Heroes: Season 2 - The Line (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
INDIELONDON singles out notable episodes from our favourite television series for stand-alone reviews. On this occasion we take a look at the season 2 episode of Heroes entitled The Line.
What’s the story? Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) heads to Vancouver to search for the woman who killed his new girlfriend’s brother. West (Nicholas D’Agosto) convinces Claire (Hayden Panettiere) to stand up to a cheerleader bully. Hiro (Masi Oka) struggles with his feelings for Yaeko (Eriko Tamura). Suresh has more problems with Company representative Bob (Stephen Tobolowsky). HRG (Jack Coleman) tries to locate more of Isaac Mendez’s paintings. Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) doesn’t trust Sylar (Zachary Quinto).
What we say? Ever since the second season of Heroes began to air on BBC2 we’ve been watching in the uncertain knowledge that it’s going to lose its way. According to reports from America, fans had begun to get restless as the show came to a temporary halt due to the writers’ strike, while series creator Tim Kring had even gone so far as to issue an apology about the wayward nature of the show (something he’s since denied doing).
Well, there are signs that the show’s tightly wound plot is beginning to unravel amid pointless story arcs and too many characters. It’s still entertaining and the good moments far outweigh the bad ones, but the decision to keep Hiro in the past is beginning to test the patience, while newcomers Maya and Alejandro appear to be going nowhere slowly. That said, we’re enjoying Claire’s attempts to re-integrate herself into a new high school, while there are certainly signs that the show is starting to reunite old friends and foes for another major tussle.
Digging a little deeper: First, the lowpoints. Why is Hiro stuck in ancient Japan? His endeavours, whilst comical in places, feel like unnecessary padding and tend to get in the way of the more intriguing storylines such as Matt Parkman and Nathan Petrelli’s search for a new mystery killer. Those two didn’t even get a look in during The Line, which suggests Kring IS attempting to juggle one too many characters.
Maya and Alejandro, meanwhile, continue to make very slow progress to New York and their constant bickering has become tiresome. The presence of Zachary Quinto’s Sylar adds a more interesting dimension – but are we merely counting down to their inevitable demise? If so, let’s get on with it. They have added little or nothing to the show so far.
Peter Petrelli’s amnesia and subsequent Irish adventure is also irritating, especially since none of the Irish accents on show are the least bit convincing. Perhaps now he’s got to Vancouver in search of Kristen Bell’s mystery assassin Elle things will pick up? But his presence at the end of the episode in a deserted New York of the future felt more like he’d stumbled onto the set of Will Smith’s I Am Legend more than anything genuinely shocking. Robert Neville, it seems you’re not alone…
If Kring can just start to make the plotlines and characters converge, we might get a move on. As things stand, it feels like Heroes is in danger of losing its way in the same way that the second season of Lost did. That has come back strong – so let’s hope a post writers’ strike Heroes does the same.
Like we said, this second season isn’t a lost cause – far from it. Rather, it’s just taking an unnecessary amount of time to get where it’s going.
We’re still intrigued by HRG’s true motives, new Company man Bob is an enigmatic presence (very well played by Stephen Tobolowsky) and a suitably conflicted foil for Suresh, and Nathan Petrelli’s guilt-wracked former politician is far more interesting than he was in the first series.
Cheerleader Claire, meanwhile, continues to provide a lot of fun as she experiments with how far her body can be pushed and attempts to keep her relationship with West a secret. The duo’s humiliation of a bitchy cheerleader queen was highly amusing and one of The Line‘s high points.
We’re promised more action in the immediate future, so let’s hope we get it sooner rather than later. For now, Heroes remains enjoyable, but the cracks in its make-up are starting to show.
What did you think?