“…Four Months Later”
September 24th, 2007
Slate recently posted an article about overpopulation against television casts, referring to it as a “plague.” As if to prove their point, Heroes started its second season struggling to come to terms with its expanding cast, and ignoring several of its key characters in the process. A meandering and inconclusive hour, “…Four Months Later” felt like we were being shown what a better writer could have done through subtle hints, as opposed to anything of true consequence.
The episode’s main focus was establishing that, forced to live normal lives due to the threat of The Company, our heroes are miserable. Noah moved from Primatech to Copy Kingdom, Claire went from athletic cheerleader to quiet Badminton player, and Nathan went from politician to alcoholic. It is only Parkman who gets out lucky, able to use his ability to read minds discreetly, earning a job as an NYPD Detective. Everyone else is suffering, big time. And do you know what? That doesn’t make for very exciting television.
Of course, we don’t know how much some of them are suffering: Niki and Micah, as well as D.L. (If he’s alive) were curiously missing in action, their time given instead to our newest hero Maya. Interestingly, her power seems to have similarities in Niki’s, in that people end up dead and she has no control over that fact. Her character thus far feels like a complete non-starter: I feel like I’m watching a pilot all over again, as opposed to witnessing the birth of something fresh or original.
The parts of the episode that were fresh and original were nearly ignored: Hiro’s adventures with his heroic samurai turned alcoholic gaijin were quite engaging thanks to David Anders (Alias), but they were barely even a part of this story. It is one of the only areas where things are moving forward in a way that feels worthy of my attention, and yet did not get the time it deserves.
The “plot” if you will saw little to no attention: Hiro and Nathan’s parents were marked for deathby a member of The Company who shall remain shrouded by a hooded sweatshirt (That means he’s devious), while only George Takei felt the sting of death in this episode. The only other notions of an arc were found in Molly (The database in the form of a girl seen last season) and her dreams, and Mohinder working to get involved with The Company in order to bring them down from the inside with Noah.
Other than that, we saw a rehash of the Pilot: people coming to terms with a change in their life that they don’t enjoy. Claire went from testing her powers to wishing she could test them, and has fallen right into cute boys (Who has her father’s power: awkward) and bitchy cheerleaders; where’s the change? It feels as if everything has been rebooted, as opposed to progressing. Even though Peter was found in a storage container in Cook, Ireland at the episode’s conclusion, the series has earned no momentum heading into its next episodes.
I have to hope that the series will bounce back in the coming weeks when the reins are taken out of Tim Kring’s hands and into those of writers who are willing to take the series in new directions; until that point, I remain convinced that last season’s finale was no fluke, and that Heroes is headed off the rails very shortly.