The writers' strike is the best thing to ever happen to Heroes
. While the first season invigorated fans with a promise of great storytelling, the second season has been a massive failure in that department. The first six episodes were an aimless mess, trying to juggle at least seven distinct and separate plots.
The brilliant seventh episode, “Out of Time,” finally unveiled the larger mystery of volume two, but it seemed awfully late in the game to be doing that. Then last night, the show destroyed that momentum by flashing back for a pointless adventure that didn't provide all that many answers. Now, with just three episodes left in this volume, it seems too late to actually start building up to anything. Hopefully the strike will allow the Heroes
team to take a long, hard look at what went wrong this season and fix it for volume three.
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“Four Months Ago” was supposed to answer all the questions we had about what happened between the first season finale at Kirby Plaza and the start of season 2. Here's a brief list of questions it DIDN'T answer: How did Parkman and Mohinder shack up to take care of Molly? How did the Bennets successfully move to California and start a new life? And the big one, how did Sylar get from near-death, crawling into the sewer, to a Mexican jungle?
For some reason the writers didn't think it was necessary to answer those questions. Instead, we found out what Maya and Alejandro were up to, which is actually the same thing they're doing now: killing lots of people with the Black Eyes and running from the cops. We also found out how DL died, though since we all assumed it was from being shot by Mr. Linderman, that wasn't a question we even had, and, as it turns out, the actual answer was far less satisfying than the answer we thought it was.
The only thing left is Peter, and how he got from exploding above New York City to a shipping container in Ireland. The Heroes
staff adhered quite strictly to Occam's Razor, because it's more or less exactly what you would have assumed had they not spent an entire episode showing us. The Company got a hold of Peter, the Haitian wiped his memory, and Bob and Elle were working together to “cure” him.
As for Adam Monroe? Since Bob had a file on him, we knew he was once under Company control, and so he was just another prisoner who escaped with Peter. Aside from a tiny bit of backstory with him (30 years ago he tried to go public with his powers), there's nothing new.
The obvious problem is that after the “shocking” revelation at the end of “Out of Time,” we expected to be even more shocked by the answers the show promised in “Four Months Ago.” But there was nothing surprising about it. Everything was exactly what you expected. We learned nothing new about the impending Big Bad Biohazard, and we learned only the slightest bit of backstory about Adam and Elle.
Sure, we'll all watch these final three episodes, hoping for even a moment of brilliance to blind us from the offensively slow pace of volume two. However, we need a change in volume three, and here are the three simple rules I hope they follow: 1) Introduce the major threat in the first episode, instead of more than halfway through the volume. 2) Let the Heroes interact with one another rather than abandoning them in isolated storylines. 3) Stop introducing new characters. Right now there are 15 actors listed as main cast members, and that doesn't include Stephen Tobolowsky (Bob), Cristine Rose (Angela Petrelli), Shalim Ortiz (Alejandro), Adair Tishler (Molly) and Jimmy Jean-Louis (the Haitian). That's a whole lot of people to keep track of, so hopefully they'll kill off a handful and focus on the rest.
For now, let's just hope Tim Kring and company are spending their time on the picket line reflecting on the mistakes they've made, and how to correct them when they get back to work for volume three.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)