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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"Heroes" Season Two: Where's the Haitian when you need him?

As "Heroes" fans sift through the wreckage of last night's midseason (and possibly season-season) finale, the heroes at Channel Surfing are trying to come to terms with what now seems like 11 hours of failed storylines and missed opportunities. Apologists can blame the writer's strike, say the scripts had to be rushed through before the scribes hit the picket lines, and thus suffered from incompletion.

But this season's stilted and corny dialogue was only a symptom of a larger disease, and Channel Surfing's resident "Heroes" watchers, Malavika Jagannathan and Adam Reinhard, are here to break down the disappointments (as well as highlights) topic-by-topic.

1. The Shanti Virus. What a MacGuffin that convoluted contagion turned out to be. Intended as this season's "bomb in New York" disaster, the Shanti virus not only robbed people of their powers, but, as seen in a future flash-forward, was capable of killing 93% of the world's population. Scary stuff, but it was never given the attention it deserved, because unlike a race to stop a nuclear explosion, the race to prevent a possible outbreak lacks the same dramatic grip. And seeing as how Peter was able to destroy the vial in his dramatic grip, it wasn't worth all the hullabaloo.

2. New heroes. The new characters introduced this season completely failed to earn their keep. Wonder Twins Maya and Alejandro took up a considerable chunk of airtime with their story, before they were both killed by Sylar. (Maya isn't quite dead, but more on that later on.) Copycat Monica only served to get Niki killed (no real loss there, frankly), and Elle's hero turn at the end, zapping Sylar, was a complete waste, as the bad guy got away pretty damn easy anyway.

3. Kensei/Adam Monroe. Anyone who couldn't tell this guy was a villain right away, raise your hand. OK, you with the hand up, stop watching TV right now, because you're obviously not good at it. This lame excuse for a bad guy -- an immortal whose plan to release the virus in order to "wipe the slate clean" basically makes him Ra's Al Ghul from Batman -- fortunately got a pretty wicked comeuppance, when Hiro buried him alive.

-- Adam Reinhard,

4. Claire and HRG. We’re back to square one with these two. Anything this father-daughter duo have learned in the past season and a half has been wiped away now that HRG is back with the Company and he wants Claire to be “normal.” Rinse. Repeat. Nap.

5. Who Shot Nathan Petrelli? As a reporter who has spent far too much time attending useless press conferences, I can promise you the answer to the world’s problems is definitely not to call one. Even if it ends in an RFK-style assassination that’s been coordinated by the delightfully evil Angela Petrelli. Sure, Nathan’s “death” took me by surprise, but only because I was still trying to wrap my brain around the press-conference-as-savior solution. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn into a “Dallas”-like subplot.

6. Amnesia and Death. Chances that Nathan will come back to life or with a serious dose of amnesia? At least 99.9 percent. Too many characters have died, then returned, or returned with a modified memory (Nathan, Peter, HRG, Sylar, Wonder/Moron Twin #2 to name a few). Memory loss and fake death are gimmicks that work once, maybe twice. Fifth time is definitely not the charm.

-- Malavika Jagannathan,

Well, true believers, what do you think? Was it all worth it in the end? Will you keep watching? Will someone please tell Milo Ventimiglia to keep his shirt on?


I haven't been that happy with this show since its first season. I just don't think it has sustained its level, although I know nobody agrees with me.

I'll keep watching, though.

By Anonymous Anonymous, At December 4, 2007 at 10:00 PM  

I'll probably keep watching, too.

Compared to a lot of other recycled shows out there, Heroes does have originality -- although that's been lacking this season.

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At December 5, 2007 at 9:07 AM  

"Heroes," which I've never watched, seems to inspire an incredible amount of hate and scrutiny when things go sour. "Lost: Season Two" was terrible but bounced back, so I suspect this will, too. There's something about the rabid fanbases for both shows, though ...
-- Tom

By Blogger Press-Gazette blogger, At December 5, 2007 at 11:17 AM  

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