Friday, February 12, 2010

Is this the last season of Heroes?

I suspect this is it. That was a perfectly fine series finale. Should the show not continue, I'd suggest they change "Chapter Six" to "Epilogue."

After Season 2's nominal disaster (opinion was much lower than season one), they should have sat down and really mapped out the future seasons right then and there. They weren't able to plan out a suitable ending to that season, even though they had ample chance to actually write it ahead of time, with the assumption that they may not make it to the end of the season. They only got 11 episodes in.

Even today, two seasons later, the writing staff still appear to only be pumping out episodes about 4 episodes ahead of one another, with no foresight into what is coming next. This season has been erratic at best, with "twists" that show up as quickly as they're gone (or as quickly as they are ignored).

With that said, I thought that the season's overall plot was a lot more cohesive than I expected. Way better than Volume 3. It was slightly better than Volume 2, but not as good as Volume 4, and doesn't even reach the greatness of Volume 1. I thought that the Carnival was a good idea, however the season was muddled with way too many subplots, and minor plot points that either never started, or appeared to have no foresight to what was going to happen just a few episodes down the road. There was far too much hesitation from the characters, and in turn, the writers.

I liked the concept behind the Carnival, but the execution of the season was pretty poor (mostly due to Claire's subplots this season). I just felt there was absolutely no "art" in the way they handled the show’s story lines, which is sad. It felt as though they just jumbled a few scenes together with no grace at all. Stories that occurred in adjoining episodes that that would have worked perfectly together, were just thrown by the wayside, losing any kind of deeper meaning that they could have.

They've had numerous chances to write out characters last year and this year, though that goes without saying. Every season shows characters complete their character arc, and could promptly ride off into the sunset. Nathan, Hiro (with Ando), Mohinder, Parkman, all could have been written out of the show entirely at the end of last season. Parkman's out, which was provided in one episode this season would have gone down as one of the best exits ever. Nathan's exit made a lot more sense last year compared to the one given to the character this year. Last season it was a shock when his character died, but this season it was lame. It was the kind of lame that makes you wish they had just killed off the character once and for all a while back. For those who kept up with the show, it was almost as lame as D.L.'s exit, entrance, then exit again in a flashback. Those were “perfect outs" for characters were given that were never taken, and unfortunately that meant that the resolutions were poor.

Hiro's silly tumor subplot which appears to have been resolved. This was without resorting to his acceptance of death, which would have made for a good character departure. Instead he healed by his dead mother, in some mental vision. Huh? Parkman, who would have had the *best* character departures in the show's history had he been gunned down when he tricked the person who was controlling his body, "head Sylar," into a showdown with the police.

But anyway, back to Hiro’s brain tumor. In one episode, Hiro, the time traveling character, with his own wacky "brain tumor" sub-plot, sent Mohinder, one of the original cast members, to an insane asylum presumably to keep him safe from the main villain of the season, Samuel. Of course, the writers are on record for not planning more than 4 or so episodes ahead of themselves, so it may not be too much of a stretch to believe they had absolutely no idea how they would resolve him being in the institution when they filmed the episode, though it did make for a "shocking" cliffhanger. Kind of like the fantastic cliffhangers and lame follow-ups written by Russell T Davies for Doctor Who. Mohinder’s addition in "Close to You" and "Pass/Fail" was filler at best, when he was eventually rescued. I'm still not really sure why the writers didn't just send Mohinder "home" when Hiro made him "disappear for a while" - Samuel didn't appear to really pay attention to the outside world beyond a few people (Claire and everyone surrounding her, Emma, and a handful of other 'specials'). Mohinder would likely have been forgotten by Samuel, like a good storyline is forgotten by the writers from time to time. Claire, the perpetual cheerleader of the series, more than probably any previous season, ate up the screen time. And more than probably any previous season, this was a huge detriment to the overall story.

What is sad is that the show is one of (if not the most) pirated shows on the air today. If people watched the show through legal means on HULU or (if they failed to catch the initial broadcast), or watched the show during native country's broadcast (for international viewers), the show could probably survive at least one more season.

Unless we can be sure that Tim Kring (or someone more competent in the role) actually maps out 18-22 episodes FROM THE VERY START OF THE SEASON, it's time to end the show right where it ended. Since I don't think that's going to happen, just change "Volume Six" to "Epilogue" and be done with it.

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