Heroes: Episode 2.9 "Cautionary Tales" Afterthoughts
Heroes: Episode 2.9 "Cautionary Tales" Afterthoughts
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
No matter how good the next two episodes of Heroes may be, it can be safely said that Volume 2 is a massive failure. From plotting to execution, it's been one misfire after another, which truly disappoints me. The show's basic concept has so much potential, and much as it hurts me to say it, maybe the guy who created Crossing Jordan is the wrong person to serve as showrunner for this subject matter.

Heroes Volume 2 is allegedly titled “Generations,” but the promise of that title has been largely unfulfilled. At its core, “Generations” should have focused on the Group of 12 and the interplay of the older generation of Heroes with the new one. Instead, the writers spent this season revisiting a lot of themes from the first year while introducing a rather arbitrary Big Bad with the Shanti Virus.

With the future biohazard serving as the main dilemma, the concept of “Generations” was turned into a B-story. Matt Parkman (Greg Grunberg) is apparently the only Hero alive interested in uncovering more about the connection between the Group of 12 and the events of the present. Yes, we've had glimpses of what could have been. The murder of Kaito Nakamura (George Takei) and the arrival of Maury Parkman (Alan Blumenfeld) could've been major plot points, but instead they only surfaced in Parkman's scenes. Through nine episodes, both Takei and Blumenfeld have only appeared in two episodes apiece, far less than they deserve. And don't even get me started on the wasted Nichelle Nichols who has done absolutely nothing to warrant her role.

Instead, we get new characters like Monica (Dana Davis), Maya (Dania Ramirez) and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) with no obvious connection to either the biohazard or the Group of 12. We can suspect Maya has some ties to the Shanti Virus, but we can't be sure since we have no insight into what purpose the Wonder Twins serve in the greater story. In this respect, they're even worse than Lost's Nikki and Paulo, because at least with them, the writers had the common sense not to give them a lot of scenes.

Bob (Stephen Tobolowsky) and HRG (Jack Coleman) have some ties to the theme of “Generations,” both being overly protective fathers to super powered daughters, but again, it feels like a golden opportunity is missing. Bob talks a big game, but he has yet to interact with any of the other members of the Group of 12. In fact, among the five members we've seen this season (Kaito, Angela, Maury, Bob and Adam), the only time we've seen any of them in a scene together is with Kaito, Angela and now Adam on the Deveaux roof.

Why keep these characters apart? Why call Heroes Volume 2 “Generations” when there's no attempt to tell the story of the Group of 12 aside from half truths about snow in Miami? It's not too difficult for fans to envision a true Heroes “Generations” storyline that focuses on the impact the Group of 12 had on the world and the new crop of Heroes. While that story may exist in some shape during Volume 2, it's at best playing second banana to yet another potential mass casualty event that the Heroes must stop.

None of this is to say the show can't rebound.  Part of the beauty in separating the story into comic book-like volumes is that each one can hit the restart button, a lot like the way 24 can follow a great season with a terrible one, a vice versa.  Based on what we've heard from various Heroes cast members about what the third volume might look like, there's a promise of the Heroes coming together and forming alliances, both good and evil.  A Heroes Justice League could be just what the doctor ordered to erase volume 2 from our memories.

-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)