WARNING – MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – you can’t have a show based on heroes that are near invincible. You just can’t. Heroes have to be flawed, or have some element that makes them weak, otherwise there’s really nothing for an audience to identify with. Peter is the prime example – he’s really unstoppable, and while I used to get excited seeing him onscreen, now he just takes up screen time, mostly with a bunch of whiny morality. The only person who can really challenge him is Sylar, and for whatever reason that left him without any power at all for *the entire season*. Not really a bright decision. And his girlfriend, now stuck in the future? Seriously dude, I don’t know much about chicks, but you should probably go and get her. I imagine by now she’s pretty pissed off, which means you’re probably going to be sleeping on the couch for a while dude.
This season was full of plot threads, most of which didn’t really go anywhere. I mean, that girl and her brother from South America – who the hell cares? We spent how many episodes tracking them to New York City, only to have buddy get killed last episode? By a knife? Did he get his super power down at Walmart or something? What the hell did he do again? I wish they would have killed them both right off the bat because honestly, they aren’t that interesting.
In terms of Claire and Adam, the writers have opened a whole can of worms by having their blood heal everyone. I mean, we’ve seen two people now come back from the dead with it, so I think the effect of seeing someone get killed in future episodes is going to be dampened. I mean, in theory Peter’s blood should probably cure people as well, since they’ve stated that his DNA adapts to take other people’s powers. So they basically have three people that can cure everyone. Unless of course you shoot Peter in the head, since apparently that will kill him. This season at least. Just don’t make the mistake of stabbing a large piece of glass directly into his brain though, because that apparently doesn’t last.
I was really hoping that Hiro and Adam would have a final battle. The way that thread ended was fairly lame if you ask me. I guess there aren’t many alternatives, because in theory Hiro can simply stop time and put a sword through Adam’s head, but they should have come up with something a little better if you ask me. Seems like a waste to spend all season developing Adam only to have him ultimately locked away in a casket thanks to a fairly obvious move by Hiro. I mean, how long did Adam think he could talk to Hiro before Hiro got bored and jumped through time and space to kill him? That move is about as stupid as walking up to Sylar with a dotted line around your head and a shirt that says “superhero.”
Another thing I don’t really understand is why all the first generation Heroes, including Hiro’s dad, feared Adam for some reason. I mean, so he can heal himself, big deal. Other than that, he’s not really that threatening. In 16th century feudal Japan when everyone had swords, I can see a guy who can heal and take people down one at a time as being maybe a bit menacing. But in 21st century New York City, where every cop is carrying a gun or a taser and has access to a pile of backup, I really don’t see how he could get away with too much.
In a surprising twist, I actually think Elle is the most interesting character right now. She has a wicked cool super power, and unlike most of the other characters, she already knows how to use hers properly — while most other characters are still discovering their super powers, the bit of discovery going on with Elle is within herself, which is awesome. When I think back to 24, with Jack Bauer, and how that series has changed, I remember the character moments they used to give Jack that they don’t have time for anymore. Like when he got into his car that one time and paused before starting it, simply breaking down. Or when George gives Jack that speech in the plane about what it means to be a real hero. I mean, those are defining moments that set characters apart and show that your writing staff actually cares about the characters. You don’t see many moments like that in Heroes, the exception really being a few moments with Noah.
And that’s really what I think makes Elle interesting right now, is they are taking a bit of time to flesh her and her backstory out and shape her as a real person, complete with flaws. I absolutely love the scene in the last episode when Elle threatens to make Noah talk near the end, to which he replied “you can try.” And then her power sort of fizzles out as she realizes she probably wouldn’t be able to make him talk, and then, doing something she probably has never done before, caves in and says “please.” At this point she’s no longer the confident puppet of Primatech Paper company, but instead is simply a scared, sad little girl, trying to figure out who she really is. Jump forward ten minutes when she realizes that she just saved the group of people from Sylar and simply says “cool”. Yup, she’s awesome.
Obviously this season was cut short by the writer’s strike, so who really knows what the real story line was in its entirety. I actually thought there were some really great parts to this season, but in general I think it wasn’t that great. There were simply way too many character arcs, most of which didn’t really serve any purpose. The director has even said they should have exposed the virus plot in one of the first episodes instead of waiting until the 7th or whatever it was, and I totally agree. Before that, there really wasn’t anything joining any of the threads together, and it simply became a bunch of arcs that really should have been left on the cutting room floor.
I think there is the potential to have season three but awesome, but I think they basically blew it with season two. Only time will tell though.