Heroes: Season Three is almost here, which means Season Two is coming to DVD. The four-disc set contains the shortened, 11-episode season, complete with time traveling, viruses, wedding massacres and more. It’s no question that most Heroes fans will scoop this DVD set up despite what my Bible-like words say below, but what about those on the cusp? What about those poor, pathetic people who haven’t completely embraced the world of Heroes? What about starving African children?
Let’s all face it: Heroes: Season Two wasn’t as good as series one. Writer’s strike aside, it was still a tad rushed, a little weak in the writing department at times, and so on and so forth. Some characters were taken down some strange paths (Mohinder), and others were introduced that just weren’t very interesting (like the New Orleans girl who can learn anything). The writer’s strike made the last several episodes even more accelerated than the earlier ones, leading to rough transitions, undeveloped stories and a resolution to the season-wide story arc that should have come 13 episodes later. All that being said, Heroes is still one of the best shows on television.
But that’s not what I’m here to review. There are plenty of websites devoted to just how good (or bad) Heroes is, so I’m focusing the rest of this review on the bonus features. As is typical with TV releases these days, the bonus features are annoyingly spread across multiple discs, which is probably fine for most – except for when you’re trying to review the bonus features and have to swap the disc out every fifteen minutes, damn it.
Anyway, the highlight of the box set is the deleted scenes, of which there are plenty. Practically every episode has a couple of deleted scenes, some of which are quite revealing. As always, you won’t miss too much if you never see these, but as far as deleted scenes go, they’re pretty good. The highlight… of the highlights… is an alternate ending, which truly is an alternate ending. SPOILER ALERT. Whereas in the actual final episode of the season, Peter, Nathan and Hiro stop the virus from being unleashed – only to have Nathan get shot while attempting to announce that he has special powers. In the alternate ending, the writers take the darker approach by letting the virus get released, causing Odessa, Texas to go into quarantine. Ultimately, the actual ending is tighter and more effective, but it would have been pretty cool had Peter not caught the vial at the end of Season Two.
Beyond the alternate ending and deleted scenes, Heroes: Season Two comes with some pretty good “Genetics of a Scene” clips, which are pretty entertaining and slightly insightful. I’d recommend these. There are also some NBC featurettes, which I didn’t watch, and a series of “Untold Episodes,” which are pretty good. There are also audio commentaries for the episodes.
Unfortunately, the rest of the bonus features aren’t all that good. There’s a ridiculously cheesy “documentary” about Takezo Kensei, which is so bad I could only watch a minute of it. I mean, it’s about as bad as faux documentaries can get. A “news reel” about Richard Drucker is also quite terrible, and rather pointless unless I completely missed something. The “Season 2: A New Beginning” featurette is just a promotional, “you’re going to see things you’ve never seen before” kind of featurette, and the Season 3 preview is, as expected, nothing special.
Heroes: Season Two is worth the purchase because, yes, it contains all of the episodes from season 2. The deleted scenes, alternate endings and “Genetics of a Scene” bonus features are well worth it; at the same time, NBC would have done well to save themselves some money and not include their “original” bonus features, as they are downright terrible and just a waste of money. Still, recommended for the overall value of the show.