A visit to the future shows us a global threat that can be prevented. The key to saving the world may be a certain cheerleader, and…. Wait a minute. Which season are we watching?

Title: Heroes: Out of Time.

Cast

Sendhil Ramamurthy as Mohinder Suresh
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura
Hayden Panettiere as Claire Bennett
Milo Ventimiglio as Peter Petrelli
Adrian Pasdar as Nathan Petrelli
Ali Larter as Jessica / Niki Sanders
Jack Coleman as Noah Bennett
Greg Grunburg as Matt Parkman
Katie Carr as Caitlin
Eriko Tamura as Yaeko
James Kyson Lee as Ando Masahashi
Nicholas D’Agosto as West
Stephen Tobolowsky as Bob
Adair Tishler as Molly
David Anders as Takezo Kensei
Alan Blumenfeld as Maury Parkman

Premise

Claire and West’s idiocy last week creates problems for them in this episode. Maury Parkman brings his nightmares to the company, with serious consequences for several heroes. In the seventeenth century, the true relationship between Hiro Nakamura and Takezo Kensei becomes clear, while in the future, Nathan learns about the disaster which must be prevented.

In the final moments, we learn the identity of the mysterious “Adam.”

High Points

The Hiro Nahamura/Takezo Kenzei plot ended more-or-less as I originally predicted, but I cannot say that I’m disappointed. I would have liked more spectacle, but I enjoyed the story and its take on the hero.

More importantly, I like how this plot finds its way into the final moments of the episode. This could be interesting.

Low Points

I want to be fair here. Heroes was derivative from the outset, though it handled modified comic book conventions better than most direct adaptations of four-color heroes. Furthermore, the second season of a series generally lacks the novelty and impact of the first. We’ve seen it before. However, the show’s creators are not merely revisiting the basic premise; they’re reusing plot elements from the first season without the continuity and sense of direction that made that season so compelling. They need to build on their past—- not regurgitate it.

The Scores

Originality: See “Low Point.” 1/6.

Effects: The only effects this week involve backgrounds: future New York and feudal Japan. These have been handled well. 5/6.

Story: Lazy scriptwriting or stressed characters? Suresh, a very bright man, discusses his plan to take down the company over a cell phone from an unsecured room within corporate headquarters (Later, he’ll do something even more problematic, but at least his discussion with Bob makes a kind of sense, and we’re supposed to question his wisdom here). Bob reveals or conceals information as the show’s plot requires.

We’re starting to get a sense of the overall shape, and this shows some promise. 4/6

Acting: 5/6. Overall the acting remains good, but they’re getting some really awkward lines to deliver. Grunberg, in particular, handled himself well in a scene that could easily have felt overwrought; he plays his character with conviction. Likewise, I can believe in Hiro Nakamura, no matter how hokey he sounds. I hope we continue to see the depth he occasionally suggests beneath his childlike exterior.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Out of Time” receives 28 out of 42.