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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Heroes: Season 2
Heroes: Season 2
Universal // Unrated // August 26, 2008
List Price: $39.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted August 28, 2008 | E-mail the Author
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Volume Two: Generations (The Second Season)

The television drama Heroes was one of NBC's most popular shows from their 2006 fall lineup. The series comes from Tim Kring and features an epic tale about a group of individuals (heroes) who find they have special abilities (super powers). Season one focused on two aspects: the individual characters coming to terms with their newfound powers as heroes and heroines and their coming together to save the world. The first season was compelling and engaging with a myriad of likeable and interesting characters and intricate storylines that pulled you in, leaving you hanging on the edge of your seat wanting to know what happens next. Unfortunately, season two did not have the same oomph. While it is not dull or lacking in entertainment, it just is not as nearly as powerful as the first season. Part of the reason is due to the writer's guild strike cutting the episode billet to a mere eleven, as well as the spin-off miniseries being cancelled. There were also some subplots and new characters that did not have much value added. Nonetheless, it is still exciting for fans of the series.

Heroes's "Volume Two: Generations" (season two) takes place four months after the season one finale. The heroes were able to save the world, but at a cost. Their lives were completely upset and they try to adapt to who/what they have become. The primary plot season two plot is about the Company and the Shanti virus. As the season progresses, the heroes slowly unravel the mysteries behind the Company and the connection to the Shanti virus. The virus is a threat that has the potential to kill everyone and everything. This plotline was the most interesting aspect of season two. It got pretty intense towards the end. It is unfortunate that it did not run longer. (And after watching the bonus features, disappointment will sink in further with the potential direction if not for the strike.)

In addition to the primary plotline, there are a number of subplots with each of the characters. Mohinder and Parkman act as surrogate parents to Molly. Mohinder also teams up with Noah to infiltrate the Company and stop its rein of terror from the inside. Noah, Claire, and the rest of the family go incognito. They relocate and try to blend in as the Butlers. Claire questions her father's past and current actions. The situation is complicated when her classmate West (Nicholas D'Agosto) finds out about her superpowers.

Hiro finds himself in feudal Japan with his childhood hero Takezo Kensei (David Anders). Hiro messes up with the timeline and stays with Kensei to fix what he changed. Peter awakens in a cargo container with no memory. He befriends a small group of brigands as he tries to understand his abilities. Niki leaves Micah with family in New Orleans while giving herself to the Company. She is convinced she needs their help to "cure" her illness. Micah helps his cousin Monica (Dana Davis) understand her newfound special talents. New characters Maya (Dania Ramirez) and Alejandro (Shalim Ortiz) journey from Honduras to New York City. Maya has an uncanny ability that causes people to die. She wants to find a cure and she believes Dr. Suresh is the answer.

These subplots start off fairly independent, but slowly tie in together. As with season one, they eventually connect the heroes into the primary plotline. However, some of the subplots do not contribute or offer much to the big picture. These subplots are the weak portions of the season. For instance, Maya and Alejandro's storyline was a big waste of time. There was very little content and it only took away precious time from the other characters/stories. In addition, there are other subplots like Micah and Monica that do not bring much to the table.

Overall, season two is entertaining and enjoyable. It does not have the same intensity as the first season, but it still offers a story that fans will enjoy. The details behind the Company are of the most appeal. The season also does fairly good job tying several of the key subplots with the primary plotline. This aspect was done well in both seasons. In the end, Heroes: Season Two is a pretty good drama. However, it probably could have been better with a full billet of episodes. Unfortunately, the writer's guild strike left the season a little shortchanged.

Episode Guide

1. Four Months Later: Four months after the explosive events in New York, the fates of Peter, Nathan and Matt are revealed; Hiro meets his hero in feudal Japan; and new individuals with abilities emerge worldwide.
2. Lizards: After the death of a hero, Matt enlists some unlikely help to find the sinister force behind the attacks, while Claire's efforts to hide her abilities are jeopardized by a fellow student with a secret of his own.
3. Kindred: Several heroes make shocking discoveries as Suresh uncovers a hidden Isaac Mendez painting, Maya uses her abilities to free her brother, and Hiro is surprised by his childhood hero, Kensei.
4. The Kindness of Strangers: the past catches up to the present with information about the previous generation of heroes and a new hero exhibiting unexpected powers in post-Katrina New Orleans.
5. Fight or Flight: Ireland becomes the scene of an encounter between a lost hero and woman who is wiling to kill to find him, while Matt flies to Philadelphia to hunt down Molly's boogeyman.
6. The Line: Moral dilemmas surface as West convinces Claire to punish another cheerleader, Suresh tries to work with the Company, and Hiro struggles with his feelings for Kensei's princess.
7. Out of Time: Several heroes face off against the nightmare man in a deadly attack, while Peter and Caitlin battle his personals demon when one of his forgotten abilities suddenly manifests.
8. Four Months Ago...: The clock turns back four months to reveal what happened to the heroes directly after the explosion in New York; from Nathan's terrible loss to the Haitian's sacrifice.
9. Cautionary Tales: Agendas clash as Claire and her father ponder whether to run, Matt struggles with his new abilities, and Maya and Alejandro's relationship is tested as they travel with Sylar.
10. Truth & Consequences: Difficult decisions lie ahead as Peter tries to stop a dangerous viral threat, Hiro goes after his father's killer, and Maya must choose between her brother and Sylar.
11. Powerless: It's hero versus hero in the explosive season finale as Peter, Nathan, Matt and Hiro clash over the Shanti virus, and Maya sees Sylar's true nature when he kidnaps Molly and Suresh.

The DVD

Video:
The video in this release is given in an anamorphic 1.78:1 ratio widescreen color format. The picture quality is quite good. It suffers from a slight grain, but detail remains to be sharp and clear. However, there are moments when the picture suffers noticeable compression artifacts. Overall, the picture is relatively clean and should look good on big screen televisions.

Audio:
The audio track in this release is in English 5.1 Dolby digital surround. The sound quality is very good and it provides an audible and clean track. The dialogue is usually a little flat while music and sound effects come off rich and vibrant. Additionally, the 5.1 track is dynamic and makes good use of the surround sound capability.

There are subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.

Extras:

  • Audio Commentaries: are included for episodes "Four Months Later" with Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb, and Jack Coleman, "Lizards" with Allan Arkush, Greg Grunberg, and Michael Green, "Kindred" with Paul Edwards, JJ Philbin, and Zachary Quinto, "The Kindness of Strangers" with Tim Kring, Dana Davis, and Adrian Pasdar, "Fight or Flight" with Greg Grunberg and Greg Beeman, "The Line" with Adam Armus, Kay Foster, and Jack Coleman, "Out of Time" with Daniel Attias and Masi Oka, "Four Months Ago..." with Milo Ventimiglia and Greg Beeman, "Cautionary Tales" with Greg Yaitanes, Kristen Bell, and Ashley Crow, "Truth & Consequences" with Adam Kane and Stephen Tobolowsky, and "Powerless" with Allan Arkush, Lisa Coleman, and Wendy Melvoin.
  • Deleted Scenes: are included for episodes "Four Months Later" (2 scenes), "Fight or Flight" (5 scenes), "The Line" (3 scenes), "Out of Time" (2 scenes), "Four Months Ago..." (3 scenes), and "Cautionary Tales" (3 scenes).
  • Heroes Season 2: A New Beginning (14:38): is a featurette with cast and crew talking about the second season. It opens with Tim Kring giving a brief introduction about how the season had to defy expectations, as did the first. It continues with discussion about some of the key plotlines.
  • Takezo Kensei: Sword Saint (23:44): is a short documentary about feudal Japan and the history of Takezo Kensei.
  • The Drucker Files (8:28): is a "fake" documentary from Global New Interactive. It is about Richard Drucker. This documentary was posted on NBC's website.
  • Genetics of a Scene (23:10): is a behind the scenes featurette with executive producers/directors. The discussion is about putting together some of the tougher scenes. It begins with Allan Arkush talking about episode two -- Hiro in feudal Japan. Next Greg Beeman speaks about episode one -- Maya and Alejandro. Beeman then talks about episode eight -- Peter and Nathan. Arkush returns for the final segment. He talks about episode eleven. Some cast members appear and give brief comments.
  • Heroes Season 3 Sneak Peek (8:34): is a behind the scenes look at season three. It stars Greg Grunberg, Ali Larter, Jack Coleman, Dania Ramirez, and Sendhil Ramamurthy.
  • "Generations" Alternate Ending (17:56): is an alternate ending to the season two finale "Powerless". Very interesting.
  • Inside the Alternate Ending of "Generations" (10:55): is an interview featurette with Tim Kring, Jeph Loeb, Jesse Alexander. As the title states, they discuss the alternate ending and the effects of the writer's guild strike.
  • Untold Stories (12:11): is a collection of snippets of stories that would have been told if season two had not been shortchanged with the writer's guild strike. There is some pretty exciting material.
  • NBC.com Featurettes: consist of "Hotel Corinthian Explosion" (0:42), "Maya y Alejandro Viral Video" (2:16), and "Nathan and Peter Brooklyn Cam" (0:32). They are short clips of outsider views of the heroes' actions.
  • Tim Sale Gallery of Screen Art (2:00): is a montage of Isaac's paintings.

Final Thoughts:
Heroes: Season Two continues the epic saga of common individuals with special abilities coming together to save the world. In season two, the heroes from season one deal with the aftermath of saving the world. They uncover new mysterious dealing with the Company and the Shanti virus. A few new characters are introduced. Overall, the season is entertaining, but it does not have the same intensity as season one. There are a couple dry subplots and a few pointless characters. Nevertheless, fans will definitely want to see how Heroes continues.

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