I was starting to worry about Heroes. Last season, cut short by the writers strike, picked up a lot of grief from Season 1 fans and the media in general. They complained it was too slow and plodding. While I may be the only person in the world who liked the Hiro in Japan story, I can see their point.
The ratings were pretty bad early in this season, and the story was only okay. The characterizations were off, the plot lacked direction, and things got a bit silly.
The show did turn around, though. In the episode where the heroes lost their powers, Hiro and Ando wander into a comic book store run by everyone's favorite werewolf, Seth Green (not that he was a werewolf here -- just a normal comic book store guy).
Sure there are some major astronomical and metaphysical problems with the plot in that story. But that's where it started to turn around. I'm left to wonder if that episode is where Bryan Fuller started to have an impact after coming back to Heroes from the soon to end Pushing Daisies.
The show began to get back on its feet the moment Seth Green's character gave his speech to Hiro. It's like he was speaking to the entire show.
The rest of the season was awesome. There was still some stupidity, of course (the rescue of Hiro from the past (really? your going to run really fast and turn back time? Superman already did that in the 70s (and it was a stupid idea then, too))). The show, however, is back.
In the preview for the next half of the season, they start to paint Nathan Petrelli as the bad guy -- turning in the Heroes so they can be confined.
What makes this interesting is that the bad guy in the season will not actually be a Bad Guy. He's doing what he thinks is right in order to help the world. He may be misguided, but he is certainly not evil. He's doing it not for personal gain, greed, or power, but to help all human kind.
Arthur Petrelli, Adam Monroe, and Sylar have all been evil characters. They are looking out for themselves. Hating them is easy.
This new direction also draws interesting contrasts between Nathan and his brother Peter. Two people are both trying to do the right thing and will come into powerful conflict because of it.
And it's all because Seth Green showed up.