has returned to the past and set on a quest to kill Sylar.  Claire prepares to head to Paris, and Peter tries to find a failsafe to prevent the explosion.  Linderman has secretly abducted Micah and plotting to use him.  Sylar sees his future and realizes he could be a force more destructive than he even wanted leading him home to visit his mother (Ellen Greene).  Mohinder is asked by Thompson (Eric Roberts) to help Molly Walker (Adair Tishler), the girl saved by Matt, and that Molly could be the key to stopping Sylar.

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1.22     Landslide Airdate:  05/14/07

Election Day has arrived and an encounter with Linderman could change Nathan and his wife’s life forever.  Hiro sets out to mend his broken sword only to discover the return of his father, but Ando decides to take matters into his own hands.  Claire and Peter realize know their connection and try to get out of New York City before it is too late.  Candice (Missy Peregrym) takes Micah on a mission to ensure Nathan’s win.  Jessica and D.L. go after Linderman and it could be a deadly encounter.  Bennet and Matt go after the Company’s tracking device but first they must get through Thompson.  Sylar hunts down Ted…and it could be more dangerous than ever expected.

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“How to Stop an Exploding Man”

1.23     How to Stop an Exploding Man Airdate:  05/21/07

Bennet, Matt, and Suresh seek to locate Sylar before he can destroy New York City.  Hiro makes a decision that he has to rise to the occasion and save Ando and stop Sylar.  Peter learns that Nathan isn’t as pure as he believed as Nathan’s mother tries to convince him that the explosion must occur.  Claire finds she must make a decision between her father and adopted father.  Niki tries to get D.L. to help but must rescue Micah from Candice…leading her to a discovery about Jessica.  Peter realizes he must face down Sylar…but is Peter or Sylar the villain in the story?

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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