NBC’s Heroes has come back strong from its season break with a new volume, “Fugitives,” and it seems to have shaken off a bunch of its discombobulated storylines with overcrowded characters, leaving viewers with something much more streamlined: New York Senator Nathan Petrelli is rounding up all powered people as a campaign to keep America “safe” for normal people, and the central “heroes,” on the run, have teamed up to oppose his efforts.
While the plot is basically a convolution of several X-Men comic book storylines (including “Days of Future Past,” in which mutants are rounded up into internment camps), it works pretty well. Gone (for the most part) are the wildly varying character personae, the confusing continuity and the unclear objectives of each sub-plot.
Whereas Season Two was … nearly unwatchable, the first volume of Season Three, “Villains,” was entertaining but draining. I look at “Villains” as nothing more than a set-up for “Fugitives” — a way to clean the slate and reboot the show. And now I find myself not just tolerating Heroes with hope for something better, but thoroughly enjoying every twist and turn and dangling on every cliffhanger ending.
To Tim Kring and his writers: Stay the course. You have a good thing going here, and might even see a return to those vaunted Season One numbers (or as close to in this attention-scattered age) if good word spreads around.