Heroes Season 4: On the way to the grave

Heroes Season 4 Premiere Sucked

I’m just gonna go ahead and say it: Heroes Season 4 Premiere was a masterpiece of mediocrity. I had high hopes when I heard that Brian Fuller had returned, but those were of course dashed to pieces when he left again, and as the premiere demonstrated, for good reason. Let’s talk a bit about what’s wrong with Heroes and what might have made things a little better.

1. Sylar. He was an awesome villain in season 1 and a complete waste of time in season 2. He was tepidly interesting in season 3, and in season 4 he’s a Cylon #6 ripoff embedded in the brain of one of the show’s least interesting characters, Matt Parkman, while his real body is waltzing around under the control of Nathan Petrelli–who should have died 2 seasons ago and stayed that way. When they first put Nathan in control of Sylar’s body they could have done something interesting–let the audience forget he was really Sylar.

Explore Nathan as Nathan for half the season while the new villains do their worst and just when things seem to be at a low point, worsen them–by letting Sylar re-emerge as dominant, with no warning whatsoever and no sign of an underlying Nathan. Instead, though, we get to endure Sylar as a hallucination to a boring character while Nathan starts to feel powerful enough to, no doubt, do something stupid yet again.

2. Claire. OK, look. In season 1, it was cool: Save the Cheerleader, Save the World. Catchy line, smartly written concept, made sense when you finally got all the puzzle pieces. Our heroes saved the fucking cheerleader. They saved the world. Now send her the fuck away. She’s BORING. She’s WHINY. She treads on two sidewalks: I love my daddy, I hate my daddy. Boo-fucking-hoo. Clair-bear? Go away. I don’t care where you go, but stay there, and I wish you weren’t in the Heroes Season 4 Premiere.

3. Nathan. OK, I get it: We’ve written ourselves into a corner where it’s impossible to kill Sylar, but everybody WANTS Nathan dead. So we kill Nathan…and copy him into Sylar? Why do that, especially if you’re not going to bother using it well? Nathan is annoying and stupid and utterly predictable. How many episodes until he once again flips like any other politician and does something stupid again?

4. Hiro. In the beginning, Hiro was my favorite character. I enjoyed his child-like excitement and devotion to being the good guy. He was a great counterpoint to some of the other characters on the show, but now it’s old. He’s no different today than he was at the start of Season 1, even after experiencing the defeat of being unable to save the waitress he spent 6 months falling in love with, after losing his father, after finding out his childhood hero was just a bunch of bullshit. How can he be unaffected by these kinds of events? We’ve had this fantastic glimpse of a future bad-ass Hiro who’s been tainted by pain-and by now, he or something damn close to it should be the Hiro we see every episode, now the goofy 10 year old. In the finale of Season 1, we really should have had Ando be killed-brutally-by Sylar, only to die in Hiro’s arms and change him forever.

5. Powers-Why the hell does every character have to get powers eventually? Giving abilities to Ando and Mohinder was just stupid. Let’s spell this out clearly: For a super powered hero to be somebody the audience can relate to, we need normal people to counter-balance and ground these characters in reality. This is a lesson Tim Kring and friends should take from what is arguably the best superhero show of all time: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was super powered, and aside from a couple of side characters like Spike and eventually Willow, nobody else was. These characters helped keep the show on an emotional level that was real and something we could connect with. Heroes had that in season 1 with several non-powered characters, but now who do we have? Just Noah. And he’s not exactly a fount of emotional depth, is he?

When I first watched the premiere season of Heroes, I was blown away by how well it was executed (for the most part, anyway; it did have a few misfires like most shows do) and how each episode made me eager for the next. Then the ending came and…well, it was pretty much underwhelming. Not a catastrophe, but more of an “Oh. Is that all?” And it’s been downhill ever since. Now all I feel is apathy at a brilliant concept that’s been so poorly executed I just don’t know what to make of it.  And this Heroes Season 4 Premiere? Meh. If only Joss Whedon had been in charge instead.


  1. Jason Ward 10/14/2009
  2. Matt 10/14/2009

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