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Heroes: Season 2 - Powerless (Season finale review)

Heroes: Season 2

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the final episode of season 2 of Heroes entitled Powerless.

What’s the story? In Texas, Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) faces off against former friends due to Adam (David Anders)‘s misleading story about the Shanti virus. Micah (Noah Gray-Cabey) enlists the help of his mother to rescue Monica (Dana Davis). Maya (Dania Ramirez) is shocked when she learns the truth about her new friend Sylar (Zachary Quinto). Elle (Kristen Bell) tries to make her father proud.

What we say? After 11 hit-and-miss episodes, the second season of Heroes drew to a pretty exhilarating close with a strong cliffhanger ending and plenty of mid-episode excitement. With so many loose ends to tie up, it was credit to series creator Tim Kring that he didn’t lose sight of any. But as strong as this final episode was, it couldn’t quite mask the problems that have blighted much of the season.

Digging a little deeper: In many ways, series 2 of Heroes felt like a “difficult second album”. Tim Kring clearly had difficulty maintaining such high standards and – rather like the second run of Lost – attempted to introduce a clutch of new characters who simply weren’t that interesting.

Mexican duo Maya (Dania Ramirez) and Alejandro were a particularly poor – and time-wasting addition – while even Dana Davis’ Monica brought nothing new. The decision to keep Hiro (Masi Oka) in the past for such a long time also backfired, even though it did ultimately provide the back story for the heroes latest nemesis, Adam (David Anders).

Fortunately, the writers’ strike seemed to work to the show’s advantage. The need to wrap things up spurred Kring towards a more pacy resolution and the final few shows succeeded in largely recapturing the excitement of watching the first series.

Final episode Powerless ensured that fans still had plenty to look forward to from a third season.

With so much taking place in the final 40 minutes, you’ll forgive me if I don’t cover everything. But there was plenty to savour, digest and take forward into a new series.

Will Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) survive the assassination attempt that drew the episode to its shocking close? Remember, he wasn’t shot in the head! And who pulled the trigger? Was the shadowy figure glimpsed leaving the press conference Noah Bennet/HRG (Jack Coleman)?

How will Sylar (Zachary Quinto) use his restored powers? Will he go after the company as a lone agent? Or once again target his old rivals? Or both? Certainly, the prospect of more Quinto in season three is an exciting one to consider, especially since his reduced presense was one of the key factors in the show’s dwindling success.

And what will become of Niki Sanders (Ali Sanders), last seen trapped inside an exploding building, and stripped of her powers because of the virus? Will she be a casualty?

Powerless certainly left plenty to consider, as well as shedding new light on certain key characters. The previously mischievous Elle (Kristen Bell) emerged as an unlikely hero in saving Mohinder Suresh (Sendhil Ramamurthy) from the cluthces of Sylar and seems like a bad girl in need of some adulation to change for the better.

While the always enigmatic HRG now seems to have gone back to the dark side of the company in his continued bid to protect daughter Claire (Hayden Panettiere) from his bosses.

Scheming matriarch Angela Petrelli (Cristine Rose) was also seen to have sanctioned the assassination of her son, Nathan, having previously advised Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) on the best way to kill Peter, should he get in the way. Just how evil and manipulative is she? And how big is the company and conspiracy she’s clearly a part of?

And, finally, have we seen the last of Adam, unceremoniously buried alive by Hiro by way of revenge for the killing of his father? We suspect not…

If nothing else, Powerless confirmed that there is still plenty of life in Heroes yet. But rather than flooding the third season with even more pointless characters or time-travelling exploits, Kring is best advised to maintain a sharper focus and play to its obvious strengths.

If anything, he should take a note out of Lost‘s experience, which learned from the mistakes of season two to come back progressively stronger over seasons three and four. If Heroes can achieve the same turnaround, it could yet become unmissable once again.

On current form, it’s still very good without being great.

What did you think?