Not-so-super Heroes struggles to win back fans

NBC’s award-winning drama series Heroes is now back on the network’s Monday night lineup. Anticipation for the new episodes is quite high as volume three left the viewers on a cliffhanger where the identities of the heroes are under compromise to the U.S. Government.

Where in the past three volumes the world needed to be saved by them, now the heroes themselves might be in danger from the very same people they were trying to save.

Volume four begins with some interesting, major plot changes along with a few welcomed new additions. Emmy award-winner Zeljko Ivanek (Damages, House) joins the Heroes cast as the Hunter, the leader of the government special force (under the command of Senator Nathan Petrelli) to eliminate all people with special powers.

The senator’s moral conscience came into question when the hit list was found to include Nathan’s former friends, lovers and comrades-in-arms in the previous seasons as well as his own brother. The Cain and Abel story, while heartbreaking, finally progress the storyline in a new direction, which is presently much needed in the series.

Ex-cheerleader, Claire Bennet (who possesses the power to rapidly regenerate on a cellular level) is still unwilling to settle for the normal life that both her adoptive and real family are trying to secure for her. She continuously wishes to fight alongside her fellow hero friends. While the show repeatedly finds new ways to make use of her through her invincibility her character never ceases to amaze.

On the other end, Matt Parkman (with the ability to read minds) is quite the opposite. All he wants for himself and his lover, Daphne (the speedster), is a chance at a normal life. However, even that was made impossible when he was given the power of the Oracle – the power to predict the future through methods of drawing.

Hiro Nakamura (bender of time and space) remains optimistic despite his power being completely taken away in volume three. Together, he and his sidekick Ando continue their Batman-and-Robin relationship in the journey ahead.

However, darkness soon befalls the heroes as the force led by the Hunter captured each and every one of them. It’s as if everything they’ve learned was for naught.

However, the show’s main villain from the first season, who slices people’s brains off and steals their abilities, is now more powerful than ever. He is the only one strong enough to resist the Hunter without breaking a sweat.

With help from Claire and Peter, the hero hostages eventually manage to escape from the helicopter that’s transferring them to their doom. However, upon crashing unto an unknown territory in Arkansas, the real game begins as now the heroes are being hunted down one by one…again. The battle of wits and strength along with the instinct to survive now drives them which results in a mixture between Prison Break and Lost. Characters that had taken a season or two to build up are shot down to their instant death, character relationships change drastically, family and friends are torn apart–chaos in its full glory.

In the end however, despite the show’s large fan base, volume four is still trying hard to win back the viewers that were lost all the way back in season two and the writers’ strike. The new major plot twists and character changes so far show a glimmer of hope, though it continuously avoids the show’s real flaws that drove loyal fans away. However, the show is still quite enjoyable based on entertainment values, and Hayden Panettiere’s diehard fanboys across the nation will be happily guaranteed to get more of her than expected.