It might seem strange to remember now, but there really was a time when Heroes seemed exciting, new, even revelatory. The notion of a television show in which an expansive cast of characters was made up entirely of newly discovered superheroes seemed like a no-brainer, but no one had ever done it before. (Assuming we’re not counting Superfriends.) The show even came with a catchphrase: “Save the cheerleader, save the world.” We were hooked.
The first season completed with a profoundly unsatisfying non-ending at Kirby Plaza, the first warning sign that this show might have had a great premise but nowhere to go with it. The second season was dreadful, but everyone involved admitted as much and promised they’d do better this year. And now the first “volume” of the third season has ended, and it’s clear this show never had a next step. So we cry uncle.
What happens in the last episode of “Villains”? Well, Sylar traps all the “good” guys in a building and puts them through a series of challenges meant to show that each one is a “monster” like him. But everybody pretty much makes it out okay, with Sylar defeated, and the show moves on. The Petrelli brothers are still in a spat, Mohinder is now sharing narration duties with Sylar (at least it sounded like Sylar), and Hiro is still cloyingly cute and ineffectual. In other words: This show hasn’t progressed one inch since the end of season one.
Actually, it’s progressed in one way: It’s pushed us beyond our last bit of patience. We’ve given this show several chances, and it has disappointed us at every turn. We have dug for diamonds among the coal, and all we can find is Zachary Quinto’s dogged inspiration as Sylar, and he’s sure to leave the show if his turn as Spock in the new Star Trek is a hit. We’re tired of cheerleaders, we’re tired of Japanese men who act like hyperactive teenagers, we’re tired of ill-thought-out “conspiracies,” and perhaps most of all, we’re tired of Milo Ventimiglia’s Sneering As Thespianism 101.
So: This is the final recap of Heroes. We suspect your hearts are not broken. Good night, sweet Heroes. We would remember you fondly, if we could remember you at all.