'Heroes' Episode 3

Episode 3: “One of Us, One of Them”

Spoilers Alert

Official Synopsis from NBC: When four ruthless, powerful Villains — "Knox", Flint, The German and Jesse — bust into a bank and take hostages, Angela sends H.R.G. and his shocking, new empowered partner in after them. Determined to derail a cataclysmic future, Peter must first find what he lost along the way. Meanwhile, Hiro and Ando track Daphne and part of "the formula" to Germany, but run afoul of The Haitian. Horrified by her ability, Tracy Strauss leaves Washington, D.C. to search for answers about Niki. A distraught Claire asks Meredith to teach her how to fight. As his romance with Maya intensifies, Suresh finds himself unprepared when his experiment yields some unexpected results.

· The biggest, worst villains the Company has escapes for the first time, and the best they can come up with is to rob a bank? Kind of cliché, actually. That Knox fellow gives me the creeps.

· Poor Peter — always trying to do the right thing. Knox’s ‘no one’s that heroic’ line is kind of ironic. Though since Future Peter’s old life has been changed, who knows what kind of future they’ll see.

· I never like Mama Petrelli much, but literally handing Skyler a power a la Unexpected Victim was a bit below the belt. She’s more ruthless than I thought. “He’s just misunderstood.” Bull. I’m not sure who she’s kidding — Skyler’s too much of a psychopath for her to even think about controlling him. You don’t give a gun to a murderer. A good though not unexpected choice to make H.R.G. his partner.

· Speaking of moms, Meredith’s showed a side I hadn’t expected in this episode. She’s a little naïve if she thinks she can show her daughter some tough love and that’ll be it. Claire more stubborn than that. Though we might have seen her — and maybe Skyler’s — only weakness: They can suffocate.

· Hiro 0. Daphne 2. Oi — if Daphne has the other half of the formula, it doesn’t look good. He’s got to learn to stop arguing with Ando after they’re almost done with a mission. I can understand why they’re both being jerks. Ando’s slightly resentful, because up until recently, Hiro almost always listened to him, and now he’s stuck being the Robin-who-can’t-do-much. On the other hand, Hiro’s distancing himself because of what he saw in the future. It’s natural for both of them to act this way. But they’ll both need to get over it soon if they’ll have any chance of winning anything.

· Matt has his very own stalker! Just kidding, but it’s strange that Matt’s the painter’s — turns out his name is Usutu — only subject. It’s hard to tell, but at the beginning, the chick holding the baby with Painting-Matt looked a lot like Daphne. Up until the Tracy surprise, the w.t.h. moment was when Matt got the ‘Fish Eyes’. Dying to find out what he sees in the future.

· The Tracy-Micah moment was kind of sweet — though I kept thinking Micah would turn into a Popsicle at any moment. How was Tracy ‘created?’ I hope it isn’t clones — clones are overrated and tacky.

Praise: It was kind of cool seeing the characters pushed in places they hadn’t before. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next.

Complaint: Moved slightly slower than the last two episodes. Maybe I’m loosing it, but I don’t remember the scenes with each character being so short.

Best Part: “You’re telling us your plan? What kind of over-confident nemesis are you?” – Hiro. Also thought Skyler’s fake accent was an unexpected surprise. Both made me laugh.

Grade: B+
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'Family Guy' losing its way

Sunday was the premiere of "Family Guy" season seven. It was funny and as always, enjoyable. However, it just doesn't feel like the same old "Family Guy" that I came to love all those years ago.

Most fans will agree that the show has never been the same after season three. For those not aware, the show was canceled. Then, it was later revived after huge sales of the show on DVD. It was considered too edgy for its time. Now, the first three seasons seem tame.

It seems that after the return, the writers felt that they could do whatever they want and it won't matter. There is no doubt that "Family Guy" delivers a funny product; but, what about the characters and plots?

For example:

When is the last time that the show had a real plot line?

The show has taken on ADD, and filled its story lines with short random subplots. Apparently it's too difficult to pay attention to one major plot line.

Didn't Stewie want to kill Lois?

Sure we got that two-parter, but what happened to his diabolical plans? It is as if Stewie went from being Brain to Pinky ("Pinky and the Brain" was also an amazing show). Stewie can't be Pinky, because Stewie was evil. What happened?

Also in season three, we saw Stewie's sexuality being explored. Again, I say explored. When did he become a complete homosexual? More so, why is she trying to hook up with Brian?

And what happened to Brian?

He was the dry, sophisticated, satirical comic relief. Now he is just a bitter and angry jerk. It seems that the writers have lost the ability to write smart, witty, jokes for Brian.

As for the rest of the cast, they just seem to be more exaggerated as the seasons go by. Peter becomes more of an idiot. Lois just doesn't seem to care what goes on. Meg isn't as much of a punching bag as she used to be.

Even shows can't help but change over time. As I recall, the last time I saw this happen was with "The Simpsons."

Photo credit: Handout/MCT
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'Heroes' returns: episode one recap

After nine months, the wait is over. “Heroes” is back, and has rolled onto the scene bigger and grittier than ever before.

I won’t bore you with a complete recap of the last two seasons, because I’m going to assume you’ve seen them. I’m not even going dish out the whole episodes, either, because even then it’s like 10 pages long. This is just where I can gush, complain, and/or predict about one of my favorite shows. Those who have not seen season three’s “The Second Coming” or “The Butterfly Effect” should leave now.

You can watch the full episode at www.nbc.com.

Huge spoiler alert past this point.

“The Second Coming:”

• First scene a great way to start off — it brings the mystery right in. I’m a little curious as to what Future Claire said about being “special.” As if never dying isn’t special enough?

• Future Peter shooting his brother never occurred to me. I always thought it was like Elle on her father’s orders or something.

• I’ll admit that Hiro is one of my two favorite characters, but seriously, for once, Ando had it right. “Don’t open the safe” is not code for, “Ignore this DVD message.” Why is it that no one ever listens?

• Speaking of which, Daphne . . . I’m waiting a few more episodes before I place my verdict of her, because right now she seems like another Elle to me, and she’s not one of my favorite character. Although it makes sense for the one who tries to embody the most of what a superhero should be like to have an “Arch-nemesis.”

• Syler finally got what he wanted in the beginning: Claire’s powers. It seemed a little anticlimactic. I mean, season one’s all about that not happening and a year and a half later, boom — Syler’s prodding Claire’s brain like a science student at dissection day. Glad to see Syler doesn’t eat brains. I mean, the whole thing is gross I don’t get as many images of those cheesy old alien movies. The real question is why didn’t he kill her—and I don’t think it’s because of some kind of warped kindness, either.

• Another season wouldn’t be complete without at least one miraculous resurrection. This time it’s Nathan, who, upon his awakening claims to have found God. Now all I need is the squirrels dancing the cha-cha and I’ve seen everything.

• Knew something was fishy as soon as soon as week lost sight of Present Peter, but anyone else thrown by where he was? Should be interesting as to how Present Peter gets out of that one.

Praise: What a way to begin the new season! Without missing a beat the show goes into its tug-a-war with answering questions and bringing up more. Just like being in a comic book, we’re thrown from one character to the next so fast it hard to keep track of everyone. But I think that’s a good thing, because if this keeps going, we could look forward to a much faster paced season than last one.

Complaints: After last season I’m slightly sick of time travel. It seems like whenever the writers want a plot, someone has to go forward or go back in time and screw things up. It’s a bit too recurring for me.

Favorite Line: Syler: “Eat your brain? Claire, that’s disgusting.” – (Come on, you’ve got to enjoy the irony.)

Final Grade: A-

Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC/MCT
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Continuing with 'Heroes' episode 2

For the record, all entries will either be made the night of or the morning after each episode. This tardiness will not be normal.

“The Butterfly Effect.”

Again, spoiler alert.

• Emo-Claire is already getting annoying. I mean, I know having your brain picked at is no fun and all, but really all she is feeling sorry for herself and lately that’s all she seems to do. I do agree that she does need to learn to fight. “Victim!Claire” is getting old.

• Personally, I like Mama Petrelli’s power, and her dream was definitely a chill-factor. Her observation of Future-Peter hit the spot: “You’re not as smart as you think you are.” A bit harsh but true.

• Three words about Mohinder’s power: Spider Man, anyone? But he finally seemed to grow some and not even halfway through he’s hitting the sack with Maya. You’d think after her last fiasco of a relationship she’d be a little careful. Whatever. Mohinder’s bad case of skin peeling at the end brings to mind the old saying “Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it.”

• I’m interested in what Matt Parkman, another favorite character of mine, is going to experience in the next few episodes. Could be the start of some more character development. I loved his exchange with the painter in the middle of the desert. “Do you know Britney Spears?”

• Hiro redeems himself slightly from last episode’s stupidity by realizing the importance of a high school metal. His reference to her being Cat Woman was interesting, because there was always a little bit of a love-hate relationship between her and Batman. Foreshadowing, maybe?

• One more note on Hiro: anyone else thought that the last two episodes tried a little too hard to make Future-Ando seem like the baddie? One thing I’ve learned about this show is that almost nothing is as it appears.

• Last episode we caught a glimpse of Tracy Strauss, who works for the governor, looks remarkably like Niki, and personality-wise seems like a less psycho-version of Jessica. How’s that happening? I rule out cloning, but I might somewhat accept if she were a twin. The “Mr. Freeze” thing is interesting. Does this mean that she can’t touch anything without turning it into an icicle, or was it entirely because of the adrenalin thing?

• Linderman showing up was one of the “what the hell?” moments, and my guess he’s got his fingers in a few more pies than what’s first shown. The way Linderman responds to Nathan’s insistence that “he’s in control” seems almost mocking. Hopefully, whatever Linderman the White has planned doesn’t include blowing up anything. Of course, since Nathan is the only one to see him, it could just be a figment of the imagination.

• Of course, the biggie of the episode was the villains escaping in level 5. We didn’t see much of them, but what we did makes me feel for the next poor soul to come across them. Looks like things just got a whole lot messier.
• Number 1 “What the hell?” moment? Mama Petrelli has another son. Hint: he’s had plenty of practice in dissection.…

Praise: Even better than “The Second Coming.” We saw a new side to many of the characters, and the familiar “wth?” moments. In a way, ending the way it did made me remember how I somewhat missed the chapter cliff hangers.

Complaint: I wish those who were dead would stay dead. It’s getting harder to believably explain why they’re alive (not that anything in the show is “believable,” but even then there comes a point).

Best Lines: Entire Matt/African painter exchange — corny or not I couldn’t help laughing.

Grade: A

Anyone has any thoughts, feel free to post — I’m interested in hearing from my fellows.
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Some laughs and some reviews

It was a busy week for the the entertainment-obsessed staff of The State Hornet. We managed to secure an exclusive interview with Carlos Alazraqui, a Sacramento State alum known best for his work as Officer Garcia on Comedy Central's "Reno 911!"

We also knocked out a couple reviews this week for a pair of films each boasting a dynamic duo of leading men.

Alazraqui, a traveled comedian and voice actor, and his partner in crime Jill-Michele Melean were on campus to cap off the week's Phlagleblast events with a free comedy show. Apparently, they were so good they set off the sprinkler system.

"Burn After Reading" and "Righteous Kill," which both opened this weekend, left our reviewers a little sour despite the collective star power of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino.

Visit The State Hornet to get more great entertainment coverage.
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