Heroes: Season 2 - Review
Review by Jack Foley
MUCH has already been written about how the second season of Heroes lost its way.
Some have drawn comparisons with series two of Lost, which took a similarly wayward turn during its lamented sophomore run. And it’s true, the latest exploits of Tim Kring’s superheros did disappoint over the course of its 11-episode arc.
Much of this has been attributed to the writers’ strike – the threat of which loomed large over the preparations, and the reality of which meant that the season was kept relatively brief.
But in terms of structure and plotting, Heroes: Season 2 also flattered to deceive. Having built up a considerable head of steam for the excellent first season finale, the opening of season two seemed curiously flat.
The action had shot forward by four months, the heroes were in hiding and viewers were asked to wait while Kring took time to establish a new threat for them to face.
Of the key players, Peter Petrelli (Milo Ventimiglia) had been unceremoniously dumped in Ireland with amnesia (and surrounded by actors with dubious accents), Sylar (Zachary Quinto) had been stripped of his powers and barely registered as a presence, Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar) had grown a beard and a conscience and – worst of all – Hiro (Masi Oka) had time travelled back to feudal Japan and took it upon himself to attempt to steer the course of history along its true path.
The latter storyline, in particular, dragged on way too long and continually interrupted the momentum of events back in present-day New York, where a virus was threatening to wipe out the city in a style reminiscent of the events of Will Smith’s I Am Legend.
The majority of the new characters introduced by Kring also failed to cut the mustard, with brother and sister Alejandro and Maya failing to generate any interest whatsoever as they travelled from Mexico to New York, and Monica (Dana Davis) another weak addition as a hero who could imitate the powers of others just by looking at them once.
Fortunately, the second half of the season did pick up the pace as Kring – buoyed by the writers’ strike and no doubt stung by criticisms – got his act together.
Hiro returned from the past, Peter found himself allied with the heroes’ latest enemy (David Anders’ similarly time-travelling Adam) and the always enigmatic Noah Bennet/HRG (played by Jack Coleman) appeared to have switched sides and was back with the company in a bid to protect his long-suffering daughter, Claire (Hayden Panettiere).
The final episode, Powerless wrapped things up in suitably breathtaking fashion to suggest that season three may well have learned from the mistakes of the past and carry forward the momentum generated by season two’s final episodes.
So, while hardly an essential follow-up to its unmissable first season, Heroes: Season 2 just about did enough to ensure that future installments will be worth tuning into. And who knows, perhaps a Lost-style re-emergence is on the cards…
UK DVD Release: July 28, 2008