Heroes Season Four

Heroes Season Four
Heroes' journey as an ongoing television narrative has come to a close, but the only conclusion it's reached is that the once great series never pulled out of its nosedive after the end of the first season. While never again reaching the nadir of pointlessness that was season two, Heroes nonetheless has felt rudderless and mired in the endless tropes of the reset button. Constant power stripping and switching continued to hamstring any forward momentum the characters built, preventing any truly epic showdowns. Season four is as scattered and noncommittal as ever, introducing a wealth of new characters with little long-term value. Robert Knepper (Prison Break) plays Samuel Sullivan, the season's primary baddie and almost main character, due to amount of screen time he receives. Think dirt Magneto the Irish carnie, minus the holocaust background to justify his rage about mutant persecution, and you've got Samuel. He leads a carnival of "specials" that are looking for a place to settle down and stop hiding their powers. Most of the season follows Samuel's efforts to draw in new heroes to increase the strength of his "family." Hiro and Ando are given table scraps from the main plot; their potential squandered on a soapy time travel love story and power-restraining health issues. Elsewhere, Claire continues to have trust issues with daddy while trying to establish a normal life in college — another circular dead-end. Sylar is hobbled yet again, this time by memory wiping and manipulation, forcing him to wear Nathan Petrelli's body while his mind is trapped in Parkman's head. There are no less than four major variations on Sylar's temperament, culminating in a shortcut to an unlikely bro-down with Peter Petrelli, who's still forced to trade powers instead of becoming a true equalizer to Sylar, again. Ever frustrating, the anticlimactic season conflict is resolved in cursory fashion while introducing a change that could actually push the tired series into new territory, but after dropping the ball this consistently, it's hard to have any faith. Creator Tim Kring inserts some words prior to the final episode, promising the story isn't over, even though the show's been cancelled. One of the features may point the way to the future: "Heroes Revolution" outlines the interweaving narrative via various media, like webisodes and comics. Most discs contain utterly pointless deleted scenes and a commentary track or two of varying interest, in addition to a series of interviews, including a conversation with Milo Ventimiglia and a round table on Sylar, where it's revealed that he was originally supposed to be a short-lived, one-dimensional priest until Zachary Quinto was cast. "Genetics of a Scene" turns out to be a focused collection of detailed behind-the-scenes featurettes, highlighted by a squib-making workshop, the oddity of seeing stunt doubles in action and hearing Suresh speak without his accent. While the "Please Kill Suresh" movement didn't come to fruition, it did, thankfully, encourage the writers to keep this final season mostly free of the ridiculous doctor. Maybe a few mercy killings like this could've kept the show from being euthanised, but unless they happened in the writers' room, it's unlikely. (Universal)