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'Heroes': Season Two Review

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'Heroes': Season Two Review
Heroes creator Tim Kring has openly apologised for the poor quality of the second season, but was it really that bad? Cult Spy takes a look back over the last eleven episodes of Heroes, exploring the highs and lows of the volume 'Generations'.

Just imagine that the writers had never downed their quills across the pond. Would the sophomore outing of Heroes have fared that badly as a whole? Early episodes laboriously laid the foundations, relocating old characters, introducing new ones and establishing new intrigues. Dramatic tension was thin on the ground, but due to the strike the season was curtailed abruptly and we may have to wait until the third chapter 'Villains' for a successful pay-off to some of the subplots.

The decision to jump four months into the future from the apocalyptic first season finale was a brave one, but ultimately doomed. We were left wondering what happened during that period and the sluggish, languid pacing of the show was hardly compensation. Crucially, until the Shanti virus came to the fore, there was no central threat or peril to bind all the disparate narrative strands together. It all felt so inconsequential, with the frequent musings on parent-child relationships best left to daytime soaps.

Hiro's time travelling trip to Japan was painful in the extreme, the petting between Claire and West was frequently agonising, and Peter's Irish adventure was tedious. It was often left to the Matt Parkman narrative strand to fight a lone battle in keeping our attention, as his battle to overcome his sinister father Maury was totally gripping.

A range of new characters entered the fray with mixed results. Monica was given interesting powers of mimicry, but has yet to be given an absorbing scenario in which to use them. Elle stomped around with a real 'Mean Girls' vibe, discharging electrical bolts without generating much intrigue herself until the later episodes, when her traumatic, forgotten childhood was uncovered. As for Maya and Alejandro... if only Sylar had his full brain-sucking powers restored earlier in the season. He could have put the simpering pair of non-entities out of their painful existence.

The figure of Adam Monroe echoed the fortunes of the season in many ways. Before the pivotal episode 'Four Months Ago', he was the dithering and unconvincing Kensei, locked in a petty battle with Hiro for the love of a woman so thinly developed that one wondered if she'd inherited Claude's cloak of invisibility.

However, once he emerged as the duplicitous Adam, luring Peter into his masterplan in The Company cells, he grew in stature and strength - as did the series. 'Four Months Ago', which also gave DL a fitting send off, served to underline why tampering with linear narratives can do more harm than good sometimes.

After the events following the first season finale were finally laid bare, Heroes regained its old composure and hauled itself off the bloodied canvas. Bob did a good job as the ambiguous Company man, Noah Bennet was back to his torturing best and, to cap it all off, Sylar dispatched Alejandro.

Sadly, before the show could swing any more punches the lights came down and it was all over. Woeful boxing analogies aside, a cracking quartet of episodes at the end wasn't quite enough to make us forget just how dull the previous parts were. Only The Haitian could do that.

> What do you think of the second season? Share your views

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