Heroes kicks off its fourth season six weeks after the events of the May finale.
In an eloquent speech, we meet a new character. He's standing around a grave, surrounded by others. He talking about the quest for redemption; about finding a place in the world where and and his friends fit in.
As he's talking, the show flases to various scenes from various Heroes. Some go as far back as the first season. It's pretty cool and it's very well done.
When the action returns to present day, the man - Samuel Sullivan - refers to his brother "Joseph," who is int he coffin. He and those around him then make their way toward a carnival area in the background.
With that introduction, let's review the season premiere of Heroes, character-by-character...
Parkman is trying to live a normal life. He's taking care of his baby and back with Janice. But a phone call from Angela interrupts this paradise, as she tells him that Nathan is starting to show signs that he's really Sylar, thanks to the mind trick Matt used to conclude season three. Parkman says he can't help. He's stopped using his powers.
But they haven't stopped using him, unfortunately. Parkman starts to see visions of Sylar, as they haunt him at home and at work. His partner on the job suspects something is going on because Parkman appears to be yelling at no one during work and during the addiction group they both attend. By the end of the episode, Sylar has gotten into Matt's head and talked him into using his telepathy again: Parkman convinces a worker to never come around again because he suspects something is going on with this man and Janice.
Claire is at college. She's trying to fit in. She's also trying to not be overly annoyed by her perky, overachieving roommate Annie. This girl has a "trajectory" of the rest of her life planned out. Claire gets along much better with Gretchen, another girl she meets who is also from Texas and recognizes Claire's name from the homecoming killings in season one.
One night, after a party, Claire returns home to find the window open and Annie dead on the sidewalk below. Was she killed? Was it a suicide? The police later find a suicide note on Annie's bed, but Claire swears it wasn't there before. Gretchen is convinced it was a murder.
She tells Claire they should find a dummy to use that replicates Annie's weight. They can then test it out the window to see how it falls when jumped or pushed; later on, Claire can't resist trying this experiment herself. She leaps, lands on the group and is, of course, okay. But she then looks up and sees Gretchen staring at her from above. Uh-oh!
Unlike his daughter, HRG has no intention of being normal. He's still working for the Company; heck, he is the Company. But his heart isn't in it because his wife has left him - and may with a new man - and his daughter is at college. Early, an alive Tracy actually tries to kill HRG because she's seeking revenge on everyone. But he's saved by Danko, who wants to recruit HRG for a mission. He turns him down.
Later on, HRG assists Tracy by using The Haitian to erase Danko's memory of Tracy. This makes him less interesting to kill, in her eyes, and she decides to forego her revenge mission -- except that she happens to walk in on a man telling Danko that he stole something; the man wants it back. He kills Danko with a few VERY quick slashes of a knife, and escapes before Tracy can freeze him.
Tracy brings HRG to the scene and HRG sees that the man was trying to cut something out of Danko's stomach. It's a key. Who can HRG use to protect him as he goes to see what the key is for? Pete, of course.
He's been working as a paramedic, using his powers to save lives. What a great idea! But he does HRG this one favor, going with him to a bank and using the key to open a safe deposit box. Inside is a compass. Before they can see what it's for, the same knife-wielding man returns. But Peter - being all powerful - fights him off. He then tells HRG that he's done with this line of work... or so he thinks.
A short time later, Peter gets a call that a man is injured. It's HRG. The compass has been taken. HRG is rushed to the hospital, where Tracy meets him and the pair appear to both flirt and maybe form a professional parternship.
As for that compass? It worked when Peter held it, but not HRG. Who took it? Someone sent by Samuel, although its origins and purposes are still unknown. Samuel's powers are felt in other ways, too, starting with Hiro.
He and Ando have been trying to set up a business in Japan, though it's not very successful. Hiro is still having nose bleeds and tells Ando it's due to a fatal illness he has contracted. This is a rather forced storyline, but we'll go with it. Ando tries to convince his friend to go back in time and stop the virus, but Hiro has vowed to never change the past.
Still, he's suddenly sent 14 years into said past - back to a carnival at which he was originally told by a fortune teller of his destiny to be a hero. It seems as though Samuel has somehow sent Hiro here; as he also shows up, thanks to an elderly time-traveler that is part of the carnival group. Samuel speaks to Hiro and says he thinks the two of them will be "great friends."
He also talks Hiro into performing small deeds here and there. For example, this was the same day on which his sister, Kimiko, started hating Ando because the latter spilled a drink on her. But Samuel pretty much forces Hiro to divert this accident. When Hiro returns to the present, Andi and Kimiko are in love. It looks like his one change worked for the better (for now, at least). As a result, Hiro vows to dedicate his remaining days to fixing all the wrongs throughout his life.
The episode ends with Samuel again. He has the compass in hand and he tells his cohort that he has sent Hiro on a righteous path, and that he will soon join them. He then uses a paintbrush to inject paint into the back of a woman named Lydia. Up pop the faces of Sylar, Claire and Peter. Samuel says they are next.