Tuned In

Heroes Watch: Family Affair

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SPOILER ALERT: Before you read this post, eject that “Secrets of Double Dutch” video and watch last night’s Heroes.

NBC Photo: Chris Haston

One of my past problems with Heroes has been that it cast one of my favorite TV actors, Greg Grunberg, but gave him little interesting to do. That may finally be changing.

Parkman’s storyline was easily last night’s most interesting, and it promises to put Grunberg at the center of the action going forward as he pursues his father, who turns out to be an evil, and more powerful, version of himself. Grunberg (who was on Felicity and Alias) has that J. J. Abrams touch of melding humor into his drama performance, as he did in his smart-assed but heartfelt confrontation with dad. (“Feel better slapping the cuffs on your dad? Make you feel good?” “Oh, it’s starting to, yeah.”) I could get used to this Parkman. (As for the big debut of the night, I’ll have to suspend judgment; Kristen Bell was effortlessly charismatic but really didn’t get enough screen time to make an impression.)

Between Parkman’s story, the Petrellis and Monica’s discovery of her Hero lineage, this season is shaping up to be about family–not just in the character storylines but maybe in the objective sense of exploring how powers are genetically handed down. (Which of course ties into the whole serial-killer plot about the previous generation of Heroes.) I’m especially intrigued by how Parkman’s dad described (and demonstrated) that Matt’s mind-reading is just a small part of his yet-to-be-revealed power–“then it becomes so much more.” (Is this true of the other superheroes as well?)

All of this generational business leads me to wonder about Hiro and his time-travel journey to feudal Japan (covered only fleetingly last night). Is he going to knock up Yaeko, and turn out to be Ando’s great-great-great-etc. grandfather? (Leaving Ando with a latent superpower?) Or–could he be his own great-great-great-etc. grandfather? How Big Love would that be?