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by J.

Heroes Episode Two - Lizards
This episode continued with the storylines started in episode one of the second season. Maya and Alejandro, the brother and sister introduced in the first episode, have contacted someone who will take them across the border of Guatemala into Mexico, but not without repercussions. Maya seems to be deadly without Alejandro nearby, with her eyes turning black and severely injuring or killing anyone nearby. However, Alejandro is evidently capable of not only absorbing Maya’s power, but also of counteracting its effect on people provided they aren’t dead yet.

Meanwhile, Claire is feeling more and more alienated at her new school. HRG is pressuring her to stay undercover, while she is itching to break out from under his grip. It’s perfectly understandable teenage rebellion, which is why the introduction of a new character who is obviously going to be a love interest for Claire is, I think, going to add some uncertainty to a predictable situation. The fact that he has powers as well should make that story interesting.

The story of Mohinder and his quest to find the cure for the mutant gene continues to become more perilous, with the Company man sending him on a mission to Haiti to capture a sick mutant. It turns out, however, that the mutant is the Haitian, and he escapes after seeming to wipe Mohinder’s memory. However, it’s not clear if that’s what happened, since Mohinder and HRG are now working together to bring down the company.

Peter is still in the clutches of the Irish gang after being questioned and beaten up about the cargo (iPods?). He still remembers nothing about the past, and in order to get some clues, he is going to have to fall in with the Irish gang’s criminal element.

Parkman, is investigating the apparent murder of Hiro’s father. He takes Angela Petrelli into custody, but she is suddenly attacked by an invisible assailant in the cell. And in our final story (whew!) Hiro is still back in time, trying to get his idol Kensei to save the village and fall in love with the princess like he is supposed to. Hiro even lends a hand, stopping some of the brigands. But it comes at a price when Kensei is caught by surprise and shot by arrows. But Kensei has a few surprises of his own...

Overall, another good episode, but there is so much to cover, and if any characters get left out, someone is going to complain. Already, the cries of “jump the shark” and “it’s not as good as last year” are starting up. I have the feeling that soon the episodes are going to start focusing on a couple of characters or maybe even just one, like last year’s “Company Man”, which was regarded as one of the best episodes of the first season. Niki still hasn’t made an appearance, and if anything is starting to inherit the mantle of “least liked storyline”, it is Maya and Alejandro, unless they start getting some explanations in quickly. A good second episode though, and leading into the next episode with, if the preview doesn’t lie, the return of Sylar!!! Stay tuned to Snortyville for more reviews of the fall’s hottest shows!

Private Practice off to a rocky start!
Dr. Addison Montgomery dancing naked in her apartment on the beach in Southern California, how can you beat that for a series opener? Alas, one of the most anticipated shows of the season came off as being a bit self-indulgent and to be honest, a little boring. The talking elevator is gone. But the rest of the cast is still there and still seemingly as dysfunctional as ever.

There’s Violet, who is a psychiatrist who can’t seem to stay in a relationship, and the just-divorced Sam and Naomi who work together even though they can’t stand each other. Cooper the pediatrician can only find women on the Internet, and Dell the surfer boy-receptionist-midwife who struggles to be taken seriously by the rest of the staff. And of course, Addison’s love interest is Pete the acupuncturist, who’s convinced he has a chance with her.

All of the interaction that plays well in Grey’s Anatomy just doesn’t get it done here where the characters are much older and the atmosphere is very different. You come to expect the self-indulgence from the twentysomethings that are at Seattle Grace, but these doctors? It just doesn’t seem to fit somehow. It may take a couple of episodes for the cast to find its rhythm, but in the cutthroat world of television programming, it seems like you have to be on the mark from the start otherwise you’re in danger of being pulled almost immediately. I think, however, that with a lead-in like Pushing Daisies, Private Practice will get its chance.