Oh Heroes, it's so nice to have you back. Not "back" as in "back from a summer off" but "back" as in "back to the same crap that drove me nuts last season". Claire: still boring. Peter: Still dumb. New characters: still terrible. Sylar: Still awesome. He's even more awesome this season because they've decided that the best use of his talents is to attach him to the Anchor Known As Matt Parkman. Sylar is hitching a ride inside of AKAMP's head, and by episode 2 has already learned how to use Matt's powers to mess with him, causing him to beat the bejeepers out of a drug dealer and forcing him to use his Care Bear Stare to cover it all up. Let's find a way to have Sylar hitching a ride with ALL the Heroes characters, just for the fun of it. Hell, let's stick Sylar on every show. Jay Leno will jump at the chance. By the way, Jay, Chevy Chase is standing by with an October calendar and a bottle of champagne.
Claire and the World's Most Annoying Roommate (too annoying for an acronym) continues to be the fourth most interesting story in a three story plot this week. Gretchen (must...resist...urge...to...call...her...Retchin...) knows about Claire's ability, and keeps bugging her about it. HRG starts to call in The Haitian, but Claire insists she can handle it. And handle it she does, by spilling every last bean to her new BFF. Hey Noah, send The Haitian my way, I want to forget how to turn my dial to NBC on Monday nights.
Peter the Heroic Paramedic lumbers on, first meeting a deaf chick (who looks a lot like Amy Sedaris, but not enough for me to look up whether she is, in fact, Amy Sedaris) who can see sounds as colors. Big deal, so can every third person at a Phish concert. Inky Circus Vaguely-Irish Guy (I'll try and remember his name for next week...maybe) messes with Peter's head, uses his wacky ink powers to give Peter one of those sweet moving compass tats, and drops Exposition Manor into a sinkhole. So does he have earth powers, ink powers, or is this special dirt-based ink? Or does Tim Kring even care anymore?
Almost forgot how much I hated the deaf chick character. First of all, I think we learned from Maya that any character with yellow subtitles is a bad character. Secondly, her power blows. Thirdly, her power blows. Fourthly, we didn't get a Hiro update so that we could be introduced to Dazzler 2009? Her scenes were subtle character moments in a series that wouldn't recognize the word subtle if you spotted them the "sub".
But hey, no Mohinder for a second week in a row. If they would promise no Mohinder for the whole season, I'd buy a DVR and Season Pass this bitch.
Thankfully, my sacrifice was rewarded with a new Castle. It must be some kind of unspoken code that every murder procedural has to do a "Strangers on a Train" episode, but leave it to the geniuses at Castle to actually make it an entertaining ride. A fun open shows the kind of wacky characters that get arrested in NYC on a full moon (it's pretty much any six episodes worth of Night Court extras), then leads to the Murrrrrrder of the Week. A second murder comes in, and Castle decides to place a wager with Dets. Ryan and Esposito. It's a minor bit of business that is still made entertaining and fun by a very talented cast, and leads back into the main story when the two cases intersect. It's nothing ground-breaking as far as the mystery goes, but it's just so much fun to WATCH. It literally is the journey, not the destination, and if Castle doesn't turn Nathan Fillion from "nerd icon" into "big damn star", then there is no justice in this world. The father-daughter dynamic between Castle and his daughter is one of the best written familial relationships on television in a long while, showing genuine affection between the two of them, and not reducing either one to a caricature for the sake of a joke. This show just radiates charm on all levels, and I still giggle to myself when I see Castle in his "WRITER" bulletproof vest. Seriously, now is the time to get into this show if you aren't already.
American Dad had a great season premiere too, and I'll be working on a compare/contrast piece eventually between Seth McFarlane's three shows (Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show), as the trichotomy is really interesting to me.