First off, let me say that the first Heroes season was a spectacular piece of filmmaking. It was original, entertaining, increasingly dark with humor and lighthearted moments thrown in along the way. It was the most refreshing thing we’ve seen on TV since Lost, and, amazingly, it somehow became a hit. I almost didn’t get into the show but my roommate forced me to watch the season premiere, and instantly, I was hooked.
The second season is still good, but when expectations are high, there are bound to be disappointments. Heroes: Season Two just felt flat at times, with rushed storylines, poor character development and the introduction of new heroes who really aren’t that interesting. A lot of decisions were made with the characters that just didn’t make that much sense.
What, exactly, bothered me? Let me list them, as much as I can remember:
- Mohinder Suresh is just plain stupid this season
The writers come up with the great idea of having Mohinder go undercover in the company, but then turn him into an idiot by making him become a quasi bad guy. This is all fine and good, but the transition and reasons for doing so just don’t make a lick of sense. Basically, Mohinder acts like a fool, and I’ve really grown to not like the character (when I liked him quite a bit in the previous season). Kill him off already.
- Bringing the dad, Noah (Jack Coleman), back to life
In one of the better episodes of the season, the dad seemingly gets killed, and it’s a pretty sure thing: he gets a bullet through the eye. At the end of the episode, he is brought back to life. I have three problems with this: one, with his daughter’s blood in him, does that make him a “hero” permanently? If so, aren’t there enough already? Two, the show needs to learn how to keep characters dead. The drama is much more powerful that way. And three, if you are going to bring him back to life, wait a couple episodes and have it be a surprise. If there’s one thing that Heroes is not good at, it’s leading us down one path and then revealing that we were wrong all along. Even comic books do this.
- Niki Sanders (Ali Larter) is just plain stupid
Having one of the more intriguing powers (and still not fully explained) of the group, I’ve always found Niki’s character interesting, but this season does away with all that. She subjects herself to getting rid of her powers, helps the Company and just does all kinds of weird things. Her behavior is almost understandable, but there’s just something that doesn’t click about the way her character develops. The writers missed a few beats here.
- Peter Petrelli is just plain stupid
Here’s another character whose motivations almost seem right, only they don’t. The writers messed up here as well, doing the kiss-of-death amnesia storyline and turning Peter into an overly gullible (from just gullible in Season One) idiot who falls into allegiance with a mass killer and doesn’t listen even when Hiro goes out of his way to try to kill Adam. One sight of Hiro, who warned him about impending doom last season, should have been enough to convince Peter that he was on the wrong side.
- Monica isn’t a very interesting hero
Sure, Monica (the cousin of Micah) has some interesting powers, but her character always seemed a bit forced and was never very interesting. Also, her realizations that she is something special seemed a year out of date, as all of the other characters found out LAST season. Basically, there was no reason to introduce her into the mix when there are so many good characters already.
- Kristen Bell’s character not as dark as she should have been
They hinted at Bell’s electricity villain being rather nuts (in sequences where she’s with Peter in the prison cell), but then the writer shied away from doing anything really cool with the character. In the end, they make her almost good and try to get the audience to sympathize with her, when in reality it would have been much better to let her play a hot but psychotic “girl” with some very dangerous powers.
- Rushing storylines
There are just a lot of things that went a little too quickly this season, even before the strike. Peter’s memories coming back to him in a split second seemed like a get-out-of-jail-free card. Peter’s visit to the future feels rushed, too. I can’t think of other specific examples, but the whole season just felt off kilter, as if the writers were afraid to develop things and let them “drag” a little.
- Cutting the season short
OK, it sucks that the writers went on strike, but I think it was a poor choice to wrap things up with a nice little bow (somewhat). Destroying the virus was not a very good ending. They should have left it open, either with Adam escaping with the virus in hand or something along those lines. We should have been left with a sense of dread and destruction at the end of the final episode. Killing Niki also seemed rather sudden and out of nowhere. I would have much rather them chopped the season in half and end with a few big cliffhangers rather than wrap up stories prematurely.
All in all, this was still pretty good television, but the second season was a noticeable step down from the valiant first season. That being said, read what we liked specifically about the second season!