The second season of Heroes is halfway over; we won’t see the conclusion until sometime next Spring (writers’ strike permitting). The question looms: Why the suck?
Ever since Heroes came on the air last year, it has frustrated and annoyed even as it entertained. I still tune in, of course; any episodic ensemble about super heroic types will be closely monitored at our house. But if Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb, and their assemblage of
comic book plotline plagiarizers writers don’t improve, they’re going to start losing viewers.
Spoilers and critique after the bump.
This fall’s episode’s seemed to mirror many of the theme’s from last season. You had your mystery villains lurking, your future disaster to avert, your mystery plots to track down. While last year, most of the characters were learning about their powers, this year they’re learning about ‘The Company’: the mysterious group of event manipulators that seems to include most of the main heroes’ parents. And this leads us to…
1) Not enough IQ; too much naiveté: Mohinder, who’s supposed to be the smartest guy on the show, gets played for a stooge again and again. He’s no match for the silver tongue of this guy:
Bob, aka the evil Ned Neidermeyer*…
Peter has the amnesia (yeah, that old gag) and then finds himself powerless against Adam’s machinations. He must save girlfriend trapped in a bleak future (never mind the rest of humanity) and can only do this by destroying the virus. No clever or innovative use of Pete’s immense powers here–he must be content to follow the plot points and Adam’s lead. It’s really too bad, because Peter was a fave in the first season.
Hiro’s naiveté has been a defining trait to this point, and I get where his character arc is going: he’s learned about love and loss and death, he continues to learn the consequences of messing with ye olde time-space continuum. I just wish he’d do something clever for once instead of just reacting, open-mouthed, to plot points. (And his punishment for Adam just seemed totally contrived and completely out or character). Even Bennett (Horned-Rim Glasses Guy), who’s in the know, an experienced conspirator, gets jerked around by his old colleagues. Does his short sighted anything-for-my-family mentality have to make him stupid as well?
As an alternative, consider the X-Files, in which Mulder and Scully, often manipulated by hidden authorities, challenged by their own preconceptions, are nevertheless able to solve mysteries and thwart the conspirators in a (usually) intelligent and logical fashion. Why can’t a single Heroes good guy exhibit these traits on occasion?
Editorial note: this post has become pretty large, so we’ll split and finish it presently.
*Bonus prize to the first person to get this reference.