Heroes Review: "Clear and Present Danger" (Volume 4, Episode 1)

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While America continues to cheer on Jack Bauer as he does whatever is necessary to keep the country safe from terrorists over on Fox, Sen. Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) takes things into his own hands on NBC. Except while Jack's excesses are in the name of fighting those who are planning great evils, Nathan's are of a more... preemptive variety.

The lines are redrawn for the 42nd time in the season opener with captains Nathan and his daughter Claire (Hayden Panettiere) picking the teams this go round. Nathan has the help of Claire's other horn-rimmed dad, plus grandma, Danko the Hunter and the full force of the United States Government. Mohinder might have joined Team Facism if not for the fact that they captured, drugged and blindfolded him. Claire gets Peter, Tracy, Ando, Hiro, Matt, Daphne and—though she'll be devasted to hear it—Sylar.

Nathan has always been something of a tool, so his quest to rid the world of his fellow evolved humans is believable, but as the heroes quietly settle into normal lives, Noah must have just decided that he was tired of having to fight bad superheroes and that if it took eradicating the good ones to put down the threat of villains for good, then so be it. What neither of her two dads counted on was the meddling cheerleader Claire ditching college to foil their schemes. Curses.

In addition to getting her G.E.D., Claire must have been secretly going to the school of kicking ass as she disables her driver with a swift kick to the back of the head, climbs up through the cargo plane's landing gear, frees her fellow heroes and goes commando on the military guards. But Peter accidently absorbs Tracy's superfreeze and splits open the fuselage, sending the plane earthward. I'm pretty sure either Nicolas Cage or Harrison Ford were hiding under one of those black cloth bags. Regardless, a much less complex stage has been set for "Volume 4: Fugitives." The show has suffered some critical beatings for forcing its moral twists and turns in less-than-believable ways. Let's just hope creator Tim Kring hasn't swung the pendulum too far in favor of clear-cut good vs. evil. Even the best comic-book heroes fight some of their battles internally.

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