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    Heroes Season 4 Review: "Strange Attractors"

    By | October 28th, 2009
    Posted in Reviews | % Comments

    Another week anothe-

    Oh, you know the gist of it. It’s episode six. Just go behind the cut and read my thoughts.

    OK, now ever since the premiere, I’ve been talking about how the show is steadily getting worse. State clear lack of interest in characters, bland new characters, and a generally aimless plot. I was thinking about it a bit more in depth, and I figured rather than review Heroes in the normal capacity that I do, I would make note of what it actually is that I feel makes the show poor this season. In fact, I just stated it – it’s a lack of plot.

    Let’s think about it for a minute. I’d say it’s fair enough to say that this show is pretty much on the same level as shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Lost, or perhaps even Battlestar Galactica, at least in PREMISE (not actual quality). What do those shows have that this show doesn’t? A very clear “big bad”, as coined from Buffy. What is a big bad? A big bad is a termed used to define an over-arcing threat, something that links the first episode of a season to the last. In Buffy, every season would have one big bad, and then many little big bads in between to help facilitate the chaos. Big bad can also used as a term in which to reference a big over arcing mystery, such as “What is the Island?” from Lost, or “Where is Earth?” in Battlestar Galactica. These bigger elements are what help to drive a show forward.

    Heroes no longer has a big bad.

    In the first season, we had many different little threats all encompassed by one big one – a bomb is going to go off in New York City and kill millions of people. What is the bomb? Who planted? We didn’t know. Over time, we had other little elements bringing us about, such as “Save the cheerleader, save the world,” “Are you on the list?”, and “How would you like to save the world?” We had many intriguing elements that would repeatedly call us to keep watching as the mystery of what made the Heroes into who they were as well as who was hunting them. In the second season, we had this on a smaller scale, yet it was still present. There were many open ended mysteries to be expanded upon. The third season tried to bring the bomb back, and at the halfway point it switched and created the big bad of the hero hunters. It was a non-stop source of threat that always kept our characters on the edge of their toes.

    The thing about this season is is that there is nothing driving the plot. We have an over arcing mystery, but as time goes on it pulls you in less and less, and that is the carnival. The reason I’ve lost interest in the carnival is because it went back to a plot device I’m sick of at this point, and that is Sylar (who was ever so present in this episode again). Outside of the Carnival, the characters are moving in their own absent minded directions with very little interconnectivity at all, and this is where the show suffers most, mainly because this is what the show was based upon at first. The idea of six degrees of separation, and all these characters being oddly connected, did lead to one of the shows biggest pitfalls (as it started to try to reach too hard for connections), but now there is nothing there anymore. It’s just a character show, and while this of course is possible to have, this show just doesn’t have strong characters anymore.

    On top of that, all of the big over arcing mysteries are gone. The company? Yeah, we learned about all that. Hell, the company doesn’t even exist anymore. Do we have any mysteries from previous seasons? Uhm, we know about Sylar’s dad, we know about the Petrelli’s dad, did I mention we know the Company’s origin too? Yeah. There’s not a lot left to really explore. All the old stuff has just about been discussed, at least without going back and making stuff up to put the illusion that was something was tehre from the beginning that really wasn’t.

    Continued below

    Of course, then this happened:

    This is what I call “the second Magneto scene” (the first being when Sylar flipped the truck in Season 1). In this scene, Samuel, distraught at the events partaken against another meta-human (can we call them meta-humans in this show?) levels an entire building full of people as an act of revenge, thus causing the show to the end. This is the first scene in the entire season since the first episode that has really entertained me. I am not saying that this at all redeems the past episodes, but what I am saying is that this is a mild fluctuation in the overall “good” factor of the show. I’ve noted that Samuel is the strongest character on the show right now due to his mystery, charm, and presence. I’ve question his intentions and if he is or is not a villain. While I’m not ready to call him our big bad yet, I will say that this scene was particularly bad ass, raising my over all interest in the show.

    I will say this – if the show maintains this scene (in essence), it could very well raise itself back up from the ashes. Since we no longer have any kind big bad to REALLY keep the show along, we need to bring one in. Sylar can not be this character anymore. Samuel? Samuel could be. Samuel needs to be. Samuel is a good actor in a great role that really needs to be fleshed out, and in all honesty, I’m tired of dumping on Heroes every week. I want the show to be good. This show used to be my favorite show on television. I wouldn’t miss an episode. Now, I don’t watch the show when it airs, and that doesn’t bother me.

    So that’s my Heroes centric rant of the week. As you can see, I really didn’t cover the episode. You know why? Because it wasn’t too good. Just like last week’s, and the one from the week before that. However, I loved that ending, and that’s what got me thinking about big bads and all that. Heroes still has a chance – I’m sure of it. It just has to figure out where it’s going.

    //TAGS | Heroes

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."


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