Season 3 of Heroes starts tonight with a two-hour premiere. This season, as you might have noticed, is about villains. But what happened before villains started showing up? Where are we in the story? How can someone with a genetic mutations travel through time? Here's a quick refresher for the simple story about a bunch of random people and their superpowers that they have no clue how to use, while occasionally staring at a solar eclipse without going blind.

The Basic Plot of Every Season Thus Far:
After one hero travels to the future to discover New York has been decimated by a catastrophe, he returns to the present to stop said terrible event from ever occurring. Meanwhile, several heroes from across the world have pointless "adventures" to stall for time until a bunch of them meet up in the finale. Then it turns out that Peter Petrelli has an integral role in causing the terrible event, but he is ultimately able to stop it. And then the season ends with a groan of disappointment from the viewers.

The Characters

Mohinder Suresh: A terrible scientist who narrates pretty often in his stilted British accent. His motivations don't make any sense, his decisions are ridiculous, and he has no powers, which makes you worthless on this show if you don't wear a pair of horn-rimmed glasses. He is possibly the lamest character on the show, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment, really.

Peter Petrelli: Once a floppy-haired, emo nurse, now a less-floppy-haired, sorta-emo uber-hero. He has pretty much every power ever, but conveniently has no clue as to how to use any of them effectively. Also, he has no weakness, except low self-confidence. No, really.

Hiro Nakamura: A lovable Japanese geek turned time-travelling lovable Japanese geek. Can travel through time, stop time, and teleport, but never really uses his power to do anything worthwhile. He does manage to be funny and speak in subtitles to his worthless friend, Ando, and shove the Nissan Versa down the throat of America.

Matt Parkman:
Pudgy, smoke monster-angering, dead airline pilot turned terrible LAPD officer turned mind-reading cop. His power acts sort of like Mel Gibson's in What Women Want, but with a lot more quick edits. Is the only one on the show who is actually learning to harness and advance his power in any way…by using the Jedi Mind Trick on a 9 year-old.

Claire Bennett: Whiny cheerleader who has Wolverine's ability to heal, but no metallic claws. So…a whiny, sucky, neutered Wolverine. No wonder she's a fan favorite! Her life is SO HARD even though she is virtually invincible! OMG! Also, her dad is a stone-cold killin' machine badass…with glasses. None of his cool badass genes passed down to his daughter.

Sylar: The main villain of the show. His powers include the ability to steal powers by eating the brains of heroes and the ability to summon two black caterpillars to his forehead and make them act as eyebrows. Always sounds and looks like he's about to rape someone…even when he's alone. Has such incredible powers as "melt random appliances" and "hear REALLY well." Is pretty crummy at using his myriad of powers, but he's at least a little better than Peter.

Maya Herrera: She needs to die. Soon. Also, she bleeds chocolate syrup out of her eyes when she gets upset, and then everyone around her dies. Except her. Irony is a cruel mistress.

Q & A Time

So…Is Everything More or Less Ripped Off of X-Men?
Yeah, everything is kind of like X-Men, except makes way less sense and is infinitely less cool. It's kind of like X-Men 3 mixed with a really bad episode of Lost. Like that one where Jack was banging Bai Ling and got his lame tattoos, only Jack has the power to hear an iPod from a mile away. Also, the writers have no idea where they're going or what any of this means.

But Aren't There Cool Cliffhangers and Stuff? Occasionally. I mean, as much as it sucks for a show about superheroes with superpowers, it STILL is a show about superheroes with superpowers. Badass stuff is bound to pop up every now and then. Luckily, it's usually neutralized by Mohinder's terrrrrrrrrible narration before the episode's end.

Is It Just Me or Are Peter and Claire Totally Checking Each Other Out? Yeah, they are. Even though Peter's like 30 and she's supposedly 16. And he's her uncle in the show. And they're dating in real life. And I can't tell if I consider Milo Ventimiglia creepy or awesome for that.

So Peter Has Every Power He's Ever Come Into Contact With?
Why Don't He and Hiro Go Back In Time and Kill Baby Sylar? Because that would mess up the time-space continuum or, as the writer's prefer to call it, the "gaping plothole that we don't want to deal with."

Wait…Didn't That Blonde Chick Blow Up Last Year? And Didn't Peter's Brother Get Shot?! Why Are They Still Around? Because Heroes is trying to be like a comic book, where no superhero is ever REALLY dead for good. Also, Heroes has decided that the death of a main character should be consequence-free, thus taking away any dramatic impact when a character is in danger. Plus, making Claire's blood automatically cure anything – including DEATH – kinda kills some of the suspense.

So Why Should I Watch This Thing? Well…at least it's not a reality show about C-list celebrities. And…superpowers, man. So badass.